Something a little bit different today – a teeny bit of quilting to make a Union Jack cushion to celebrate the Platinum Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth 2. With preparations well under way for our Street Party, I thought I’d take a break from sewing bunting and creating other decorations for our street, and show you how easy it is to make.
This adorable square cushion pattern is completely free and can be found amongst the hundreds of free quilt patterns and other sewing projects over at the Art Gallery Fabrics site. Full size free quilt patterns can be found here, and smaller free sewing projects including cushions, bags, table runners etc can be found here. It really is one of the most generous free pattern collections that I have come across and whether you are looking to start a big new project or just a small piece to use up some of your fabric leftovers this site is certainly worth a peek.
The Union Jack pattern that I used is this one here. It looks complicated, but in fact is VERY simple, and is cleverly made by simply cutting several strips, and re-sewing them back together as per the instructions. I was blown away by how quickly this came together. I cut and sewed the cushion top in a morning, and then in the afternoon I applied the wadding/batting, quilted it into place and made a simple envelope opening cushion back piece using the remaining blue fabric.
The pattern comes with an Art Gallery fabric list so that you can recreate the cushion exactly as shown on the website. I feel a little bit of a traitor in that I didn’t use their beautiful fabric, but created my own trio of red, white and blue florals that I purchased from Fabrics Galore.
To give you a bit of a visual idea of how the stripes are made, I took a few snaps as I went along..
The two strips that you need to create initially will look something like this when you have sewn them together. The wide strip made up of 5 different pieces is going to be used for the diagonal parts of the flag design and the narrower strip made using the red and white only make up the horizontal and vertical stripes.
One these are sewn and pressed you can then cut them according to the instructions.
At this point you can position your nicely cut pieces (and admire for a bit), and then join them together as instructed.
Now this was the only part of the process that I encountered a slight hiccup. When I sewed all the pieces together I was left with uneven edges on two of the opposite parallel edges of the square. See below to see what I mean..
Now this problem seemed to show that the top and bottom sections that are attached to the horizontal stripe are a smidge too long. This could be down to 2 things..
1.I have not cut my pieces accurately in the first place.
2.The template that is included with the instructions has been printed out to the wrong size/scale on my printer. Sadly the pattern piece did not include a ‘size guide square’ so that I could be sure that I had printed it out to the correct size.
It’s difficult to know exactly what caused this, I could have messed up my cutting lengths – although I was super careful, this is easily done. Equally because there wasn’t a size guide square on the pattern piece which shows you where to cut your diagonal pieces, I’m not sure that I printed out this piece to the correct size.
At the end of the day, it didn’t matter that much – I just neatened the edges with the rotary cutter in the usual way after quilting it to the batting/wadding and it didn’t seem to make any difference to the end result.
After quilting and trimming I made the back piece of the cushion using the envelope opening as described in the instructions. (There are plenty of online sewing tutorials showing you how to do this if you get stuck).
Finally I picked up a 16″ x 16″ cushion pad from Hobbycraft, which fitted perfectly and there you have it. If you can sew in a straight line then you can make this cushion.
Now then, back to the bunting ..
Take care and I’ll be back soon, Kathy x @sew_dainty