Inspired by the cushions used in the library at my children’s Primary School, and named by my son’s friend who saw them and declared they were ‘waffle cushions’ (they then used them for a game of avoid the crocodiles before I had photographed them! So they have been thoroughly stamped and jumped on and the sewing hasn’t popped!).
Finished Size: Approx 19.5” square (large) 16.5” square (medium)
21” square top fabric 18” square top fabric
21” square bottom fabric 18” square bottom fabric
21” x 6” strips x 4 for sides 18” x 6” strips x 4 for sides
2” x 10” for handle (optional) x2 2” x 10” for handle (optional) x2
Approx 1.35kg toy filler Approx 1kg toy filler
To make the handle take your strip of fabric and iron ½” seams into place on all sides. Cut the corners of the folded over fabric, on each short side, diagonally (see second image). Fold in half long ways and iron once more.
Choose a side strip to put the handle on. Fold the side strip in half lengthways and widthways and iron. Open out and you will have the middle point marked. Iron the handle in half width ways to identify the mid point. Place your handle in the centre of the side strip (by lining up the creases) and pin into place. Sew a 1” square at each end, and then a cross in the middle of each square.
Pin two of your side pieces together, right sides facing. Then sew a seam along one of the short edges. Add the remaining strips in the same way (you will end up with one long strip made up of 4 pieces).
Pin the second side strip in the chain (one with sides attached at both ends) to one of the main squares, right sides facing (you will have approx. ¼” overhang on each side). Pin and then sew together.
Turn the fabric round so you are looking at the next side of the main square. Pin the next side piece along the bottom, matching up the corners of the 2 pieces of fabric (make sure you fold the first strip out of the way to prevent it being sewn over). Sew together as before, and then repeat the process on the next side.
When you get to the last side piece, pin into place. The short edge at the end of the piece will have a raw edge (it will not be attached to the next side piece), this should be pinned to the raw edge of the next door piece and they should be sewn together (see 2nd image for sew line).
Pin the second square to your cushion, taking care to line up the corners. Sew together, remembering to leave a gap of a few inches for turning out and stuffing (we recommend doing this 2/3rd of the way down one side, rather than at a corner, you will end up with neater seams and corners). Turn the cover out through the hole.
Take a long needle, if you have a doll making needle or can get one, it is worth it, as a short needle will be hard to find when poking between the layers (we used a quilting needle and even this length was a challenge!).
Take your piece of cotton and fold it in half, feed it, doubled over, through the eye of the needle and pull through until the folded end meets the cut ends of the thread.
Mark where you want your dimples to appear on your cushion, we marked with crossed over pins (to work out spacing divide the width of the cushion by the number of dimples you want plus 1). Repeat on the other side of the cushion.
Take your thread and pass it through your first dimple mark to the back of the cushion, aiming to get the needle to come out as close as possible to the corresponding mark. Make a stitch and feed the needle back through to the top (use a slightly larger than normal stitch otherwise the stitch will just rip through the fabric). When the needle gets back to the start, pull the threads and tie a knot, making sure that the cushion is dimpled enough on both sides. Take the needle back through a couple of times before sewing a small knot in other side and cutting the loose threads. Repeat until you have sewn all the dimples, adjusting the stuffing levels as you see the cushion start to take shape.
Next you need to dimple the side edges. Start with the side edge closest to you, place markers 1” apart from each other and 1” from the edge shared with the top of the cushion. Then place markers on the top of the cushion 1” apart and 1” from the edge shared with the side (you should end up with markers on the side and top that line up).
Feed your needle through the first point on the side, up to the first point on the top. Send the needle back down to the first point on the side and tie a knot. Now send the needle diagonally up to the next dimple on the top, from here go straight down to the side, leaving a loop of cotton on top, feed the needle back up, through the loop of cotton and pull tight. Now take the needle down diagonally and start the process again. Continue to the end of the side.
Repeat on all sides, short and long, sewing up the gap used for filling (using ladder stitch – click here to view a great demonstration of this stitch) when you are happy that the stuffing is correct.
Use fewer dimples, as in the first example below, where we used just four.
Reduce the side height, the surfer cushion uses 5” high sides.
Use 5” squares to make up the top and bottom squares, looks effective and makes lining up the dimples easier too!
Fabrics Used Include: (Riley Blake Sasparilla Collection, Clothworks Little Surfer Boy Collection together with Riley Blake Scoot laminates, Riley Blake Peak Hour Collection together with Boy Crazy Collection and Puppy Days Collection. Superman fabrics – search Prints to Polka Dots for Hero for similar prints.