X Marks the Spot

For a while, I’ve really wanted to make something interesting using striped fabric.  Specifically, using stripe fabric cut at an angle.  While I can’t make my vision come to life right now (hint: it involves a bedroom; don’t be dirty), I can make a version.  Actually, I got my butt in gear after seeing this pillow, shared in our latest Etsy fav round-up.

I started with a green and white fabric I bought at Ikea and a piece of plain card stock from my stash.  To minimize damage if I screwed up, I decided to make a 14 inch square pillow cover.  Then I cut my card stock into an 8 inch square, which gives me a 1/2 inch seam allowance.

To make the cool x design, I measured a green stripe and marked the center with a little tick mark at the top and bottom.

Then I placed my square template on the fabric, lining the corners up with the tick marks and traced the edges.

Repeat, repeat, repeat.  Maximize your fabric by placing the squares right next to the other, slightly staggered in height.

Cut out the squares and place together to form an x.

Now pin the top two together, and the bottom two together like this, right sides together, keeping the stripes lined up.

Sew along the edges, then pin those pieces together, keeping the stripes together.  I decided to use a gray faux silk backing with an exposed zipper bottom, but you can choose your backing and closure type.  Envelope closures are super easy.

Originally, I planned to sew a second for the slipper chairs in the family room, but the green didn’t mesh well with the chair color.  Now it lives on our bed.

The splash of color in our otherwise unchanged and boring room makes me smile.

And I like the faux silk shiny backing.  You know I can’t resist shiny anything.  I did mess up though.  For some unknown reason I put the zipper along the whole bottom.  I should have cut it down and centered it, leaving fabric in the corners for crisp edges.

Oh well, I guess that’s bound to happen when I’m sewing while watching White Collar.  Can’t. take. eyes. off. Matt. Bomer.  Seriously, he’s not even hot, he’s gorgeous. So I guess because I made this pillow while watching him, I’ve got a little piece of him in bed.  Bahahaha.

What do you think of this design?  It would work with any stripe size or color, too.  Do zippers trip you up, too?  Maybe you’re just a fan of White Collar?  Or Matt Bomer?  I am!  I am!  Haven’t seen Magic Mike, but anything with Matt is a sure hit with me.

Bow & Arrows

After deciding to paint the backs of the entertainment center yellow, I decided to add pops of yellow in the living room to tie everything together.  My first focus, pillows.  Redesigning the blog inspired a  pattern.  Flipped and repeating arrows.

Of course, I had to make the design.  In Photoshop, I altered the background design for a more suitable stencil.  Enlarging, beefing up the lines and shortening the overall design gave me a good base.

I opened a new page, copied, pasted, and rotated the arrow design 45 degrees.  To make a repeating design, I duplicated my arrow layer and flipped it horizontally.  When I like the placement, I merged my two arrows together and duplicated that layer, this time flipping the design vertically to make this design:

Printing to plain paper gave me my template.  I had transparency sheets on hand, but you can pick up a package at an office supply store.  Taping the template to the underside of my clear sheet made cutting a crisp design quick and easy.

Once I finished cutting my stencil, I gathered my fabric supplies; yellow duck cloth, fabric paint, a foam brush, paint tray, and my new stencil.

I’d suggest marking both the center of your fabric and the center of the stencil.  Making reference points for a repeating pattern would be a good idea, too.  Eyeballing this design wasn’t difficult, but a more intricate design might be.  So, remember that when making a stencil.  Then, starting at the center, I worked my way toward the edges.

Fortunately, the fabric paint dried quickly, but I did cut the edges of my stencil to make overlapping easy.

After the paint completely dried (about 20 minutes later) I cut two pieces of yellow fabric to make an envelope closure style pillow.  Now we’ve got a completely custom pillow on the couch.

Time to start thinking about curtains, but that could be an entirely different post.  So many options, so little time.  What have you stenciled recently?  Walls?  Pillows?  Maybe you’ve been sewing?  Whatcha making?  Or are you starting curtain planning?  Let’s discuss.

Herringbone Pattern Pillow

While the boys and I were wandering the aisles of Target, I spotted this beautiful Fieldcrest pillow.

The only color Target carries is this grey, and we don’t have much, if any, grey in our house.  After inspecting it for a few minutes, I felt confident that I could create something similar.  Luckily, Joann Fabric is within walking distance of Target, so that was our next stop.  I bought a relatively thick light blue fabric on clearance, then we went home and got to work. 

