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Spring Charming Throw Pillow {tutorial & giveaway}

2015 March 30

Winter is slowly leaving outside, but at least some Spring colour has come to my couch, disguised as a new throw pillow! This modern scrappy pillow tutorial can make a bright spot in your home too. And it’s made with a charm pack, so most of the cutting is done for you – just grab your favorite print for the back! (Scroll down for your chance to win this charm pack!)

If you’ve been reading here lately you’ll know about my recent obsession with shot cotton and yarn-dyed fabrics. So when my sponsor Fabric Spark suggested making a tutorial with one I didn’t hesitate to say yes! This charm pack contains 15 different light Kaffe Fassett solids, 30 charms in total – just enough for an 18″ throw pillow with a few left over! The different warp and weft colours add an extra layer of amazing colour when woven together.

If you live in the Toronto area, Fabric Spark will have the fabrics needed to make this pillow at the Spring Creativ Festival. I’m already planning for it and I’ve got a few more surprises up my sleeve! (By the way… Get the name of the pillow? Spring Charming, like Prince Charming? Ha, *groan* I know!)

This pillow really is simple to make, it doesn’t even have any matching seams. And it matches every colour scheme! This random-look layout lends personality and warmth, its colours are surprisingly structured and I’ll explain that in the tutorial! When working with any layout, though, it’s hard to know how things will turn out. I originally made this in rows and then loved it more in columns – so I turned it sideways before adding the envelope back.

Fabric Spark is giving away a Kaffe Fassett Woven Cotton Charm Pack in Light! This giveaway is open internationally and will run from March 30 – April 6, 2015. Use the Rafflecopter widget below to enter – and if you don’t have Facebook to sign in with, just use your name and email address. There’s a “click to enter” no social media login entry too!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

As usual, please feel free to use my patterns/tutorials for your personal projects and gifts and for charitable fundraising events. Please do not sell anything made with this pattern. If you are interested in making them for sale, please contact me and I will set up a license for it in the shop. Thank you!

Seam allowance 1/4″ unless otherwise noted. 

You will need:

  • 1 Kaffe Fassett Woven Cotton Charm Pack in Light
  • 1/2 yard quilting cotton for envelope back ( I used Starcomb Silver from Parson Gray’s Curious Nature collection)
  • 19″x19″ low loft batting
  • 19″x19″ backing/muslin for quilted front (this will not be seen)
  • matching thread for piecing
  • matching thread for quilting
  • 18″ pillow form
  • square ruler, rotary cutter/scissors, pins/basting spray, removable fabric marker
  • Optional: Walking Foot to use when quilting (if desired)

Sewing with a Charm Pack:

When I first approached a charm pack I was not sure how to properly sew with it because of the pinked (zig-zag cut) edges. Here are a few tips I’ve found along the way.

  • This charm pack is cut to 5″ square. It has been cut so the outer point of each triangular cut marks the edge of the square. Measured from side to side between outer triangular points it will measure 5″. Cut and sew with that in mind.
  • I also found that, for this pattern, it is easier to match and stitch edges that have been cut similarly. Match rotary cut edges and sew OR match pinked edges and sew. This may not be possible with all charm packs due to directional or one-sided fabric.

Cut your Fabric:

