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Star Pillows: Christmas in July with Fabric Depot

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Star Light, Star Bright. Wish upon these first stars of the holiday season. We’re celebrating Christmas in July with Fabric Depot, introducing a set of brand new star pillows in three sizes and three mix-and-match styles. Summertime is when fabric manufacturers traditionally unveil their holiday collections. As limited runs, these fabrics often melt away long before the snowflakes start to fall. For the best selection, shop and buy now.

Each of our stars comes with a free pattern download thanks to the generosity of Fabric Depot. The large star is a two-piece pattern that is flipped to cut five in a light fabric and five in a dark fabric. When assembled, you get a lovely dimensional appearance.

The Medium Star is a single pattern piece. We cut from three different fabrics (and two collections) to create our unique pillow top. 

The Small Star is made up of five pieces you’ll tape together into a single template. We’ve put two pieces on each page so you can print fewer copies. 

With either the Large or Medium patterns, you can also print out multiple copies to create a single star template similar to the Small Star. Just trim away the seam allowance along the inside lines prior to butting them all together. The outer seam allowance remains as is.

Our thanks to Fabric Depot for providing all the fabric for our coordinated trio. We worked with four holiday collections, but that’s the tip of iceberg… or would we say, “Just the edge of the snowball?” They have an amazing number of options in stock! Below are a few selections we also loved.

We created our pillows as a set of three, but have given you supplies and steps below to make each pillow independently. One 16 oz bag stuffed all three of our pillows.

With some of the best promotions and sales in the industry and something new almost every day, shopping on FabricDepot.com is always fun. And, if you plan to be out here in the Portland, Oregon area, make sure you visit the Fabric Depot retail location. Sewers and quilters travel around from the world to shop 'til they drop in over 40,000 square feet of floor space – literally an acre of fabric and notions. Many of our Sew4Home project samples are on display alongside the exact fabrics we used.

Although we’ve designed this set with a holiday flair, stars shine brightly any time of the year. Fabric Depot has a huge variety of fabric types from which to choose. Imagine how pretty these pillows could be in rich silk dupioni, cozy flannel or even Cuddle Minky!

Our stars measure point-to-point as follows: Large at 20”, Medium at 16” and Small at 12”.

Sewing Tools You Need

Fabric and Other Supplies  

Large 10-Piece Star: 20" 

Medium 5-Piece Star: 16" 

Small Single Star: 12" 

Supplies needed for all pillows

  • All-purpose thread to match fabric
  • See-through ruler
  • Measuring tape
  • Fabric pen or pencil
  • Iron and ironing board
  • Scissors or rotary cutter and mat
  • Seam gauge
  • Seam ripper
  • Straight pins
  • Hand sewing needle

Getting Started

Large 10-Piece Star: 20”

  1. Download and print out the Ten Piece Star pattern.
    IMPORTANT: This pattern is ONE 8½" x 11" sheet that contains two pieces. You must print the PDF file at 100%. DO NOT SCALE to fit the page. There is a guide rule on the page to insure your printout is to scale.
  2. Cut out the two pattern pieces along the solid lines.
  3. Using the arrows printed on the pattern pieces as your guide, butt together the two pieces to create one full pattern. Do not overlap. Tape together. 
  4. From one of the two front fabrics, use the pattern right side up to cut FIVE pieces.  
  5. From the other of the two front fabrics, flip over the pattern so it is wrong side up, and cut FIVE pieces.
  6. Transfer all the pattern marking dots from the pattern to each fabric piece. To do this, insert a pin through the marking dot into the fabric behind.
  7. Gently lift of the pattern and transfer the dot onto the fabric at the point of the pin.
  8. Do not cut the back fabric or the fusible fleece yet. You will use the assembled top star to cut both below. 

