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How To Quilt A Pillow: A 5-Step Guide

Knowing how to quilt a pillow can be an advantage, and while creating the project, you may realize that it is more fun than you might have initially thought.

Many often wonder why others love quilting. After all, reusing unused fabrics to make something else may be a good thing. But cutting up perfectly fine cloths into different shapes and sewing them all back together seems like unnecessary work.

However, if you want to create a design that is unlike any other, quilting is the way to go. You can sew various fabrics of different shapes and colors to produce your very own blanket, pillow, or whatever you may desire. It is also a fun activity to relieve stress.


What Exactly Is Quilting?

In case you’re new to the idea, quilting refers to the process of stitching various layers of material together. Although quilts are usually made to cover beds, they can also be used to cover pillows. Quilts are typically made of a layer of padding in between two different layers of fabric that are stitched together.

What makes quilts extra special compared to other covers is the fact that their patterns and designs serve as the basis for the stitching.


What Is the History of Quilting?

Did you know that the concept of quilting has already been in existence since medieval times? In fact, various collections of quilts were discovered in India, the Far East, and Europe! The term, ‘quilt’ literally means ‘cushion’ or ‘bolster’ in Latin.


Your Guide on How to Quilt a Pillow

Step 1: Look or buy some fabric

Before you go and spend your money on fabric, it is better to have a plan first. You don’t necessarily need to plan out the specific pattern on the cloth. Instead, choose colors that go well together. Here are some examples of the color scheme.

If you already have extra fabric in your house, you can use those to create the cover for the pillow. Gather as much as you have, regardless of the size and pattern. If the cloth, later on, doesn’t match up with the design you have in mind, then you can just set them aside.


Step 2: Prepare your quilting tools and equipment

Aside from the fabric for the pattern, you should have one for the back cover, which should be as big as what you want your pillow to be. Some examples are the 16 inches square decorative cushion and the 20 by 26 inches sleeping pillow, among many.

Remember, you should leave at least an inch of extra cloth on all sides or edges of the sheet. That is important so that you can connect the back and front sides of the cover. Also, get the appropriately sized premade form or enough filling for your pillow.

Don’t forget about your batting fabric as well, which is preferably an inch bigger on all sides than the size you have set for your pillow. Following the same dimensions, prepare a backing fabric, such as muslin or some other leftover cloth.

To reduce puckering, you can use a spray baste. That is just optional, but if you want a cleaner finish, it can help. Also, the sewing machine, needle and thread, and basting pin should be on the list.


Step 3: Cut your fabric according to the pattern you prefer

The most common pattern would be the alternating squares. Basically, fabrics of different colors or designs are cut into perfect squares of equal sizes. However, you are free to make your own pattern and form your pillow out of different shapes instead.

You can create them with checkerboards, perfect triangles, or random shapes. As a start, you can search up for premade quilting patterns for pillows. From there, you can recreate it using your available fabric or buy some according to the sample you chose.


Step 5: Quilt the pillow

Before getting started with the quilting, you should arrange the pattern for the pillow first. Afterward, fasten all of the fabrics together using your straight basting or safety pins, whichever of the two you have. Only after can you start sewing the strips together.

Once the pattern is made, place it on top of the batting sheet and use your spray baste to reduce the puckering. Below it, put your muslin or backing fabric. Once all layers are perfectly aligned and fastened, start quilting using your sewing machine.

When you are done with all that needs to get quilted, you can trim the excess fabric. Then, proceed to the back part of the cover, hem all sides to get cleaner edges, and sew it to the quilted pattern.

If you are going to insert fillers, leave a small opening for it and close it afterward. Otherwise, you can also make it into a pillowcase instead. Sew zippers on one side, insert the form, and then close it up.


Final Thoughts on How to Quilt a Pillow

Following this guide on how to quilt a pillow is not as tricky as it sounds. If you have never tried doing such an activity before, this can be a good start. You can also use up the remaining fabric from this project to quilt more pillows or other stuff in your home.


