Saturday, 4 February 2012

String Quilt Cushion Cover (Tutorial)

I haven't been well this week, and have spent far too long looking at lovely stuff on Pinterest, but today I was itching to make something.
I had seen a tutorial for making string quilt blocks which used paper piecing, but I wanted to have a go with a fabric base in order to make four blocks for a cushion. Here's what I did:

I want my final blocks to measure 8'' when made up, so cut 4 squares of plain white fabric, to 9'' (in theory I only need 8.5'', but I want to allow for a bit of extra trimming space.)
In water soluble pen I drew across the diagonal, then drew 2 lines 1/2'' either side, then 2 more lines 1/4'' out from those.
I want to end up with a 1'' white stripe down the centre of each block.

I cut my first fabric strip for attaching. I want my stripes to remain parallel to the central stripe, so am cutting each one with parallel edges.
I lined up my first strip, face down, neatly to the very top blue line I drew. This is pinned in place, then sewn with a 1/4'' allowance (which means my first strip is now attached along the blue line that was 1/2'' from the centre line.)

 Lift up the attached fabric and iron.

Lay your next strip, face down, matching one edge to the top of the previous strip.

This is again sewn, and ironed upwards.

Carry on in the same way, till that half of the block is completely covered with strips of fabric, then start on the other half in the same way.

The first strip on the next half is again aligned with the top blue line that was drawn on. In this way I created the 1'' white centre stripe that I wanted.

Keep going, lining up edges, pinning and sewing!

When the block is covered, flip it over and trim it. I measured up the diagonal line on my ruler with the centre of my white stripe, then trimmed the whole thing to 8.5''

I love how the back of it is so neat! So unlike my normal quilt top backs!

Four blocks later...

I sewed them together with 1/4'' seam allowances, and considered using it just like this for the cushion top, but decided to quilt it, with thin wadding and muslin on the back.

I love it when it goes all bumpy!

I then trimmed the edges again.

For the cushion back, I overlapped two pieces of heavier fabric (with raw edges turned over a couple of times, ironed then sewn) right side up, to make an envelope opening.

This was all pinned in place, then I sewed 1/4'' in from the edges all the way around.

My final job is to add binding, in the same way as I would to a quilt.
(I did actually sew on some bright red binding, but it made it look like a Christmas cushion, so I cut it all off again!
I'll be binding it in white I think, shortly...)
The final cushion is here.


  1. Thanks for the tutorial. It has inspired me to start a string quilt cushion this weekend!

  2. Love your fabric choices! So bright and cheery!

  3. Thank you for the tutorial! Love the bright colors!

  4. Thanks for this tutorial. I, too have been away from quilting for quite some time, due to health issues. This tutorial is the first to get me re-motivated. I'm going to try it. Thanks again.

    1. Sorry to hear about the ill health - I hope your sewing goes well!

  5. thank you for the tutorial. really love the colors and pattern