Anna, Studio

One pillow a week: The hexagon pillow case

Hexagon pillow case
Hexagon pillow case

I made my first quilted object! The quilty things I had made before always were sets, so this pillow case is the first quilted thing I made from scratch. Not counting my quilted placemats though…

For this pillow case I used a template that was published in Burda 3/2013 – yes, that issue really inspired me – and that can be seen here. The explanations start at image 9 and you do not really need to understand German to be able to follow the instructions. The pillow case design and idea are by Jennifer Paganelli of Sis Boom

Making a hexagon pillow
Making a hexagon pillow

For me the most challenging (and most fun!) part in this was to choose the right colors of fabric and to figure out a harmonious yet popping layout. The choice of the fabric type is easy, it should be cotton – no stretch, no stress. Luckily I have a big cotton stash, thanks to those aforementioned tablerunner quilts I made and a chicken purse that never came to life. I needed blues, greens, purples and pinks to go with my living room colors and the sofa quilt. They did not need to be all matchy matchy for me but no opponents on the color wheel either. I cut out the template and started cutting heaxagons, two of each color. In the end I did not use all of them, but it was good to have a choice when playing around to figure out the layout.

Basically the only thing I used from the tutorial was the template. Then I went freestyle. I added no seam allowance because I was ok with hexagons a little smaller than the template. So I cut that exact template size. Also I wanted a smaller and rectangular pillow rather than a square which led me to cut 28 pieces. My cushions backing is solid: an old t-shirt did the trick. Yes, there I used jersey fabric. I figured that a soft back would be nice if I ever wanted to nap on that cushion. Not that I ever take naps…


Then the playing around with fabric begun. The picture shows the layout I was happy with until I sat down at the sewing machine. There I changed some pieces again and again until I really was happy (read could not be bothered anymore and wanted to start). I had put all my pieces on a tray and started to sew columns, meaning I started with a top hexagon and added all the pieces down to the bottom. I used 27 of 28 cut hexagons and ended with six columns. Press open the seams once this is done.

Then the fiddling starts, one begins to sew columns together which is best explained in pictures starting with image 11 Iron the seams. Now it is only a matter of putting a backing on. I placed my hexagon cushion case front onto the t-shirt I wanted to use and cut around it exactly on the edges of the outer hexagons lines. This means you end up with a seam allowance of half a hexagons witdh. This is the part where I wish I had photos to show you… The seam will be only a pressing foot’s width towards the center of the case under the line which would fold the outer hexagon in half. Got it? If you look at the second hexagon in that row it means it has to have a pressing foots width of seam allowance to sew together with the back. Looking from there will make it easier, I promise.

I did three seams and then created and inner pillow. I used the exact dimensions of the pillow case to cut out a nettle version of it, closed three seams, filled as I had done here and closed seam four. Put the pillow case on and you have a brand new pillow made from scratch! The sewing can be done in 30 minutes, if only one could decide how to arrange the pieces… Oh, closing option via ladder stitch shown right here

Geometric pattern
Geometric pattern

This was my first adventure into a new once a week series, all the same it was not the first pillow case I have made this year. The doily covered cushion case I made from scratch as well and then there were Hettys handwritten pillow cover and and my hymn pillow case Stay tuned for next weeks even softer pillow case! ~Anna~

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