Yo-Yo Pillow

Yo-Yo Pillow

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The final installment in my pillow series is this fun Yo-Yo Pillow. Yo-yos and pillows made from yo-yos are nothing new but it's something I've not seen done for awhile and there may be lots of new sewers out there that don't know how to make them.

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Yo-yos are hand stitched from circles of fabric. I used a 6'' diameter circle to make mine but you can use whatever size you'd like. The smaller the starting circle, the smaller your finished yo-yo will be. They shrink considerably once stitched up and my finished yo-yos measured around 2-1/2'' across.

Yo-Yo Pillow

Materials needed to make an 18'' square finished pillow

  • For front foundation and backing: Two 18-1/2'' squares for 1/4'' seams Lapped Zipper Back or two 19'' squares for 1/2'' seams Hidden Zipper back
  • For yo-yos: Sixty-four 6'' diameter fabric circles
  • One 14'' invisible zipper
  • Aleene's No-Sew Fabric Glue
  • One package 1/4'' -wide Dritz Wash Away Wonder Tape
  • Zipper foot attachment
  • Needle and thread
  • Embroidery thread and needle
  • Marking tool and ruler
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Knot the end of a length of thread. Hiding starting knot on the wrong side of the fabric, turn circle edge 1/4'' under to wrong side while hand basting a running stitch 1/8'' from edge. Leave thread in needle and do not knot end when basting stitch reaches the starting knot. 

Pull loose thread end to gather, forming a yo-yo. The gathered edge will be pulled to the center. 

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Flatten the yo-yo, centering the gathered closure. Secure thread with a double knot and hide thread inside the yo-yo. Make a total of 64.

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There's a few ways you can connect your yo-yos for a pillow top. One way would be to stitch the yo-yos together with tiny stitches along the edges at four points like a compass then attach the connected circles to the pillow top. 

Another way would be to blanket stitch the yo-yos to the pillow foundation (leaving the appropriate 1/4''-1/2'' seam allowance around the edges of the foundation for pillow assembly.

I chose a middle road and "X" stitched my yo-yos directly to the foundation at four points. 

Signature pillow assembly.jpg

Since I only had an 18-1/2'' square piece of Art Gallery Fabrics Apricot Sunrise Smooth Denim I needed to take care not to stitch my yo-yos in the 1/4'' seam allowance area. I used the 1/4'' mark on my Omnigrid ruler as a guide. 

Since my yo-yos aren't perfectly sized and I wasn't sure if the amount made would fit my pillow foundation I wanted to have all the yo-yos in place before I started sewing. To keep my yo-yos in place without pinning, I put a dab of Aleene's No-Sew Fabric Glue on the back of each yo-yo and worked from the outside edges of the foundation in toward the center.

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Once all in place and working on a flat surface, I hand stitched the yo-yos to the foundation with 3-ply strands of Aurifloss embroidery thread. Tip: Leave the side of the yo-yo nearest the foundation raw edge unstitched until after pillow is assembled. By leaving these sides free, the edge yo-yos can be folded in toward the center of the pillow durning assembly and stay free of the seam allowance area.

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Stitch at four points and secure on back with double knots. 

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Assemble the pillow using either my Lapped Zipper Back or Hidden Zipper tutorials.

I finished my pillow with a lapped zipper back in Signature fabrics Extempore Gala canvas.

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After the pillow has been assembled, go back and finish hand stitching the edge yo-yos to the pillow. Insert an 18'' square pillow form.

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Hand stitching yo-yos is a great take along pastime and perfect for lazy summer days of relaxing, mindless sewing on the go or just sitting at home. 

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I hope you enjoyed these pillow projects. I've still more projects to post here before the Signature Look Book is published so come back and visit real soon for more summer sewing ideas. 

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. 

Signature Boho Pillow 1.jpg

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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