Sunday, February 10, 2008

Add Variety With Accent Pillows

Level: Easy

Decorative or accent pillows have always been used to spark up almost any decor, whether it be on a sofa or a bed. When you want a quick spruce up on top of a bedspread or a well-worn sofa consider making new toss pillows in bright colors or bold patterns. It will appear as though you have re-decorated the whole room. Shop for remnants or mill ends in a drapery department and look for pillow forms when they are on sale. Go bold with 14- or 16-inch pillow forms. And don't stuff them with loose fiberfil because you won't get a professional-looking pillow.

Supplies needed:

1 � yds. decorator fabric 54 inches wide
12-inch zipper
thread to match fabric
two pillow forms

Step-by-Step for a flat ruffled pillow:

1. Cut 2 squares of fabric that measure 6 inches larger than your pillow form (ie. 14-in. pillow form + 6 inches = 20-in. square of fabric). These squares will be your pillow tops.

2. Using an erasable fabric pen mark a 14-in. square in the center of this 20-in. piece of fabric.

3. If you desire trim or flat lace, sew it on the outside of the square now. Use the marked square as your guide for attaching this trim. Simply sew the trim onto the flat piece of fabric with a pivot at the corners or cut four pieces of trim and overlap them at the corners.

4. Cut the pillow backs to measure 20 in. by 25 in. Cut this piece in half to make 2 pieces that measure 20 in. x 12 � in.

5. Sew the 12-in. zipper between the two backing pieces. There will be extra fabric on each end of the zipper.

6. Center this backing piece over the pillow front with the right sides together. Carefully pin this sandwich together and then sew these two pieces together using a 5/8-in. seam. The pillow back may be larger than the pillow front depending on how you installed the zipper so sew them together using the pillow top as your guide for the seam allowance.

7. Trim the excess from the seam allowance and the corners so that when you turn the fabric right side out you have sharp points. Open the zipper to turn this right side out and carefully press. It should measure about 19 in.

8. Using the 14-in. square that you have already marked, stitch a square through all the layers pivoting at the corners, so that a pillow form fits snugly inside the stitching lines. Many pillow forms are skimpy so if the form doesn't fill up the pillow, the square needs to be smaller. Remove the form and resew the square to be smaller.

9. Unzip the zipper and insert the form making sure the corners are filled with the corners of the pillow form. The zipper makes this pillow very easy to wash when necessary.

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