Medium 5-Piece Star: 16"

  1. Download and print out the Five Piece Star pattern.
    IMPORTANT: This pattern is ONE 8½" x 11" sheet. You must print the PDF file at 100%. DO NOT SCALE to fit the page. There is a guide rule on the page to insure your printout is to scale.
  2. Cut out the pattern piece along the solid line.
  3. From the fabric for the back and one star point; cut ONE using the pattern piece.
  4. From each of the other two front fabrics, cut TWO, using the pattern piece.
  5. Transfer all the pattern marking dots from the pattern to each fabric piece. To to this, we layered all five pieces into one stack. 
  6. Then, marked the same position on each layer at each dot. 
  7. Do not cut the back fabric or the fusible fleece yet. You will use the assembled top star to cut both below.

Small Single Star: 12"

  1. Download and print out THREE copies the 12” Star pattern.
    IMPORTANT: This pattern is ONE 8½" x 11" sheet that contains two pieces You must print the PDF file at 100%. DO NOT SCALE to fit the page. There is a guide rule on the page to insure your printout is to scale.
  2. Cut out each pattern piece along the solid line. You really only need to cut five of the six pieces. The sixth pattern can be discarded. 
  3. Using the arrows printed on the pattern pieces as your guide, butt together the pieces. In the photo below, we show how the inner lines are cut flush; there is no seam allowance. 
  4. Continue in the same manner to assemble all five pieces. Do not overlap. Tape together to create the full star pattern.
  5. From the fabric for the front; cut ONE using the pattern piece.
  6. From the fabric for the back; cut ONE using the pattern piece. Continue until you’ve cut all the fronts and backs for your small pillows.
  7. Trim the pattern along the outer seam allowance line (the dashed line). Use this trimmed pattern to cut ONE star from the fusible batting for each pillow you are making. 
  8. Leave the poms as one length.

At Your Sewing Machine & Ironing Board

Large 10-Piece Star: 20”

Create the pillow top

  1. Pair up the ten pieces into five sets of two. Each set should contain one lighter piece and one darker piece. 
  2. Place each pair right sides together, aligning the longest side. Pin from the marked dot at the outer rounded point to the marked dot at the inner sharp point. 
  3. Using a ½” seam allowance, stitch from the marked dot at the outer rounded point to the dot at the inner sharp point.
  4. Make sure your are starting and stopping (and locking) your seams at the marked dots.
  5. Press the seam allowance open and flat. 
  6. Repeat to stitch this long seam for the remaining four pairs. 
  7. You will now stitch together the five sewn pairs along the inner short sides. Again, make sure you are pinning from marked dot to marked dot. 
  8. As you assemble the star, your sharp points will overlap at the center. This is correct.
  9. Using a ½” seam allowance, start at the inner marked dot…
  10. … and stitch to the outer marked dot. 
  11. Attach the sewn pairs one at a time, moving around the star shape. 
  12. Continue to press each seam allowance open and flat. At the center, where all the sharp points are overlapping, pinwheel the points to flatten and press well. 

Cut the remaining panels

  1. Find the back fabric. Place it right side up and flat on your work surface. 
  2. Place the assembled pillow top right side down on the back fabric and pin in place.
  3. Using the pillow top as your pattern, cut ONE from the back fabric. 
  4. At the outer edges of each star point, trim back the seam allowance so the rounded edge of the point is clearly visible to cut along. 
  5. Repeat to cut ONE star from the fusible batting. 

