Father’s Day Pillow Tutorial

Hello world, today I do not have much of a story to go along with our Phat Friday tutorial but I often think I talk to much anyway. I’m am gearing up for Father’s Day and one of the things that my phat hubbie always bugs me about is my love for pillows. They are all over the house, but I have mentioned this before. So if you know and my sense of humor you will understand why, as a token of my love for my man, I thought a great way to start off decorating for Father’s Day this year was to add a new…did you guess it…PILLOW to the mess.

Sheena and I decided that we wanted to try to make a tie shape on the Silhouette’s Cameo. I do not have one but have been coveting them for years! Sheena’s mother, however, does and she is so kind to let us borrow it when we have the desire to play (though we literally have to cross the state line to get it). Creating a shape on it was so much easier than I thought it would be.  If you are intimidate by designing your own images you could always visit the Silhouette Online Store and type in ‘fathers day’ or ‘tie’ and choose from any of the shapes they have. Come back next week and we will show you how we created the shape, the different types of webbing, our mistakes and our successes!
In the mean time here is your Phat Friday tutorial…
(2) rectangles of fabric for your main pillow cover base – my pillow is 16″x20″ so my two pieces of fabric were 17″x21″
(3) fat quarters
(1) zipper
fusible webbing – we used HeatnBond Ultra

First we are going to prep each of our fat quarters by attaching them to the HeatnBond. I cut a 13″ x 10″ rectangle out of each phat quarter and three 12 3/4″ x 9 3/4″ rectangles out of the HeatnBond. The reason your HeatnBond rectangles are smaller is so that the fabric completely covers the sticky part of the HeatnBond when you pair them up. This way when you iron you do not run the chance of gouping (is that a word?) up you iron. Another side note here; use regular scissors to cut your HeatnBond because it does have a paper backing that will dull your nice sewing scissors, just FYI.

So, now we place the WRONG side of your fabric on the ROUGH side of the HeatnBond and press them as one unit. This will allow the HeatnBond to fuse to the wrong side of your fabric creating an easy applique that you can top stitch on. DO NOT PEEL THE PAPER OFF YET!

Next we are going to cut out the image that you have created. If you do not have a Silhouette, like me, you can either go bug a friend who has one, or draw a shape on a piece of paper and use it as a template, tracing it onto the RIGHT side of your fabric and then use your scissors to cut it out.

Now lets take a minute to prep the front of our pillow cover. I wanted three ties to be on my pillow so naturally I wanted one at dead center. To find dead center easily I took the front rectangle for my pillow case and pressed it in half horizontally and vertically. This created a cross at dead center. From there I eyeballed the center of my middle tie and placed it on top of the cross.


I like to use masking tape to hold down my appliques because it is easy to remove and helps me be more accurate with my  placing. Once I had the center tie in place I used my ruler to place the two side ties about an inch away from each other. Then take away your ruler and look at your pillow. Do you like it? If not change it. I had to play with it a few times before I figured out which tie I wanted where, but I LOVE IT!

Once you are happy lift up your applique, being careful not to remove the tape from the fabric and peel off the paper backing of the HeatnBond. If you don’t do this you will start to yell at your iron like I did because my applique was not sticking. In this case, step away from the ironing board, take a small breath, maybe go grab a coke or your favorite go-to, then come back and peel the paper backing off and try again. Your ties should completely attach to your base fabric and make you smile!

Now take your pillow front over to your sewing machine and using a stitch you like the look of, top stitch around each tie. I love zig-zags and like the idea of the black thread popping. If you wanted it to be more polished looking I would try a straight stitch with a thread color that will disappear into your fabric. The choice is yours.

This is the point where you would insert your zipper. I am not going to go through the step of this today, but there are many great tutorials out there for you.

Now that the front is complete and your zipper is attached you need to attach the front and back of your pillow. To do so put the RIGHT sides together and stitch around the entire perimeter of your pillow. The key here is to make sure that your zipper is OPEN when you do this. This is the hole you will use to turn your pillow cover right side out again. If you forget to open the zipper (not that I have ever done this) a wooden chop stick is pretty successful at opening it up through the fabric, but it takes time and patience. It might be faster and easier to just take some of your stitching out, undo the zipper,and stitch it back up. Hopefully now you won’t make that mistake!

Okay, here we go, reach your hand into the hole created from your open zipper and pull out your new pillow cover! Put a pillow form in it and add it to your collection. Come back next week as we keep the Father’s Day Ideas rollin.

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