To make a herring bone textured pillow, you’ll need:

Fabric, at least two and a half times as much as the pillow size you want. 


An iron

Pillow stuffing or a pillow form


Hem tape

To make the pillow, first, cut strips of fabric into rough 4 inch wide pieces.  I made strips that were the entire length of my two yard piece.  Cut several strips, then fold in half and iron to create a nice, straight edge.  I chose to add hem tape, just to make sure things couldn’t move around when I started sewing.   

Once you have your strips pressed, cut a piece of fabric one inch larger than the desired finished pillow size; this is the backing piece you will sew your strips to.  Fold in half or measure to find the center of the fabric.  Mark with a pen or pencil. 

Now you’re ready to start cutting, pinning and sewing.  Place the first strip of fabric at a 45 degree angle from your center line.  Trim the end to match the edge of the pillow.  You don’t have to do this, but it will help keep everything straight.  Pin in place.  Place another strip over the top of the first piece, but make a 90 degree angle.  Cut the bottom piece at the end of the one on top.  You will sew over it, but you don’t want the pieces to be short. 

Keep overlapping pieces, pinning in place.  I would suggest doing a few at a time, then remove and sew into place.  Allign the edge of your presser foot with the folded edge of the strip and sew one at a time.  Make sure your pattern stays straight and your pieces are overlapping in the same order.

Repeat until you reach the other end. 

Follow this tutorial to create an envelope closure, then stuff and enjoy!

To see other pillow ideas, check out this felt circle pillow cover I recently shared or these inspiration ideas from Etsy.

Pillow Talk

Yesterday, I shared a felt circle pillow that tickled my fancy.  After looking at the picture for a few minutes, lusting after it, I realized it would be pretty simple to recreate the look.  I remembered that I had a few yards of a similar yellow colored felt that I bought on clearance last year, so I used that. 

First, I determined the size of my pillow.  I knew I wanted a rectangle, so I cut my piece of felt to a 12 1/2 inch by 18 1/2 inch rectangle.  Using a spool of ribbon, I traced a circle on to the felt and cut it out.  This circle was my template for every single circle to follow.  Why, you ask?  Because, dear reader, both sides of the circle are visible and I didn’t want pen lines all over.  That, and I don’t have a disappearing ink pen.  If you do, you could use that.  Because I didn’t, I pinned my template to the felt and cut one circle at a time, like this.

After cutting roughly 120 to 150 circles, I started sewing.  First, fold the felt in half to get a rough cross-section.  Pin the circle in place and sew straight across the center, in whatever direction you’d like.  Place the next circle close to the first and sew it in the center, going a different direction.  Continue placing and sewing the circles one at a time until you’ve covered the front.  There will be a few gaps between the circles, but it’s not a big deal.  Try to get most of the circles close together. 

Here’s a tip: Start from the center of the pillow and work your way toward the edges.  Once you’ve added many circles, there’s a lot of fabric and it becomes difficult to reach the center.  I learned this the hard way. 

Here’s another tip:  Keep 1/2 inch perimeter without circles, for your seam allowance.  Then, pin any loose ends toward the center of the pillow before you sew the back on.  This will prevent edges from getting sewn where you don’t want. 

For the back, I cut two  12 1/2 inch high by 12 inch wide pieces of scrap white cotton to make the back.  The process is very similar to this envelope closure pillow.  The only difference is it’s not all one piece.  Start by folding and pinning the short edge.  Fold over and pin again, then sew the along the edge for a nice, clean seam.  Once both edges are sewn, place the pillow front face up.  Add one of the back pieces to meet the edges of the front, face down.  Pin in place.  Add the second piece, keeping a few inches of overlap and pin, face down.  Sew all four edges and cut the corners.  Turn right side out, stuff with a pillow form and enjoy your work. 

 Wondering where the cable knit pillow came from?  I made that from an old sweater.  Follow the instructions above, substituting the felt circle front for a chunky knit sweater and voila!  Instant fall and winter warmth without a hefty price tag.  While we’re on the topic of pillows, check out this one for our theater room.

We’ve decided to add pops of yellow to our windowless theater room to brighten up and bring life to the space.  It also doubles as a great fall color, but can be used year round, bonus! 

Have you started any fall decorating?  What do you think is the best or quickest or easiest or all the above way to inject seasonal accents to seamlessly blend with the rest of the decor?