Several years ago I accidentally discovered the fact that you can create some pretty amazing designs by playing around with stripes.
I was working with a large piece of fabric that featured a big bold stripe. As I tossed it aside, I noticed it folded in on itself to form a cool pattern. I started playing around with the fabric that eventually ended up being pillows for a boy’s bedroom room and game room.
Of course, manipulating stripes is nothing new – I see it all the time in quilt patterns – but it was new to me!
Recently, I had the opportunity to play around with a bold stripe again. This time using a bright pink stripe for Bobette’s living room.
I began by cutting out a couple of 6″ squares to re-familiarize myself with the process. I knew I could do it but it had been so long I couldn’t quite get my mind around how!
Let’s just say it’s a good thing Bobette had plenty of fabric.
My plan was to create two pillows using the “box” design shown above right.
Bobette requested the pink be the focal point for her pillows.
My First Mistake was making the pink my focal point when cutting out her pillows.
At this stage it made sense to begin by centering the pink stripe. I began by cutting a 20″ x 40″ long piece of fabric which I cut in half to create 2 @ 20″x20″ squares.
Using a yard stick, I drew a line diagonally from one corner to the other.
And repeated the process with the other corner.
Once I had my X in place…
I cut the pieces to form 4 triangles.
Do you see why this was my first mistake?
Remember my plan was to create the “box” design with a lot of pink. None of these pieces could be used to make that happen.
I could, however, use the 2 with the pink stripe to create the “cross” design.
This time I figured out the best way to cut the fabric to create a pink “box” design.
2 @ 20×20 squares.
Cut into 4 triangles.
If I haven’t confused you so far…
- You need 4 pink triangles to create 1 pink “box” pillow top.
- 2 pink pillows tops = 8 pink triangles
- 1 – 20×20 square gives you 2 usable triangles
- 4 – 20×20 squares gives you 8 usable triangles and 8 discards.
Above are 4 my discard triangles. Pretty but not what we wanted.
Trying not to waste any more fabric I went back to the original triangles I’d already cut out to use the pink stripe to create a pink cross for the pillows backs.
In the end I cut out 32 triangles but only used 16 of them.
Of course, if you’re not trying to use a particular section of your stripe there’s no need to waste any fabric at all.
After figuring out the correct pieces needed it’s time for the fun part!
Lay triangles right sides together and align as many of the stripes as possible.
Pin in place and stitch using a 1/2″ seam.
Once you have 2 sets of 2 triangles sewn together…
Align the stripes again, finger press seams open, pin in place and stitch.
Iron seams open.
This synthetic fabric did not like heat so I used a remnant of curtain lining to protect the fabric as I ironed the seams open. I remember my Mom doing this using an old white handkerchief.
One Pink “Box” Pillow Top!
MATH NOTE: The original 20″ square, cut into triangles and sewn back together gave me a 19″ pillow top for a finished pillow size of 18″x18″.
In real life the pillow top ended up slightly less than 19″ (as you can see above) but on paper it was supposed to be 19″. Which can only lead one to suppose there was a seamstress error. I’m rejecting this theory even though don’t have a better one to offer. 🙂
The completed pillow feature the pink “box” design on the front.
And the pink “cross” design on the back. I added a 1″ flange with a tiny “butterfly” pleat at each corner to finish the pillows. I also included a brown zipper. You can just see a glimpse of it in the above photo.
Bobette also chose a bright floral which we used to make a 29″x15″ pillow with solid teal piping to complete the collection.
Even with my issues getting the patterns figured out these were still fun pillows to make and definitely worth trying again.
Fabric names & source unknown.