A pillow doesn't need a lot of extra fol-de-rol to have plenty of personality. (Okay... the Cinderella lovers can sing along with me now: "All the sensible people of this world will say, fol-de-rol and fiddle-dee-de and fiddley, faddley foddle... all the wishes in the world are poppy cock and twoddle.") Today's pillow is super simple: cut, sew, stuff - done. The tricks are to find the perfect fabric, spend the extra time to fussy-cut your squares to best showcase the motif, then pick a super cushy insert, like Fairfield's Feather-Fil® for that high-end, karate-choppable look. A pillow like this takes just half a yard of fabric, so you can indulge in a more expensive choice without breaking the bank. Even spending a bit more, you'll still come in way under those pricey pillows you've seen in the high-end stores and catalog. Plus... yours will be a one-of-a-kind original.
Our thanks to Fairfield Processing for sponsoring two weeks of projects and technique tutorials as well as our Great Pillow Personality Contest. Scroll to the end of the article for more information on how you can enter to win.
Fairfield products are easy to find! They're available at the big box stores, national fabric stores, as well as your favorite local quilt shop. In fact, Fairfield put together a handy Where to Buy Retailer Locator for us, giving you a fast and easy way to source the products we're featuring in this series from both brick and mortar stores in your area (the page is broken out by state) as well as online options.
Sewing Tools You Need
- Any sewing machine (we recommend the Janome Hello Kitty 15822)
- Clear View Quilting Foot and Guide Set (optional)
Fabric and Other Supplies
- ½ yard of 54" wide décor weight fabric; we used Oslo in Amethyst by Richloom, available at Fabric.com
- One 16" x 16" Feather-fil® insert from Fairfield: 95% feather and 5% down with a heavy-weight 100% cotton cover
- All-purpose thread to match fabric
- See-through ruler
- Fabric pen or pencil
- Iron and ironing board
- Scissors or rotary cutter and mat
- Seam gauge
- Seam ripper
- Straight pins
- Hand sewing needle
- Tissue or pattern paper (optional for fussy cutting)
- From the decorator fabric, fussy cut TWO 16" x 16" squares.
NOTE: For pillows where it's ALL about the fabric (there are no additional embellishments), we like to cut a pattern from tissue paper or other semi-transparent paper in order to really be able to see the motif and get the very best cuts possible. We then lay a see-through ruler along the edge of the paper and cut with a rotary cutter.
At Your Sewing Machine & Ironing Board
- Place the two squares right sides together, aligning all four raw edges. Pin in place all around, leaving an approximate 7" opening along the bottom edge.
- If you have a directional fabric as we did, make sure both sides are facing the proper direction.
- Using a ¼ - ½" seam allowance, sew around all four sides. Remember to pivot at the corners and to lock your seam at both sides of the 7" bottom opening left for turning.
NOTE: As we've mentioned throughout our series, you want your pillow cover to finish from ½" - 2" smaller than your pillow insert. Because we wanted a little extra room for a cushier pillow, we opted to stay on the large end of the scale. I used my Janome Clear View Quilting Foot and Guide Set to get a perfect ¼" seam, which gave me a finished cover size of 15½" x 15½".
- Trim all four corners at a diagonal. For more about corner-cutting, see our tutorial.
- turn the cover right side out through the opening and press flat.
- Turn under the raw edges of the opening used for turning so they are flush with the sewn seam. Pin closed.
- Insert the pillow form, we used a wonderfuly "smashable" Feather-Fil® insert from Fairfield. Gently fluff it into each corner, working from the farthest side out toward the opening.
- Thread a hand-sewing needle with matching thread and slip stitch the opening closed. Use small stitches to keep your work as unnoticeable as possible.
Project Design: Alicia Thommas
Sample Creation and Instructional Outline: Liz Johnson
Let YOUR Pillow's Personality Shine - Enter The Contest Today!
CONTEST EXTENDED THROUGH WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 12, 2012!
Use a Fairfield insert or filler to make a pillow with pizzazz!
Take a digital picture of your creation, and write up a short description (50 words or less) about your pillow's personality and whether the pillow was made to be passed along or kept. You must be older than 18 and a legal citizen of the USA to enter.
Email the digital picture and its description to: S4H@fairfieldworld.com.
Each day, Fairfield will post a random number of pillow pictures on their Facebook wall, as well as onto a special board on their Pinterest page. The twenty photos that generate the most activity at these social media outlets will be the semi-finalists.
From these top twenty semi-finalists, an industry panel of judges will select the five major winners to receive:
Grand Prize: Home Elegance Pillow Assortment - Retail Value $178
First Prize: Home Elegance/Soft Touch Assortment - Retail Value $106
Second Prize: Soft Touch 6-Piece Pillow Bundle - Retail Value $76
Third Prize: Soft Touch 4-Piece Pillow Bundle - Retail Value $54
Runner Up Prize: Soft Touch 2-Piece Pillow Bundle - Retail Value $22
Remaining 15 semi-finalists with each receive a 12oz bag of Poly-Fil Supreme® Fiberfil
The top five pillows will be featured in an article on Sew4Home.com.
Remember, the entry deadline is September 07, 2012. CONTEST EXTENDED THROUGH WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 12TH!
There's a plain pillow out there just waiting for your creativity.
Judges: Judy Novella, Marketing Manager at Fairfield Processing; Anne Adams, Creative Director and Liz Johnson, Senior Editor at Sew4Home; Nancy Jewell, Consumer Marketing Manager at Westminster Fibers Lifestyle Fabrics; Lissa Alexander, Director of Marketing at Moda Fabrics; Kathy Miller, Co-founder/President and Creative Director at Michael Miller Fabrics; Angela Walters, Author and Free Motion Quilting Expert; and Jo Packham, Founder and Editor of Where Women Create.
See the Pillow Personality Contest Rules for additional details.