Chenille Pillow with Hidden Zipper

Chenille Pillow with Hidden Zipper

Chenille Pillow.jpg

Making your own decorator pillows has never been this easy! 

Here's what you'll need:

  • Pillow form of choice
  • Two pieces of fabric cut 1'' larger than pillow form. Example: If using a 14" square pillow form then cut (2) 15" squares.
  • One Invisible Zipper approximately 4" shorter than side of pillow zipper will be placed on. Example: If making a 14" square finished pillow, select a 9''-10'' -length zipper.
  • Chenille-It Blooming Bias or similar chenille bias product and matching thread
  • One package 1/4'' -wide Dritz Wash Away Wonder Tape
  • Zipper foot attachment
  • Seam ripper
  • Marking tool
Signature Chenille Pillow.jpg

My Chenille pillow was made using the Traveler Raindrops print from my new Signature fabrics for Art Gallery Fabrics. This print was perfect for this decorative finish because of the lines of the print could be used as a guide for chenille placement. 

Chenille-It Blooming Bias tm.jpg

Chenille bias tape comes in rolls and is a loosely woven cotton cut on the bias. 


Mark your fabric, if necessary to give yourself sewing guides. In my case, I could use the lines of my Traveler print and get right to sewing. 

Following the manufacturer's instructions, stitch the chenille bias tape to the fabric foundation using a short stitch length. Sew down the center of the strip with a straight stitch. 

Add as many rows as desired.

Assemble the pillow before blooming the chenille with water.

Hidden Zipper

zipper pillow-01.jpg

On a flat surface, place the pillow front and back right sides together with edges matched. If there's a definite top and bottom to your pillow place the bottom of the pillow closest to you, as shown in illustration. 

Center the zipper on the edge that will be the bottom of the pillow. Mark the fabric at the points where the zipper begins and end.

zipper pillow-04.jpg

Remove zipper and stitch bottom edge using a 1/2" seam allowance from the outside edge to the marked line on each end. Backstitch to reinforce.

Using a basting stitch length, sew the space between the marks with a 1/2'' seam allowance. Do not backstitch. Press seam open. 

zipper pillow-02.jpg

On the wrong side, place the zipper wrong side up centered directly over the seam and between the marks. Pin in place or I like to use Dritz Wash Away Wonder Tape to hold the zipper in place without the need for pins. 

If using Dritz Wash Away Wonder Tape, cut two lengths of tape as long as the zipper. Stick a length of tape to the right side of the zipper on each side, keeping the tape away from the zipper teeth. Peel off backing tape and stick the right side of the zipper to the fabric as shown above.

Reset stitch length to regular length. Switch to the zipper foot attachment for your machine and stitch zipper in place around all sides. Note: Stitch with needle in the down position and pivot around corners, sewing just past the metal ends of the zipper. 

zipper pillow-03.jpg

Turn to right side of the pillow and remove the basting stitches using a seam ripper. Open zipper. 

Fold front and backing on the zipper seam with right sides together and edges matching. Pin. Change presser foot to regular foot. Using a 1/2'' seam allowance, stitch three sides together. 

Turn right side out through zipper opening. Tip: Do not clip the corners. By leaving the corners unclipped the bulk helps to fill out the corners of the pillow. Carefully poke out corners.

Chenille Pillow with Hidden Zipper.jpg

Following the chenille manufacturer's instructions, wash or wet bias to bloom. Dry completely before inserting pillow form. Tip: If washing creates gaps in the chenille, simply cut a slightly longer piece of chenille bias tape longer than the gap and stitch in place using the pillow opening. Wet and fluff to blend into original chenille. 

Signature Look Baby Room pillow 2.jpg

This pillow was so much fun to make and looks comfy cozy in my Signature baby room setting. Be watching for more looks from this baby room in the upcoming Signature Look Book next week. 

Signature Look Baby Room Pillow.jpg

Community Sampler Week #13

Community Sampler Week #13


This is it, time to start putting all those beautiful blocks together into a quilt! Today is all about setting your on-point blocks into 17-1/2'' unfinished squares and assembling the center of the quilt. If you don't plan on adding any of the optional borders (covered next week) you can move on or wait until finishing is covered in week #15.

If you've just found out about this sew along, don't worry, you can still join in on the fun but you may want to start from the very first post and work up to the present. There are eleven blocks in our quilt, block setting, and optional borders. Each Wednesday will be a new PDF block release or finishing step for the quilt. If you are just joining us, pick up the Introduction PDF on the Sew Along page and you'll get a material list along with coloring pages so you can get started planning your quilt. Then, work your way through the first Community Sampler post to the present.

