Sunday, 16 February 2014

Shush celebrates (and says how we pipe a pillow)

Goodness me it's birthday time - for me on Tuesday it will be number 40.  To celebrate I thought that I would show you how I pipe a pillow.  Are you suitably amazed and overwhelmed?  I mean, what a gift, right?!

At the Modern Modern sewing Saturday I managed to get this finished.  After pretty much everyone voted for turquoise (apart from two renegades), I went and got some cotton corduroy backing and other supplies from Spotlight at Friday lunchtime.  BQF and I have little lunchtime fabric road trips every now and then.  It is very good at breaking up the monotony of lawyering.  As we inevitably have drive through lunch, it is not so good for the waistline.

It's the pillow stack. AKA a stack of pillows.

Anyway - to focus - this is how I piped the cushion.  This method is suitable for a cushion that sits on a couch or a bed (i.e. you don't really see the bottom) and has the zip inserted at the base.  That is because I only pipe three sides of the cushion.  I never would have considered doing this until I realised our existing couch cushions are only piped on three sides and I never noticed.  So clearly, piping all sides is not essential.  You will need:

* finished cushion front
* finished cushion back (same size as the front)
* piping long enough to go around 3 sides
* fabric to cover the piping (I recommend something textured, and that matches the backing for this method - it makes the fact you're only doing three sides unnoticeable.
* zipper

First, make your piping.  I won't give you all the details, because it depends on your cushion and piping size.  I cut 2.25" strips of fabric for mine - long enough to reach around three sides of the cushion (sew strips together if you need to) and sewed it around the binding with my zipper foot, like so.  I also stitched along each end, over the piping, so it wouldn't slip along the casing.

Then pin your piping it to your cushion backing, along the two sides and the top.  The piping faces the centre of the cushion, and the raw edges match the raw edges of your cushion.  The key here is to make sure that your stitching (on the piping) is less than 1/4" from the edge of the cushion back so that it is hidden when you sew your cushion together.  The edge of my piping ended up needing to be over the side of my cushion back, so once I had sewed it on, I trimmed the overhang back to the size of the cushion backing.

All pinned up.  This is the important bit, so don't rush it.

Don't forget to clip your corners.  You can do this before you sew, or as you go.  Then sew the piping to the cushion back, roughly along the line you have already stitched.  Basically, you are basting it together, so it doesn't have to be that tidy, as long as it is hidden within your 1/4' seam allowance.  Pivot at right angles at the corners.  I forgot to take a picture of this, but I have confidence you can visualise a row of stitches.

Then insert your zipper along the bottom.  I use this technique, which is nice and easy - although as you can see, I sew the zipper in from the right side - I think it gives a much tidier finish.  I have found that I need at least 1/2" seam allowance to insert a zip nicely - you may want to take this into account with your cushion size (i.e. make it slightly longer than wide).  Then UNZIP your zipper.

It's not scary - give it a go.

Sew the remaining three sides of your cushion, right sides together, 1/4" from the edge, using your zipper foot and trying to get as close to the piping as you can.

All done.  It's time for the big reveal.

Turn it right side out and admire your awesomeness.  Give those corners a good poke with your finger to pop the piping out.

Oh yeah.  Wow.  High five.

Happy sewing day

Then stuff that baby with a good large inner.  It looks best overstuffed, so that the lack of piping on the bottom doesn't stand out.  

You can see for my backing, I quilted a strip of the fabric from the Bee and Lotus range I used on the front, and then topstitched the corduroy either side of the quilted section.  I liked how this turned out - I think I will do it again!.

Straightish line quilting
So - do you like the finished cushion?

Finished front.

Finished back (hello little label)

If you do (and I mean really do - I want this to go to a loving home, not someone just wanting something for the sake of it) then please put a comment below (followers only - this is to thank you for being part of the Shush family) and I will draw a winner at random next weekend.  Inner not included :-)

Thank you for celebrating my big day with me!  Linking up to TGIFF and Confessions of a Fabric Addict.


Susie said...

Love it all and thanks heaps for the tute! And of course HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!! Year of the tiger - great year. I too am joining the big 4 0 club soon. Have fun!

Megan said...

Oooh, I see a little label on the back but I can't really read it. I hope you have something fabulous planned for Tuesday that doesn't involve too much of the monotonous part of lawyering :-) The cushion looks great - even though I got to see it close up on Saturday I didn't realise it was only piped on three sides, duh!

SoozeM said...

Happy Birthday!! I am not far off the big 40 myself :)

I love love LOVE your cushion, the colors are so me and it would look fantastic on my sofa!! I love that you went the blue on the back, but also the orange :)

M-R Charbonneau said...

Happy birthday, Liz! Love the colours of the pillow. The piping gives the perfect touch - thanks for the tutorial! So glad you linked up to TGIFF!

Lori Landenburger said...

Happy happy joy joy!! Forty is fun! I love both sides of this Pillow:) great idea Tobias the cordouroy.

Julie said...

Great job on the piping tutorial - it gives your pillows such a finished look. Have a very happy birthday on Tuesday - 40 is great.

Lynda Halliger Otvos (Lynda M O) said...

Wow, a chance to win the pillow cover is so much the best thing today !~! I m a turquoise lover myself and I have loved that pattern for some time. I have contemplated using it for my next quilt-which will be in blues. I have been a follower-not for very long, yet very faithfully.

My forties were a decade of much change for the better, I wish the same for you. Happy Happy.

Melissa at My Fabric Relish said...

It's beautiful!!! I really want it! Thanks so much and happy birthday!!

Gill said...

Happy Birthday and thanks so much for the tutorial!
I love the look of piping but I've never done any!!
I would love to give your lovely cushion a home in England!

hydeeannsews said...

My large pottery barn couch cushions are only piped on three sides. I think it's so they sit properly on the 4th edge. Well done! I do like the corduroy backing with the pomegranate print. It looks fabulous. I could definitely find a home for it here. :)

I hope you get something nice for your birthday in return!

Tilkunviilaaja said...

Wow, this pillow is nice! Thank you for showing us how to do the piping, and sharing the three sides only tip! Simple idea and works, it is always lovely to learn something like that. Happy birthday to you. But you are getting the gift thing the wrong way: we are supposed to give YOU things and not you to us. What a nice person you are!

Leonie said...

Suitably impressed alright! it's awesome and am so trying that piping method! Happy Birthday for Tuesday Liz - Hope it's a super day! and thanks for offering us a gift - a goodie at that!

DeborahGun said...

Happy Birthday for tomorrow Liz. You tiger mother you!! Thanks for a great tutorial too - I have never tried piping - binding is hard enough!

Juliet @ Tartankiwi said...

HAPPY BIRTHDAY (it still is... just!) Hope you had an awesome day and were totally spoiled.
Your cushion is beautiful, such a great combination of fabrics. I reckon it would look great at our house (hint hint!)

Teje Karjalainen said...

Happy Birthday! Looks fantastic and you have used beautiful colours! x Teje

SoozeM said...

Hi! I haven't seen a post in a while so just wanted to make sure you were doing OK!!