Sunday, November 15, 2015

Quilted Body Pillow Cover

I'm a bit behind (so, what's new about that?), but I finally have my pictures to complete my tutorial on how to make a quilted cover for your body pillow!  Thanks for all the lovely comments on my Island Batik project!  In order to tell you how to create your own I decided to make a second version using some of my orphan blocks in order to show you how I did it.

The first thing I did was to choose three blocks that looked nice together.  You could make three matching blocks, of course.  Your blocks need to be 12 1/2 inches (unfinished size)

I ended up rotating the middle block so the white sections went across instead of up and down.  The next step is to choose a background fabric. You will need about 5/8 of a yard of a non directional print.  I auditioned several.  I had a pretty rose print, but the color was too dull for these blocks.  I also tried yellow -
I thought that it was too similar to the yellow in the center block, so looked at a blue print next:

Much better!  You will need to cut one 18 1/2 inch square and two 9 1/2 inch squares.  If you don't have a ruler to measure a large square, you can combine two rulers to get the finished size.  I used my 12 1/2 inch square ruler and my 6 x 12 ruler to do the cutting - just go slow and make sure you place your hand on the ruler next to the cut and you will do fine!

This large square needs to be cut in half diagonally both ways.  Your 24 inch ruler will be too short to go all the way across, so what I do is to use the 45 degree line to make sure my ruler is at the right position to start, cut about 6 inches, then move the ruler to the far corner and line up with the cut I began at the bottom.  You could also press the square in half both ways and cut along your pressed lines.  Cutting accurate pieces really makes your project go together better!

The two 9 1/2 inch squares will both need to be cut in half in only one direction.  These will be the small triangles on the two ends.
Sew these to the two outside squares, finger press to the find the center of the side of your block and the long side of the triangles.  match these up and sew together.

After sewing this, add the long triangles in the same way, but sewing the short side of the triangle to the upper right side of the end block.
 Add a large triangle to the upper right and bottom left of the center block, and the last one to the bottom left of the last block.
Now you will only have to sew two long seams, matching the block corners.
Time for some quilting!  Layer your backing fabric (this can be something you don't like at all because it won't show in the finished pillow), batting and pillow top.  Quilt as desired.  I did swirls on mine.
Trim the edges so they are even.  My pillow top finished at about 17 1/2 inches by 52 inches.  The body pillow measured about 18 by 52, so the top was a good size for it.  I usually like my pillow covers to fit a bit on the tight side so that they are well filled.

For the backing you will need about 3/4 yard of fabric.  I cut two pieces 17 1/2 inches by the length of the fabric.  The easy way to do this is to cut the two selvages off, then cut 17 1/2 from the selvage.  Square up the two ends of each piece, then hem one edge of each piece.  I fold down 2 inches, then press the end to the fold to make a 1 inch doubled hem.

Lay your quilted section right side down, and pin one of the backing pieces right side up on top.
Add the other backing piece on the other side overlapping the first one:
Cut 4 strips of binding your preferred width and prepare it for sewing.  Add the binding in your usual method.  I like to sew mine to the back side, then turn it over and machine stitch it to the front.
Now all you need to do is insert your pillow!  It's a bit of a battle, but be patient and gentle and you can get it all in where it needs to go.

And there you go!  You could do the same thing and add two regular pillows for a bolster.  They would be easier to insert as well ;)

In summary – to make this pillow you will need:

Three pieced or appliqued quilt blocks, 12 ½ inches unfinished
5/8 yard fabric for the setting triangles
¾ yard fabric for the backing
1/3 yard for the binding

One 18 x 52 inch body pillow or

Two 20 x 26 inch regular pillows

Fabric for lining the quilted top and batting.

Thanks for encouraging me to create this tutorial!  Enjoy!

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