If you're like me (someone who loves to embroider and has a huge pile of completed stitcheries packed away in a large plastic tub in their sewing room) then you're probably often on the lookout for simple project ideas which could delightfully feature a few of those orphan hand embroidered pieces, right?
This past year I've made three tie-top pillows from some large stitchery blocks and every time I've been incredibly happy with the final display!
As many of us are now in gift-giving mode and perhaps don't have too many pennies spare to go shopping this Christmas season, I thought it would be a good idea to share a simple tutorial for making your own tie top pillow from one, two, three or a dozen orphan stitcheries. Now, I only use fabrics which are already in my sewing room and I encourage you to do the same because apart from purchasing a basic cushion insert for a few dollars the rest of the pillow project won't cost you a cent - though it will require half an hour of your time.
The stitchery I've used for my latest pillow is one of three in December's "Faith In Hand" set (over here) but you could use any stitchery you like - in fact if you're more of a patchworker or English paper-piecing gal either of those would work just as well.
I'll share the measurements for my pillow, but you'll soon see that it's easy to use any measurements depending on the size of your pillow front.
For this pillow I trimmed the stitchery to 8.5" wide x 9.5" high and bordered the block with 2.25"wide lengths of leafy fabric. This gave me a pillow front of 12" x 13" which I then fused Pellon behind and machine quilted in straight lines (you could use quilt wadding, but I had odd shaped pieces of Pellon in my scrap wadding box and chose to make use of one)...
Cut a piece of backing fabric the same size as the pillow front (my front is 12" x 13" so my pillow back is 12" x 13" as well) and two pieces of contrast fabric 2.5" x 12" (the width of the pillow front) to sew across the top of front and back later...
We need to make the ties before we go any further.
Fold each of the four ties in half along their length. Sew across one narrow end with a curve and continue down the side with a 1/4 inch seam - leave the remaining narrow end open.
Trim away the excess on the curved end.
Turn the tie right side out and press flat.
Here's each stage...
Pin the raw end of each tie to the top edge of the pillow front and back. Mine were spaced 3.5" apart.
Lay the contrast pieces you cut earlier over the ties so that the ties are sandwiched between the pillow front/back and the contrast fabric. Sew across the top with a 1/4 inch seam and press the contrast fabric away from the pillow front/back.
Lay the front and back of the pillow right sides together and sew around the sides and bottom with a 1/4 inch seam.
Fold a double 1/4 inch hem along the raw edge of the contrast facing fabric and sew in place.
Turn your pillow right side out, pushing the contrast facing inside and pressing the ties away from the pillow.
Now all you need do is pop in an inexpensive cushion insert (I buy mine at Spotlight), tie the top, and you have a really cute tie-top pillow to keep or gift.
I usually tie bows across the top of these pillows but for this one I liked the dangling ties. Do what you love!
Here's one of my other tie-top pillows which sat on our bed through autumn and winter. I added three green/white spot ties because they contrasted beautifully with the rich red...
The pattern for the "Potted Sampler"stitchery used in this pillow is over HERE in my shop. I actually made that design twice because I wanted to show it in two different colourways (both are included in the pattern).
The deeper reds work well with our autumn/winter bedspread...