Improv Boho Pillow

Improv Boho Pillow

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To continuing my marathon series of home decor pillows sewn with my Signature fabrics for Art Gallery Fabrics, today I'm posting about an improv patchwork pillow.

I wanted a long, bolster-type pillow for my Soho-style bedroom photo shoot and had a 14'' x 28'' pillow form that would be just perfect. 

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I used prints from my Signature Foliar color way and first made the four 3-1/2'' x 6-1/2'' Flying Geese units from:

  • One 7-1/2" square Venture Forward
  • Four 4-1/8" squares Tender Arrangement

See my No-Waste Flying Geese tutorial here.

The Flying Geese units didn't quite make the 14-1/2'' width I was needing for my pillow so I added two 1-1/2'' x 6-1/2'' strips of Art Gallery Fabrics PE-411 Pink Quartz Pure Elements solids to get it up to size. 

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Improvising as I went, I made two 3'' x 14-1/2'' strips of vintage trim embellished Pink Quartz and cut the following of Untamed Beauty Daybreak: two 6-1/2'' x 14-1/2'' strips and two 3'' x 14-1/2'' strips. When assembling the sections I added in the vintage copper colored piping for a little bling. 

Once the pillow front was pieced I basted reclaimed vintage pompoms to the raw edge before assembling the pillow. 

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Since this pillow front only had enough seam allowance for a 1/4'' seam allowance I decided to finish the back with an envelope pillow backing. There's a terrific tutorial over at the Sew Mama Sew blog and she even has the cut sizes for the different sizes of pillows in a handy-dandy chart!

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After my pillow was all sewn I thought it needed just one more fun element and hand sewed a giant pompom to the center of the pillow (before inserting the pillow form). 

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Next, and final installment in this pillow series I'll be sharing how to make a Yo-yo pillow. If you've missed the first two pillow tutorials, take a look at my Chenille Pillow with Hidden Zipper and the Ruching Rose posts.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ruching Rose Pillow

Ruching Rose Pillow

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It seems that texture is the latest thing in home decor. If you step into any home department in your favorite store there's beautiful pillows with loads of character. I know I want to buy them all but after awhile that gets pretty pricey. Why not make your own decorator pillows at a fraction of the cost!

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As I was coming up with project ideas to show off my new Art Gallery Fabrics Signature fabrics collection I wanted to off course show off the prints but also show you new ways to use fabric. 

Art Gallery Fabrics produces some of the finest quality quilting cotton and garment fabrics on the market. Their knit material is buttery soft and of thick weight that it can be used in more than just garment sewing. 

My Signature collection has three knit prints and for the Ruching Rose pillow I used two of them. Extempore Fest is the large floral background and Lacey Cosmos is used for the ruched flower. 

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Make a Ruching Rose Pillow

You can customize the size of your pillow by adding 1" to the finished dimensions of your pillow form. Example: If you want a 20" square finished pillow, cut two 21" squares for front foundation and backing.

Note: The material list is based on a 16'' finished pillow.

Materials

  • 16" pillow form
  • 1/2 yard knit for background
  • 1/4 yard knit for rose cut into (4) 2'' x Width of Fabric strips for rose
  • Needle and matching thread
  • One package 1/4'' -wide Dritz Wash Away Wonder Tape
  • (1) 12'' - 14'' invisible zipper
  • Zigzag and zipper foot attachments
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Join the (4) 2'' -wide strips into one long strip. Pace ends right sides together at right angles and stitch on the diagonal as shown. Trim seam allowance to 1/4''. Trim dog ears. Press seams open to reduce bulk.

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Fold the long strip in half lengthwise with wrong sides together and press to crease. Unfold and then refold the raw edges wrong sides together toward the center. Press. 

Knot the end of a long length of matching thread. Hand sew a basting stitch in a zigzag design down the length of the long strip, loosely gathering the strip as you sew for ruching. 

Tip: Use binding clips to hold the folded fabric while you stitch. If you reach the end of the thread but need to continue ruching, gather the strip as desired before knotting off the thread on the raw edge side of the strip. Continue with a new length of thread in the same manner. 

