Monster Maze Crochet Cushion Tutorial

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I made this Monster Maze cushion for my boys.  I used Drops Cotton Light which is perfect for the summer and has worked up with a nice firm texture which is great for a kids project. The aim is for little fingers to be able to trace the maze around the cushion – taking care to avoid the lurking monsters!

We’d love to know what you think! Leave us a comment here.

You Will Need:

  • Drops Cotton Light – Jeans Blue (26) 300g
  • Drops Cotton Light – Green (11) 200g
  • Drops Cotton Light – Yellow (28) 50g
  • 4.5mm & 4mm Hooks
  • 10 Buttons to decorate (more details in how I made these below).
  • A 45 x 45cm Cushion Pad.

The yarn was all purchased from http://www.woolwarehouse.co.uk/

This pattern is written using UK crochet terms.

Tension: Working in rows of double crochet with a 4.5mm hook 5cm = 10 stitches wide by 10 rows high. If your tension is different from this, change your hook size to suit.

The Maze Panel

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Each square in the grid represents one double crochet.

The maze panel is worked in rows of double crochet, using a 4.5mm hook

The panel is going to be 72 stitches wide by 72 rows high. To start, work a chain of 73 stitches long in the Jeans Blue yarn.

Starting in the 2nd chain from the hook, work 1 double crochet in each chain.
At the end of the row, work 1 chain and turn.

*1 DC in each of the 72 DC from the previous row, 1ch, turn* work from * to * 3 times so that you have 4 rows in the Jeans Blue.

You may notice that I’m not treating the 1ch as the first double crochet in the row – this is just because I don’t like working this way, I always find it tricky to work into the chain stitch and so I’ve now decided to throw caution to the wind and not bother! I simply do a chain at the end of each row to turn the work and get me into the right place, then work a double crochet into each double crochet from the previous row. I know it’s not how it’s done ‘properly’ but I find it easier, so it’s the method I use 🙂

You now need to start working from the grid using both the Jeans blue and the Green yarn. Each square on the grid represents 1 DC stitch.

How to Change Colour

Changing colour when working in double crochet is very easy – you just need to remember a couple of things. The first thing is that the stitch BEFORE the new colour is important – work your double crochet as normal (hook into stitch, yarn over hook and bring through a loop) but change colour now, so that you do the final yarn over hook and pull through in the new colour.

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Work the first half of the stitch as normal

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This is my last green double crochet before I swap to blue. I’ve inserted the hook into the stitch below and pulled through one loop of the green – giving me two green loops on the hook

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Now rather than looping round the green yarn as I would on a ‘normal’ stitch, to change colours I hook the blue yarn.

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Now you’ll finish the stitch with a blue loop on your hook and you’ll get a neat colour change.

The second thing for this pattern is that I have carried along the yarn colour that I’m not using, forming the double crochet stitches over the top of the yarn colour that isn’t in use. This has the advantage of making both the front and the back of the work very neat, and adding extra weight to the finished panel. To make sure that the work is an even texture, make sure that yarn that you are carrying is kept taut.

To carry the yarn along, when the hook goes into the stitch, the yarn to be carried needs to be laying over the hook.

To carry the yarn along, when the hook goes into the stitch, the yarn to be carried needs to be laying over the hook.

Work the double crochet as usual.

Work the double crochet as usual.

The green double crochet stitches are worked as normal and the blue yarn is carried along ready for when you need it.

The green double crochet stitches are worked as normal and the blue yarn is carried along ready for when you need it.

Using the grid, work across the even number rows from right to left and the odd number rows from left to right.

As you are carrying the yarn colour you’re not using with you, you’ll find that when you reach the end of a row you have the blue yarn that is in use and the green yarn too. Just make 1 chain, turn the work and then continue to work in the blue, encasing the green yarn in the stitches as you work.

Continue to work up the grid, finishing with the last 4 rows in blue – there is no need to carry the green yarn through these last rows as you will not need it again.

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Edging the maze pattern.

To edge the maze pattern in yellow, using a 4mm hook, hold the yellow wool at the back of the panel, insert the hook and pull through a loop, insert the hook again 1 stitch further along and pull through a second loop. Pull the second loop through the first one and continue.

Well done – you’ve finished the difficult part!

The Cushion Back

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Simple stripes for the cushion back.

The cushion back is worked in stripes of double crochet, to save having to sew in lots of ends, carry the colours up the side of the panel – they’ll be hidden when you work the edging round.

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Carrying the yarn neatly up the side of the back panel saves having to sew in lots of ends!

73 Ch, DC into 2nd Chain from hook, work 1 DC into each chain.

1CH, turn work, 72 DC

Change colour to green yarn.

*1CH, turn work, 72 DC* work from *t0* 2 times

Chaing colur to blue yarn.

*1CH, turn work, 72 DC* work from *t0* 2 times

Continue to work rows of stripes until you have 72 rows.

The Edging

The edging is worked in the same way for both the front and back panels.

With the right side of the panel facing you, attach the blue yarn at any point along the side of the panel and work 1 CH.  Along the sides, work 1 DC into each row and at the top and bottom work 1 DC into each DC from the panel. At every corner work 2CH. Slip stitch into initial CH to finish the round.

