Modern Art Quilt Cushions

Quarantine in ours homes has lead to making them more to our liking and comfort. But since shopping is limited why not use what you have?! These are part 1 of my ‘TV room makeover’ that I will share. Let’s start with the Modern Art Quilt cushions!

What? A white Sofa?

I started with a pretty neutral colour palette of creamy white. Who would buy a white sectional?! Well, the decision to buy this Structube sofa was based on the fact it has numerous configuration options AND that the cushions are completely separate and can be unzipped and washed. It is also full of feathers and polyester. I love my down and feather pillows as they are always able to be fluffed and reformed. I hate foam that flattens permanently.

So maybe someday I can completely revamp this sofa without feeling like I would need reupholstery. I like that…

A nice light colour also does not show lint or dust. This below grade ‘TV room’ will also not be dark and dreary.

Use what you have:

Rather than hunting down fabrics I pulled out some old curtain panels and odd remnants. You’d be amazed at how different textures, weaves and colour can work with each other. They tend to be polyester which also makes them pretty well indestructible, let alone you are up-cycling.

The ‘Design Plan’;

Everyone these days has no time for lengthy fussy projects… or don’t want that pressure. I get it. I am the same. I like plans that allow for some freedom of design and no special rules! This is a completely random piecing method that will surprise you in the end. It’s a bit like just starting to doodle and wondering how ‘cool’ it looks when done

Cut a bunch of strips of your combination of fabrics. They can be varying widths. A rotary cutter and quilt square will help but a yardstick could also work. Just don’t cut on your dining room table surface! I didn’t want to do the math about how much so I just cut until I had a pile – I like taking a risk sometimes.

Ganging up the strips next to each other and sewing them together is super easy and relaxing. No corners to match or pattern to follow! Since I have a serger I gave them a run through that as well, but zigzag would also do.

My pile of strip sewn strips… Press them nicely with the seams in one direction; usually towards the less bulky fabric.

The fun starts:

Once you have strips you can cut rectangles or squares from them and join them to create others rectangles. Change directions and play with the combinations. Since many pieces are already sewn together it’s much faster than single piecing. This is a form of strip quilting but completely random.

Sew some of the pieces together to form a longer rectangle and then join those to make a larger one. They are all right angles,

From the back you can see the last main seams (vertical)

I love the random-ness of the shapes. I also like the contrasts of sheen and texture. It reminds me of weavin.

Pressing is often overlooked but it does really add the finishing touch.

Finishing the Cushions:

To make the back and have an opening you have a few options. I like zippers but some people are afraid of them. They are easy, trust me:

Sew a seam as usual where you want the zipper to be (I like it close to but not on the bottom edge), taking note where the zipper with start and end. They do not necessarily need to be the full width but close. Between the start and stop points stitch only a very long basting stitch (adjust your stitch length). Press open the seam and place it over the zipper making sure it is in the centre. Stitch on each side of the zipper with a zipper foot and also reinforce at the start and end of openings.

Take a seam ripper and open along the basting stitch to reveal your hidden zipper. This is what I learnt in Home Economics in grade 7 (‘won’t say how many years ago that was!) Easy and very neat.

If you want to button:

Buttons are also a cute option for the back. Again, the path of least resistance (need to finish these today!) I chose to make loops instead of button homes. I also wanted HUGE buttons without paying those prices for each large button! Soooo, yup, I make them out of some extra sturdy felt. You could also make them out of polymer clay for even more uniqueness.

Doubling up the felt is enough to make it sturdy. Sewing an octagon is much easier than a perfect circle. Always think ‘easier’ first, no one will question the shape.

Flaps should overlap so that no fabric peaks out. So easy and reversible if you tire of the front pattern.

Admire your work:

I’m thrilled with how these modern cushions turned out and they are not too trendy that will go out of style fast. They can also be mixed with other patterns as they are simple designs.

Whaaaat?! Some fancy shapes? Yes, but they are done the easy way; with fusible webbing. It’s the iron-on permanent way to adhere fabric (and also nose wires). You will need to satin stitch (very close zigzag) around the edge so that it does not fray. That opens a whole lot of possibilities of shapes too.

Cut, stitch, stuff and done… I am happy with these modern cushions and so is the owner of this new space! I need to keep her happy since she makes sure that all this stuff on my web sites keeps working!

By the way, I also chose feather filled pillow forms for the insides, as they can form how you like when snuggling up on there to watch a movie. Enjoy! and pass the popcorn…

Notice the art on the walls? And the blanket quilt? Stay tuned for how those were made! You didn’t think I bought them did you? You should know me by now…

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  1. What a great friendship to have and trade talents. These are beautiful and fresh. I always use feathers, too. The luxury is inexpensive if you save and use your old pillow feathers after making a new case for them.

    1. Thanks, I grew up with feathers in everything it seemed. My mother used to remake the duvets by fashioning a vaccmm that ‘sucked’ them from the old and blow them into the new cover. They knew how to truly save and upcycle!

    1. I’ll fix ASAP! I get thinking faster than typing. Funny story; when I went to high-school I swore I did not need to learn to type since I was becoming an artist not a secretary… well that came back to ‘bite’ me!

  2. Barb, I am blown away with your talent and your generosity in sharing it.
    And I love the zipper tip:) Agree with Ginene re the feathers also.


    1. I was very fortunate to have good support from my parents to pursue a creative career. They said that if you do what you love it won’t feel like work. It’s like all my media and art forms are all colliding now!