Whenever I start with new templates, I almost always work the design out on paper first. The Jewel Series was an exception as I couldn’t wait to see the results. I ended up making a few mistakes which turned into a great design. I call those “Personal Design Variations” The following is a tutorial, including a video of how this pillow came to life.
Sew Steady Table and Circle Sewing Tool (I used my Wish Table)
1 yd of fabric (can get by with ¾: see cutting diagram)
16” square batting
Thread for quilting
Thread for construction
Needle, scissors, and pins.
Something to stuff the pillow with, like FiberFil.
Stable Tape: I use this exclusively to keep my templates from slipping.
Grid Glider: Makes everything sew much easier.
Westalee Design Adjusting Locking Ruler: If you haven’t seen this system, you really need to check it out.
Waxed Dental Floss: I use this for gathering. The person who came up with this idea is a genius!
Two 14” squares of muslin for the pillow form.
Let’s Cut some fabric
I get perfect straight cuts every single time using my Westalee Adjustable Rulers.
Make the Ruffle:
The Grid Glider made making the ruffle a breeze. I used the entire WOF of the 5 ½” strips and trimmed off the selvage. Attach the 2 lengths of 5.5” strips on the short ends. Use the ¼” marking on your glider to keep it all straight. Press this seam open. Press the strip length wise, wrong sides together. Now seam the 2 raw short ends making a large loop. Press that open as well.
Gather the raw edge. My favorite way is with dental floss. Simply sew a zig sag stitch over the dental floss. I did overlap as I find it is easier to get an even gather on a continuous loop. If you’ve never tried this, I strongly recommend it. Be sure to use the waxed kind and when you’re done, you can pull it out and use for another project. I kept the edge of the fabric on that ¼” line. Thank you, Grid Glider. Hold the floss with your thumb so you don’t sew into the floss; I really like to avoid that.
Before going to the next step, I hemmed one 16” edge of each of the 10.5” x 16” piece. They should now be around 10” By 16”.
Let’s get the design done!
24 Reference lines with 6pt Crosshair
If you are not familiar with how to use a Crosshair Square, click here to see a video tutorial.
Stitching the Design
Showing how I made the design was easier than trying to write up the instructions, but I have listed the steps as well. I ran out of the fabric that I used for the pillow; lucky me I now have 2.
Every other line
Ring on the outside
Same lines as above, every other line
Alternate ring to go from outside to inside.
Ring on the outside; make complete Diamonds where you can and half where you meet the Pearls from the previous round.
Every line: Ring can only be on the outside.
Do not remove the pin or the reference lines from the design!
Putting it all together and Play with The Circle Sewing Tool
Time to put the Grid Glider away. Be sure to put the plastic sheet back on and then pop it in the tube for safe keeping. Another great feature.
If you need to, mark the center of your design, where the tack/pin is before removing it. Remove the tack and insert the Circle Sewing Tool pin in the same place. Put the blue silicone cover back on so you don’t get scratched.
Take your sandwich and find a hole for the tool that will stitch beyond the design. I marked this location with a piece of tape. Insert the Circle Sewing tool two holes to the left of that location. Be sure to go back to a straight stitch. Stitch your first circle. This is a placement line, so I used a longer stitch length, but it doesn’t really matter. Be sure to keep the sandwich flat.
Remove the sandwich and grab some pins. I stuck a pin to the outside of every 3rd reference line. You should have 8. Grab the ruffle fabric and mark it with 8 pins. This is sew easy. Lay it out and stick a pin in each end. Now put those 2 pins in the middle and add 2 more to the outside. Repeat so all 8 pins are spaced equally. Next, grab your sandwich. I placed mine on an ironing pad that is fairly thick. You will still have the Circle Sewing Tool attached and you don’t want to scratch a table or yourself. Adjust the ruffle putting the raw edges on the placement line lining up the pins on the ruffle with the pins on the pillow top. The fabric slides easily along the dental floss. I used a lot of pins. When it looks good, take it back to the machine.
Place the tool one hole to the right of the last step. Set your stitch length back to the default setting if necessary. Sewing this circle attaches the ruffle to the pillow top Remove the pins as you go. Don’t sew over them!
Place the backing fabric right sides down on top of the pillow. Again, be careful. You can do this at the machine if you would like. I aligned the edges of the backing fabric with the edges of the sandwich. They will overlap in the middle. Be sure the hemmed side is in the center and not on the outside. Pop them onto the Circle Sewing Tool. I secured the 4 corners with pins. Move the tool one last time one hole to the right. This should be the original hole that you marked when we first used the Circle Sewing Tool. Makes sense now why I marked those holes. Sew the circle, being sure to overlap your stitches from where you started so it stays secure.
Remove from the Circle Sewing Tool, but leave the tool in place if you want to make a pillow form.
You can remove the floss now as everything is secure. Trim about ½” away from the innermost circle (the last one you sewed.) Turn it right side out and use your hand to shape.
If you are going to add a button, do so before stuffing. I just came across the perfect button in my button box, but you could leave it plain, or glitz it with crystals. Perhaps a bow?
I made a pillow form with fleece because I had some the right size, but muslin or any fabric would work. I simply put 2 layers on the Circle Sewing Tool and stitched the circle, overlapping the stitches. Trim and cut a slit in the center of only one side. Now fill with the stuffing of your choice. When I inserted the form, I made sure the slit was towards the front. You could just stuff the pillow and not make a form. Hand sew up the back opening if you wish, I did not. Super simple to switch out different designs; I have a feeling I’ll be making a lot more of these. I hope you enjoy making this pillow. Feel free to leave a comment or let me know if you have any questions.
For more inspiration from Sew Steady, click here.