Stitch two hems, sew two seams, and you’ve made an amazing pillow. Here you’ll find complete instructions for making pillow covers in four sizes! This project is courtesy of our sewing blog, howtosew.com. Visit daily for new sewing projects and easy home decor.
Fabrics: Stonehenge Out Of The World collection by Linda Ludovico for Northcott
- 1/2 yard print fabric
- 12″, 14″, 16″ or 18″ pillow insert*
*Instructions for sizes larger than 12″ are in parentheses.
Finished pillow cover for a 12″, 14″, 16″, or 18″ square pillow insert
Sew this project with 1/4″ seams.
From print fabric, cut one of the following:
- 12×29″ rectangle for 12″ pillow cover
- 14×33″ rectangle for 14″ pillow cover
- 16×37″ rectangle for 16″ pillow cover
- 18×41″ rectangle for 18″ pillow cover
Make Pillow Cover:
1. Turn under each short edge of print rectangle 1/4″; press. Turn under edges 1/4″ again and stitch each in place.
2. Place hemmed rectangle print side (printed side) up on work surface. Fold hemmed edges of rectangle to center, overlapping hemmed edges by about 4″ to make an 11-1/2×12″ (13-1/2×14″, 15-1/2×16″, or 17-1/2×18″) rectangle; pin top and bottom.
3. Sew across pinned edges using a 1/4″ seam allowance, removing pins as you go.
4. Turn right side out; press. Insert pillow form through opening to complete pillow.
Fabrics: Flora-C1793 in Gold from Timeless Treasures
See Jody’s first blog about her Round Robin experience here.
Would I do it again? Yes. The quilt top means the world to me because I know everyone put so much thought and workmanship into each round. It was fun to get the box each time to see what each person added. I liked that we did not have too many rules to follow. It is important to follow the deadlines established so everyone has the same amount of time to complete the next round.
Round 1: Jody
She says: The pieces for my Round Robin quilt center are 1/2″ hexagons from paper pieces. I fussy-cut a couple of the rounds. I like the look of two-color quilts, but also love super scrappy. After completing the hexagon portion, I appliqued it to a 12-1/2″ square.
Round 2: Elizabeth
She says: I have to admit I was totally intimidated by Jody’s beautiful quilt center. I’m in awe of these teeny tiny hexagons that were English paper-pieced. I tried a few different borders in Illustrator before actually doing any sewing (because I didn’t want to ruin the quilt!!). I settled on a checkerboard border whose squares were 1/2″ finished, which was the same as one edge of Jody’s hexagons. I didn’t want to overwhelm the quilt center and its beauty so I chose a muted colorway for the border.
Round 3: Nancy
She says: I wanted to add on to the lovely block, but still not overpower the original tiny hexagons. I liked the visual texture of mixing different sized patterns in the various red fabrics for the border but still needed a little something to jazz it up. I fussy-cut the fabrics for each of the corners using a larger flower pattern. There was one fat quarter with many blooms but no two alike so the corners were each different. The big flower prints in the corners repeat the reds, greens and neutrals from the first two rounds.
Round 4: Jill
She says: The adorable little hexagons on Jody’s quilt center had to continue to be the star of her quilt top. I wanted to echo the feeling of hexagons. I auditioned several attempts at the “final border” before I was finished. A few days before the due date the half-hexagon idea came to me. I made a pattern for a half-hexagon that was the same width as the squares in Nancy’s pieced border. Each of the half-hexagon is backed with a contrasting red print. Before adding the half-hexagons, I added a light print flat piping to the quilt center. This piping adds a visual stopping point between the large red print squares and the half-hexagon outer border. Bonus for Jody: the half-hexagon outer border doesn’t require binding; if she adds a backing, it’s complete.
Each month, learn a fun trick or tip to make your quilting easier and more polished! This month, learn the secret to machine-piecing hexagon rows.
When joining hexagon rows, set-in seams are required. Though the positioning of the pieces is unusual, sewing hexagons together by machine doesn’t have to be difficult; just take it one seam at a time, pinning and sewing carefully from dot to dot. (Be sure to transfer dots from patterns to templates, then to fabric pieces before you start joining pieces.) Follow our step-by-step photos, below, to guide you through the process.