My co-host and sister Art Gallery Fabrics designer Maureen Cracknell and I are so happy to have you sewing with us and can't wait to see your finished quilts.

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Please cut your pieces EXACTLY as given in each of the PDF instructions because bumping up the size of the pieces from the measurements give will not bring great results in some cases. Take advantage of my in-blog tutorials for each of the different quilting techniques used in our sampler.

Accurate cutting and use of a true 1/4'' seam allowance is a must for successful patchwork piecing. All your blocks will measure 12-1/2'' square (unfinished). Review how to cut strips, sew with a true 1/4'' seam allowance, and other helpful piecing tips on my "Are You Ready to Sew" post.

Let's start setting our blocks. Download the free PDF on the Sew Along page.


Probably your biggest hurdle this week will be in selecting fabric(s) for the background setting. I already had in mind to use the Art Gallery Fabrics Pure Elements solid called Sweet Macadamia (PE-471) but still needed to see how the blocks looked with my choice before I started cutting into my yardage. 

To really get a good feel for how things looked and block placement I pinned the fabric to my design wall then pinned the blocks to the fabric. I took quick photos with my phone of the various options and then I could look at the options on my phone to know what I liked best. I narrowed it down to two very close versions and sent the images to Maureen to get her opinion and help solidify my choice.

Block Setting Tutorial


To start, you'll need to cut twenty-one 9-1/2'' squares. Since I'm using all the same fabric to set my blocks, I cut six 9-1/2'' x 42'' strips and then sub cut the strips into the 9-1/2'' squares.

Because rotary cutter rulers aren't wide enough to cut 9-1/2'' wide strips, you'll need to double up rulers to get the necessary measurement. Just be sure to keep the markings aligned to the straight edge of the fabric and hold the ruler closest to the cutting edge when using the rotary cutter.

Setting 1.jpg

Once your squares are cut, divide them in half diagonally, as shown.


As directed in the PDF instructions, fold the block in half twice and finger press to crease. Fold a background triangle in half once and finger press to crease. Note: No need to press creases into the New Four-Patch block because the block's seam lines can be used as center marks. 

Setting 2.jpg

With right sides together, use the crease lines to match the center crease lines of a block and a triangle on one side of a block. Pin and stitch with an accurate 1/4" seam allowance. Press corner open.


Repeat on the opposite side. 


In the same manner, add triangles to the remains sides of the block. Notice how the stitching line enters and exits the "V" created by the perpendicular triangles.


Press corners open. Make a total of nine full blocks.

Setting 4.jpg

Trim block to 17-1/2'' square. Please note that very little trimming will be needed if you've cut and sewn accurately. You're basically trimming off the dog ears and doing a tiny bit of tidy up (picture on right). Use the widest ruler you have to square off the true sides of each triangle (picture on left).


Here's the total amount of trimming from all the blocks (full and half) so go easy on the trimming!

I know in the directions it says to fold the half-blocks in half to crease but in reality it's not necessary because you can use the seam lines as the guide. Use a folded crease line of a triangle and attach triangles to the half-blocks in the same manner as above. Trim half-blocks to 9'' x 17-1/2'' and make a total of three half-blocks.


Referring to the Quilt Assembly (without borders) Diagram on the PDF and noting placement of full and half-blocks, lay out the blocks in three vertical rows of four blocks each. Join block into vertical rows. 


Join the rows by matching the edges of the rows and using the point of the center of the block to match a staggered seam line. This completes the center of the quilt top without borders.

Feel free to stop here and quilt as desired or wait for the finishing instructions on week #15. Next week on week #14, we will give instructions for creating the three borders.


My co-host Maureen Cracknell and I are continually amazed by the joy and excitement each of you bring to our virtual community. Thank you for making this sew along so special. Please visit Maureen's blog and see the progress she's making on her sampler quilt, using her beautiful AGF fabrics Love Story collection. Be sure to use the #CommunitySampler hashtag when posting your blocks to Instagram and tag both my @sharonhollanddesigns and @maureencracknell so we don't miss any of your beautiful work! But, please be patient with both Maureen and I over the next few weeks if we don't comment back. Both Maureen and I are preparing sewing samples for our new spring collections and there's just not enough hours in the day (or energy) to get it all done!

Don't forget that this Friday's a Giveaway Friday on the Community Sampler sew along. Maureen and I will take turns hosting a giveaway each week where one of our generous sponsors will be featured and offering amazing prizes both here on our blogs and also on Instagram. Maureen will be hosting the giveaway this Friday and you'll be instructed how to enter at that time.

Happy sewing!

