Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Tutorial: Patchwork Pillow Covers

Ask and you shall receive! Here's how I made my pillows (though please keep in mind that this is definitely easier after you do one, and the point of patchwork is decidedly not to be perfect!)

Patchwork Pillow Covers
1 1/4 yards fabric*
Quilting Ruler
Cutting Mat
Rotary Cutter
Sewing machine (optional as you can do this by hand)
Pillow insert (mine was 18x18 inches)

*I used a yard of the linen bird fabric and scraps of the creme silk border- about two to three inches all around the front panel, so I started off with one yard-sized piece of fabric.

1. Cut your yard of fabric in half, then in half again so that you have four equal pieces of fabric (they might not be exact squares—that's okay).
2. Working with one side of one panel, use your quilting ruler to measure 2 1/2 inches from the edge. Cut with your rotary cutter and set the strip aside. Rotate your panel clockwise and cut 2 1/2 inches from that side. Set the strip aside and continue rotating and cutting until you get near the middle.
3. Use your own creativity to cut the middle piece how you like it. Each of my fronts was done a little differently.

4. Arrange your strips to remake a square, using the longer pieces towards the outside and working inward. I did not line up my pieces exactly how I cut them because I wanted to make one fabric look more interesting.
5. Turn over each piece, one at a time, and use your ruler to mark a 1/4 inch seam allowance with a pencil. (This will help you to sew straight lines.)
6. Starting in the middle, pin two pieces together and sew. Iron your seam flat. Continue pinning, sewing, and ironing until you have the entire panel sewn, trimming excess fabric when necessary.

7. Measure your panel. You want it to be 1 inch larger than your pillow insert on all sides. My pillow was 18x18 inches, so I used the border (my pieces were 2-3 inches in width, which was more than I needed, but it gave me some room to play with) to make up some of the space that I lost from my seam allowances.
8. Measure your border pieces to the length of each side of your panel, mark your seam allowance on one side of each piece and pin along that side to your panel.

9. Sew your border.

10. To make the back panel (which has an overlap so you can insert the pillow) take one of the remaining three pieces of fabric (that you cut in Step 1) and fold it in half. Iron to crease and cut. Fold over one long edge of each side about a half of an inch. Iron to crease and sew. Repeat with the other piece.

11. Place your front panel on a surface, right side facing up. Arrange your two back pieces on top, overlapping the sewn edges by about an inch and a half. (This gives the cover enough room to expand to accommodate the roundness of your pillow.)
12. Make sure that the back panel measures a little bit more than the final size you need—for me, this meant that I measured to make sure that my back panel was a 19 inch square, which it (remarkably) was.
13. Pin the two back pieces together where they overlap and sew in, horizontally, about two inches. This will help the back of your pillow to not gap excessively.

14. Return the back panel onto the top, right sides facing and pin together. Since my back panel was the size I was aiming for, I used it as my guide. You may need to mark lines to achieve your intended dimension. Iron the seams flat when you are finished sewing. Trim any long threads.

15. Your pillow cover is done! Insert your pillow to make sure that it fits. You can remove the pillow insert to trim any excess seam allowance at this point, though do make sure you try the pillow out before you make that commitment!


1 comment:

  1. I've been looking for a tute for this kind of pillow! Great job! I added it to our link luv roundup today. Come by for a peek!