Where would you like to go today? Forget Google Maps and the ever-present GPS, give me a real map and I’ll follow you anywhere… bonus points if it might be a treasure map! We were originally inspired by the Street Maps fabric from the Dapper collection by Tim Holtz for Coats – a vintage wonderland of intricate detail. We used two large panels to create our clever reversible pillow. Each side has its own unique closure. And we all need closure, right?!
A new pillow is the perfect way to freshen up a sofa, chair or even bed linens. With a reversible pillow, you double the update potential while keeping your color palette intact. The Dapper collection came out awhile ago, but the Tim Holtz fabrics are re-stocked on a regular basis and we were able to still easily source all our original fabrics. Of course, you can always choose your own trio of favorites to best match your décor.
A wide horizontal band in the petite diamond motif sets off the custom closures front and back. We used a chunky metal zipper across the back, stitching the full zipper on top of the band rather than hiding the tape within the seams. It creates a bolder look and actually simplifies the zipper installation.
The band on the opposite side wraps over the pillow top and laces closed with metal rivets and soft leather thong. The outer ends of the sections are caught in the side seams, but the rest of the band is fully finished and loose, so you are truly wrapping and lacing to fit the pillow. In fact, we recommend inserting the pillow form first (through the zippered opening on the back side), then lacing the front in order to get the best look and fit for the loft of your pillow.
Both the main front and back pillow panels are layered with batting and quilted. We used twin needle stitching for our six vertical lines of quilting to echo the look of the streets on the Maps fabric.
A flange along each side in a classic Ticking print completes the pillow. Each flange is finished on both ends, allowing a pretty open square at the corners. Not only is this a unique look, it’s also a much easier construction technique than a traditional continuous flange.
Our pillow finishes at 20” x 20” with a 1” flange along each of the four sides.
Sewing Tools You Need
- Sewing Machine and standard presser foot
- Walking or Even Feed foot; optional but best for thicker layers – or use your machine's built-in fabric feeding system, such as the Janome AcuFeed Flex™ system
- Twin Needle; optional, but a quicker option for the double lines of quilting
Fabric and Other Supplies
- ⅔ yard of 44"+ wide quilting weight cotton for the front and back main panels; we used Street Maps in Black from the Dapper collection by Tim Holtz for Coats
- ½ yard of 44"+ wide quilting weight cotton for the front and back bands; we used Diamond in Black from the Dapper collection by Tim Holtz for Coats
- ⅓ yard of 44"+ wide quilting weight cotton for the flanges; we used Ticking in Neutral from the Dapper collection by Tim Holtz for Coats
- ⅔ yard of 44"+ wide quilting weight cotton for the front and back main lining panels (for the quilt ‘sandwich’); we used a solid ivory cotton from our S4H stash
- ½ yard of 45”+ wide mid-weight fusible interfacing; we used Pellon Décor Bond
- ⅔ yard of 45”+ wide fusible batting; we used Pellon Thermolam
- ONE 24” metal zipper; we used a zipper with black tape and gunmetal teeth, purchased locally
- TEN ¼” eyelets and appropriate setting tools; we used a Dritz 2-part eyelet kit with tools in gunmetal
- All purpose thread to match fabric
- 1⅛ yards of ⅛” wide soft leather lacing or similar
- ONE 20" x 20" pillow form
- See-through ruler
- Fabric pen or pencil
- Seam gauge
- Seam ripper
- Rotary cutter and mat
- Craft scissors for cutting the metal zipper
- Tiny sharp scissors and/or an awl to open and cut the small openings for the eyelets
- Iron and ironing board
- Straight pins
- Small hammer to set eyelets; we recommend a soft leather mallet or a ball peen hammer
- Heavy metal, stone or wooden block to use as a cutting and hammering surface for the rivets
- From the fabric for the front and back main panels (Street Maps in our sample), cut TWO 21” x 21” squares. Set aside one square for the front. Slice the remaining square in half horizontally, creating two 21” wide x 10 ½” high panels
- From the fabric for the front and back bands (Diamond in our sample), cut the following:
ONE 21” wide x 6” high rectangle, then slice in half horizontally, creating two 21” x 3” panels
ONE 17⅜” wide x 11” high rectangle for the left side of the front band
ONE 3⅜” wide x 11” high rectangle for the right side of the front band
- From the fabric for the flanges (Ticking in our sample), cut FOUR 21” x 3” strips.
NOTE: It’s worth taking the time with your cuts to make sure all the stripes match up.
