My Cozy Up patchwork pillow was obviously inspired by the autumn leaves and colors, but really anything can be done using this idea with other fabrics and design choices, including making a quilt by simply repeating the blocks. What I really love about this though is the only pieces I had to cut out were the center square and the backing fabric. Everything else was purchased (precisely) pre-cut and color-coordinated in the form of "charm packs" and "jelly rolls" from moda. So how easy is that? I also appreciate these because I don't have to buy more fabric than I need to make a quick seasonal project or gift. If you're an expert stitcher, you can probably whip up a pillow without glancing at the directions, but for those that are novices and just learning, here's the low-down:
20" x 20" pillow form
Twelve 5-inch squares (pre-cut "charm pack" variety)
Four 2-1/2" x 21" strips (pre-cut "jelly roll" variety)
Center Square: 12" x 12" muslin or plain cotton
Backing Fabric: cut two pieces 15" x 22"
Lining and Batting each 22" x 22"
Twill Ties: Cut four each 15" long
Embroidery Floss to match fabric colors
Do all embroidery, applique or other embellishments first. Press from the back to remove any wrinkles. Trim to 9"x9".
Using a 1/4" seam allowance, assemble pieces according to the diagram (from left to right):
Quilt the pillowtop either by hand or machine. Use a lightweight lining fabric (such as muslin or cotton lawn) under the batting, and center the patchwork piece on top. The lining and batting will be slightly larger than the patchwork. This allows for any shifting that may occur while quilting.
Hand-baste or pin all layers together; using either safety pins if quilting by hand, or straight pins if using a machine.
Quilt 1/4" on both sides of all seams, starting in the middle areas and working toward the outside edges, smoothing outward as you go. Baste 1/8" around edges to keep layers together. Trim away any excess batting and lining.
Pillow Back: fold edges under twice (a total of about 2-1/2") to conceal raw edges, on one long side of each piece. Press, pin, and stitch down.
Overlap the backing pieces using the pillowtop as your guide for positioning them. Baste where the sides overlap to hold them into place.
Pin front to back with right-sides facing. Stitch with the patchwork piece on top, using a 3/8" seam allowance. Stitch around all four sides. Reinforce the sides with an extra row of stitching where the backing pieces overlap. Trim edges, and finish with serge/zig zag stitching to bind them.
Note: Don't clip the corners off unless you want them pointy. The bulk here will add a little extra "padding" giving them a nice round appearance.
Turn pillow right side out through the opening in the back. Position the ties about 5-1/2" from the sides, on both the top and bottom backing pieces so that they match up. Fold under one end of tie about an inch, and pin into place; stitch a small square to secure it down and conceal raw edges. Knot the ends of the ties. Insert pillow form and tie into bows.
The leaf embroidery I used on my pillow is a vintage design which is available as an iron-on transfer from my PatternBee website here, but you could use any design that fits within an 8-inch square. The possibilities are endless!