Monday, 11 January 2021

DIY Geometric Felt Cushion Tutorial

This week's free tutorial is based on a project I've had "in progress" (i.e. been neglecting) for years: a hand-sewn felt cushion with a geometric pattern. This felt like a perfect project to share during lockdown while we're all stuck and home and (judging from my Instagram feed) doing lots of home improvements!

This was such a lovely relaxing project to work on, and I'm so pleased with how it turned out.

It turned out to be a big hit with my dad, too. I took it round to his house (we're in a support bubble together so I'm allowed to visit at the moment) to take some photos of it and he wouldn't let me leave with it... it now lives on one of the grey sofas in what I think of as his den :)

(Can we talk about how tricky it is taking interior shots with no special lighting in the middle of a gloomy winter??!?! Such a headache! I really need to learn to prep my winter tutorials in the summer!)


Want to make your own hand-stitched geometric cushion?
This is a time-consuming project but not a difficult one. It would be perfect to work on while watching TV in the evenings this winter. You could use your favourite colours, or maybe make a random patchwork of colours using up felt scraps from your stash!

First you need to pick a tessellating shape. You can use the same chevron shape I did (you'll find the template at the bottom of this post) or draw your own shape. Remember the smaller your shape the more pieces you'll need to cut out and sew around so the more time your cushion will take to sew!

Work out how many shapes you'll need to fill the front of your cushion and plan your colours. I used some graph paper to plan my arrangement, then cut out the number of pieces I needed. 
Start building up your pattern, pinning then tacking some of your pieces in place on a piece of felt that's a bit larger than your finished cushion front will be (I used a large piece off-white felt because that's what I happened to have lying around, left-over from another project!). Use a ruler to help make sure your lines are nice and straight.

Begin sewing your felt shapes in place, using whip stitch and matching sewing thread. Don't sew around what will be the outside of your cushion - only sew the interior lines.

Gradually build up the design, sewing the pieces flush with each other. As you can see, I trimmed the pieces at the ends of each row to create a nicely squared off edge. 
You may find it helpful to use a ruler and an air-erasable marker pen to help you cut these edge pieces to be completely straight.

Here's how the front of my cushion looked when I'd added all the shapes:

As  you can see I still had a line of tacking stitches in place at the very top and bottom of the cushion to help keep the edges of those shapes in position. If you're using larger shapes than me you may also want to add some stitches to the sides as well, to help with the next step.

Now your cushion front is completed it's time to trim away the excess felt - do this carefully to avoid snipping any of your stitching!

For the back of the cushion you'll need a big bit of felt to coordinate with your chosen colours. Cut two large pieces approx two-thirds the size of your cushion, and pin them to the back ("wrong") side of the  of the cushion front so they overlap in the middle, like so:

Sew around the edge of the cushion with blanket stitch, sewing through all the layers. 
I used dark grey sewing thread to match the backing felt and co-ordinate nicely with the colours on the front. Remove the pins as you sew around the edge then remove any remaining tacking stitches.

Finally, add your cushion pad and sit back and admire your magnificent masterpiece!

This pattern is for non commercial use only: you can use it to stitch as many cushions as you want for yourself or as gifts, but please don't make any for sale. You may borrow a couple of photos if you want to blog about this project, but remember to credit me and link back to this page on my blog, and do not reproduce my entire post or share my template on your site. Thanks!

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Click here to open the template in a new window, make sure you're viewing it full size then print it at 100%.