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Elegant Patchwork Pillow Trio featuring Ville Fleurie: It’s Moda Moms Week

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It’s Day Three of Moda Moms Week, so of course we must have three pretty pillows. Thia is absolutely no problem when we’re designing with the latest cornucopia of color and pattern from French General: Ville Fleurie, which landed in-store and on virtual shelves this month. Here at Sew4Home, we’ve been French General fans for years. Their rich tones and intricate motifs are like opening a vintage treasure chest. In fact, much of the fabric inspiration is based on the unique French document collection, which French General founder, Kaari Meng and her husband JZ have been accumulating for over 20 years. 

We started with a full Fat Quarter Bundle of Ville Fleurie, selecting 13 pieces to blend together into three different pillows: one square, one rectangle, and one bolster. That means we still have 27 fat quarters left to play with after Moda Moms Week is over!

There are six beautifully blended colorways within Ville Fleurie: Rouge, Lavender, Bordeaux, Roche, Faded Red, and Pearl. The motifs range from grand to petite, which is essential when you’re creating fabric combinations for different shapes and sizes of pillows. Varying scale is what creates drama and interest in your finished project. 

As part of their closures, each of the three pillows features thin ribbon accents tied into a bow. Choosing one element that appears on all the pieces is a good way to add continuity across individual pillows, joining them together as a set.

Our large square pillow has two fabrics on the front and two on the back plus a fifth fabric that adds an accent square on the front and provides the ribbon for the back bow closure. Tassel trim along each side is the finishing touch. 

The small rectangular pillow also uses five fat quarters. Appliquéd triangles on the front panel add extra interest and dimension along one side. 

And, the ponytail bolster pillow uses the ribbon accents as both a tie and a flange. A bolster is always a fun shape to work with when you're building a pillow grouping. 

French General has been designing fabric for Moda for eight years. Each and every collection has been a winner in our eyes. We are always drawn in by the exquisite intricacy and the antique luxury of the colors and patterns. 

The roots of French General are truly French, and Kaari spends a great deal of time there every year, especially in the summer when she marvels at the abundance of flowers hanging from the balconies and terraces of the centuries-old homes. Ville Fluerie is inspired by the formal competitions in France to choose the best-flowered towns. 

Our pillow trio finishes at an 18” x 18” square (excluding the tassels), a 12” x 18” rectangle, and a 5” x 14” round bolster with 8” ponytail ends.  

Our thanks to Moda Fabrics for sponsoring our Moda Moms Week. You can find Moda fabrics at fine in-store and online retailers everywhere. Connect with them on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, and YouTube; as well as via the Moda Cutting Table Blog and Moda Bakeshop. Remember, Ville Fleurie arrived this month. Most retailers already have both pre-cuts and yardage in stock now.

Sewing Tools You Need

Fabric and Other Supplies

          

NOTE: All our pillows were made with Fat Quarters (22” wide x 18" high pre-cuts). If you choose not to use Fat Quarters, you’ll need ½ yard cuts of the same variety of fabrics. We recommend ½ yard cuts because we’ve taken advantage of the 18” height of the standard Fat Quarter for many of our cuts. 

PILLOW ONE - 18” X 18” SQUARE WITH TASSELS 

PILLOW TWO - 12” X 18” RECTANGLE

PILLOW THREE - 14” X 5” ROUND BOLSTER

ALL PILLOWS

  • Quality pillow inserts: 18” x 18”, 12” x 18”, and a 14” x 5” round bolster
  • All-purpose thread to match fabric
  • See-through ruler
  • Fabric pen or pencil
  • Seam gauge
  • Seam ripper
  • Scissors or rotary cutter and mat
  • Iron and ironing board
  • Straight pins 

Getting Started

PILLOW ONE - 18” X 18” SQUARE WITH TASSELS

  1. From the Ville Fluerie Fat Quarters, fussy cut the following: 
    Fabric 1 - Avrille in Lavender: ONE 11¼” wide x 18” high rectangle
    Fabric 2 - Chatenoy Le Royal in Rouge: ONE 7¼” wide x 12¼” high rectangle and ONE 7¼” wide x 2¼” high rectangle
    Fabric 3 - Montelier in Faded Red: ONE 7¼” wide x 4½” high rectangle and TWO 2” x 22” strips
    Fabric 4 - Honfleur in Bordeaux: ONE 13½” wide x 18” high rectangle
    Fabric 5 - Beauvais in Lavender: ONE 9¾” wide x 18” high rectangle
  2. From the lightweight interfacing, cut the following:
    ONE 13½” wide x 18” high rectangle
    ONE 9¾” wide x 18” high rectangle
    TWO ⅝” x 21¾” strips
  3. The batting will be cut to size below.

