Have you ever been at a loss for how to fill negative space in a quilt? I know I’ve sometimes struggled with what quilting motif is the right one, and I wanted to share some of the fills I use the most. I made a quick video tutorial on how to quilt feathers and I think you’ll really love some of the tips I give in it 🙂
How to quilt feathers
I love quilting feathers. They add so much movement and texture and fill a space quickly. When I first started quilting, I had a hard time quilting feathers. They came out ugly and wonky and wobbly. So I decided to stop wasting so much fabric and grabbed some scratch paper and just drew them over and over again. They were still ugly and inconsistent, but I could gradually see some progress. It seemed like one day, it just clicked, and my feathers suddenly looked like feathers. I was happy that I only drew on paper and didn’t go through that much fabric, batting, and thread before my feathers started coming together!
Putting needle to fabric
Once you’re confident that you’re ready to start quilting, grab some fabric, batting, and a good contrasting thread so you can have better visibility while you quilt. I think it’s easier in the beginning to mark the spines of your feathers, and even mark some of the feathers so you have some guidelines. I like to use a chaco liner or some sort of white chalk marker that easily rubs away or wipes off. Practice is definitely going to be your friend, and if you can just quilt feathers for an entire afternoon, you’ll really begin to see a lot of progress between your ending feathers and what you started with.
I hope you’ll check out the video tutorial I created to help you quilt one of my favorite motifs. You can click on the video below, or follow this link to see the video on youtube.
Do you follow me on instagram? If you do, you might have seen I’ve been having a LOT of fun with videos lately. I’ve been doing some time lapse videos of some basic straight line quilting AAAAAND decided I’d do a real time video of how I bind mini quilts on my longarm. It’s seriously so easy that if you haven’t tried this yet, you’ll really kick yourself!
If you’ve ever quilted a mini quilt on the longarm, there’s a fun shortcut you can use to quickly attach binding to the front of the quilt after you quilt it. I did a short video tutorial showing how to attach binding on the longarm, and I hope you’ll go check it out! Now just a quick note…I am obviously not a professional videographer…or whatever that’s called, and I even treat you to a view of my gorgeous locks of hair that were quickly and haphazardly thrown up into a very unglamorous mom bun. That’s right. ENJOOOOOY 😉
When I bind my quilting samples on the longarm, I usually stick to pretty small sizes. You could definitely do this with a large quilt, just keep in mind that you’ll be doing some scrolling and advancing of the quilt to finish the job. It’s also a good idea to mark the large quilt so you have a good idea of where the squared portion of the quilt will be so you attach the binding straight. I only do this for quilts that are for myself–because for me this is something to do quickly as a shortcut and not great for accuracy, as I don’t spend a lot of time making sure I’m putting the binding on squarely.
To make the binding, I cut strips 2.5″ wide x the width of the fabric and then sew them together, end to end to create the length I need (I usually do the perimeter of the quilt + 12″ to make sure I have enough). The tutorial shows how to attach the binding to the front of the quilt. After quilting, you’ll need to trim away and square up, then flip the folded edge of the binding to the back and finish. I finish all mine by hand because I’m a weirdo and love hand binding!
Binding on the longarm details
I’m using an Innova 22″ longarm (hand guided) with a lightning stitch stitch regulator. The fabric panel I quilted was a custom panel I ordered from My Fabric Design, and the thread I used for the quilting was Glide by Hab+Dash (previously Fil-Tec). If you’d like to see a time lapse video of the quilting of this panel, you can check it out on instagram HERE.
I hope you find this tutorial helpful–and I’d love to hear your feedback! Are you up for trying this out soon? Let me know if you do and how it goes! Happy sewing 🙂
OLFA is celebrating their 40th Anniversary this year and has teamed up with Aurifil to create the Slice and Stitch Challenge! I was asked to be part of the challenge, and I’m so excited to included in this talented group of makers, showing you how to use handy tools to create things you’ll love :). I don’t know about you, but if you sneak into my sewing room, you’re sure to find several OLFA tools (and cutting mats) and LOTS of yummy Aurifil thread. Some of my favorite (and quite possibly underappreciated) tools are specialty rotary cutter blades. You can (carefully) pop one of these blades into your regular rotary cutter and quickly achieve a decorative finish that will look like it took you forever to cut…but that can be our little secret! I also just LOVE the new OLFA RUBY rotary cutter…I use it daily (photos below are from OLFA’s website). For the Slice and Stitch challenge, I saw those decorative blades paired with Aurifloss and knew immediately I just had to make a zip pouch!
