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How to quilt an applique fox cushion cover

How to quilt an applique fox cushion cover

When I saw this adorable stained glass fox, I knew it would be perfect for an applique cushion cover. I contacted the very talented Susan Humphrey and she kindly agreed to let me use the image as the basis for my next project (though she asked that no one replicates it in glass). As it is a relatively simple design, I thought it would be a good opportunity to explain the process I use in creating applique cushions like my lion.

My inspiration

My inspiration

Materials:

  • 1/2m backing fabric. I am in love with the Moda grunge basics range, and used this gorgeous textured logan berry.

  • 1 fat quarter black poplin. I buy 2 or 3m of black cotton poplin at a time so I always have scraps for projects like this in my stash.

  • 1 fat quarter orange cotton (also from the grunge basics range!)

  • 1 fat quarter red cotton. I could easily have just used the 1 bit of orange, but this way I have even more scraps leftover for future applique. ;)

  • Few scraps of white poplin.

  • Double-sided interfacing - this is the one I use. You just use the iron to attach it to one bit of fabric, then peel off the paper backing and use the iron to attach it to another bit of fabric.

  • 19” square bamboo batting.

  • Purple Gutterman polyester thread.

  • Tracing paper.

  • Scissors/rotary cutter

This was enough for me to make a 16” square cushion.

I started by sketching the fox onto tracing paper, and annotating the eventual colour of each shape. This was just done by eye, though I could have printed and traced the original image. I wanted it to be ~11” in width. The outline of the fox was then cut out and transferred to the interfacing for the black background.

Sketched fox

Sketched fox

Black background

Black background

Next I cut out each individual shape that would go on top of the black background. As some of the shapes were quite small and curvy I used masking tape to stick the paper patterns to the interfacing, and cut around them with my 18mm rotary cutter.

Cutting the shapes in interfacing

Cutting the shapes in interfacing

These were all then ironed onto their respective colour fabrics. I was distracted watching the Great British Sewing Bee (can’t believe it’s taken me this long to discover it!) and accidentally interfaced the wrong side of my orange fabric, so had to redo those shapes…

Always double-check which side of the fabric you’re interfacing!

Always double-check which side of the fabric you’re interfacing!

Now the fun bit! Applying the black fox outline to a 18” square purple backing fabric, and arranging all the shapes to create this adorable sleeping fox. Backing paper is peeled off and they are ironed down.

Appliqued fox just waiting for quilting

Appliqued fox just waiting for quilting

I used a purple thread that closes matched the backing fabric for quilting. I love the crinkly look of matchstick quilting, and went with some closely-space gently undulating horizontal waves. The bonding from the interfacing keeps the applique fairly secure and I rather like a little fraying at the edges of animal applique, so carefully blanketstiching around every individual piece was unnecessary. I did make sure that each shape had several lines of quilting spanning it however.

Quilting progress

Quilting progress

Finally I squared up the the quilted block to 17” and turned it into a simple envelope cushion cover!

The finished piece!

The finished piece!

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How to design and print your own fabric

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