Sewing Project

Patched cushion

Our cushion by Lorna Knight has its pieces sewn together with an overlocker using a flatlock stitch with Madeira decorative thread.

You will need

Four fat quarters of coordinating cotton fabric
Madeira  Decora no. 6
Two reels colour matching overlocking thread
12” (30cm) invisible zip
four tassels


Overlockers vary in the type of flatlock stitch they offer but most models will convert to produce these stitches. Some machines are able to produce flatlocking with two threads and some with three. Check the manual first as this may suggest the best tension settings and threading for the machine and model.
Handy Hint: Flatlock settings are not always provided in the manual so it is worth experimenting to see whether it is possible.

Before starting, write down the tension settings for a standard, balanced three thread overlocking stitch then follow these guidelines to produce a three thread flatlock stitch. When you are finished flatlocking just return the tension dials to their balanced overlocking settings.

* Choose the left or right needle and remove the other (use the left for wide and right for a narrow flatlocking finish)

* Set the needle tension to ‘0’ (this allows the seam to be pulled flat)

* Tighten the lower looper tension

* Put decorative thread on the upper looper

* Set the stitch length to suit the thread (not too short for Decora no. 6)

* Use the standard presser foot

Steps to Sew

1. Cut four 16.5cm (6½”) squares, each in a different fabric, and cut each diagonally into four triangles.



2. Arrange the triangles randomly with each colour in each group of four. See above.




3. For each square take two adjoining triangles and place together with wrong sides facing. Pin or tack then overlock the seam with flatlocking skimming the edge without removing any fabric.


4. Pull flat so the triangles lie next to each other with the flatlocking over the join.



5. Place this half square to the opposite half with wrong sides together and match the flatlocking at the centre. Overlock together with the flatlocking skimming the edge as before then pull flat so the flatlocking lies on the surface. Press flat.

6. Repeat with the other three squares then join these together with more flatlocking seams.

7. Cut four 16.5cm (6 ½”) square pieces of fabric and join with flatlocking for the back of the cushion. When completed, trim to match the front of the cushion so both panels are the same size.


8. Insert the zip into one of the sides of the cushion between the front and back panels.

9. With the zip in place and the seam completed, open the zip then match up the edges of the cushion with right sides together. Pin then sew then three remaining sides. Use a sewing machine then neaten with standard three-thread overlocking stitches or use the overlocker with two needles and four threads to sew and neaten the seams in one process.

10. Turn through, sew a tassel to each corner and fill with a cushion pad to finish.

Lorna Knight is author of many sewing books and runs her own Sewing Academy in the Stoke on Trent area. For further details of her workshops and courses, E:

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