You can see the dreamy Aurifloss colors I chose for the hand quilting on my zip pouch. Love those blues with a punch of bright colors! Let’s get moving and start sewing up your own zip pouch!
To begin, you’ll need to take the two exterior pieces of fabric cut at 6.5″ x 9.5″ and center each one on top of a piece of batting. Use a Hera marker or chalk pencil to mark your hand quilting lines, then hand quilt a pattern or random stitches onto each exterior piece. I like to make my stitches about 1/4″ in length, and spaced the same distance apart.
Grab your template:
Now you’ll take the cork pieces, and the bottom portion of the template printed from your supply list and line the template up along the bottom 9.5″ of the cork. Use a standard OLFA 45 mm Rotary blade to trim along the curved edge. I used my OLFA Ruby Rotary Cutter for this part. Once you’ve trimmed the curved portion, take the Wave Rotary blade and trim just along the curved edge to leave a cute wavy edge.
Take one of the quilted exterior pieces and place the decorative cork on the bottom 9.5″ edge. Use clips to hold in place, or use some wash away hem tape to secure. At this point, I like to take an air erasable marker and echo the line of the wave just below the wavy edge of the cork – about 1/8″ from the curvy edge – as a stitching guide. Take this piece to the sewing machine and topstitch along the guideline you drew with a coordinating thread. Then stitch around the remaining edges of the cork, about 1/8″ away from the raw edge to secure it in place. Don’t worry — the cork won’t fray, so it’s great for special decorative finishes with the OLFA rotary cutter!
Take your zipper and place it lined up with the top edge of one exterior, as shown in the picture below. Mark the end of the zipper (the end with the metal stopper) where it meets the end of the right side of the fabric, then mark about 1/4″ in from that mark as well. Take the zipper to the sewing machine and use a zig zag stitch to sew a new zipper stop on the mark furthest in. Trim away the rest of the zipper on the outermost mark.
Install the zipper
Take the newly trimmed down zipper and place it RSD on top of one side of the hand quilted exterior. Use binding clips to clip the zipper in place. Take one of the lining pieces and place it RSD on top of the zipper, the replace the clips to include all three layers. Use a zipper foot to sew through the three layers with a 1/4″ seam allowance, beginning at one end of the fabric and sewing to the opposite end, all the way to the edge of the fabric.
Press the lining and exterior away from the zipper with your iron, and topstitch 1/8″ away from the folded edge of the fabric.
Repeat the steps above with the remaining exterior and lining pieces.
Assembling the zip pouch
Open the zipper part way, then match the exteriors, placing them right sides together. Pull the linings together and match them, right sides together. Pin or clip in place, and mark about a 5″ opening along the bottom center of the lining to leave open in the next step. Pull the zipper pieces towards the lining, as shown below.
Sew all the way around the perimeter of the zipper pouch, leaving the 5″ opening unsewn. Clip the corners for crisp turning. Turn the zipper pouch right side out through the opening in the lining. You can use a turning tool for crisper turning, if needed. Fold the opening of the lining in 1/4″ and press. Clip in place. Topstitch the opening closed, then push the lining down inside the pouch.
And you’re done! Fill this pretty pouch up with all the sewing things you need on the go 🙂
(2) 1.5″ x 4″ zipper ends cut from exterior fabric
(2) 7.5″ x 12.5″ lining for zip pouch
(2) 7.5″ x 12.5″ pieces of SF101 fusible interfacing for the lining
(1) 7.5″ x 12.5″ for Exterior back of pouch (cut this at 8.5″ x 13.5″ if you plan to quilt it, then trim down to 7.5″ x 12.5″. You may also want to alter your border pieces on the Total Eclipse Heart Block and cut them at (2″ x 5.5″ and 2″ x 13.5″) if you’re quilting the front exterior or the quilt block.)
