tutorial: appliqued envelope pillow

Debra and I have a friend named Kandy Littrell who recently exhibited her illustrations- both on the walls behind glass and on pieces of fabric YOU CAN BUY!!! I walked into the art show without knowing this and I saw the swaths of fabric and got a very tickly feeling. Seriously, her work is so awesome and since I simply cannot afford art that is displayed behind glass or on canvas, etc., I was excited to be able to leave the show with something of hers (besides the small assortment of flyers and cards I also left with).  This is the fabric I chose (I also got it in blue).


Of course, I only had a big pillow insert and I didn’t want to go out to get something new.


So, this is what I did:

1) I had an 18″ pillow form so i cut a 19″ square of gray linen that I had and thought would look nice with the red. The 19″ allowed me to have 1/2″ seam allowances.

2) I centered the piece of fabric onto this square, pinned it to hold it in place, and then used a small zig zag to applique it to the linen.  The front is done.


3) To create the envelope closure, which is such a simple and quick way to make a new pillow, I cut two piece of linen:

One was  14″ x 19″, and the other was 11″ x 19″.  They will overlap so the pillow doesn’t pop out.

3) On the 14″ x 19″ piece. fold and press a 1″ hem along a 19″ side. Stitch in place with a small zig zag in contrasting thread.

4) The smaller panel can just be zigzagged along the raw edge.  The idea is that this piece will be hidden under the more finished edge.  Of course, you will see that I got it backwards when piling my pieces and that nice folded hem is in the interior.  I didn’t rip and change it because it looks fine and is the back of the pillow anyway.  I am fond of rough edges.  It’s all good.  I really have to be okay with such small mistakes like this, otherwise I would be driven mad- they are on the frequent side.

5) Time to stack the pieces and assemble the pillowcase.  First place the small panel right side up, then the larger hemmed panel right side up so they create a 19″ square.  Do you understand what i mean?  They will be slightly overlapping like this, only flat (I just folded back so you could see the layers. Of course note that I did it in the wrong order):

6) Next, place the front of the pillow, applique side down, atop these other 2 panels that have made a 19″ square.

Pin all the pieces together and sew a half inch seam with a straight stitch around the entire perimeter of the square.  Cut the corners.

Whew! Linen wrinkles up so fast.  Who cares, right?

Now would be a good time to press again, and then stuff the pillow form right in.

How perfect does that go with my faded red chair?! This shot makes me remember that most bloggers probably don’t have perfect houses at all- just tightly shot and nicely cropped blown out photos, like this one, which is hiding the craziness it sits in.

This entry was posted by nicoleblum.

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