Friday, April 6, 2012

Tutorial: Scrappy Patchwork Pillow Cover

If you are the faithful follower, you know by now from my post here and here, that I am really excited about pillow covers! With Rae Gun Ramblings tutorial for a simple pillow cover as my inspiration, I have been sketching away and making some creations of my own. I have 4 more pillows to cover, so if I am successful, I shall be able to share those with you too!
There are just two things that I must share with you before I get in to how I made this cute little creation.
  1. I am warning you in advance that I am NOT a professional quilter. I think the only class I ever took was in Middle School and have some how retained those basic skills. So, please forgive me if you are a professional and squirming at how I threw this together, or even at my explanation of the process.
  2. Please excuse any horrible photography. Due to being a Mom to an amazing 2 year old, my crafty time (and photography) takes place during the day AND night.
Ok, let's get started!!! Here is everything that you are going to need:
  • 25 - 2 1/2" x 2 1/2" squares in various colors
  • 30 - 1 1/2" x 2 1/2" rectangles in white
  • 6 - 16 1/2" x 1 1/2" strips in white
  • 2 - 2 1/2" x 15 1/2" strips in white (sides of block)
  • 2 - 20 1/2" x 2 1/2" strips in white (top and bottom of block)
  • 1 - 19" x 14" in white
  • 1 - 19" x 11" in white
  • Ruler
  • Rotary cutter
  • Thread
  • Pins
  • Sewing machine
    I worked this pillow cover in sections due to not being too sure how it was going to turn out. First, I cut all the squares and rectangles that I needed to make a cover for a 20" x 20" pillow. I used 5 (five) different colors with 1 (one) of each color in every row. You can kind of see my test strip in the background below.
Cut and ready to go!
Next, I pinned all the white rectangles to one side of the colored squares.

After pinning all the rectangles to the squares, I played around with a layout making sure to only use 1 (one) of each color in every row, up and down and across.

Using my handy test strip at the top for a guide, the picture above is what I came up with.

Now that I had a general idea of what I wanted, I started sewing all those rectangles and squares together. One helpful tip I found while blog hopping one day, was to continuously sew, leaving a gap between squares, and separating them at the end. This helps avoid having to start and stop multiple times. Genius! (Like I said, not a professional, so I am sure this is common knowledge in the sewing community)

Notice how I started with the purple, continuing to sew a gap, adding the blue, sewing a gap and adding the orange? I continued like that, stopping at the end of each row. You can keep sewing through all the pieces if you wish, I preferred to stop at the end of each row so I could keep better track of my layout. (Not that it really worked....keeping them in order that is :) )

Next, using your scissors and handy iron that has been on in the background, (I probably should have made note of that earlier...) snip your corners and press out your seams.

Because the white was really thin and pretty much see-through, I pressed the seams towards the colored side. However, always feel free to do whatever works best for you.

After I pressed all 20 seams (you would have 25 if you didn't make a test strip), I pinned the first rectangle and square group to the second, and pinned the third to the fourth of all rows, leaving the fifth piece as the final attachment to the strip. Keep grouping and sewing the pieces together like you can see below.

You should end up with something like the picture on the right, ending with sewing the fifth and final group to the strip.
Below is all 5 strips sewn, pressed and ready for the next pieces! Notice it's slightly uneven?? Yep, that's what I was trying to tell you....not a professional. I am hoping when I add all the other pieces and put it on a pillow that you won't be able to notice!
See my sneaky little helper?? He always wants to know what I am making..... Love him!

Alright, now back to work!

Using 4 of your 6- 16 1/2" x 1 1/2" strips in white, pin to the bottom of your strips with the colored squares and sew in place. Pressing the seams when done.

Below are the first two rows of colored squares with their strips attached. Now, sew the first and second row together. Doing the same with the third and fourth rows.

Once completed, it should look like the picture above. Next, sew those two pieces together........

 then, add the fifth and final strip to the patchwork block.

Sew the last 2- 16 1/2" x 1 1/2" strips to the top and bottom of your patchwork block. 

Next, sew the 2 - 2 1/2" x 15 1/2" strips to the sides of the block and the 2 - 20 1/2" x 2 1/2" strips to the top and bottom of the patchwork block. (See below) Once sewn together, press your seams and trim the edges to make an even square.

Take your 19" x 14" and 19" x 11" pieces and sew one on each side of your patchwork block.
Ending up with something like the picture below.

At this point, it's basically like Rae Guns, one piece of fabric, tutorial. You are now going to finish the right and left sides. Folding over the finished side of the longest piece, pinning and sewing, to create a smooth edge. This will be the exposed piece on the back of the pillow cover.

Next, fold the 19" x 14" piece over the front of the patchwork block and pin in place at top AND bottom.

Fold the 19" x 11" piece the same way and pin in place. The 19" x 11" should lay over the top of the 19" x 14" piece.
(If the picture below is confusing when comparing to the one above, it's because I flipped the piece upside down and then took the picture. Sorry about that!)

Finally, sew the top and bottom of the pillow cover, flip inside out, shove a pillow in there and then..... TAH - DAH!!

Would you believe it took me longer to write this blog post than it did to make this pillow cover??

If you end up making one of these creations for yourself, I'd LOVE to see how it turned out!

1 comment:

  1. It's a great job, thanks! I'm linking you in my blog tomorrow. Thanks for sharing :-)