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How To Make An Applique Hexagon Patchwork Cushion

These gorgeous hexagon patchwork cushions/pillows were made by my sister Tasha. She used a fabric called China Doll by Michael Miller to give it a retro Chinese feel, which really fits in with the decor of her house.

Both my sister and I were born and raised in Hong Kong. This has had an influence on some of our decor and crafting choices. I made some Chinese paper lanterns for the Chinese New Year. In my garden, I have some upcycled tin can faux Ming vases. My upcycled craft cupboard also in a Chinoise style.

I also love hexagon crafts and DIYs, so this cushion fitted right in.

Shanghai poster

How to Make A Hexagon Patchwork Cushion/Pillow

If Chinoise is not your style, you can use any patterned fabric to make these gorgeous cushions.

This is a really easy hand-sewn craft suitable for all levels. It is so easy to make your own hexagon patchwork cushion. Appliqueing hexagons to an existing cushion cover makes it a quicker craft than patchworking a whole cushion.

It is a quick way to update any plain cushions/pillows you have by adding some applique hexagons to the front.

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What You Need to Make a hexagon patchwork cushion

  • 3 to 4 different color fabrics. The fabric used here was China Doll by Michael Miller which can be purchase online. A fat quarter of each colorway should give you enough fabric for several cushions.
  • Rotary cutter or scissors
  • 3-inch Paper hexagon squares. These can be bought cheaply on-line or you can cut your own.
  • Ruler
  • Needle & Pins
  • Black thread for tacking
  • Thread to match the fabric
  • Cutting Board
  • Double-sided sticky tape
  • IKEA Gurli 50cm X 50cm cushion cover. Any plain cushion cover will do.
Applique Patchwork Cushion

How to make Applique Patchwork Cushion

The applique patchwork hexagons are attached to the cushions/pillows using a method that is sometimes referred to as English Paper Piecing. This method makes it easier to get neat shapes and angles with appliqued shapes.

1.. First,  iron fabric to make sure it’s completely flat before you start. Then, stick the double side tape to the middle of a paper hexagon. Stick the hexagon to the reverse side of your fabric where you want the pattern.

Paper hexagon on fabric

2. Next, using a ruler to get a 1cm edge around the hexagon, cut the fabric with a rotary cutter. Repeat with your chosen fabric pieces, you will need 7 hexagons for each cushion.

Cutting the fabric hexagons
cut hexagon fabrics

3. Next, tack the fabric to the paper hexagons. To do this first make sure the paper hexagon is centered and then secure to fabric with a pin. Fold the fabric edge over the paper hexagon and using a contrasting thread tack the folded fabric edge to the paper hexagon.

Continue tacking around the whole hexagon. Folding the fabric over the paper as you go around. When you have finished, don’t knot the end of your thread, as you will be pulling this out later.

tacked hexagons

4. Next, decided on how you want your 7 hexagons to fit together. I arranged mine with one center hexagon and 6 around the edge.

Arranged hexagons design for hexagon patchwork pillow

5. Then,  using the arranged design as your guide. whip stitch the hexagons together. Stitching at the very edges of the hexagons, just going through the fabric and not the paper hexagons.

Sewing the hexagons together

 6. When finished stitching the hexagon patchwork together, you will end up with a neatly sewn fabric panel consisting of seven hexagons. Carefully pin this to the cushion cover.

applique hexagon patchwork

Appliqueing The Hexagons

7. Next, Start the applique with the middle fabric hexagon. Use a thread that matches your fabric and a small running stitch neatly sew the hexagon to the cushion cover. Your stitches should go all around the very edge of the hexagon.

Bear in mind, you will need to remove the paper hexagons. However, it is easier if you can keep the paper hexagons in the patchwork panel as long as possible. As the panel keeps its shape better and is easier to work with.

That means on the outer hexagon, the paper stays in until you have appliqued all but the last side. Then, whip out the paper hexagon before attaching the last side of the hexagon to the cushion.

8. Repeat, this time going around the outer edge of the whole hexagon panel. This should be enough to securely attach the hexagons to the cushion cover.

Hexagon Patchwork Cushion
Applique patchwork cushion


This is a lovely project to do, as you don’t need to get your sewing machine out. It can be done slowly over time in the evenings while watching TV. The final cushion looks great I love the retro feel of the fabric and the patchwork effect.
These hexagon patchwork shapes are sometimes referred to as hexies. I love making hexies so much, that I used this paper hexagon method to make a denim patchwork chairs with old jeans for a really fabulous upcycle.

I’ve also made denim patchwork placemats. However, this time the hexagons were made using triangle patchwork shapes.



DIY applique hexagon patchwork pillow

If you like to make your own pillows and cushion for your home, I have some wonderful tutorials for both upcycled sweater pillows and repurposed denim pillows. The most popular being my patchwork Boho jeans pillows.

Tutorial for a Great Denim Pocket Organizer
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