Monday, November 3, 2014

whole cloth quilted pillow cover {a tutorial}

Do you remember these whole cloth (no patchwork) quilted  pillow covers I made a while back?  Some fabric, I think, simply looks better left whole rather than chopped up into little pieces. Plus, no patchwork and no seams makes for a lot more comfortable pillows for napping, too :)

This is my absolute favorite whole cloth pillow cover. I just adore this gorgeous fabric and I'm happy I found a way to admire it every day.

So, when I wanted to make new covers for two small pillows on our bed (which are my husband's favorite "sleeping pillows") I knew this whole cloth method was the way to go.

I so love this pretty coral color of the main fabric which I think works perfectly with gray background and striped binding. It really adds such a nice pop of color to our bedroom. (I try to keep crazy and girly colors to a minimum in our bedroom)

I really like how quick and easy to make these pillow covers are, and I thought some of your might enjoy a little tutorial.

Ready? Here we go. (my pillow covers fit 16" square pillow forms)

Materials needed: pillow top: one 16" x 16" square of main fabric
                                                  one 18" x 18" square of batting
                                                  one 18" x 18" square of fabric for pillow top backing
                                pillow back: one FQ of fabric
                                binding: 4.5" x WOF (width of fabric) strip of fabric
                                1 nylon zipper 16" or longer
                                basting spray or basting pins
                                hera marker or disappearing fabric pen
                                optional - walking foot for your sewing machine

Step 1: pillow top
a) Layer a pillow top backing fabric right side down on a flat surface, then batting on top and main fabric right side up on top. Pin or use spray to baste all three layers together, mark your quilting lines and quilt.

the second picture shows my pillow top backing and how I quilted it

b) Stitch all the way around your pillow top using 1/8" seam allowance to secure all the stitches. Trim all the excess backing and batting off.

Step 2: pillow back
a) Follow this tutorial to make a pillow back with a zipper closure or use your own favorite method to make a pillow back of your choice.

I added a strip of contrasting fabric to my pillow back for a little pop of color

Step 3: pillow assembly
a) Place pillow back (right side down) on a flat surface. Place pillow top (right side up) on top. Align all the sides and pin the two layers together.

b) Trim off extra zipper tape and backing and stitch all the way around using 1/4" seam allowance. (I like to use walking foot for this step as well as for attaching the binding as I find there's less bunching and unevenness this way)

Step 4: binding
a) Place 4.5" strip of binding fabric on your cutting mat and cut into two 2.25" x WOF strips. Prepare a double fold binding as you would for a quilt (there's lots of binding tutorials online if you need help with that).

b) Bind the pillow your preferred way. ( I like to attach binding to the back of the pillow first and then flip it to the front and attach it by machine)

Step 5: finishing
Press your pillow case to make it nice and smooth, stuff the pillow form inside and admire :)

Hope you enjoyed this tutorial. Please let me know if you have any questions.

And, as always, if you make a project using any of my tutorials please add it to my Flickr group. I always love seeing all your amazing creations.


  1. Svetlana, this is wonderful! I so agree with you -- sometimes it's best to keep things simple. Not every fabric needs to be cut up to look gorgeous on a project!

  2. Moc krasne, Svetlanko. Vase postel vypada moc utulne, ty barvy ji slusi! A jako vzdy - paradni navod! :) Doufam, ze se mas dobre a noha uz trosku lepe spolupracuje :) Pa, Jola

  3. These look perfect on your bed, such lovely fabrics! Jxo

  4. I bet these are probably more comfortable for sleeping or napping on the couch. Love the binding!!!

  5. Very nice. I really need to make some pillows, so will keep this in mind!

  6. Thank you so much for this! You inspire me!

  7. This is a great way to show off some fun fabric. I like your zipper tutorial as well! Have a great week!

  8. Thanks so much for another great tutorial. Your pillows are beautiful! Can you tell me what the fabric is in the first pillow? It is adorable!

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  11. love the Designer Gray Pillow! (I need something that is neutral, but makes a statement for my living room sofa - and thank you for an awesome giveaway!)

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