Thursday 21 January 2016

The Tricky Issue of a Zip

Over the years I’ve become addicted to making cushions. They come together much faster than quilts, and they're also a good way of trying out a new technique. However, one thing I’ve never really enjoyed is inserting the zip at the end - I’ve spent a few happy hours designing, sewing and quilting my cushion front… only to then have to finish it off with a backing and a closing of some sort, which I find so tedious!! 

Recently however, I have come across two fantastic tutorials that have made my life easier and that give my cushions a more professional finish. The first is by blogger Veni Vidi Vicky, I love this method and have used it on my T-T-Teesssider and Geometric cushions. I particularly like how the coloured zip adds extra interest and becomes a part of the design rather than been hidden away.

Vicky’s blog is full of gorgeous projects and great tutorials, though sadly she doesn’t seem to have written anything for a while. Anyway, you can click here for her very clear tutorial on how to insert a zip into a fully quilted pillow. 

For my latest couple of cushions, which will hopefully be available as kits soon, I wanted to try something different, and started looking at how to insert a covered zip. Thanks to our wonderfully generous online sewing community, I soon found this gem from S.O.T.A.K Handmade. Svetlana is another of my favourite bloggers with amazing taste in fabrics, many of which feature in her free tutorials, including beautiful quilts, cute little pouches, and funky coasters. She also shares her method of installing a zipper in a pillow cover – I found this method so quick and easy and finished off my Hexy cushions in no time at all. I will show you more about these cushions soon, but don't you just love the difference between machine quilting and hand quilting? I used Aurifil of course, with a 50wt in the machine, and a lovely 12wt for the hand sewing which was new to me and worked really well!

So if you’re looking for a smart finish to your cushions or pillows, check out these lovely ladies for easy-to-follow tutorials, as well as some gorgeous inspiration. 

Elsewhere in the quilting world… 

I just had to share this free Arrows Quilt pattern from Emmajané of Stitch and Pieces, featured on The Village Haberdashery’s blog, The Daily Stitch, this week. Not only is this a gorgeous quilt, but the planning and mental arithmetic that has gone into working this baby out is amazing! I thought my Bargello was bad enough, but looking at the cutting instructions and the layout plan, I imagine this took many hours to come together, so offering the quilt pattern for free is incredibly generous, thank you Emmajané!

Doughty’s latest special offer features one of my favourite ranges, the linen-look cottons. As you may know, I use these versatile fabrics quite a lot in my projects and handmade gift items, and find them to not only add extra strength to pencil cases and purses, but they also add lovely texture to quilted cushions and hand-embroidered panels. I stocked up on some cute elephants, and just couldn’t resist these cute polka dots!

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This week I'm linking up with Let's Bee Social over at Sew Fresh Quilts, come and say hello!


  1. It's nice to have options when you love making pillows. I will have to check out those first two tutorials you've mentioned. Thanks for sharing the links!

  2. Thanks for letting us know about the Arrows Quilt. I'm adding it to the list of quilts I want to make!

  3. Love Svetlana's hidden zipper tutorial...I use it all the time! Very easy and it looks great! Your hexie pillows are beautiful! I should try one myself!

    1. Thank you so much, I'm planning on releasing the kits very soon!

  4. Okay, your zippers are super, but how bout those edges...binding or piping? I was hoping to pipe my pillows but couldn't come up with the materials needed.... These look so nicely finished!

    1. Thank you, my edges are binding, like I would finish a quilt, I used to do piping, but it seems so much more faffy! Thanks for stopping by!

  5. What a fun and interesting way for a zipper finish in a cushion!?! That pop of orange and turquoise is just fantastic! I too love to experiment on smaller projects... I think they can be just as satisfying as the big ones. Is it any wonder that I had such a long mini mini phase? Nice finishes already for January!


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