Hi everyone! I'm Ali and I blog over at asquared(w). I am a huge fan of Leah's designs (as I'm sure you are) so I was stoked when she asked if I would write a tutorial for her blog! It took me all of 2 seconds to say yes, then a little longer to come up with a project that I thought was worthy of her blog and that you all would enjoy.
I had an idea for a quilt / block a while ago and never brought it to life, so I thought this would be a good time. I'll be showing you how to make this block and turn it into a pillow! I also took 4 of the blocks, rotated them, and ended up with a quilt that I adore. So if pillows aren't your thing, think about turning these into a quilt! This makes a 17" square unfinished block (perfect for a 16" square pillow).
1 - 15" square of background fabric
10 - 1.5" x 17" strips of accent fabrics (2 of each color, 5 colors). It's ok if they are longer than 17"
2 - 17" x 11" rectangles of background fabric for the pillow back
1 - 2" x 17" strip as an accent for the back (not necessary)
1 - 19" x 19" square of batting
1 - 19" x 19" square of muslin
What we're going to be doing is cutting apart the 15" square, sewing in a strip, cutting it again, adding in another strip, etc, etc. All in all it will take 20 steps.
Steps 1 - 6 : inserting color 1
1. Cut a strip 2.5" from the left side of the 15" square
2. With right sides together, sew 1 color 1 strip to the 2.5" piece. I trim all of the overhangs at the end, so don't worry if it's too long. Press toward the color
3. Again with RST, line up the top and bottom edges of your background pieces and sew the color strip to the other side of the background piece. Press toward the color.
4. Now cut 2.5" down from the top.
5. Sew another 1.5" strip of color 1 to the 2.5" strip. Press toward the color.
6. **This is where it gets tricky! Stay with me!! ** We need to sew this piece back onto the body, but we want to line up that first vertical line.
Line up those points, sew, press toward the color.
Got it? It makes a perfect alignment every time. I use lots of pins on this step.
Steps 7 - 12 : inserting color 2
* This is similar to the last steps, but the measurements have changed, pay attention! *
7. Cut 2.25" vertically from the right side of the first color piece.
8. With right sides together, sew 1 color 2 strip to the 5.5" piece. Press toward the color
9. Again with RST, line up the top and bottom edges of your background pieces, make your marks for the horizontal color 1 piece (like in step 6) and sew the color 2 strip to the other side of the background piece. Press toward the color.
10. Now cut 2.25" down from the top.
11. Sew another 1.5" strip of color 2 to the 5.5" top piece. Press toward the color.
12. Mark where colors 1 and 2 should line up (see step 6), sew top piece to the bottom with RST, press toward color.
We are going to continue steps 7 - 12 for the other 3 colors. Vertical strip first, then horizontal strip. Here are some diagrams to take you through the cut order. :)
Did you make it??
Not trim it up to 17" square. Sometimes I overtrim to make things perfect, so it's ok if you go down to 16.5" square.
You should end up with something like these:
|See how repeating a color changes the effect?|
|Playing with shades of gray|
Make your sandwich and baste as desired. I prefer spray basting. Leah has TONS of quilting tutorials, so I won't go into that here. I quilted mine with straight lines using thread that matched the strips.
|The back side of the neon one. Can you pretend that the lines are straighter?? Thanks!|
Assembling the pillow back
1. With the right side of the accent strip on the wrong side of one of the 11" x 17" pieces, sew along the 17" side.
2. Fold down 1/4" toward the wrong side on the other side of the accent strip.
3. Fold and press the color strip up so that the wrong side facing the right side of the back. Top stitch 1/8" from each side.
4. Take your other 11" x 17" piece. Fold over one 17" side 1.5" toward the wrong side. Unfold and fold the edge toward your fold line (3/4"). The refold on the original fold line. The raw edge should be tucked in and the fold should be 3/4" wide. Topstitch 1/8" from each fold.
4. Layer in this order:
- quilted front face up
- back piece with accent face down, aligning the raw 17" edge with one side of the quilted front
- plain back piece face down, aligning the raw 17" edge with the opposite edge of the quilted front. The finished edges should overlap in the middle.
5. Sew along all 4 sides with a 3/8" seam allowance. I like to backstitch where the pieces overlap for more stability. Clip corners.
5. Flip right side out, put a pillow in, DONE!
Now have fun! Change the dimensions, change the order the strips are cut, try new colors. If you're on Flickr I'd love to see what you come up with - just pop a picture in the pool. :)
Check out Ali's awesome blog of fun tutorials right here and join her flickr pool to show off your own awesome pillow.
Don't you think this would make a great project to practice some free motion designs? Play with stitching a different filler in all the squares, or pick one design to stitch over the whole pillow! Experiment with this fun project and make it your own!
Let's go quilt,