Tuesday, September 13, 2016

September Tutorial Tuesday #2 - Free Motion Applique Pillow

This month's Tutorial Tuesday is brought to you by Laura of Stitches by Laura.

** If you would like to see an image on our blog in a larger format, just click on it to enlarge.

I'm so excited to be sharing how I make pillow covers!

     • FMA Pattern by StitchART - (I used the Birthday Set) 
     3/4 yard Fabric Finders Chambray - (I used Grey)
     2 yards Jumbo 1.5" Riley Blake Ric-Rac - (I used White)
     1 Charm Pack
     1 Travel size pillow (14" x 20")
     Scrap of quilt batting approx. 20" x 28"
     Piece of other fabric for interlining approx. 20" x 28"
     Fusible Web (Amount varies.)
     Rotary cutter, ruler, and mat
     Safety pins

1. First, cut your chambray (background fabric) 14" x 20."  Yes, this is the size of the pillow, but we'll trim it down just a little after the free motion applique.

2. YOU are in charge of the appliques - I styled mine after my nephew's children, changing the scale as needed for the different ages. I also flipped the smallest one halfway through tracing so he would be holding both of his sisters' hands. Follow the directions in the pattern or use methods you are already familiar with for creating your masterpiece.

3. After you have your scene created, trim about 2" off each side so that it now measures 10" x 16".

4. Next, we are going to sew on the ric-rac. As shown in the pictures below, position the ric-rac so that half of it is hanging off the edge of your chambray. Pin in place on one side and sew using a scant 1/4" seam allowance.  Trim off excess.  Repeat for the remaining three sides.

5. Now it's time to trim off the overhanging ric-rac.  Yikes, sound scary?  Don't worry, it's not!  Turn your piece over so that the back is facing up.  Using a ruler and rotary cutter or scissors, very carefully cut along the edge of the chambray.  All four sides!
Now you have clean edges all the way around!!
6. Take the charm squares that you didn't cut and stack them up. (maybe 2 stacks!)  Again, using a rotary cutter or scissors cut these in half so that they measure 2 1/2" x 5."
Also cut pieces the same size from the chambray and fabric you used for appliques.
I have a few pieces that are 2 1/2" squares because that's what I could get from the leftover applique fabrics.

7. On to the borders! Lay your appliqued piece on the table and surround it with the strips you just cut.  Keep moving them around until you are pleased with the layout, or go with a random selection like I did (except for the two pieces that were directional). These don't have to be exact, but need to be at least as long as each side!

8. Take your mini strips from one side and sew them all together to form a longer strip that is at least as long as your first side.  Pin to one edge of your appliqued fabric (right sides together), covering the ric-rac and matching raw edges.  Sew this seam, then press open.
See how mine is a little longer at the top edge? 
That's okay, just trim it off straight and even with your rotary cutter!

9. Repeat with the other three sides, remembering to trim as needed and don't forget to press!!

10. After it's all trimmed up nice and straight, we'll get started with the quilting process.  We need to make a quilt sandwich, as shown in the picture below.  The piece we've been working on will be the top layer, the middle will be the quilt batting, and the bottom will be the plain fabric.  I didn't use the chambray for this layer because it won't be seen later, but you can if you want.

11. Using safety pins, secure all three layers together (This is a small piece and doesn't need tons of pins.), then take it to your machine and free motion quilt however you would like to!  I did very sparse "meandering" lines  in the center and stitched on or very near the seam lines in the border.

12. After quilting, remove the safety pins and clip any threads you see hanging about.

13. It's time to measure our mini-quilt.  If your "pretty" top measures 14" x 20"  all you need to do is trim off the batting and backing fabric so that it is even with the top piece.  If your top piece measures a little larger than you need, trim off around all of the edges until it measures the same as your pillow.

14. Cut two pieces of chambray measuring 14" x 27" each.  Fold each piece in half, short sides meeting.  Press, then sew a line about 3/4 inch from the folded edge.  These will form the back of the pillow case/cover.

15. Place the front piece on the table, right side facing up.  Place one of your back pieces on top of the front piece matching raw edges--folded end will be near the center of the top piece.  Pin in place.

16. Repeat with other back piece.  Now it's time to sew all the way around the pillow cover. (We will turn it out through the overlapping back pieces.)  If you plan on washing this later on, it's a good idea to finish the seams either with a zig-zag stitch or using a serger. (I opted for the serger.)
Stitched and serged. You can see where the pieces overlap, right?

17. Turn right side out where the back pieces overlap and give it a good press.

All done!  Insert pillow form and sit back and admire all of your hard work!

Thank you for the great tutorial Laura! To check out more of Laura's creations take a peek at her blog, Stitches by Laura.

And don't forget that this week all precuts (charm packs, layer cakes, jelly rolls, fat eighth, and fat quarter bundles) are 20% off. The sale ends at 11:59pm MT, Friday, 9/16/16.
Happy Creating!
Danielle Storm

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