Making Up A Needlepoint Cushion/Pillow
You will need:
Your blocked canvas
Piece of backing fabric
Sewing machine, pins, needle, thread
Cushion inner (35 x 35 for a really "stuffed" looking cushion, a bit smaller if you want it a bit flatter)
Piping cord (optional) – enough to go around the cushion plus about 6 cm.
Trim your canvas to a 2cm seam allowance.
Cut a piece of backing fabric to the same size (I have used a lovely old upcycled teatowel).
Pin the canvas and backing fabric right sides together and stitch, leaving a decent sized hole on the bottom edge (this is where you will insert your cushion inner).
Sew your seam one stitch inside the edge of your needlework to prevent the white canvas showing through once you turn your cushion the right way out. This row is charmingly called the “sacrifice row”.
Press your seam allowance on the backing fabric and stitch all the way around to neaten the edges (or overlock).
Snip off the corners of your canvas and stitch the bias binding over the rough edge all the way around. (You don't have to do this as the canvas won't fray but I think it looks neater).
Press the seams open and turn your cushion right side out. Use the end of a chopstick or something similar to push out the corners. This can be tricky - you don't want to push so hard that you do some damage, but you do want to have nice sharp corners.
Once your cushion is the right way out, press again. Do this on the backing fabric side, not the wool side. Stuff your inner in and slip stitch the hole closed except for a small gap where you will put the ends of the piping.
Slip stitch your piping around the cushion starting at one side of the hole you have left in the bottom of the cushion (leave 3cms of cord free). Attach the cord all the way around until you get to the other side of the hole.
If you were going to do this properly you would neaten off both ends of your piping cord by winding cotton around and around and around until you had a nice, neat end, the way old school sailors used to do. Me, I just use sellotape. Who will know once you've tucked the ends inside?!
Poke the ends of the piping into the hole you left at the bottom of the cushion and slip stitch the gap closed.