Elephant Embroidered Cushion – Free sewing patterns

Essentials

Fabric: linen, plain, coral, 50cm x 135cm; linen, striped, 42cm x 47cm; cotton khadi, ivory, 22cm x 47cm; cotton khadi, pale pink, 22cm x 25cmThread, embroidery, six stranded: red, lime green, two skeins each; grass green, sage green, apple green, peach, coral, beige, light beige, coffee, one skein each; sewing, coordinatingNeedles: crewel; sewingPen, erasableButtons, shell, small, 83Cushion pads: 45cm square; 40cm x 45cm

Dimensions List

Square cushion: 45cm squareRectangular cushion: 40cm x 45cm

Stitch a square cushion

Cut one 50cm square from plain coral linen and using an erasable marker, draw a 45cm square on the fabric. Divide this square into nine 15cm squares. On the centre square and the four corner ones, mark a series of smaller squares. Then on the four side squares, draw diagonal lines from corner to corner, forming crosses. These will act as a guide for stitching, but you don’t have to mark every line.

Thread a crewel needle with three strands of red embroidery thread and begin by sewing running stitch along the main lines of the design: the ones that separate the nine main squares. Next, stitch along the diagonal lines for the crosses on the four side squares.

Then stitch the squares and triangles inside the eight squares around the edge of the cushion, alternating between light and dark coloured threads. On the four corner squares, leave the central one unworked, leaving space to stitch four buttons.

Embroider the centre square last of all, beginning by stitching a row of buttons all around the inner border (about 36 buttons) and a circle of buttons in the centre (one in the middle and eight more in a circle around the central one). Embroider several more squares of running stitch inside and more outside the outer row of buttons, then create borders of stitching around the central circle of buttons.

When the decoration is complete, press the work carefully on the wrong side and trim off the edges to create a square measuring 47cm for the front of the cushion. Cut another 47cm square of the same fabric for the cushion back. Place right sides together and stitch all round, with a 1cm seam, leaving an opening in one side for turning. Clip the corners, turn right sides out, and insert a 45cm square cushion pad. Fold in the raw edges and slipstitch the opening closed.

Make an elephant cushion

Cut two rectangles from plain coral linen, each 12cm x 47cm. Place one either side of a 22cm x 47cm strip of ivory cotton and stitch together with a 1cm seam.

Download the elephant template above and print (page 18). Cut out the shape from pale pink cotton fabric and pin, right side up, to the centre of the ivory panel on the cushion front. Tack to secure, making sure the stitches are at least 2cm from the edges of the fabric.

To stitch the elephant in place, thread the needle with matching sewing thread. Use the point of the needle to turn under about 2mm to 3mm of fabric on the cut edge, then over sew the fold to the background material. Do this all the way around the shape, tucking under and stitching as you go.

Using running stitch and three strands of embroidery thread, sew the decorative details on the elephant in running stitch. Do this freehand, or draw guidelines using an erasable pen and the template. Stitch buttons to form a decorative border in the centre of the motif, plus a single button for the eye.

When the elephant is complete, stitch horizontal rows of running stitch on the coral bands above and below the motif, and vertical lines on the ends of the ivory central panel.

When the applique and embroidery is complete, press the work carefully on the wrong side. Cut a 42cm x 47cm piece of coordinating striped linen. Place this and the cushion front, right sides together, and stitch all round, with a 1cm seam, leaving an opening in one side for turning. Clip the corners, turn right sides out, and insert a 40cm x 45cm rectangular cushion pad, then fold in the raw edges and slipstitch the opening closed.