Eye of the Beholder

original applique patterns inspired by the world around us

Pillow Talk. Making a pillow with optional piping.

We all have so many quilts!   This is not really a complaint, but we do start to run out of beds to put them on, walls to hang them on or tables to decorate.  However, we never seem to run out of the creative itch to make something.

How about trying a pillow?  It’s fun, easy and takes no time at all!

Here are step by step instructions.  When you make your pillow top, you can quilt it, or just stitch it, and stuff it.

To make a 16” pillow.

You need: 17 ¼” Pillow top, 17 ¼” pillow back, 2 yards piping(optional), 16” x 16” pillow form

Pic 1

Pic 1

Create your pillow top with pattern of your choice.  This one was created using the Thistle, 7 of 9 pattern by machine reverse applique and then Appli-quilted it, so the top is quilted.  (Pic 1)

Pic 2. Trimming pillow top to 17 1/4". Generally, cut top 1 1/4" larger than your finished size.

Pic 2. Trimming pillow top to 17 1/4". Generally, cut top 1 1/4" larger than your finished size.

Pic 3.Cut back out of top fabric the same size as top.  In this case 17 1/4".

Pic 3.Cut back out of top fabric the same size as top.  In this case 17 1/4".

For the pillow, trim the completed top to 17 ¼”, instead of the 16 ½” you would do if the block were being used in a quilt.  A quilter’s seam allowance is ¼”, but for the pillow,  use a standard sewing seam allowance of 5/8”.  Trim the pillow top to 17 ¼”. In general, add 1 ¼” to your finished dimensions for any pillow. (Pic 2)

Cut a 17 ¼” square from my top fabric for the pillow back. (Pic 3)

Pic 4.Lay piping on front of pillow, aligning woven edge with raw edge of top.  Use your zipper foot and left needle position to sew it down.

Pic 4.Lay piping on front of pillow, aligning woven edge with raw edge of top.  Use your zipper foot and left needle position to sew it down.

I like my pillows piped.

 Piping is pretty and serves to protect the seam from wear.  I purchased 2 yards of store bought piping.  Piping is stitched onto a 5/8” woven tape.  Add the lengths of all 4 pillow sides to know how much to buy.  For this pillow that was 4 x 16= 64 linear inches or 1.777 yards.  Round up to 2 yards.

Lay the piping on the front of your pillow top so the woven tape is aligned with the raw edge.  You may want to pin it in place.

Attach your zipper foot to your sewing machine and move your needle position to the far left, so that it aligns with the edge of your zipper foot..

Sew with the edge of the zipper foot hugging the decorative piping, and 5/8” away from raw edge. (Pic 4.)  Back stitch at the beginning to knot your thread.

Pic 5.Turning a corner.

Pic 5.Turning a corner.

Pic 6.Ending. Overlap ending over the beginning.

Pic 6.Ending. Overlap ending over the beginning.

When you get to a corner, sew into the middle of the corner and  leave your needle in the needle-down position. Pick up the presser foot and pivot the pillow top.  You may need to pull the piping roll out from under the needle.  Drop the presser foot back down and sew.   (Pic 5)

Stitch around all four sides.  At the end, overlap the piping of the fourth side over the piping of the first side and stitch.  Back stitch at the end to knot your thread.  Trim the threads. (Pic 6)

Pic 7.Pillow top all piped

Pic 7.Pillow top all piped

Your pillow top is all piped. (Pic 7)

Sewing the back on. Making a pillow case.

To make the pillow-case.  With right sides together, lay your pillow back on your pillow top.  Match corners and raw edges, easing the fabric as you go.  Your piping will be hidden inside your pillow back and top.  Pin 3 sides completely. (Pic 8a) On the fourth side, pin 1” in on each end.  This will leave a 14” opening to flip your pillow case and insert the pillow form. (Pic 8b)

Pic 8a. pin the back to the front.

Pic 8a. pin the back to the front.

Pic 8b. Leave a 14" opening.

Pic 8b. Leave a 14" opening.

Take your pinned pillow case back to your machine, still set up with your zipper foot and the needle in the left position.  Begin on the “opening” side.  Feel where your piping “bump” is, even though it is hidden from sight by your pillow back.  Snug your zipper foot up against the piping “bump”.  Begin sewing on the “opening” side where you pinned 1” from the corner.  With your zipper foot snugged up against the piping,  Sew from pin to corner on the “opening” side, then around 3 sides, and from corner to pin on the “opening” side. (Pic 9a and 9b)

Pic 9a. Sewing pillow case.

Pic 9a. Sewing pillow case.

Pic 9b. Stitching but leaving an opening.

Pic 9b. Stitching but leaving an opening.

Clip your corners at a 45 degree angle very close to the piping. Then trim the point off your corner.  This will help your pillow to have corners once you flip it right side out. (Pic 10a, 10b, 10c)

Pic 10a. Clipping the corners.

Pic 10a. Clipping the corners.

Pic 10b. Corner clipped.

Pic 10b. Corner clipped.

Pic 10c. Trim the clipped point off.

Pic 10c. Trim the clipped point off.

Flip your pillow right side out through the opening. (Pic 11a) As you do so, pull out on the piped corners to crisp them up. (Pic 11b)

Pic 11a. pillow flipped right side out.

Pic 11a. pillow flipped right side out.

Pic 11b. Corners pulled out.

Pic 11b. Corners pulled out.

Your opening will have raw edges, but all other raw edges are hidden inside your pillow casing.

Pic 12. Ready for stuffing with 16" pillow form.

Pic 12. Ready for stuffing with 16" pillow form.

 

Stuffing the pillow

I chose to use a 16” pillow form, but you may also use a bag of stuffing and stuff it yourself. (Pic 12)

Stuff the 16” pillow form through the opening into the pillow casing.  Reaching inside the pillow case, grab the corners of the pillow form, 1 corner at a time, and pull into the corners of the pillow casing.

Then fold under the raw edges 5/8” and pin closed.(Pic 13a and 13b)

Pic 13a. Pin opening closed, fold under 5/8" seam allowance.

Pic 13a. Pin opening closed, fold under 5/8" seam allowance.

Pic 13b. Opening pinned closed.

Pic 13b. Opening pinned closed.

Almost Done.

Hand sew the opening closed.

Double thread a hand sewing needle and knot.  Whip stitch the opening closed, catching the folded edge of the fabric and the woven tape right next to the piping.  A whip stitch is just like your binding stitch. (Pic 14a and 14b)

Pic 14a. Whip stitching opening closed with double threaded needle.

Pic 14a. Whip stitching opening closed with double threaded needle.

Pic 14b. Opening sewed closed.

Pic 14b. Opening sewed closed.

Pillow is finished.

12

Thistle, 7 of 9. Machine reverse appli-quilted all ready to decorate my home.

 Now you can make a pillow to decorate your home, too.