If quilting, you’ll also need (2) 10″ x 15″ batting pieces.
If not quilting, cut (2) 7.5″ x 12.5″ pieces of SF101 fusible interfacing for the exterior.
14″ closed end nylon zipper
Erasable marking tool (I like to use Frixion pens)
Turning tool or chopstick
To begin, follow the instructions in the Total Eclipse Heart Block pattern to make the 7″ x 12″ block. You’ll need to decide if you want to quilt your zipper pouch or not.
If quilting – cut the border pieces at (2) 2″ x 5.5″ and (2) 2″ x 13.5″, instead of the 1.5″ width to give a little extra room for shrinkage. Then sew the pieces on as directed.
Make a quilt sandwich, using 2 pieces of scrap fabric (these won’t be seen in the finished pouch) measuring 10″ x 15″ as the back of your quilt sandwich. Place the scrap piece wrong side up, place the batting piece on top of that, then center the 8.5″ x 13.5″ block on top of that and baste the layers together using your favorite method. Make another quilt sandwich with the 8.5″ x 13.5″ Exterior back piece. Quilt as desired, then square up the quilted pieces to measure 7.5″ x 12.5″.
If not quilting – Follow the cutting/sewing instructions to make the block, then apply the fusible interfacing to the wrong side of the 7.5″ x 12.5″ quilt block, following the manufacturer’s instructions. Do the same for the 7.5″ x 12.5″ Exterior back of pouch.
Apply the fusible interfacing to the wrong side of each lining piece.
Take the 1.5″ x 4″ zipper end pieces and fold the 1.5″ ends to meet in the center. Press. Fold them in once more to conceal all raw edges and press.
Take the 14″ zipper and move the zipper pull in away from the metal teeth a little. Trim your zipper down to measure exactly 12.5″, and make sure you trim the metal bits off when you trim it down. Be very careful to not pull your zipper head off.
Take the zipper end pieces and place one end of the zipper butted into the middle of the folded piece. Use clips or pin in place. Repeat for the other end of the zipper. Take to your sewing machine and topstitch 1/8″ from the folded edge to contain the zipper. Trim away the edges of the zipper pieces so they’re even with the zipper tape.
Measure and mark the center top 12.5″ edges of all 4 of your fabric pieces. Measure and mark the center of the zipper.
Assembling the Zipper pouch
Take the assembled quilt block (quilted or not) and place it right side up. Take the zipper and place it right side down, lining up the centers and the edge of the zipper tape to the top edge of the block. Use clips or pin to secure. Place one lining piece right side down on top of the zipper, sandwiching the zipper between the two layers and matching the centers again. Clip or pin in place. Use a zipper foot to sew through all three layers with a 1/4″ seam allowance. Press the fabrics wrong sides together away from the zipper and topstitch 1/8″ from the folded edge of the fabric.
Take the exterior 7.5″ x 12.5″ piece (quilted or not) and place it right side up. Take the zipper (now attached to the quilt block) and place it right side down, lining up the centers and the edge of the zipper tape to the top edge of the block. Use clips or pin to secure. Place the remaining lining piece right side down on top of the zipper, sandwiching the zipper between the two layers and matching the centers again. Clip or pin in place. Use a zipper foot to sew through all three layers with a 1/4″ seam allowance. Press the fabrics wrong sides together away from the zipper and topstitch 1/8″ from the folded edge of the fabric.
Open the zipper. Pull the exteriors and linings apart from eachother and pin the edges of the exterior RST. Do the same with the lining pieces. Pin or clip in place. Mark a 5″ opening centered on the bottom of the lining. This will be left open for turning. Start sewing with your regular pressing foot, and sew all the way around the zip pouch, leaving the opening unsewn.
Trim the corners away being careful not to clip the stitches. Turn the bag right side out through the opening in the lining and push the corners out with a chopstick or turning tool.
