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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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