Tutorial: Junk in the Trunk Chair Cushions

I could not wait to make these chair cushions for our dining room table…comfort meets quilting. Seriously, who would not want to sit down to dinner after a long day and let their behind sink into one of these!!

I have been saving these Anna Maria Horner Good Folks fabrics for the perfect project, and I think this would be great to showcase these prints. And the best part was that I got to try out my new Accuquilt GO! Baby! Want to win your own? ENTER TO WIN RIGHT NOW!

Accuquilt makes some amazing products. You really should check out their fabric cutters, they are getting some wonderful reviews on Amazon. The regular Go! machine has some dies I really want…Double Wedding Rings and Dresdens oh my! I got the Circle, Hexagon, and Diamond dies with my machine, but I quickly realized that the 5″ Square die would come in mighty handy, so I picked that one up too.

I used my Accuquilt GO! Baby to quickly cut my fabrics into 5″ squares. I.Love.Using.This.Machine. Can I pretty please cut fabrics for every project with this? SO FAST. I don’t think this machine wastes much fabric at all…I also played with cutting some diamonds (tutorial for that one to come soon!), and I honestly would not cut that many diamonds with a plastic template, it would drive me crazy! I love my GO! Baby and am planning on asking Santa for the standard GO! machine for Christmas so I can get even more dies!

The charms look perfect out of the machine, I had these tossed in my purse to match colors at the store, lol

Please check out my other Sewing Tutorials! If you have any questions about this tutorial while you’re working on it, feel free to post on my Flickr Group. I’d also love it if you’d post pictures of your finished projects there, too!

PLEASE PRE-WASH AND IRON ALL FABRICS.
READ ALL INSTRUCTIONS BEFORE BEGINNING. 
ALL SEAMS ARE 1/4″ UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED.
 SUPPLIES FOR 4 CUSHIONS

- 2 charm packs (or 64 five-inch squares)
- 1-1/8 yard of cheap fabric (these will be the wrong side of the quilted puffs, and not visible at all once zipped closed; thrifted linens would be a great option)
- 1 yard solid fabric for the sides and bottom of the cushions
- four 22″ zippers
- 5-1/2 yards of double-fold bias tape (or you can make your own)
- 4 pieces of foam that are each 15″ x 15″ and are 2″ thick (you can buy foam at your local fabric store, either pre-cut or by-the-yard; I found it is cheaper to buy the foam pre-cut, using coupons)
- 16oz. bag of polyester fiber filling (I used Fairfields Poly-Fil)
- rotary cutter and cutting mat
- ruler
- coordinating thread
- zipper foot
- fabric marker or chalk

Optional: I wanted to make my solid fabric sturdier, so I ironed Pellon fusible woven interfacing to each of the solid fabric pieces. If you would like to do this too, you’ll need 3 yards of the interfacing.

STEP 1 ~ CUT OUT FABRIC

1a. Cut your 1-1/8 yards of fabric into 5″ strips along the width of the fabric (selvage to selvage). Then take those strips and cut them every 5 inches. This should leave you with 5″ x 5″ squares. These will be the Inner Squares.

1b. From your solid fabric, cut 4 strips that are each 31″ x 3″. Then cut 8 additional strips that are each 31″ x 2″.

1c. From your solid fabric, cut 4 pieces that are each 16″ x 16″.

1d. From your double-fold bias tape, cut 16 strips that are each 12″ long.

STEP 2 ~ ASSEMBLE THE QUILTED PUFFS

Step 2a. I’ve marked, in purple, where you’ll need to sew.

2a. Take 1 of the charm squares and 1 of the Inner Squares, right sides together. Starting on one edge, begin sewing approximately 1″ from the corner. When you reach the corner, pivot. Continue along the next edge. Pivot again, continue. When you reach the last corner, pivot and sew 1″ past the corner. This should leave you with an opening that is approximately 3″ long.

2b. Turn your Square Unit right-side out. Use a turning tool to gently push out the corners. With your fingers, turn both sides of the fabric in approximately 1/4″, then press the whole unit flat.

I used about 2 cups-worth of Poly-Fil stuffing.

2c. Take some of the Poly-Fil and stuff your Square Unit with a pleasing amount. Here is how much I used, but you can fill it to your preference. It should still be springy to the touch when filled, and not filled so full that it feels hard.

2d. You may pin the opening closed, but I prefer to just hold it closed with my fingers and bring the Square Unit directly over to my sewing machine. Push the stuffing to the side, and sew the opening closed, about 1/8″ from the edge of the fabric.