Fold the raw edges of the opening in by 1/4″ and press. Clip the folded edges together and topstitch or whipstitch closed to close the opening. Push the lining down into the bag and you’re done! Fill that cute little zip pouch up with some goodies and it’s ready to be gifted.
I’ve been working so hard on this heart block for you! This pair of hearts is so dear to me because it reminds me of one of my favorite songs (that was released my birth year–how’s that for coincidence?), and I swear, I’ve been singing it all week while I’ve been sewing these 😉 This is a great block to make for your love or your BFF, and you can pick the fabrics to fit each person to make it extra special!
You can get your pattern download HERE, and I hope you’ll share your finished block on Instagram using #totaleclipseheartblock . These cute blocks come in three sizes: 5″ x 10″, 7″ x 12″ and 12″ x 12″ for you to customize and make into whatever your heart desires.
If you want a sweet little discount, you can head over to subscribe to my newsletter to grab this one for free! You’ll get a welcome e-mail with your coupon code in it and you can start sewing asap.
Need a little inspiration?
I had so much fun making this block, and I hope you love making it too! I used my new 40th Anniversary Ruby Rotary Cutter from OLFA to cut all my pieces out, and I felt SO fancy 🙂
Hey guys!! If you can’t tell from the heading on this post, I’ve got some exciting news to announce! I’m excited to share that I’ll be among a team of greatly talented makers to serve as a 2019 OLFA Ambassador!!! I’m so pumped to share this brand with you. OLFA truly makes the best products with us in mind. Be on the lookout for tips and tricks, and maybe even some great new tutorials coming up in the next few months. I have a fun project coming up in March using OLFA and Aurifil floss and I think you’re going to love it!
If you aren’t familiar with OLFA products, they create some of the most amazing tools like rotary cutters, cutting mats, and rulers, to name a few. When I started sewing about 10 years ago, I was exploring the aisles of my local Joann’s. I was in the scissor aisle and remember seeing rotary cutters for the first time (mind you, I didn’t come from a sewing background!). I remember thinking…why in the world do they have pizza cutters over here in the scissor department? Have these folks lost their minds?? Then, I made my first quilt–I made my own cardstock templates and traced them on each piece of fabric and *GULP* cut all the pieces out by hand with a pair of scissors.
If you’ve been down this road, you know this took literally FOREVER. A few months later, I signed up for my first Craftsy class on machine quilting as you go, and saw a cutting mat and rotary cutter in the background…did some research…and proceeded straight back to that scissor aisle to buy my first OLFA rotary cutter and mat. Once you’ve done something the long and hard way, and you find out there’s been a much better way all along you kind of feel like a fool! But there was so much satisfaction in cutting that first piece of fabric and not having my knuckles kill me from scissor overuse.
OLFA has some great rotary cutters, and the Aqua Splash rotary cutter is my favorite color. I use it daily and it brightens up my cutting area (along with being super cute!)
I’m so excited to share this news with you! Can’t wait to share some great projects with you and get sewing 🙂
Are you tired of your throw pillows and need a quick way to freshen up your home dec? Grab a few sewing supplies, a pillow form, and some fabric and you’ll be on your way to piecing and quilting up this simple pillow cover in no time at all! I made my pillow on the Janome MC9400, but it can easily be adapted to work with any sewing machine and it’s helpful if you’ve got a walking foot (or some sort of dual feed device), but not a deal breaker! This tutorial consists of piecing some flying geese units and doing a little straight line quilting to add a modern punch to your home dec. Check out the supply list below, then click on the PDF instructions “All is Bright” below for the complete project.
