To be a bit cliché, this shoemaker is a professional Web Developer and her child is this blog, but it was past time to launch what I have of a new design. All the content is still here, everything else is a work in progress (kind of like most of my sewing projects)!
Having free motioned text as quilting in the past, Angela Walters’ Mighty Lucky challenge did not strike me as the most inspiring—not that it’s a bad challenge, but it was nothing new to my skill set. I was all set to not make a project for it (just like the last few months… shhh…), until I remembered that I signed up at the beginning of the year to talk about the challenge at my guild meeting this month.
A pillow cover seemed the perfect project to showcase both cursive and block lettering in the form of my favorite Louisa May Alcott quote.
“She is too fond of books, and it has turned her brain.” Work: A Story of Experience (1873), Louisa May Alcott
Because my handwriting is horrendous, I arranged the text in Illustrator, then printed it out to trace. While not feasible for a sandwiched quilt, I was able to use my window as a lightbox to trace the lettering onto the top fabric of my pillow cover.
It’s quilted on linen, with wool batting and no backing, using a rayon embroidery thread. I considered doing additional quilting with a whitish thread, but my time was limited and I was happy with how the quote looked alone.
I finished the case with an envelope backing that matches the thread color and stuffed it with a purchased 12×16″ pillow form. It’s perfect as a bolster pillow for a reading nook!
Our friend just moved apartments and bought a new couch set (which I’m rather jealous of, although it wouldn’t fit properly in our house). When we were shopping with him, he really seemed to like this one set of pillows that unfortunately didn’t really match the new set very well.
So, Carl and I decided that I should make simliar ones in colors that will match. It’s a very simple design of upholstery fabric and fuzzy stuff on the back (for cuddle-ability):
The brown floral (which reads more like scales in some of the rectangles) is the same fabric as two of the pillows that came with the set—a happy find in the fabric store that will also help these blend in with the other pillows.
Here’s a super quick tutorial for how to make your own matching pair.
1⁄6 yard each of four different fabrics for the front (these were upholstery-weight)
½ yard of backing fabric (these were a cuddle fabric, but upholstery works too)
2 16″ pillow forms (or make your own. It’s better to have that extra layer of fabric than to just stuff the case you make)
If you use quilt-weight fabrics, you probably want a yard of muslin to use as an interlining for the front and back, just to give it more body. Unless your 42″-wide quilt-weight fabric is also super square, you will need a bit more than 1⁄6 yard (you need a strip that is 6″×40″ for standard width, or 5″×48″ for wider fabric).
Cut 16 3″×5″ rectangles from each of the four front fabrics.
Cut two 17″ squares from the backing fabric.
If you’re using lightweight fabric, cut 4 17″ squares from the muslin.
Because I recommend using heavy fabric, I’ve given all measurements assuming a seam allowance of ½″. Sewing a true ¼″ seam with upholstery fabric is annoying, fiddly, and begging for problems (not to mention it gives room to deal with the horrid fraying).
Pair up the two darker fabrics and the two lighter fabrics for the front (A and B, C and D).
Create blocks by sewing all of the A pieces to the B pieces along the long side. Do the same for the C and D pieces.
Construct the rows by alternating two AB blocks and two CD blocks. You’ll need four rows that start with AB and four that start with CD, with A and C always being at the top of the row.
Sew four rows together for each pillow, alternating the AB-starting rows and the CD-starting rows.
Making the pillow
One you’ve completed the fronts, place a front and back piece right-sides together. If you used light-weight fabric, baste a piece of muslin to the wrong side of each piece first.
Pin, then sew all the way around, leaving a 10″ opening on one side (or smaller, if you feel comfortable stuffing your pillow form in).
Turn out, clipping corners as needed.
Insert the pillow form through the opening, then sew the opening closed with a whipstitch or your preferred closing method.
Our puppy isn’t exactly housebroken yet. The first night we had him, he messed all over the pillow in his kennel. We needed something that could protect the pillow and be easily washable. The solution: flannel, hospital sheeting (rubber sheeting), and velcro. And a whole lot of estimating and zero measuring with anything resembling a measuring tape.
Caveat lector: this isn’t intended as a tutorial, rather as a show of my process on an off-the-cuff project. But, if you want to make your own and want clarification on anything, let me know in the comments or contact me.
Normally I’d put more thought into something like this, but basically, I looked up pillow case sizes online (on my phone, on the way to the fabric store), decided I needed about a square yard of sheeting, give or take and went to buy it.