These pillows are easy and quick to make, a perfect end of summer project! The best thing about them is seeing other people's reactions to them. Everyone who sees them wants to touch them, squeeze them, and carry them around. There is something about their large size (about 15-inches high) that just makes people smile! Plus, they're totally organic! --Molly
To make a set of four (roughly) 15-inch high pillows:
- 1 1/2-yards of Kiyohara Organic Woven Dots in Pink
- 1 1/2-yards of Kiyohara Organic Woven Dots in Red
- 1/2-yard of Organic Cotton Duck in Avocado
- Two bags of Stuffing
- A spool of light green thread to match the cotton duck, I used color #8975
- A spool of neutral thread for sewing the berries
- A ball of cotton embroidery floss
- A Creative Grids 6.5-inch by 24.5-inch ruler or a protractor
- A Strawberry Pillow Stem Template printed and cut out, available for free here.
Fold and press the first of your dotted fabrics in half selvege to selvege. Mark a 24-inch length along the fold of the fabric. Using your long ruler mark a 60-degree line, pointing inward from each of these corners. This will form an equilateral triangle, where each edge is 24-inches long and each angle is 60-degrees.
Here is a more close-up shot of marking a 60-degree angle. The ruler has one line that's labeled 30-degrees and 60-degrees. The 60-degree side is the more open of the angles. You can place this 60-degree line along the fold as shown above and start marking the sides of your triangle from the outer corner of the ruler.
Repeat this step to cut out a second equilateral 24-inch triangle from your fabric on the fold. Turn one of these shapes inside out, so the reverse side of the fabric is showing. Repeat for the second color of dotted fabrics.
Sewing the Berry
Sew one of the open sides of one of the triangles with a 1/2-inch seam allowance. The shape will now only have one open side.
Open up and fold the shape so that the seam you just sewed lines up with the fold, and the open side is at the top, and press it flat. Then mark a 4-inch long line perpendicular to the seam, at the bottom of this new long triangle shape.
Sew along the marked line and then trim off the bottom of the triangle.
Re-press the shape back towards its original equilateral triangle shape, with the side seam on one side, the fold on the other, and the open edge at the top. Press the bottom of this shape open and flat into a diamond shape with the 4-inch seam arrangled vertically. Make a perpendicular mark 1-inch from the top and bottom of the 4-inch seam.
Sew along these markings and trim off the corners as shown above.
Turn your shape right sides out. It should look something like this. Press out any creases in the bottom.
Stuff the berry shape tightly and very full.
Gather the two long opposide corners (the side seam and the fold) and stitch them together in the middle of the top with the embroidery floss.
Then gather the opposite sides and sew them to the middle gathering.
Keep gathering and sewing opposite sides until the stuffing is fully encased.
Fluff and mold your berry shape until you're happy with it.
Making the Top
Using the template cut out the pieces for the stem from the Cotton Duck.
Place the two stem top pieces on top of each other so that they match up exactly. You may have to flip one of the pieces over because the leave shapes are not symetrical. Sew the pieces together with a 1/4-inch seam allowance along the stem and straight top line only, not the leaves.
Trim the seam allowance to an 1/8-of an inch along the stem and cut notches into the right angles of the seam.
Turn the top right sides out. You may need to use a knititng needle or other long object to fully turn out the stem. Press the top flat.
Stuff the stem section only tighly with stuffing until it stands up.
Let some of the stuffing from the stem stick out into a little poof in the middle of the top. This will give the stem a little bit of a platform to stand up on once you've sewn it on.
Pin the bottom piece to this sewn stem piece, right sides together as shown above. The stuffed section of the top of the stem will be encased inside of this.Turn the pieces around until they match up exactly before you do this, as the leave shapes are not symetrical.
Sew the pieces together with a 1/4-inch seam allowance, leaving one side of one leaf un-sewn. Cut notches into all the curves of and sharp angles.
Turn this piece right sides out, taking special care to poke out the corners (again you may want to use a knitting needle or other sharp object.) Press the raw edges of the un-sewn leaf inside and pin it shut. Sew this side closed with a blind stitch. Press the top.
Pin the stem and leaves onto the top of the strawberry shape, covering the top gathering stitches.
Sew the top on through it's underside to the berry as shown above.
You're all done! Repeat for the other remaining 3 three pillows and enjoy!