Ninety Minute Valentine Pillow Project

Here’s a quick Valentine Pillow tutorial for a fast and fun accent pillow to highlight the heart filled holiday on February 14th.

When I thought of this pillow I was inspired by the raw edge ruffle pillows that have been popular in decorating but I wanted to highlight the Valentine’s Day theme with hearts. These hearts are cut with pinking shears so the edges will soften and fray but the pinking will help keep them from going too far.

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  1.  Half a yard of main pillow fabric. I used Kona Snow.
  2.  Fabric for the hearts. I used 6″ strips of Boundless Ombre fabrics. If using these strips you will need about four strips.
  3.  A heart template. (I used an acrylic heart template from Creative Memories from my scrapbooking supplies that was 3.5 inches wide by 4 inches tall. If you don’t have a scrapbooking template you can make a heart template with quilter’s template plastic and clip art from your computer. Print out a heart, trace it onto the plastic with a Sharpie marker and cut out.)
  4.  A disappearing ink fabric pen or a Fixion pen.
  5.  Pinking shears.
  6.  Iron.
  7.  Sewing Machine.
  8. 18″ zipper with nylon teeth
  9. 16″ pillow form
  10. pins or Wonder Clips
Step 1: Trace

Keep your fabric strip folded in half (wrong sides together) the way it comes off of the roll. With your fabric pen trace the heart template all the way up the strip. I was able to get six hearts traced into one side of the strips.
Step 2: Cut

Cut the hearts out with the pinking shears. You will be cutting through two layers of fabric. Keep the hearts in pairs wrong sides together. 
Also cut the half yard of main pillow fabric down to 16.5″ by width of fabric. Trim off selvages and cut two 16.5″ squares. Cut one of the squares in half to make two 8.25″ x 16.5″ rectangles. Then cut a 3.5″ x 16.5″ strip from the remaining fabric. (this will cover the zipper on back) 
Step 3: Press

Fold the heart pairs in half vertically and press a center crease with your iron. If you used a Frixion pen this will remove any marks left after you cut out your hearts as well.
Step 4: Sew

Fold the 16.5″ square for the pillow front in half and finger press to make a center line crease. Line up a heart pair on the top left side of the center crease. Leave at least a quarter inch from the top of the square for the seam allowance (so your heart does not get caught in the seam later).
Start at the top of the square with your needle lined up with the  crease of the heart pair. Sew down the crease. Pause with your needle down and line up another heart pair below the first one. Sew down the crease of that pair. Continue with two more heart pairs in this row.
Start again at the top of the square on the right side of the finger pressed crease you made. Place another heart pair a quarter inch from the top. Sew this row of heart pairs down the center crease lines.
Continue with the last two rows on either side of the pillow front.

Step 5: Add the Pillow Back

Create a pillow back as you prefer. You could make an envelope back but you would need to cut the backing pieces bigger than 8.25 inches to allow for a hem and overlap of fabric. Below are directions for a hidden zipper pillow back.
Fold the 3.5″ strip by 16.5″ strip in half wrong sides together along the length of the strip and press.
Take your 18″ zipper and place it face up with the zipper pull on the left end.
Line up the raw edges of the pressed strip with the top edge of the zipper tape. Place an 8.25″ x 16.5″ rectangle on top right side down also lined up with the top edge of the zipper tape. Clip or pin all the layers in place (I find Wonder Clips to be easier than pins).
Sew the fabrics to the zipper tape leaving at least 1/8 inch of tape next to the zipper teeth (so the fabric doesn’t catch in the zipper). This will be about an eighth of an inch seam.
Flip the rectangle away from the zipper teeth and the strip over the zipper teeth (as it will be when the pillow is finished) and press. Top stitch just next to your seam.
Place the zipper right side up with the zipper pull on the right end. Lay the second 8.25″ x 16.5″ rectangle right side down along the remaining zipper tape edge and clip or pin in place.
Sew the fabric to the zipper tape as before with about an eighth of an inch seam. Flip the rectangle away from the zipper teeth and press. Top stitch just next to this seam.
Slide the zipper pull to the center of the zipper (make sure to do this so you can turn your pillow cover right side out later). Hold the open zipper ends together and baste them together by sewing over the zipper with your machine where the zipper extends past the fabric.
Fold the strip that hides the zipper over the zipper and baste in place on either end with an eighth of an inch seam.
Trim off the excess zipper ends so the zipper is even with the fabric.
Place the pillow back right sides together with the pillow front and pin or clip in place. Sew all the way around (including over the zipper ends) with a quarter inch seam.
Trim corners on an angle (do not cut through stitching) and turn the pillow right side out through the opening in the zipper. Poke out the corners and insert a 16″ pillow form.
Enjoy your ruffly heart pillow and Happy Valentine’s Day!
Feel free to pin! ^^^

Other Ideas:

You could add more layers of hearts to make it more ruffly. Just keep in mind that many layers will be difficult for some machines to sew through. Four or six layers of hearts should be okay though.
You could cut 20 single hearts (instead of 20 pairs) and applique them down onto the pillow front if you don’t like them flapping freely. It would be best to reduce your stitch length and sew around the hearts twice to keep them from fraying past the stitches. This will take longer to make.
Note that this pillow is meant to be a decorative accent pillow. I doubt that it will do well going through the wash so try not to spill your champagne and chocolate covered strawberries on it on Valentine’s Day. 😉

If you have any questions send an email or leave a comment on this post and I will try to help.

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