Maybe Matilda: Felt Circle Petal Pillow Tutorial

Monday, November 28, 2011

Felt Circle Petal Pillow Tutorial

Between Thanksgiving prep, an impromptu trip to St. George for the holiday, a wreck of a house, attempting to get a head start on Christmas presents, and a pile of shop orders to work on, I'm falling a bit behind. Who wants to come to my house and help me fold laundry? Anyone? Bueller?

So here's my attempt at a blog post for today. Maybe you remember, a few weeks back, Allison from Little Lovelies shared a super cute pillow right here. This post is my project that went up on her blog--we decided to both make pillows, and, without any planning or discussion, we happened to make a set of matching pillows from the exact same material. That is just one of the many reasons I have a bit of a girl crush on Allison--we're cut from the same cloth (get it? get it?!).

I saw this pillow on my sister-in-law's pinterest and thought it would be perfect for my living room. I've been trying to add more color to my home, and my mom, an interior designer, tells me some texture wouldn't hurt, either. Check and check! 

I got to work with some beautiful mustard yellow wool felt from Joann, and created this:

Petal Pillow Tutorial

I think it adds just the dose of color and texture my couch so badly needed. And in case you think the red pillow behind it looks awfully sloppy, it's because it's fake--I just folded fabric around a pillow form for the sake of getting a decent picture. Baby steps, people. Baby steps.

The pillow really was not difficult to make at all, but it was rather time-consuming, especially when you count my emergency dash back to Joann when I realized I had grossly underestimated my fabric needs. It would probably be a much quicker project if you bought enough to start with.
I'm not 100% sure how much wool felt I used to make my 16" square pillow cover, since it was divided between two separate trips. I'm going to guess something like 1 1/2 to 2 yards total--all the little felt "petals" sure used a lot of fabric!

Petal Pillow Tutorial

My pillow form was 16" square, so I started by cutting a 17" square piece from my felt (to allow for 1/2" seam allowance on each side). I've read, though, that you actually shouldn't add a seam allowance when sewing pillow covers--they'll look fluffier if you have to kind of cram and stuff the form in. I wish now that I hadn't added the seam allowance, since my pillow is lacking in the fluff department, so I would recommend adding either a very small seam allowance, or just being brave and cutting your front piece to the same size as your form. But my instructions here include a 1/2" seam allowance.

Then I cut about a zillion little circles from my felt. The real circle count was something like 73, or, in diy seamstress speak, "a crapload of circles." I doubled up the fabric to make cutting easier, and used a little can as a template--it gave me roughly 2-3" circles, which was the perfect size:

Petal Pillow Tutorial

I only cut about 20 at a time, and after each cutting session foolishly thought to myself, "Surely this will be enough!" No, it will not. Just cut more. Many, many, many more.

Petal Pillow Tutorial

Then iron each circle in half, making a pile of little taco shells:

Petal Pillow Tutorial

Head over to your sewing machine and start sewing the circles to the square of felt you already cut. I started in the center of the 17" square and worked outwards. Just sew a line straight down the crease line of each circle, then sew down another circle, close to the first one, in a different direction.

Petal Pillow Tutorial

Some tips for this portion of the project: I think it looks best if the circles aren't crammed too close together--leave a little room so they can "fluff" out and the sides won't just be pressed straight up together. I also found it easier to not cut the thread after stitching each circle--I would just backstitch at each end of the circle, lift the presser foot, leave the threads alone, and move the fabric to position the next circle, and keep sewing, then cut all the threads at the end. I think that saved quite a lot of time.

Petal Pillow Tutorial

Keep adding your circles, varying the directions of the stitching as you go, until you've filled the entire square, leaving at least 1/2" open around the edges:

Petal Pillow Tutorial

Now head back to Joann for more felt, because you've probably run out. Come back home and cut a piece 17" high (or the size of your pillow form), but a few extra inches long. I created an envelope back so I could remove my pillow form if necessary, so you'll need to have some fabric overlap to create the opening. Cut your long piece apart into two, and fold over and sew along that cut line to create a neat little hem.

Petal Pillow Tutorial

Sandwich all your pieces with the right sides together, overlapping the two back "envelope" pieces. Your sandwich should look like this:

Petal Pillow Tutorial

The back "envelope" pieces are on the ground, right sides up, overlapping with the sewn seams in the middle. The outer edges of the "envelope" pieces are lined up with the pillow front piece, which is layered petal side down. Pin it all together, and sew with a 1/2" seam allowance around the edges (making sure you don't catch any of the petals in your stitching!). 

Insert the pillow form through the nice envelope back:

Petal Pillow Tutorial

And admire that beautiful, textured pillow front!

Petal Pillow Tutorial

Searching for a pillow form to tuck inside of your beautiful new pillow? Head to Pillow Cubes and check out their selection!

13 comments :

  1. The yellow is perfect! And I love the look you created! I actually saw something similar in a magazine today, and planned to do it for my room (just a small strip though)! I think I am going to use hot glue. :) Thanks for sharing!

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  2. I agree, this yellow is amazing! And the pillow is soooo cool! Great for Fall :)
    xo,
    wink

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  3. Super cute! I love the texture and color! I'm not a huge fan of "cray cray"-- makes me think of something a 14 year old girl would say. "OMG, Justin Bieber is cray cray hot!"

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  4. This pillow is awesomazing. Urban Dictionary that one. Home slice.

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  5. Oooh, love that pillow. In fact, (I accidentally typed in fart first...hm), I think it is so good that it merits a Cricut machine for Christmas. I think that every time I have to cut out stupid circles.

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  6. wow!! this pillow is SOO cute! and it really doesn't look all too hard to make!

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  7. I loved!!!
    Thank you for this tutorial!

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  8. Girrrrrrrl, you a cray cray, freaky deaky motha craftin fool up in here!
    I pinned this. Love it! And I just got a sewing machine! yay!!!!

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  9. Wow I love it!!!! I'm gonna try these! Thanks for sharing!!

    Found you on TT&J and I'm now following! :) I would love for you to come by and link this up and any other projects you have on my new "Create and Inspire" linky party! ;)

    http://www.littleinspiration.com/2011/12/create-and-inspire-linky-party.html


    Thanks,
    Angie From A Little Inspiration

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  10. Thanks for the tutorial, this was only my fourth project, and has made me feel like a real sewer! Thanks for the inspiration

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  11. I found this tutorial on Pinterest and I think it is just fabulous! Thank you so much for sharing! I have featured this project on my Pinterest Picks. I would love for you to stop by and visit and don't forget to grab a feature button! Thanks again!

    http://thecraftyblogstalker.blogspot.com/2012/04/pinterest-picks_15.html

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Thanks for commenting!

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