Sunday, November 15, 2015

Quilted Body Pillow Cover

I'm a bit behind (so, what's new about that?), but I finally have my pictures to complete my tutorial on how to make a quilted cover for your body pillow!  Thanks for all the lovely comments on my Island Batik project!  In order to tell you how to create your own I decided to make a second version using some of my orphan blocks in order to show you how I did it.

The first thing I did was to choose three blocks that looked nice together.  You could make three matching blocks, of course.  Your blocks need to be 12 1/2 inches (unfinished size)

I ended up rotating the middle block so the white sections went across instead of up and down.  The next step is to choose a background fabric. You will need about 5/8 of a yard of a non directional print.  I auditioned several.  I had a pretty rose print, but the color was too dull for these blocks.  I also tried yellow -
I thought that it was too similar to the yellow in the center block, so looked at a blue print next:

Much better!  You will need to cut one 18 1/2 inch square and two 9 1/2 inch squares.  If you don't have a ruler to measure a large square, you can combine two rulers to get the finished size.  I used my 12 1/2 inch square ruler and my 6 x 12 ruler to do the cutting - just go slow and make sure you place your hand on the ruler next to the cut and you will do fine!



This large square needs to be cut in half diagonally both ways.  Your 24 inch ruler will be too short to go all the way across, so what I do is to use the 45 degree line to make sure my ruler is at the right position to start, cut about 6 inches, then move the ruler to the far corner and line up with the cut I began at the bottom.  You could also press the square in half both ways and cut along your pressed lines.  Cutting accurate pieces really makes your project go together better!





The two 9 1/2 inch squares will both need to be cut in half in only one direction.  These will be the small triangles on the two ends.
Sew these to the two outside squares, finger press to the find the center of the side of your block and the long side of the triangles.  match these up and sew together.


After sewing this, add the long triangles in the same way, but sewing the short side of the triangle to the upper right side of the end block.
 Add a large triangle to the upper right and bottom left of the center block, and the last one to the bottom left of the last block.
Now you will only have to sew two long seams, matching the block corners.
Time for some quilting!  Layer your backing fabric (this can be something you don't like at all because it won't show in the finished pillow), batting and pillow top.  Quilt as desired.  I did swirls on mine.
Trim the edges so they are even.  My pillow top finished at about 17 1/2 inches by 52 inches.  The body pillow measured about 18 by 52, so the top was a good size for it.  I usually like my pillow covers to fit a bit on the tight side so that they are well filled.

For the backing you will need about 3/4 yard of fabric.  I cut two pieces 17 1/2 inches by the length of the fabric.  The easy way to do this is to cut the two selvages off, then cut 17 1/2 from the selvage.  Square up the two ends of each piece, then hem one edge of each piece.  I fold down 2 inches, then press the end to the fold to make a 1 inch doubled hem.


Lay your quilted section right side down, and pin one of the backing pieces right side up on top.
Add the other backing piece on the other side overlapping the first one:
Cut 4 strips of binding your preferred width and prepare it for sewing.  Add the binding in your usual method.  I like to sew mine to the back side, then turn it over and machine stitch it to the front.
Now all you need to do is insert your pillow!  It's a bit of a battle, but be patient and gentle and you can get it all in where it needs to go.

And there you go!  You could do the same thing and add two regular pillows for a bolster.  They would be easier to insert as well ;)

In summary – to make this pillow you will need:

Three pieced or appliqued quilt blocks, 12 ½ inches unfinished
5/8 yard fabric for the setting triangles
¾ yard fabric for the backing
1/3 yard for the binding

One 18 x 52 inch body pillow or

Two 20 x 26 inch regular pillows

Fabric for lining the quilted top and batting.

If you would like to download a printable pfd of this pattern, it is available here in my Craftsy pattern shop.

Thanks for encouraging me to create this tutorial!  Enjoy!


Thinking of Paris

Thoughts of Paris have weighed heavily on me the last two days.  Normally I smile to see the Eiffel tower pop up in my newsfeed on facebook, but after the tragedy there, it just makes me feel sad.  Ironically I have been working on finishing this quilt up this week:

Paris, you are in my heart and prayers.


