Saturday, February 5, 2011

Be Mine Bonanza: Day 7- Pretty Pillows

Hi all!  I'm Heather, and Summerstead is my little home on the web.  It's where I share some of my crafting ideas and talk about a little of this and a little of that.  I'm married to a pretty great guy, and we have 2 boys who we call Bug (10 - Yikes!  He's hit the double digits!) and Awesome (6).  I get to be a stay-at-home mom, but I don't have the chance to have a girls' night out very often, so blogging and connecting with people that way helps me keep my sanity!

When I'm not boy-trapped, as Awesome likes to say, I enjoy using my brain and my hands.  Unfortunately, my sketch book is filled with more projects than I'm likely to get done in the next 10 years!  I am honored that Kindra has invited me to be a part of her Be Mine Bonanza and share some of my ideas on her wonderful blog.  I'm going to show you how I make a pillow form, then I'm going to show you 2 different pillow covers.

Let's start with the pillow form.  For a 14" square pillow form, you will need:


1/2 yard Muslin/old sheet/any kind of fabric that is a light color (white or off-white usually works best) and cheap!
Tape Measure
Sewing Machine

Not pictured:
Embroidery needle
Sewing Machine
Iron & Ironing Table

First, you need to decide what size you want your form to be.  Let's go with 14"x14" so you can use it later on in this tutorial.  So, you will need to measure and cut a piece of fabric that is 15"x29" (formula: height + 1 by width x 2 + 1).

Fold your fabric in half, with right sides together, so that it measures 14-1/2" x 15". Pin the three non-folded sides and sew together using a 1/2" seam, but leave a 4-6" opening.  Make sure you backstitch at both the beginning and the end of your stitching.  I also like to reinforce my corners by backstitching there, too.

If you snip the corners, they will be sharper when you flip the pillow form right-side out and stuff, which is the next step.

Once you have it stuffed to your liking, just use a simple whip-stitch the opening closed, and you're done!

Now, let's get to the fun stuff.  First up is the No. 143 Pillow.  143=I Love You

Solid fabric
Accent fabric
12x16 Pillow form
Super duper gigantic ric rac (I found mine at Hobby Lobby)/ribbon/other embelishment
Iron-on Transfer paper
Coordinating threads
Prep work: Print "No. 143" onto a sheet of the transfer paper.  I used Engravers MT font at 200pt.

Cut one piece from your accent fabric that measures 13"x25" and set aside for now.  With your solid fabric, cut one piece at 13"x17".  Following the directions on your transfer paper package, iron on the "No. 143" about 1-1/2" from the edge.  Then measure 5" from that same edge, fold the fabric towards the back side and press.  Be careful to iron the side that does NOT have the transfer!

At the end opposite from your "No. 143", fold the edge over 1/2" toward the back side of the fabric and press.

Fold it over again, 1" this time, and press.  Repeat these last 2 steps on one of the 13" ends of your accent fabric, too.

With right sides together, sew your solid fabric to your accent fabric along the "No. 143" edge using a 1/2" seam.  Press the seam open, then add your ric rac and sew into place.

Remember when I had you measure 5" from the end and press?  Go back to that spot, and fold along that line so that the right sides are together, and pin.

Measure 16" from your last fold, mark it with a pin, then fold over so right sides are together and pin into place.

*Ignore the extra seam you see in these last to pictures...I cut my fabric a little short, so I had to add another piece to get the length I needed!*

Sew along the two long sides, then turn right side out, and stuff the pillow form in!

Finally, we have the Romantic Ruffle pillow...

14"x14" Pillow Form
White Muslin
Tape Measure
*Rotary Cutter
Coordinating Thread

Not pictured:
*Self healing mat
*Quilter's ruler
*Fray Check
*Pinking Shears
{*not necessary, but helpful}

Cut 1 piece of muslin 15"x39", and 3 strips that are 1"x44" (most fabrics are 44" - 45" wide).  *You will want to either use some fray check or pinking shears on the edges of your 1" strips to prevent them from fraying.*

On both of the 15" ends of your large piece of muslin, fold the fabric over 1/2" and press.  Fold over again 1", press and sew into place.  Set aside for now.

Make your ruffles.  (I forgot to take a picture. Doh!  It's pretty simple, though.)  There are several different ways to do this, even without a special ruffle foot.  This is what works best for me... On your sewing machine, set your stitch length to the LONGEST stitch or the HIGHEST number.  Set your tension to the TIGHTEST setting or the HIGHEST number.

