Friday, December 26, 2014

Tutorial: Charm Square Quilted Pillow Sham

Yesterday, I shared a quilt I made for my daughter's twin bed for Christmas. Today, I'm sharing a tutorial on how to make a matching full-size pillow sham from leftover charm squares.

You will need:

24 charm squares (or 30 if your pillow is pretty fluffy -- I'll explain below!)

Approx 1/2 yard to 5/8 yard of fabric for backing (again, fluffiness factor!)

20 x 28" batting scrap (I attached several smaller batting scraps together with a zig zag stitch)

20 x 28" piece of fabric (this will be hidden on the inside)

Optional: binding strips (three 2 1/2 inch x width of fabric strips should be plenty)

Sew your charm squares together in 4 rows of 6. To quilt the front of the sham, I layered my pieced charm squares, batting and scrap cotton piece and used a decorative stitch through all of the seams. (Note: photos were taken after I quilted and trimmed off the excess backing and batting!) You can see the stitch better from the inside view (below). You could also quilt 1/4 inch on either side of the seam, or practice your free-motion quilting if you prefer!

This piece will measure approx 18" x 27 1/2 after quilting. The standard measurement for making a pillow sham is usually 20" x 26" , but I usually find that a little narrower is okay (I like a snug fit!)

I did trim the length of the quilted piece 3/4 inch on either side before assembling the pillow, so my final measurement was 18 x 26". If your pillow is fluffy, make five rows of six, and after quilting, trim 3/4" off both sides of the length, and about 1 1/4 inches off the top and bottom. This should yield the standard 20 x 26" measurement.

For your pillow backing, measure the width of your pillow (mine was 18") and cut two pieces 18" (or your width) x 18". Disclaimer -- I actually cut my pieces a little extra long, which made the pillow a bit tricky to stuff inside. I also was lazy and used the untrimmed selvege edge instead of hemming the two envelope flaps! Normally, I turn under and stitch a 1/2" hem on the two envelope flaps before assembling the sham. If you are using directional fabric, be sure to put the hem on opposite sides (otherwise one of your envelope flaps will be upside down)! Lay the first envelope flap, right sides together, over your quilted sham top.

Lay the second envelope flap on top and pin. Stitch around all four edges (I used a 1/4" seam, but you can go a little wider, especially if you are working with the 20" x 26" size. Turn inside out and admire your work!

One last note: I usually serge the inside seam so that if will hold up through frequent washings. If you do not have a serger, then a wide zig-zag stitch would also do the trick ( do this step after sewing the pillow back and front together with a regular straight stitch). Another fun option is to sew the pillow back and front WRONG sides together (in other words, with your finished sides facing out while you sew) and then finishing the 1/4" raw edge with a contrasting binding (exactly the way you would attach a quilt binding).

Hope you enjoyed this tutorial!


1 comment:

  1. Thank you for the helpful tutorial -- I'll be putting it to use! I want to make matching shams for a quilt I have planned for my grandson and this will be perfect.