Appliqued and Embroidered Cushion

Take a ready made cushion cover, scraps of fabric and a few simple embroidery stitches and you can make a pretty cushion / pillow. 

Applique and embroidered cushion

This project was one I originally created for Cut out and Keep over a year ago and now, with their permission of course, I thought I could share it with you here.

To make one you will need:

  • A cushion cover - ready made or homemade

  • A design transfer sheet

  • Hemming tape (that stuff you can use instead of stitching a hem up, the advert promises doesn't come off in the wash but we all know it really does!)

  • Embroidery thread in various colours

  • Scraps of fabric

  • An iron

I was sent a lovely pre-made envelope style cushion cover by Sublime Stitches and a fun embroidery transfer sheet to try.

Sublime Stitching Products 1.jpg

Sublime Stitches tends to put a very modern twist on embroidery design but I actually ended up with something fairly traditional looking. I guess that shows how versatile their designs can be! The sheet I received is called Mexican Loteria.

transfer sheet 1.jpg

I'd not used a transfer sheet since I was a kid but it is very easy. Cut out the design element you want, then place it face down on your fabric and iron. You get full instructions explaining how hot and how long with the transfer.

iron on design.jpg

I chose the bunting and La Rosa and ended up arranging them with the rose in the centre and bunting above and below. Originally I had thought I would have a bunting frame but I miss calculated the spacing a little and had to improvise. Be warned, once your ironed the design on - it's on - no rubbing it out and starting again so plan carefully!

Rather than just embroidering the outlines I thought I would try a little appliqué. 

I ironed the bunting onto scraps of pretty fabric and cut them out. You can use each bit of transfer multiple times, I used each one about 8 times and although the last one was a lot fainter it was still fine.

bunting fabric scraps.jpg

I then cut little pieces of hemming tape in the same shape and made a "fabric sandwich".

Basically it is: Cushion cover - hemming tape - fabric scrap 

You'd think I would take a photo of this vital step wouldn't you ?


You press this "sandwich" with the warm iron and the hemming tape acts like a super thin double sided fuseable interfacing. The pretty fabric shapes are now attached to the cushion.

Appllque cushion cover.
Aplique cushion cover

This pink fabric is tiny leftover from a nightie my mum made for me when I was little. I remember it had an elasticated top, ribbon ties on the shoulders and a wide gathered frill at the bottom. That's the thing about fabric scraps, they can be full of memories... I digress, back to the cushion!

At this point the cushion looked like this:

Applique cushion cover

Now for some embroidery. I kept it pretty simple, with blanket stitch round the fabric, with backstitch details. I used two strands of my six strand embroidery thread throughout.

Embroidered applique rose
close up stitching.jpg

I wanted to personalise the cushion cover for a gift so I just chose a font I liked on the computer, mine is "Vladamir Script" and printed the name in font size 140. 

print lettering 1.jpg

I just placed the paper inside the cushion cover, positioned it nicely and then traced over the letters with my air disappearing pen. A faint pencil line would work too. The printed words showed through the white fabric with no problem.

Transfer lettering for embroidered cushion

Then it was just a case of embroidering them too. I used backstitch and three strands of embroidery thread this time, just to make the lettering stand out a little.

Applique cushion cover

You can see I did little ribbon roses at the top of each bunting "swag". I'll show how I did that another time, this post has gone on long enough for today! 

Spoiler - they are very easy and fun to make, it feels a bit like magic and my family can confirm how excited I got as I made them.

new sig 1.png

I'll be linking up at these great link parties