I have looked at folded star somerset patchwork before now and thought that it was truly beautiful but looked too fiddly for me. Usually folded star patchwork is used in a medallion quilt or is set in a circle for a cushion cover. I have used only two fabrics for this cushion pattern but it would be possible to use more fabrics within each layer of the star – just keep light and dark separate. It’s the contrast between the layers that is important. Equally important is to use a fabric that presses well and will retain the crease marks when you fold it.
The backing for the somerset patchwork
For the backing of the folded star take an 18″ square of plain fabric and iron a fold in each direction as shown to give the basic framework for the patchwork. Do this by folding the square in half and ironing the fold. Keep folding the square in half along different directions so that you get a fold across both the centre lines and along each diagonal.
Rounds one and two of the somerset patchwork
For the first round of the somerset patchwork star, you will need four rectangles 2.1/2″ by 1.1/2″ and for the next round you will need eight rectangles the same size. Fold the and press a 1/4″ seam along one long edge of the rectangle. Find the centre of the folded edge (by folding it in half) and fold down one top corner to the centre of the bottom edge. Repeat with the other top corner. Press.
For the first round of somerset patchwork, place four of the light triangles folded side up with their tips in the centre, the fold running along one of the folds in the backing fabric and the edges of the triangle running along the creases either side. Stitch across the fold in the triangle and stitch through the triangle and the backing fabric to hold it in place. Baste around the square you have created.
For the second round of somerset patchwork, make eight folded triangles of the dark fabric. Place these one by one with the tips 1/2″ from the centre of the star. Line up the centre fold of each triangle with one of the creases in the backing fabric. The sides of the triangles will overlap each other. If you work clockwise from the first triangle, each one will automatically overlap the triangle to its right. For the eighth triangle, tuck its left hand side under the first triangle just to keep the overlaps even. As with the first round, stitch across the fold of each triangle and stitch it to the backing fabric before moving on to the next triangle. Trim the corners of the triangles and baste around the base of the triangles.
Round three of the somerset patchwork
For round three of the somerset patchwork star, repeat the process with eight light triangles. Place the points of the triangles 1/2″ from the points of the dark triangles of the second round. Baste around the bases of the triangles and trim the corners.
Round four of the somerset patchwork
Begin round four with eight dark triangles and place them with the points 1/2″ from the points of the light triangles used in round three. Then create another eight dark triangles and place them inbetween the first eight triangles with the points just at the point of the dark star of round two. Stitch the points in place and baste round the bases of the triangles.
Round five of the somerset patchwork
For round five I used 5″ by 2.1/2″ rectangles of fabric to make it more easy to frame the star. Cut sixteen of these and fold as before. Place eight of the triangles with the point 1/2″ away from the points of the brown triangles from round four. Place the remaining eight triangles between the first eight, again with the points 1/2″ from the brown points.
Lay your ruler with the 3.1/2″ line running through the middle of the somerset patchwork and draw a line 3.1/2″ away from the middle. Repeat with lines at right angles so that you create a square with 7″ sides around the folded star patchwork.
Framing the somerset patchwork star
In order to frame the somerset patchwork to make it suitable for a cushion cover, I decided to use a 1″ strip of dark fabric (to give a 1/2″ strip finished size) and triangles so that the folded star would be on point – like a diamond rather than a square. Cut two 5.1/2″ squares in the contrasting fabric and cut them along the diagonal to make four triangles. To the long edge of each of these sew a 7.1/2″ strip of 1″ wide dark fabric.
With right sides together, match the edge of the dark fabric to one of the lines you have just drawn. Sew in place, starting and stopping stitching 1/4″ from each end. flip this triangle over before you sew the second triangle and start stitching at the point that you finished stitching the previous side. Flip all the triangles over and pin in place.
To finish the front I wanted a little more framing so I used 2″ strips of the dark fabric. Cut two 10.3/4″ strips to place on each side and two 13.3/4″ strips to go on top and bottom. Trim the backing fabric to the edge of the somerset patchwork.
Make the somerset patchwork into a cushion
Cut a rectangle for the back of the cushion cover about 14″ by 36″. Turn under a double hem on each short edge of the rectangle to hide the raw edges.
Place the somerset patchwork panel with right side up on the cushion backing, also right side up. Place the patchwork in the middle so that you have about 11″ of the cushion backing extending above and below the patchwork. Fold one end of the backing up over the somerset patchwork.
Fold the other end of the cushion backing down over the patchwork. The two ends of the cushion backing should overlap by about 8″. This makes the envelop which will be at the back of the cushion to enable you to insert the cushion pad.
Using a 1/4″ seam, sew all round the square. Check that you have caught all the layers of fabric in your stitching. Clip the corners to give neater corners to the cushion. Zigzag all round the edges to prevent fraying.
Turn the cushion cover right side out through the gap created by the overlap in the backing. That’s the somerset patchwork cushion complete.
Here’s the video: