February 11, 2016

TGIFF and Denim Days - Heart Cushion Cover

Welcome back to TGIFF! I hope you have some fun finishes to link up this week!

This is week 2 of Denim Days, where I am sharing ideas for how to use the (kind of) free fabric you may have stashed in a closet. I'm talking, of course, about old jeans! Every Friday in February I'll be sharing a project or two using recycled denim. To see last week's projects, click here.

This week I have a tutorial for a cute and quick cushion cover.
Denim Heart Cushion Tutorial | DevotedQuilter.blogspot.com
 Let's get started!

Gather Your Supplies

* Old jeans in a variety of colours (my jeans were already torn into strips when I took this picture).
* 1 fat quarter of a bright print for the heart and the cushion backing
* a piece of fabric for the foundation. This will not be seen, so it doesn't matter if it matches or not.
* a heart template. I used the highly technical method of folding a piece of paper in half and drawing half a heart. My template measures about 6 1/4" at its widest part
* a washable glue stick
* pins
* rotary cutter, mat and ruler
* thread, both for piecing and for stitching around the heart applique
* a 12" cushion insert

Make the Cushion Cover Front

To deconstruct the jeans, make a cut on either side of each of the leg seams.
Rip all the way up the leg, then cut across the top. As you can see, this is a great way to use jeans that have holes in the knees!

To make the strips, simply measure across the bottom as wide as you want the strip to be and make a cut, then rip again. Make a bunch of strips in a variety of widths (I used 12 strips for one cushion and 11 for the other). Press the strips and trim off the loose threads.


2 rectangles 12 1/2" x 9" from the print. One of my fat quarters was not quite the standard 18" width so I cut one of the rectangles at 8". There's a little less overlap at the back of the cushion, but it looks fine.

1 square 12 1/2" x 12 1/2" from the foundation fabric.
Lay the foundation square on your work surface. Take one long strip of denim and lay it diagonally across the middle of the square, right side up.  Make sure it extends past the corners. Pin along one edge.
Lay another long strip on top, right sides together, and align the edge away from the pins. Stitch, using a 1/4" seam, and making sure your stitches extend past the foundation square.
Press the strip open.
Continue adding strips until the entire foundation square is covered. To make this part even faster, I added a strip to each side before going to press the strips open. Be sure to use wide strips in the corners so you won't have to deal with any extra bulk in the corners from seam allowances when you're finishing the cushion.

When the whole foundation square is covered, lay the piece right side down on your cutting mat.
Using a long ruler, trim the excess denim even with the foundation.
Trace around the heart template on the print, then cut it out. 
Use the glue stick to make a line of glue along the edge of the wrong side of the heart. Be careful not to stretch the bias edges of the fabric.
Position the heart near the bottom right of the cushion front. Press with a hot, dry iron to set the glue.
Using thread to either match or contrast with the fabric, stitch around the heart. I used a zig zag stitch, but you could also use just a straight stitch or a blanket stitch.

Finish the Cushion

On one long side of each of the print 12 1/2" x 9" rectangles, fold 1/4" towards the wrong side and press. Then fold over 1/4" again and press. Stitch close to the folded edge.
Lay the cushion front on your work surface, right side up. Position one of the print rectangles on top, right sides together and matching up the raw edges.
Position the other print rectangle on top, again right sides together with the cushion cover and matching up the raw edges. The finished edges of the rectangles will overlap across the middle of the cushion front. Pin in place.
Stitch all the way around with a 1/4" seam. Clip the corners and turn the cushion cover right side out through the opening in the back. Give it a good press, put in a 12" cushion insert and you're done!
I think these would look cute with other applique designs too, like a flower or a letter for a monogram.

Now it's your turn! What have you finished this week? Remember to visit a few of the other links and celebrate what others have finished too.


  1. Gluesticks, my favourite sewing tool - cute finishes - Chris :D

  2. What a great idea! I love your pillows! Perfect for Valentine's day. :-)

  3. The pillows look wonderful; super sturdy and I really like all the different colors of jean!

  4. Great idea for cushion covers! It's got me think that THIS is what I can do to recover our dogs' day beds (spoiled, uh huh) but also incorporate Lorna's dog gone cute blocks. Thank you for the tutorial and for hosting TGIFF! One of these days I intend to get out to 'The Rock'

  5. I've loved all your ideas and quilts and devotions Ali x @arabesque-scissors.com (can't work out any of the other id's sorry!!

  6. Love this use of denim. Thank you for sharing.

  7. Leanne, what a fun idea! With both a hubby and son who are rough on their jeans, we always seem to have ripped Denim laying around. Great idea to use it up!

  8. Great pillows! I love the use for the denim and the fun hearts.

  9. These are great pillows! Love the look of denim with the batik fabrics. Now I'm wishing I had kept some of my kids' outgrown jeans rather than donating them. Is it bad that I'm hoping my son will wear a hole in the knees of his jeans now?! Thanks for a great tutorial!

  10. Awesome idea! I love recycling!

  11. What a great idea. I love your pillows.

  12. Thanks so much for this great idea. I just did a closet clean out and have 15 pairs of jeans waiting for a project

  13. What an innovative idea!!! The bright heart against the dark denim just pops. Thank you for the clear and detailed instructions too. I am sure, I will be making a couple of these in the not so distant future.

  14. So cute! And it looks like a lot more fun than hemming.

  15. Hi, Leanne! Your pillows are so very cool - I must try this with some of my old jeans! Whoop whoop!!

  16. These are a really cute idea, too! I wouldn't have thought of the idea of using a foundation fabric, but that's brilliant, especially for a pillow! It's kind of a quilt as you go just by the nature of it! Thank you for sharing. I'm hooked on these Denim Days!


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