One of the things that I wanted to make for the nursery was a pillow to add a touch of color to our dark gray glider. I had delayed on making this, as I really didn’t know what material I wanted for it.
Then one day, I made a pillow for a dear friend for her classroom. I didn’t start with a plan for her pillow, except that I wanted to incorporate butterflies into it. This is what I came up with for her:
I was very happy with it, and I realized that I could do something similar for our pillow. We wanted to have a butterfly on it as well (for a personal touch), as well as a dragonfly. I chatted with Tim about the style and colors, and we decided that we wanted a splash of color, but we didn’t want the whole thing to be a bright color. I would then make an appliqué of a dragonfly for the front of the pillow. Here is our step-by-step to make a 16″ x 16″ pillow:
- 1 yard of fabric
- 1 fat quarter of a contrasting fabric
- fat quarters (or small scraps) of other materials to make your appliqué
- iron-on adhesive for the appliqué
- Velcro or ribbon to close the pillow
Cut your main fabric to 17.5″ x 24″.
Cut your fat quarter (contrasting fabric) to 17.5″ x 10″.
Put the two types of fabric together so the “good” sides are facing each other.
Sew them together.
Take the other two unlike ends and sew together. It will create a loop.
Iron the hems flat in one direction.
Sew one of the sides together. You will now have 3 sides of the pillow sewn.
On the 4th side (that is still open), fold the unfinished edge down and sew a hem around the whole pillow.
Turn the pillow so it is right-side out. Iron all of the seams so they are crisp lines. Sew around the 3 closed sides of the pillow.
A note about the appliqué: If you are going to add this, I would actually recommend doing this before you sew the pieces together. I didn’t add the appliqué until this point because I wanted to be able to see the pillow put together first and look at spacing. It made it harder to sew, because I was working around the seams, but I also could put the appliqué exactly where I wanted it.
Using an iron-on adhesive (I use Heat n Bond Lite), attach the adhesive to the back of your fabric and cut out your pieces (follow the directions from the adhesive). You can just iron-on the appliqué to your pillow, but chances are this will not stay for long. I had to follow up later with a zig-zag stitch around the dragonfly and butterfly to make sure the appliqués stayed in place.
Figure out how you want to close your pillow. I started by having lots of ribbons to tie into bows, but I then decided to go back and add velcro as well, because it will keep it more secure in the long run.
Here are some closeups of the appliqués after I stitched around the edges. They aren’t perfect, but they will do!
As I mentioned above, I decided to take off the ties and turn the side pocket into a velcro closure. Well, I put velcro on the whole size, and it made for a very lop-sided looking pillow:
So, I took cut off the velcro on the top and bottom parts of the pillow so that the corners were a bit more natural. Much better!
Enjoy your finished pillow!