The Fat Quarter Club - September - By Emma Rodgers

The Fat Quarter Club - September - By Emma Rodgers

Fat Quarter Club Subscription: Patchwork cushion

September 2022

This month’s My Guilty Pleasure Fat Quarter Club box is great for seasoned patch workers and beginners alike. My sewing journey began with cushions and patchwork blankets, so this month’s patchwork pattern had me revisiting two favourite techniques in one make. Read on for the low-down of what’s included and some tips and tricks to guarantee your finished cushion is patch perfect.

Letterbox treats

How often do we genuinely receive surprise post that isn’t an unwanted bill? That’s what is so lovely about the My Guilty Pleasure Fat Quarter Club monthly subscription – you never know what the make or contents of the box will be. And there’s always a sweet treat included to add something extra to your day (whether you eat it on the day you open the box, or manage to keep it until you sew). And let’s be honest, with many of us keeping an eagle-eye on our doormats for those dreaded energy bills, it’s nice to be treated. This month’s box contained:

  • 3x fat quarters from the 'Honey Bee’ collection by Lewis & Irene
  • Patchwork pattern sheet and instructions exclusively designed for Little Miss Sew ‘n’ Sew by Sew Cosy Patterns
  • A chocolatey treat

If this is your first foray into patchworking then the fabric choices included in the kit will give you an introduction to matching colours and patterns. The three fat quarters subtly complement each other with matching elements, while individually adding interest to your make. I’m pretty sure this was why it took me so long to decide which fabric I would use for which patchwork placement because they’re all lovely and have something to offer.

Bits and pieces

Before you get cracking, here are some tools you’ll want to have to hand:

  • Complementing or contrasting cotton thread – most of your stitching will be on the inside of the cushion, so it doesn’t matter really if you use whatever tread you have going spare. However, there is some visible topstitching on the back panels so it’s worth bearing that in mind.
  • Fabric and general scissors – always worth ensuring you have a pair of each to avoid blunting your fabric scissors by using them to cut out the paper pattern (the cardinal sin!)
  • Pins – not only for pinning your pattern pieces to your fabric, but also useful to pin your patchwork pieces before sewing.
  • Iron – you’ll be pressing the seams open on your sewn-up patchwork pieces and pressing a hen to the opening edges of your back pieces.
  • Corner and edge shaper(or a knitting needle) – useful when pushing out the corners of your cushion cover. Just be careful if using a knitting needle that you don’t go through the fabric.
  • 35cmx35cm cushion pad – because it’s not a cushion without the cushion.

Making light work of patchwork

If you’re new to patchwork, or looking to perfect your skills, here are a few tips and tricks to ensure your sewing experience is as comfortable as possible (much like a squishy cushion after a long day):

  • Place and space – before you jump straight into cutting your fabric pieces, take time to scrutinise the fabric designs and pick out any features you want to show on your finished cushion. I picked out the beehive and queen bee motifs on the black fabric, making sure I placed the pattern pieces straight and central before cutting. This helps you avoid things like decapitated bees if you’re keen to make a feature of these.
  • Make your mark – once you’ve decided on the placement of your fabrics (indicated as A, B and C on the pattern) use a fabric pencil or pen to lightly mark the corresponding letter on your fabric pieces. This will help when you come to sew your pieces up. You could also mark the pieces shown on the block diagrams (on the instructions sheet) from 1 to 12 and mark your fabric pieces to correspond. Again, this will help you to avoid stitching together the wrong bits. The instructions warn ‘it is very easy to make mistakes when working with lots of pieces' and they’re not wrong. I learnt this lesson the hard way with my early adventures in patchworking.
  • Need for speed – the instructions suggest you press the seam open after stitching together each piece. This will help you to avoid bulk so that the finished patchworking front lays flat. If you’re a confident sewist, you could finger-press the seams open as you go and then press the patchworked front with an iron once finished. Finger-pressing will save you time, but do take it slow and watch your fingers near that needle.
  • Let off steam – whether you iron the seams open as you go, or do them all at the end, don’t skip a good press. This really does make all the difference to your finished cushion, letting your fabric take centre stage, rather than the creases, and showing off your neat lines on those all-important seams (which is a patchwork signature).

Finger Pressing


Iron Pressing

If you’re feeling adventurous, here are some suggestions on how you could customise your cushion:

  • Piping – sandwich this between your front and back cushion pieces on the inside before you sew up. It’s simple to make piping yourself from bias binding and piping chord, or you can buy it ready-made.
  • Button – you could add a button and buttonhole to the back of your cushion as an extra detail. A feature button would also make your cushion reversible.
  • Rectangles vs squares – you could play around with the pattern and layout of the pieces for different shape combinations, especially if you’re a fan of symmetry like me.


The verdict

Without a doubt this month’s subscription box has delivered another lovely make from the My Guilty Pleasure Fat Quarter Club. As well as a box of treats and the perfect excuse for an afternoon of me-time, another thing I love about the monthly subscription is the different fabrics I get to try out and add to my growing stash. Most of the kits I’ve received so far include more fabric than you need for the make, so you inevitably end up with a good amount of leftovers. Being five months into Fat Quarter Club, I’ve also built up a small library of patterns which I can return to time and time again, so I’m already thinking about which ones I can pull out to make use of those left-over pieces. Or I might even get extra creative and make one mega patchwork display.  After all, there’s no need to feel ‘guilty’ about your growing fabric stash if you’re putting it to good use :)

Leftover Fabric;

The finished cushion


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