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August 12, 2013 posted by littlewhitecottage

How to make a shower curtain patchwork cushion…

I really like to see what fabrics can and can’t do and use them for different purposes than they were origionally for. This shower curtain fabric I found in IKEA and was 1.8 x 1.8cms for £10 which considering how much I’ve made from it I think that’s a bargain!

I’ve made drawstring bags from shower curtain and these PE bags for my boys, once they’ve got their appliqued names on, have worked really well for us. They get dragged on the bottom of dirty changing room floors and also along grass when they come out from school but put the bags in the wash and they have always come up clean again and they also dry incredibly quick. Due to this I thought about using the fabric to make some cushion covers for the boys little playroom sofa. I thought the fabric may be cold to the touch but as it’s not wet, like in a shower, it’s fine, a bit like a thick cotton.

Because the PE bags get dragged the fabric has proved to be strong and this is another bonus with my boys as the cushions in the sitting room are always being used as weapons as the boys batter each other with them. Yes, I ask them to stop but no, this doesn’t actually happen. I thought the shower curtain fabric cushions would also fair well with the boys when they are getting ‘creative’ with alternative uses for the cushions.

Here’s the patchwork cushion with the original large cushion cover I made.

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 I had a cream cotton that matched the thickness of the shower curtain and matched the cream colour way too. I love using the decorative stitches on my machine and to create a contrasting ‘fabric’ I used the single stitch button so the machine would sew just one star instead of a line all connected. I spread these single stitches out and used a red thread to really accentuate them.

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After cutting the squares I had some scraps left over but not enough to make a patchwork cushion using just the cream stars and shower curtain fabric. I cut more cream squares and then appliquéd these stars onto the middle and then used the decorative blanket stitch that I have on my machine. Shower curtain fabric does like to fray so I first ‘stuck’ the star to the cream fabric using heat and bond as this sealed the edges whilst adhering it to the cream material. The blanket stitch was decorative but needed as it really brought out the star from the cream.

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Here’s the squares all joining up nicely. The trick to this is to pin the seams together first then pin the ends of the rows.

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I backed the larger cushion with the shower curtain fabric but I didn’t have enough to do this for the smaller cushion but even if I did I think I would have chose this contrasting thick red cotton. It’s nice to have matching cushions and fabrics but I like them to be used differently. The larger cushion is a solid piece of fabric, the smaller cushion is a patchwork that uses other fabrics as well as the large cushion’s fabric. I think this gives an eclectic ‘it’s different but the same so it all still goes’ kind of feel.

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I chose an envelope backing as really it’s my favourite backing for cushions. I always used to have zips or buttons but I don’t feel that the cushions lose or gain anything and, in fact, I just like the simplicity of making them and how they sit on the sofa.

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 So all in all I am a fan of shower curtain fabric. It’s easy to use, you can iron it on a cool iron and it will still crease. It’s not as slippy to work with as you might imagine and I made no alteration to stitch length or foot type when using my machine. There are lots of really fab designs available with lots of different colours and it’s strong and washes well so perfect for children. My next challenge is to make a bean bag…

 

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