Monday, November 26, 2012

Tutorial: Secret Pillow

Rebecca over at Our Busy Little Bunch is starting off our Blogging Design Ring free tutorials today. We know you'll love the adorable pillow (complete with secret pocket!) that she has created. After you check out her tutorial below, head over to Rebecca's blog to see how to enter a giveaway to win a fat quarter bundle of Pretty in Pink.
Here's Rebecca!

I'm excited to show you my first project for the Fabri-Quilt design team!  A secret pillow has been on my middle daughter's wishlist for quite some time - she wants a place to hide her treasures from her little brother and sister :)  The fabric for this project is called Pretty in Pink by Ro Gregg.  This fabric line is available this month, check out the 'where to buy' page for a retailer in your area. 
  • 3.5" center square (this is great for a fussy-cut or novelty fabric - I like to think that it symbolizes the 'treasure' inside)
  • optional: piece of ribbon or trim - about 15" in length
  • various 1.5" strips for the borders.  I cut these as I went along, perfect for scraps. You'll need to border the center square four times in 1.5" strips.  
  • for the final outside border, use 2" strips.
  • scrap piece of batting and scrap fabric - 13.5" square each
  • backing of pillow: two pieces 13" x 10", two pieces 13" x 3", and one piece 1.5" x 13"
  • lining of pocket: 13" square
  • 12" zipper
  • enough stuffing to fill a 12" square pillow

First, cut out your pieces:

If you want to add trim, sew with a 1/8" seam allowance around edges of center square - add top/bottom pieces first, and then side pieces.

Now, sew all your border pieces with 1/4" seam allowance. Always add two opposite strips first, press and trim. Then add next two strips, press and trim. Keep adding rows until you've done 5 borders, making sure to use the 2" borders last.  Use your ruler and rotary cutter to square it up to 13".

Next, layer your block with the batting and scrap fabric, baste and quilt it.  Then trim it back up to 13".  Put it aside and we'll work on the back now.

Take your two 13" x 10" pieces and layer them right sides together along one edge of the zipper with the zipper sandwiched between them.  Make sure that the zipper is centered.  Using your zipper foot, sew the top edge, moving the zipper out of the way as you sew.

Press both pieces of fabric away from the zipper, so your piece now looks like this:

Now, take the 1.5" x 13" strip and press it in half, wrong sides together.  Layer it on top of one of the 3" x 13" strips, raw edges together and sew together using a 1/8" seam.

Now, just like we did the other side of the zipper - layer the two 3" x 13" pieces right sides together with the zipper sandwiched between them.  Make sure to put the piece with the 1.5" strip sewn onto it on the right-side of the zipper. Again, using your zipper foot, sew the top edge, moving the zipper out of the way as you sew.

Again, press your pieces away from the zipper, but press the 1.5" strip so it covers the zipper.  Your piece should now look like this - top picture will be outside of pillow, bottom picture will be inside of pillow.  Check your measurements - this piece should measure 13" square,  but if you find it too tall - just trim a little.

Now you are down to three pieces that you are working with.  The back of the pillow, the pocket lining, and the quilted front of the pillow.

Layer the three pieces with quilted front and pillow back right-sides together, and right-side of pillow lining against wrong-side of pillow back.  Sew outer edge with a 1/2" seam allowance, leaving a 4" opening on bottom of pillow for stuffing. (Note: you can choose to zig-zag or serge the edges to reinforce the pillow.  If so, serge or zig-zag the bottom edges separately before you sew the outside edges of the pillow closed.  After you've sewn the outside edge, you can serge or zig-zag the sides and top seams together).

 Turn pillow right-side out.  Fill pillow with stuffing, making sure to get into all the corners. Handstitch opening closed.

And there it is, a finished Secret Pillow!  This one is going under the Christmas tree - one handmade gift done. :) 

Rebecca @ OurBusyLittleBunch

Thanks so much Rebecca! Head on over to OurBusyLittleBunch to learn how you can win a fat quarter bundle of Pretty in Pink, the collection Rebecca used to make her secret pillow. 


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  2. Great explanation of putting in the zipper.

    Would love to see a tutorial on making a ipad/kindle cover.

  3. I would love to make a kindle cover too. Lots of my friends have kindles and covers would make great presents.

  4. My mom has a tiny tooth fairy pillow that she uses for her embroidery and always wishes she had one that would hold her hoop as well as all the things she needs for her projects. Of course, bit sister would be happy with just a fairy pillow but once she sees mom's she will want one too. Thank you for sharing -- this will be their "home made" Christmas gift. Happy holiday to you and yours.

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  6. i love the tutorial and can't wait to make the pillows for my grandchildren. i am sure as they get older they will love to have these to put there secret treasures in.

  7. How clever! Just what a little girl needs to hide her treasures from pesky big brothers!

  8. Grands would love. It is a to do project that won't get done before Christmas; maybe birthday.

  9. I loved this secret pillow tutorial!! I would love to see more innovative ideas and be able to win as well!

  10. I love this! It seems so doable! Thanks for all the pictures, not too many for me. I, too, feel like I can make anything I see on pinterest, but this one seems more realistic for me to actually finish. So cute!

    Gretta Hewson
    Veritable Atlantic Highlands NJ maid service visit site

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