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Time for a tutorial on mitered stripe pillows!

It seems I am getting more and more requests from my designers for this style pillow. It is a great way to utilize stripe fabric instead of in the ordinary way, horizontally or vertically.  This particular fabric is a gorgeous Jim Thompson silk.  I’ve used it for grommet panels previously and it has a nice stable hand to it.   Note:  ALWAYS line your silk pillows for more stability.  This will be discussed later.


 My pillows were 22″ squares so I made my pattern piece based on that size.  The longest length layed on the straight grain with stripe is a 24″ cut.  The center width point is 12″.  From that point, I connected the dots to get my angle cut and therefore 1/4 piece of the pillow.  You will need 4 of these cuts for the front and for the back.  You can also choose to do a regular cut for the back or use a contrast fabric.  My designer wanted mitered stripes front and back.  I was able to get 3 cuts per width of fabric as there were 3 full horizontal repeats per width.  You will always make your cuts at the same place on each repeat.

 If you notice, I only used this lining piece as my template.  I placed a pin at each point and using the ruler, connected the dots.  If I would’ve used this pattern piece time after time, the bias would’ve become stretched out at some point and not given me a true miter by the time I got to the 32nd cut!  Plus, it’s much faster this way 🙂

This picture reflects the pins at the corners and my markings 3 per width.  I did this for all 32 cuts.

Once I got all my cuts made, I then placed 2 quarter sections right sides together and stitched.  Repeat for as many pillows as you are making.  This forms one half of the pillow front and back.

After sewing the 2 sections together, press seam allowance open. 

 Once you have the 2 quarter sections sewn together to form the half, you will now sew the 2 halves together to form the whole.

Now that you have a total square, this is the time to place the lining on the back side of the pillow for stability.  I serge my edges together.

Because these pillows were spec’d with a poodle brush fringe trim, I then glued the trim on and let set for a bit.  I have discovered that especially with silk fabric, if you sew the trim on without gluing first, you will have puckers and I HATE puckers that draw the pillow sides in.  Therefore I glue first.  Perfect results every time!  I also round out my corners slightly to prevent the “dog ears” that come when you turn the pillow inside out and have sewn straight corner to corner.  Just my little quirk.  Rowley Company also has a template that reduces the “dog eared” look as well.

After the glue has dried, I machine baste the trim to the front section.  I sew the bottom edges together in about 2″ from each end.  I make my zippers then insert them in between front and back section.  I usually do a  lapped zipper  but sometimes the fabric calls for invisible zippers so I use them as well.  Once zippers are in, continue to sew front to back and turn inside out.  Voila!  You now have a pillow and can insert the form.  I usually use a feather/down combination unless poly fil is requested.  Once the pillow is stuffed, I then remove that little thread from the bottom edge of the trim that is holding back all that energy when the trim can finally be set free.  I pull it apart and make it real fluffy!

Happy sewing!