Thursday, February 12, 2015


My first job ever (besides babysitting) was at a cute little consignment shop called The Quilted Quacker. It had booths in the front, that people around town would rent out to sell their crafts, and the back third was a Christian bookstore. The owner, Regina, was from Katy, Texas and had the strongest accent! She was a real sweetheart with a heart of gold, and I just loved working for her. She always made the shop super cute, and always had some potpourri scattered throughout the store.

Regina had a friend who was also from Katy, and she just loooved "pillas". My sister and I thought she said it so cute, that we started saying it that way too! The ones you put on your bed are pillows, but any fancy, decorative kind is a pilla. :)  

I've been having a ton of stressful deadlines lately (not quilting!), and all my assignments are currently caught up - so that means it's time to do a fun project! Kate was invited to go to a little Valentines party today, so I got a pillow from IKEA to recover in a Valentiney way for our hostess. Didn't it turn out cute?!

Whenever I make a pilla, there are a couple of tricks I do. First, I ALWAYS use a 1/2" seam - that way I can fiddle around with the seam allowance if the measurements of the form aren't quite right.

The next trick I do I learned from my Mom. Have you ever noticed that a lot of pillow covers are actually concave on the edges - the points are just a little too pointy, even though you've sewn it perfectly square. I think it has something to do with the way the stuffing fills out the pilla more towards the center, but maybe don't quote me on that. So, I really am a little particular I guess, but I want my pilla to look square. Well, Mom always tapers her corners, so the pillow looks more square.

I usually start about 2" away from the seam corner point, on the seam, and gradually sew on the INSIDE of the seam, until I'm about 1/4" from the seam corner. Then I turn and sew gradually until I'm about 2" away from the seam corner and on the other seam. This picture shows what I'm talking about:
Now, on this pilla, I accidentally only started about 1 1/2" away from the edge -- 2" or even about 2 1/2" would have been better.  You can see in the first picture, it's mostly square, but it still has a bit of that concave look.
The last trick I do is to zig zag inside the seam allowance, all the way around the pillow form. If I'm making an envelope closure (which is almost always), I can zig zag all the way around!  If you're using a different closure, you can just zig zag around, leaving the opening empty. Then I clip JUST the corners 1/4" away from the seam - just to let it poke out a little better. And, of course, you could absolutely use a serger and skip the corner step -- I just don't have one, or have plans of getting one.
I hope you try the corner trick out -- it really revolutionized my pillow making when I learned it!

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