Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Patriotic Pillow Tutorial

Hey y'all!  A little later today than I hoped, but as promised .... a tutorial for my "Patriotic Pillow."  Ready?

For this project, you'll need 1 half yard of a border and backing fabric and then three fat quarters - a red, a blue and a white.  I am using some prints from Reunion by Sweetwater.  I have a limited number of kits available here if you are interested.  (We'll include a star template with the kits.  :-) 

First, draw a star about 5 inches tall.  Doesn't have to be perfect.  Make a template by cutting out your paper shape and tracing four times onto your white fabric. I use a FriXion pen because it irons right off!

Next, you'll need to cut into your fat quarters.  You need the following:

Ok ... let's whip this together.  I had originally planned to paper-piece this, but the ease of raw edge applique won out.  And I kind of like how it makes it a little more casual.  And faster to make!  

Take two white strips and pin to a red square as shown.

Stitch down the edge of each white strip - I used about a 1/8" seam. Repeat this process on the remaining four red squares.

Next, start piecing your rows.  Press toward the blue squares.  First make rows of three.

Then make a big nine patch block. Again, press toward the blue squares.

Alright ... now its time to applique your stars.  Using about a 1/8" seam, stitch along the edge of each star.  I made sure to put each star in the same orientation in each block, but you can angle them if you want to.

Don't worry about the fraying ... we'll manage that a little bit later.  And if your stars aren't perfect - its no biggie since we're going for the casual look with the raw edge. :-)  (I also ended up clipping my points a little later since they hung over.)

For the next step, grab your half yard piece for the borders and backing.  Cut as shown below.

I forgot to take pictures of adding the borders (sorry!), but you'll add a 2.5" wide strip along the top and bottom and then along the sides.  Press toward the borders.  (Hope that makes sense!) This completes the piecing of the front.

Then you'll layer, baste, and quilt the pillow front.

I chose to quilt a straight line down the middle of each white strip and then an outline of each star.  Then around the edge of the border about 1/2 inch from the star and stripe blocks.

After quilting, press and then trim to 18.5 inches square.  This ended up making my borders 1.75 inches wide on all sides.

Set your pillow front aside and work on the backing.  Take one of your 10 x 18.5 inch rectangles and add a  4 x 18.5" strip of the red (or whatever print you'd like) to one side.  This will make one panel overlap the other a little bit more.

Then on the WRONG side, trace a line 1/2" away from the edge and fold up to meet the line.  Press.  And then top stitch down.  (You could choose to fold this under again so no raw edge was exposed.)

It should look like this.

Now, take the other 10 x 18.5 inch rectangle and repeat along one long edge.

Backing pieces are all set.... Let's finish it up.

Lay the pillow front RIGHT SIDE UP.  Lay the wider backing (with the strip) piece RIGHT SIDE DOWN on top of the pillow front, aligning the edges.

(Please ignore my mess!!!)

Then lay the other backing piece on top.  Pin around all edges.

Then stitch around all sides using a walking foot if you have one.  (Tip: I like to lengthen my stitches when I am working through lots of layers with my walking foot.)  Once you have stitched around all sides, clip the corners.

Now turn it right side out. Gently push the corners out.

(Again with my mess!  Goodness gracious!)

And press. I also pulled those fraying threads a little and clipped them to rough it and clean it up a little.

Put a pillow in it and enjoy!  :-)

What do you think?  Hope you like this fast and fun patriotic pillow tutorial.  If you have any questions or something just doesn't make any sense, just ask!  And if you make one, I'd love to see it - please link it up!

Thanks for stopping through!

Happy sewing!  :-)


  1. It's lovely Chrissy! Great tutorial.

  2. So cute! Thank you for the tutorial! Hope it is OK- I pinned it to my Independence day board...


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