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Big Round Floor Cushion with Fussy Cut Wedges

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Floor it! This generous 24" diameter floor cushion is a comfy 4" thick - perfect for sitting or as a little foot rest. Make several to use around a low table for casual dining. Place one on the patio for meditation at sunrise. Toss a few in the TV room for extra seating. Our wedges are fussy cut to take advantage of the strong vertical motif of our chosen fabric. By carefully cutting the twelve wedges that make up the top and bottom of the pillow, we turned that vertical motif into a unique horizontal pattern with radiating hexagons. A wedge pattern download is offered below.

We used a fine utility canvas fabric for our pillow from the Parson Gray World collection by David Butler for FreeSpirit Fabrics. The top and bottom fabric is Cairo in Gun Metal, and the side fabric is Dublin in Union. The piping and covered button fabric is also from World Tour, but in the standard quilting weight: Barcelona in Tin. World Tour is a slightly older collection, but we found a good selection still in stock at both Fabric.com and QuiltHome

We suggest a dense 4" upholstery foam for this project, and recommend you get the circle professionally cut. This insures a true circle and "sitting-quality" foam. You can cut a circle from a block of foam, but don't try to do it freehand; use the assembled top or bottom of the pillow to cut a paper pattern. The nice man who cut our foam said a bread knife with tight serrations is the best tool to use at home, although an electric carving knife also works well. 

As mentioned above, this pillow finishes at 24" in diameter x 4" deep, excluding the piping.

Sewing Tools You Need

Fabric and Other Supplies

Yardage shown includes extra for special fussy cutting and to allow the piping fabric to be cut on the bias.

  • 1 yard of a 57"+ wide canvas fabric for the top and bottom wedges
  • ½ yard of a 57"+ wide canvas fabric for the side panels
  • 1 yard of a 45"+ wide quilting weight fabric for the piping and covered buttons
  • 1¾ yards of 45" + low loft batting
  • 4½ yards of ⅜" piping cord
  • TWO 1½" button cover kits
  • ONE 4" deep x 24" diameter foam circle; we recommend a professionally-cut upholstery foam
  • Pattern or tissue paper to cut multiple wedges for fussy cutting
  • All-purpose thread to match fabric
  • All-purpose thread is a slightly contrasting color for the topstitching; we used a deep blue-gray
  • See-through ruler
  • Fabric pen or pencil
  • Iron and ironing board
  • Scissors or rotary cutter and mat
  • Seam gauge
  • Seam ripper
  • Straight pins
  • Hand sewing needle
  • 6"+ straight upholstery needle for attaching the tufted buttons
  • One small spool of waxed button/upholstery thread also for attaching the tufted buttons

Getting Started

  1. Download and print out TWO copies of the wedge pattern sheet: Round Floor Cushion Pie Section Top-Bottom
    IMPORTANT: This pattern is ONE 8½" x 11" sheet. You must print the PDF file at 100%. DO NOT SCALE to fit the page. There is a guide rule on the page so you can confirm your final printout is to scale.
  2. Cut out each pattern piece along the solid line. 
  3. Butt together (do not overlap) each pair along the solid center lines (marked with the double arrows). Tape together to create two half-wedge pattern pieces. Flip over one pair. Butt together the two taped pairs to create one full wedge. Tape in place. 
  4. Use the completed pattern to cut 12 wedges from tissue or pattern paper. 
  5. From the fabric for the top and bottom, use the tissue patterns to cut tweleve wedges. We placed our twelve wedge pattern pieces so the lines of the motif ran through each wedge at the same point.
  6. Once sewn together, this fussy cutting produces a new pattern from the fabric, creating the pretty radiating hexagons. The illustration below shows our layout of the six wedges for the top and the six wedges for the bottom.
  7. From the fabric for the sides, cut TWO 5" x 37¾" strips. We fussy cut our strips to center the "X" motif of the fabric. 
  8. From the fabric for the piping, cut enough 2" wide bias strips to yield at least 154" of piping. We'll use scraps from this curring for the covered buttons.
    NOTE: If you are new to working with bias strips for piping, take a look at our detailed tutorial, How To Make and Attach Piping.
  9. From the batting cut the following:
    TWO 5" x 37¾" strips
    TWO 26" x 26" squares. You will use your completed pillow top as a pattern for the top and bottom batting circles.  

