Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Ma's Pillow Tutorial

This method of pillow making was taught to me by my own Mother, Lolly, who has taught me each and every pattern that I have ever stitched...she is both an artisan and our family craft guru.

I live by her motto..."Measure twice and cut once." Good advice that I pass onto you, dear friend.


You will need the following supplies:



  • Your Finished Stitched Piece
  • Complimenting fabric for the sides and back of your pillow (1/3 of a yard for a small 7" pillow and 1/2 of a yard for a large pillow...this pillow is 11x13)
  • Thread and a wound bobbin in a shade that blends nicely with your pillow fabric (don't worry about matching the cross stitch fabric as this will be hidden)
  • Sewing Machine
  • Warm Iron
  • Large Gridded Ruler
  • Cutting Board
  • Rotary Cutter
  • Scissors
  • Tailors (marking) Chalk
  • Pins (I like quilters pins as they slide easily through my sewing machine without catching)
  • Fiberfill 
  • Sewing Needle


Step One: 

Begin by ironing your finished piece, as well as your fabric...it's so much easier working with a crisp piece of fabric that is flat and free of creases.


Measure your finished piece, using the stitch that is farthest from the center of your WIP as your starting point...
















In this case I am using the outer white stitches...














I use a standard 1" all the way around, as that gives me an even 1/2 inch of stitching fabric showing between my last stitch and my front strip pillow edges.

Using your rotary cutter, large gridded ruler, and cutting mat trim all 4 sides.

















Next, take your ruler and use your chalk to mark in 1/2 inch from the edge of your piece, connecting the lines that now run all around your piece...


 This will be your sewing guide line.


Step Two...

Cut 4 strips of your chosen fabric, each to be 3 inches wide. If you are using a fabric that has a directional pattern, cut your fabric so that two strips are running in the same direction as your back fabric panel...the other two strips will not matter.






For this fabric the direction was unimportant as it is non-directional, but for my June Cottage pillow, I made sure that two of my strips ran in the same vertical direction as the back...


While the top and bottom ran horizontal...obviously, this can be changed to accommodate your preference and pattern.

Next, go ahead and pin a strip to the top and one to the bottom of your stitched piece...




With the right side of each facing each other...


And sew along your chalk line...




Fold the strips open, and iron them...


 

Taking care to press the fold over flat...


And repeat with the side strips, but before you sew them on you will want to trim the excess hang over from the top and bottom strips...





And you will end up with this...


Making it much easier to sew...


Once again, sew along your chalk line, starting on your fabric strip...




And trim the excess fabric...


And press the side strips down, making sure that the fold over is flat...




Viola...Just like that your front pillow piece is finished!



Step Three...

Take your remaining fabric, and using the front pillow panel as your guide, cut a piece of fabric the same exact size...


This will be your back pillow panel...


Put the two pieces together, front sides facing each other, and pin...




Using the seams from your four strips as a guide, measure out 3/4 inch and mark with your chalk...


Connecting the lines, again as a stitch guide...




Sew the front and back together, leaving enough of an un-stitched space in the bottom for turning out (I recommend a 2" opening)...





I like to reinforce my corners with the same "forward-backward" stitch, that I use for beginning and ending a sewing line.


This prevents the corners from coming apart when you stuff your pillow.



 Trim all of the excess threads.


Step Four...

I like to clip my corners before I turn out my finished pillow, it allows for precise corners without bulk...




Step Five...


Turn out your pillow...



Take special care to really push out the corners (Sometimes I use a knitting needle very gently to get the entire corner to pop out)...


And iron the front...


Making sure to press "in" the fold over inside the "turn out" opening, as this will make it easier to stitch it closed smoothly...




And the back...



Pretty!


Step Six...

Stuff your pillow with Polyfill, making sure to really stuff it into the corners so they are tight and perky, continuing to add more until your pillow has the desired shape that you want...







Step Seven...

Using the same thread that you used to machine sew your pillow, thread your hand sewing needle and blind stitch your turning hole closed...



And before you know it......You have a beautiful way to showcase your stitching...


Enjoy your pillow and display it proudly!

7 comments:

  1. Very nicely tutored.
    Be always in stitches.
    and still here.

    ReplyDelete
  2. VERY nice tutorial! I do some of these steps, but not all. I will follow your tutorial and get better! I must finish this design! Half done! Hugs!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Very easy to follow! I've added this tutorial to my finishing links page on my blog. Thank you!!!

    http://itsdaffycat.blogspot.com/p/finishing-tutorial-links.html

    ReplyDelete
  4. Mwah...mwah...mwah!

    Thank you!

    Hugs
    Ma

    ReplyDelete

I adore kind comments, and though I may not always reply please know that I read and enjoy them all!