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Sewing Mini Cushions

Earlier this week I “made” some fabric using the decorative stitches on the Husqvarna Viking Sapphire 960Q. Today, I’m going to make something from those pieces of fabric. I’ll be sewing mini cushions!

Snowman patchwork block using decorative stitches
Snowman patchwork block using decorative stitches

 

 

I could use this patchwork block to make MANY things. However, in keeping with the cushion theme this week, I decided to make some mini cushions. I have always wanted to make these mini cushions to decorate the house for special occasions or change them up for the current season. Fill a bowl, a tub or any other container with the mini cushions.

Alternatively you can add a piece of cording or rick rack at the top and make a door knob hanger or an ornament from the mini cushions. Package a couple of the mini cushions up for  a wonderful hostess gift.

The best part is that they’re easy to make. The hardest part is choosing which stitches to use on the Sapphire 960Q.

Making the cushion

I cut a square of fabric for the backing of the mini cushion that was the same size as the front of the mini cushion. In this case that is 6 1/2″.

Wrong side of the mini cushion front
Wrong side of the mini cushion front

 

 

Notice in the photo above that I trimmed two small wedges off of each corner like I did with the larger cushion cover earlier this week.  This helps to eliminate those floppy corners. The back is layered behind the top and I trimmed both pieces at the same time.

Again – I pivoted at the corners, but NOT where the wedge trimming ends.

This time I’m going to stuff the mini cushion cover so no need to put in a zipper. I left a small opening (about 3 inches) at the bottom of the mini cushion cover.

Turn the cushion cover inside out and give it a good press. Don’t forget to add your personalized tag before you sew the top and back together.

I used a polyester fiberfill product to stuff the mini cushion cover. It is difficult to work the fiberfill into the corners so I use a chop stick to help massage the stuffing into the corners.

Fiberfill stuffing and a chopstick
Fiberfill stuffing and a chopstick

 

 

Once the mini cushion cover is filled to your liking, it’s time to close the opening. Now you could hand stitch it closed but that takes time!

I use 1/4″ strips of fusible webbing to close the opening.

1/4" fusible webbing
1/4″ fusible webbing

 

 

Rip off a piece of the fusible webbing that’s the same length as the opening. Lay the strip of fusible webbing on the seam allowance INSIDE the mini cushion cover. Iron the fusible webbing to the one seam allowance. Leave the paper on for the moment. Sometimes it’s easier to do this step before you start to stuff the mini cushion cover.

Strip of fusible webbing on the seam allowance on the inside of the mini cushion cover
Strip of fusible webbing on the seam allowance on the inside of the mini cushion cover

 

 

When you’re ready to close up the cushion cover, remove the paper from the strip of fusible webbing.

Scrunch back the stuffing so that you can line up the two edges of the opening. Once those two edges are lined up – use the iron to activate the fusible webbing.

Manipulate the opening of the mini cushion cover closed
Manipulate the opening of the mini cushion cover closed

 

 

Voila! The opening of the mini cushion cover is sealed and NO hand stitching. Make sure that that seam is well pressed and trim off any loose threads.
Voila! The opening of the mini cushion cover is sealed and NO hand stitching. Make sure that that seam is well pressed and trim off any loose threads.

 

Mini cushions, made with decorative stitches on the Husqvarna Viking Sapphire 960Q
Mini cushions, made with decorative stitches on the Husqvarna Viking Sapphire 960Q

 

 

Like I said – I want a tub filled with these mini cushions. I just love them. Hmmmmm – I think I have a few more to make!  They’re fun to make and they’re a great way to test out the various stitches on the sewing machine. Off to get more of that gorgeous blue fabric!

It’s all a learning experience

While I’m a pretty confident sewist, I’m constantly learning new things or new ways of doing things. Let’s not forget that the fabric, threads and tools are constantly testing me.

I wanted to point out a couple of things that happened to me so if it happens to you – you’ll know how to rescue your piece.

I started out by marking my square of fabric with registration marks. I cut a piece of stabilizer and sat down at the Sapphire 960Q so I could choose a stitch to start with.

Fabric square marked with registration lines and backed with stabilizer
Fabric square marked with registration lines and backed with stabilizer

 

 

Since this was a pretty straight forward stitch, I did not do any practice stitch outs. However look what happened to my fabric. I did not pin the stabilizer to my fabric and you can see that my fabric square shifted and looks distorted.

