AUTOMATIC 50% OFF ALL DESIGNS (excludes Dollar Deals)


arrow_circle_down How to make a Cushion

How to make a Cushion

Mastered machine embroidery, but not so confident on your sewing machine?  Start with a  cushion - Darina shares 3 ways to complete a cushion with a professional finish, so you can confidentially show off your beautiful embroidery designs

How to make a Cushion

By Darina of Sew Nice by Darina

Darina makes the most beautiful Quilts, and her photos are always amazing - I've worked out her little secret - adding a cushion to her sets - doesn't it make a difference!!

How to make a Cushion-23

Darina writes:

I make an extra embroidered block when making a quilt, then turn it into a matching cushion - a nice addition to the room decor

I'd like to share a few variations on the construction of a cushion/pillow.


To determine the size of the block/front panel, you need to start with the end in sight.

You either:

  • Purchased Cushion Inner - add 1 inch to all sides, to get your 'raw' front cushion size 
    • 14 inch Inner - Panel needs to be 15 inch
  • Using your own stuffing - you can make cushion to any size - but again decide on the finished size you want, and add 1 inch to all sides 
    • Finished size of Cushion 14 by 18 inch - 'raw' front Panel needs to be 15 by 19 inch


A beautiful way to show off a pretty embroidery design, is to build out a block with matching fabrics

Applique Butterfly Cushion

When building out a centre block with several different fabrics I suggest you start with a narrow one then increase the width as you add another. You can do as many or as few as you wish. 

Always add the side panels first then remember your top and bottom ones will be longer than the side ones, unless you wish to do corner blocks, which I have not. Too fiddly for me! Hehe.

How to make a Cushion-2 

How to make a Cushion-4

How to make a Cushion-5

How to make a Cushion-6

Once my front panel was complete I chose to press a piece of parlan (fabric style iron on interfacing) to the back to give a nice finish on the front. 

 How to make a Cushion-7  How to make a Cushion-8

 Serge or zig zag around the entire panel -  this gives a nice finish and saves time later. 

How to make a Cushion-9


Got an oblong embroidery design? Add side pieces to make your square panel

 How to make a Cushion-54a  How to make a Cushion-116A


How you want to close the cushion will determine how much fabric you need for the back

Here Darina shares 3 ways to complete your cushion closures 


 How to make a Cushion-47  How to make a Cushion-48

Cut backing the same size as your completed front panel - ie 1 inch larger than your finished size

How to make a Cushion-25

You can have the zip closure of any of the sides - Generally the bottom is easier to 'hide'

Place right sides together and on the bottom seam stitch in about 2” on either end, leaving a ½” gap on the outer edge. Press flat. 

How to make a Cushion-30

How to make a Cushion-31

Place your zip under the open seam with your pull at the top. Stitch down the left side and across the bottom. Come back to the top and stitch across the top and down the right side. 

How to make a Cushion-33

How to make a Cushion-34

How to make a Cushion-35

How to make a Cushion-36

How to make a Cushion-37

How to make a Cushion-38A

How to make a Cushion-39

How to make a Cushion-41

Your zip is done. 
Open your zip a few inches for easy turning. 

How to make a Cushion-42

The only thing left to do is to put your rights sides together and stitch around the other three sides, leaving the ½” gap at each corner. 

How to make a Cushion-43

How to make a Cushion-44

Trim the corners diagonally and turn through and press. 

How to make a Cushion-45


 How to make a Cushion-22a

 How to make a Cushion-21a

You will need to cut two pieces of fabric for the back for this style.

 I am inclined to cut a little longer length, so I can trim back to the correct size when done. The width can be the same size

I measure the full length, divide by 2 then add another 3 inches to to the length of each panel. 

If you plan on large buttons, you may need to add extra inches.

The finished panels need to overlap when finished, and will be cut to the exact size of your front panel once you have completed the overlap closure

Fold in one edge of each piece - This will be the edges that meet in the centre for the overlap

Do a double fold to strengthen the edge where you add buttonholes/buttons or whatever fastener you wish. 

How to make a Cushion-10

How to make a Cushion-11

If your fabric is a one-way fabric, make sure you have the fabric the right way

How to make a Cushion-12

Visually place your buttons

How to make a Cushion-13

Mark the centre line on your fabric as pictured 

One side for the buttons

How to make a Cushion-14

How to make a Cushion-15

One side for the button holes

How to make a Cushion-16

How to make a Cushion-18

Complete your buttonholes whilst still a single piece.

Stitch your buttons in place also then you can just lay the completed back face down on the front panel and stitch all four sides.

Once you've completed the closure,  you can cut this panel down to the exact measurements of your front panel

How to make a Cushion-19

Stitch around all 4 edges - again don’t stitch all the way to the edge but leave a ½ gap so you can trim your corners. 

How to make a Cushion-20

Turn and press and you are done. 

A nice variation for this one is to use a couple of matching fabrics to create a bit of a feature. I did one like this as I was short on fabric. Nice accident. 

 How to make a Cushion-50a  How to make a Cushion-51a



This closure overlaps like an envelope at the back- it is not stitched shut 
This gives you a pocket at the back, which can be useful to make a pyjama holder, or a 'hiding place' for little ones.
 How to make a Cushion-116A  How to make a Cushion-117A

Cut 2 panels the approximately same size as your front panel or just a couple of inches shorter, from top to bottom. 

  • Neaten one end of each piece with a nice double fold and stitch across. 
  • Lay your two pieces with the neatened edge to the centre but overlapped, checking that when you turn it your top layer flap is facing down to the bottom of the pillow. 
  • Stitch around the four sides with right sides together. 
  • Turn through and press. 

How to make a Cushion-56

Designs used in Darina's beautiful samples:

How to make a Cushion-49

This amazing set uses Darina's famous Simply Quilting Set with our Large Applique Butterfly and free lace Butterfly

How to make a Cushion-53

Free Dreamer Embroidery Design

 How to make a Cushion-50a  How to make a Cushion-52

Live Laugh 

How to make a Cushion-57

Jungle Animal Combo

I'm going to showcase my effort - I followed Darina's instructions to make a zip closure cushion (I've been spoilt by In the hoop designs, so previously stayed clear of adding zips.  I'm pleased to add Darina made it easy!!)

Large Applique Sloth Cushion

Large Applique Sloth



Tags: How to  

Index Previous Next