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Arrange strips, sew and spray baste, finishing up a garden cushion cover

Yesterday I listed the materials necessary to sew some strips to create your own version of this bench pillow, so perfect for a porch.

 

Finished bench pillow
Finished bench pillow

 

Create your own original design!

Once you have your 19 – 2½” strips cut, it’s time to start arranging them to create the pillow top. You can use a design wall or lay the strips on the pillow form until you find a pleasing design.

 

Design Method 1: Arrange the 2½" strips on a design wall.
Design Method 1: Arrange the 2½” strips on a design wall.

 

Design Method 2: Arrange the 2½" strips on the pillow form.
Design Method 2: Arrange the 2½” strips on the pillow form.

 

When you’re satisfied with your design, sew the strips together using a ¼” seam. Handle carefully so you don’t stretch or distort the strips.

 

Sew the strips together.
Sew the strips together.

 

Trim the top and bottom of the pieced rectangle so the edges are even. It should be 38½” wide. If it isn’t, you can add one more 2½” segment.

 

Trim the top and bottom to make the edges even.
Trim the top and bottom to make the edges even.

 

Cut 1 piece of lightweight batting (there are several to choose from) and 1 piece of backing fabric so they are the same size as the pillow top. The backing fabric won’t show when the pillow is finished, so this is a good chance to use up some “ugly” fabric from your stash!

Layer pillow top, batting and backing. Pin or baste the layers together. 505 Spray can be used for this. Make sure to read the instructions on the can before using this product. You can also pin-baste the layers together with safety pins.

 

Layer top, batting and backing and baste with 505 Spray or safety pins.
Layer top, batting and backing and baste with 505 Spray or safety pins.

 

Quilting the pillow top

I did some “stitch in the ditch” quilting on all the seam lines and then added more vertical lines in a random design using monofilament “invisible” thread. There are several different invisible threads available in craft and quilt shops. They come in both light and dark colors, and also in different weights.

You can also use a light-weight thread such as Gütermann 100% polyester in the color of your choice.

 

Stitch with lightweight or monofilament (invisible) thread.
Stitch with light-weight or monofilament (invisible) thread.

 

Make sure to use your walking or even-feed foot when machine quilting. If you have a foot with an open toe, it makes it even easier to see where to stitch.

When the quilting is finished, trim the rectangle to 17″ x 39″, centering the design as desired.

 

Use a walking foot for machine quilting.
Use a walking foot for machine quilting.

 

I find that the finished pillow top is a better shape if you round the corners or cut them on a slight angle. To do this, I made a cardboard template to use as a guide for cutting. I started the angle at 3½” from the corner and removed about ½” of fabric at the widest point at each corner.

 

Cardboard template for trimming corners
Cardboard template for trimming corners

 

Be sure to come back tomorrow, and I’ll show you how to make a covered cording for a really professional finish on your bench pillow.

 

This is part 4 of 5 in this series.
Go back to part 3: Making a cushion cover for the porch

Go to part 5: How to make and apply covered cording properly

 

Jean has been designing and publishing patterns since 1997. For the past 10 years she has been designing patterns for new fabric collections by Northcott Fabrics. Her work has been published in several magazines in both Canada and the United States. Jean holds a Fiber Arts Certificate in quilting and has taught extensively throughout Canada, including six national Quilt Canada conferences. She was named "Canadian Teacher of the Year" in 2003 by the Canadian Quilters Association and has won numerous awards for her quilts.

2 Comments

  1. Kathy E.

    This is a beautiful pillow cover and one I’d like to make for my bedroom! Such a simple, yet elegant idea! Thank you!

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