Craft home decor: Strawberry Fields Pillow, sewing patterns

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This is the second in our series of three Earth Day pillows, featuring the beautiful nature-themed fabric of Joel Dewberry's Modern Meadow collection. This very clever pillow looks complex with its intricate lattice front and peek-a-boo inset. But it is so easy! I love the splash of color behind the lattice strips, and had fun imagining this same design in a number of wonderful fabric combinations. It would be beautiful in silk and brocade as a wedding pillow. Or fun and funky in brights and polka dots for a kid's room. Our instructions are for a 16" square, but you could easily adapt the sizing smaller or larger.
A big thanks to our friends at Fat Quarter Shop, who provided all the Joel Dewberry Modern Meadow fabric. Each pillow has a unique shape, and all are stuffed with organic bamboo fiber. Happy Earth Day!
Fat Quarter Shop has even put together a kit for this project so you can order exactly what you need to make a pillow just like ours.

Sewing Tools You Need

  • Any Sewing Machine (we recommend the Janome DC2010)

Fabric and Other Supplies

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  • 1 yard of 44-45" wide fabric for the pillow's front, back and lattice overlay: we used Joel Dewberry's Modern Meadow in Grass Herringbone from FreeSpirit Fabrics
  • ½ yard of 44-45" wide fabric for the pillow's center inset (this allows you enough fabric to fussy cut from the fabric's length or width): we used Joel Dewberry's Modern Meadow in Grass Flower Fields from FreeSpirit Fabrics
  • Pillow fill or a 16" x 16" pillow form: we used bamboo fiber stuffing from Fairfield
  • All-purpose thread to match fabric
  • Scissors or rotary cutter and cutting mat
  • See-through ruler
  • Fabric pen or pencil
  • Hand sewing needle
  • Straight pins

Getting Started

  1. From the main fabric (Modern Meadow in Grass Herringbone in our sample), cut:
    One 17" x 17" square for the pillow back
    Two 5" x 17" panels for the pillow front.
    Six 3" x 15" strips for the front lattice. We fussy cut these strips, centering the small herringbone stripe.
    NOTE: If you choose a directional pattern, as we did, make sure your pattern is running the same way on all your pieces.
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  2. From the inset fabric (Modern Meadow in Grass Flower Fields in our sample), cut one 9" x 17" rectangle.
    NOTE: Again, watch your design direction. We chose a fabric with a flower pattern, and made sure to cut our piece so the flowers were running vertically to show best through the lattice.

At Your Sewing Machine & Ironing Board

  1. Find your six 3" lattice strips.
  2. Fold a strip in half lengthwise, right sides together, and stitch along the entire long edge, using a ½" seam allowance.
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  3. Press the seam open.
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  4. Turn the strip right side out.
  5. Repeat to create the other five lattice strips.
  6. Center each strip's seam, like a pair of fancy silk stockings, and press well. This gives you six finished strips, each with a front that has a centered design (in our case the middle 'leaf vein' of the herringbone) and a seamed back.
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  7. Find your inset panel (Grass Flower Fields in our sample), and using your fabric pen and ruler, mark the center of each side. Using these marks as your reference guides, place the six strips in an even, over-under pattern to create the front lattice effect. The front sides of the strips should be facing up.
  8. Measure often to make sure the strips are at equal distance to one another. When you have everything set in place, pin each strip, then machine baste around the entire piece, within the ½" seam allowance (in other words, about ¼" from the raw edge).
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  9. Trim the ends of the strips so they are flush with the inset panel on all sides.
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  10. Find the two 5" x 17" front panels. Lay one on each each side of the lattice panel, right sides together, matching the 17" raw edges. Pin in place. Stitch both sides, using a ½" seam allowance. Press the finished seams toward the side panels. This completes the front of the pillow.
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  11. Place the pillow front and pillow back (the 17" x 17" square) right sides together, matching all the raw edges. Pin in place.
  12. Sew around the entire pillow, using a ½" seam allowance, but leaving an approximate 5" opening along one side.
  13. Clip the corners diagonally and turn the pillow right side out through the 5" opening.
  14. Insert the pillow form or fill.
  15. Thread a hand needle and thread with matching thread, and slip stitch the 5" opening closed.
  16. We also slip stitched our Sew4Home label to the bottom back of the pillow.
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Project Design: Alicia Thommas
Sample Creation: Michele Mishler


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