Do a simple straight stitch down the middle of your 1" strips using the instructions above to make your ruffles.

Lay out your big piece of fabric, and measure 12-1/2" from the left and pin your first ruffle all the way down.  Using a straight stitch (don't forget to switch your stitch length and tension settings back to normal!), and using the ruffle stitching as a guide, attach the ruffle.

Pin your second ruffle right next to the first, and sew it on the same way.  Repeat for the third ruffle.

Measure 11-1/2" from the left and mark it with a pin.  Measure 14" from that pin and mark the second spot with another pin.

With wrong sides together, fold fabric at the pins and press.

Using the fold lines as a guide, fold right sides together and pin.  Sew a 1/2" seam along the unfolded sides.

Turn right-side out, and pop in a pillow form!

And now you have some LOVEly, romantic pillows!  Happy Valentine's Day!

This project makes me want to learn how to sew NOW! Oh my, I'm in love with these pillows!
Heather knows her way around a sewing machine and a camera. Check out this wonderful calendar she made using fabric and her photography! It sure beats my freebie calendar that I'm using right now! Thank you so much for sharing your talent with us, Heather!

Today ends the Be Mine Bonanza event. I hope you all enjoyed the projects featured this week! Thank you again to all my guest bloggers! You're the best!


  1. Heather these are so pretty!
    Thanks so much for taking the time to show us "how to" do this!
    I need a new sewing machine... :)
    This was an amazing tutorial too!!
    Ill be dropping over after work to visit!
    Thanks again Kindra..have a great weekend! :)

    Deborah xoxo

  2. Heather, those pillows are so girl-y!! (Yes I am am the only girl in my house, too.) Thanks so much for sharing.
    Oh how I hate to see the Be Mine Bonanza come to an end! It's been such a lovely week with projects to look forward to each day. Now I'll just have to get busy and try some of the new things I've learned how to do from you gals. Thanks so much for a fun week!

  3. Heather, I love the pillows! Thanks so much for breaking the process down so even a non-sewer like me can figure it out.

    Kindra, I can't believe the week is over! Thanks so much for hosting such an awesome event.

  4. There's been some cute ideas this week.
    But to the gal who did the stencil on the t-shirt I have a cute idea for her. For Mothers day, birthday, or whatever, you could stencil on a shirt like LOVE TO RIDE and then maybe put a small peace sign, I bet some mother would just love that. Just a thought.
    Have a good weekend:)

  5. Good Idea Mom...Oh I mean anonymous. LOL

  6. Oooh, I really like the ruffle pillow. So romantic. :)

  7. Thanks for the love, everyone! I've had these pillows on my to-do list for quite some time, and this Bonanza was the perfect motivator to actually get them done!

  8. These pillows are so Beautiful. Thanks for sharing.

  9. Heather those are beautiful!!! I love them all and so want to try the ruffled pillow! Thank you for the tutorial!!

    Thank you Kindra, this has been such a fun week so full of great inspirations for Valentines Day and everyday!!!


  10. Beautiful pillows Heather! Just like you Kindra, this has inspired me to want to learn how to sew! A seamstress I am not, but I do have a sewing machine...Maybe I should bust it out of the box and give this a try! What a wonderful week! Your Be Mine Bonanza was a great success! Thank you for hosting it, what a great way for all of us to come together and share our ideas! Have a great weekend everyone! ~Sarah~

  11. Hi Heather~

    These are gorgeous pillows! I love both of the designs, and think they look beautiful together. Thank you for showing us how to make our own pillow forms, too. I am going to have to try this. :) I am also excited to make a monogrammed pillow! Thanks for sharing!

    belle & sparrow {Beautiful Nest}

  12. Heather your pillows are beautiful..I too have always wishes I stuck it out and learned how to sew..I will be going to your blog to see what else you have done..Thanks Kindra for this post..Can't wait to see what's next..

  13. Oh my I LOVE this pillow I sure wish I knew how to sew!!! I admire people who can sew I would love to learn how some day.


  14. I don't post a lot but love coming to your site and seeing what you are up to. Thank you!

  15. Gorgeous, Heather. I adore the No. 143 pillow. I am definitely filing this idea away. And I have never seen super duper gigantic ric rac. I must find some right away. Love it!


I am so happy you stopped by my blog! I appreciate all your fun comments!