Fabric stitchout is distorted
Fabric stitchout is distorted

 

 

Not to worry. First thing I did was remove the stabilizer. And let’s just say that there are good stabilizers and there are not so good stabilizers. The one I used wasn’t the best – it was something I had handy. Let’s face it – it was on sale and I thought – “oh what a good deal”. Well it was hard to tear out – not such a good deal after all! You would think I would know better by now!

Then I gave the piece a good press with the steam iron.

Next, I laid the diagonal line of my ruler along the diagonal center line of stitching. Yes – I can save this piece and still get the 6 1/2″ square that I need for the mini cushion cover.

To square up the piece, line the diagonal line of the ruler along the diagonal line of stitching
To square up the piece, line the diagonal line of the ruler along the diagonal line of stitching

 

And there is the unfinished mini cushion cover. Looks pretty perfect to me!
And there is the unfinished mini cushion cover. Looks pretty perfect to me!

 

 

I was hoping to have a LOT more stitch outs for the mini cushion covers.  That didn’t happen. But I want that tub of mini cushion covers and I’m going to keep working at making them and it’s a good excuse to play with the decorative stitches on the Sapphire 960Q.

I’m a pretty linear person as you can tell by the designs I used in my examples. I’ve got to step it up and work outside the box.

Here’s the start of that process…

In this sample, I used ONE of the Omnimotion stitches. Oh yes – I like this stitch – this is where it’s so important to play with the stitches on the sewing machine. You have NO IDEA how big these stitches are or even what they look like until you stitch them out.

Once I had one row completed, I did a second row – this time I mirrored the stitch so it would face the opposite direction. Yes – you must take the time to figure out where to start the second row of stitching, but I LOVE this design.

Can you imagine it on the edge of a napkin (think edge – not all the way around – that would take some serious math to make that happen) and matching table cloth or well – the sky is the limit. I have to expand on this design.

The total width of these combined stitches is 1 1/8″. A fairly decent size and NO EMBROIDERY machine required.

Mirrored Omnimotion stitches
Mirrored Omnimotion stitches

 

Sewing machine maintenance revisited

Remember at the beginning of the week that I talked about maintenance on the sewing machine. How often to change the bobbin, clean out the bobbin case and all that fun housekeeping stuff we need to do in order to keep our sewing machines in tip top shape.

I promised to run FOUR bobbins through the sewing machine so we could see how much lint accummulated. I managed to get through 3 and a half bobbins and look what I found in the bobbin case.

Lots of lint in the bobbin case after 3 1/2 bobbins were used
Lots of lint in the bobbin case after 3 1/2 bobbins were used

 

 

I used the brush to remove this lint. Imagine what that will do to the tension of the sewing machine. Bad news!
I used the brush to remove this lint. Imagine what that will do to the tension of the sewing machine. Bad news!

 

A note about oiling your machine. It’s important that you check the manual for YOUR sewing machine (s). Depending on the age of the machine, and the type of machine (embroidery, regular, industrial, semi-industrial) you may or may not have to oil your machine. If you can’t find your manual – call your dealer. DO NOT ASSUME that all machines need to be oiled.

Oiling or not oiling is critical to keeping your machine well maintained – if you oil and you aren’t supposed to, you could do as much damage as NOT oiling a machine that needs to be oiled. 

Thanks for joining me on my crazy adventure this week as we explored some sewing machine maintenance, making our own fabric, inserting zippers and making two different sizes of cushion covers. The Husqvarna Viking Sapphire 960Q made my job a whole easier!

I think I used all the functions on the Sapphire 960Q as I worked through these projects. The more I use these functions, the more I LOVE them all.

Next time – I’m going to explore some free motion quilting, more tips for improving your sewing skills, more decorative stitches and I’ll throw in a couple of small projects as well. Be sure to come back to check it out!

Have a great day!

Ciao!

Elaine Theriault is a teacher, writer and pattern designer who is completely obsessed with quilting. 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

    Just had to say how much I enjoyed this post – the mini cushion is awesome and I learned such a lot about machine embroidery and its possibilities. Thanks.
    Pauline

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