Janome HMC9400QCP (or other sewing machine)
Janome supplies (or other sewing machine supplies): Dual feed foot holder, Dual Feed Foot AD, 1/4″ Foot, Standard Foot A, Purple Tip Needle, Empty Bobbin, Pre-wound Bobbin
1 FQ bright green floral fabric (fabric A) sub cut into:
(4) 2-3/8” square
(1) 3-1/2” square
1 FQ true red floral fabric (fabric B) sub cut into:
(4) 2-3/8” square
(1) 3-1/2” square
1 FQ bright green and true red mix fabric (fabric C) sub cut into:
I’ve been using the Build-A-Block system and Gemini die cutting machine for a few weeks now, and I’m so excited to be a brand partner with Crafter’s Companion! The dies that come with the Build-A-Block system make it so easy to cut out all the pieces you need for a project–with no trimming after the fact. I’m a super fan of half-square triangles and quarter-square triangles, and I use them in just about every pattern I make. The process is made so much easier by just layering your fabric and die, running it through the Gemini, and cutting it up fast! If you’d love to get your hands on your very own Gemini and Build-A-Block system, here are the details for the giveaway:
Giveaway Details – a Gemini Machine and Build-A-Block system
Giveaway is sponsored by Crafter’s Companion and opens September 1, 2018 and ends September 14, 2018 at 11:59 PM, PST
Winner will be notified via this blog post no later than Monday, September 17, 2018, and must provide a US shipping address once notified.
Giveaway prizes can only be shipped in the United States. Crafter’s Companion reserves up to 30 business days to distribute prize to giveaway winner.
So I’m really pumped to bring you a free tutorial for the Market Bag–it’s a simple carry all bag with a clean modern look that’s great for the farmer’s market, grocery shopping, gym bag, or whatever you’d love to use it for. I used Threaders™ Linen Look Cotton in White for the lining of my Market Tote–I like a clean white lining so I can easily spot the things I need in my bag, and the linen feel of the fabric is a little heavier duty than plain quilting cotton, so it will really stand up to the test of time!
Quilted Market Tote Tutorial
Finished bag dimensions: 16” tall x 13” wide x 6” deep
HST-Half-square triangle, RSO-Right side out, RST-Right sides together, RSD-Right Side Down, RSU-Right Side Up, all seam allowances are 1/4” unless otherwise specified. It is recommended to starch the fabrics for the HSTs prior to cutting them, as they will be sewn on the bias. This will help minimize distortion of the fabric.
Cut out and assemble the HST units
Use the 4.5” HST die for the Gemini Build-A-Block to cut the HST units. Follow the steps for layering the fabric in the cutting plates and shims per the Gemini and Build-A-Block instructions. Layer up to eight of the 5.5” squares of Fabric A at a time in the Gemini, with the 4.5” HST die cutting the fabric. Position the die so you are able to get two cuts from the square. Cut a total of 50 HST pieces from Fabric A and 50 HST pieces from Fabric B (see Fig. 1). Your HSTs will measure 4.5” when completed.
Take one HST piece of Fabric A and one HST piece of Fabric B (see Fig. 2). Place them RST, aligning the diagonal edges, and pin in place. Sew along the diagonal with a 1/4” seam allowance (see Fig. 3). Repeat to create a total of 50 half-square triangle blocks. Press seams.
Layout the 50 HST blocks created in step 2 into a 5 x 10 grid (see Fig. 4).
You can position the HSTs in any way you like, rotating them, etc. Sew each row of five blocks together by placing two blocks RST and sewing together with a 1/4” seam allowance (see Fig. 5).
Repeat and sew another block to those two until you have one row of five blocks. Press seams.
Repeat step 3 until you have used all 50 HST blocks and have ten completed rows.
Take two rows and place them RST and pin in place, being careful to match the seam intersections (see Fig. 6). Sew together with a 1/4” seam allowance. Repeat until all ten rows are sewn together into one piece (see Fig. 7).
Make a quilt sandwich by taking the 25” x 45” piece of fabric for the back of the quilt sandwich and placing it RSD. Layer the Soft and Stable (or batting) on top of it. Then place the HST pieced top on top of the batting, with the right side up. Baste the layers together using your desired method. Quilt as desired.
Take the quilted piece to the cutting mat and use a ruler and rotary cutter to square up and trim away the excess batting and fabric (see Fig. 8). If you quilted the fabric very densely, measure the new dimensions of the quilted piece, as this will sometimes shrink up the fabric a little. You will use those new dimensions to measure and cut or trim down the lining for the tote bag (if different from 20” x 40”).