Note: For my pillow I only used about 3-1/2 strips out of the 4 strips. If you're making a larger pillow the 4 strips will make a larger rose.

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Fold a 17'' square of fabric into quarters to find the center of the square. Press to crease. Cut a 12'' length of Dritz Wonder Tape. Turn one short end of the ruching strip under 1/4''.

Adhere the tape to the raw edge seam side of the ruching strip, holding the turned end in place under the tape. Remove paper backing.

Starting at the creased intersection, adhere the ruching strip to the pillow front, spiraling it around the center to form a rose. Tip: I let the previous row of petals slightly overlap the subsequent rows to give more of a 3-D effect to the flower. 

Note: Working on a flat surface, rotate the strip around the center while keeping the raw edge seam side down and the ruching flat and evenly spaced. Add more 12'' lengths of tape as needed to continue making the rose. 

Turn the end of the ruching under, tapering the end under the proceeding spiral to finish the rose. 

Starting on the outside ending point, sew down the rose with a zigzag stitch on your sewing machine to secure it to the pillow front. Spiral around as you sew, ending in the center of the rose.

See my Hidden Zipper tutorial for finishing your pillow with an invisible zipper. 

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Chenille Pillow with Hidden Zipper

Chenille Pillow with Hidden Zipper

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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
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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. 

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

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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

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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.

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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. 

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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. 

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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.

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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. 

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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. 

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Signature Bucket Bag

Signature Bucket Bag

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This month my sixth fabric collection, Signature for Art Gallery Fabrics hits the shops. I couldn't be more excited to share this collection with you in the form of new, free projects!

As the industry gathers in Portland, Oregon this weekend for the Spring Quilt Market, I'm staying home and opted out of displaying my new collection at the show. My decision not to go stemmed from several reasons. One, my second grandchild arrived in April and I took a break from work to go lend a hand. That put me way behind in my normal market prep sewing but I wouldn't have missed being present for the birth for the world! 

Two, I decided, in advance that if I stayed home I would finally remodel my sewing/guest room in my house and turn it into a proper studio space so I could stage different photography scenes for my projects. I was actually able to remodel my room and buy some new props for less than it would have cost me to go to the show and now I can bring you more and better displays here from home. 

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This is just a tiny peek into the first of several Signature Looks. Over the next few weeks I will be posting new, free projects and a closer look into each set up. As always, be sure to watch my feed and Stories on Instagram for even more, day-to-day posts.

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You first saw my Kantha-Style Bucket Bag when I took part in Jessica Swifts Tallinn blog tour last month. I just didn't have the time then to write up the pattern for it then, and thank you for being patient till I could get it prepared. 

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There were so many asking for this pattern after I posted about it I decided to remake it in my new Signature fabrics, get the pattern written, and include it in the Signature LookBook coming out next month. 

You'll find the free PDF download for my Bucket Bag on the Free Patterns page of this blog. 

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Bag details include hand-quilted stitching with Aurifloss embroidery thread on the exterior of the bag, eight roomy interior pockets, and fun embellishments like Extra-Large Eyelets and Swivel Hook, and Tassel Cap from Dritz

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For the interior of the bag I used Art Gallery Fabrics Smooth Denim (DEN-S-2007) in Nectarine Sunrise and Lateral Bud Profusion (SGN-68710) for the pockets. 

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For the exterior of my bag I use (from the opening to bottom) Extempore Fancy (SGN-58700), Traveler Raindrops (SGN-58705), Lateral Bud Profusion (SGN-68710), and Small World Sprightly (SGN-68713).

For a quick tutorial on how to make a tassel using the Dritz Tassel Cap kit, take a look back at the Tallinn blog tour post.

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There are 20 prints in the Signature collection and comes in two color ways. Between the two color ways there are 14 different prints because in some cases the print only has one coloring. That's what makes this collection so deep and interesting. I'm still making discoveries as I sew! Above is the Foliar color way and below is the Atmospheric color way.

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Shops are just getting their stock of Signature in and I've begun adding a few online shop listings to my Fabrics page. Some have already sold out in the first week so keep checking back as they restock and more shops list their new inventory.