Assemble to finish

  1. Following manufacturer’s instructions, fuse the batting to the wrong side of the pillow top. don’t fuse all the way to raw edge of the star panel. You want the batting to be a bit loose at the edges so you can later trim it out of the finished perimeter seam. 
    NOTE: The fusible batting further flattens all the seams so your pillow top will stay wonderfully smooth when stuffed. 
  2. Place the back right sides together with the fused front. Pin together all around, leaving a 3" - 4" opening along one of the “arms.”
  3. Using a ½" seam allowance, stitch around the entire perimeter of the star. Shorten your stitch length and go slowly, pivoting at the inner and outer points. Remember to lock your seam at either side of the 3" - 4" opening. 
  4. Trim back the fusible batting to the seam line.
  5. Clip the inner points, being careful to not cut through the seam. 
  6. And cut back each side of the outer points. If you are new to these techniques, check out our tutorial on Stitching and Cutting Corners Correctly
  7. Press open the seam allowance. 
  8. Turn right side out through the opening in the seam. Using a long, blunt-end tool, such as a knitting needle or chopstick, gently push out each point of the star. 
  9. Stuff the pillow with polyester fiberfill. The pillow should be stuffed so it’s a bit flat. If it’s too puffy through the center it will distort the shape. 
  10. Take a handful of loose fiberfill and fluff the fibers with your fingers to remove any clumps. To do this, gently separate the fibers as if teasing hair. Insert these small handfuls of fiberfill, starting with the outer points of the star and working toward the the opening. We have a tutorial that covers more pillow stuffing tips and techniques
  11. Fold in the raw edges at the opening so they are flush with the sewn seam. Pin closed. 
  12. Using your hand sewing needle and thread, hand stitch the opening closed. Keep your stitches small so the fiberfill won't poke out.

Medium 5-Piece Star: 16”

  1. This medium pillow is made in much the same manner as the 10-Piece Star. 
  2. Arrange your five star sections in your desired pattern. We alternated fabrics, adding the one accent fabric as the fifth point. 
  3. Working in order, clockwise around the star, pin the first two sections right sides together along the short inner edges. As above, you are pinning from marked dot to marked dot. 
  4. Stitch together, using a ½” seam allowance, from dot to dot. 
  5. Continue adding one piece at a time, pinning from dot to dot. 
  6. Then, stitching from dot to dot. 
  7. As with the 10-Piece Star, the sharp points will overlap at the center as you assemble and seam. 
  8. Press all five seams open and flat
  9. Pinwheel the overlapped points at the center to flatten, then press well.
  10. Use the assembled pillow top to cut ONE each from the back fabric and the fusible batting. 
  11. Following manufacturer’s instructions, fuse the batting to the wrong side of the pillow top, keeping it loose at the edges. 
  12. Place the front and back right sides together. Pin together all around
  13. Don’t forget to leave a 3" - 4" opening for turning. 
  14. Using a ½" seam allowance, stitch around the entire perimeter of the star, pivoting at all the points
  15. Trim back the fusible batting to the seam line.
  16. Clip the inner and outer points, and press open the seam allowance. 
  17. Turn right side out through the opening in the seam. Gently push out all the points. 
  18. Stuff the pillow with polyester fiberfill
  19. Pin the opening closed so it is flush with sewn seam, and hand stitch to secure.

Small Single Star: 12”

  1. For this pillow, you already have your fusible batting cut into a star shape that is ½” smaller all around than the main star. 
  2. Center the batting on the wrong side of one panel, so that extra ½” of fabric is showing beyond the batting all around. Fuse in place.
  3. Find the length of pom pom trim. 
  4. Flip the fused star so it is right side up and flat on your work surface.
  5. Pin the pom pom trim to the right side of the fused star, following the perimeter and aligning the raw edge of the fabric with the trim’s insertion tape. Start and stop along the side of one “arm” of the star. Trim away the excess trim and poms and overlap the ends, keeping the pom spacing as consistent as possible. 
  6. Machine baste the trim in place, using a Zipper foot
  7. We went all the way around our star with one continuous length, adjusting as best we could to position a pom at each point of the star.
  8. Place the front and back panels right sides together, sandwiching the poms between the layers. Pin all around; once again leaving a small opening for turning. 
  9. Still using a Zipper foot, stitch all the way around, following along the edge of the fusible batting. Remember to pivot at each inner and outer point and to lock your seam at either side of the opening. 
  10. Clip all the points.
  11. Stuff and hand stitch the opening closed.

Contributors

Project Design: Alicia Thommas   

Sample Creation: Debbie Guild

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Comments (2)

Diane Beavers said:
Diane Beavers's picture

Right on time as i just purchased yardage in Cookie Exchange from my local quilt shop.

Plus I love stars! Thank you.

Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture

@Diane - Thanks! The collections this year are great. Check out some of our picks above from Fabric Depot. So many pretty choices.

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