Hi everyone! It’s Jann again from Newton Custom Interiors. As some of you know, I LOVE pillows! I love how they can quickly and easily change the look of a room. Today I’m going to share my tutorial for how to make a color block pillow with a twist.
This pillow is made with two or more fabrics, and is a great way to use those small scraps of fabric that you can’t bear to part with!
The twist is the knife-pleated middle section on the front. I love how the pleating adds a lot of detail and dimension to the pillow.
The back side is plain – no pleating. A nice reversible option!
This pillow also has cording around the outer edges. (Which is completely optional!)
You can make any variation of this type of pillow that you have enough fabric for. You can add cording, make the sections all the same size, or have a larger center section and two smaller side sections.
Here’s an example of a pillow that I made for a client. As you can see, the center section is much wider than the outer sections. Just play around with the fabric you have available. Have fun with it!
Color Block Pillow
The amount of fabric that you need for this type of pillow depends on the size of your pillow form, and how much fabric you have available. You can see from my examples that you can make the sections whatever size you would like.
My pillow size is 12″ x 16″ – actually my pillow form is a 12″ x 16″, and my finished pillow is 11″ x 15″ because I don’t like to add in seam allowances. I like my pillow covers to fit snugly on the form.
You can adjust your measurements accordingly for your size of pillow, and the fabric that you have available.
Fabrics – at least two different fabrics
Fabric stabilizer (iron on) – this helps to stabilize the knife pleated middle section
Instructions – for a 12″ x 16″ pillow form:
- Cut out the front pieces – again you can make each section as wide or narrow as you’d like. I decided to make each end section finish at 5 1/2″ and the center section to finish at 4″. 5 1/2″ + 4″ + 5 1/2″ = 15″ for my finished width. Add in seam allowances for sewing the sections together. I forgot to take a picture of the long center section, so I had to do an overlay in Picmonkey. That’s why the center section doesn’t look long enough in this picture. To figure the length of the knife-pleated center section, take your finished length and multiply it by 3. I like to add a couple of inches just in case I need extra fabric. 12″ x 3 = 36″ + 2″ = 38″ for the length of the center knife-pleated section. Each outer section is cut at the size of you pillow form – mine is 12″.
- Cut out the back pieces. The width of each piece is the same as the front of your pillow. If you don’t want to have a knie-pleated center section on the back side, then the length of the center section will be the same as the end sections.
- Starting about 1″ away from the end of the center section, make a knife pleat ruffle on one side of your center section. I’ve made a how to make a knife-pleat ruffle video which helps explain the process.
- Cut off the excess fabric on each end of the pleats – making sure that you have 1/2″ left on each end for the seam allowance. I wanted my pleated section to measure at 12″. Making the pleats is not an exact science – sometimes the pleats are looser or tighter, so you may have to re-do some of them to get your final correct measurement. Cut out a piece of fabric stabilizer, and place it on top of the wrong side of the knife-pleated section. Making sure that the iron-on glue is next to the pleated fabric.
- Iron the stabilizer on to the pleated fabric. This will help to keep the ruffles in place when your pillow for is inserted. Otherwise the pleats can spread out too much.
- Sew the second end of the knife-pleated ruffles.
- Sew the front sections together. Sewing the middle seams – right sides together.
- Front sewn together. Because of the pleating and the fabric stabilizer, you probably won’t be able to iron the seams open.
- Sew the 3 back pieces together. Right sides together. Iron seams open.
- Optional – make enough cording to go around the pillow. I’ve made a how to make cording video tutorial if you’re unsure how to do this.
- Sew the cording to the front side of the pillow cover. I’ve made a video tutorial that shows how to add cording to a pillow too.
- Pin the front to the back side (right sides together). Start and end the pins 2″ from each end of the bottom side. This will leave an opening on the bottom side to insert the pillow form.
- Sew the front and back sides together. Clip the corners and turn pillow cover right side out.
- Turn pillow cover right side out, and insert the pillow form. Pin the bottom edges closed.
- Hand sew the bottom edges together using a ladder stitch. I’ve done a video tutorial that shows how to hand sew a pillow closed.
You’re done! I hope you’ve enjoyed this pillow tutorial. Do you enjoy making different types of pillows to change the look of your room?