When we added a deck to our house a few years back, we chose a dark grey decking material – SPOILER ALERT: dark grey soaks in loads of heat from the sunshine on our south facing backyard which means that the decking is hot hot HOOOOT sometimes. Don’t worry, we have rugs and other things down so that our little feet don’t get scorched, BUUUUUT I’ve always wanted to make some giant outdoor floor pillows/cushions! This gives us more seating (especially for kiddos when we BBQ) or just adds some alternate cozy options for late nights outdise by the bonfire or night swimming.
Soooooooo! I have a quite simple and SUPPPPER customizing fruit slice outdoor floor cushion pattern for you! This entire pillow can be made to the fruit of your liking by swapping out the colors and even be sized to your ideal size by just sizing up or down my dimensions listed below!
I found some pretty happy and “fruity” colors at my local fabric store, so it sort-of dictated the fruits that I decided to make – an orange, a watermelon and a lime! All of the fabrics I purchased were outdoor “sunbrella” brand fabric which is outdoor fabric that has held up for me in projects past so well – we tend to leave cushions and pillows outdoors through wind, rain and sun and this fabric, so far, has been great (although 100% no necessary, so just find what you love and go with that)! 🙂
Also, one other note: I chose to only use interfacing for the smaller watermelon seeds….everything else was easy to pin and stick down, BUUUUUT depending on what kind of fabric you have, interfacing could be SO helpful! I would say that if you have fabric that frays a lot, you can benefit from having an “extra sturdiness” around the edges when cut and the interfacing helps!
- Thick, dense foam for cushions – I chose one big long huge piece that I could cut
- Straight pins
- Coordinating thread
- Your favorite sewing machine (I’m using the amazing Janome Memory Craft 6650 for this and this thing is AMAZING and can easily cut through ALL the layers of outdoor fabric to make this project a breeze).
- Optional fusible interfacing for sticking parts down before appliqué
- A heavy duty zipper (or a hand stitching needle and thread for closing the pillow)
- A pin, piece of string and scrap of yarn for making a circle
- A straight edge for cutting foam if needed – like an artist cutting knife or a sharp box cutter
Fabric needs for citrus slices: (keep in mind that my cushion was about a 24” circle…so if your cushions are bigger or smaller, you can adjust yardage accordingly…..and all fabric was outdoor canvas that was already pre-treated for staying outdoors if needed):
- 1 yard of the “outside” fabric (the peel sides, backing and front)
- 3/4 yard white for the pith
- 3/4 yard of a shade lighter than your outside fabric for the fruit (ie, lighter orange for an orange, lighter green for a lime, etc)
- optional black or white extras for seeds
Fabric needs for watermelon: (again, keep in mind my measurements for my finished cushion and adjust accordingly):
- 3/4 yard darker green fabric for rind (I didn’t find darker green so I just painted some “rind” marks on on my outside edges) 🙂
- 3/4 yard lighter green fabric for inside
- 3/4 yard red fabric for fruit
- small amount of black for seeds
1. Cut out your foam
Cut your foam to your desired size. I purchased a HUUUUGE sheet that was 24” by 75” long and cut it down into 3 24” squares and then into circles. I used a straight pin, a tape measure and a piece of yarn for measuring this circle. I did the fashioned trick of pushing the pin into the center of the foam square and then tying a piece of string with a pencil to draw a circle to cut.
I used a sharp artist knife to carefully cut out the circles as best as possible. I also kinda carved them down along the 90* edges so that it had some curve to the foam 🙂
2. Measure and cut your fabric
**please note that if you choose to use interfacing, you will want to iron your interfacing to the backside of your fabric BEFORE cutting according to your the package instructions on the brand of interfacing that you purchased! 🙂
I only used interfacing on the smaller black watermelon seeds (my fingers can never get smaller pieces to stay in place).
For the citrus slices:
- Largest outside front and back to approx. a 24” circle (quantity 2 of these)
- 5” strips from the same outside fabric in enough length or yardage to go around the circumference of your cushion piece (cut this to however “high” your foam is)
- Inside white piece (essentially the “pith”) to approx. a 22” circle
- The inside fruit color to approx. a 21” circle – then cut the inside fruit circle into triangles for the actual “fruit” part (see pics below on how I did that)! 🙂
- Seeds and other details too however large and quantities you want those to be
For the watermelon:
- From both your lighter green and dark green, cut approx. a 24” circle (quantity 1 of each color)
- 5” strips from your dark green in enough length or yardage to go around the circumference of your cushion piece (or cut to however “high” your foam is)
- Red inside fruit piece cut to approx. a 22” circle
- A handful of black seeds or any other details you want 🙂
3. Appliqué the front of your cushion
Lay out your fruit pieces and begin to appliqué each piece on. When appliquéing it is important to stay consistent with your stitch “overlapping” both pieces of fabric that you are stitching together. I chose a simple zig-zag stitch and adjusted it to be “closer together” on my sewing machine. Begin with your seeds first – appliqué those on with coordination thread.
Then appliqué your fruit to the white pith or the green rind.
Then finally you will appliqué the white part to the background front of your fruit.
This is all essentially done in layers from top to bottom 🙂
4. Add your sides to the front piece
Start building this all together by pinning in place your 5” sides (or whatever size you have) to the front of your cushion, right sides together. Work all the way around until you get to the start and sew in place using a 1/4” seam allowance.
5. Add a zipper (if you choose to)
Pin your zipper, the right side facing the right side of the fabric, and stitch in place using your zipper foot! 🙂 Be sure to backstitch along the beginning and ending of the zipper so that it stays in place SUPER well 🙂
6.. Add back, put in cushion and stitch closed! 🙂
Right sides together, you will now pin the “back” side of your fruit onto the sides that were just sewn in step 4, right sides together. I suggest finger pressing the back circle AND the sides/front from step 4 in quarters…..you will match up these 4 lines or “sections” so that you pin evenly all the way around. Do this the best that you can so that you aren’t left with gapping holes or fold overs for the backside 🙂 Then carefully stitch in place so that everything is finished!
If you skip step 5: BE SURE TO LEAVE A SECTION OPEN that is un-sewn for the cushion if you choose to hand-stitch. And be sure to leave a big enough opening to fit your cushion in depending on the size and depth! 🙂
The last part is to turn your fruit slice cover right sides out and then stuff your cushion (with all of your might) into your pillow! 🙂