I’ve been living in a blissful little bubble of crafty happiness the last few days, working on kids costumes for book week, and a new quilt to celebrate our looming wedding anniversary.
So I thought I would take a moment from the fun, and share with you a promised tutorial, so that you too can live the blissful life of a crafter.
The library at my kids school, has these gorgeous big pillows that the kids can sit on to read, or rest at lunch time if their tired. Whilst there one day, Ava took to what was either a giant flower, or possibly gingerbread man shaped one, which immediately got my creative juices flowing, to see if I could make one.
And I did.
Patchwork Flower Tutorial
What You Will Need;
3 metres of fabric in one or two designs for the top and bottom of the pillow. (A metre and a half each)
1.5 metres of fabric for the sides.
2kg Hobby Fill stuffing.
General sewing equipment.
Optional; felt for heart, batting for top and bottom.
Now seeing as I was making this from scratch, with no pattern or online help, I didn’t want to buy new fabric and then waste it with a mistake, so instead I decided to use scraps and make a patchwork flower.
I’m not going to give you all the instructions for this; if you’re a sewer or quilter, you will figure it out.
The first step was obviously to make the pattern.
Now the library one could be either a flower or gingerbread man, because the shape of one petal was slightly different, and doubled as a head. Also it had a heart in the middle of the chest, so I decided that mine would be both. (A flower and a weird looking pillow man)
Using old newspaper, I sketched the shape of the petals until I was happy with them, then folded the paper in half and cut one of petal 2, and four of petal one. Folding them obviously made the whole thing symmetrical.
And cause I’m super nice, I even made patterns for you!
It also gave me a chance to catch up on the news
Like I said, I was using scraps, so literally all I did at this point, was to lay them down on the flower, and make sure that all my newspaper was covered.
Then I sewed together all my pieces, pinned the paper flower to it, and cut it out.
If, however, you want to just use a normal, plain fabric, you can do that too, which is what I did for the back.
Because this is a large flower, you are going to need fabric 150 cms wide. I didn’t take this into account when purchasing, and only bought 112. No matter how I turned it, it never sat completely on top.
To compensate, and because my fabric was easy enough to match (no checks, or stripes), I just sewed a little extra to that side to make up the difference, and thankfully you can’t tell unless you look too closely.
Because I had quilted the top, and I had spare batting, I also attached it to the strawberry fabric as well, and quilted around the petals. The pillow is really nice and snug.
For the sides, measure around the entire length of your petals, and cut enough side fabric strips to go around, 11 inches high.I had about 4 strips.
Take one of your strips and insert your zip.
When you’re completely satisfied the length is exact, so the two ends together, so that you have one giant loop.
Decide where you want your zip to be. I found it was easiest to put it on the side of a petal, and not on a curve. Starting from there, with right sides together, pin the sides of your pillow to the top of your flower, pulling the fabric tight as you go.
Once you have done that the entire way around, sew the edges together with a half inch seam allowance. As much as possible, get as close to sewing over your pins as you can, so the fabric doesn’t move and wrinkle.
When that’s done, repeat with the other flower, pinning right sides together, but make sure that you open your zipper first to allow for turning. I opened mine just enough to get my hand in, because I didn’t want to lose too much tension.
When you’re done, you should have something that looks like this.
I tossed up between using bean bag beans or hobby fill, but in the end went with the latter, as it’s easier to extract for cleaning
To begin with I put in 1.5kg, and it was quite nice. Not firm, but soft enough to fold your body into.
After a couple of days however, I noticed that it had settled significantly, and seemed quite flat so I added another 1kg bag and that did the job perfect.
Miss Ava loved her flower people for her birthday, and even though she was sick on the day, she still got a lot of enjoyment out of it.
Or maybe because she was sick. Anyway it is ridiculously comfortable and all the kids want their own now, as does Boatman.