Stripes & Stars…

Red, white and blue.

It isn’t any secret around here that I like making pillows. Different sizes. Different shapes. Sometimes with a theme, sometimes not. Mostly quilted – but not always.

With the 4th of July this weekend and a lovely summer ahead, I was in the mood to make a simple holiday-themed project… simple until I decided to quilt it, finish the pillow with a zipper and then write a quick pattern.

The pillow above is made with fabrics from Fig Tree & Co.‘s Coney Island collection – with one or two additions because I wanted all the stripes to be different.

This pillow measures 12″ x 24″ finished and it’s titled Stripes & One Star – Stripes & One Star Instructions.

(You’ll forgive the hand-drawn diagrams, right?)

Because one pillow is never enough… Stripes & Stars. (Stripes & Five Stars sounded a bit odd.)

Bonnie & Camille‘s The Good Life, Basics and I spy with my little eye… a stripe of Vintage Picnic. The background is one of my favorites, it’s from Miss Scarlet by Minick & Simpson. (It’s number 14817 11 – Ivory.)

Stripes & Stars measures 20″ x 20″ – Stripes & Stars Instructions.

There are two more things to mention. First, I like finishing my pillows with a zipper for several reasons. I like that it keeps the pillow cover tight and smooth, but it’s still easily removed for washing. A zipper makes for an easy finish at the bottom – except that it usually needs more than a 1/4″ seam allowance to get the zipper to fit nicely. I just take a 1/2″ seam allowance and don’t worry about it as the slightly smaller pillow cover makes for a better fit on a pillow form.

Second, if the front of the pillow is pieced like a quilt, I like quilting it. And if the front of the pillow is quilted, then I’ll usually take the time to quilt the backing as well. Simply put, I like the way it looks and I think the pillow covers hold up better through use and washings when they’re quilted. I use a relatively thin cotton batting and the thinnest bleached muslin I can find for the backing. When the quilting is done, I trim up the pillow, edge-stitch the quilt sandwich and then assemble-finish the pillow as desired.

These pillows have let me continue playing with with Aurifil’s 80wt. cotton thread. It’s so fine that I can put a lot of quilting on the surface without making it look like it’s covered with thread.

I use my “regular” Aurifil 50wt. thread in the bobbin and a 75/11 needle. Most of the stitching I’ve done so far with the 80wt. is with neutrals in white, cream, a slightly “mucky tan” and silver gray but I’ve bought a few spools in brighter colors. (I’ll let you know how that goes.)

That’s it for today.

I hope you have a lovely weekend wherever you are. And if you’re in the colonies – I hope you have a happy, safe and wonderful l o n g 4th of July weekend.

Happy Friday!

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