Thursday, 15 September 2011

Mothers Dream { a Pillow Tutorial }

The inspiration for this pillow came from the PIF pincushion I received from the lovely Kerry.
The block is called Mothers Dream, I just enlarged it and changed the corner blocks to patchwork squares instead of rectangles.


This first pillow came out much smaller than I anticipated because I got all my math figures wrong.
But I have since mastered the art of calculating the diagonals on my triangles, it's Pythagoras  all over again people it's terribly complicated and I am just that clever! {nah not really!  I found this amazing link that will do all the brainwork for you}

This tutorial has cutting instructions to make the same pillow in three different sizes (A)14" - (B)18 1/2" - (C)20"
I am making the largest size in Halloween style fabrics, it's something I haven't done before and I thought it might be fun with the holiday season fast approaching on us. {it's cold and stormy here autumn has definitely begun!}



As with all tutorials and patterns please read all the way through first before you begin. Press your fabrics along the way. All seam allowances are 1/4" unless it's stated otherwise and included in the cutting instructions.

What you will need:
(A) = 14" pillow
(B) = 18 1/2" pillow
(C) = 20 " pillow

  • For the center of the block cut one (A) 5"- (B) 6 1/2" - (C) 7 1/2" square. This square will be set on point so if you are using a directional print like I am you will need to cut this square on point.
  • For the patchwork blocks cut sixteen (A) 2 3/4"- (B) 3 1/2"- (C) 4" squares.
  • From your background fabric cut two (A) 4 3/8" - (B) 5 1/2" - (C) 5 7/8" squares to render 4 half square triangles for the corners.
  • Also from your background fabric cut two ( A) 5 7/8" - (B) 7 1/2" - (C) 7 7/8' squares to render 4 half square triangles for the sides. 
I like to cut both of these last two squares 1/8" larger because I find it easier to measure on the 1/4" and 1/2" when cutting fabric. And also I'd rather trim my block after sewing it together. Bias cuts can shift and move and 1/8" gives you some wriggle room for seam allowances.

    Step 1
    Start by sewing the 4" squares together. Make four blocks.

     Step 2
    Sew your small half square triangles (the 5 7/8" ones) to each of the four patchwork  blocks.

    Trim if necessary.

    Step 3
    Sew two of your corner blocks to your center square, one on each opposite side.

    Step 4
    Sew two large half square triangles to each side of your remaining patchwork blocks to form one large triangle.

    Trim if necessary.

    Step 5
    Sew the large triangles to the center strip.

    Like so.

    Easy peasy right?!

    Quilt as you wish. 
    I'm finishing my pillow with a simple envelope closure at the back.
    If you would like to do the same cut two rectangles 14"x20" Fold under your seam allowance twice approximately 1/2", press and sew. 

    Step 6
    Place your envelope back on top of your pillow front, right sides together. Sew all the way round using a 1/4" seam. Serge or zig zag the raw edges of your seam to stop them from fraying. 
    Or if you like your pillows nice and plump like I do you can enclose the raw edges with a 'reverse french seam"
    Trim back your seams to a scant 1/4" and clip the corners. Turn your pillow case right side out and press your seams carefully. If the seams are bulky, roll them between your fingers before pressing. This helps the seams to sit nice and flat.
    Sew a 3/8" seam around your pillow on the right side, enclosing the raw edges of your previous seam.

    And now you're done!

    Don't forget to send me a picture if you make this pillow I would love to show it off on my blog!!

    x Leila


    1. Thanks Leila I've actually been wanting to make this block for a little while so it's great that someone has done all the hard calculations for me ;) Perhaps now I will get right on it :)

    2. Beautiful Leila- I love your squares instead of the rectangles. The quilters calculator tool is a great find too

    3. I amsmitten with this pillow! Totally going to make it.

    4. Oh likey, likey!
      Love the on point and the witchy centre. Thanks for the tutorial :-)

    5. Great tutorial! Thank you!

      PS. I've got problems with calculations too - I mean, I'm lazy;) yesterday I was making some calculation to my quilt and suddenly I realized that Pythagoras thesis would be helpful. But I'm not a fan of making calculation by myself, so thank you for the link!

    6. Gorgeous pillow :-) I will need to give this a try!

    7. I'm sorry but that's ghastly! Heehee! Sorry couldn't resist even though it's the opposite of what I think!

      Great use of the fabric - may just have to give it a go - sadly without your feature fabric :(!

    8. very cool-thanks for sharing the 'how-to' :) love the prints!

    9. Yay have been itching to do some pillows. I laughed at the "read all the way through first" advice because that was meant for me...I so don't do that and regret it later! Thanks for the tute!

    10. what a lovely tutorial. thank you for sharing it. :) your pink/white/aqua pillow is gorgeous. i especially love that center fabric. what is it?

    11. oh so cute!!! I love this, and the halloween pillow is super fab. :)

    12. This is awesome! I'll have to give it a try. You make it look EASY :)

    13. Beautiful! Thanks for the tutorial. I hate having to do maths and really struggle working out stuff like this. It's a lovely design. I think it's great how you can show off a really great piece of fabric in the centre square.

    14. Great tutorial thanks for sharing :D

    15. oh so cute,thanks for the tutorial

    16. Love it! I want to make this for my friend!

    17. Just found this Leila and I think it might just fit the bill for my Pillow Fight swap partner - thank you.

    18. I LOVE this pillow!!! Super love it. Fabulous fabric choices!

    19. Thank you so much for this tut! I made one and have a few more in the works for gifts! Here is link if you would like to see mine!


    Your comments make my day :-)