Friday, May 27, 2011

Summer Pinwheel Pillow Tutorial

My project for the May Point of View reveal is a tutorial for a Summer Pinwheel Pillow...

I love this pillow! It's so fresh and just screams summer to me. It's a traditional pinwheel quilt block, and it's easy to put together. Want to make your own? Here's the how-to...

  • four different scraps of fabric for the pinwheel, each measuring 5" x 5"
  • fabric for the front border and back of the pillow, about 3/4 of a yard
  • coordinating thread
  • marking pen (I used a disappearing ink pen, but it's not necessary)
  • rotary cutter or scissors
  • straightedge
  • 16" x 16" pillow form


Step 1: Cut your fabric. You need one 5" x 5" square of each of your four pinwheel colors. For the front border you need to cut four pieces: two pieces that are 17" x 4.75" and two pieces that are 8.5" x 4.75". This pillow has a simple envelope closure, so for the back you need to cut two pieces: one that is 17" x 14" and one that is 17" x 9".

Step 2: Take two of your 5" x 5" pinwheel pieces and place them right sides together. Pin them together, then draw a line from one point diagonally to the opposite point. You are going to sew two seams... one 1/4" to the right of this line and one 1/4" to the left. You can measure over first and draw the lines 1/4" from the center line, or just use a 1/4" piecing foot on your machine if you have one.

Step 3: After you sew your seams, cut the piece in half along the line that you originally drew from corner to corner. You will now have two triangles. Open them up, press the seams open, and snip off the extra fabric sticking out on the corners.

Step 4: Repeat Steps 2 and 3 for your other two 5" x 5" pinwheel pieces.

Step 5: Arrange your four squares to your liking.

Flip the two squares on the left side over onto the two squares on the right side so that the right sides of the fabric are facing. Pin and sew along the left edge of each using a 1/4" seam allowance.

Press the seams to opposite sides (see photo below). You want to create a nice space to perfectly "nest" your pieces together for the final seam of the pinwheel block, so if you press the seam of the top piece to the left, press the seam of your bottom piece to the right.

Step 6: With your two pieces arranged in front of you right side up, flip the bottom piece up onto the top piece so that the right sides of the fabric are facing. Pin, making sure that your seams line up (or "nest") together, and sew along the bottom edge using a 1/4" seam allowance. Press the seam open.

Your pinwheel block is done!

Step 7: Time to finish the front of the pillow. Place your pinwheel block in front of you, and set your two 8.5" x 4.75" pieces on either side of it. Flip the two side pieces onto the pinwheel block so that the right sides of the fabric are facing. Pin along both sides and sew using a 1/4" seam allowance. Press your seams open.

Step 8: Now place your two 17" x 4.75" pieces along the top and bottom of your pinwheel block. Flip the top piece down and the bottom piece up onto the pinwheel block so that the right sides of the fabric are facing. Pin along the top and bottom and sew using a 1/4" seam allowance. Press your seams open.

The front of your pillow is done!

Step 9: Moving on to the back... Take your 17" x 14" piece of fabric and press one of the 17" long edges in 1/2" to the wrong side of your fabric. Fold this edge over another 1/2" and press again. Stitch along the edge about 3/8" from the folded outer edge to finish. Repeat for your 17" x 9" piece of fabric.

Step 10: Lay the front of your pillow out right side up. Take your larger back piece and lay it on top of your pillow front right side down. Line up the raw edges of this back piece with the raw edges of the front piece

Take your smaller back piece and lay it on top of this right side down. Line up the raw edges of this back piece with the raw edges of the front piece.

Pin all layers together and sew all the way around the outside of the pillow using a 1/4" seam allowance. Clip your corners, turn your pillow right side out, and you're done!

Here's the back of my pillow. I added a patchwork strip to the larger back piece just to add a little visual interest...

And of course I added one of my homemade sewing labels...

I'm really loving this pillow, which surprises me because I'm a fan of grays and browns and black. I'm not so into using really bright colors to decorate my home, but I'm loving the combination of the bright with the gray. This pillow is definitely finding a home on my couch for the summer.

OK, now it's your turn! Click HERE to see this month's collage and to link up your past or present pillow projects at the Point of View Pillow Link Party!

I'm linking up...



Sharon said...

I love it! I really love the gray around the bright colors, it really makes them pop! I am going to have to make myself one. :)

Amy at Ameroonie Designs said...

This is darling,Gwen! I really agree with Sharon, the gray just makes the bright colors stand out and shine! Terrific tutorial as well!

PinkGranny said...

I like it I like it....

Emily S said...

Very cute! Grey mixed with bright colors is my FAVORITE! Great job.

Deviantly Domesticated

Simone de Klerk said...

Gwen, what a great turorial! And the backing is so clever, without a zipper. I always thought this was very complicated. YOu make it soooooo easy.
Love the grey background!

Jen @ said...

Adorable, adorable, adorable!!!

I shared this on my TT&J facebook page and linked to you. Love it!


Darcy said...

Love love love the colors you used in this!

KJ@letsgoflyakite said...

Beautiful pillow Gwen. Screams summer,and the colour scheme also reminds me of the kite you made earlier in the year.
PS you have a great prop assistant!

Rissa @ Hazel and Honeysuckle said...

Gorgeous colours! Thanks for the tutorial <3

Jessica said...

Very pretty, the gray really looks great and makes it pop. Thanks for the how-to!

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