cushions with personality
Inspired by traditional weaving and basket-making techniques these knotted cushions are a fun adornment for couches, beds or chairs. You don’t need to be a sewing expert to make them – but you might need to exercise a little patience as you learn to tie the knot!
What you’ll need
l Three strips of stretchy (jersey knit) material, each measuring 2m long x 18cm wide (or alternatively one 6m x 18cm length) l Pins l Sewing machine l Needle and thread to match fabric l Safety pin or peg l Cardboard wrapping-paper tube (or make your own tube with cardboard and Sellotape) l 1 litre polyfill stuffing (craft fill) or old pillow stuffing l Long wooden dowel
1 With right sides facing, pin the short ends of the fabric strips together to form one long strip. Sew together with a 1cm seam allowance. Press seams open. 2 With the right sides facing, pin and sew the long edges of the strips (or your 6m length) together. This will now form a very long tube. Turn right side out by feeding it through itself. 3 Safety pin or peg one end of the fabric tube to keep it closed while you put the stuffing in. The easiest way to do this is by gathering up the fabric onto your cardboard tube. (I made one out of cardboard that was approximately 80cm long x 5cm wide.) Start feeding the stuffing into the cardboard tube and use a long wooden dowel to help push it all the way to the end and into the fabric. As the fabric is filled with stuffing, it will slowly come off the cardboard tube – rather like filling a sausage casing. Continue adding stuffing this way until your entire fabric tube is filled. Take your time and try to keep the density of filling consistent so you don’t end up with lumps and bumps and areas that are too tightly filled compared to others. This way you’ll have a lovely smooth, even finish. 4 Both ends of the fabric tube remain open while completing the next step. Don’t worry if you lose a little stuffing during the knotting process, as you can always add a little more before closing it up. 5 To tie the tube into a cushion you need to learn how to do a Turk’s head knot (use the diagram below as a guide). Practice makes perfect – I admit to having to try it a few times before getting it right. If preferred, you could practise it on a length of rope. Once you get it, the fun begins and you can start making multiple knots to create your cushion. After completing one round (steps 1-9), it’s simply a matter of taking End B along the same route two or three more times until you get a completed, compact ball. NOTE: End ‘A’ will always be kept short and in one position, whereas End B will be very long (much longer than in the diagram) and will do all the threading. The key to completing your knot is once you have completed the first pattern (steps 1-9) and are onto your second lot of looping, you need to start gradually pulling the fabric tube through more tightly so that End B remains long enough to thread through a second and third time. 6 When the knotting is complete, the two open ends of the tube should be able to meet. Handstitch them together, tucking one end inside the other and folding over the visible piece to create a tidy edge. You should then be able to tuck this join away under one of the loops of your knot so it can’t be seen. Finally, congratulate yourself on a job well done – the cushions really do look and feel fabulous!
Fun and funky, these cushions add interest to a bed or couch.”