Saturday, January 15, 2011

Starburst Floor Pillow

I made another floor pillow cover last weekend, but instead of making another zig zag cover, I tried something new. Inspired by this quilt block, I decided to make a pillow cover with a repeating starburst pattern (after the fact, I found out that this is commonly known as a spiderweb block). I think this block is typically made using foundation piecing, which gives clean results, with all the points and edges matching nicely. But I wanted something faster and easier, and I was willing to sacrifice perfection to get it (even though I tend to be a perfectionist in some aspects of my life, I'm a half-assed crafter--I don't know why!). It seemed like I could get similar results by sewing strips of fabric together, cutting them into triangles, and sewing them together--eight triangles per starburst block and four blocks per pillow top. The end result is a little wonky, but that doesn't bother me much. I'm just happy that my approach actually worked. Yay, geometry!

Starburst Floor Pillow

Pillow Close-Up

Pillow Close-Up

For my materials, I used ~1/3 yd each of seven fabrics (click on the zipper picture for information on the fabrics I used--I love the little skeleton key shirting fabric!), one 22-inch zipper, and a 26-inch-square floor pillow insert from IKEA. I used a 1/4-inch seam allowance throughout.

Red Zipper

First, I cut out my fabric strips. I used varying strip heights--the tomato fabric was 1 1/4" tall, seeds and deer were 1 3/8", birds and plaid were 1 3/4", keys were 2 1/2", and navy dots were 2 5/8". As long as your strip heights add up to 12 5/8", it should be fine. My fabrics were 44-45 inches wide, so I cut 7 strips of each fabric to give me enough triangles for the pillow cover.

Pillow Tutorial: Step 1

Next, I sewed the strips together--first the navy dots and tomatoes, then the plaid, and so on, to get the layered rectangle shown below.

Pillow Tutorial: Step 2

Pillow Tutorial: Step 3

Pillow Tutorial: Step 4

Next, I cut a bunch of triangles from the layered pieces. I wanted isosceles triangles with a 45-degree angle at the top. I created a cardboard triangle template, approximately 9 1/8" tall and 7.6" wide, using the 45-degree angle markings on my cutting mat (a protractor would work too). I used this template to cut out my triangles--32 of triangle A (on the left) and 32 of triangle B (on the right). I forgot to take seam allowances into account when making my template, so you might want to make yours a little bigger. As long as you have the 45 degree angle on top, it should work.

Pillow Tutorial: Step 5

Pillow Tutorial: Step 6

I did each of the following steps with the pattern A triangles to make one side of the pillow cover, and then I repeated them all with the pattern B triangles to make the other side of the cover.

First, I took my 32 pattern A triangles and sewed them together in pairs, like so:

Pillow Tutorial: Step 7

I then took two of those double-triangle pieces, laid them right sides together, and cropped one side to make the pieces 7 inches wide. I then sewed them together along the side that I cut. (This is hard to describe in words; hopefully the pictures help!)

Pillow Tutorial: Step 8

Pillow Tutorial: Step 9

Pillow Tutorial: Step 10

Next, I took two of these pieces, laid them right sides together, cropped them to 7 inches wide, and sewed along the side that I cut. This gives one starburst block--a quarter of the pillow cover.

Pillow Tutorial: Step 11

Pillow Tutorial: Step 12

Pillow Tutorial: Step 13

I then sewed my four starburst blocks together to give me my pillow top (and Patches decided it looked like a good place to take a nap, of course).

Pillow Tutorial: Step 14

After doing the same thing with my pattern B triangles, I took my two pillow tops and my zipper and made them into a cover using this tutorial.

Starburst Floor Pillow

Starburst Floor Pillow

That's it! Hopefully it made sense!