PILLOW TWO - 12” X 18” RECTANGLE

  1. From the Ville Fluerie Fat Quarters, fussy cut the following: 
    Fabric 1 - Chatenoy Le Royal in Lavender: ONE 6¾” wide x 12” high rectangle and ONE 9¾” wide x 12” high rectangle
    Fabric 2 - Honfleur in Faded Red: 11¾” wide x 12” high rectangle 
    Fabric 3 - Perigueux in Faded Red: FOUR 4” x 4” squares
    Fabric 4 - Montelier in Bordeaux: ONE 13½” wide x 12” high rectangle
    Fabric 5 - Perigueux in Rouge: ONE 9¾” wide x 12” high rectangle
  2. From the lightweight interfacing, cut the following:
    ONE 13½” wide x 12” high rectangle
    ONE 9¾” wide x 12” high rectangle
    TWO ⅝” x 21¾” strips
  3. The batting will be cut to size below.

PILLOW THREE - 14” X 5” ROUND BOLSTER

  1. From the Ville Fleur Fat Quarters, fussy cut the following: 
    Fabric 1 Avrille in Roche: TWO 8¾” wide x 18” high rectangles
    Fabric 2 - Montelier in Bordeaux: TWO 2” x 16¼” strips and TWO 2” x 22” strips 
    Fabric 3 - Honfleur in Roche: ONE 14½” wide x 16¼” high rectangle
    NOTE: We recommend fussy cutting all your pieces, but it is especially important on the bolster as its long, thin shape acts as a “billboard” for the motif and you want a pretty look to both the center panel as well as the pony tail ends. 
  2. From the lightweight interfacing, cut the following:
    TWO ¾” x 16¼” strips
    TWO ⅝” x 21¾” strips
  3. The batting will be cut to size below.

At Your Sewing Machine & Ironing Board

Pillow One - 18" x 18" Square with Tassels 

Create the pillow front

  1. Find the three rectangles that make up the right panel on the pillow front. These three pieces will be stitched to gather to equal the same height at the left panel. 
  2. Pin the 7¼” x 12¼” and 7¼” x 2¼” rectangles in Fabric 2 to either side of the 7¼” x 4½” rectangle of Fabric 3. If you have a directional fabric, keep track of the fact that the taller rectangle goes at the top and the smaller rectangle goes at the bottom. 
  3. Using a ¼” seam allowance stitch both seams.
  4. Press the seam allowances toward the darker fabric. 
  5. Press the assembled right panel right sides together with the left panel. Pin along the inner 18” edges.
  6. Using a ¼” seam allowance stitch together the panels. Press the seam allowance toward the darker fabric. 
  7. Find the batting. Center the finished pillow front right side up on top of the batting. Pin through both layers across the panel in several rows.
  8. Trim the batting flush with the pillow front on all four sides. 
  9. Find the tassel trim. Place it along each side of the pillow front, adjusting the trim as necessary to best center the tassels. When centered and matching on both sides, cut two 18” lengths. 
  10. Home décor trims usually have a very wide insertion strip, which is often needed for upholstery projects. For this pillow project, we wanted to minimize the insertion strip so just the tassels showed from the seam. The easiest way to get a straight reveal is to work from the wrong side of the pillow front so you can align the edge of the fabric/batting with one of the stitching lines that run horizontally through the insertion strip. Pin the trim in place. 
  11. Then, check from the front to insure the reveal is correct and even along the fabric's motif.
  12. Baste the trim in place along each side.
  13. Leave the extra insertion strip extending beyond the fabric panel to either side. It will be trimmed flush at the very end of the construction.
  14. Set aside the pillow front. 

Create the ties

  1. Find the two 2” fabric strips and the two ¾” interfacing strips. Press each strip in half, wrong sides together. Open up so the center crease line is visible. 
  2. On each fabric strip, press back each long edge and one end ¼”. We’re using our Clover Hot Hemmer.
  3. Slip an interfacing strip against each fabric strip. The interfacing should be flush at one end and ¼” in from at raw edge at the opposite end. The inner edge of the interfacing strip should be aligned with the fabric strip’s center crease line.
  4. Re-fold the strip along all the crease lines. 
  5. Be especially careful at the one finished end of the strip (the opposite end remains raw) to fold-in and wrap the corners. 
  6. This insures the finished end with be very neat when you form the back bow. 
  7. With the tie re-folded in half and all the folded edges flush, press well. This final pressing is what will adhere the interfacing to the fabric. 
  8. From the raw end of each tie, measure up 7½” and place a marking pin. This is where the tie’s edgestitching will start and top. 
  9. Thread the machine with thread to best match the tie fabric in the top and bobbin. Starting at the 7½” marking pin, edgestitch along one side, across the finished end, and down the opposite side, stopping at the 7½” marking pin. Remember to pivot at the corners of the finished end.
  10. Set aside the ties. 

