Here are a few points that should help to make your sewing project less frustrating and more successful.

  •  Always use materials of a similar thickness and weight.
  • Cotton is the easiest to use but make sure it is colourfast and preshrunk
  • Make templates of any pattern pieces you plan to use in strong cardboard, sandpaper or plastic (i.e. ice cream  container lid).
  • When you cut out the pieces allow 1cm all around your template for a seam allowance.
  • When the instructions ask that you turn under edges you may find it easier to tack the turned under edges

     before you sew into position. Remove the tacking stitches after the piece has been sewn in place.

  • Always pin work to prevent slipping. It is heartbreaking to spend hours sewing or quilting only to find that your

     work has slipped and you have to unpick and start again.

  • Clip or nick curves so that the pieces sit flat.
  • Take care not to pull thread too tightly when embroidering or the finished work will be disappointing.
  • Basic requirements for all projects will be tape measure, needle, cotton, pins, scissors and a pencil.


Cushion in Club Colours

 This one will be made in Green and Gold but you can select the colours you wish to use. This cushion will be created using the simplest form of patchwork.


0.5 m Green poplin

0.25 m gold poplin

Gold cotton

Cushion insert 40 cm square or

Calico 80 x 40 cm, plus soft filling.

  1. Cut 2 pieces of green each 42 X 25 cm for the back of cushion.
  2. Cut 8 squares each 12 x 12 cm in gold.
  3. Cut 8 squares each 12 x 12 cm in green.
  4. Sew 4 squares together to form a strip. Alternate colours commencing with gold. Make 3 more strips the same way.
  5. Pin the 4 strips together to form a square. Arrange the strips so that each row starts with alternate colours. Take care to match corners.
  6. Hem one 25cm edge on each of the green backing pieces.
  7. Place patchwork block on table right side up. Place the two back pieces right side down onto the block. The hemmed edges will be in the centre and the two pieces will overlap. Pin in place. Stitch completely around the four sides. Turn right side out.
  8. If you are using a cushion insert place cushion into cover or fold calico in half, machine stitch around edge leaving an opening about 10cm long. Turn right side out and fill with soft filling. Sew opening closed and place into cushion cover.  

Machine Appliqué tree cushion cover


0.5 m cream material

Scraps of green prints

Scrap of brown material

Cream, brown, green machine cotton

Cushion insert or

Calico 80 x 40 cm,  plus soft filling 

  1. Cut cream material 86 x 40 cm, hem the two 40cm edges.
  2. Select a variety of predominantly green prints and cut shapes to form leaves of the tree.
  3. Cut a shape in brown material to represent the trunk, roots and branches of the tree.  Cut freehand or if you prefer create a template, place it on the back of the material and draw around it in pencil.  Then cut out the piece remembering to add 1 cm all around for turning under.
  4. Pin the brown piece representing the tree in place in the centre of your cream material and then set your machine to satin stitch and appliqué in place using brown cotton.
  5. Pin the green pieces representing leaves in place and using green cotton this time machine stitch them in place again using satin stitch.
  6. Place fabric on flat surface with right side up. Fold the two hemmed edges to the centre overlapping the pieces by about 5 cm. Check that the appliquéd tree is on the inside and the two hemmed edged are now overlapped in the centre of what will be the back of your cushion.  Pin the two outside edges.  Machine stitch and turn right side out.
  7. If you are using a cushion insert place cushion into cover or fold calico in half, machine stitch around edge leaving an opening about 10cm long. Turn right side out and fill with soft filling. Sew opening closed and place into cushion cover.

Toadstool Cot Cover 

This cot cover can also be used on the child’s first bed.  Just one shape and one colour have been used for this project but you could design different shaped toadstools and use a variety of colours to make it different.


1.5m plain material 90cm wide

2 m print material 115 cm wide for backing and edging.

0.3 print for toadstools, 90 cm wide

1 m padding

1 m calico

Embroidery cotton to tone with toadstools and to use as grass.

Draw and cut out a toadstool template

  1. Cut 18 toadstools. Place pattern piece on wrong side of fabric and draw around your template with a pencil. Reverse the pattern piece for some of the toadstools. Allow an extra 1 cm all around as a seam allowance.
  2. Fold over edges and tack. Press. Embroider the toadstool gills with toning cotton.
  3. Arrange the 18 toadstools on the plain material and pin in place and then stitch. Embroider green grass at base of each toadstool.
  4. Cut 2 strips of backing material 7 x 150 cm and sew to the long sides of the cot cover, right sides together.
  5. Cut 2 strips of backing material 7 x 84 cm and sew across the top and bottom of the cot cover, right sides together.
  6. Cut calico the same size as cot cover and place on a flat surface. Cut padding the same size and place on top of calico.
  7. Place the cot cover, right side up on top of the padding. Pin the 3 layers together and stitch around the four edges.
  8. Place backing on top of cot cover with right sides together. Pin in place and sew around four sides leaving an opening of about 30 cm.
  9. Turn the cot cover right sides out. Press and hand sew opening closed.
  10. Pin all toadstools through all layers of cot cover with a safety pin. Check that the cover is still quite flat, re-pin if necessary.
  11. Quilt through all layers around each toadstool.  Quilt by using small even stitches all around the appliquéd pieces.

Machine Applique tree cushion cover

Machine Applique tree cushion cover

Cushion in Club colours

Cushion in Club Colours

Toadstool template

Toadstool template

Toadstool cot cover

Toadstool cot cover