How To Make A Pillow With Piping And A Zipper

How To Make A Pillow With Piping And A Zipper

Those interested in learning how to make a pillow with piping and a zipper only need three steps. You can choose to make a pillow with cording and an invisible zipper, but the technique below is a more straightforward way to add definition to your throw pillows. Don’t be intimated with the details because even those without any experience with sewing pillows can create an eye-catching throw pillow. 

But why bother with piping? Adding this nifty detail creates more definition to your pillow. This guide will also teach you how to add a zipper for a more convenient closure style. 


How To Make A Zippered Pillow With Piping


Step #1. Make the pillow

The first step is to construct your pillow according to the size you want. Since it will look best fluffy for a typical decorative pillow,  you can cut your fabric according to the exact pillow dimensions. On the other hand, you can cut the fabric pieces an inch bigger than your pillow dimensions if you don’t want an overstuffed finish. 

Compared to a fully closed pillow without a zipper, you want to cut the back piece of fabric to be an inch longer on one side for the zipper. Once you have the fabric pieces to construct your pillow, you want to serge their edges before putting the zipper in. Finally, lay the two fabric pieces where the smaller ones are right side down and their long sides aligned, and the right sides facing. 


Step #2. Add a zipper

What size of the zipper should you use? You want a slightly shorter zipper than your finished pillow, then center it at the edge of the fabric. To guide yourself in stitching, mark a line from the zipper’s edge to the fabric’s edge at half an inch from the top edge on each side of the zipper. 

You can sew by hand or use a machine along the line with a straight stitch and make basting stitches at the top between the two lines you made. Open the seam and iron it before pinning the zipper face down and sew its sides with a straight stitch. You can then rip the basting stitches with a seam ripper so that you can unzip the zipper underneath halfway. 


Step #3. Place the piping

After you finished the zippered pillow, you can pin the piping around the edge of the pillow front with the piping facing right side down. Round the corners by clipping their edges and align the cords, so they meet before basting in place. Flip your pillow right side up and pin the front side to make it easier for you to see where you basted. 

Sew the two sides together and trim your edges to finish your pillow. You can flip it inside out and check it for points that may fray. Add some fabric adhesive to these areas, and you’re done!


How To Make An Envelope Pillow With Piping

Perhaps you prefer a pillow with an envelope closure instead of a zipper for quicker removal. For this pillow type, it’s also easy to add piping to make the finish more professional-looking. Start by cutting your front piece and two back pieces on the fabric.  


Step #1. Prepare the fabric pieces

Remember that the back pieces will become your envelope closure by overlapping them. Their dimensions have the same width as the pillow form, and their height will be ¾ of the pillow’s height. As for the front fabric piece, it should have the same dimensions as the pillow. 


Step #2. Make the piping

What about the fabric for the piping? The width of the strips will be cording’s width plus seam allowance multiplied twice. The length, on the other hand, should be enough to go around the pillow.

Place the cording in the middle of a fabric strip and fold it in half before sewing down its full length. Attach it to the front pillow piece’s bottom panel and make a stitch two inches from the end of the piping. Sew around the curve and adjust the fabric as you go until you are close from the beginning. 


Step #3. Construct the pillow

Let the cording ends meet to finish sewing, and you should be ready to make the envelope pillow itself. Pin the back pieces to the front piece and sew with half an inch of the seam allowance. Trim the corners and turn the pillow right side out to finish. 


Why Add Piping To A Pillow?

As you have read, adding piping to zippered and envelope pillows are relatively straightforward. But why should you bother attaching this detail? The quick answer is this simple addition enhances definition and style to the finish. 

Your decorative pillows will look more refined because of the added body from the cord covered in fabric. The process is quite simple anyway, and you can experiment with the colors and fabric designs to add. The key is to master how to let the cording ends meet smoothly. 



Sewing a pillow is relatively easy, so why not add more details and improve it more? If you’re interested, you can quickly study how to make a pillow with piping and a zipper. The zipper makes cover replacement easy, and the piping enhances the pillow’s features, especially for decorative purposes.

The guide above teaches you how to make a zippered pillow and how to add piping afterward. You can sew with a machine or by hand to make straight stitches and baste stitches. And before you know it, you just made a zippered pillow with piping!

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