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First round of edging along the side of the back panel

Attach green yarn, 1 CH and continue to work 1DC into each DC from the previous round. At the corners work 1DC, 2CH, 1DC into the 2CH space. Finish round with a slip stitch into the initial 1 CH

Attach Blue yarn and continue to work 4 more rows of edging in the same way as above – 1DC in each DC from the previous round with 1DC, 2CH, 1DC into each 2 CH corner space. Finish round with a slip stitch into the initial chain of that round and fasten off yarn.

The yellow outline is worked in the same way as on the front panel. Work the yellow following the line that marks the edge of the panel and the start of the border.

Make the border in the same way for both the front and back panel.

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Add the yellow where the panel meets the edging.

Add the Buttons!

I decided that to make my maze cushion more fun, I should add monster buttons to lurk in the dead ends (thanks to Karey for that inspiration!). Being me, I decided to make buttons out of Fimo (polymer clay), but you could buy pre-made buttons (try somewhere like this http://www.beadandbuttoncompany.co.uk/) or just go for regular brightly coloured buttons.

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Fimo monster buttons!

I went for an arrow button for the top left to mark the start, a chequered flag for the finish and little green and blue beasties for along the way. I normally only play with Fimo with my kids, so I’m certainly lacking some skills, but the results are quite cute. From what I’ve read on the web, it’s fine to machine wash fimo buttons – but if you are in any doubt, remove them before washing.

To Finish

To finish off the cushion, sew in all the ends and sew the buttons into place.

With right sides facing out, lay the cushion front onto the back. Attach the yarn and line up the edges, holding the front panel facing you. DC to fasten the two panels together – lining up the stitches and catching the back loop of the stitch from the front panel and the front loop of the corresponding stitch on the back panel.

I decided to attach the front to the back using double crochet and as I’m using a polyester cushion pad if it ever needs to go into the wash I can either just pull back the row of DC that joins the front to the back or be lazy (which has been known in the past) and put the entire thing, cover and pad into the washing machine.

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The row of double crochet makes a nice neat join.

Well done – you’re all finished, make yourself a cup of tea and sit back to enjoy what you’ve created.

We’d love to hear what you think, or if you need any pattern support please do leave a comment here.

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Quick Quilt For My Boy

 

So, back many moons ago when I still had two brain cells to rub together, I read Geography at university. Although I was never much of an academic, I do have a deep seated love of maps and anything mappy. I had been pondering for a while on making a quilt for my 8 year old boy, but was struggling with fabric ideas – I wanted something that was boyish, but not too young that he would grow out of it too soon. So, when one day I was browsing fabric online (as you do) and I saw this new range of fabrics from Riley Blake, I was a very happy girl. It’s just lovely, although at the time I did have to search for a while to find a UK stockist, but then I came up trumps with Plush Addict  – and I was very, very happy to receive my bundle of fat quarters.

Now, I’m no genius quilter, I’m just happy with doing the basics and can make a passable job of a simple quilt. I have got into a habit of backing my quilts onto polar fleece. In my opinion it makes it cheaper (backing fabric and batting in one), slightly quicker and is soft and very easy to wash. My only reservation has been the polyester-ness of fleece. So, I was thrilled with the idea of bamboo fleece (also from Plush Addict) – all the soft loveliness of fleece but with the natural qualities of bamboo. It does seem to come in quite a limited number of colours, but as one of those happens to be the charcoal grey you can see the world maps printed in below, I was a happy girl.

 

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This fabric started off the whole idea…..

 

The fabric then lurked around in our spare room for a while, as these things do, until my son heading off to Cub Camp (for which he’d need a camp blanket) spurred me into action and I hatched a plan.

I wanted the quilt to be quick and easy – so I toyed with a lot of ideas and ended up with this as my plan. I’d cut the majority of my FQs up into strips 5cm, 10cm and 20cm wide, pretty much at random. I kept the world map fabric and the orange text fabric as whole FQ’s as I wanted to be able to see big patches of them in my finished design.

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I cut the fabric into strips – 5cm, 10cm and 20cm

I then stitched together my strips to make giant strips, the width I wanted my finished quilt to be. Now, one of the thing I’m rubbish at is being able to calculate what size of finished quilt I’ll end up with from the fabric I have – but I was going for something about single bed size.

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I then sewed together my strips to created giant stripes the width I wanted my finished quilt to be.

As I stitched the strips together I was random in my selection of fabrics, the only rule being not to have two of the same next to each other (because that would just be silly).

Once I’d made 4 of these giant strips, I cut along their length into widths of 5cm, 10cm and 20cm. I then mixed up all my quilt-width-strips and sewed them together, turning them round and mixing them up to get a random pattern.

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My finished quilt top…

To finish off, I added a border of unbleached cotton. I then pinned my quilt top onto my bamboo fleece fabric and stitched in the ditch across each of the stripes to attach the quilt top to the fleece.

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Finished!


I had some fabric scraps left over, so I used these to make the binding.

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The colour and weight of the bamboo fleece makes a perfect backing fabric – it has a lovely drape to it, it’s soft and not too bulky.

I’m happy with the finished result, and perhaps more importantly, so is the recipient. I’ll certainly be using bamboo fleece again, it has a lovely feel, good drape and is comfortable to snuggle up in. Now I just have to come up with another boy-friendly quilt idea for the smaller of my two boys….

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All done! One quilt for my big boy.

JP x