Project: Tufted bench cushion
The welting gives the cushion some rigidity and shape, while the wool tufts add style and formality. Once you have mastered the box cushion, you can use the same technique to make window seats, sofa cushions or floor cushions. The secret is in accurate measuring and lining up any pattern, especially at the front edge of the cushion.
Fabric, such as medium-weight cotton or linen
Wool or cotton tufts
1 Cut two pieces of the fabric to the size of the required cushion, adding a 1 3/4" (3cm) seam allowance all the way around (3/4" or 2 cm of this will be taken up by shrinkage when the tufts go in). For the side panel, cut a strip of the fabric to the perimeter of the cushion, adding 1" (2.5 cm) by the width required. (Join pieces if necessary.)
2 To make the welting, cut pieces of the fabric on the bias 1 1/2" (4 cm) wide. Join the pieces and press the seam flat. Place the piping cord in the center and wrap the cord in fabric, wrong sides facing. Baste to enclose the cord without catching it with the stitches. Stitch, using a piping or zipper foot. Make enough welting to go twice around the perimeter of the cushion.
3 Pin the welting to the right side of the top panel with the raw sides edge to edge, 5/8" (1.5 cm) from the edge. Baste in place. Pin the side panel over this, right side down, and baste, making sure to avoid sewing into the cord. Machine together as close as possible to the cord.
4 Pin another length of the welting to the right side of the bottom panel, with raw sides edge to edge. Baste as close as possible to the cord. Carefully lay the top and side panels over this and baste together close to the edge of the cord, leaving an opening at one end for inserting the batting. Stitch.
5 Insert the batting carefully. Hand sew the opening with neat slip stitches to close.
6 Mark out the spacings for the tufts with pins. Attach a tuft on the top panel by sewing right through the batting to the back and through a button. Secure the other tufts in the same way. The buttons act as anchors for the tufts and help to create a padded effect.
Text and photos excerpted from Simple Soft Furnishings: 50 Stylish Sewing Projects to Transform your Home by Katrin Cargill; 2004, $29.95, Firefly Books