Log-cabin patchwork cushion

So, I finally made something useful out of all those fabric scraps I can’t stop hoarding (it’s becoming a serious problem – I do a cull every six months, but I think they’re breeding inside my plastic IKEA boxes…)

It’s a log-cabin cushion cover! Behold the glory:

logcabin cushion

We’ve talked before about the massive high of trying a craft for the first time, when you’re totally clueless about all the mistakes you’re making.

This cushion definitely qualifies for me. It’s pretty wonky and is not going to win me any rosettes at the WI fete, but it was a total thrill to put together.

Here’s the back where you can see the construction (and wonkiness) more clearly. Another brilliant thing about patchwork – no seam finishing!

patchwork back

I used this super-helpful tutorial and cheat sheet to work out what strips to cut. I aimed for yellow on one side and blue on the other, but tried to mix it up a little bit so it didn’t look too much like the Ukrainian flag.

All the fabrics are scraps that I’ve been saving for years. The insects and the bikes were screenprinted by me in various classes, and you might spot bits of other projects here and there.

I didn’t cut all the strips to length in advance, just did it as I went along. This ruler, recommended by someone on Twitter, was super-useful, along with my rotary cutter and mat.

The back is entirely made from the chambray left over from my recent shirt project, and the buttons are vintage ones from my stash:

back of cushion

Although I enjoyed making this, I can’t see myself going over to the dark side and becoming a full-on quilter. Precision is not my strong suit.

Also, I didn’t actually quilt this as you can see, just backed it with some yellow fabric to hide those messy seams, and then overlocked the edges before making the cushion cover.

To finish, I thought you might enjoy this view of my sewing room mid-construction. I think tidying up took longer than making the actual cushion…

patchwork mess

14 thoughts on “Log-cabin patchwork cushion

  1. Franca May 30, 2014 / 5:33 PM

    love it! if I was ever going to quilt, a log cabin thing is what i’d make!

  2. LinB May 27, 2014 / 5:26 PM

    Oh, such a darling, cheerful project! The best part about piecing from a scrap hoard is that every bit of fabric has a story to go with it. Yes, planned quilts from boughten fabrics are lovely, too; but I prefer the “make it do” quilts better.

    As to smaller piecing projects, I’ve gone so far as to piece and make a cushion like this one, and stuff it with hoarded fabric. (To hide/store the fabric, not because it makes a comfy cushion. It is heavy as lead.) You can make cushions of different colors, then store fabrics of like colors in there.

  3. Annie Hogan (@_annie_h) May 27, 2014 / 1:52 PM

    love the colours in your log cabin design – it’s so perfect for using up little scraps, as is all patchwork really. I’m not massively precise but I like all the geometry of it. This cushion is really pretty and doesn’t look wonky at all. You should try another project, the darkside is lots of fun 🙂

  4. Cassandra May 27, 2014 / 1:50 PM

    Your project looks great! We’ll make you into a quilter yet! Glad you found our tutorial useful 😉

  5. thisblogisnotforyou May 27, 2014 / 12:04 AM

    This is so adorable and such a clever way to show off (and keep track of) all the fabric you’ve used!

  6. ooobop! May 26, 2014 / 9:03 AM

    Beautiful work, Kathryn. And such a great tribute to past projects! The best thing about quilting for me is the wonkiness and the history in the fabrics. Love it! x

  7. Emma Jayne May 26, 2014 / 5:23 AM

    Not just me that has mess as a by-product of creativity then?! What a lovely idea to use up precious scraps.

  8. Donna May 25, 2014 / 7:09 PM

    Love it – good job!

  9. Jenna May 25, 2014 / 6:21 PM

    Beautiful cushion, it’s a really good way to use up fabric scraps. I was going to make a quilt for my bed but the idea of starting it is so daunting that I haven’t yet! I think I might borrow your idea instead!

  10. rillafree May 25, 2014 / 6:11 PM

    Great use of scraps and I love the screen printed bits! I’m dabbling in some screen printing this weekend (results coming soon) and am making a tonne of mistakes, but the learn as you go policy seems to be working ok!

  11. kokorimbaud May 25, 2014 / 6:11 PM

    Love it! And what would you know, I was just today pondering my fabric hoarding tendencies and what to do about it … might have to steal your idea 😉

  12. Caroline Joynson May 25, 2014 / 4:52 PM

    Your cushion looks great. I love the colour transition on each side. Its lovely that you used sections of your left-over screen prints that yor have done over the years – its like a little reminder / memory every time you look at your new cushion.
    Glad I didn’t have to tidy that mess up though ; )
    Great to see you last week at NYLon14 V&A.

  13. Elaine Green May 25, 2014 / 4:41 PM

    Beautiful cushion, lovely colours. Don’t worry about matching anything with quilting just enjoy it.!!!

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