Thursday, May 30, 2013


One more short tutorial before I move on to other things (don't worry, there will be more on fabric in the future).  I made these pillows for the Quilt Market booth with 3 of the new Eclectic Elements fabrics.  Follow along with the worlds shortest tutorial and I will show you how.
For each pillow, I cut a 2 layers of fabric 20 x 20".  When I'm making a pillow, I normally cut the fabric the same size as the pillow form.  After sewing the front and back together with 5/8" seam it is the perfect fit for the form.
After I decided on the size pillow I wanted, I had to create the numbers.  Here's how I did it:
1.  At the computer, create a document with the numbers 1-3 using Engravers MT font at 700% (#2 in photo).  The document will be 3 pages long with one number per page.  Print.
2. Once printed, I enlarged each number on my home printer 125% using cardstock.  Now that is the right size for the 20 x 20" pillow!  I printed on cardstock because the weight of the paper helps control the shape of the number once cut out.  If you use plain printer paper the cut number will have a tendency to curl up, making step 4 a bit harder.
4. Cut out the 3 cardstock numbers. 
3.  Iron Heat'n Bond to the number fabric.  I used a felt since these are just for the trade show booth. If you want the pillow covers to be washable please pick your fabric accordingly but remember you want a sturdy fabric, preferable one that does not fray since the letters are top stitched on, not appliqued (where the edges are tuned under).
4.  Once you have the Heat'n Bond ready to go, flip your number over (so it will be right after cutting out) and trace onto paper backing.
 5.  Now just cut out the number with sharp scissors to get a clean cut.
I tested the numbers on different fabric samples to decide which ones I liked.  You can see how the 2 looks on a couple of different choices here.  On one it fades into the background and one the other it is the center of attention.  One is not better than the other, it's just something to be aware of...and definitely personal preference comes into play.

6.  Peel the paper backing off and iron the number onto the center of one panel.
7.  Now's the time where you find a movie you want to watch (I chose Pride and Prejudice), sit in a comfortable chair and stitch around each number.  It takes a bit of time but it was nice to have a moment to just relax and stitch away.
8.  Back at the sewing machine...with right sides together, sew the two panels together.  NOTE: It is up to you at this point whether or not to add piping to the edges or a zipper so the cover can be removed.
9.  Clip corners, turn right side out and stuff. 

A word on pillow forms.  For my home, I always choose a down pillow form (I just like the way it looks and feels), though they can be costly even from the fabric store.  I usually buy them from Pottery Barn since they are the same price as my local fabric store (which do not come in a plastic bag, so they always look hammered).  I say, if I am going to spend the money...I require a certain expectation of "newness" to be present.  Pottery Barn gives that to me.  And really, when can you ever buy something at Pottery Barn that is the same price as another store?....never.

Just to clarify, the pillows I made for the booth are stuffed with a pre-made polyester form that runs $12.99 ($5.88 with my 40% off coupon), perfect for the trade show.  The down alternative would have been $18. 

I'm looking forward to a great is suppose to be warm at the coast (now if only the spring wind would stop, it would be great.  Add in a little antiquing with friends at Remnants of the Past show and my local favorite, Ruby Rose.  Top that off with a barbecue on Saturday with friends and family and it should be a weekend to remember.

cheers that yours is too!
see you next 


  1. Love the pillows, I am so excited about the fabric too and can't wait for it to get to our local stores.

  2. amazing pillows... love the numbers in frot of the great fabric !!!
    Hugs hellerlittle

  3. They are so fab... and more great tips for sewing-phobes like me - thank you!
    Alison x

  4. Another great project with that gorgeous fabric - love these! I have a really old, gorgeous wing back chair that I've been saving up to recover. We found a guy recently who will do it for a song. Now, I just have to wait until I can get my hands on the perfect fabric. So glad I waited until the right thing came along!

    Have a great weekend!

  5. Those pillow are gorgeous!! They are even better in person i'm sure. Have a fabulous weekend!!

  6. Can't wait to get some of the fabrics. Love your pillows!

  7. Cute pillows Paula! I just love Tim's new fabric. Thanks for the tutorial. Have a great weekend.

  8. These are just wonderful...and show off your 'perfect' sewing skills. My local store promises Tim's fabrics in September...I am counting the days. Have a super FUN weekend, hopefully with things to share.

  9. Paula, the pillows are the perfect accent for just about any room in the house. I think I'd like to make a stencil of the numbers, and paint them with acrylics. Love the fabrics!

  10. Hi Paula, I love these pillows and want to copy you once more!
    Do you think the fabric would work to recover a small chair too?

  11. Wow Paula what a gorgeous place to while away the hours. I wish I could have been there. I am sure you came away with a ton of inspiration. Looking forward to seeing more of your fab work.