- From the fabric for the front and back main lining panels (ivory cotton in our sample), cut TWO 21” x 21” squares. Set aside one square for the front. Slice the remaining square in half horizontally, creating two 21” x 10½” panels
- From the mid-weight interfacing, cut the following,
TWO 20” x 2” strips for the back zipper bands
ONE 16⅞” x 5” rectangle for the left front band
ONE 2⅞” x 5” rectangle for the right front band
FOUR 10” x 1” strips for the flanges
- From the fusible fleece, cut the following:
ONE 20” x 20” panel for the front
TWO 20” x 9½” panels for the back
- Cut the lacing into ONE 36” length and one 4½” length.
At Your Sewing Machine & Ironing Board
Prepare the front and back panels and quilt
- Find the three main exterior pieces (one for the front and two for the back) plus the matching lining panels and fusible fleece panels.
- Center a fleece panel onto the wrong side of each exterior panel, centering the fleece so there is ½” of fabric showing beyond the fleece on all sides. Following manufacturer's instructions, fuse in place.
- Place the fused exterior panels wrong sides together with the matching lining panels.
- Using a fabric pen or pencil, mark for the six double lines of vertical quilting on each piece.
NOTE: You are working on the right side of your fabric; make sure your marking tool is one that will easily wipe away or will vanish with exposure to the air or the heat of an iron.
- First find the exact vertical center point of each panel. Measure 1½” to the right of center and draw a vertical guide line. Then, measure 1½” to the left of center and draw another vertical guide line.
- From each of these guide lines, draw two additional parallel vertical lines spaced 3” apart.
- The illustration below shows you the proper spacing of the lines on all the panels. Take the time to make sure these line positions are the same on the front and the back panels.
- If possible, insert a twin needle.
- Attach a Walking or Even Feed foot or e your machine's built-in fabric feeding system.
- Thread the machine with thread to match the exterior fabric in the top and bobbin.
- Lengthen the stitch
- Using the drawn guide line as your center point, stitch through all three layers on the main front panel and both back panels.
NOTE: If you do not have a twin needle, you can simply stitch two parallel lines as close together and evenly spaced as possible. Our spacing is 1/16”.
- Set aside all three quilted panels.
Prepare the back band with the zipper
- Find the two 21” x 3” back band panels, the two 20” x 2” interfacing strips, and the 24” zipper.
- Place an interfacing strip on the wrong side of each band, centering it so there is ½” of fabric showing beyond the interfacing on all sides. Following manufacturer’s instructions, fuse in place.
- Fold back each 21” raw edge ½”. We used our Clover Hot Hemmer.
- Press well; you want your folds to stay in place. And, make sure your fold is even across the width.
- On the two back quilted panels, along the inner 21” raw edges (where you made your original horizontal cut), fold the raw edges forward ½”. The fusible fleece was cut back ½”, so you should just be working with the exterior layer and the lining layer. Fold foward and press well. As above, make sure your fold is even across the width.
- Place the bottom main panel right side up on your work surface. Place the bottom back band right side up on this main panel. Align the two folded back edges – the wrong sides of these folds are together. Pin in place lightly.
- Place the zipper on top of the layers with the zipper pull to the right. The head of the zipper tape is flush with the right raw edge of the fabric panel. The opposite end of the zipper will extend beyond fabric by about 4”. This is correct; it will be trimmed flush later.
- The folds under the zipper should sit about ⅜” below the zipper teeth. Pin in place.
- Set up the machine for a medium zig zag. Re-thread with thread to best match the zipper in the top and to best match the lining in the bobbin.
- Stitch the zipper in place with a zig zag stitch through all the layers. We continued to use our built-in Janome AcuFeed™ feeding system. As with most zipper installations, you will need to stop, with the needle in the down position, and open and close the zipper as needed to allow the presser foot to pass the zipper pull.
- Re-set for a lengthened straight stitch, and edgestitch along the opposite folded edge of the band.
- Repeat to attach the top band to the top half of the back quilted exterior in the same manner, first re-setting to a zig zag to stitch the opposite side of the zipper tape…
- … then re-setting back to a lengthened straight stitch to edgestitch along the opposite folded edge of the top band.
- Here’s a view of the spacing to either side of the zipper from the lining side.
Prepare the front band with the eyelets
- Find the two 11” front band panels, the two 5” interfacing strips, and the 10 eyelets.
- Place the interfacing on one half of each front band panel, on the wrong side, centering it so there is ½” of fabric showing beyond the interfacing on the three exterior sides. Following manufacturer’s instructions, fuse in place.
- Fold each panel in half so they are now 5½” high. Pin in place. The folded side of each panel will become the top finished edge of the band. The opposite seamed side will become the bottom finished edge of the band.
