Introduction: Spring Flowers - a Special Cushion for Mom!
This is a big, beautiful applique cushion that's surprisingly easy to make! I made it for my mom, and she totally *loves* it!
All that's needed are a few scraps of leftover fabric, scissors, an iron, fusible interfacing, an old pillow for stuffing, a little cotton thread or yarn, a few buttons, and, of course - good ol' needle and thread! I've provided the applique template here to print out, so cutting according to the precise measurements is no hassle at all!
Step 1: Step 1 - Tracing and Cutting
Print the template (see the first picture below!) and trace the shapes onto heavy paper or cardstock, and then cut the pieces out (if your printer supports heavier-paper types, you can print directly on the cardstock itself, and then cut the pieces out!) On the wrong side of a sheet of fusible fabric interfacing (the glue/fusible side should be facing down), trace the shapes as follows: four large petals, four inside-tulip petals, four right-side tulip petals, four left-side tulip petals, and twelve leaves (the number of each shape to be cut is noted on each piece on the template, so this is easy!) Set the circle-cutouts from the template aside; it'll be used later on!
Step 2: Step 2 - Sewing the Fabric Pieces
Choose different colors for each group of pieces, except for all of the right and left tulip petals (which all should be the same color!) Work with one group at a time; in this example, we'll look at the leaves first. Place a swath of fabric for the leaves, right side up, under the fusible interfacing, with the side of the tracing facing upwards. Using the marked outline of the piece as a guide, and keeping the fabric under in place, sew in place the leaves; don't leave any openings! Repeat this for all of the other groups of pieces, with their respective fabrics!
Step 3: Step 3 - Cut the Pieces
Cut all of the pieces out, close to their seams, but not too close!
Step 4: Step 4 - Turn All of the Pieces Right-side Out
Working with each piece individually, gently pinch so that the fusible web stands up a little; then, using the tip of a sharp pair of scissors, clip a small slit in the fusible web. Then, using a cut straw and a bodkin, or thin bamboo stick (with its edges dulled), invert each piece.
Step 5: Step 5 - Arranging the Pieces
Cut a 16" by 16" solid color square from a light-colored fabric, and arrange the four wide petals, symmetrically, in the center. Close to each corner, arrange the middle petal of each tulip so that its tip faces the corner's intersection (see the picture below!) The rest of the leaves, and the buttercups (which we'll sew in a little bit!) can be arranged in any pattern!
Step 6: Step 6 - Finish Arranging, and Iron Down!
After you've finished arranging the leaves, firmly iron everything down; the fusible web will bind to the 16" square.
Step 7: Step 7 - Draw the Guidelines for the Vines, Sew the Vines, and Overstitch
After all the pieces have been firmly ironed in place, draw lines for guidelines to sew the vines. Four separate lines should come from each of the four spaces where the petals of the center flower meet, and lead to each center tulip petal; other lines can be variable, between any leaves and the tulips they're next to! After drawing the guidelines, use cotton thread or yarn and hand stitch in place, along the lines. Then, using color-coordinated thread for each group of pieces, overstitch each piece with your sewing machine!
Step 8: Step 8 - Sewing the Buttercups
With the circle-cutout template, cut four fabric circles. Using a hand needle and thread (not doubled), hand stitch a single seam along the outer end of each circle. Working with each individually, pull the seam until gathers are loosely and evenly distributed throughout the circle. Press the center and smooth it out until a small hole is in the center. This is a yo-yo, and it's going to be used as a buttercup! Draw the needle through the center of the yo-yo and pull up a single stitch, encircling over the yo-yo; pull the stitch tight, until a crease is apparent. Turn the yo-yo a little and repeat this, until there are five creases, pulled tight; the yo-yo will be divided into five portions, and it'll be apparent that these portions are petals! Returning the threaded needle to the center of the yo-yo (now a buttercup), flip it over and drop a button in its center; fasten the button to the buttercup.
Step 9: Step 9 - Sew the Buttercups on With the Leaves, and Sew a Button on the Main Center Flower
Position each buttercup near any leaves, and sew them on! Also, place a button in the center of the main center flower, and sew it on.
Step 10: Step 10 - Cutting and Sewing the Borders
Cut four strips of any color fabric, about 2 1/2" wide and 16" long. Sew one on each side of the 16" square.
Step 11: Step 11 - Cutting and Sewing the Back of the Cushion
Cut a 20" square of any fabric for the back. Cut the square in half, and hem one end of each. Then, place them together over the designed square (both the square, with its flowers, and the back halfs must have their right sides facing each other), making sure that one back half overlaps over the other until they both sit evenly with the designed square. Then, sew all around!
Step 12: Step 12 - Stuffing and Finishing!
The cushion cover is now done! Just stuff it with batting or stuffing from an old pillow, and smooth it out evenly - and you're all finished! It's ready to be presented to Mom! :-)
Thanks everyone for reading, have fun! :-)
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