Assembling the market tote
Fold the quilted piece in half RST, matching the 20” ends and use binding clips or pin to secure the sides (see Fig. 9). Sew together with a 1/4” seam allowance up each side, leaving the top of the bag unsewn (see Fig. 10). With the bag still wrong side out, use a ruler to measure and mark a 3” square in each lower corner of the bag (see Fig. 11). Flip the bag over and repeat on the opposite side.
Make a “tent” with one corner by pinching the bag together, and lining up the lines you just drew with each bottom corner, so the lines you drew give you one straight line to sew on. Pin in place or use binding clips to secure (see Fig. 12). Sew directly on the line you marked (see Fig. 13). Repeat for the remaining corner of the bag. Trim the seam allowance to 1/4” and discard the trimmings (see Fig. 14).
Repeat steps 8 and 9 to assemble the lining, with one exception. When sewing the sides of the lining together, leave a 6” opening in the middle of one side for turning the bag right side out at the end.
Turn the quilted exterior RSO and leave the lining wrong side out. Take the quilted exterior and lay it flat. Measure and mark 6” in from each side seam on one side of the bag. Place the outer edge of one end of the strap against the 6” mark, with about 1” hanging off the edge of the bag. Pin or clip in place. Fold the other edge of the strap over (make sure you’re not twisting the handle) and place its outer edge against the remaining 6” mark, again with about 1” hanging off the edge of the bag (see Fig. 15)
. Pin or clip this strap in place as well. Repeat with the remaining strap on the opposite side of the exterior.
Place the exterior (still RSO) inside the lining (still wrong side out), making sure the straps are neatly tucked between the exterior and the lining and still pinned in place (see Fig. 16).
Match the side seams and secure the tops together with binding clips. Sew the two layers together, catching the straps between the two layers, with a 1/4” seam allowance, backstitching at the start and stop. Sew all the way around the top of the bag (see Fig. 17).
Carefully turn the bag right side out through the 6” opening in the side of the lining. Prior to tucking the lining down inside of the bag, turn the raw edges of the 6” opening inwards then stitch closed by hand or machine. Push the lining down inside the bag.
Press the top of the bag so the lining and exterior sit neatly at the top of the bag, then topstitch around the top perimeter of the bag, about 1/8” from the edge (see Fig 18.).
Now you’re ready to fill your modern Market Tote up with all the goodies you can carry! I hope you’re as excited about the Build-A-Block system as I am–It has significantly cut down on the time I spend preparing my fabrics and eliminating the need to trim all my blocks down. Sew up this great tote in just a few hours, and don’t forget to enter the giveaway! Happy sewing 🙂
I have some really awesome news to share with you this week! I’ve partnered with Crafter’s Companion as a Brand Partner to show you their awesome new product, The Build-A-Block Patchwork System for the Gemini Die Cutter. I’ve never used a die cutter for sewing or quilting prior to this, just because I honestly was not impressed. I thought it was just another thing that would take up space in my sewing room, and you know that’s prime real estate!
But here’s the thing: I make a LOT of half-square triangles. Like more than half of my quilts have some form of HSTs in them. Sometimes I get in a hurry and my HSTs aren’t accurate, so most of the time I cut them bigger than they need to be, sew, press, and then trim down to the correct size. Oh and don’t forget about trimming off those annoying little dog ear points too. It’s a necessary evil for me. I never considered that there would be a die cutter that has half-square triangle dies that cut the fabric (and multiple layers of fabric at that) to the exact size I need, and trim those little points away! The first time I saw the Gemini in action was in May at the Janome Education Summit when Jennifer Tryon demonstrated it, and I was blown away. Crafter’s Companion sent me the Build-A-Block Patchwork System and Gemini to try out and I love it so much!
So here’s the skinny:
The Build-A-Block is a set of dies made specifically with quilters in mind.
There are 18 fabric cutting dies to create a huge variety of blocks (and they have tons of other dies you can get separate from the Build-A-Block System).
Of those 18 dies, there is a set of squares, half-square-triangles, and quarter-square triangles. If you think about it, the combination of those shapes into unique blocks is really unlimited.
