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No Drama Llama Cushion by Bernadette Wainwright

Fancy trying a few new techniques? Why not make a fun ‘No Drama Llama’ cushion using needle turn applique with Apliquick tools or small sticks. I’ve also added some easy hand embroidery, just two different types of stitches and a little free machine embroidery.

You will need:

  • ½ Mtr of F.W. Fabric for the Cushion
  • Scraps of Fabric for the Llama and Bunting
  • Template for Llama and Bunting - link below
  • Firm Iron-On Interfacing for the Llama Applique
  • Fusible web/bonding agent for the Bunting
  • Stitch & Tear Temporary Stabilizer
  • Stix 2 Fabric Glue Pen
  • Apliquick® Rods or Small Sticks like Chop Sticks
  • Matching thread and contrast thread if desired
  • DMC Embroidery Threads in various
  • 10” Zip
  • 3” x 1¾” Trim for Llama Blanket
  • 1Mtr Pompom Trim for around the cushion
  • 12” Cushion Infill
  • Sewing machine

Time to Make: 5-6 Hours

Skill Level: Intermediate


    Before you start your project, gather all your supplies and have a quick read through the instructions just to familiarise yourself with the terminology. Press your fabric with a suitable iron temperature to ensure it is smooth and easy to work with. You would be amazed with the difference in size a few creases can make. Download the Template here
  1. Llama Cushion Cut the fabric for the front of the cushion, 12½” x 12½” (32cms x 32cms). For the back, two pieces 12½” x 6¾” (32cms x 17cms) and for the zip ends 3½” x 1½” (9cms x 4cms)

    Print off the Llama and bunting template. Place the interfacing over the Llama template, shiny (glue) side up. Trace the outline of the Llama onto the interfacing.
  2. Llama Cushion Carefully cut the Llama out of the interfacing on the drawn line.
  3. Llama Cushion Lay the cut out interfacing, shiny side down, on to the wrong side of the Llama fabric. Iron in place, this will now be stuck to the fabric.

    Cut out, leaving a scant ¼” seam allowance. Clip all concave curves to the edge of the interfacing, do not clip convex curves.
  4. Llama Cushion Llama Cushion Place the Llama face down on a flat mat. Working away from you, stroke some fabric glue onto the edge of the interfacing and seam allowance, add in sections rather than all around the shape at once to avoid the glue drying out too quickly.

    Using a rolling action and the Apliquick tools or small sticks, such as chop sticks, roll the seam allowance over the edge of the interfacing and stick down.

    You may like to practice this on some scraps first. Work all the way round the Llama
  5. Llama Cushion Trace the bunting design onto the reverse (paper side) of the fusible web 7 times. Select your fabrics for your bunting from your fabric stash. Roughly cut to size.

    Following the manufacturer’s instructions fuse the bonding agent or web onto the wrong side of these pieces. Cut on the line. Remove the backing paper. Play around until you are happy with the position of the bunting, iron in place.

    Place a 12” x 12” piece of Stitch & Tear on the reverse of the front panel, this will add stability for your stitching work. Pin in place. Position the Llama on the front panel and pin in place.
  6. Llama Cushion Free machine embroider the bunting to the front cushion panel. To do this you will need a free-motion or darning foot and your machine must have the ability to drop the feed dogs or have a plate to cover them. The feed dogs are the ‘teeth’ under the needle plate and they feed the fabric through.

    Once dropped you are in control of the stitch length, you are able to move the fabric, left to right, forwards or backwards, the faster you move the fabric the longer the stitches. It’s just like drawing but with a needle and thread.

    When you have finished the free machine embroidery, raise the feed dogs, these will not physically raise until you start sewing again so don’t panic if you don’t see them come up straight away.

    Sew under one end of the trim for the Llama blanket, this will be the bottom of the blanket and remain free. Turn under the other end and position on the Llama, sew through all thicknesses.
  7. Llama Cushion Working all around the Llama stitch in place, using tiny slip stitches and a matching thread.
  8. Llama Cushion Llama Cushion On the Llama, lightly mark the position of the mouth and eye, embroider, using 2 strands of DMC thread, and back stitch. Stitch the halter, again using two strands of DMC thread and back stitch.

    Add French Knots to the halter, use 6 strands of DMC, this can be a little tricky to get through all thicknesses so it is best to use a thimble to help push the needle through or reduce the number of strands to 4.
  9. Llama Cushion Lightly mark your wording on the front panel. Using 2 strands of DMC and back stitch embroider your wording ‘No Drama Llama’.
  10. Llama Cushion Press both zip tabs in half lengthwise, press each end under ¼”. Place the top and bottom of the zip between the folds. Stitch in place.
  11. Llama Cushion Position the zip face down onto one back section. Pin and tack if required. Using a zipper foot, stitch in place. Repeat for the other side, using the other back section.
  12. Llama Cushion Press the top and bottom of the cushion away from the zip. Topstitch down each side of the teeth, using a longer stitch length to secure the fabric and avoid it getting stuck in the teeth at a later date.
  13. Llama Cushion Starting at the bottom of the front panel pin, tack if required and sew the pompom trim around the cushion, clipping the trim at the corners so that the fabric lies flat. I always use a zipper foot which will help to get close to the trim.
  14. Llama Cushion Llama Cushion Open the zip about half way down, this is really important as if you leave it closed you won’t be able to turn your cushion the right way out when you have finished. Place the front and back of the cushion right sides together, pin, tack if required, then sew all the way round. Trim at the corners to reduce bulk and give a smoother corner. Turn your cushion right side out and insert the infill.
  15. Congratulations, your ‘No Drama Llama’ cushion is complete.