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Nature's Palette by Marjolein Bastin for FreeSpirit: Lumbar Panel Pillow

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Whenever we do a Series Collection for one of our great Sew4Home sponsors, we like to make sure we have a good mixture of projects – from elegant and intricate to fast and easy. Today's article falls in the second camp. This little lumbar pillow is a snap to make, especially since we used designs from the pre-printed panel included in Marjolein's Nature's Palette collection. Simply trim the panel designs to size and stitch together. We'll go through all the steps below, but... really, it's almost as simple as that!

We introduced you to panel cuts yesterday as part of our Bed Topper project, but we only used two of the four designs. Today we'll use the other two. Pre-printed panels are becoming a more and more common part of fabric collections. Marjolein's style is perfect for them, because the individual panels become like miniature paintings. The Nature's Palette pre-printed panels are available in three colorways: Purple, Yellow and Green (we used Green). 

Our thanks to all our friends at FreeSpirit for selecting us to create the debut project collection for their new Marjolein Bastin collection. Nature's Palette ships this month to in-store and online retailers. Click here for a complete FreeSpirit Dealer Locator. Not all dealers receive and/or display fabrics at the same time. And remember, if your favorite retailer doesn't carry Nature's Palette you can always request a special order.

The pillow finishes at appoximately 12" high x 16" wide. 

Sewing Tools You Need

Fabric and Other Supplies

Click here for the Nature's Palette Swatch page at FreeSpirit fabrics, which shows the entire collection in all colorways.

  • ONE panel cut from the Nature's Palette collection by Marjolein Bastin for FreeSpirit Fabrics; we used the Green colorway and selected one of the square designs and one of the horizontal designs for this project: the Caning panel and the Words panel.
  • ½ yard of 44-45" wide low loft batting; we used Pellon Natural One Cotton Fleece
  • ONE small bag of polyester fiberfill; we used Soft Touch® Poly-Fil by Fairfield
  • All-purpose thread to match fabric
  • See-through ruler
  • Fabric pen or pencil
  • Iron and ironing board
  • Scissors or rotary cutter and mat
  • Seam gauge
  • Seam ripper
  • Straight pins
  • Hand sewing needle

Getting Started

  1. From the panel, trim the Words rectangle down to 9" high x 17" wide and trim the Caning square down to 17½" high x 17" wide.
  2. Use your see through ruler and take the time to carefully fussy cut the your panels, especially the Words panel. 
  3. The simpler the pillow, the more a crooked motif stands out. Make sure your featured front panel is straight and even on all sides. 
  4. From the batting, cut 
    ONE 9" x 17" rectangle
    ONE 17½" x 17" rectangle

At Your Sewing Machine & Ironing Board

  1. Pin the batting to the wrong side of the each fabric panel.
  2. Place the main fabric panel (the Words panel in our sample) right side up and flat on your work surface. 
  3. Place the back/accent fabric panel (the Caning panel in our sample), right sides together with the top and bottom sides of the main panel. In other words, you are aligning the 17" sides of both pieces. Pin in place, creating a loop.
  4. Using a ½" seam allowance, stitch the two pieces together.
  5. Press the seam allowances open.
  6. Lay the loop on your work surface, rolling it until there are 2" of the back/accent panel showing on either side of the main panel. 
  7. Press the loop flat and pin along both sides. One side should be complete pinned. On the opposite side, leave a 5" - 6" opening in the center for turning right side out.
  8. Using a ½" seam allowance, stitch the sides together, remembering to lock your seam on either side of the 5" - 6" opening on the one side. 
  9. Clip the corners and press the seam allowances open, pressing back the raw edges of the opening so they are flush with the sewn seam. 
  10. Turn right side out. Press flat.
  11. Stuff with fiberfill to your desired firmness. 

    NOTE: For wonderfully smooth pillows, see our tutorial on Pillow Stuffing Tips & Tricks
  12. Pin the opening closed. Thread your needle with coordinating thread, and keeping your stitches as small as possible, slip stitch the opening closed. The tiny stitches help insure no fiberfill will poke out of the hand-sewn seam.


Project Design: Alicia Thommas
Sample Creation and Instructional Outline: Debbie Guild



Comments (6)

Linda Cole said:
Linda Cole 's picture

  Only two word's  "Simply Beautiful " I hope more you design more fabric. I've been collecting the Hallmark collection for years.


Vickie Schlagenhauf said:
Vickie Schlagenhauf's picture

I love the colors that you used. I love purple and green together. It makes it seem , so fresh. Most of all I love birds. I have alot of birdhouses and feeders around my house,(inside and out). I just really like your style. Keep on!


ruthshort618 said:
ruthshort618's picture

ok....I need to make this and the fabrics will make it fun! I absolutely love this collection!

Susan Nagel said:
Susan Nagel's picture

What a wonderful idea and so pretty!  The Nature Palette fabric is beautiful and fits wonderfully in my my home

Denise Toomey said:
Denise Toomey's picture

I love to use fabric with natural elements like birds and flowers to bring in the outdoors.  I love the "word panel" as a natural compliment!

Teaberry said:
Teaberry's picture

Such a pretty little pillow !  The Nature's Palette fabric panel makes this project easier as well as being so pretty.