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Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Long May She Weave


I know you expected Section 6 of the Part and Parcel Mystery today.

That's my daughter in the middle.
But with Independence day just around the flip of a calendar, I wanted to get this pattern out so you can finish in time to perk up your pad for the holiday.

Of course, you don't have to use Americana fabrics, it's a great project for any season or holiday.

Part and Parcel section 6 will be here next week. Sections 7 and 8 will be here as scheduled to finish mid-July.

It's been a while since we did a project using the Seamless Piecing technique.

I've had a few ideas lurking around in my brain, but I committed to finish some other projects before starting something new.

Sometimes being a grown-up is hard.  :-[
Confession: This isn't a Seamless Piecing technique in the truest sense of the word. It's more of a machine applique thing. But it won't matter in the end because it's still dang cute!

That said, let's make another pillow cover!
If you missed the Dresden Plate Pillow cover, here's the link. Did you see the photo of Kathy's Dresden pillow on Facebook? She did a great job making her first ever Dresden Plate.

Good things to know: 
  • I'm using a 20" pillow form because I have one, but you don't have to. I recommend a smaller size (18") if you'll be cutting strips from Fat Quarters.
  • Use what you have or the size you like.
  • I'm lining my pillow top with muslin. You don't have to. 
  • I'm sandwiching my pillow cover with batting for stability. You don't have to.
  • You are the boss of your pillow cover. Yes! you are.

Materials needed:

The usual sewing supplies 

Pillow form

Hard pressing board
Bias tape maker 2" size (optional- but if you have it you might as well use it.)
Rick Rack (optional)

Strips for weaving: a variety of fabrics, 1 1/2" to 4" wide and at least 23" long each*.
Background fabric 23" square
Batting 23" square
Muslin for lining 23" square (optional but encouraged)
Backing fabric  1/2 yard

*This measurement is for the 20" pillow form. You can skimp on the 23" measure if you are willing to extend the strips by cutting the fabric where it weaves behind other strips. You can gain several inches that way, but risk your lines not looking straight. I have a few shorter strips I'll be using in this way. That said...I don't recommend it.

Prep the background

  • Press the muslin lining. Lay it flat then spray lightly with basting spray.
  • Center the square of batting onto the lining. Pat to secure. Lift and adjust to remove any wrinkles.
  • Press the background fabric.(Gold in the sample)
  • Spray the back side of the fabric with basing spray.
  • Center the background fabric onto the batting.
  • Give the sandwich a good pat down to secure the layers and remove any wrinkles. 

Prep the strips for weaving

Select a variety of fabrics in different widths. Starch well and press.

Arrange the strips in the order you want them in the project. Take a photo for reference later.

"Finish" both long sides of the strips by folding over 1/4" seam allowances. To avoid stretching the fabric, cut a piece of cardstock 1/2" narrower than your strips to use as a straight edge.

Press the folds for ease of sewing. An extra shot of starch before the final press will help keep folds crisp. As you can see they get unruly when handled.

Arrange the strips onto the background fabric using a lattice weave (over one, under one, over one, under one).
Tip: If you want your strips super straight, draw straight lines with an erasable pen to use as a placement guide.
When you have everything looking like you want it, pin the pieces on each end. Pin the horizontal pieces on the right and left edge of the project, the vertical strips on the top and bottom.

Keep your weaving at least 1 1/2" away from the edge of the quilt sandwich so you don't have to cut them when you square and trim the project later.

Machine quilting the weaves

Decide which direction you'll sew first. I chose horizontal because I could use the same thread for all the light pieces.

Use a guide foot (aka Stitch in the Ditch foot) for straight seams right at the edge of the fabric.

Sew the Horizontal strips

Begin with the center-most strip.

Fold back all the strips that lay "over" the strip you'll be sewing. Leave the "under" strips where they are.

Pin the intersections in place to prevent shifting while stitching..

Using matching thread, sew a straight top-stitch along the edge of the strip. The stitching should only be a few threads in from the edge.

