Amsterdam Applique Cushion

23 Apr

I have always loved the look of the buildings in Amsterdam, I’ve never been myself, but I have seen images of the iconic buildings along the canals. So when my sister and her boyfriend visited Amsterdam last year, I was very pleased they sent me a postcard of the very same iconic streets.  It also sparked an idea, one that stayed brewing in my mind for a while before I got the chance to give it a go.

Amsterdam Postcard - Cushion Inspiration - Nettynot Blog

My idea was to create an appliqué street design based on the wonderful buildings. The perfect opportunity arrived to put my plan into action when my sister and her boyfriend bought a flat earlier this year, so I set about creating a flat warming gift of a handmade cushion. So with the help of the postcard and a quick google image search I drew out a rough street plan.

Drawing of Amsterdam Building for Cushion - Nettynot Blog
I purposely didn’t want to make it too neat, so I started drawing by hand and then neatened up the edges when I started cutting out the templates. Having only moved into their flat a few months ago they haven’t got around to decorating yet so I decided to select colours that should hopefully go with everything, resulting in a combination of greys and cream, with just a splash of colour.

Amsterdam Buildings cut out - Nettynot Blog
Once I cut my templates out, including all the fiddly windows, I decided the order of the buildings. Then I cut pieces of bondaweb for each building (leaving the windows in and making the bondaweb a little bigger than needed). I ironed the bondaweb onto my selected fabrics and then cut them down to size making the edges nice and neat.  I then traced the windows into position and cut them out with a craft knife, it took a little longer than I anticipated, but was worth it.

Lining up Fabric Buildings - Nettynot Blog
I had intended to use some of the cut out windows to fill in the windows of the other houses, swapping the colours around, which I did do for a few of the buildings, however I did find trimming down and filling all the windows a little laborious and fiddly. So I changed tack and added plain fabric to the back of some of the houses instead, which made life much easier.

All windows ready - Nettynot Blog
Having lined everything up with the help of my long patchwork ruler I got everything stuck into place with the iron.

Amsterdam cushion - ironed in place - Nettynot Blog
I sewed around the edge of everything with the solid zig-zag. However having chosen mostly thin cotton fabric, the cream fabric was a little thicker and caused a few problems when it came to sewing over the edges, as I stitched over all the vertical lines bits of the fabric started poking out in between the zig-zag stitches – eeeek! It was too late to change anything so I proceeded  armed with a little frustration and determination and stitched over the cream edges again and in some cases a third time as well. I also decided to remove the cream windows I had planned to add to one of the buildings –  I figured it would tie the background colour into the design more, or as my sister later stated it looked like a derelict building – I can live with that.

Amsterdam buliding detail - Nettynot Blog
In the end all the hard work was worth it, this was my first big appliqué project, I learnt a lot, the finished item is not perfect and there’s a few things I would do differently next time, but I am rather happy with it and the reaction when the gift was opened was great. They instantly recognised it as Amsterdam, which I wasn’t sure they would, given my artistic licence with the building designs.

Amsterdam Cushion in it's new home - Nettynot Blog


8 Responses to “Amsterdam Applique Cushion”

  1. kleine kleinigkeiten April 23, 2014 at 6:25 pm #

    lovely – great work!



  2. fallfromgrace349 April 23, 2014 at 6:57 pm #

    that looks totally fab! 🙂


  3. roma1912 April 23, 2014 at 7:27 pm #

    That is one amazing project, congratulations on a job very well done 🙂


  4. loveyesterdays April 24, 2014 at 9:28 pm #

    You are so creative! Thank you for walking us through the finished piece from concept to end!!


    • nettynot April 24, 2014 at 10:28 pm #

      Thank you, I’m always interested to find out where different people get their inspirations from, so I thought I would share where mine came from too!


  5. maggiemaysgifts April 26, 2014 at 4:07 pm #

    How neat! Love how that turned out!!


  6. Liv May 3, 2014 at 1:15 pm #

    Steph this is amazing! I love that classic Amsterdam architecture too. Awesome idea.



  1. Foxy Cushion & a new small challenge! | Nettynot Craft - April 30, 2014

    […] my sister that was a bit of a challenge though I really enjoyed making it (you can see the post here). I thought I would set myself a new challenge and add a feature I’ve never done before – […]


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