Welcome back to the Liberty society kantha stitch along which is happening over on Instagram at the moment. This is organised by fellow Liberty lover Cat, of @tincatsew, and Ava&Neve are sponsoring with some great prizes which is a great incentive to join in! We are all sharing our tips and what we’ve learned, as most of us are beginners at this technique. I shared my ideas for beginning this project here, and how I changed my mind here.
I couldn’t be more happy with how this turned out, and I thought I’d share a few of my recommendations for sewing your pretty quilted top into a cushion.
I’ve chosen to only hand quilt the front of my pillow, but even if you’re quilting front and back, these tips might be useful.
I started by giving my piece a good press. It was quite lumpy and wrinkled from lots of handling.
I was pleased to see that it had stayed roughly square, but for accuracy, I squared up the long ends parallel to my stitching with my ruler and rotary cutter.
For trimming the short sides, I flipped with piece over to the back, so as to not cut off any of the knots. These are really important for securing your stitches. This was a helpful tip shared by @bessaboostudio.
I trimmed as close as I could to the knots. If you’ve got stitching that goes both directions, you’ll need to be extra careful.
Despite being careful, I found that I’d still cut off one knot. I used some craft glue suitable for fabric to dab on the end, and glued it down.
I found this Liberty piece large enough for the backing in the perfect tones! It echoed every colour that was used in the front. I was so pleased! I also found a teal coloured invisible zip in my stash which matched well too. I like to put these in the bottom of the cushion as it’s such a neat finish. Here’s a quick video on how to put one in…
Sometime I might get around to showing how I put these in too…takes me 5 mins with the right machine foot! But if this is too daunting for you, a regular zipper or even an envelope closure on the back is perfectly fine.
I pressed the fabric, and cut out a rectangle half an inch larger than the measurement of the kantha top, to allow for slight stretching of the top.
I pinned the top to the back, right sides together, and pinned a lot to allow for the crinkly edges. Mine did stretch a bit, so the extra size was a good idea.
Trim the corners of your pillow close to the seam to allow your corners to poke out nicely. Turn the pillow through the right side, and push your corners out.
I’m choosing to make these huge tassels to attach to the corners of the pillow.
They were a really quick and easy make. (Tutorial to follow in a few days.) I chose colours to also echo the tones in the pillow, and was chuffed that they turned out just the way I imagined! A couple of the yarns have a sparkly twist to them, which gives some extra bling.
To attach the tassels to the corners, I used a really large, thick needle, and made a reasonably large hole (about 2mm) in the corners. Thread your needle with the long strands of the tassel, and pull through the hole that you’ve made, from the front through to the inside.
Pull on the string firmly, to pull the tassel right up into the corner of the cushion. While pulling it, tie off as tight as you can, using a triple knot. Make this really fat, so that the tassel won’t pull back out of the hole. Once you’ve attached all four tassels, your pillow is done!
Put a cushion insert inside and enjoy your creation! I just adore the beautiful texture, the fat, swishy tassels, and all the pretty stitches! I added some vertical lines on my circles for extra security, and just love how everything blends together, and looks like one piece of fabric. The crossing stitches on the circles give a basket weave effect, and it feels like this is the project that just keeps on giving, as there is so much to look at!
Can you see the zipper?? No, you can’t…it’s invisible 🙂 lol!
My pillow finished at approx 18 in x 11 in.
How are you going with your kantha project? I hope this has given you some inspiration :).