February 2, 2011

Shabby Chic Patchwork Throw Pillow Covers


Don't these pillows just look darling?!  I am entering them in the Great Pillow Contest over at Sew Mama Sew Blog!
I love them - and I am so happy!
Before these darling pillow covers made them pretty, my pillows were UGLY.  They were the same color as this couch, and frumpy.
When I saw this post over at Michele Made Me, I immediately knew that I wanted to make pillow covers just like them!
And, over the Christmas break, I had the perfect opportunity to get started...
My pillows are about 18" square, so I stared with about 20" square pieces of white fabric.
Then, since I was at my parents house, I got to go through my mom's stash of scrap fabric (thanks mom!).
It was fun, let me tell you.  I cut strips, triangles, random shapes, and made them all fit onto my white fabric in a delightfully random pattern. 
The beauty of this project, is that it doesn't matter what your fabric looks like!  It is more fun the more random the pieces and colors are!
Once I had arranged the scraps the way I wanted, I used my handy dandy glue stick and glued all the pieces down.  I still love this method! (see post here for the project I learned about glue sticking on)
And then came the really fortuitous part....
I got to use my mom's brand new, fancy shmancy quilting machine!!! 
It was so much fun, despite the fact that I put a needle straight through my finger while trying to hold one of these little scraps down. 
But, other than that - pure joy:)
My dad INSISTED on taking a picture of my skewered finger, but I will save you from having to see it...just know that I am fine. 
I quilted a random-ish pattern, with lightening bolts and a few swirls, and it looks great. 
I would have done this with the free form foot on my regular sewing machine - but I will admit that this took a lot less time. 
So, there is a layer of batting, and a piece of white fabric as backing. 
The edges of the scraps are raw, of course, so this creates a shabby chic look...and when you wash them, they will fray more. 

When I got it home, I trimmed the edges, and quickly sewed the squares into pillow cases - just like a pillow sham. 
To make the pillowcases:
I chose two different colors for the back of the pillowcase.  Each was the same width as the front, but less than 2/3 of the length.  So, for my 20" x 20" fronts, I made each of my back pieces 20" wide by about 13" - 14" tall.  It is not an exact science, I just wanted them to overlap on the back to hide the pillow inside.
Along one of the long edges of each of the back pieces, I folded over twice and ironed...

And then sewed the folded part all the way across...
To finally sew it all together, I took the front of my pillow, and placed the first back piece, right sides together, lined up with the bottom of the front piece.  You can see that my sewn edge is toward the middle.  All raw edges are touching along the three outer sides. 
Then, I took the second back piece, and with the sewn edge again facing toward the middle, laid it over the top, right sides together, lined up with the top edge.  (sorry that the picture is so dark!  flash problem) 
Pin it all down securely and sew along all 4 sides (outer edges) - with about a 1/4" - 1/2" seam allowance (whatever floats your boat). 
Turn it right side out through the pocket  in the middle...
Stuff your pillow in, and enjoy!  (If you feel so inclined, you can secure the pocket closed with velcro or buttons, but my flaps overlap enough that I didn't think I needed them)
Front and back...
I just LOVE the color they add to my room.  Hurray!

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  1. lindsay those look fabulous!!! i love this idea incorporated into a cushion! way to go! do you mind if i, at some point in the not-too-distant future, do a little feature of your cushions on my blog? i will of course link back to your blog, and this post as well. but i'll let you know when it will be coming up so you can watch for it!

    let me know what you think, alright?



  2. When I saw the white around each piece I wondered how you did that. I think I'll try the glue stick thing. It must be great having use of a quilting machine! Great work. Linda

  3. I'm in love with this pillow. I have so, so many scraps that need using up. This is going on the list. And the glue stick tip is priceless!

  4. wow! these are so cool! love them.

    thanks for sharing! i do love the glus stick tip.

    I'm a new follower and so glad that I found you! I just made some cute pillows that are patchwork style! Love yours!

  6. Hi~ Love the pillows! If I send you my FAV scraps would tou make me 1 cushion for a chair? How much?? Thx Laura

  7. Laura - I would love to! Email me at lindsayronae (at) gmail (dot) com and we can discuss size and cost. I don't have any other way to contact you - so hopefully you can shoot me an email.
    Thanks for the interest!

  8. This is an awesome post, I would really love it if you linked this up to Masterpiece Monday at Boogieboard Cottage as well! Have a nice Week! Mary :O)

  9. These are fabulous! You do lovely work!
    Thanks for linking up to Making It With Allie! I can't wait to see what you have for next week!

  10. What a great idea, I think I might make one from the scraps from my daughters quilt. I am so jealous you got to use your moms fancy machine, I only dream of owning something like that someday!

    I would love to have you come and link up to Fantastic Friday at


  11. I love those crazy pillows you've done a great job with them.

  12. These pillow are too cute! Fun, Festive and welcoming! Thanks for sharing, hope you can link up next Monday as well :)!!!

  13. Thanks so much for coming and linking up to Fantastic Friday. I cannot wait to see what you have for this weeks party!

  14. I adore these kooky cushions! What a wonderful way to use up old fabric scraps, and no one will know if you make a mistake :)