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Sewing a Cushion Top – Part 2

Today we are going to finish sewing the zipper on our cushion cover and then we’ll deal with those floppy corners!

To recap – my 12″ cushion form is densely filled with goose feathers and goose down, the cushion top measures 12 1/2″ UNFINISHED. The back of the cushion cover has been cut in half and the zipper is sewn on the BOTTOM half of the cushion back.

The next step is to press under one inch on the bottom of the top half of the cushion back. Press that flap to the wrong side of the cushion back.

Press under one inch on the top half of the cushion back
Press under one inch on the top half of the cushion back

 

 

Take the top part of the cushion back and place it right side down on the work surface with the folded under part towards the bottom. Then place the unsewn edge of the zipper (that is attached to the bottom half of the cushion back) parallel to the raw edge of the folded under part of the top part of the cushion back. I know that sounds awfully complicated – take a look at the next picture to see what I mean…

The ruler is there to make sure that when the two parts are sewn back together (with the zipper inserted between them) that the cushion back will be the size you need – in this case 12 1/2″.  If we have to trim – that is OK. Better to be bigger than too small.

Line up the two parts of the cushion back
Line up the two parts of the cushion back

 

 

In this photo you can see a close up of what I described above. The long unsewn edge of the zipper is lined up with the raw edge of the folded under piece from the top part of the cushion back. Make sure the side edges are lined up as well.

Line up the two parts of the cushion back
Line up the two parts of the cushion back

 

 

Using the zipper foot to insert a zipper
Using the zipper foot to insert a zipper

 

 

Pin well and using your zipper foot, stitch alongside the zipper. Even though the zipper does NOT go completely to each end of the cushion back – you NEED to stitch from raw edge to raw edge.

Coming up to that zipper pull which is very hard to stitch beside
Coming up to that zipper pull which is very hard to stitch beside

 

 

Move the zipper pull behind the presser foot and continue to sew the zipper all the way to the edge of the cushion back.

Sewing the zipper using a zipper foot
Sewing the zipper using a zipper foot

 

 

This is the almost finished cushion back. The arrow is pointing to a flap under which is the zipper. While we need the flap to be open where the zipper is – we need to close up the ends where there is no zipper.

The arrow is pointing to a flap under which is the zipper.
The arrow is pointing to a flap under which is the zipper.

 

 

In this photo – you can see that flap a bit better. Stitch an L shaped seam that starts at the previous line of stitching and is just to the right of the zipper stop (inside the flap).

Once you reach the loose end – pivot and stitch to the end of the cushion back.

Stitching the end of the zipper flap closed
Stitching the end of the zipper flap closed

 

 

To sew the L shaped seam on the other side, you can change the zipper foot so it will stitch on the other side or mark with a pin so you know how far down to sew before you pivot.
To sew the L shaped seam on the other side, you can change the zipper foot so it will stitch on the other side or mark with a pin so you know how far down to sew before you pivot.

 

 

This is the final stitching that appears on either side of the zipper and keeps the zipper hidden within that flap.
This is the final stitching that appears on either side of the zipper and keeps the zipper hidden within that flap.

 

 

The zipper hiding underneath the flap.
The zipper hiding underneath the flap.

 

 

The zipper insertion is complete. The zipper is hidden underneath the flap and there’s a seam at either end of the zipper to help hold the zipper in place and keep everything looking neat and tidy.

The zipper insertion is complete.
The zipper insertion is complete.

 

 

The last thing to do is trim that cushion back so it’s the same size as the cushion front. A bit of a challenge considering there’s now a zipper in the back. I tend to tip my ruler over the zipper and if the cushion back is slightly off size – it isn’t a big problem.

Let’s cut some corners!

Literally that’s how we’re going to get rid of those floppy corners. Have a look to see how easy it is.

 

Using a marking pencil and a ruler, mark TWO wedge shapes on each corner. The wedge measures 1/2″ at the widest and is about 3″ long. If the cushion is larger, you may want to make your wedge slightly bigger, but don’t go too big.

Wedge shaped marks on the corners of cushion back
Wedge shaped marks on the corners of cushion back

 

Cut along the lines to cut away both wedges on all four corners.
Cut along the lines to cut away both wedges on all four corners.

 

 

With right sides together, lay the cushion top underneath the cushion back. Use your ruler and rotary cutter and remove the wedges from the cushion top. You could lay the front and back together BEFORE you cut the wedges and then cut them together.

The cushion cover right sides together with the cushion back
The cushion cover right sides together with the cushion back

 

 

Pin the cushion top to the cushion back. VERY IMPORTANT – OPEN the zipper at least half way and then stitch all around the edge using a 1/4″ seam.

The cushion back pinned to the cushion front
The cushion back pinned to the cushion front

 

 

Notice that I pivoted in the corner, but did NOT pivot at the end of where the wedge was cut off. Just round that out – you do not want a noticeable change of angle at that point.

The corner of the cushion stitched
The corner of the cushion stitched

 

 

Trim off some of the seam allowance in the corner to reduce bulk
Trim off some of the seam allowance in the corner to reduce bulk

 

 

Turn the cushion cover right side out through the zipper opening. I hope you didn’t forget to leave that zipper partially open. Otherwise it’s time to rip!!!

The completed cushion cover
The completed cushion cover

 

 

Oh shoot – the cushion cover is NOT complete without the personalized tag. For some reason I keep forgetting them. I didn’t make all colors of tags and black was the best color choice I had.

Completed cushion cover complete with personalized tag
Completed cushion cover complete with personalized tag

 

 

Check out this link if you want to learn how to make your own personalized tags.

Those tags on the cushion forms freak me out!

Under PENALTY of LAW – it sounds serious and for years I NEVER removed those tags even though I was the consumer!  I know – how silly of me!  I did remove these tags because this is going to be a tight fit and I don’t want those tags interfering with the appearance of my cushion.

New material tags
New material tags

 

Next I insert the cushion form. This takes a bit of manipulation. My zipper is about 9″ long and my cushion form is 12″ so it means that I have to poke and prod, fold and squeeze, but I want a tight fit.

Once the cushion form is inside the cushion cover, I massage the cushion form until it fills the corners and looks nice and even.

The completed cushion cover
The completed cushion cover

 

 

There you have it – a very simple way to insert the zipper so it’s easy to remove the cushion cover and yet looks professionally finished. And even better –  NO floppy corners.

Whether you use the Husqvarna Viking Sapphire 960Q or your own machine – there are many ways to make your own textured fabric. Try some stitch-outs. Make some cushion covers.

Don’t forget to send pictures of your completed cushion covers. I love to see how creative everyone can be.

Now that we’re done with sewing the cushion top, I’ll be back tomorrow to finish building my snowmen. Be sure to check out what I make with them.

Have a great day!

Ciao!

Elaine Theriault is a teacher, writer and pattern designer who is completely obsessed with quilting. She is a teaching specialist at Northcott and loves going to work in a warehouse full of fabric. Elaine’s Tech Tips column (originally published in A Needle Pulling Thread magazine) is now available online in e-book format at QUILTsocial.com. When not quilting, she enjoys spending time with her two dogs, Lexi and Murphy, or can be found cycling across the country. Her blog is crazyquilteronabike.blogspot.com.

1 Comment

  1. Pauline

    I am very into making cushions right now – and as usual I just plunged in and learned as I went along. Your zipper flap is great and I will use it on my future cushions. Thanks for the tute.
    Pauline

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