When Kristy asked me if I’d like to do a TUTORIAL and GIVEAWAY on CreateMixedMedia.com, I knew immediately that I wanted to make it something extra special for Valentine’s Day! If you’ve read me before, you know I love holidays and VDay in particular. Every year I love doing little special somethings for my friends in honor of this Day of Love, and this year is no different. So, I came up with this pretty spiffy log cabin heart pillowcase to share with ALL of you, along with some nifty swag for one lucky reader:
+ a copy of Mixed and Stitched: fabric inspirations and how to’s for the mixed media artist
+ fabric & zipper kit to make the ALL MY LOVE pillowcase
+ a bundle of my died fabric from my Mixed and Stitched photoshoot
+ Pocketful of Love, the Valentine I created for my book
All you have to do to win is leave a comment at the end of this post. Kristy will choose one winner at random on THURSDAY, March 1!
This is a fairly simple pattern to follow in that it’s very repetitive. You’re going to start with a small center square and then just continue to add strips until you have an 18 inch square. Here’s everything you’ll need to complete the pillowcase:
• 6 red/white pieces of fabric cuts into 7 3/4 x 2 inch strips
• linen or osnaburg
• a couple Fat Quarters in shades of red
• strip of dark burlap – 18 x 3 inches
• 18 inch zipper
• red/white variegated thread
• ribbon or vintage lace
• sewing machine
• 18 inch pillowform – I like bamboo
• lots of love
Okay, so you’ve gathered all your supplies, and are ready to get started. The front of the pillow follows these five basic steps using scraps and strips you have lying around. My general rule is about two inches wide by whatever:
1. Sew 2 pieces right-sides together along the righthand side.
3. Open & iron towards the darker side.
4. Straight stitch the top of your seam down.
REPEAT turning counter clockwise.
When you have an 8 inch square (about 9 strips around), it’s time to start adding in the linen bits to create the heart shape. This is where you start using those 7 3/4 inch strips; you will need three on the top and three on the left to create the heart shape.
You’re going to add the linen onto either one end of the red/white strip or both, depending on where you are in the pattern. Simply do the same repeat as above. When you are ready to attach your linen/fabric strips, line up the seams where you overstitched matching them right sides together. I know that seems a little bit vague, but trust me when I say you will totally see where/how/how big you need to make your linen pieces when the time comes. (It is better to have a bit too much linen on the ends so you can line up your seams and trim to size.)
You are going to attach linen only strips on the bottom, and left side of your log cabin.
Here’s the template I created using Photoshop to help me map out where I needed to add the smaller pieces of linen to the end(s) of my 7 3/4 inch red/white strips:
I have a sneaky little trick for hiding places where I may not of lined up my seams exactly right or where I came up short with my 7 3/4 inch strips. Cut a small piece of ribbon or trim, and lay it on top of your patchwork so that your sides are even. Using a zig zag stitch set to 1, sew all the way around the trim so it won’t fray. When you get to where you started, tie a small knot in the ends so it doesn’t unravel.
Here’s the what the heart will start to look like as you continue to add strips on the left, and when you get to 18 inches on the right. You can see that I didn’t need to go around as many times as my PS template shows above, but better safe than sorry. (If you want to make a pillowcase that is bigger than 18 inches you just continue adding strips until you get the right size.)
I like to create a completely different design on the back of my pillowcases so I can turn them around if I get bored with the front. Generally, I create something kinda fancy shmancy for the front, and then go very understated on the back. The easiest way to do this is by simply using multiple strips of fabric in co-ordinating patterns/colors.
What transforms a few simple seams into something textural and amazing is extremely simple: overstitching using decorative stitches and trim/ribbon. It’s really that simple. So, here’s how you can recreate the back of my pillowcase. Start with an 18 x 5 inch strip of red print fabric (roughly 1/3 of a Fat Quarter). Take one of the lighter, long leftover strips from the log cabin part of the pattern and lay it along the left side of your red print, right-sides together. Sew using the straight stitch, open the seam, and iron it towards the darker side (like we did before way back in the beginning).
You’re going to do something slightly different now to add a solid into the mix. Take an 18 x 3 inch strip of solid red fabric and fold it in half. Press with a hot iron and steam. Lay it on top of the lighter fabric with the fold pointing toward your red print. Your red strip may be wider than your lighter strip allows, but just adjust by sewing closer to the fold than the open side. This is going to create a fun bit of texture because now this piece is on top of your other two pieces with a loose edge. Add a strip of 18 x 4 inch brown burlap, rough linen or something darker here to really add a punch of visual texture.
This will put you roughly at the center of the pillowcase. Finish up by adding a big chunk of linen using the right-sides together/sew/open/iron method. Now comes the fun!
I love using variegated thread when I’m adding decorative stitches because you really get a good view of the color change. I used the baseball stitch down the bit of red here to really show off the white in the thread, and then I just sewed either one or three times using the straight stitch on the rest of my seams.
You have lots of choices when it comes to trim, ribbon and zippers to finish off your pillowcase. This is a great opportunity to add more punches of color or to tone down your pillow if you used wild prints. I love using vintage lace and velvet ribbons to add more texture to my pillows. For this one, I layered a 1/4 inch red velvet ribbon over the top of a cafe au lait brown modern lace. Just one quick straight stitch down the middle is all you need, and the edges will stick up a bit, just begging to be touched.
Now it’s time to sew your two sides together and turn this baby into a pillowcase!
You have to add tabs to the ends of your zippers or your pillow won’t turn properly. I always have leftover 5 inch square bits, and they work great for this because the edges are already pinked. Simply cut such a bit in half and then press in half again, using a hot iron. Stick each end of the zipper inside the open fold like a monster eating a worm. You can either sew them in place using a quick zig zag set to 2 or a couple of straight stitches along the open edge.
It’s a lot easier to add a zipper than it looks. I was intimidated for such a long time, but not anymore! You’re basically going to continue doing the same couple of steps we’ve been doing all along. Place your zipper along the bottom edge of your pillowcase (right sides together) and line them up like the photo below and to the left.
Line up the left edge of your foot with the zipper and straight stitch the two together. Open up your seam, press it with a hot iron, and then straight stitch along the seam to keep your seam down. Repeat the process with the other side of your pillowcase so that you have a butterfly with the zipper in the middle like the body.
Fold your “butterfly” in half, and sew around all three sides that are open. MAKE SURE YOU HAVE YOUR ZIPPER OPEN AT LEAST HALFWAY or you won’t be able to turn your pillowcase right side out which is infuriating, let me tell ya’! You should end up with something that looks like the photo above right. Reach in and pull the top of your pillowcase out through the zipper. Now your pillowcase is right-side out.
Use your fingertip to poke out the corners. Now you will see why those tabs on the end of your zipper were so important. The bottom two corners will like this. Those two little tabs allow room for the zipper, and keep your sides from puckering. If you have any problems or questions you can find me on Facebook here: Jen Osborn. And I cannot wait to see all of your pillows, so PLEASE post photos to my Facebook page or email photos to: info@CreateMixedMedia.com and the good folks here will post them on this site!
(You can also download a PDF of the project instructions here: All_My_Love_Project)
AND DON’T FORGET TO LEAVE A COMMENT FOR YOUR CHANCE TO WIN ALL THE FAB STUFF WE TALK ABOUT AT THE BEGINNING OF THIS POST!