To make a rectangular cushion up to 46cm (18") wide, you will need:
- 50cm (20") fabric for the cushion (110cm wide)
- 5 cm x 110 cm of contrasting fabric for flat piping (optional)
- Rectangular cushion pad to fit
Before you start
Gently press the cushion fabric to remove any creases.
If the embroidery has been worked in a ring frame, press out any ring marks in the background fabric by placing the embroidery face down into a soft towel and dry ironing (no steam) on the back. If the fabric is delicate or has a pile (eg velvet), cover with a tea towel first or hold the iron just above the material so that it does not touch. If in doubt, first test press on a part of the fabric which will be trimmed away.
Calculating the size of your cushion
- Calculate the finished size of the cushion centre. You are looking for a nice balance between the embroidered centre and the width of the cushion fabric which will sit either side of it. This will depend on the size and shape of the design and the size of the cushion but, as a general rule, leave a border of background fabric measuring a minimum of 2.5cm (1") around the embroidery.
- Subtract the size of the finished centre from the size of the finished cushion, then divide by 2 to calculate the width of the border on each side of the cushion centre.
Preparing the borders
- Add 12mm (0.5") to the width of each side border for seam allowances. Cut a strip of fabric measuring this width from the edge of the short (50cm - 20") side of the cushion fabric. If the sides of the cushion centre are less than 25cm (9.5")high, one strip will be enough for both sides. If not, cut a second strip the same width.
- From the piping fabric, cut a strip measuring 2.5cm (1") wide and 110cm (43") long.
Making up the cushion
Click on an image to see a larger version.
Add 12mm (1/2") to both the width and height of the finished size of the centre to give a 6mm (1/4") seam allowance on each side. This gives the size of rectangle to cut from the embroidery's background fabric.
With the right side of the embroidery facing and the design centred, measure and mark the rectangle to be cut onto the background fabric. Trim the excess fabric away along the marked lines and discard.
From the side border strip(s) prepared earlier, cut 2 pieces the same length as the centre's sides. From the strip of piping fabric, cut 2 pieces measuring the same length. Fold the piping in half lengthways and press.
With the cushion centre right side up, align the piped edges of the borders with sides of the cushion centre. Pin and sew, this time along the 6mm (1/4") seam allowance. Press the seams away from the embroidery.
Measure the height and width of the finished cushion front. From the remaining fabric, cut the cushion back to match the measurements. Pin the back to the front of the cushion, right sides facing. Sew together leaving a 10" gap along the bottom seam to allow the cushion pad to be inserted.