Monday, 5 September 2011

A Zip-free Christmas Ribbon Cushion Tutorial

I love ribbons, for this I blame my mother and her putting my hair in plaits when I was a child.
This cushion is actually rather easy but looks very impressive
You will need for a 12" square cushion:
10 mtrs of  1" ribbons... if you change the width of your ribbon then the amount of ribbon you will need will vary
A separate 1.3m of 1" ribbon
1 piece of medium to heavy iron on interfacing 14" square
1/2 metre of fabric to complement your ribbon colours
A cork board which is bigger than 14"
Map pins or sewing pins with coloured tops
Cushion pad
Wait for it... iron and ironing board, with a pressing cloth
Box of matches
Chop stick
12 x 12" cushion pad - Merrick and Day are great suppliers

Place your interfacing onto the corkboard with the iron on side uppermost, secure each corner with a map pin.

Next cut your ribbons in to 13.5" lengths (this gives you a 5/8" seam allowance when you sew up your cushion) - use pinking shears to cut your ribbons, as ribbon when cut can rival Usain Bolt when he runs the 100m!

Now you have to decide how you will weave your cushion, for our first venture we will just use simple weaving.
Pin 14 strips of ribbon to the top of your interfacing, ensuring that each ribbon is side by side.  These vertical ribbon are your warp threads.  Now take your first ribbon to go across, pin it down on the left hand side and begin to weave it under then over each of the warp threads.  When you get to the right hand side, pin it down, you have now completed your weft row - there is a really easy rhyme to remember which direction weaves go in - weft goes right to left.
When you begin your next row, butt your ribbon right up against your first row and then  you do the opposite with your weaving, so when on the last row you went under, this time you go over and so on until you reach the end.  Pin it in.  Continue this until all of the 14 ribbons have been used up.

You will notice that despite being the world'sbest weaver some of your ribbons have shifted a little.  Work along all of the warp ribbons (the verticals) and secure them with the map pins, repeat this with your weft ribbons.
Turn on your iron to a cool setting but sufficiently hot to fuse the interfacing to the ribbon, take the cork board to your ironing board - pop your pressing cloth on top of the weaving (if you do not have one, use a clean cotton tea towel - now gently iron the square of weaving until the interweaving has fused to the ribbons.  Now remove one side of pins, press this down, and repeat for the other three sides.

Cut out a 14" square, pin and sew it to the reverse side of your weaving using a seam allowing of 5/8", this will give your cushion front more body. Trim the excess fabric away and you should have a square of 13.5".
Cut two pieces of fabric 13.5 x 10".  Turn over and 1/4 in seam.  Take one piece of fabric, and fold back 3 1/4", then with right sides facing pin it to your cushion front, now take your other front and pin it to the other half of your cushion, it will overlap the piece that you have just sewed but don't worry.  Now sew all around with a 5/8" seam allowance.
At each corner, snip off the dog ear triangles (so that there is no bulk when you turn it out), turn the cushion inside out and use the chop stick inserted into the corners to give you a nice crisp corner.
Taking your left over ribbon, cut it into four equal pieces, measure along your opening and divide it by 3, mark (as your cushion is 12" this should be 4") and place a pin at 4" and 8". Take you ribbon and fold it in half widthwise, cut it into a point (of less than an inch) and seal along the edge with a match to stop it fraying at the other end cut out a triangle and repeat your trick with a match or if your prefer not be arrested for arson use your pinking shears.  Fold the pointy end under and pin to the cushion as shown in the picture, and sew to the cushion, repeat on the other side of the opening.
Now you have not only a ribbon woven cushion but an original and easily closer too!
This cushion is great on beds... but history tells me they are useless in cat households...
Yes, I know the window box has died - please send flowers :)
And now pop over to see what everyone else has been up to on Handmade Monday - it has to be one of the best craft linky parties around!


Alison said...

That is so beautiful - the iron on interfacing is a great idea!

Wendy said...

Gorgeous - and a truly brilliant use of iron-on interfacing!

CarolC1 said...

I had completely forgotten about ribbon cushions. I made some, not all ribbon but with a centre panel in, years ago. Yours are lovely, they look nice and rich in colour and texture.

Annie and Lyn said...

Beautiful cushions - who could resist running their fingers over the satin, shiny surface?
As always, a clear, idiot-proof tutorial.

Anonymous said...

Oh my I have to try this! Love the use of interfacing and ribbons. I have a bit of a thing for buying ribbon and not having anything to do with it - thank you for the inspiration! Will have to keep the finished cushion away from my cat though!

Caroline Lovis (Redneedle) said...

So clever and unique and of course lovely. I guess it would work with fabric strips too, as usual you've managed to get my cogs whirring.

Helen said...

That's really pretty, am impressed as always, as you make it look so easy.
Something else i will havw to have a go at!


They are beautiful - such lovely colours.


Made By Ewe said...

Lovely cushion, but you are right, it wouldn't survive 5 minutes with my kitty

Kat Shenton said...

What a great post. Made me want to go and try my hand, though in fairness I should put my paints away before I do. Not sure painted ribbon would look as nice :)

They look so nice. Thanks for sharing!!!

Anne - Imagination Beads said...

Another fab tutorial, Ros. I must say I've been having a look at your tutorials, and am in the mood to unwrap my sewing machine from its cobwebs! I'll let you know how I get on, what an inspiration you are.

jenny said...

Love it! Great tutorial.

Made in Suisse said...

Very clever! I like the bows to tie the cushion cover shut at the back. I don't know if I can be trusted with interfacing again as last time I used it (which was also the first time) I had it stuck on both my iron and my ironing table. That was a mess!

Emily said...

Love this! Great tut!

Little Harriet said...

I definitely need to try to make one of those cushions, they would look fab in my bedroom. Great tutorial.


Picto said...

Really lovely, I love the colours and I imagine it feels lovely too.

Jan x

En4tainment said...

wow really cute i wish i could make something like this.

Alia Dalwai said...

Oh, this is beautiful!
I am Alia from Alia's Creative Life. I am your new follower. I love ur posts.
Do visit my blog too when you have the time and follow it if you like!

Loads of Love,

Regina said...

I love this! I think I might try a heart shaped one for my little girl.

For anyone in the United States, you can find bags of ribbon remnants at Hobby Lobby for $1.99. There are usually around 24 different ribbons in the bag and each one is 2+ yds. That bag would be perfect for this type of project!

Regina Wade said...

I made one! Thank you for sharing this idea!

Anonymous said...

I have seen them on pinterest they use fuseable backing for the ribbons. I will have to try that next time. I have made 5 now, since I have seen this pin a few years ago. Thank you for sharing. Might even try some at an angle.