At Your Sewing Machine & Ironing Board

Create the top and bottom circles

  1. Lay out six wedges to form a circle.
  2. Place two wedges right sides together. Pin along one side. Align the bottom curved edges and let the top points overlap. For our fabric, we were also careful to align the lines of the motif.
  3. Using a ½" seam allowance, sew the wedges together along one side. 
  4. Place a third wedge right sides together with the sewn pair.  
  5. Using a ½" seam allowance, sew the third wedge in place to form one half circle.
  6. Repeat with the remaining three wedges to create a matching half circle. 
    NOTE: Because you are sewing wedges, you will have a point, like a little 'ear' at one end of each seam. 
  7. Press both halves flat. Pin the two halves together along the center line.
  8. Sew together, using a ½" seam allowance to complete the full circle shape.
    NOTE: You'll notice that all the 'ears' from your various seams come together in the middle of the circle, which can make pressing a challenge. So how did we get our circle to lay nice and flat? It's a quilting technique called pinwheeling. Spread apart the center seam 'ears' so you can see the center seam. With a seam ripper, carefully rip out a few stitches in the center seam. Do this on both sides of the center seam. Once you've ripped out those few stitches, you can press the pinwheel open. It will lay very flat. This is, of course, an optional technique. We didn't include any photos here, because it was just a note in passing, however, we did photograph the technique in our Round 'n' Round Pillow in Butterscotch & Rose.
  9. Press the completed circle flat.
  10. Repeat to create the circle for the bottom of the pillow.
  11. Find the two batting squares. Place them, one on top of the other, on your work surface. Align all the raw edges. 
  12. Using one of your completed wedge circles as a pattern, cut out two matching circles of batting.
  13. Peel away one circle and layer it with the remaining fabric circle so you have two pairs: fabric circle right side up on the top and batting circle on the bottom. Align the raw edges of the both layers all around. Lightly pin the layers together.
  14. Thread your machine with a slightly contrasting thread in the top and bobbin. We used a deep blue gray.
  15. Run a double line of topstitching along each of the six seams on both the top and bottom circles. 
  16. We used our Janome Quarter Inch Seam foot to run the first line of topstitching ¼" from the seam line. 
  17. We then reversed direction, using the same foot, to run the second line of topstitching just to the right of the seam. We used the previous seam line as our guide.
  18. The topstitching is not only a decorative touch, it also secures the batting to the fabric.

Create the side panels

  1. Find the two 5" fabric strips and the two 5" batting strips. 
  2. Place a batting strip flat on your work surface. Place the two fabric strips right sides together, then place them on top of the batting strip. Lay the remaining batting strip on top. You have a four layer "sandwich": batting, fabric, fabric, batting. 
  3. Pin along both 5" ends.
  4. Using a ½" seam allowance, stitch each 5" end, creating a continuous loop.
  5. Press the seam allowance together and to one side, then trim back to ¼" to reduce bulk. 
  6. Flip the loop to the right side and run a double line of topstitching along each seam, matching exactly what you did on the wedge seams. 

Piping

  1. Stitch the 2" bias strips together end to end to create one, super long length. As mentioned above, if you are new to working with bias cuts for piping, we have a great tutorial.
  2. Find the matching length of piping cord.
  3. Re-thread the machine with thread to match the piping fabric in the top and bobbin.
  4. Wrap the fabric around the piping cord. Align the raw edges of the fabric and pin in place. 
  5. Attach a Zipper foot. 
  6. Secure the fabric in place around the cording with a basting stitch, running your seam as close to the cording as possible. Go slowly; it's important the raw edges of the fabric stay even with one another.
  7. When the piping is complete, cut it into TWO equal 77" lengths.
  8. Find the top wedge circle. Place it right side up and flat on your work surface.
  9. Starting at a wedge seam, pin a length of piping around all the entire circle, aligning the raw edges of the piping with the raw edge of the fabric. 
  10. Leave about 1" free at the head and the tail of the piping.
  11. At the starting/ending point, use your seam ripper to reveal the cord. Cut the ends so they butt together at the wedge seam. 
  12. Trim away the excess, re-fold the fabric into place around the cording and re-pin.
  13. Stitch the piping to the top wedge circle. We used a Walking foot on our Janome. You could also use a Zipper foot.

    NOTE:
    If you are new to attaching piping, check out our full Piping tutorial, which has great step-by-step notes on joining.
  14. Repeat to attach the remaining length of piping to the right side of the bottom wedge circle. 

