Border prints are fun, but stitched borders that you create yourself are even better! You control the design elements and colors, the width of the border, and its placement. By stitching a border across the middle of a fabric strip, we set the stage for a pouf of a pillow, and the edges of the border become an unexpected part of the project.
Finished size: 14″ x 4″
- 3/4 yard of 54″-wide sateen for pillow
- 5/8 yard of 45″-wide muslin for inner pillow
- 2 5/8 yards of 1/8″-diameter cable cord
- 12 ounces of polyester fiberfill
- 2 covered-button forms, 1 1/2″ diameter
- 2 variegated threads for embellishing
- Matching solid-color thread for sewing
- Heavy-duty thread for gathering stitches
- Sewing & Quilting Machine: Dream Creator: Innov-ís VQ2400
- THE Dream Fabric Frame
(Tip: Use variegated thread to create a colorful pattern resembling plaid without multiple thread changes.)
Marking the Fabric
- Examine your sateen to be sure its warp and weft threads are perpendicular to each other. If necessary, straighten one end of the fabric.
- Use chalk or a removable marking tool to draw a line on the right side of the fabric perpendicular to the selvages, 7 1/4″ from the straight end. Draw a second line 1/2″ from the first one.
- Measure and mark three more lines, 4″, 1/2″, and 7 1/4″ from each previously drawn line. (Fig. 1)
- Measure and mark an area 44 1/2″ wide through the fabric length. The space outside this area will not be used in the pillow except to provide fabric for covering the buttons.
- Mount the fabric (face up) on THE Dream Fabric Frame. Thread the needle and bobbin with one variegated thread.
- Sew two-to-four wavy lines within each 1/2″-wide section. Make the waves loose, and be sure to keep the stitches within the 1/2″ marks. Later lines should cross over the first rather than follow the same path (fig. 2 and 3).
- Stitch lines about 2″ long back-and-forth within the 4″ area, creating a stitched patch about 3/4″ wide. Leave the ends of the stitching uneven. Begin and end each group near the center where the tie-off stitches will be hidden. Repeat to scatter patches of stitching along the entire 4″ area, sewing some groups horizontally and others vertically (fig. 4).
- When the entire area is complete, switch to the second variegated thread in the needle. (It’s okay to leave the first thread in the bobbin as long as both are the same weight.) Stitch another 3/4″ x 2″ patch on top of each patch from step 6, making the new stitches perpendicular to the first group (fig. 5).
- Repeat step 6 to add wavy lines of the second thread color, crossing over the previous lines. The 1/2″ area between the lines should be filled evenly, with the fabric background still visible between lines of stitches (fig. 6).
(Tip: I’ve changed the stitching order a bit to minimize the thread changes; the photos look a little different, but the end result is the same.)
- Reposition the fabric in the frame and stitch two more crossed patches of stitches, with each group about 1/2″ x 1 1/2″ in the extra fabric area. These will be used for the covered buttons, so be sure to leave sufficient space between the stitched patches.
Making the Pillow
- Remove the fabric from THE Dream Fabric Frame. Trim along the lines you drew in step 1 to make a 19 1/2″ x 44 1/2″ rectangle. Remove the markings and press the fabric from the wrong side. Set the remaining fabric (with the last two stitched swatches) aside for later.
- Lie the cording along the center of one 1/2″ stitched area, on the wrong side, and fold the embellished fabric around the cord. Use a piping or zipper foot and matching all-purpose thread to stitch close to the cording, creating a piped edge. For best results, stitch with the embellished 4″ section of the fabric on the bottom, next to the feed dogs.
- Trim the cording to match the fabric edges. Repeat step 12 to add cording to the second 1/2″ area of stitching.
- Fold the sateen in half, right sides together, and stitch the side seam. Use a 1/2″ seam allowance and press the seam allowances open. Turn the pillow right side out. Press 1/4″ to the wrong side on each open edge.
Making the Inner Pillow
- From the muslin, cut two circles 14 1/2″ in diameter (pattern provided) and one rectangle 4 1/2″ x 44 1/2″. If necessary, piece the rectangle to achieve the necessary length.
- Fold the muslin rectangle in half, right sides together, and stitch the short end with a 1/4″ seam allowance, leaving 3″ open at the center of the seam. This means you’ll only be sewing 3/4″ of seam at each end. Press the seam allowances open.
- Fold the stitched rectangle (now a tube) and each circle to find the quarter points and mark each with a pin.
- Matching the quarter points, sew one circle to each side of the tube, right sides together, and using 1/4″ seam allowances. Turn the inner pillow right side out through the opening in the short seam in the tube. It’s not necessary to trim or clip the seam allowances.
- Stuff the inner pillow with fiberfill to the firmness you like. (The sample pillow uses a full 12-ounce bag of fiberfill.) The pillow will firm up a bit more in the following steps. Slip stitch the opening closed.
- Slip the inner pillow into the embellished tube, aligning it between the corded edges.
Pleating the Ends
- Measure 1 1/4″ from the pillow side seam and mark the pressed edge with a pin. Fold the pillow/tube in half at the pin to find the opposite point and mark it with a pin, dividing the open edge into two parts. Refold the pillow so that the pins are aligned and mark the two new folds with pins, dividing the edge into quarters. Refold to match two adjacent pins and mark the new fold. Continue around the edge to divide it into eight equal sections. Repeat the folding process once more to create 16 equal divisions marked by pins (fig. 7).
- Fold the pressed edge at one pin, wrong sides together, and bring the fold to a point 1/8″ from the next pin. Use heavy-duty thread to stitch through all the fabric layers at the point, securing the pleat at the edge only. Stitch twice for security (fig. 8).
- Fold the pressed edge at the second pin (1/8″ away from the stitched fold) and take the new fold to a point 1/8″ from the third pin. Securely stitch the new fold to the edge. Repeat folding and stitching all the way around the end of the pillow/tube (fig. 9). Turn the pleats – hidden under the fabric – in one direction all the way around (fig. 10). Slip your fingers inside the pleats as necessary to neaten (fig. 11).
- Stitch back-and-forth across the remaining central opening in a star pattern and draw the pleated edge together at the center of the pillow. Knot the thread securely and clip.
- Repeat steps 21-24 to pleat the second end of the pillow/tube, enclosing the inner pillow.
Adding the Buttons
- Following the instructions that accompany your covered-button forms, use the remaining embellished fabric to make two covered buttons.
- Position one button on each side of the pillow, covering the pleated edge. Thread a long upholstery or doll making needle with a double strand of heavy-duty thread and sew through the center of the pillow from back-to-front, leaving a long thread tail. Sew through the shank of one button and back through the pillow. Add the second button and tie the thread tails together, pulling the thread tight to indent the pillow around the buttons (fig. 12). Knot the thread securely and trim the thread tails so that they are hidden under the button.