Pouf! A Stash-Busting Cushion Tutorial

My morning ritual with my scrappy floor cushion.

Cue the Pandemic

Like so many others, I had hopes that quarantine would finally transform my sporadic yoga habit into a magical daily practice. By the time summer 2020 rolled around, I could muster four or five days at a time but still found myself falling off the mat for weeks at a time. (At least my lack of dedication was known only to the YouTube algorithms!) Lucky for me, whenever I was ready to restart, the incredible Adriene of Yoga with Adriene was always there. 

Great at what she does, Adriene consistently reminds her viewers to grab a pillow and ‘support those hips’ in each practice. Wadded pillows and towels had been getting the job done, but the maker in me knew there was an opportunity to do better. I began brainstorming a DIY floor cushion, hoping that a cuter form of support would provide the daily dose of inspiration (not to mention motivation!) I’d been looking for.

Then, with spring, came the prospect of spring-cleaning, and I became excited by the idea of a scrappy/ scrap-filled floor cushion. The perfect excuse to look through the many beautiful scraps taking-up space in my sewing room! 

Shining a little light on those inflexible, dark places with the help of my Bolt Culottes.

Windows open, music on, let’s clean!

My spring cleaning method begins in a very organized fashion: dump everything out of its current home, leaving no drawer unturned and no scraps forgotten!

It can be overwhelming, but allowing the fabrics to speak for themselves creates a world of possibility. I found a few worthy scraps in my personal stash but needed to turn to The Confident Stitch’s scrap pile to make my cushion the size I wanted. Whenever a quilting cotton bolt reaches its end, we cut out fat quarters if available and the rest goes to the scrap box that lives in the back room. It’s easy to imagine how mythic the scrap pile can become!

An old length of rope made the perfect piped edge.

Triangle + Triangle = Circle

Now it was time to start digging through that gargantuan scrap pile! Maisie – in the process of looking through the box herself – had just compiled a wonderful list of scrappy projects, so I knew it would yield the pouf inspiration I was searching for.

As mentioned, I let the fabrics speak for themselves and soon had a substantial pile of soft hues. Most of the scraps I’d chosen were about three inches wide and 44 inches long, so it was time to employ a little geometry. I “calculated” that enough triangles sewn together would eventually create a circle. Sure enough, it did! The only clue to my laissez-faire assembly method was the two-inch-wide hole at the center of my scrappy circle. Nothing an oversized button couldn’t fix! Now I just needed an oversized button…

Perfectly pickled.

In A Pickle

Just as I struggle to throw away the tiniest of fabric scraps, I tend to hang on tight to anything that could be reused.  Moreover, living in an apartment complex in a town that doesn’t recycle glass – my favorite reusable item – only enables my accumulator tendencies. Sigh. . . best not to dwell on it too long.

Anyway, pondering the oblong hole in my cushion, I perused my cabinets for something just right, and (because I am a hoarder of useful objects) I found it in the form of a pickle jar lid. It was perfect! With a little batting and a cute scrap, I soon had an adorable button big enough to finish the cushion center. I stuffed the cushion with even more scraps until it provided what I thought would be enough lift for my tight hips, and voila! I was left with a cushion that was a 100% scrappy, inside and out – just the way I like it!

Making Makes Perfect

Having a cute floor cushion really did inspire me to spend more time stretching. I found myself settling into the cushion at every opportunity. The only issue was the size – it was huge! Plus being filled with scraps, it weighed a ton! But that’s what makes a maker – you make, you learn, you make again! I deconstructed the cushion and cut it down to a much more reasonable size and weight. Now I have an adorable, perfectly sized, scrappy floor cushion! 

An Easy Alternative

The Closet Core Pouf pattern (it looks a lot like mine!)

My process for making this floor cushion is textbook ‘experiential learning’. And that’s the way I like it! Each time I look at my floor cushion I’m filled with pride. I made this! Out of garbage! I’m amazing! I brought my make to show off at The Confident Stitch and was surprised by Masie’s response. “Ohhh so cute! Is that the Closet Core Pouf Pattern?!”

While I went about making my floor cushion the hard way, Closet Core was releasing an easy-breezy (not to mention FREE) PDF pattern! Though I may have taken the more complicated route, I don’t regret it for one second. We all have different styles of sewing and making, but it doesn’t matter how we get the job done, just that we enjoy the process along the way.

Pouf-La-La

Taking time to mindfully make allows us to be certain that everything is just sew. Each morning, tea and notebook in hand, I settle down and take the time to warm-up my brain and body for the day ahead. Adriene isn’t kidding when she says the magic happens with daily practice. Whether it’s yoga, sewing, or a quick cup of tea; taking a few minutes each day to be present builds a lifelong practice.

What ‘just sew’ makes have you been perfecting in your mind? As you spring clean your sewing space this year, let the fabrics speak for themselves. You may find that those scraps are exactly what you need – in more ways than one!

Happy scrap busting!

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