- If necessary, re-thread the machine with thread to best match the band fabric in the top and bobbin. Re-set the stitch length to normal.
- Using a ½” seam allowance, stitch along the bottom and the outer end of each panel, leaving the opposite 5½” end open and raw. Remember to pivot at the corners.
- Clip the corners.
- Press open the seam allowances.
- Turn right side out through the open end. Using a long, blunt tool, such as a chopstick, knitting needle or point turner, gently push out the corners so they are nice and sharp. Press flat. The finished edges will be aligned facing one another. The raw edges face outward toward the pillow sides.
- Lengthen the stitch.
- Edgestitch around the three finished edges.
- Using a fabric pen or pencil, Mark for the 10 eyelets. As shown on the drawing above, the top and bottom eyelets are ½” in, on center, from the finished edge of the band. The three center eyelets are then evenly spaced 1” apart.
- Make sure the markings on the two edges are perfectly aligned.
- Cut a hole at each marked point and insert the eyelets into position from front to back.
- Flip over and attach the back half of each eyelet into position.
- Working on a hard surface with your setting tools, hammer to set each eyelet in place.
NOTE: If you are brand new to working with eyelets, take a look at our full step-by-step tutorial on inserting metal grommets and eyelets.
- Pin the bands into position across the exact horizontal center of the pillow front panel. The raw edges of each band should be flush with the raw side edges of the main panel. There should be ¼” between the two inner finished edges. Make sure the front band lines up exactly with the position of the back band.
- Machine baste the raw edges of each band in place.
Create the flanges
- Find the four fabric strips and the four interfacing strips for the flanges.
- Fold each fabric strip in half, wrong sides together, and press to set a horizontal crease line. Unfold wrong side up so the crease line is visible.
- Center an interfacing strip on the wrong side of each fabric strip so one long edge of the interfacing strip is aligned with the center crease line and there is ½” of fabric showing beyond the interfacing on the remaining three sides. Following manufacturer’s instructions, fuse in place.
- Fold the strips in half along the original center crease line, but this time the strip is right sides together. Pin each end.
- Using a ½” seam allowance, stitch each end. You are only stitching across the ends; the long sides remain open.
- Clip the corners.
- Turn the strip right side out to reveal the finished ends. Push out the corners with a long blunt tool, such as a knitting needle, chopstick or point turner so they are all nice and sharp.
- Press flat with the long raw edges flush.
- Repeat to create four matching flanges.
Place the flanges and layer to finish
- Place a flange along each side of the pillow top. The raw edges of the flange should be flush with the raw edge of the panel and each finished end of the flange should sit ½” in from the raw side edge of the panel. When the flanges overlap at the corner they’ll leave a little box of free fabric.
- Pin all four flanges in place with the same overlap at each corner.
- Machine baste the flanges in place.
- Open up the zipper about half way.
- Place the front and back panels right sides together, sandwiching the flanges between the layers. Make sure the front and back horizontal bands line up perfectly.
- Pin all the way around.
- Using a ½” seam allowance, stitch together through all the layers around all four sides. Go slowly and make sure your layers stay flat. Backstitch over the end of the zipper for an extra secure seam prior to cutting off the end of the zipper.
- Remember to pivot at all the corners, but be careful; you don’t want to accidentally catch the ends of the flanges in your seam.
- Clip the corners. Again, be careful that you don't nick the ends of the flanges.
- Using your craft scissors, trim away the excess end of the zipper flush with the seam allowance.
- Turn the pillow cover right side out through the open zipper. As above for the flanges, use a long blunt tool to gently push out all the corners. Pull out all the flanges into position. Press flat.
- Find the pillow form and insert it through the open zipper. Fluff it out into the corners and zip closed.
- Find the 36” length of soft leather lacing. Lace together the front bands through all 10 eyelets. It’s just like lacing up your sneakers. Tie a knot at the base of the band to secure the lacing.
NOTE: As mentioned above, we recommend inserting the pillow first then lacing in order to cinch the front band for the best fit against the loft of your pillow. Remember to keep that approximate ¼" gap at the center.
- Trim the tails to your desired length and knot each end.
- Find the 4½” length of lacing. Slip it through the zipper pull. Layer the tails one on top of the other and stitch the tails together with a simple straight seam through both tails, straight up the center. We used black thread. This line of stitching needs only extend about 1½” from the end of the zipper pull. Get as close as possible to the pull.
- Trim away the excess.
Project Design: Alicia Thommas
Sample Creation and Instructional Outline: Debbie Guild