Sunday, February 6, 2011

Ruffle & No. 143 Pillow Tutorials

Hi all!  Last week, Kindra from At Home With K, hosted the Be Mine Bonanza.  Along with her own awesome project, she invited six more talented ladies to guest post, including your truly!  I had so much fun creating these little gems, and I hope you enjoy them, too!

Let's start with the pillow form.  For a 14" square pillow form, you will need:

1/2 yard Muslin/old sheet/any kind of fabric that is a light color (white or off-white usually works best) and cheap!
Tape Measure
Sewing Machine

Not pictured:
Embroidery needle
Sewing Machine
Iron & Ironing Table

First, you need to decide what size you want your form to be.  Let's go with 14"x14" so you can use it later on in this tutorial.  So, you will need to measure and cut a piece of fabric that is 15"x29" (formula: height + 1 by width x 2 + 1).

Fold your fabric in half, with right sides together, so that it measures 14-1/2" x 15". Pin the three non-folded sides and sew together using a 1/2" seam, but leave a 4-6" opening.  Make sure you backstitch at both the beginning and the end of your stitching.  I also like to reinforce my corners by backstitching there, too.

If you snip the corners, they will be sharper when you flip the pillow form right-side out and stuff, which is the next step.

Once you have it stuffed to your liking, just use a simple whip-stitch the opening closed, and you're done!

Now, let's get to the fun stuff.  First up is the No. 143 Pillow.  143=I Love You

Solid fabric
Accent fabric
12x16 Pillow form
Super duper gigantic ric rac (I found mine at Hobby Lobby)/ribbon/other embelishment
Iron-on Transfer paper
Coordinating threads

Prep work: Print "No. 143" onto a sheet of the transfer paper.  I used Engravers MT font at 200pt.

Cut one piece from your accent fabric that measures 13"x25" and set aside for now.  With your solid fabric, cut one piece at 13"x17".  Following the directions on your transfer paper package, iron on the "No. 143" about 1-1/2" from the edge.  Then measure 5" from that same edge, fold the fabric towards the back side and press.  Be careful to iron the side that does NOT have the transfer!

At the end opposite from your "No. 143", fold the edge over 1/2" toward the back side of the fabric and press.

Fold it over again, 1" this time, and press.  Repeat these last 2 steps on one of the 13" ends of your accent fabric, too.
With right sides together, sew your solid fabric to your accent fabric along the "No. 143" edge using a 1/2" seam.  Press the seam open, then add your ric rac and sew into place.

Remember when I had you measure 5" from the end and press?  Go back to that spot, and fold along that line so that the right sides are together, and pin.

Measure 16" from your last fold, mark it with a pin, then fold over so right sides are together and pin into place.

*Ignore the extra seam you see in these last to pictures...I cut my fabric a little short, so I had to add another piece to get the length I needed!*

Sew along the two long sides, then turn right side out, and stuff the pillow form in!

Finally, we have the Romantic Ruffle pillow...

14"x14" Pillow Form
White Muslin
Tape Measure
*Rotary Cutter
Coordinating Thread

Not pictured:
*Self healing mat
*Quilter's ruler
*Fray Check
*Pinking Shears

{*not necessary, but helpful}

Cut 1 piece of muslin 15"x39", and 3 strips that are 1"x44" (most fabrics are 44" - 45" wide).  *You will want to either use some fray check or pinking shears on the edges of your 1" strips to prevent them from fraying.*

On both of the 15" ends of your large piece of muslin, fold the fabric over 1/2" and press.  Fold over again 1", press and sew into place.  Set aside for now.

Make your ruffles.  (I forgot to take a picture. Doh!  It's pretty simple, though.)  There are several different ways to do this, even without a special ruffle foot.  This is what works best for me... On your sewing machine, set your stitch length to the LONGEST stitch or the HIGHEST number.  Set your tension to the TIGHTEST setting or the HIGHEST number.

Do a simple straight stitch down the middle of your 1" strips using the instructions above to make your ruffles.

Lay out your big piece of fabric, and measure 12-1/2" from the left and pin your first ruffle all the way down.  Using a straight stitch (don't forget to switch your stitch length and tension settings back to normal!), and using the ruffle stitching as a guide, attach the ruffle.

Pin your second ruffle right next to the first, and sew it on the same way.  Repeat for the third ruffle.

Measure 11-1/2" from the left and mark it with a pin.  Measure 14" from that pin and mark the second spot with another pin.

With wrong sides together, fold fabric at the pins and press.

Using the fold lines as a guide, fold right sides together and pin.  Sew a 1/2" seam along the unfolded sides.

Turn right-side out, and pop in a pillow form!

And now you have some LOVEly, romantic pillows!  Happy Valentine's Day!

I'd love for you to share with me what you've created with my tutorials!  Email me or join my Flickr Group!


  1. I just love this Heather and such a great tutorial too! I think I will have to try this one day, I just adore ruffles! Thank you!

  2. Thanks, Michelle! I had been putting the ruffle pillow of for months because I despised making ruffles with the thread-pulling method, and it was just plain dumb luck that I accidentally figured out this easy way to make them!

  3. Love the ruffle pillow. It's wonderful!
    Just found your blog and I'm having a great time exploring!

  4. Thanks, Heidi! And Welcome to my little corner of cyberspace!

  5. I love your pillows! You described the ruffle one perfectly...romantic! I want to make some now!!

  6. These pillows are beyond adorable. :)

  7. Great tutorial. Love it, thanks for sharing


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