Making pillows? This is the easiest way to make a back for almost any pillow you might sew!
Last week, I shared how to make a simple quilt-as-you-go “big stripes” panel. This week, I’d like to share a tutorial on how to make a simple envelope enclosure to turn the panel you made (or any other quilted panel) into a pillow. This tutorial shows what I think is the easiest way to create a neat and clean back to any pillow you make.
Cut a piece of your backing fabric the height of your panel (for this panel, it is 16.5″). Take the width and add 6″ to the measurement (for this panel, it is 16.5″ + 6″ = 22.5″). If your panel is much bigger, you might want to add another 1″ to the width.
Cut this piece of fabric in half (the short way).
Take one piece of fabric and iron a 1/4″ hem along one long edge.
Then fold the hem over another 1/2″ and iron.
Stitch along both edges of the pressed fabric. Repeat for the other back piece.
Attach a label if desired. I get my twill labels from InkedPapers on Etsy — she does such a great job. I like to put my label above the hemmed edge of the top panel, in the center.
Lay your pillow front right-side up, and lay your two backing pieces face down. If you included a label, make sure this is on the bottom (when you turn it right-side out, it will then be on the top). Pin the top and bottom edges.
Sew along the top and bottom, using a 1/4″ seam allowance. Then sew the side seams, making sure everything lies flat when sewing over the hemmed edges of the pillow. I don’t usually pin here, but you can if it makes you more comfortable. If you end up with little tucks at the end of your stitching, don’t worry — you can’t tell when it’s turned right-side out.
Trim the corners, making sure not to snip your seams
Turn your pillow cover right-side out, using a pointy-something to make the corners square. (I find a chopstick works well, and I also have a plastic-pointy-fabric-pusher-thing that I got at JoAnn.) Iron the edges of your pillow to get them extra-crisp.
I always choose a pillow form that’s bigger than my pillow, for maximum fluffiness. This pillow cover is 16″ x 16″, so I used an 18″ pillow form.