Saturday, February 9, 2008

A Fanciful Ruffled Pillow

Level: Moderate

How would you like to make a colorful toss pillow with a 3-inch ruffled edge? Make it festive for the holidays with appropriate fabric and easy quilting techniques as shown in the photograph. If you're interested in making this log cabin pillow, follow these instructions. When the piecing aspect of this is complete, follow the directions below for the final touches for a ruffled pillow. If you would prefer a solid front for your ruffled pillow, keep reading.

Ruffled pillows are simple to make and add spark to any room in the house. The pillow in the photo uses one of the fabrics in the quilt block for the ruffle. Let your own color scheme help you decide what fabric to use for the ruffle. Make extra ruffled pillows as wonderful gifts for special friends.

15-inch log cabin block or square of fabric
14- to 16-inch pillow form
1-1/4 yd. fabric for back and ruffle
About 3 yards of lightweight string or heavyweight thread
15-inch square of light batting
Thread to match fabric

Once you have made the log cabin square or have a 15-in. piece of appropriate fabric, begin the following steps.

1. Prepare the strip for the ruffle by tearing 7-in. strips of fabric. A ruffle needs to be full enough to be gathered and sewn to the outside edge of the pillow top. Therefore, tear 2 or 3 strips of 44- to 45-in. fabric.

Tip! It is possible to have the ruffle too full especially if the fabric is too heavy.

This 14- to 16-in. pillow form (pictured) needed 3 strips of fabric for the ruffle because of its size.

HINT: Always measure your pillow form because manufacturers vary in their quoted pillow form measurements. What you think is a 14-in. pillow form may actually be 15 inches by your measurements.

2. Sew the short ends of the strips together to make one continuous strip. Press seams open. Fold this strip in half with the wrong sides together and press so the raw edges are together. Divide this long strip into 4 equal segments and mark these points with a safety pin. This will be your 3-in. wide ruffle.

3. To gather the ruffle, use a lightweight string or heavyweight thread as long as the ruffle strip. Lay the string a 1/2 inch from the raw edge of the strip. Using normal thread in your sewing machine, zigzag over the string. Don't catch the string in the zigzag stitches because the string will be pulled to gather the ruffle to the dimension of the pillow.

Tip! It's important to use a lightweight string or heavyweight thread for the ruffling process. It can withstand a lot of tension as you pull and tug on it and will be less likely to break.

4. Prepare the pillow top by layering a piece of quilt batting under the log cabin block or 15-in.-square of fabric. Stitch around the outside edge of the square to attach the batting to the top square. The layer of batting gives more body to the pillow top. Machine quilting along the seams would hold these layers together but isn't necessary.

5. Prepare the ruffle by pulling the string from both ends to gather the strip to fit the top. The pins you placed in the ruffle strip will help to evenly distribute the gathers.

6. Carefully pin the ruffle to the prepared pillow top. Place the right side of the ruffle against the right side of the pillow top. The gathered edge will be on the outside edge of the pillow top.

Tip! The finished edge of the ruffle will be temporarily facing the center of the pillow.

Adjust the gathers and allow extra fullness at the corners.

7. Sew around all four sides of the pillow attaching the ruffle as you sew. The seam allowance should be just inside the zigzag stitches and will be slightly wider than a 1/2 inch.

8. Prepare the pillow back by cutting a square that is 2 inches larger than the pillow front.

9. Lay the pillow back right side down on top of the ruffles and sew around all four edges through all the layers, leaving a 9- to 10-in. opening for turning right side out.

Tip! Be careful to avoid catching the loose part of the ruffle into this seam.

10. Check this seam carefully after turning and correct any problems. Press lightly with a steam iron if necessary before stuffing with the pillow form.

11. If the corners aren't fully filled out take some loose batting and fill the corners. The pillow should be full, not flat and limp.

12. Close the opening by hand sewing with matching thread, turning the seam allowance inside.

No comments: