New Quilted Pillows (plus some tips)

There was a time when I made new quilted pillow covers for my couch every few months. Since I am a little busier these days and I have decided to just accept that I really don't like sewing zippers, these have happened a lot less frequently. 

Honey Quilted Pillows - Kitchen Table Quilting

I looked back through my photos and and it looks like the last time I made pillow covers was around 3 and a half years ago. Since my kids use and abuse the pillows constantly, it was time!

Gingham Pillows

After I made this quilt, I had a few leftover HSTs and thought that this would be a fun way to use them up. I wanted to use the same pillow forms (which are 18") so I knew I was going to need to add some sort of border but wasn't sure what to do.

I probably would have used that bright blue Add it Up print as the border, but this fabric collection isn't actually available yet so there wasn't a place to buy it. I decided to use this blue Robert Kaufman cotton/linen blend for the back and (since I had plenty) decided it would work for the border too.

Honey Quilted Pillows - Kitchen Table Quilting

For pillows, I have found that machine quilting stitches don't hold up well to years of pillow fights so I did just a little bit of hand quilting. In my opinion, you don't need to add any quilting to "quilted" pillows. 

Honey Quilted Pillows - Kitchen Table Quilting

I went ahead and washed these before putting on the pillows so they have some crinkle to them just like quilted pillows should.

Honey Quilted Pillows - Kitchen Table Quilting

When I posted some progress shots of these on Instagram, a few people asked about the process of making pillows. This is what I do, but there is certainly no "right" way so do whatever works with you.

  • I do use batting. This is great for leftover batting pieces, but I like that it gives the pillow a little more structure and squish. I just smooth the pillow top onto the batting and then trim around the edges with a ruler and rotary cutter.
  • I do not use backing fabric. I mean, I do back the pillow (it wouldn't work very well otherwise), but in my quilt sandwich I don't add a backing fabric. You can use muslin or . . . really anything if you decide you do want to use a backing fabric since it won't show. In my experience, skipping the backing helps keep the pillow case from sliding over the pillow form and I don't think it's necessary.
  • While you can use an envelope closure, I prefer using a zipper. It seems to hold it shape much better and holds up better to long term use. I use this tutorial and it is great. You do not need a zipper foot to use this tutorial
Hopefully that answers all of the questions. I'm glad these are done and I can get back to making quilts!

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