Tutorial | Appliqué Initial Pillow

This tiny accent pillow project can be easily adapted to any size pillow form. This form is 10 x 16, but it is not a common size, so we’ve omitted exact measurements and rather, gave approximates and proportions. This went together VERY easily. No fusing was used for the appliqué, but it would be a great help for this.

B Pillow
It is a simple envelope sleeve type of closure in the back. Fabrics used in the image above are:
Sunny Bunny | Sky on the side panels and for the entire back
Solid Sky on the center panel
Crumbs | Grass for the initial
Before starting, you should consider the overall dimensions of your final product. It’s recommended to give a little wiggle room to your pillow case, so add an inch to the pillow form’s dimension. For example, if your pillow form is 12×12, plan for a 13×13 finished case.
Also, pre-wash and shrink your fabrics!
As a measuring guide, we’ll give proportions in blue and an example for a 13×13 case in pink:
  • Initial is about 1/3 the width of the finished pillow case.
  • If your case will measure 13″ w, then make the letter approx. 4.5″ w. Use your judgement on height/width depending on the font and shape of the letter.
  • Center Panel is about twice as wide as the side panels. Add 1/2″ seam allowance to ALL sides of all panels, which equals 1″ total to height and width.
  • For 13″ w (finished), the center panel may measure 6.5″ w x 13″ h (finished), therefore cut pieces would be plus 1″ seam allowance = 7.5″ w x 14″ h.
  • Side Panels (cut 2) would be 1/4″ of the width each.
  • That would make them 3.25″ w x 13″ h (finished), the cut pieces would be 4.25″ w x 14″ h…. still with me??! Almost done with the math portion!
  • Back Panel is the exact width of the final pillow case, only add 1/2″ seam allowance to ALL sides.
  • 14″ w x 14″ h.
  • Back Flap is 5″ wide and as high as the Back Panel piece.
  • 5″ w x 14″ h.
Whew! All done with THAT. On to the fun part.
1. To create the Initial itself, we just typed and printed out a big letter B from our design program. Even if you don’t have a design program, it’s possible to use Word, too. Maybe even your email program. Just make the font as large as you can, then print it out to the scale you want. The font I chose was Aachen Bold. Bold letters will be easier to work with.
2. If you’re going to use fusible webbing, you should attach that to the back of the Initial Fabric before cutting it out. Cut out the letter from the paper, then trace the letter to the backside of the fabric- be sure to reverse the direction of the letter so it’s correct on the front.

3. Attach the letter to the center of the Center Panel. Fuse or pin well. Using a zig zag stitch at its widest setting and tightest stitch*, make a satin stitch the entire perimeter of the letter.

*It would be best to test this on two thickness of scrap flannel before doing it on your project. Tensions, stitch width, etc. can all vary, so test it with your machine first until you’re satisfied with the results.

4. Next, attach the Side Panels to the Center Panel one on each side. Press the seams out flat.

5. On the large Back Panel, take the right edge on the wrong side, fold 1/2″. Press. Fold over another 1/2″ again. Press. Pin. Topstitch through all thicknesses a scant 1/2″ from edge.
6. Do the same to the Back Flap, only do it on the left edge.
7. Facing up, overlap the Back Panel’s sewn edge over the Back Flap’s sewn edge and adjust until the combined width is the same as the width on the pillow Front.
8. Place pillow Front face down on the back pieces (so facing sides together). Pin through all thickness around the perimeter.
9. Starting in the middle of any side, stitch 1/2″ from edge all the way around the pillow, pivoting at each corner.
10. Trim the corners.
11. Turn inside out and using a boning tool or something pointy but not sharp, push out the corners making them neat.
12. Press the whole thing neat at the edges, then slip your pillow form in.

Tutorial | Flannel Crib Quilt

Forest Friends Flannel is now being shipped to our customers and will be available any day now. As such, we’re in high gear with project ideas and tutorials and low on time. We whipped this quilt up in a day. Just like our other “day quilt“, it’s fast and easy and the results are very satisfying. We didn’t have time to draw out lots of diagrams and did not take pictures along the way, so we’re sending you over to Michelle’s blog for specifics and details on some of the finer points of making this primarily hand tied quilt. Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions!

Forest Friends Flannel Crib Quilt

This cuddly dense quilt measures 36″ x 45″. As far as piecing it’s pretty simple to make, and there’s quite a bit of room for creative license. We quilted entirely by hand- and it was not as laborious as it seems… most of the center (the owl fabric) is tied and not stitched. We did not use binding- instead we used the backing fabric wrapped around to the front. You can see all the detail in photos on how we make this quilt through this post on how to make a simple tied quilt.

For more info, our friend Betz White directed me to this great post on self-binding a flannel blanket from Tea Rose Home.

Forest Friends Flannel Crib Quilt

This quilt comprises of

1 yd G’nite Owls in Sky

1/3 yd Crumbs in Grass
1/3 yd Crumbs in Earth
1 2/3 yd Solid Sky
* these measurements are generous- you will probably have enough left over to make a small pillow. Maybe two!
batting at least 36″ x 45″
embroidery floss 1 skien matching brown for binding, 1 skien matching green for inner details
We used organic cotton batting, but any lightweight batting will do. All hand stitching was done with DMC embroidery floss and a fine tapestry needle.

Please note that all pieces have 1/2″ seam allowance because flannel tends to fray. When pressing seams, it’s best to press them OPEN (vs. all to one side). Flannel is fairly thick and it will lay nicer as well as be easier to stitch through.

1. PREWASH fabric! Given its open weave, flannel can shrink a bit- it can also shrink at slightly different percentages… so if you want a quilt that won’t pucker unevenly, it’s best to do this first step. For best results, wash in cold water with mild detergent and dry in hottest cotton setting on dryer. This will snug up the weave and will soften the printed surface.

2. Cut pieces as shown in diagram below.

3. Starting at one end of the quilt, piece the fabrics together, using that 1/2″ seam allowance, in the order shown.*best to use finer spaced stitches. We set our machine to 3. Using wider stitches can create loose seams.

4. Press open all seams.
From here on out, you can refer to our simple tied quilt tutorial for images and how-to tips.

5. Lay your quilt batting out on a large surface and smooth out wrinkles.

6. Lay quilt top face up on top of the batting making sure there is about 1″ or so of batting surrounding the top. Brush smooth working from center out to corners. Ensure that it is square.

7. Pin top to batting well and then trim the batting to the exact size of the topper. Roll up when finished.

8. Lay out your backing fabric and smooth out wrinkles. We did not use tape this time as the flannel grabbed quite nicely to the rug keeping it from slipping. Starting at one end, roll out the topper over the backing, ensuring that there is at least 2 1/2″ of backing fabric surrounding the quilt top and that it is all squared up.

9. Take out pins and repin in place through all thicknesses.

10. Trim backing fabric to exactly 2″ inches all the way around the quilt.

11. Starting in the center of one side, fold the excess backing fabric in half and then fold over the frontside of the quilt. Press and pin well.

12. The flannel is thicker than the linen we used, so our mitered corners were a little trickier. Just fold and tuck until you get something that looks like the picture below. Basically, you want it to be neat. If you can’t figure out the mitering, it’s fine to do straight seams to the corners- just keeping it neat is the thing you want to achieve most!
WIP | Flannel Crib Quilt
13. Top stitch or hand stitch the binding and the panels as shown in my diagram below and tie the quilt where the X’s are.
You’re done!