Super Nova! Small patchwork cushion tutorial

Super Nova small patchwork cushion

Mix and match 60-degree triangles to make a trio of colourful cushions by Jemima Flendt. This is the first of three tutorials where we’ll show you how to sew a patchwork cushion in three ways. We’ll talk you through how to piece and sew a trio of on-trend geometric cushions (pictured below). Let’s get started with the small (16in) cushion of the set. We’ll post the other two Super Nova cushions to match here on the blog in the coming days so watch out to complete the set! The fabric listed below will be enough for you to make the set of three. You’ll need roughly a third of the amount of fabric if you’r just making this one cushion but if so then you may need to do a spot of quilt maths before you go fabric shopping! See more of Jemima’s designs over at or follow her on instagram @tiedwitharibbon.

Super Nova patchwork cushions

You will need (for the set of 3 Super Nova cushions)

  • Print fabrics: ten (10) fat eighths
  • Background fabric (white): 118yd
  • Backing fabric: 134yd
  • Batting: 34yd x 212yd
  • Binding: 34yd
  • Cushion back fabric: 158yd
  • Batting: one (1) 1612in square, one (1) 2312in square and one (1) 25 in x 1512in rectangle
  • Binding: 34yd
  • Cushion pad: one (1) 16in square, one (1) 23in square and one (1) 2412in x 15in


  • Seam allowances are 14in, unless otherwise noted.
  • RST = right sides together.
  • WOF = width of fabric.
  • WST = wrong sides together.

We’ve used…

We’ve Art Gallery Fabrics in the following prints:

  • Ocean Breeze and Raspberry Tart from the Nature Elements collection.
  • Capri Blue and Shocking Pink from the Floral Elements collection.
  • Sapphire, Amethyst and Crocus from the Oval Elements collection.
  • Snow, Parisian Blue, Fresh Water, Mirage Blue and Raspberry Rose from the Pure Elements collection

Top tip: Spray starch your fabrics before you cut to prevent distorting your bias edges

How to sew a small cushion

How to sew the small Super Nova cushion

Finished size

16in square approx

Cutting out

Step one: From the white fabric cut four (4) 212in x WOF strips. Subcut to give eighty (80) 212in 60-degree triangles.

How to cut 60-degree triangles

Step two: From the print fabrics cut:

  • Four (4) 21/2in 60-degree triangles from each of seven (7) different prints.
  • Seven (7) 21/2in 60-degree triangles from one (1) print.
  • Three (3) 21/2in 60-degree triangles from one (1) print.
  • Two (2) 21/2in 60-degree triangles from one (1) print.

You will have forty (40) triangles in total.

Cutting out the 60-degree triangles

Step three: From the cushion back fabric cut two (2) 1612in x 1112in rectangles.

Step four: From the binding fabric cut two (2) 212in x WOF strips.

Making the cushion top

Step five: Arrange the white and print fabric triangles into eight rows of fifteen triangles each, experimenting with different print placements and rotating alternate triangles by 180 degrees so that the triangles tessellate.

small patchwork cushion layout diagram

Step six: Sew the triangles together one row at a time. Start by taking the first triangle and placing it right side up. Insert a pin centrally in the triangle, with the pin’s head facing towards the top edge of the triangle. The pin is a useful marker to ensure you keep the rows correctly orientated when sewing. Take the second triangle in the row and place it RST with the first triangle and pin along the edge to be joined, placing the pins at right angles to the seam. This will help to avoid any bias stretch as you sew.

Super Nova cushions Fig A

Fig A

Step seven: Sew the triangles together. Open out and finger press the second triangle to the right.

How to sew a patchwork cushion Fig B

Fig B

Step eight: Take the third triangle and place it RST with the second triangle. Pin in place and then repeat steps 6–7 to join. Open out and finger press the third triangle to the right.

How to sew a patchwork cushion Fig C

Fig C

How to sew a patchwork cushion Fig D

Fig D

How to sew a patchwork cushion Fig E

Fig E

Step nine: Repeat step eight to add the remaining triangles to the row. Once you have sewn the entire row, press the seams and trim off any dog ears.

Step ten: Repeat steps 6–9 to make the remaining rows. Alternate rows will start with a triangle that’s orientated in the opposite direction to the previous row.

How to sew a patchwork cushion Fig F

Fig F

Step 11: Join the rows, making sure you carefully pin the points of your triangles in place before you sew. Press the seams open.

Step 12: Trim the cushion top to 1612in square, making sure to leave a 14in seam allowance to avoid losing the points of the triangles when binding.

How to sew a patchwork cushion Fig G

Fig G

Quilting and finishing

Step 13: Place your cushion top on top of the 1612in batting square and baste in place. Quilt as desired. Jemima quilted a variety of diagonal lines. Trim off the excess batting.

Step 14: Take the two (2) 1612in x 1112in cushion back rectangles. On one long edge of each rectangle turn over a 14in seam to the wrong side, then turn over another 1in and press. Topstitch the folded edge to secure. These are the cushion back pieces.

Step 15: Place the quilted cushion front right side down. WST and matching up the raw edges place one cushion back piece on top with the neatened seam running across the centre of the cushion. Then in the same way place the second cushion back piece on top – the cushion back pieces will overlap. Pin or clip all around. Stitching through all of the layers, machine baste all around the perimeter stitching approx 18in from the edge.

Step 16: Join the binding strips together end-to-end using a diagonal seam. Press the seam open and trim away the dog ears. Fold in half lengthwise, WST, and press.

Step 17: Sew the binding to the right side of the cushion using a 14in seam, folding a mitre at each corner. Fold the binding over to the back of the cushion and then hand stitch in place to finish.

Small patchwork cushion Super Nova

Complete the set!

Had fun making this cushion? We’ll show you how to make Jemima’s large hexagon cushion and rectangle triangles cushion in the next few days!

rectangle cushion