Have an hour and a couple of Fat Quarters? The Twist pillow is a fun and easy sewing project that instantly spruces up any living space. The twist tucks give it a nice, elegant look, that you will instantly love. Palak of the Sewing Rabbit Team is here showing off this fabulous tutorial for the Twist Pillow.
The Twist Pillow Tutorial
The Twist Pillow is a clever little pillow that looks difficult but is easy and fun to make. It works well with both traditional and modern decor– depending on the fabrics that you use. The best part is that you can make a 14 inch pillow cover with just a couple of fat quarters and a pillow form.
To make these pillows extra quick they cover is hand sewn shut– no messing around with zippers! You’ll have a brand new pillow (or two) for your sofa in under an hour!
- 1 fat quarter for the pillow front
- 1 fat quarter or 15 inch square for pillow back.
- 14 inch pillow form
A note about choosing fabrics: Try to use either a solid, or a small scale pattern, so your smocking will be easy to see. I used this stripe leftover from my bike baskets. I love the bright colors and the way the stripes curve with the tucks.
The first thing we need to do is to create a grid on our fat quarter so we can space our pleats evenly. Instead of tedious measuring, we are going to use our iron to create our grid.
First, fold your fat quarter in half (hamburger style!) Using a hot iron, press to create a center crease. Open the fat quarter back up and then fold the edges into meet in the middle to make fourths…
And then once again to make eighths…
For the short side of the fat quarter, repeat the first two steps to divide into fourths. You should now have a 4×8 grid on your fabric. Using a fabric marker (or a ball point pen!) mark out a diamond pattern like the one shown below on the wrong side of your fabric.
For the edges and corners, put your marks about a half inch in.
Creating The Tucks:
Now for the fun part! I experimented with different ways of creating the tucks, and found that this method worked the best for me. It creates a ton of texture without taking much time, and the tucks are secure and won’t get pulled out.
We’ll need to make a few changes to our sewing machine before we start:
- Change to a short stitch length (I used .2 on my digital machine– if you have a manual machine, just set it to 2 dashes above zero).
- Move the needle to the far left (if possible).
To make a tuck, grab one of your marked dots and twist. Make sure that while you are twisting, you are looking at the wrong side of your fabric.
Now grab that little twist, and stuff it under your presser foot. To keep my tucks consistent in sized; I tried to line up the point of my twist with the edge of my presser foot.
Now, just back stitch over the the twist. You’ll have something that looks like this:
Not very pretty, eh? But when you look at the right side, you’ll see the most adorable little tuck ever created.
Now just do this for the rest of the marked dots. I had good luck with doing 3-4 tucks before cutting the thread– the sewing went very quickly this way. Make sure you double check that you made a tuck for each point you marked– I missed a few in the picture below 🙂
Luckily I caught it before finishing the pillow. To finish up, cut your pillow backing fabric to 15 inches, and place it right sides together with the smocked piece you just finished. You can see that this part won’t be perfect. Just smooth out the smocked piece as best you can.
Pin every inch or so around the edge of your backing fabric. If you come across a tuck or fold, make sure to pin that in, so the smocked design appears to wrap around the pillow.
Then, (after changing the machine back to its normal settings) sew along 3 sides of the backing fabric. You can now trim the extra fabric if you wish. I didn’t trim because I wanted the corners of the pillow to be soft and rounded.
Turn your pillow right side out, and stuff your pillow form in. Then hand sew the fourth side closed using the magic stitch.
All that’s left to do is to enjoy your pillow. 🙂
I was hopeful that this pillow would add a splash of color to our living room. Instead, it’s been commandeered as a mattress for my son’s favorite bear and dear friend, Zoomi.
Truth be told, I couldn’t think of a better use. I hope your pillow is just as loved!
Thanks so much for stopping by, and until next time…