Tip: To extend short strips, as in the photo above, make a cut where it will be hidden behind an "over" strip. Don't make the cut in the center of the "over" strip. Make it about 1/2" from where it goes "under", and slide it to about 1/2" from where it will come back out.

Sew to the end of the strip, then whip the project around and sew down the other side.

Replace the "over" strips and tuck them under the next strip you'll sew. Pin them in place.

The "under" strips of the strip you've just sewn become the "over" strips for the strip you're about to sew. Fold back the new "over" strips and pin them out of the way.

Repeat until all the horizontal strips are sewn in place.

Sew the Vertical Strips

Using matching thread, begin sewing at the top of the center-most strip.

When you come to an intersection take 3-4 tiny stitches, as close to the crossing strip, to secure the thread. Raise the needle and jump over the cross weave.

Never sew across an "over" strip.

Put your needle down right at the edge of the strip you jumped, take 3-4 tiny stitches to secure the thread and continue sewing.

Continue sewing and jumping until you've stitched every edge of every strip.

When you're done sewing, snip the threads across the horizontal strips close to the stitching. You can snip them on the back as well if you like. I didn't.

When everything is sewn, square the project and trim to the size of your pillow form, plus 1 1/2".
Mine is 21 1/2".

 If you want to add a rick rack edge, here's the tutorial I used.

Make the back
  • To make the envelope back so it overlaps in the middle, cut 2 equal rectangles from your backing fabric. They will be the height of the pillow top, and half the width plus 4 inches. Mine are 21 1/2" x 14"
  • Finish one long side of each rectangle by folding over the edge 1/2", then over itself again 1/2". Sew the folds down by topstitching close to the edge. Use a guide foot for straight stitches.
  • Lay the pillow front FACE UP.
  • Lay the 2 back pieces FACE DOWN on the pillow top so that the raw edges are even with the raw edges of the front block. The finished edges overlap in the middle.
  • Sew around the sandwich with a generous 1/4" seam allowance.

Turn and enjoy
Trim the corners.
Turn the pillow cover right side out through the overlap in the back.
Use a point turner or other blunt pointed instrument to gently poke out the corners to square,
Gently work all the edge seams until they are smooth and flat.
Press the cover gently from the back to help the seam lie flat.

Stuff the pillow form into the cover through the overlap. Push, pull and shake until the pillow is full to the corners and smooth at the edges.

Enjoy your new pillow.

When your friends tell you it's adorable, be sure they know you made it yourself!
Don't forget to share a link to the blog.

The pattern itself is copyrighted so please share just the link, not the pattern.

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Please leave comments below or photos on Facebook and follow us on Pinterest.

We'll be back to the the Part and Parcel Mystery Sew-along Section 6 next week. We're so close!

See you next time!


PS. Wanna see where I hang out when I'm not at Seamless Piecing?

The Quilt Pattern Magazine is an online, monthly magazine where I publish some of my designs.
AND... it's not just a magazine. It's also a delightful, private, online community called Pattern Pastiche. Some of the best and nicest quilters around hang out there along with others, like me, who just want to rub shoulders with them.

It's a safe place to ask questions and get mentoring from those who know and care.
AND... If you go there from here you can use a special discount code just for Seamless Piecing readers. Here's the link. The code is: SP

Need another incentive?
I have a pattern in the May issue of the magazine. On a Summer Afternoon is part of my Table Runner Marathon series along with Witches Pickets, Bargello meets Rog G. Biv and others. TQPM is the only place you'll be able to get this pattern until I finish the series and publish them as an ebook. If you subscribe before the end of June, you can still access the May issue.
On a Summer Afternoon - only available in TQPM


  1. RB, somehow I missed seeing this cute woven pillow top project! I found it when re-checking your Bargello rainbow directions- (I had to re-stable my print out together in the right order.) I will have to make this one too. You have such great patterns here!

  2. Thanks Kathryn, for your kind comment. I'm glad you enjoy the patterns.


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