The Build-A-Block Patchwork System offers a fast and easy alternative to hand cutting with a rotary cutter, with MINIMAL waste.
It isn’t just for quilts. I’m currently making a tote bag with a two color combination out of half-square triangles, and it’s going SO fast!
The Build-A-Block is an intuitive system that’s easy to use for quilters of all skill levels, even beginners. True story: I unboxed my Gemini and Build-A-Block dies and had my first fabric cut within ten minutes. There is no software to mess with, or difficult instructions to muddle through.
The Build-A-Block dies are capable of cutting a wide range of material, including faux leather and denim.
You also get a Block Guide with the Build-A-Block with instructions to create tons of blocks.
I was so impressed with the Build-A-Block that I spent an entire afternoon just pulling fabric from my scraps and trying all the dies. It’s fun and addicting!
On September 1, 2018 I’ll be sharing a free tutorial using the Build-A-Block and there might be a little giveaway going on, so stay tuned!
Use the promo code QUILTEASY to purchase the Build-A-Block and you’ll receive a set of threads and a six-piece fat quarter bundle valued at $41.95!!
Between August 17-23, Crafter’s Companion is offering 15% off of the Gemini machines with the purchase of a Build-A-Block System (no promo code needed, the discount will automatically be applied at checkout)!
I hope you’re as jazzed about the Build-A-Block as I am. It is a phenomenal tool to have in your quilting toolbox and it’s quickly becoming a staple in my sewing studio. I’m so glad I have it to make my life a little bit easier! Hang around for the free tutorial coming up–you won’t want to miss it 🙂
Are you looking for a way to brighten up your patio with some fun home dec pillows? Make your own DIY outdoor pillow with this quick and easy tutorial to create a super cute oilcloth pillow with pom pom trim, and give your deck a cheery look! I used my Janome Horizon Memory Craft 9400QCP and the Janome Ultra Glide Needle Plate and Ultra Glide Foot to stitch up this oilcloth pillow. Start sewing with some new fabrics and try out a new foot attachment that will take your sewing projects to the next level. The Ultra Glide Needle Plate and Ultra Glide Foot set is perfect for working with fabrics that might not smoothly feed under the standard foot A, such as oilcloth and laminated cotton. Also, check out my previous post on TOP TIPS FOR SEWING WITH OILCLOTH. This is a great tutorial for beginners, and will take approximately 4 hours from start to finish. The finished pillow size is 12″ x 18″.
Supplies: Sewing machine, Janome Ultra-Glide foot and Ultra Glide Needle Plate (Teflon foot for all other sewing machine brands), Zipper foot (Foot E for Janome), Needle, Pre-wound bobbin.
1 yard Aqua Rose gall oilcloth (Fabric A) sub cut into:
(2) 6-3/4” x 19” (zippered back of pillow)
(1) 13” x 19” (front of pillow)
3 yds. Jumbo Pom Pom Trim/ball fringe
40 wt. Black sewing thread (or white for less contrast)
12” x 18” Weather proof pillow form/Outdoor pillow form
Prepare the back of the pillow and install the zipper
Take the two 6-3/4” x 19” pieces of Fabric A and measure and mark the center of one 19” edge. Take the 20” zipper and measure and mark the center on both edges of the zipper tape (see figure 1).
Tip: Use binding clips instead of pins when working with oilcloth. The fabric does not heal when holes are made in the oilcloth. Any holes made in the oilcloth will be permanent. Also, use a slightly longer stitch length to minimize the amount of puncture holes made in the fabric when sewing. Typically, adjusting the stitch length from the standard 2.4 to 3.0 is a good adjustment. The raw edges of oilcloth don’t fray, so there isn’t a need to finish raw edges as there would be with a regular woven fabric.
Place one of the 6-3/4” x 19” pieces of fabric A RSU and align the zipper tape with the 19” raw edge, matching the marked centers of the zipper and the pillow back. The zipper and the fabric should be RST (see figure 2). Use binding clips to secure the zipper in place.
