While unpacking my fabric into my sewing room, I was inspired to use up some bits of French General fabric I have. This little pillow was the result. Designing pillow covers to fit the season is one way to add a little (but not too much) seasonal decor.
This sweet pillow sends a message of love on Valentine's Day or any day. Here's what you need to make it:
Fabric for front and back: (I used an oatmeal linen)
1 piece 12 1/2" x 10"
2 pieces 10" x 10"
Fabric for contrast 1 and 2: (I used fabrics from French General's Maison de Garance)
2 strips 10" x 2 1/2"
2 strips 10" x 1"
Quilt batting (I used Warm and Natural)
1 piece 17 x 10"
embroidery floss (I used DMC 815)
thread, needle, sewing machine, pins, measuring tape
pillow insert, 17 x 10 (approximately)
1. Begin by transferring the design to what will be the front of your pillow. I wrote it freehand, lightly, in pencil, but have included a photo at the bottom that you can enlarge and transfer, if you like.
2. Using a whipped chain stitch, embroider the letters. For the dots above the "j" and the "i" I did a free hand satin stitch. Here is a link to a tutorial for the whipped chain stitch. I used the same 2-strand floss to do both the chain stitching and the whipped stitch over it. I like the corded effect of this stitch.
3. To the edges of the embroidered front, with wrong sides together, using a 1/4" seam allowance, sew the 1" contrast strips to each 10 inch side. Press. Sew the 2 1/2 " contrast strips to the first strip, using a 1/4" seam allowance. Press.
4. Layer the quilt batting against the back of the front. Here you can see the batting folded back to show the back of the embroidery.
5. Stitch 5 buttons below the stitching, through the front linen and the quilt batting. Set aside while you complete the back of the pillow.
6. Hem one 10" side of each back panel by turning under 1/4 inch, and pressing, then turning again. Stitch. Press. You will be creating an envelope style opening in which to insert the pillow form.
7. Stitch the layers together. On the bottom is the quilt batting, then the front embroidered piece, one back piece and then the second back piece. The two back pieces will overlap. The hemmed sides are in the center of the pillow. The above photo shows the layers staggered. Make sure to align everything neatly, and pin the layers together before stitching a 1/2 inch seam, all the way around the pillow.
8. Trim any jagged edges, cut the corners at an angle and zigzag around the edge to finish the seam. Turn pillow right side out through the opening left by the overlapping back sections. Press lightly. Insert a pillow form.
Et voilà, enjoy your pillow!
Here is the handwriting I used. Print this on an 8 1/2 x 11 inch paper. Of course, you could write I love you in any language - or another sentiment.
There are more Valentine's Day-inspired tutorials over at Pink Chalk Fabrics.