in case you missed yesterday's announcement, here are the items you will need to get started on our quilty pillow project:
two fat quarters of quilting weight cotton
your machine, thread, pins, scissors, and normal sewing supplies
a rotary cutter
quilting ruler(s). i will be using two in this tutorial series: one measuring 3x 18" and a 6"square
16" square piece of Pellon Thermolam Plus or Fusible Fleece
16" pillow form
1. cutting out your fabrics
cut the first fat quarter (fat quarter "A") according to the diagram below. in my pillow, i used a red and white Riley Blake polka dot from the Farm Fresh collection.
cut your second fat quarter (fat quarter "B") according to the diagram below. in my pillow, i used aneela hoey's little apples aqua tortoises.
2. making half-square triangles (HSTs)
put each 6x6" square of fat quarter "A" (three total) right side up on your work surface, then put each 6x6" square of fat quarter "B" right side down exactly on top of each one. pin at the corners as shown below.
stitch around all four edges of each set of squares with a 1/4" seam allowance.
line up your quilting ruler with two corners of your sewn square, so as to cut it in half in a triangle shape. leaving the two pieces together, line up your ruler to the other two corners and cut so that you have formed four triangles.
you will now have twelve triangles of each fabric, sewn together at the long end as shown below.
open up each set of triangles and press the seam allowances open. you just made HSTs!
3. trimming your HSTs
here is where a square quilting ruler comes in very handy, although you can certainly accomplish this with you longer ruler if you don't have one. i like to trim up the HSTs before sewing them together because it gives me a much better chance of things lining up!
first, i place the square ruler on one of the sections we just made, lining up the diagonal line on the ruler with the seam we created. then i cut the top and right sides with my rotary cutter, as close as possible to the existing edges while making sure everything lines up. hopefully the pictures below will help if those words aren't clear ;)
after lining up the first side, i turn the piece and cut to the exact size needed. we want each of these sections to be 3.75" square, so you can see where i've lined up the sides we just trimmed to the 3.75" mark on the ruler. then i trim the top and right sides. repeat with each of the pieces, and all of your HSTs are perfectly sized.
4. lay out your squares
lay out your twelve trimmed HSTs and the four 3.75" squares from fat quarter "A" to form the pattern shown below:
5. stitching together the squares
at this point, we just need to get all of this stitched together, and there is certainly a variety of ways by which you can accomplish that. i started by stitching all of the individual squares into two-square units. you want to make sure that you're pinning the squares right sides together and (of course) stitching the correct side ;) after you stitch each two-square unit, press open the seam. photos below show my squares pinned together and then laid out after pressing.
after making the two-square units, i pin these together in sets to create four-square units.
when pinning together these pieces, start with lining up the seam in the middle. this is easiest to do by placing your pin directing in the seam as shown on front and back below. then pin together the ends, taking care not to stretch any of your fabrics.
stitch each section together and press seams open. after creating your four-square units, you will have four sections that each look like this:
arrange your four sections and then pin together two create two eight-square sections (each representing half of our entire square piece). again, pin beginning at the center, stitch, and press.
now you will have two eight-square units that look like this:
pin your two sections together. again, start in the center and pin toward outside. line up as best you can. stitch, press, and you'll have this:
6. adding borders
take the two 2"x13.5" strips you cut from fat quarter "B" and pin one to each the top and bottom of your square unit. stitch along the sides with a 1/4" seam allowance.
press seams outward toward the strips. then take the two 2"x17" strips from fat quarter "B" and pin to the two remaining sides of the square unit. stitch along sides with a 1/4" seam allowance.
press seams outward toward the strips. and, hey! your pillow front is complete!!
tomorrow, we'll tackle quilting your pillow front and putting your pillow cover together.
sewing along with us? leave a comment about how your project is going, and share your pics in the imagine gnats flickr group!