The way these pillows are constructed is both simple and suprizing. I loved stuffing them and watching them "bloom" in the last steps. They are also pretty quick to make, and kind of addictive. I want to make a set in every color! --Molly
To make one 17-inch x 17-inch Pillow:
- For the background: two 18-inch x 18-inch pieces of wool felt in a neutral color, I used nutmeg.
- For the flower petals: two 18-inch x 18-inch pieces of wool felt in two bright colors, I used ecru and yellow.
- For the back: a 1/2-yard of muslin in white
- An 18-inch square pillow form
- A water soluble fabric marker
- Neutral colored cotton thread
- A hand sewing needle
Note- The photographs in following instructions show the middle pillow (as seen in the photograph of the pillows on the bed) being constructed. The colors for the far left and right pillows are listed below:
- Far Left Pillow: Background- steel. Flower- ochre and yellow.
- Far Right Pillow: Background- light grey. Flower- ochre and yellow.
Cutting and Marking
Cut the muslin into an 18-inch square and set aside.
Cut each piece of felt into four 9-inch squares.
Mark four of the 9-inch background squares as follows:
Make a mark diagonally across the square, from corner to corner.
Mark another line, parallel to the first, 1/4-inch from the first. This will be your sew line.
Make a small mark in the middle of the sew line and then another small mark 2-inches above the middle mark.
Draw an arch from a corner of the sew line, to the 2-inch mark, to the next corner as shown above.
Repeat this marking for 3 more background squares for a total of 4 marked squares.
Arrange all of the felt squares into little felt sandwiches, with a marked square on top, petal color A below that, petal color B below that, and a non-marked background square on the bottom.
Make 4 of these felt sandwiches, stacking them neatly and pinning them at two corners as shown above.
Using a walking foot, sew across the sew line of the felt sandwiches, sewing all four layers together. Backstitch at the beginning and end of each seam.
Cut along the marked curve of the top background square.
Cut the remaining three layers of the felt sandwich to match the top cut curve.
Peel up the top layer up from the bottom right corner of the felt sandwich and keep it out of the way. Cut out the petal colored felt as shown above (be sure not to cut the bottom layer). You will not need these triangles so you can toss them in your scrap drawer.
Open up the background colored felt pieces and you should have a square with a diagonal petal shape in the middle.
Repeat this for the 3 remaining felt sandwiches.
Sewing The Squares Together
Pin two of the petal squares together as shown above. Make sure that the petal colors are alternating (ecru, yellow, ecru, yellow, in this case) and that the petal corners meet each other neatly.
Pin them right sides together but make sure to move the petals out of the way so they don't get sewn.
Starting from the outside sew this seam with a 3/8-inch seam allowance. Stop sewing 1-inch before the end of the point where the petal corners meet. Backstitch at the beginning and end of each seam.
Hand stitch this last inch of the seam using a small running stitch. This way you can assure that the petal corners are meeting up neatly and that you are not sewing the petals down.
Doule check that the petal corners are meeting up well before moving on.
Repeat these steps for the remaining two petal squares.
Arange the two groups of sewn petal squares on top of each other as shown above. Again, make sure that the petal colors are alternating and that all the seams seem straight.
Pin these pieces right sides together, making sure to match up the middle precisely.
Sew this seam in two sections (both with a 3/8-inch seam allowance), first from the left side towards the middle, and then from the right towards the middle. Stop both seams 1-inch before the middle. Backstitch at the beginning and end of each seam. You will have a 2-inch gap in the middle.
Line up all four petal corners as neatly as you can and hand sew the 2-inch gap closed.
The top is all done!
Stuffing and Finishing
Pin the 18-inch muslin square to the pillow top, right sides together.
Sew them together around three sides with a 3/8-inch seam allowance. Make sure the petals don't get caught in these seams. I found it was easiest to sew one side at a time and then arrange the petals to one side or another before starting my next seam.
Turn the pillow right side out and press the raw edges of both the top and back 3/8-inches towards the inside.
Stuff the pillow form into the pillow, Make sure to push it into the corners.
Pin the top and back together along the open edge so the folded edges are encased inside. Hand stitch this side closed with a blind stitch or slip stitch.
Fluff the pillow and press the petals down. Spray away any of the fabric marker markings and enjoy!