  1. Envelope Back: Cut 2 pieces 14″ high by 18″ wide.
  2. Charm Pack: 
    • Stack at least 24 of your charm squares in sets of 4. Use at least 1 of each colour. The colour placement will be “random”, so don’t worry about that for now.
    • Cut a straight 90 degree line through each stack of 4 wherever you’d like. Use a ruler to make sure the cuts are square. Make sure to cut at least 1″ away from the left and right sides of the square. If you’d like similarly sized pieces, cut the squares closer to the centre. If you’d like a more scrappy varied layout, cut the blocks closer to the sides to get a variety of skinny and wide pieces in each colour.
Design on your Layout:
At first this part scared me because I wanted it to look a bit random, which I’m not good at! I found that arranging them by colour grouping helped me to have a bit of structure. If you look at my rows, you will see small groupings of green, blue, lavender/pink and orange pieces together. There is one grouping of each of these colours on each row, but the placement is varied from left to right.
  1. More Structured Option: Lay out 12 pieces side-by-side (matching edges) in a row that is about 24″ long. Lay out 3 more rows below it in the same way. Once you sew them together each should equal 18 1/2″ or more. (My rows were about 28″ long each before stitching & came to 24″ wide after stitching.)
  2. Random Option: As a quicker alternate option, stitch rows together at random (see sewing instructions below). You will need 4 rows aprox. 19″ long each.
Stitch your rows:
  1. Match the sides of each piece Right Sides Together (RST) and stitch with a 1/4″ seam until each row is finished. TIP: I like to place a pin on the left-most side of each row to help me remember which piece I’m working on.
  2. Press seam allowances open or to one side.
  3. Trim the top and bottom edges of each row if necessary to square them up. (I skipped this step, since my rows were fairly even.) TRIM SPARINGLY! If you cut more than 1/8″ from each long edge your rows will not be tall enough to create an 18″ pillow.
  4. Pin the rows together RST along each long edge and stitch one at a time.
  5. Press your seam allowances open or to one edge as you go.
  1. Press the pieced fabric well, making sure all seam allowances are properly pressed so it is as flat as possible.
  2. Trim the front to 19″ wide. Do not trim the height, it should be about 18 1/2″.
  3. Create a quilt sandwich. Place your muslin/19″ square backing Right Side Down. Centre the batting on top of it. Centre the pieced fabric Right Side Up on top of the batting.
  4. Baste the quilt sandwich layers together. Since this is a small project, I used long pins. You could also use curved safety pins or basting spray.
  5. Mark quilting lines, if desired. I made a centre line with my hera marker and then used the edge of my walking foot as a guide to stitch every 1/2″ from there.
  6. Quilt! It took me about 20 minutes to stitch straight lines 1/2″ apart with a slightly-longer-than-usual straight stitch.
Envelope Backing:
This is where I took a look at my quilted front and decided I liked the “rows” as columns, so I turned it before adding the backing. Decide which side is the “top” of your throw pillow before adding the backing so it is the correct way up! 
  1. Trim your quilted front to 18″ square. If your quilting is not near the edges, baste them together with a 1/4″ seam.
  2. Find your envelope back pieces. Decide which piece will be the top & bottom of the envelope back.
  3. Hem the top of the envelope back: press the 18″ wide BOTTOM edge up 1/2″, then again by 1″. Stitch close to the first fold to hold the hem in place. Hem the bottom of the envelope back: press and stitch the 18″ wide TOP edge in the same way.
  4. Lay the 18″ quilted pillow front Right Side Up. Align the TOP envelope back to the top edge of the front, RST.
  5. Align the BOTTOM envelope back to the bottom edges of the pillow front, RST with the quilted front.
  6. Pin all edges securely. Stitch with a 3/8″ seam allowance. Trim the corners and finish the edges with a serger or zig-zag stitch.
  7. Turn your throw pillow right side out. Push out the corners and press the edges flat.
  8. Insert your pillow form and you are done. Check out your amazing pillow!

I’d love to see your project! You can share your pillow on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram (links below) using the  hashtags #alongforthreadride or #threadridinghood. Thank you!

Disclaimer: The fabric used in this post was given to me by my sponsor, Fabric Spark. I always share my honest opinion about sponsored products. Thanks for reading!

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17 Responses leave one →
  1. Janie permalink
    March 30, 2015

    Love your pillow. It looks so soft. Thank you for the giveaway.

  2. Leanne permalink
    March 31, 2015

    I LOVE this pillow!!!

    • April 2, 2015

      YAY! I’m so glad Leanne! I’m pretty excited about it too. Might have to buy a new couch to match it since it’s not so good on the red vinyl :)

  3. March 31, 2015

    It looks great! You make it look so easy! The Essex yarn dyed linen, also from Fabricspark has different warp and weft too, and would look fantastic with this charm pack, I think the Olive would match the soft spring tones here so nicely.

    • April 2, 2015

      Thanks Reece! The Essex Linen is amazing – I agree! Oooh…. the Olive would be perfect! You’re right. The linen texture adds so much to a project.

  4. Jeannie permalink
    March 31, 2015

    Thank you for the tutorial. Can’t wait to visit your booth at the Creativ Festival!

    • April 2, 2015

      Hooray Jeannie! It would be amazing to meet you. The Fabric Spark booth will have these fabrics, since I don’t have a booth of my own. I’m going to be there a bit on Friday, likely. And all day Saturday I think. If you see me, please come over and introduce yourself!

  5. March 31, 2015

    I love your pillow, and I LOVE your photograph with the tulips. That tutorial is giving me ideas for a scrap block, too. ;)

    • April 2, 2015

      I’m so glad Susan! I love how it’s random and not-random :) Helps my too-structured brain deal with the colours!

  6. Erin permalink
    March 31, 2015

    Love this! I’ve got some gorgeous charms left from a quilt and was thinking of a pillow…meant to be I guess! Love you blog, just finished the flutter sleeve nightgown too!

    • April 2, 2015

      Oooh…. awesome! I LOVE the flutter sleeve nightgown! I’ve got some more on tap for my kids soon, since it’s finally turning warmer outside. What did you use to make yours? It would be so fun to see your pillow too if you end up making one! Extra charms are so great to use in small projects.

  7. Nancy Hilderbrand permalink
    April 10, 2015

    Really like the pillow and the tutorial is great. Thank you for the giveaway.

    • April 13, 2015

      Thanks so much Nancy! I’m so glad you like it. Thanks for taking the time to comment :)

  8. April 24, 2015

    I bought this kit at the Creativ Festival today and will make it soon.

    • April 24, 2015

      Hooray Gill! I’m so excited! How was your trip to Creativ? Did you find lots of good stuff?

  9. July 25, 2016

    A big thank you for your blog article.Much thanks again. Really Cool.

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