here it is folks! it took me a while, but i have a nice picture heavy tutorial for you about how i made my lucky pillow...
firstly, print out your lettering and lucky shamrock image. i always forget to reverse the lettering, but i remembered to do it this time! i don't think i can post my pdf file within blogspot, so if anyone wants it, i'll gladly email it to you! :) i'll work on a way to make it available somehow...
when you've printed it out, trace around your shapes onto heat n bond.
make sure you place the glue side down and trace with pencil on the paper side. maybe that's an obvious instruction, but you never know! :P
next, cut your center square 12.5" square (these measurements may vary depending on the size pillow you want. mine will fit a 16" square pillow form). also cut two strips of equally beautiful, yet contrasting fabric measuring 12.5 x 2.5" and another two 16.5 x 2.5". i actually cut my strips slightly larger than 12.5 and 16.5 then trimmed them down after sewing...
for the back envelope pieces and the ties cut two 16.5" square pieces - cut one of these in half, then cut one of the halves into four equal strips:
set these back pieces aside until later...
sew the shorter strips to the sides of the front square with a 1/4" seam. press the seam to the sides.
the story so far:
then sew the longer edges to the top and bottom and press the seams to the outside:
the next step is to iron the graphics onto the wrong side of the fabric you've chosen. only after this stage should you cut the shapes out accurately.
go ahead and position them onto the front however you want, and peel the paper off in preparation for ironing.
i positioned my letters about an inch from the border seam. follow the instructions on the heat n bond for how long to set the appliques.
once you've set your graphics, let's start quilting! cut a backing piece of fabric just larger than 16.5" square (i didn't photograph this). it could be any kind of fabric you have - it doesn't have to match since it will be on the inside of the pillow cover. layer this piece on the bottom, then some batting (again, a little larger), then the top piece of the pillow.
go crazy on the quilting! on this one, i did a random, meandering sort of loopy quilting:
so now that we have the whole front quilted, it's time to move onto the back...
you can make the back however you like - maybe you want a zipper instead of the envelope style & ties. there are many tutorials on various blogs, so find the one that works the best for you. but this is how i did it...:
prepare the ties by sewing a seam down the long edge (mine was slightly smaller than 1/4"), then use a safety pin to help you turn it right side out again. turn in the raw edges on one of the ends of each of the ties and sew along the fold (this is just to make the ends a bit nicer and more finished. you could also sew a 1/8" seam around the entire tie for a very finished look)
fold down one edge of the square about 2 inches and press.
place two of the ties about 4" apart, centered across and snuggly within the fold. sew a 1/4" seam along the fold to secure the ends of the ties in place. i recommend sewing across the ends of the ties a couple of times. i hope that made sense. thankfully a picture really does say a thousand words!
then invert the fold and press. sew a 1/8" top stitch along the length of the fold. you should end up with something like this:
for the 'under' portion of the envelope wrap closure, take the 16.5 x 8"-ish piece and fold a 1/4" double fold and sew. i just eyeballed it. it doesn't have to be exact.
now that all the pieces are prepared, let's layer it all together.
place the quilted piece right side up, then the bigger backing piece with ties attached face down:
don't forget to fold the straps away from the edges so you don't inadvertently sew across them. then take the other two strips and align them with the sewn in strips...
it's helpful if you pin these in place so they don't move around too much when you sew. then place the last short piece on top face down.
here are all the layers ready to sew around. sew around the entire square, doubling back over where the ties attach, and along the sides where the envelope 'hems' end. before you turn right side out, clip some of the bulk out of the corners.
congratulations! you've finished the pillow! i hope you enjoy this simple st patrick's day pillow in your home. i'll enjoy mine every day of the year. :)