4/11/08

A Basic Pillow




All last summer, I wanted to make a pillow that I could use on my glider or on my yard swing. I often sit or lounge on one or the other while the kids play outside and Mike and I do a once-over of the landscaping (scanning for rogue weeds) and end up sitting on the swing for a few minutes around sunset. I am forever dragging throw pillows out of the house to use, but they are too small and too thin to do the job well.

I finally made myself sit down and sew a quick, basic pillow just for this purpose.

I started with my measurements for the swing since it is the larger of the two. I needed a pillow at least 20 inches long and at least 15 inches high. I pulled out some old fabric that is black and blue with a water-type design. Though I don't really care what it looks like, I figured darker is better so it won't look dirty as quickly.


I had a yard and a half of 45" wide fabric. After comparing the throw pillows I usually use to the measurements I took of the swing, I decided to go with an 18 x 22 inch pillow to allow for the sides pulling in a bit when it is stuffed.


I began with one large piece and folded it in the center with the right sides (printed sides) facing each other. I started stitching 1/4 inch in from the edge of the fabric on the folded side back stitching over my starting point to anchor it. I sewed down the length of that side, used the hand wheel to sink the needle in the fabric and lifted the presser foot. Now I could turn the fabric while keeping my place and lower the presser foot back down. I continued sewing down this side and repeated the turning process once more at the next corner.
On the third and final side (I only had to sew 3 sides because the fold in the fabric makes the other side), I sewed down the length stopping about 4 inches short of the fold to leave an opening. I recommend back stitching at this point as well to avoid the seam coming undone while you are turning and stuffing.
I reached inside the opening and turned the piece right side out. Then, I used the eraser end of a pencil to push the corners of the pillow all the way out to points. For my purposes, I stuffed my pillow so it would be very firm. I used about 40 ounces of polyester fiber filling for mine, but 20 would be more than enough for a normal throw pillow of this size. Then, I hand-stitched the opening closed and VOILA! A new pretty pillow!


Matthew noticed it right away when he got up this morning. He has already claimed it for his own use. I think it would make a good travel pillow for the boys too. It is not too big, but not too small and it would give them great support against the sides of the truck while they sleep. I may have to make another one to avoid the inevitable fight over who gets to use the pillow. LOL!

It took me all of 30 minutes from start to finish to sew and stuff this pillow. I wish I had taken the time to do it last year. I would have enjoyed my swing-sitting time so much more! I know I will this year anyways!

3 comments:

Kelsey Smith said...

Gorgeous Pillow!

Lisa said...

What a cool idea. Love the color and fabric you've chosen.

Michelle said...

so quick and easy - and pretty too! I use the old chair pads since I no longer have a dining table! (my mom taught me to use chopsticks for turning out the corners!)