Thursday 27 November 2014

Pillow Talk

Steadyyyy....if you are visiting from a casual surf, sorry to burst your bubble, this is a quilting blog.

And if you are reading from across the Pond, Happy Thanksgiving!
We have a saying here in the UK along the lines of - when America sneezes, the UK catches a cold - well, over here we still have Christmas as our main turkey fest but seem to have very suddenly adopted Black Friday, it's all over our Press and Internet. Happy Days.

But I digress. Today I wanted to show you a cushion /pillow that I have just finished as a Christmas pressie for a young nephew. It occurred to me along the way that many reading here will not be familiar with my "fully quilted" technique that I now teach all the time in my I took a few pics and thought you might like a look.

Basically what I do is construct the front of the cushion, if it to be pieced. I then add sides, large enough to cross over, envelope style, on the back, before layering up & quilting. If the front of the cushion is to be appliqued then this can be applied to one single length of fabric.
I usually work with the width of the fabric, around 42" - 44" x about 1/2m (about 20")

Below you can see my "Death Star" cushion in the making. I EPP'd the actual Death Star, courtesy of Melinda's pattern at Quirygranola girl..
I decided I wanted it slightly off centre and applied it porthole style to my background fabric.

From this stage it's time to layer up & Quilt as Desired..........

Trim after quilting, just as you would for a quilt. Measure the depth of your cushion, let's say it measures 19" (variable according to your cushion front style). Cut two binding strips to this length, by 1.5". Theses are to bind the short ends and I like to sew them right side of binding onto the wrong side of the cushion. See below.

Press away from "quilt" and fold the long raw edge to the edge of the quilt.

and then fold over onto the right side of the quilt. This then allows you to machine stitch on the right side and I like to do this with an applique stitch.

Now, remember we have an estimated cushion depth of 19"? You will lose an inch here once the final seams are sewn as I recommend a 1/2" seam allowance for security! So we need to work towards a cushion width of about 19" (I always think when making a 3D item like a cushion, a wee innacuracy here and there is ok)
Lay out your quilt/cushion with right side facing up. Fold one side over the other until you achieve about 19" width. At this stage the width will look a little narrower than the depth - that is ok.
Pop a couple of pins along each fold. You can see my pins in the next pic.

Now, leaving the pins as they are, re-fold with the right sides together. Now you are ready to stitch top and bottom seams. Be sure to use your walking foot here and make those seam allowances about 1/2" Where you stitch over the multiple layers reverse stitch a couple of times as these are the points that will be stressed most when stuffing.

Clip corners.....................

and turn doesn't this look luxurious on the back, it just makes for a more substantial cushion cover, do have a go.

Poke your corners, I do like a neat corner.

Insert cushion pad. My actual cushion measured 17" square and took an 18" feather pad.
Result - one Death Star cushion for a Star Wars obsessed 7yr old.


  1. Love the way you quilted this, Sheila! It is such a fantastic cushion to give your nephew. I've done a cushion like that before but only once or twice. I should remember to do it more often. Thanks for the reminder.

  2. Great cushion, and beautiful quilting

    I'm running a fabric giveaway, would you like to enter?

  3. Wow! That is one cool 'boy' pillow! Jxo

  4. Love all the directional quilting! And choice of fabrics is inspired.
    Lucky boy!

  5. Great cushion, and I really love your technique for making it up. x

  6. Wonderful cushion Sheila, your nephew will be thrilled to bits with it! Love the quilting technique too, must give it a go on my next cushion.

  7. Thank you for your really clear tutorial. I am not confident with zips and this makes the pillowcase method look so good. I shall definitely be trying it out soon.

  8. It looks great! Although having a title of 'pillow talk' and the word 'poke' in there may definitely get you odd visitors ;o)

  9. What a brilliant cushion!! Being fully quilted makes the back so nice and none of that trying to machine sew the binding!
    Thanks so much for linking up with Ho, Ho, Ho and on We Sew !!

  10. What a great cushion, I really like the way you've made it.

  11. I love this cushion, Sheila.



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