The 4th after 4 years

29 06 2016

Since the first day of summer I’ve felt too bad to do anything creative. For me that’s bad. Today I finally felt good enough to get up for a while. I looked around at the house thinking Spring decorations need to come down and summer go up (if they finally do this year), and I remembered a project I’d intended to do four years ago!

I had seen this pillow in Pottery Barn’s Catalog. While I liked the pillow, I thought I could come up with something I liked even better. I’ve had all the materials and a plan since that time, but every year the 4th of July rolls around and I realize I’ve missed the window again.  Today was the day!

Finished Flag Pillows

My pillows are not intended to be indoor/outdoor, and they have a plain back, They are also made from three different fabrics rather than one printed fabric.  If you’d like to see the process, read on. If not thanks for looking at my show and tell.

My pillow forms are 20″.  The star fabric is 19″ wide bunting from a Minnick & Simpson line a few years ago. I started by determining the best place to cut the bunting to keep the most stars intact.  It turned out about an 8″ finished strip was what worked for me. If I were using other star fabric, that number could change. I could have used solid blue fabric and appliqued, stenciled or stamped the stars. Because I wanted to do flat felled seams on my pillows I used 5/8″ seam allowances throughout. (They looked huge after probably years of working with a 1/4″ seam allowance). So adding the 5/8″ seam allowance to both edges meant I needed to cut a strip 9-1/4″ wide. Once the I knew 8″ was taken up with the star strip I divided the remaining 12″ of the pillow form by four stripes to arrive at 3″ finished stripes or 4-1/4″ cut strips. Because I was making two pillows I chose to piece one big section the width of the solid fabric.

flag-cut-strips

To condense the cutting directions:

  • Cut one 9-1/4″ x 42″ strip of star fabric
  • Cut two 4-1/4″ x 42″ strips of white/cream
  • Cut two 4-1/4″ x 42″ strips of red

Flag-first-seam

Because I wanted the double line of stitching on the front of the pillow, I sewed the strips together with the wrong sides of the fabric together. The thread color will show on the right side.  I opted to use navy thread through out, but you could match thread to the color of fabric that will be on the top of the seam.

Flag-Trim-seam

Next trim one side of each seam allowance to at least half the seam allowance width, I did about a quarter-inch. The side you trim will be the side you will enclose, so you can decide now what color will be on the top.

Flag press seam

The remaining side of the seam allowance that was untrimmed, now needs to be pressed under so the raw edge meets the previous stitching line.

Flag-Second-Stitching

To finish the flat felled seam, stitch close to the folded edge of the seam allowance. I used an edge stitching foot to keep it even. There are flat felled feet available for most sewing machines. I didn’t have the energy to get to the machine that had one. Press the whole piece well at this point.

Flag-Cut-Square

Cut the large strip into two pieces approximately 21-1/4″ square.

I used the envelope back method I’ve shown here before. Just a slight change — width of fabric isn’t wide enough for the back on a 20″ pillow.  I cut two rectangles 21-1/4″ x 30″ for the back of each pillow.

It’s been a long time since I’ve done a flat felled seam this was a good refresher. I’ve been creative, so now I can go back to bed.

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6 responses

29 06 2016
Aunt Marti

I’m sorry you’re not feeling well, but glad you were up to posting this clever tutorial! The flat-felled seams look like a real flag.

29 06 2016
Sonya

Thanks Marti, I thought the flat felled seams were just what the pillow needed. Appreciate the comment.

29 06 2016
lbosma

Love your patriotic pillows!

30 06 2016
yvonne

Hi hope you are feeling better. Love your pillow Yvonne

30 06 2016
judy nasman

Hope you are feeling better now. Great pillows. Love “Snippets”

30 06 2016
Diane

Very nice and your pillows look better than the ones from Pottery Barn. If only we could manage to get done what our brains think of. I’ve been wanting to cover my couch pillows for sometime, maybe this will be the inspiration I needed.

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