I’ve really been trying to get to the bottom of all the PIGS (Projects in Grocery Sacks) at my house. That’s the good news. The bad news is I’ve been working at it for a couple of years. I’ll do one or two and then I’ll see something new I have to try or I’ll have a project to do for work and there I am – sidetracked. I have a different strategy lately. I’m doing the biggest ones first; the ones taking up the most closet space.
I’ve had a couple of bolster pillow forms nearly forever. As I work at making my apartment more cozy and homey, I thought they’d be just the thing. And there would be the added advantage of them being something pretty instead of something taking up space in my closet.
Most of the things I’ve made for the living area of my apartment are pink. I told my husband Bake if he didn’t hurry up and move down here with me, I’d decorate everything in pink. He’s not moved yet so I’m making good on my threat. We laugh about it every time he comes to visit.
So I started with a sample header card of the Little Sweethearts collection by Andover Fabrics and cut those fabrics in 2” strips. I sewed them together end to end.
I found a pretty piece from Northcott’s Fragrance collection for the base. I starched it heavily and stitched my strips onto it on the diagonal.
When I got to the last strip, I cut off my base fabric (the flowered one) and sewed it back on to cover the raw edge on my last strip of the heart fabric.
Next I measured the length and circumference of the pillow and added ½” to the circumference and the length and cut a rectangle. I put in the zipper next while it was flat because it is lots easier to work with flat.
Then I measured the ends. Mine were strange. The circle was 5” across one way and 7” the other. I averaged and cut a circle of fabric 6½” (to finish at 6”) for the ends. I divided the end of the pillow cover in quarters and marked it with pins.
I divided the circle in quarters and pressed the edges to mark the quarters. Here’s a hint. It is easier to work with the bias edges when putting the ends on the pillow cover so I make sure the quarter marks are not on an area of the circle with the straight of the grain. When I am stitching the last few stitches closest to the pins, I am working with bias and it has a bit of give.
I pinned the circles in place, but just on the quarter marks, I don’t try to pin the whole thing.
Now I had to stitch the ends on. I was sewing a curve onto a straight piece so it was a little tricky. I shortened the stitch length to 2mm. I stitched slowly. (I know … hard to imagine, isn’t it?) I stitched 6 or 7 stitches, stopped and lined up the raw edges again. I really did sew with my hand that close to the presser foot when I put the circles on. I manipulated the circle piece, making sure it laid flat with no pleats or tucks in either layer. I could feel if there were tucks in the bottom layer when my fingers were that close. It’s another reason to sew very slowly but I like the results I get when I do it this way. Because so much of the edge of the circle is bias, I can stretch a bit if the size isn’t dead on.
Be sure the zipper is open before you stitch on the second end.
If you were doing this, you would now turn the pillow cover right side out and be ready to go – unless you didn’t think to measure the length of the pillow in which case, you’d have to take one of the ends off to make it shorter. Go ahead; ask me why I know this.
Here’s my finished pillow. It was fun and easy and even with unsewing the end and redoing it, I spent less than two hours on the project.
I think I’ll do the other pillow with some appliquéd hearts on it. Watch for it another day.
Now I have questions to answer, a story to finish and a meeting to get ready for. And I’m looking forward to all of it. I LOVE my job!
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