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Black & White Pillow Pile: Eiffel Tower Pom-Pom

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Did you know the Eiffel Tower was built as the entrance arch for the 1889 World's Fair? Its graceful lattice ironwork has attracted visitors for 121 years. I wonder if our beautiful Eiffel Tower Pom Pom Pillow with its tufted center and covered buttons will last that long? This is a super-simple pillow, but the finished look is one that would go for BIG bucks at stores and in catalogs. You can make one for a fraction of retail, and it will be unique to you. Vive l'Pillow!

Our thanks to Michael Miller Fabrics for providing us with an awesome selection of fabrics from their brand new Black and White Collection. Look for it in stores or online for your Spring sewing, including from our friends at Fat Quarter Shop.

Sewing Tools You Need

Fabric and Other Supplies

  • ⅓ yard 44-45" wide fabric for pillow front (includes extra for fussy cutting): we used Michael Miller's Eiffel Tower in Black
  • ½ yard 54" wide fabric for pillow back: we used a lightweight linen in oatmeal
  • Two 1½" covered buttons: we used a covered button kit
  • 1½ yards of pom pom trim (we recommend a smaller ball, apx. 3/8" to ½"): we used a ½" black ball
  • Small scraps of batting for button
  • All purpose thread to match fabrics
  • Button or carpet thread
  • See-through ruler or 12½ square quilter's ruler
    NOTE: For more about special rulers, see our article: Beyond the Basics: Specialty Rulers To Make Your Sewing Faster & More Accurate.
  • Fabric pencil
  • Iron and ironing board
  • Scissors or rotary cutter and mat
  • Straight pins
  • Tape measure
  • Temporary spray adhesive
  • Regular hand sewing needle
  • Long upholstery hand sewing needle
  • Curved needle (optional)
  • Template plastic (found in the quilt section)
  • Fine tip marker
  • 12" x 12" pillow form (or fiber fill for stuffing)

Getting Started

  1. Cut one 12" X 12" square from the pillow front fabric (Black Eiffel Tower in our sample). Although this is a basic square pillow, we wanted to play with the fabric a bit and decided to position one of the Eiffel Towers on the fabric smack dab in the center of our pillow front. We used a 12½" square quilt ruler to help us find a center point and cut our square. You could also cut a 12" x 12" pattern from a transparent material and use this to position and cut. To learn more about how to fussy cut fabric, check out our tutorial: How to Fussy Cut.
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    NOTE: We wanted this pillow to be super full and fitted. To best achieve this look, we cut our fabric square the SAME size as the pillow form instead of 1" larger as we often do. When the pillow form is inserted, it won't gap in the corners and look homemade.
  2. Cut one 12" X 12" square from the pillow back fabric (oatmeal linen in our sample).

At Your Sewing Machine & Ironing Board

  1. Pin the pom-pom trim around the pillow back square, overlapping it in the center of one side. Trim off excess poms at the overlap.
  2. Hand baste the pom-pom trim to the pillow back. The trim's insertion tape should be flush with the raw edge of the fabric and the poms should be hanging down into the middle of the pillow.
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  3. Pin the pillow front and back right sides together, matching all raw edges and sandwiching the pom poms on the inside.
  4. Using a ½" seam allowance and a Zipper foot, sew around the pillow. The Zipper foot allows you to get in close to the poms poms. Be sure to leave about a 4-5" opening for turning and inserting the pillow form.
    NOTE: The side you leave open should NOT be the same side where the trim overlaps. It would be more challenging to sew the pillow closed if you have to deal with these ends too!
  5. Trim excess fabric from the corners. Turn right side out. The poms will pop out along the edges. Push out the corners with a long, blunt tool, like a large knitting needle, so they are nice and square.
  6. Insert pillow form.
  7. Slip stitch opening closed.

Fabric covered buttons

  1. Make a clear plastic template of the pattern from the fabric covered button kit. This is so you can see through it to position your fabric. Our goal is to cut our button fabric to perfectly match the center of the Eiffel Tower on the pillow front.
    NOTE: If this is your first time using fabric covered buttons, check out our tutorial: Button Kit Covered Buttons .
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  2. Mark the center of the circle template.
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  3. Use the template center point to line up with the area on your print you want to pattern match. In our sample, that is the middle of the Eiffel Tower.
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  4. Cut your front button fabric circle to create an exact match to your pillow front.
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  5. Cut two circles from batting scraps, using the pattern from the kit. Set one batting circle aside.
  6. Lay the front button fabric circle, right side down, on a protected flat surface (we simply used a paper towel to protect our table). Lightly spray with adhesive.
    NOTE: Pay attention to the direction of the loop on the back of the button, so it's easier to keep the Eiffel Tower in the upright position.
  7. Lay the batting circle on top of the fabric circle. The light adhesive will help hold these layers together. Spray again with adhesive to help adhere to the button.
  8. Using the button holder that comes with the kit, cover the button with the prepared fabric circle.
    NOTE: If needed, you can remove the fabric from the button, if the positioning is not exactly as it needs to be, and readjust slightly.
  9. Repeat steps 3-8 to create the covered button for the back. We chose to center our back button over one of the flower designs.
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  10. Hand sew the covered buttons to the front and back at the exact center.
  11. To make sewing all the way through the pillow easier, BEFORE you try to sew on your covered buttons, use a heavy-duty button or carpet thread and a long upholstery sewing needle, and stitch back and forth through the exact center of your pillow. This compresses the pillow and makes a nice little dent in the middle of your pillow where you can then stitch your buttons. Stitch on one button and then the other; don't try to stitch them both on at once. If you're still having challenges, try a curved sewing needle.

Contributors
Project Design: Alicia Thommas
Sample Creation and Instructional Editing: Jodi Kelly

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