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Noel Home: A Trio of Pillow Pleasures: Tufted, Triangled and Down-Filled with Poms

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Ask anyone to name the number one home décor project, and nine out ten people will answer: 'a pillow.' We're guessing that tenth person is the same guy who's always throwing off those surveys in which nine out of ten dentists agree about something. Never happy, that guy. No matter; we're delighted to stick with the majority and give you a trio of terrific holiday pillows to try. All of ours were made from fabric scraps leftover from our other Noel Home projects. But, I've listed yardages, as well as the names of the actual fabric we used, should you want to start from scratch. Let's show ol' one-out-of-ten the decorating power of pillows!

As you know, we often make our pillows with envelope backs so the covers can be easily removed for washing or to change out the cover for a new season. However, this is a trio of solid-seamed pillows. We plan on simply tossing them about as decorative touches to our Noel Home décor, however, we also plan to keep them away from cousin Betty Lynn who is easily amused; when she gets to laughing, her arm gets to shaking, and her mug of hot chocolate gets to spilling.

Our thanks to our friends at Moda Fabrics for providing all the French General Lumiere de Noel fabric as well as our selected velvets. You can find the gorgeous Lumiere de Noel fabric in stores and online now, including at Fat Quarter Shop.

For Pillow Two, if you decide to use velvet for your solid triangles as we did, we recommend using a roller foot or walking foot to help keep the shifting layers in line.

Sewing Tools You Need

Fabric and Other Supplies

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Pillow One: Tufted

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  • 2/3 yard of 44-45" wide fabric for pillow front: we used Lumiere de Noel by French General for Moda Fabrics in Floral Christmas Oiseaux Rouge Natural
  • 2/3 yard of 44-45" wide fabric for pillow back: we used Lumiere de Noel by French General for Moda Fabrics in Wovens Antique Red Buffalo Check Plaid Silky Cotton
  • Scraps of fabric for covered buttons: we used a scrap of burgundy cotton velvet
  • Button covering kit (1"- 1½" button): you need 2 buttons (most kits come with 1 - 4 buttons per package depending on button size)
  • Button or carpet thread
  • Specialty hand sewing upholstery and/or curved needle (optional)
  • 20" x 20" pillow form

Pillow Two: Triangled

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  • ½ yard of 44-45" wide fabric for pillow front accent triangles: we used Lumiere de Noel by French General for Moda Fabrics in Floral Christmas Oiseaux Rouge Tan
  • ½ yard of 44-45" wide fabric for pillow back accent triangles: we used Lumiere de Noel by French General for Moda Fabrics in Toile Christmas Toile de Lamour Red
  • NOTE: Your triangles should be fussy cut to center a cool motif within the triangles. If you choose a fabric with a larger pattern as we did, you may  need a larger piece of fabric, perhaps ⅔ yard.
  • ½ yard of 44-60" wide fabric for front and back solid triangles: we used a cotton velvet by Moda Fabrics in Burgundy
  • Pattern or tracing paper, enough to make an 18" x 18" square
  • 18" x 18" pillow form

Pillow Three: Down-Filled with Poms

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  • ½ yard of 44-45" wide fabric for pillow front: we used Lumiere de Noel by French General for Moda Fabrics in St. Catherine Natural
  • ½ yard of 44-45" wide fabric for pillow back: we used Lumiere de Noel by French General for Moda Fabrics in Red Dobby Dot
  • Four approximately 2½" pom-poms
  • NOTE: We made our own using a Clover Pom-Pom Maker. Based on the thickness of the yarn, a standard skein of yarn should yield six to seven 2½" pom-poms.
  • 17" x 15" down pillow form, we had a vintage pillow we took apart to salvage the down-filled insert

General supplies for all pillows

  • All purpose thread to match fabrics
  • See-through ruler
  • Fabric pencil
  • Iron and ironing board
  • Hand sewing needle
  • Scissors or rotary cutter and mat
  • Straight pins

