Category:   Skill Level:
Mini Charm Pillow
Mini Charm Pillow

Created by: Sam Hunter

Be sure to give us feedback on this project below.


Level: Beginner
Time: 3 Hours

Mini Charm Squares are a huge trend in fabric sales right now! But what to do with them? This pillow is made with packs of Mini Charm Squares in an easy way for any confident beginner to sew. Sam Hunter from www.huntersdesignstudio.com takes you through the steps of this fun project.

Janome Supplies Required:

 

Fabric and Notions Required:

  • 1 pack of mini charm squares, or 36 coordinating squares 2 1/2'' x 2 1/2''
  • 1/8 yard accent fabric
  • 1/4 yard background fabric
  • 5/8 yard outer border and pillow back fabric
  • 1 pillow form 20'' x 20'' (note: the pillow cover finishes at 19'' x 19'' - using a 20'' form in a slightly smaller cover makes it plump up nicely).
  • Thread to match (plus one wound bobbin of the thread)
  • Rotary cutting supplies (ruler, cutter, mat, etc.)
  • Usual sewing supplies (scissors, seam ripper, iron, etc.)

For the cover in the instructions photos I used the following:

  • Mini charm squares: Barcelona by Zen Chic for Moda Fabrics
  • Accent Fabric: Kona Chartreuse 1072 by Robert Kaufman
  • Background Fabric: Kona Bone 1037 by Robert Kaufman Fabrics
  • Outer Border: Kona Glacier 146 by Robert Kaufman Fabrics
  • Thread: Aurifil 50wt Mako Cotton in Dove Grey
     

Before you begin:

  • All seam allowances are 1/4'' unless otherwise stated.
  • Press all seams after sewing.

Let's get started!

Project Instructions: 

  1. Mini charm squares are the latest in pre-cut goodies available to sewists. Many fabric manufacturers are beginning to offer this size, so be sure to ask for them at your local quilt store. If you can't find one you like, cut 36 squares 2 1/2'' x 2 1/2'' from your stash or scrap basket to start this project.
     
  2. Lay out your squares in a 6 x 6 grid on a design surface (I use a flannel covered wall). Play with the squares until you like the composition, trying not to get similar prints or colors next to each other. Set aside any rejects.
  3. Audition colors for the accent, background and outer border. Good choices are colors that are present in the prints. Don't worry if a few of your squares might get lost on the background fabric: these will get surrounded with accent so they stand out.
  4. Choose 6 squares from the group to surround with accent color. Good choices are those that might get lost on the background, and those that will really sing when paired with the accent fabric.
  5. Cut these 6 squares down to 2'' x 2''.
  6. From the accent fabric cut the following:
    12 strips 3/4'' x 2''
    12 strips 3/4'' x 2 1/2''
  7. Use the 1/4 Foot O on your machine with a straight stitch (if you're using a Horizon Memory Craft 8900 QCP like me, see p96 of the manual for reference).
  8. Set your stitch length to 1.90 (nice and tight so that stress on the pillow doesn't make the seams pop).
  9. Sew one 2" strip to either side of each of the trimmed blocks.
  10. Sew one 2 1/2'' to the two remaining sides of each of the trimmed blocks.
  11. Place the accented squares back into the composition, and then re-assess your design. In the image above, you can see a group of too much green in the lower left corner, so I moved a few things around:
  12. That's better!
  13. From the background fabric cut the following:
    30 strips 1'' x 2 1/2''
    7 strips 1'' x 15''
    2 strips 1'' x 16''
  14. Sew one 1'' x 2 1/2'' strip between the squares of each row (but not to the outer edges of the rows).
  15. Sew one 1'' x 15'' strip to the bottom of each row, and the remaining one to the top of the first row.
  16. Start sewing the rows with strips together. Pin generously so that you match up the small strips that separate the squares in each row:
  17. You can see that I got all but one of them (2nd row, between 2 and 3) well aligned with the row above. I decided to leave it to add a little character!
  18. Finish the center block of the pillow by adding the remaining 1'' x 16'' strips to the outer edges.
  19. From the outer border fabric cut the following:
    2 strips 2 1/4'' x 16''
    2 strips 2 1/4'' x 19 1/2''
  20. Sew the 2 1/4'' x 16" strips to either side of the center block.
  21. Finish the pillow top by sewing the remaining 2 1/4'' x 19 1/2'' strips to the opposite sides.
  22. From the outer border fabric cut the following for the pillow back:
    2 rectangles 19 1/2'' x 14''
  23. Press over a double 1/4'' hem along one long side of each rectangle.
  24. Topstitch this hem on both pieces.
  25. Lay one rectangle over the pillow front, right sides together, with the topstitched hem towards the center.
  26. Lay the other rectangle in the opposite direction, overlapping the first and pin generously:
  27. Stitch all around the pillow using the 1/4'' Foot O to set the seam.
  28. Change to the Overcast Foot M. Use the Overlocking stitch (pattern 15) at the default setting of width 7.0 and length 2.0 (see p49 of the manual for reference).
  29. Sew all round the pillow again, overcasting the raw edges and adding a second layer of stitch strength:
  30. Turn the pillow cover right side out and press well:
  31. Stuff the pillow into the cover, and enjoy!

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