Create the pillow back

  1. Find the two back panels and the two matching interfacing panels. Place an interfacing panel against the wrong side of each fabric panel. All edges should be flush. Following manufacturer’s instructions, fuse the interfacing in place. 
  2. Hem the inner edge of each panel. 
    NOTE: If you have a directional fabric, you will have an obvious inner edge to each panel where the overlap of the panels will occur. If your print if more random, simply choose one 18” side of each panel as your inner edge. 
  3. Find the 13½” x 18” panel, which is the overlap panel. Make a ¾” hem along the inner edge. To do this, fold back the raw edge ¼” and press well. 
  4. Fold back an additional ½” and press again. 
  5. Re-thread the machine if necessary with thread to best match the overlap panel fabric. Lengthen the stitch.
  6. Topstitch ¼” from the folded edge to secure the hem.
  7. Find the 9¾” x 18” underlap panel. Make a ½” hem along the inner edge. To do this, fold back the raw edge ¼” and press well. Fold back another ¼” and press again. 
  8. Re-thread the machine if necessary with thread to best match the underlap panel fabric. Keep the stitch lengthened.
  9. Topstitch close to the folded edge to secure the hem.
  10. Find the exact center along the raw 18" edge of each back panel. Place a pin to mark this center point or clip a small notch. 
  11. Find the ties. 
  12. Center the raw end of a tie over the marked center point of each panel. Pin the tie onto the panel from the raw edge up to the tie’s 7½” marked point (the point where the tie’s edge stitching started and stopped).
  13. Re-thread the machine if necessary with thread to best match the tie fabric. Keep the stitch lengthened.
  14. Starting at the raw edge, edgestitch along one side of the tie. Stitch up to the 7½” marking pin, pivot and stitch across the tie, pivot again and stitch along the opposite side out to the raw edge. Keep this new edgestitching perfectly in-line with the previous edgestitching.  
  15. Repeat to place and stitch the second tie on the remaining back panel.
  16. With the ties stitched in place, overlap the two back panels (right sides facing up) so they are the proper finished width of 18”. Pin together at the top and bottom overlap. 
  17. Working as close to the edge as possible, stitch across just the overlap at the top and bottom to create one piece. It's easier to work with one piece to stitch front to back.
  18. Tie the ties into a bow or at least pin them at the center of the panel to keep them out of the way of the final seam.

Assemble front to back to finish

  1. Place the front and back panels right sides together, sandwiching the tassels and ties between the layers. Check again that the ties are at the center of the pillow and out of the way of the seam.
  2. Carefully align all the raw edges of the panels (remember, the tassel’s insertion strip will not be flush but will extend beyond the panels). Pin together along all four sides.
  3. Stitch together through all layers around all four sides, using a ¼“ seam allowance. Remember to pivot at each corner. We used our Zipper foot to keep our seam tight to the line of the tassels.
  4. Clip all four corners, trim away the excess insertion strip, and grade the seam allowance.
  5. Turn the pillow cover right side out through the back envelope opening. 
  6. Gently pull out the tassels along each side. If needed, pick out any stray basting stitches with your seam ripper.
  7. Insert your pillow form through the envelope opening and fluff it out into the corners.
  8. Tie a neat bow at the back.