1. To join hexagons in vertical rows, adjacent rows need to be offset. (Example that follows shows top hexagon in Row 2 already trimmed to make a half hexagon.)
2. With right sides together, place first Row 2 hexagon atop first Row 1 hexagon. (In this example, Row 2 begins with a half hexagon.)
3. Push a pin through each pair of dots to align pieces, then pin pieces together.
4. Sew from dot to dot, locking seam ends with backstitches or tiny (0.5-millimeter-long) machine stitches.
5. Open up pieces and reposition Row 2 over Row 1. Align and pin next seam.
6. Without catching seam allowance in stitching, sew next seam from dot to dot.
7. Open up pieces and reposition Row 2 over Row 1. Align and pin third seam.
8. Sew third seam from dot to dot. Do not sew through seam allowances. Continue in same manner until all seams are sewn.
9. Press first seam intersection counterclockwise, forming a tiny hexagon on the fabric wrong side. Press next seam intersection clockwise. Continue alternating the direction you press as you continue down the row.
See Jill’s first blog about her Round Robin experience here.
Would I do it again? Yes…with a bit more time between projects. With the holidays and travels during the round robin weeks, it was a scramble at times to meet the deadlines. It was delightful to see each quilt center and what the others had added. It was challenging to add to the center and other borders while complementing the original design yet not distracting from the original intent. I liked using a different technique on each border. I’m thrilled with my piece and treasure what each of my co-workers added to the center.
Round 1: Jill
She says: I’ve always been fascinated by spools of thread: luscious colors, interesting textures. The spools I’ve stitched for the center of the little quilt top show off a lively stripe that I’ve always liked. I used this stripe in a big quilt and have always wanted to add it to a smaller one. I like the way this uneven stripe works for the thread…each spool looks a little bit different. I’m not one for symmetry and I’m kind of a minimalist, so it will be fun to see what each other quilter adds to the center.
Round 2: Jody
She says: I drafted two Flying Geese foundation pieced patterns; 2×8″ for the sides and 2×12″ for the top and bottom borders. Jill provided a box of full of dots and solids in bright, cheery colors. I decided to use a white background and six dot fabrics in green, purple, and aqua for the “geese”. I repeated the same six fabrics in the same order around the first border. After removing the foundation paper, I stay-stitched a seam 1/8″ around the exterior to add stablization for the next border.
Round 3: Elizabeth
She says: When I got Jill’s quilt center from Jody, I knew I wanted to incorporate more assymmetry in my round. I decided to bring the colors of the quilt center out again and make border corners that somehow incorporated more of the colors in the “thread” on the spools. I also decided to move the quilt center and make larger assymetrical borders on the bottom and left.To keep with the funky feeling of the black-and-white stripe, I decided to use improvisational piecing to make a curvy strip set. Then I cut the border corners from this. This was a very fun round to do!
Round 4: Nancy
She says: Jill’s quilt is so much fun! I love the way she incorporated the striped fabric as thread on the spools. The borders added by my team added more structure and a bit of the off centered whimsy I love. I wanted to pull the sewing spool theme back into the last round. I experimented by laying the quilt top out with various tries for the border. I went with an asymmetrical three-sided addition to the border and added a small spool to the bottom right. I thought the extra spool was like having one spool out of you sewing kit.
Once a month, we highlight blogs our staff is reading right now!
A self-described fabric-aholic, designer and author Lee Heinrich regularly updates her blog with gorgeous pictures of her works in progress. Her fresh style is not only fun to look at, but also completely inspiring! She gives great tutorials, free patterns, and has quilt alongs we’re dying to try!
Crazy Mom Quilts
Amanda Nyberg, one of the authors of Sunday Morning Quilts, makes us look like slackers! As her blog title suggests, she’s a busy mom, but also an amazing quilter! Her quilts are modern, fun, and colorful. She has such unique designs and easy-to-follow tutorials. And the best part is, if you fall in love with one of her quilts, she sells them on her blog.
Red Pepper Quilts
Rita Hodge is an Australia designer and her blog is pure eye candy. From beautiful photography to fun designs to quilts we wish we had in our homes, her blog is page after page of happiness. Plus, she always has great giveaways and some helpful tips.