At Your Sewing Machine

Pillow One Instructions

  1. Cut a 20" x 20" square from both the fabric for the pillow front and the fabric for the pillow back.
  2. Make two covered buttons, using a Covered Button Kit and following manufacturer's directions. You can also refer to our tutorial: Button Kit Covered Buttons. Or, learn how to make you own with our tutorial: DIY Covered Buttons - No Kit Required.
  3. Pin the front and back squares right sides together, matching all raw edges.
  4. Using a ½" seam allowance, sew around all four sides, leaving an opening of about 5-6" in one side.
  5. Clip all four corners at a diagonal, being careful to not cut into the seam.
    Diagram
  6. Turn the pillow cover right side out. Using a long blunt-end tool, like a knitting needle or chopstick, push out all the corners so they are nice and sharp
  7. Insert the pillow form.
  8. Thread a hand sewing needle with matching thread.
  9. Slip stitch the 5-6" opening closed.
  10. Using a long needle (either a 4-6" dollmaker's needle or a 4-6" upholstery needle works well) threaded with button or carpet thread, sew a few stitches through the center of the pillow. Pull these stitches tight and knot off. This will pull the center of the pillow in and allow the button to sink in the center, once it is attached.
  11. Using a smaller hand sewing needle (a curved needle also works well) stitch a button to the exact center point of each side of the pillow. Do one button and then the other; don't try to stitch both buttons at once.
  12. If you like this pillow, you may also like our Perky Pom Pom Pillows from our 2009 Citrus Holiday Collection.

Pillow Two Instructions

  1. Cut an 18 x 18 inch square from the tracing or pattern paper. Fold the square in half to form two equal triangles. Cut in half down the center crease. The resulting triangles are your pattern pieces. Your paper should be semi-transparent so you can fussy cut your accent fabrics.
  2. Using your triangle pattern, cut two triangles from accent fabric one, two triangles from accent fabric two, and four triangles from the solid fabric.
  3. Lay out your eight triangles on your work surface in an alternating pattern (solid-patterned); four for the front and four for the back.
    Diagram
  4. Take the first two triangle pieces for the pillow front and pin right sides together along one short edge. Stitch, using a ½" seam allowance.
    Diagram
  5. Continue stitching triangles in this manner until you complete the pillow front square.
  6. Press all four seams open as you go so your square lays flat.
  7. Repeat these same steps to form the square for the pillow back.
  8. With right sides together, pin the front square to the back square. Use a ½" seam allowance to stitch around the outer edge, leaving an unstitched opening of 5-6".
  9. After stitching, clip the corners. Remember, be careful to not clip through your stitching.
  10. Turn the pillow cover right side out through the  5-6" opening. Using a long blunt-end tool, like a knitting needle or chopstick, push out all the corners so they are nice and sharp
  11. Insert the pillow form.
  12. Thread a hand sewing needle with matching thread.
  13. Slip stitch the 5-6" opening closed.

Pillow Three Instructions

  1. Because this pillow is down-filled, it gets that nice 'slouchy' look. But to achieve this, you need to cut each piece of fabric a little larger than your pillow so there's 'slouching room.' In our sample, we cut a 18" x 16" rectangle from both the front and back fabrics.
  2. On the right side of the back fabric rectangle, pin a pom-pom in each corner. Machine baste each pom in place within the ½" seam allowance.
    Diagram
  3. Layer the front fabric rectangle over the back, sandwiching the poms in between. Your two fabrics should be right sides together and all raw edges should be flush. Pin in place.
  4. Using a ½" seam allowance, sew around all four sides, leaving an opening of about 5-6" in one side.
  5. Clip all four corners at a diagonal, being careful to not cut into the seam.
  6. Turn the pillow cover right side out through the 5-6" opening. Using a long blunt-end tool, like a knitting needle or chopstick, push out all the corners so they are nice and sharp
  7. Insert the pillow form.
  8. Thread a hand sewing needle with matching thread.
  9. Slip stitch the 5-6" opening closed.

Alternate pom attachment

It does take a little bit of maneuvering to sew the seam with the bulky poms sandwiched in between. If you'd rather not fight that, skip step number one and complete the pillow through the remainder of the steps. Then, using a yarn needle, thread the pom hanger through the needle, and hand stitch a pom onto each corner.

Contributors

Project Concept: Alicia Thommas

Sample Creation: Natalie Lawrie

Other machines suitable for this project include the Elna Sew Fun and the Brother CE-4000.

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Comments (1)

Debbie Howard said:
Debbie Howard's picture
Gorgeous pillows. They are so fun to make. I love adding beautiful trims and fabrics to them to make them beautiful and unique. Great job on yours. Thinking I need to try a tufted one. I haven't done one like that yet. Thanks for the tutorial.
Debbie

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