Pillow Two - 12" x 18" Rectangle

Create the pillow front

  1. Find the two main rectangles for the pillow front. Place them right sides together. Pin along the inner 12” edges.
  2. Using a ¼” seam allowance stitch together the panels. 
  3. Press the seam allowance toward the darker fabric.
  4. Find the batting. Center the pillow front right side up on top of the batting. Pin through both layers across the panel in several rows.
  5. Trim the batting flush with the pillow front on all four sides.
  6. Find the four 4” x  4” squares. Separate the squares into pairs and place each pair right sides together. All raw edges should be flush. Pin along all four sides.
  7. Using a ¼” seam allowance, stitch along all four sides. Remember to pivot at each corner. 
  8. Clip all four corners and press open the seam allowance.
  9. Slice each sewn square in half on the diagonal to create four separate triangles. One triangle can go into your scrap stash.
  10. Turn the remaining three triangles right side out through the open diagonal side. Gently push out all the corners so they are nice and sharp. A long blunt tool works best for this, such as a knitting needle or chopstick. You especially want the point of each triangle to be as sharp as possible. Press the triangles flat. 
  11. Place the triangles along the outer raw edge of the pillow front’s left panel (Fabric 1). Overlap to fit, but make sure the middle triangle is properly centered on the front panel. Pin the triangles in place through all the layers.
  12. If necessary, re-thread the machine with thread to best match the triangle fabric in the top and bobbin.
  13. Edgestitch each triangle in place. Work from top to bottom or bottom to top, lifting up the corner of the overlapping triangle in order to stitch the base triangle first. Then, replace the next triangle and stitch its three sides in the same manner, finishing with the third triangle in the set – also edgestitched in the same manner.

Create the pillow back

  1. Find the two back panels and the two matching interfacing panels. Place an interfacing panel against the wrong side of each fabric panel. All edges should be flush. Following manufacturer’s instructions, fuse the interfacing in place.
  2. The rest of the assembly of the back panels is the same as for Pillow One.
  3. Hem each of the panels’ inner 12” edges, changing thread color as needed for the best match.
  4. Create the ties.
  5. Attach a tie at the center of each back panel, stitching to the 7½” marked point.
  6. Overlap the panels and secure at the top and bottom.
  7. Place the front and back panels right sides together. 
  8. Using a ¼“ seam allowance, stitch around all four sides. Turn the cover right side out and insert the pillow form. 

Pillow Three - 14" x 5" Round Bolster

Create the exterior panel

  1. Find the middle panel. Center the panel right side up on top of the batting. Pin through both layers across the panel in several rows.
  2. Trim the batting flush with the fabric on all four sides.
  3. Find the two 2” x 16¼” strips and the two ¾” strips of interfacing.
  4. Press each strip in half, wrong sides together. Open up so the center crease line is visible.
  5. Slip an interfacing strip against each fabric strip. The interfacing should be flush at both ends and the inner edge of the interfacing strip should be aligned with the fabric strip’s center crease line. Following manufacturer’s instructions, fuse the interfacing in place.
  6. Re-fold each strip along the center crease line.
  7. Find the two outer pony tail rectangles. 
  8. Along the outer 18” raw edge of each rectangle, press-in a ½” hem along the inner edge. To do this fold back the raw edge ¼” and press well. Fold back another ¼” and press again. Don’t stitch the hem in place at this time.
  9. Along the inner 18” raw edge of each pony tail rectangle, run a basting stitch. 
  10. Gather the basted edge to 16¼” to match the middle panel.
  11. Place a flange strip along each side of the middle panel. The raw edges of the folded flange should be flush with the raw edge of the fabric panel. Pin in place.
  12. Place a pony tail panel right sides together along each side, sandwiching the flange between the layers. Adjust the gathers as needed for a perfect fit. Re-pin in place through all the layers. 
  13. Using a ¼“ seam allowance, stitch each side through all the layers. With gathers, we prefer to stitch with the gathered panel facing up to make sure the gathers stay even and flat.

Assemble to finish with the ties

  1. Unfold the tiny hems along the outer edges of the pony tail panels so you can pin and stitch from raw edge to raw edge.
  2. Fold the seamed exterior panel right sides together lengthwise. Pin in place along both both pony tail ends and across the middle fabric/batting panel. 
  3. Using a ¼“ seam allowance, stitch the long center seam. 

    NOTE:
    We recommend finishing the seam allowance. We used a simple zig zag finish.
  4. Re-fold the tiny hems into the outer edges of the pony tail panels. 
  5. If necessary, re-thread the machine with thread to best match the pony tail fabric in the top and bobbin. Lengthen the stitch. Edgestitch each hem in place. 
  6. Create the ties in the same manner as above for the back panel bows, but in this case, fold in a clean finish on both ends of each tie.
  7. If necessary, re-thread the machine with thread to best match the tie fabric in the top and bobbin. Edgestitch along both long sides and both ends to create two fully finished ties. In the photo below, you can see that we used the piecing option described above to cut and seam two strips together in order to keep our motif running lengthwise. 
  8. Insert the bolster form through the open ends. 
  9. Gather each end into a pony tail and tie a pretty bow. 

Contributors

Project Design: Alicia Thommas
Sample Creation and Instructional Outline: Debbie Guild

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