I'm really in love with the versatility of felt at the moment, plus it's a fabric that's perfect for the fall season. So, I decided to combine felt with some of the Marimekko fabric that I recently purchased at Crate and Barrel Outlet and create a fun throw pillow. Here's what you'll need if you want to make your own...
- Felt - Two colors for the flower petals and one color for the center
- Fabric - The Merimekko fabric I used has a bold leaf design on it to complement the flower, but you can use any fabric you like.
- 1.5" Cover Button Kit
- Rotary cutter (optional)
- Freezer paper
- Polyester batting
- Coordinating thread
- Sewing machine (not pictured)
- Straight pins (not pictured)
Step 1: Cut a piece of freezer paper into an 8.5" x 11" rectangle and print this pattern for the petals onto it. Make sure the paper is oriented in your printer so that you will be printing onto the paper side (not the side that is coated in plastic).
Step 2: Cut apart the large and small freezer paper petal pattern pieces (say that five times fast!) and iron the large pattern pieces onto one color of felt and the small pieces onto a different color. If you haven't worked with freezer paper before, the plastic coating will melt and form a temporary bond with the fabric so that you can very precisely cut around the pattern pieces and then easily remove the freezer paper pattern.
Step 3: Carefully cut around the felt and freezer paper bonded pattern pieces.
Step 4: At this point you should have five large petals cut out and five small petals cut out. Remove the freezer paper from your petals...but don't throw the pattern pieces away! Repeat steps 2&3 by reusing your pattern pieces (they can be ironed onto fabric multiple times). When you are done you should have ten large petals and ten small petals (only five of each are pictured below).
Step 5: Layer a small petal on top of a large petal, making sure to line up the bottom edges. Fold the edges of the petals in toward the middle so that they meet, as seen in the image below. Using your sewing machine, stitch over the base of the folded petals, about a half of an inch from the bottom, to hold the folds in place. Make sure to back tack so that the stitches don't come out.
Step 6: Repeat step five with all of your petals.
Step 7: Trim off the bottom of the folded petals, right below the row of stitches.
Step 8: Cut your pillow fabric into two rectangles the size that you want your pillow to be (my rectangles were approximately 12.5" x 18.5"). Make a rounded corner template (use a glass or something round to help you) and use it to trim the corners of your rectangles into curves.
Step 9: Decide where you want your flower to be located on the front of your pillow. Place the first petal in it's proper location on the pillow front fabric and use your sewing machine to stitch through both the petal and the fabric, on top of the existing row of stitches. This will join the petal to the pillow front. Repeat this process until you have added five petals in a circular shape to the pillow front. Make sure that the pentagon formed where all five petals meet, is smaller than 1.5" in diameter (otherwise your stitches may stick out from underneath the button center).
Step 10: The second group of petals will be added using the same method described in step 9. This time, however, the petals will be placed on top of the first round of petals. You will want to orient them so that they lay over the spaces between the first round of petals. Because of all of the layers of felt, this part of the process can be a tad difficult to maneuver. Don't worry about the strings hanging everywhere and the messiness toward the center of the flower...the threads can be trimmed when you're done sewing and the wonky stitches will be covered up by the button center.
Lest you get the wrong idea and think that I work in an idyllic craft space free of mess and clutter, here's a photo of all of the stuff I had to move out of the way to take the photos for this tutorial...
Step 11: Follow the instructions on the covered button package to create your covered button center.
Step 12: Hand stitch the button onto the fabric in the center of the petals.
Step 13: Time to add the piping! Starting at the bottom edge of the pillow front (right side of fabric), line up the edge of the piping with the edge of the fabric as pictured below. Leave a little tail of loose piping at the beginning and use a zipper foot to stitch the piping to the edge of the fabric all the way around the perimeter of the pillow front. When you get to the corners, clip the piping so that it will lay smoothly around the curve (see photo below).
Step 14: When you get back to the tail of piping that you left at the start, overlap the tail with the end of the piping and bend both pieces down off the edge of the pillow front as pictured below. Stitch them in place.
Step 15: Pin the pillow back fabric to the pillow front fabric, with right sides together, around the perimeter of both pieces. (The pillow front may be slightly smaller than the pillow back due to the stitched flower and piping. If needed, trim the back fabric down before pinning so that both pieces are the same size.)
Step 16: Using the zipper foot, stitch around the perimeter of the pillow making sure to keep the edge of the zipper foot right up against the edge of the piping. I like to apply a little pressure to the piping so that it is as close to the foot as possible. Leave an opening at the bottom edge of the pillow for turning and stuffing.
Step 17: To reinforce the seam and make sure that the piping is stitched in as tightly as possible, flip the pillow over and repeat step 16, again pressing the piping right up against the foot as close as possible.
Step 18: Clip the corner curves of the pillow.
Step 19: Turn the pillow right side out, through the opening that you left in the bottom.
Step 20: Stuff the pillow with the polyester fiberfill, making sure to get it up into all four corners.
Step 21: Stitch the opening closed using the ladder stitch, for a smooth seam.
Step 22: Admire your beautiful new pillow!