A heart cushion is for life, not just for Valentine’s Day

As it’s February, I thought it called for some sort of heart-themed pattern. And as 6th February commemorated 100 years since (some) women in the UK were given the vote, I wanted to find room for the classic purple and green colours of the Votes for Women campaign.
This project includes a few different techniques:
1. English paper piecing (my current love!)
2. Hand appliqué (a new skill for me; trying for the first time!)
3. Machine quilting (been there, done that, always worth doing again again!)

To make this cushion cover you will need:
• 1.75″ 60° jewel paper pieces (I bought my pre-cut from Lina Patchwork)
• Sewline glue stick
• pink, green and purple fabric scraps
• background fabric
• wadding
• cutting mat, rotary cutter, cutting ruler
• needle and thread

1. Place a paper jewel on the wrong side of the fabric. You can pin or dab a tiny amount of glue in the centre of the paper template to hold them in place while cutting out and basting.

2. Cut around the template leaving a ¼” seam allowance on every edge.

3. Run a line of glue along one edge of the paper template then fold up the seam allowance and stick to the glued edge. Hold it in place for a few seconds then repeat on the other edges. Baste the edges in order moving around the jewel rather than doing opposite sides first.

4. Repeat for all the jewels; to copy my design you’ll need one purple, one green, and two of four different shades of pink.

5. Hold two jewels of the matching colour (or the purple and green) right sides together with one long edge (including the corners) lined up neatly.

4. whipping stitch
sew paper pieces together with a whipping stitch

Start at one end and sew a few tiny stitches in the corner to start off then continue along the edge using a tight whipping stitch. Take care to catch only a small amount of fabric from both jewels and don’t go through the paper template.

6. Keep going to create five heart shapes, always taking care to match up the edges and corners as neatly as possible. Then attached the five hearts together using the same method but now attaching 2 short sides, one heart to the next, to create a row.


7. Iron your finished row of hearts and carefully remove all the paper templates, then iron again pressing out the seam allowances back to the inside so the hearts looks the way you did before removing the paper pieces; with crisp and straight edges.

11. Now its time to make a quilt sandwich. I’m making a 16″ square cushion so my measurements will work towards that but you can adapt if you want something larger or smaller. Cut your backing fabric, wadding and background fabric to about 17″ square.

12. Place you backing fabric with the wrong side facing up, then put your wadding on top of this, then finally add your background fabric with the right side facing towards you. Make sure all the layers are smooth and flat then baste the layers together using your preferred method.

13. Mark a guide line on your quilt sandwich so you get your row of hearts exactly where you want them. I’ve drawn a line in fabric pen about 5″ from the top. You could in the hearts in place but I have used a basting spray glue.

14. Now it’s time to hand appliqué the row of hearts onto the background fabric. There are lots of great tutorials on YouTube to help with this so I won’t go into a lot of details as I think watching a video explains it much better. I used Leah Day’s tutorial which I would highly recommend.

15. Once the hearts are attached to the cushion front you can then machine or hand quilt as desired. I have chosen to machine quilt with narrow vertical lines. To do this style find the middle point of the design (it should be the centre seam of the middle heart) and mark vertical lines 1/4″ either side of this seam, then mark vertical lines all the way across every 1/2″. 

16. Now trim your quilted quilt sandwich to 16″ square and add a cushion back style of your choice. And you’re done!


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