2e. Repeat Steps 2a. through 2d. to complete a total of 16 Square Units.

2f. Take 2 of your filled Square Units. Place them with the charm square sides facing each other. Sew along one edge.

Helpful Hint: It can be cumbersome to sew the filled squares together. Push the stuffing out of the way the best you can and sew slowly. You’ll get there, I promise!

2g. Continuing adding squares until you have a row of 4 squares.

2h. Repeat Steps 2f. and 2g. until you have 4 assembled row, each with 4 squares.

2i. Take 2 of your rows, and sew them with the charm squares facing each other, along the long edge. Sew slowly and be sure to match the seams. Continue adding rows until you have 4 squares x 4 squares.

STEP 3 ~ INSTALLING THE ZIPPER

3a. Take 2 of your strips that are 31″ x 2″. Zig-zag stitch 1 long edge from each strip (take as little of the fabric in your stitch as possible).

3b. Place the strips right sides together, with the zig-zagged sides matching up. Pin along the long edge. Draw a line, 4.5″ from each short edge.

3c. Sew, 5/8″ from the zig-zag edge, starting at the line, and continuing to the end of the short edge (you will only be sewing 4.5 inches). Backstitch at the beginning and end. Repeat for the other end of the strips.

3d. Starting at where your stitching ended, baste along the long edge, stopping at the stitching on the other end. Press seam open.

3e. Place your fabric, right side down. Place the zipper, right side down, on top of the basted seam. Switching to your zipper foot, sew along both long edges of the zipper and also the short edges.

3f. Turn your unit to the right side and remove the basting stitching. Now you have a fully-functioning zipper. Unzip the zipper halfway to make turning easier in a later step.

STEP 4 ~ ASSEMBLING THE BOTTOM OF THE CUSHION

4a. Take the short edge of your 31″ x 3″ strip and sew it, right sides together, with the zippered strip. Repeat for the remaining short edges (you should have one continuous loop). Zig-zag seams, then press seams to the side.

4b. Place your assembled strip over your foam square. Make sure it fits snuggly (if not, take in your seam a small bit until it does). With a fabric marker or chalk, mark a line at the 2 corners at either end of the zipper.

4c. Take 4 of your double-bias strips. Open the short edge on one of the strips, and fold in about 1/2″. Re-fold the strip. Sew along that folded edge (about 1/8″ from the edge), pivot, and down the long unfinished edge. Repeat for the other strip.

4d. Line up the raw edge of 2 of the strips (one strip on top of the other) with the mark you made at 1 of the corners of the Zippered Strip. Baste in place. Repeat with the other bias strip and the remaining mark on the Zippered Strip. Insert the foam square again and mark the remaining 2 corners with your marker.

4e. Take the Zippered Strip and 1 of the 16″ x 16″ solid squares. Sew the right side of the solid square to the right side of the Zippered Strip (along the opposite edge where you just attached the bias strips) along all edges, using a 1/2″ seam, pivoting at each corner. Make sure your corners line up with the lines you marked. Zig-zag finish the seam.

4f. Take your Quilted Puff Square that you set aside in Step 4a. Sew it to the remaining edges of the Zippered strip, using a 1/2″ seam. Make sure your ties are tucked to the inside when sewing, and your corners line up with lines you marked. Zig-zag finish the seam.

4g. Turn your cushion right-side out. Press. Insert foam square.

And you’re done! Congratulations!!

I hope you’ve enjoyed working on this project! What a great way to jazz up your eating area! 

P.S. Linking up to Sew Modern Monday and Fabric Tuesday !

29 thoughts on “Tutorial: Junk in the Trunk Chair Cushions

  1. Ooooooh my goood! I loove it! I really really love this ideea.

    I have to read again ’cause my english failed me at some point, but I love it and really wanna do one too. Or two. Ok, maybe 6 :D.

    Thanks a lot, I am really excited about this ![quite obvious, huh? :D]

  2. Thanks so much for sharing this tutorial! Beautiful photos and wonderful explanations :) I’ve seen a few other tutorials, but not as lovely as yours. This is on my short to-sew list now. Thanks again!

  3. I just found your blog from lil blue boo’s blog. and I already love your blog!! My next click will be to follow your blog!!! I had a quick question. If I were to just make this bigger(as in more squares), essentially I could make one of those bubble quilts right. I think they are so cute and would be adorable to make as gifts!! :)

    thanks,
    kalynnsprettybows @ gmail.com

  4. Im new at sewing… and I prefer hand sewing. This looks like maybe it would be easy to do by hand also… especialy connecting the squares. What do you think?

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