Remove the standard needle plate from the MC9400 and install the Ultra Glide Needle Plate. Using this needle plate with the Ultra Glide Foot will keep the oilcloth gliding smoothly under the presser foot. Select a zipper sewing stitch to move the needle position to the left. Lengthen the stitch length to 3.0. Attach zipper foot E to the presser foot and sew the zipper to the fabric A with a 1/4″ seam allowance (see figure 3). Finger press the seam allowance of the zipper away from the zipper teeth, under the oilcloth. Fold the remaining edge of the zipper over (see figure 4).
Place the remaining 6-3/4” x 19” piece of fabric A RSU. Take the remaining side of the zipper tape and match the marks on the zipper tape edge and the pillow back edge, with the zipper right side down. Line up the raw edges and clip in place with binding clips (see figure 5). Sew the zipper in place with a 1/4” seam allowance (see figure 6).
Once again, finger press the zipper tape seam allowance away from the zipper teeth so it is under the oilcloth pieces (see figure 7).
Remove the zipper foot E from the presser foot and attach the Janome Ultra Glide Foot to the presser foot (see figure 8).
Topstitch 1/8” away from the folded edge of the oilcloth (see figure 9).
Select stitch #1 from the utility menu. Move the zipper head towards the middle of the zipper tape (see figure 11). Use a binding clip to keep the ends of the zipper together. Sew a few stitches and then backstitch to connect the zipper ends, about 1/8” away from the edge of the oilcloth fabric (see figure 10). This will act as a zipper stop until the front and back of the pillow are sewn together. Keep the zipper unzipped at least half way.
Round the corners and baste the pom pom trim
Take the circle template that you printed and cut out, and place it with the edges touching the corner edges of the pillow. Trace around the curved edge of the circle with a marking pen.
Cut the edge to round the corner (see figure 12).
Repeat steps 8 and 9 with the remaining corners of the back of the pillow and the four corners of the front of the pillow.
Set aside the zippered back of the pillow. Take the 13” x 19” piece for the pillow front and the jumbo pom pom trim. Place the pillow front RSU. Starting in the middle of one of the 19” edges of the pillow front, align the edge of the trim with the edge of the oilcloth. Trail the end of the trim off the edge of the pillow by 2-3 inches figure (see figure 13). The pom poms should be pointing inward towards the center of the pillow front.
Align the edge of the trim and the edge of the pillow front all the way around the perimeter of the pillow. When you reach the point you started the trim at, overlap the trim and trail the end off by 2-3 inches, as you did to start (see figure 14). If the jumbo poms overlap, carefully trim one or two away to decrease the bulk. Use binding clips to clip the trim in place.
Move the needle position to the left. Lengthen the stitch length to 5.0 for a basting stitch. Baste the trim in place with a 1/8”-1/4” seam allowance (see figure 15).
Sew the pillow together and finish
Place the basted pillow front RSU (see figure 16).
Place the zippered back of the pillow right side down on top of the pillow front (see figure 17). Line up all the edges and make sure the pom poms are all facing in towards the center of the pillow. Double check to be sure the zipper is unzipped at least half way. Use binding clips to secure all the edges together.
Remove the Ultra Glide Foot and attach the zipper foot E to the presser foot. Keep the needle position moved to the left, as if you were sewing a zipper. Sew around the perimeter of the pillow using a 1/4” seam allowance (see figure 18). Double check that none of the pom poms are getting caught in the seam allowance while you are sewing.
Use a pair of scissors to trim away the excess ends of the zipper so the ends are flush with the pillow edges (see figure 19).
Turn the pillow right side out and carefully push out all the curved edges (see figure 20).
Tip: Oilcloth has little to no stretch, unlike cotton fabrics you might be used to working with. A zipper closure helps to keep seams sewn together versus using an envelope closure. Be careful to not stretch the fabric when inserting the pillow form. For a fully weather-resistant pillow, you can opt to sew this pillow without the ball fringe trim.
Insert the 12” x 18” pillow form and use to liven up your patio!
Now get out there and party with your new DIY outdoor pillow 😉