Do you ever find yourself with leftover quilt blocks? I do! Sometimes I miscount and end up with a spare. Sometimes the colours of a block do not work well with the rest of the quilt, and the block has to be left out or replaced. I have even had to leave perfectly good blocks out just because I have already bought the backing fabric and I have not enough fabric for the back to allow for all the extra blocks on the front.
It can be a challenge to figure out what to do with these leftover blocks.
One of my friends from my sewing group made a lovely Kaffe Fassett hatbox quilt as a wall-hanging. She decided she did not want it to be as big as she had initially planned, so she left a number of blocks out and gave them to me and others in the group. I can now confess that I chose one with no idea what to do with it. It was just too pretty to leave behind.
This beautiful block sat neglected in my sewing cupboard for a very long time. It was only recently when I saw another friend had used hers to make a cushion that I became inspired.
The block was made. All I had to do was turn it into a cushion.
The first challenge was finding the ‘right’ fabric for the back. Nothing in my stash worked with the Japanese-inspired floral of the hatbox. Happily, in a local fabric shop I found a gorgeous red fabric by Japanese fabric designer Naomi Ito. To break up the dense areas of pattern, I added a narrow navy border. I also added wadding and quilted the cushion front by sewing in the ditch around the borders and the hatbox.
I did not quilt the back of the cushion. However, because the cotton and linen blend is quite an open weave, and I worried about the fabric being strained around the buttonholes, I lined the cushion back with scraps of calico.
A few mismatched buttons from my stash – one red, one yellow and one blue – and it is done!