Monday, 26 August 2019

Flip and Fold Cushion

I’m really quite excited! I finished the Flip and Fold cushion from Lesson #4 of the Sweet Pea ITH Course, and I love it. This rather surprised me as I don’t have anything else of this nature in my home. Why not, though? I’ve always admired quilts.

The finished cushion. The borders of the cushion match the reverse side
The instructions and pattern came in 3 sizes. I chose to make the smallest size (4 x 4 hoop - 100mm x 100mm). I had a very straightforward reason for choosing this size. I bought a jelly roll of fabric with colours and patterns that go together - that someone else, not me, has chosen -  for practicing. I was able to use pieces of the jelly roll fabric for my block pieces. I had to check that first as the centre piece for each block was wider but the 2.5 inches of the strip was just fine.

The jelly roll was from the Moda Vive la France range. This range was recommended to me by the quilting shop I visited. I realised that I wouldn't be able to use the strips for the borders on the cushion, or the back. I purchased some yardage from the same range; the colours were of course ideal but I decided against the two fabrics I bought as one had stripes - any wobble in my sewing would be very obvious - in fact, ditto with the other, which was a plaid.

The whole process was very enjoyable and helpful to me working towards making a quilt. Once again Martyn Smith proved an excellent instructor.

Back of the finished cushion - matches borders
First of all, the stabilizer recommendation was perfect. I used no show mesh stabilizer which is strong but not bulky or stiff in a quilt - I’ve bought some more so that I have it in hand when I start the quilt proper. I say quilt proper, but any proper quilters would probably throw up their hands in horror!  I’m intending what I believe is called ‘Quilt As You Go’ - very similar to what I did for this cushion as each block is made separately then stitched together with or without a border between it and its neighbour. 

I made each of the 9 blocks as per instructions. Each block has 5 pieces of fabric, batting and stabilizer. After the five pieces are attached and sewn down, the embroidery machine then goes on to create the quilting pattern over the pieces. Just think how long this would have taken by hand!!  

I know that I could have made a nicer pattern with my pieces, but I really didn’t see it at the start. I realise that really the design you want would have to be drawn out, coloured, in advance. I might do that for the next lesson which is for a table runner.

I used bamboo batting as that is what I had. I bought this a while back from the fabric sale run by the widower of a prolific and I understand excellent quilter. I also bought some fabrics there and used one of them for the borders and backing to the cushion. The pattern of this fabric doesn’t perfectly fit in, but I find it pleasing.

I had no problems creating the blocks. Each block was finished quite quickly. I did find that my scissors were not quite as good as I’d thought - trimming was trickier than it should have been. After the blocks were created, they were trimmed all the way around, using ruler and rotary cutter,  to leave a half inch seam allowance. The blocks were then joined together using the sewing machine. This I found quite tricky as there were several matching points and for a couple of the blocks, I had to redo more than once. Join 3 rows of 3 then join the rows together, then put on the binding. The only issue is my sewing! I thought they looked great afterwards.

I found that even at this stage, I had a bit to redo but that didn’t take me long. The cushion was of course supposed to be square with all blocks the same size. Thankfully, no-one is going to be measuring my blocks - and if they try to, I won’t invite them back to my home!

Then the backing is attached, wrong side to wrong side, a gap left, and the whole thing pulled through. No problems. I decided against inserting a zip and followed the tutorial exactly. However, Martyn stuffed his cushion with loose filling and I wanted to use a cushion insert. After letting my ‘fingers do the walking’, I was able to buy the perfect size of feather cushion insert from a local shop.

I struggled a bit to get the insert in and realised I should have left a bigger hole. Or zipped the whole of one side. However, I got it in and I think that it's the right size. This will be a decorative cushion, so I was happy just to slip stitch closed.


Yes - there is glorious sun today

I took these photos today as I wanted to post the blog I've had in draft. There are no constructional photos.

Verdict - I loved the process and will certainly repeat this. In fact I want an almost identical twin. This will have to wait because:

Lesson #5 is out today. I've watched the instructional video. I don't have the necessary solids which I believe would be better for the design, but hopefully will get on to it later in the week

Lessons learned      Flip and fold technique; okay I’m sure there is more to learn
For the future  - draw out pattern wanted.
Trying new things might lead to gems but don’t spread too thinly!


  1. Garment sewing, embroidery and now quilting? You're becoming a truly allround sewist! What a lovely cushion!

    1. Thank you, Marianne. This isn't quilting, Jim, not as we know it! This is an extension of machine embroidery. The good thing is that there are no fitting issues - still haven't cracked that one.

  2. It looks fab, the embroidery machine adds a nice extra dimension to the quilting :-)

    1. Thanks, Margaret. You've got me there in the end! Well, nearly. I enjoy seeing your pieces so much


Thank you for taking the time to visit my blog. Please leave a comment. I welcome each and every one. I value criticism (constructive of course! ), love hints and tips and would appreciate suggestions for future direction.

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