Attach the side loop to the top and bottom 

  1. Place the piped top wedge circle right side up and flat on your work surface.
  2. Find the side loop. Turn it wrong side out.
  3. Match the side ring to the circle, aligning one seam in the side loop with one wedge seam in the circle. Pin these points together, then make your way around the circle. You are working right sides together, aligning the raw edges and sandwiching the piping between the layers. If necessary, you can clip into the edge of the loop slightly to allow it to ease along the curve of the top. Pin generously as you go. 
  4. Sew around the entire edge with a ½" seam allowance, staying close to the piping. Go slowly and keep your seam consistent. We continued to use our Janome Walking foot, but you could also use a Zipper foot.
  5. Place the remaining bottom piped wedge circle right sides together with the bottom raw edge of the side ring. As above, you are working right sides together, aligning the raw edges and sandwiching the piping between the layers. 
  6. As above, pin generously as you go around, leaving a 15" - 20" opening to insert the foam. 
  7. Using a Walking foot or Zipper foot, sew around the circle with an approximate ½" seam allowance. As above, use a ½" seam allowance to stitch around the bottom of the circle, again staying as close to the piping as possible. Remember to lock your seam on either side of the 15" - 20" opening.
  8. Turn right side out through the opening. Push out the corners. Lightly press. 

Insert the foam and attach the buttons

  1. Find the foam circle. Fold it in half and compress it as best you can. Insert it through the opening. Once inside, let it gently unfold, then adjust the foam into position against the side wall of the circle. 
  2. Fold down the raw edge of the side ring at the opening so it is flush with the sewn seam, and pin in place up against the piping.
  3. Thread a hand sewing needle and hand stitch the opening closed with tiny, even stitches. 
  4. Make two covered buttons using the leftover fabric from cutting the piping strips. We fussy cut ours to center an "X" from the motif. Also, we always add a small scrap of lightweight batting under our fabric for a smooth, curved shape. 

    NOTE:
    If you are new to covering buttons, we have two tutorials, one using Covered Button Kits (what we did here) and one about Making Your Own.
  5. Using the waxed button thread, run the thread through the shank of one covered button, doubling the length. Make sure you have plenty of thread; you want it to be at least a few inches longer than the foam is deep - then double this because you are threading a double length. It's better to have more thread than not enough.
  6. Thread both ends through the long upholstery needle.
  7. Insert the needle at the exact center point on the top of the cushion where all the seams come together.
  8. Push the needle in, keeping it as straight and level as possible.
  9. As it begins to disappear, "accordion" the cushion to continue moving the needle down through the center of the foam until it comes out the opposite end. Maneuver the point of the needle as necessary to insure it comes out through the exact marked on the bottom of the cushion. Once you've made it out in the center, pull the needle all the way through.
  10. Pull the thread tight to cinch up the top button. This button is now secured as is. 
  11. Remove the thread tails from the needle, keeping some tension on the thread as you pull it away from the pillow. Pull apart the two lengths of thread. Thread one length through the remaining covered button. Tie the ends into a slip knot. 
  12. Tighten the slip knot, pulling on the thread tail. Cinch it up until the tufting on both the top and bottom looks good to you. When you're happy with the look, secure the thread by tying the ends into a standard double knot. Cut away the excess thread. The raw ends of the thread will be hidden behind the second covered button.
    NOTE: If you are new to attaching buttons through a thicker project, we also used this technique on our Folklore Bolster pillow (it was even thicker!) and have additional photos, which may be helpful to you. 

Contributors

Project Design: Alicia Thommas   
Sample Creation and Instructional Outline: Debbie Guild

Section: 

Comments (13)

Vanessa_82 said:
Vanessa_82's picture

HI everybody,

where can I find the upholstery foam? I would love to make some of these. They look beautiful!!!

Thank you,

Vanessa

Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture

@ Vanessa_82 -- nothing too scientific here; we simply searched online in our local area for "foam-retailers". I'm sure you could find someone similar in your area.

asrflys said:
asrflys's picture

This is great! All winter long my husband and I like to fight over the one couch pillow big enough to put by the fire. This will be perfect for next winter. Until then I love the meditation sunrise pillow idea, if only I can get up that early! 

Christi295 said:
Christi295's picture

This is so neat! I think a nice summer project from pieces in my batik stash! And I might just use my twin needle for the decorative topstiching too! Thanks Sew4Home! Another awesome project.

Rosemary Bolton said:
Rosemary Bolton's picture

I love this, Liz! Very nice. My mom could use on of these.

This project is next up on my list then!

My parents are 90 and living close to me now. I snatched them from their home in Annapolis Maryland one year ago and moved them near me when mom had her stroke. They are like taking care of twins

Thank you so much for all of the great projects!

shariga34 said:
shariga34's picture

Love the pillow - but I too would love to have the direction for the adorable slippers.  If you could point me in the right direction.  If they were purchased, I would love that information as well.

Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture

@ shariga34 - as mentioned below, those slippers are from H&M; they are not handmade.

Lucia Lhotka said:
Lucia Lhotka's picture

Would like directings for the adorable slippers please.

Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture

@ Lucia - those slippers are from H&M - purchased this past winter so they may not still be on the shelf.

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