How to make easy pillows with double-sided quilted fabric Nancy Zieman features Riley Blake Designs Fabric



After being asked to be part of the Riley Blake Quilted Cotton Blog Tour, it didn’t take me long to determine what I’d make with one of the double-sided prequilted fabrics. I was smitten with the quilted eyeglass frames and polka dot duo, knowing that a trio of pillows were destined for this playful fabric.

Quilted Fabric and Pillows—the Perfect Combo

When sewing pillows, I find that cotton fabrics always required a backing or interfacing to prevent the fabric from sagging or looking wimpy. Using a double-sided quilted fabric which has a layer of beefy batting between the layers, automatically gives the pillows a plump look. (Here’s one time when the adjective plump is a positive!)  Plus, the two coordinating fabrics provide great design options. (Note: The large appliqué is a free download.)


How to sew a pillow by Nancy Zieman



Pillow Supplies

Pillow-Sewing Basics

Note: All seam allowances are 1/2″.

  • Cut squares for each pillow front: To make a basic quilted fabric pillow, cut a square the pillow size plus 1″ for seam allowances.

20″ Pillow Form: Cut one  21″ square

16″ Pillow Form: Cut one 17″ square

12″ Pillow Form: Cut one 13″ square

  • Cut two rectangles for each pillow back: Divide the size of the front square in half, then add 3″  to the shorter measurement for the overlap.

20″ Pillow Form: Cut two rectangles 21″ x 13-1/2″

16″ Pillow Form: Cut two rectangles 17″ x 11-1/2″

12″ Pillow Form: Cut two rectangles 13″ x 9-1/2″

  • Serge or zigzag one long edge of each rectangle.


How to sew pillows with quilted cottons by Nancy Zieman



  • Cut a 7″ strip of Velcro for the large and medium pillows and a 4″ strip for the smallest, 12″ pillow.
  • Separate the two lengths.
  • Center the top edge of the Velcro strips to each rectangle 1-1/2″ from the serged or zigzagged edge.


How to sew a pillow by Nancy Zieman



  • Topstitch the Velcro to the fabric.


How to sew pillows with quilted cottons by Nancy Zieman




How to sew pillows with quilted cottons by Nancy Zieman




How to sew pillows with quilted cottons by Nancy Zieman



  •  Fold under a 3″ hem along one Velcro edge.


How to sew pillows with quilted cottons by Nancy Zieman



  • Topstitch the hem.


How to sew pillows with quilted cottons by Nancy Zieman



  • Overlap the rectangles, matching the Velcro strips. The pillow back is now the same size as the pillow front.
  • Stack the front and back pillow pieces, right sides together.
  • Shape the corners of the front and back pieces to prevent pokey corners.
    • Measure in 1/2″ along both sides of the corners.
    • Measure down and across 4″ (Note: On the smallest pillow size, 12″, the measurement was decreased to 3″.)


How to sew pillows by Nancy Zieman



    • Place rulers at 4″ measurement along cut edge and taper to 1/2″ mark; trim.


How to sew pillows with quilted cottons by Nancy Zieman




How to sew pillows with quilted cottons by Nancy Zieman



    • Repeat on all four corners.

Note from Nancy: Consider making a template of the size of the shaped corners from poster board to quickly mark the pillow corners.

  • Stitch front and back pillow pieces, using 1/2″ seam allowance. Pivot at corners.


How to sew pillows with quilted cottons by Nancy Zieman



  • Trim away batting at corner to achieve a sharp corner. It may be necessary to clip a few of the fabric quilting stitches.


How to sew pillows with quilted cottons by Nancy Zieman



  • Release Velcro, turn right side out. Insert the pillow form. Ta da!

Geekly Specs Pillow Wrap

Now to sew a pillow by Nancy Zieman

  • Measurements for the pillow wrap are designed for a 20″ pillow.
  • Cut a length of fabric for the wrap 11″ x 40″. Optional: Press fusible interfacing to the wrong side of the fabric to give the finished wrap additional support.
  • Align right sides and long edge together. Stitch leaving a 3–4″ opening near one end. Press open the seam allowance.


How to sew pillows with quilted cottons by Nancy Zieman




How to sew pillows with quilted cottons by Nancy Zieman



  • Reach through one end and pull up the opposite end, meeting right sides.


How to sew pillows by Nancy Zieman



  • Stitch the ends together.


How to sew pillows with quilted cottons by Nancy Zieman



  • Pull out the fabric through the opening. A tube shape will appear. Press.


How to sew pillows with quilted cottons by Nancy Zieman




How to sew a pillow by Nancy Zieman



  • Roughly cut out the shape.
  • Fuse the Wonder-Under to the wrong side of the appliqué fabric.


How to sew a pillow by Nancy Zieman



Note from Nancy: To prevent show-through of the black fabric, fusible interfacing was pressed to the wrong side of the off-white fabric before fusing the Wonder-Under in place.

  • Cut along the traced line. Remove the paper backing.
  • Center the appliqué on the wrap; press.


How to sew a pillow by Nancy Zieman



  • Stitch around the edges of the appliqué with a narrow zigzag or satin stitch. Use clear monofilament thread for ease of stitching.

 


How to sew pillows by Nancy Zieman



  • Place the wrap on the pillow. That’s it!

Button Chic


How to sew a pillow by Nancy Zieman



In this pillow design, the back becomes the front as the pillow overlap is part of the feature. Three large covered buttons provide the focal point.

  • Option: cut the rectangles different sizes to divide the design in thirds instead of in half.  Using a 16″ pillow form, the rectangles were cut:
    • 17″ x 14″
    • 17″ x 9″
  • Stitch the pillow, following the pillow-sewing basics section. Feature both sides of the quilted fabric, selecting one side of the fabric for the larger rectangle and other side of the fabric for the smaller rectangle.
  • Cut fabric for the buttons as detailed on the covered button package. Separate the quilted fabrics; snip the quilting threads.


How to sew a pillow by Nancy Zieman



  • Fuse interfacing to the wrong side of the squares and cover the buttons as directed on the package.
  • Hand stitch the buttons to the overlap. Easy!

Curl Up with a Good Book & Pillow


How to sew a pillow by Nancy Zieman



A 12″ pillow form is the perfect size for a reading pillow. Adding a pocket and ribbons to the front are all that’s needed to upgrade this third pillow into a chic pillow!
  • Cut a pocket 13″ x 7″. Turn under 1/2″ along one 13″ edge; topstitch.
  • Position the pocket on the pillow front and baste along the sides.


How to sew a pillow by Nancy Zieman



  • Measure in 3-1/2″ from each side of the pillow. The 5-in-1 Sliding Gauge is my must-have measuring tool.

How to sew a pillow by Nancy Zieman



  • Cut two 13″ lengths of 1/2″ wide ribbon. Pin and machine baste at each end.

How to sew a pillow by Nancy Zieman



  • Reference the Pillow-Sewing Basics (above) to complete the pillow.


Nancy Zieman's Trio of Pillows Project Sheet



Several of you have asked for downloadable, printable instructions of this project. For your convenience, the Trio of Pillows is now available to purchase as a downloadable file.

Bye for now,

Nancy Zieman The Blog

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