Sunday, November 01, 2015

You Can Quilt Blog Hop and Giveaway!

Welcome!  Today is my turn to share about a chapter in the book "You Can Quilt! Building Skills for Beginners".  I was excited to be a part of this hop because I am really passionate about helping beginning quilters learn the basics.  This book covers a lot of great topics and would be a perfect start for a new quilter or for anyone who wants to brush up on their basic techniques.   I even learned a thing or two, and I've been quilting for a long time!

My chapter was Number 11 - Inset Seams.  Also known as the dreaded Y-seam.  I thought it was neat that one of the blocks used English Paper piecing which is a great way of working with those inset seams as well as adding a great hand piecing technique that is really popular right now!  The instructions were easy to follow and I love how my block came out!

I learned a new way to use freezer paper for the applique as well - and it worked better than the way I usually do it!  I guess you can teach an old dog a new trick from time to time :)

The second block was a Mitered Frame Block.  Again the instructions and illustrations were great, and my block came out the perfect size with no puckers or waves at all!  You need to know how to do this technique - mitered borders on a quilt are such a classic touch.  Once you get the hang of it you can totally do these in a flash.

The final block was a bit more involved, but once again, easy to make by following the directions in the book. It is a Mini Lone Star block.   It also came out the perfect size as and looks great!
I really like how the colors flow in this block!  The fabrics I used in my blocks are part of a new collection by Island Batik - Caribbean Splash.  Doesn't it look like a sunny tropical beach?  Love it!  The setting triangles are one of their Screen Prints.

Guess what I made out of my blocks?
I'll bet you guessed it's a table runner, right?  Well, you guessed wrong!


It's a pillow cover!

I've been wanting to cover a body pillow my daughter had to use for a bolster on the guest room bed, and thought these blocks would be perfect for that.  And I was right!

I just added two overlapping panels to the back before I sewed the binding on, making an envelope back so I could put the pillow inside.  I'll try to get a better picture tomorrow - the daylight was gone before I knew it today, thanks to the end of daylight savings time last night!

Now for the fun part! 

At the end of the blog hop we will randomly choose 4 winners. Each winner will receive a copy of You Can Quilt! and a fat eighth Island Batik fabric bundle. See the Rafflecopter below and enter the giveaway!

Unfortunately, this giveaway is only open to US residents. If you don't win or if you can not wait you can purchase a copy of You Can Quilt! you can get a signed copy from Marlene it is also available through AQS (as a hard copy or e-book) and Amazon



a Rafflecopter giveaway

Many thanks to AQS and Island Batik for sponsoring this giveaway!  Here is the list of participants as well so you can see their posts if you are just now catching up:

Oct. 9 – Ch. 1. Basics - Leila Gardunia http://sewnbyleila.blogspot.com
Oct. 12 – Ch. 2. HST - Tammy Silvers http://www.tamarinis.typepad.com/
Oct 14 – Ch 3. QST - Connie Kresin Campbell http://www.conniekresin.com
Oct. 16 – Ch 4. Flying Geese - Maryellen McAuliffe http://teachpany.blogspot.com
Oct 19 -- Ch. 5. Wonky - Christine McCrann Martinez http://madeinscraps.blogspot.com
Oct. 21 – Ch. 6. Improvisation - Connie Kauffman http://kauffmandesigns.blogspot.com
Oct. 23 -- Ch. 7. Foundation Paper Piecing - Joan Kawano http://moosestashquilting.blogspot.com
Oct. 26 – Ch. 8. Curves - Marlene Oddie http://kissedquilts.blogspot.com
Oct. 28 - Ch 9. One-Patch Blocks - Bea Lee http://www.beaquilter.com
Oct. 30 – Ch. 10. Applique - Barbara Gaddy http://bejeweledquilts.blogspot.com
Nov. 2 – Ch. 11. Inset Seams - Pamela Boatright http://pamelaquilts.blogspot.com/
Nov. 4 – Ch. 12. Challenge Blocks - Linda Stewart Pearl http://www.onequiltingcircle.com
Nov. 6 – Ch. 13. finishing – Marlene http://kissedquilts.blogspot.com