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Tiger Lily Appliqued Cushion Cover - Embroidery, Patchwork, and the Frill of Gathering!

For the last couple of years I have made an embroidered cushion for my MIL's birthday present. The first one was a pattern I bought from but had problems with the sizing both the pattern and the hexagons.


So mine ended up slightly bigger with square patches! Then the next year she said she would like another one, so I did the same again but with a different flower, a blue hyacinth.  When I was at Junior School we all grew a hyacinth in the Spring to take home, I loved it.

This time I did blue pom-pom trim to match the blue flower.  I blogged about making it here.  This year she asked for another one, but with a frill instead of pom-pom trim.  I have never made one with a frill before, so I had a look at some tutorials before I decided I could do that! 

I wanted to do a Tiger Lily, but had to make it a dwarf one to fit!  I used applique, then free-motion machine embroidery for the pot and the plant, and finished off the flower with hand embroidery using 3 strands of Anchor Stranded Cotton.

I added the 4" patches with a zig-zag stitch in invisible thread, then embroidered over them;

  • down on the left I used pink chain stitch
  • down the right I used blue fern stitch
  • Across the top I used green cross stitch
  • across the bottom yellow Wheatear

  • top centre is yellow closed buttonhole
  • centre right is pink blanket
  • centre left is blue blanket
  • bottom centre is green chained feather

To make the frill I found the perfect fabric in my stash, in pink, blue and yellow.  I cut 3" wide strips and joined them together to get 64" (16"+16"+16"+16") plus another 24" to allow for the gathers and a 1/2" seam.  I folded the strip in half length-ways and pressed it, then took it to my overlocker to gather it.  I found my Manual pretty useless for this, and explored you-tube to get a better idea of the settings I needed, and this one was the jackpot.

Once the frill was made, I attached it to the cushion front, so that when I added the back panels I was only joining two layers.  I left a 1/2" loose before starting sewing.  When I came to the corners I left the needle down and swiveled the frill round.  When I came back to the beginning I cut the spare frill away, leaving an extra 1/2" and joined the ends before finishing the seam.

My back panels were 16" x 10" of cream cotton canvas, with the raw edges overlocked and 1\2" turned under to neaten on one long edge on each panel.  I placed them RST and overlapping in the middle, then pinned and stitched them in place. Gave it all a good press and turned it right side out, poking the corners with my trusty wooden knitting needle.   All done!

What on earth shall I make her next year?

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Comment by Susan on April 11, 2017 at 6:50am

Your mother in law is a very lucky woman!

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