Saturday, June 6, 2015

Pillow Making is Time Consuming!!

I live on a street of front porches!  Most of the homes were built prior to WWII and just about every house has a porch that runs all the way across the front.  Many of us create a cozy living space where we can spend part of the day relaxing and visiting.  This year, I'm redoing the soft furnishings to coordinate with my fruit and veggie Tessellated Windmill quilt
For the past few days, I've been making new covers for the small pillows.   I started with my Alphabet Sampler pattern (now available in my Etsy Shop HERE) and made the largest size letters (7 1/2" tall).
The letters are easy to make.  I did "C" for carrots, "O" for onions, and "T" for tomatoes!
I had small amounts of each of the prints so had to do some creative stretching and adding to get panels the right size.
Since my APQS George is in rehab, I played with straight line walking foot quilting ideas on my Bernina.
It's hard to see what I did on the fronts so I took some photos of the backs to share. 
I used up some fabric from the "don't want it anymore" box
I outlined each letter so they stand out. 
You can tell this was the last one -- my "straight" lines are a bit wobbly. 
Once the quilting was finished, it was time to trim them to size and do the finishing!
Ugh!!  The finishing.  I don't enjoy making pillows covers.  It's the edges.  Ruffles are out of style these days which is fine with me, but a corded edge really gives a pillow a nice look.
Since I really wanted to be outside, I set up my satellite studio out on the back patio and stayed put until the job was finished.
I used 3/16" upholstery cording and bias cut 2" wide strips of fabric.
The zipper foot does a pretty good job for sewing right up against the edge of the cording though I think my older machine has a special foot for that.  Must remember to look! 
I use a longer stitch as this seam will be stitched a couple more times. 
And matching thread is a better choice in case the stitching shows in a few places on the finished pillow cover. 
Once the cording is covered, I trim the seam allowance down to approximately 1/4".  Then I baste the covered cording to the pillow front.
Rounding the corners is the easiest and I start clipping the seam allowance every 1/4" starting about 1" before the corner until I'm 1" past the corner. 
I do an overlapping join.  There is a couple inches of covered cording at the beginning that I did not stitch down.  I've trimmed it (the left side piece).  I stop stitching several inches before the end and at that point, I cut the end off a couple inches past the beginning. 
Now I pull loose the stitching until the cord is exposed. 
I trim just the cord flush with the beginning. 
Now I fold back at least 1/2" of the fabric. 
And insert the beginning of the covered cording into the folded back end so the two ends of the cord are nestled together. 
Finally, I tuck everything in place -- it usually takes some poking with the tip of my scissors.
And finishing stitching across to meet the beginning. 
Now I'm ready to add the backing piece, trim the corners, and turn it right side out.
There, that wasn't so bad and now I'm ready to clean the porch and get it set up this weekend for some summer relaxing!!
All the fabric came out of my stash -- I even completely wiped out a few pieces of fabric plus I can cross another goal off my second quarter list for 2015 Finish Along. 
Placemats are next!!
Mary Huey
Linking up over at PINK DOXIES PET PROJECT!
Linking up with all the other finishers at the


  1. What a perfect addition to your porch! Thanks for the quilting close-up shots!

    1. Thanks, Dianne -- now to get the porch cleaned!!

  2. Replies
    1. Thanks for visiting and the nice compliment!

  3. Thanks for the hint on adding cord; I'll be trying that soon. Your cushions are lovely.

    1. Thanks, Marly! I forgot to mention to position the join along an edge of the cushion that won't be obvious -- for example, I put mine at the "bottom" since the letters will always be standing upright.

  4. I use the same type of zipper foot for piping. I bought it maybe a year ago, and it has proven far better than any 'proper' piping foot, as they often do not cope with anything beyond the finest piping cord.

    1. Thanks for sharing your experience -- good to know!!

  5. The pillows look terrific. The way you photographed them I thought you were prepping for an October porch - and then I read your post. :D I haven't tried piping yet but will come back here when I decide I want to give it a go.

  6. A great tutorial, Mary. I love those pillows. Your spaces is going to be so refreshing. Thanks for linking to WIPs Be Gone.

  7. These pillows are lovely, as is the idea of working outside to finish them. I'm helping Adrianne with the FAL and I am to say that I am visiting as part of the 2015 FAL Cheerleading Team.