Friday, 7 August 2015

Ombré Cushion Sew Along Part Two: Piecing the Cushion Front

Welcome to part two of our Ombré Cushion Cover Sew Along. This is where the fun really begins.

By now you will have selected your fabric, so let's just jump straight in. Many of these tips can be used with almost any quilt piecing or sewing project.

Keeping your strips in order
One of the biggest issues with this cushion cover is keeping the eleven strips in order. I won't tell you how many times I've managed to sew the wrong pieces together. Here are two suggestions for keeping your order (and sanity):

As you will see, this is a terribly sophisticated, technologically advanced system...but it's worth every penny. Number the strips. You don't need anything fancy for this. Paper, pen and a pin or clip.  This is a great idea to keep rows together when piecing a quilt too.
Number Your Strips
Sophisticated Ordering System - Number Your Strips
You can also simply place a pin/clip on the bottom edge of the first strip. You know if you see the pin then you're sewing on the wrong side. This isn't quite as foolproof as the idea above, but it does take less time.
Add a pin/clip to the bottom of strip 1
Add a pin/clip to the bottom of strip 1
Sewing long strips
People often have issues with fabric puckering when sewing long strips together. Here are few tips to help prevent this:
  • Cut the strips to the same length. This way, you know exactly where each should start and end so you're less inclined to overstretch one of the strips.
  • Pin the strips. Yes, it takes a little longer, but it's worth it. I start with a pin in the center to show the halfway mark, then again at the center of each half (to make a quarter) and so on depending on the length of the strip. I still prefer minimal pins, but if you like to use a lot then go right ahead.
  • Alternate the end in which you start sewing. For example, start sewing strips one and two from the beginning. When you add strip three, turn the unit around and start sewing from the end. I've not actually tried this technique, but people swear by it.
Making the 'big cut' on a smaller mat or with scissors
You will find that some of the units you need to cut are quite long. They may even be longer than your ruler or cutting mat. The best way to deal with is is to simply draw a line to follow before cutting. Then you can place the unit on your cutting mat, cut as far along as you can, stop and drag the unit down so the next section is on the cutting mat, then cut again until you're finished. Of course, you could do this with scissors, or without drawing the line first too. It's really up to you and the technique you're comfortable with.

Trimming the unit
I mentioned this in part one of the sew along, but it's worth discussing again. There is not a lot of margin for error when trimming your final unit so please don't start slicing off edges until you're sure of where to cut.

See the red lines in the image below? That's the 14 1/2'' trimming space. As you can see, there's not a lot of fabric before you reach the triangles.
Trimming space
Trimming space
You will trim on, or very close, to the triangles. It's OK if it's not exactly 14 1/2''. Just try and be as close as possible.
Trim close to the triangles
Trim close to the triangles 
This concludes part two of the sew along. Hopefully you will have as much fun making this cushion as I do.

Remember to include your gorgeous creation to be in the running for a $20 gift voucher from The Oz Material Girls. The details can be found here: Ombré Cushion Cover Sew Along.

Thanks again. I'm really looking forward to seeing your creations in our Facebook Group and on Instagram, using the hashtag #sewtodaypattern.

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