Community Sampler Giveaway Week #6

Community Sampler Giveaway Week #6

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Each Friday that Maureen Cracknell and myself are co-hosting the Community Sampler will be a Giveaway Friday. We've coordinated special prizes with our amazing participating sponsors for a giveaway each and every week! If you've happened to miss the first Community Sampler posts, take a look back from the first post Community Sampler Week #1 to get caught up to the present. Feel free to start sewing with us at anytime--it's never too late to join in, and it's free! 

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The Dritz story spans nearly 100 years, and encompasses tens of thousands of creative products. What began as a family business in 1920s New York City, is today a storied brand that is recognized by DIY enthusiasts around the world. Today, Dritz embodies a heritage of quality, value and innovation. Sewists and quilters alike turn to Dritz for top-notch quilting and sewing supplies. Dritz is conveniently sold via mass merchants, independent shops and online retailers, so it’s readily available where and when you need it. - See more at: Dritz!

Products  *  Projects & Patterns  *  Instagram  *  Blog  *  We hope you enjoy visiting Dritz!

For this week's Community Sampler Giveaway, Dritz is offering an incredible prize! Both the blog and Instagram winner will receive all of the wonderful Dritz sewing/quilting products shown below! 


The items included in this fabulous giveaway are the following:

Quilting Pins

Extra-Fine Glasshead Pins

Coil Less Basting Pins

Magic Pin Wand

Hummingbird Needle Threader

Small Seam Ripper

Pearlized Heart Pins

Twist 'N Select® Needle Storage Tube

Hexagon Paper Piecing Shapes

Quilter's Betweens Needles

Thank you Dritz for this generous prize!


This Giveaway is now Closed. Congratulations Delaine for being our Dritz giveaway winner!

* Note * This giveaway is open to EVERYONE! If you're a "no reply" or anonymous commenter, please remember to include your email address in your comment--you can't win if I can't get a hold of you!

1. Simply leave a comment here under this post! (First comment entry).

2. Follow Dritz on their Blog and/or Instagram. Just let me know that you did by making a separate comment here to record that entry. (Separate comment - second entry). 

3. My followers get a third entry! If you follow via subscribing to my posts, through Bloglovin (or other service), or on Instagram, just let me know by making a separate comment here to record that entry. (Separate comment - third entry). Note: I'm no longer on Facebook.

4. Help spread the word!! I know that many of you already do, so I thought it would be nice to add that as another way to enter! Spread the word about the Community Sampler on YOUR instagram, facebook, tweet, pin, blog post, etc... (separate comment - fourth entry). 

That’s FOUR possible entries! Enter now through Monday, April 2nd! The winner will be picked at random around 4pm Eastern. I will post the name of the winner on this post once they've been notified and responded to my email.

Happy Easter,


Community Sampler Giveaway Week #3

Community Sampler Giveaway Week #3

Aurifil Giveaway small MC.jpg

Each Friday that Maureen Cracknell and myself are co-hosting the Community Sampler will be a Giveaway Friday. We've coordinated special prizes with our amazing participating sponsors for a giveaway each and every week! If you've happened to miss the first Community Sampler posts, take a look back from the first post Community Sampler Week #1 to get caught up to the present. Feel free to start sewing with us at anytime--it's never too late to join in, and it's free! 

CS Promo banner 2.jpg

Community Sampler Sponsors




Aurifil is a wonderful thread company dedicated to developing amazing, new products based on quality and solutions. Established in 1983, Aurifil is an accomplished Italian company based near Milano, with a full-grown experience in producing superior quality threads for professional and domestic quilters. The company headquarters is the ground where new ideas generate original items, always more refined and advanced, to provide assistance to all the quilting needs through a wide range of threads in several weights and accessories. Aurifil's success is based on developing projects carefully, always looking for high quality and great style, with a commitment to create contemporary products that will appeal to everyone!  *  Instagram  *  Facebook  *  We hope you enjoy visiting Aurifil!

For this week's Community Sampler Giveaway, Aurifil is offering the lucky winner the Maureen Cracknell Bohemian Garden Aurifil Thread Collection! This hand-selected set of threads includes TEN colorful spools of Aurifil thread, in 50wt 100% cotton, in colors chosen to coordinate with her Art Gallery Fabric collections!

How to Enter:

Maureen and I are taking turns hosting the Community Sampler Giveaway Fridays and this week I'm sending you to Maureen Cracknell's blog to enter!

A BIG thanks to all of you who are joining the 2018 Community Sampler sew-along and to those who enter our Giveaway!

Don't forget this same prize is offered on our Instagram feeds and every time you use the #CommunitySampler hashtag in your public IG posting your name is automatically entered into the drawings!

♡ Sharon