Saturday, December 18, 2010

Tutorial: Argyle Pillow

I have a thing for argyle. I love love love it. Since I started quilting a year ago, I have wanted to do an argyle design, but I haven't found a pattern for it. I've seen plenty of square argyles, but never a diamond. I figured eventually I would create my own design and when I saw this one from Katie at From the Blue Chair I was totally inspired. I decided to do one for my daughter's new room and document it for a tutorial. 
Here's my completed pillow.
In hindsight I wish I had chosen a lighter brown, I feel like it dominates the pillow too much. Or, that I had just stitched those lines on like Katie did. But anyway, if you are interested in making your own, here's how I did it. I will warn, this is not a beginner project. Diamonds are a pain to line up your points!

You will need:
1/4 yard of your two colors (pink and green) or 1/2 yard of one color for a monochromatic argyle
1/2 yard of your white for the rest of the diamonds
1/2 yard of backing fabric
1/4 yard for the "sashing" (the brown- I'm calling it sashing for lack of a better term)
16 inch pillow
Spray starch - I'm not usually a big starch user, but it's helpful to starch all your fabrics with all the sharp points in this one.

Start by cutting your diamonds.

Cut two 3.5 strips for each color and four 3.5 strips for the white.

 Take one strip and line up the 45 degree line with the bottom. Cut off the portion on the left.
Slide the ruler over 3.5 inches (keeping the 45 degree mark lined up on the bottom) and cut on the right side of the ruler and you will have a 3.5 inch triangle.
It will look like this one above.

Lay out your diamonds when they are all cut. For a 16 inch pillow, you will need 18 colors and 20 white. I debated between this layout and the one I finally chose. (by the way, there are too many diamonds here. I couldn't figure out the math so I just made it too big and cut it down).

Once it is laid out, you will piece together the dimonds in rows in the direction indicated by my wonky arrow.

Draw a quarter inch line on the piece you are working on.

Line the quarter inch mark on the green piece so that it lines up with the edge of the piece beneath it. (Where the arrow is pointing). It should form a nice "V".
Once your rows are put together, you will need to join them. To line up your points, match the quarter inch line so it intersects with the color going in the opposite direction beneath it. In the photo above take a look at the left pin. You can see the green fabric underneath meeting the quarter inch line above to make a "V".
Once all your lines are sewing together you can cut your sashing at 3/4 of an inch.
 Measure the halfway mark for your diamond width and cut. This should be 1.5 inches. Then you can start attaching the sashing.

I've had to jump ahead a little in my photos to demonstrate the best way to line up your diamonds. I was this far in when I figured it out! Up until this point I had been eyeballing it and doing some seam ripping. What I learned was this: Attach the sashing to one side of the cut. Then line up the other side of the strip overtop of the new sashing so the sashing lines meet up (or the diamond tops and bottoms). You can see this above on the line where the arrow points.
Flip the row over where it stands.
Then shift it to the left over to the edge of the sashing where you will pin it without shifting it up or down.

Continue until you have both directions completed.
Trim to 17 x 17. At this point I debated adding fusible web for stability. This is totally your call. I chose not to add it.
Cut your backing fabric into two pieces. One should be 17x14 and the other 17x10.  On both pieces, take one of the 17 inch length sides and fold it in 1/2 inch and press. Fold in it another 1/2 inch and press again. This will keep the edges nice.
 Placing fabrics right side together, lay down the large piece first. Make sure the folded edge is face up and line up your edges.
Lay the second piece on top and pin everything carefully. Sew around with a 1/4 inch seam and back stitch over the folded section for stability. Finish your edges as you like. I found with so many layers of fabric I couldn't use my pinking shears. I don't have a serger so I zigzag stitched around the edge.
Place the cover on your pillow and you are done! Hope you like it.


Kati said...

So cute! I really like the strip you added. I thought about it, but it about drove me crazy when I tried to make it work. Yours turned out really cute. I like it with three colors. I might have to try three next time.

Tiffany said...

I love this!! Thanks for sharing - I am for sure making myself at least one! :D

Hector said...

Really pretty. I think that the dark brown makes a better statement. I hope your daughter enjoys the pillow.

Lee said...

Wow! I love Kati's original and this one is really super cute too. Love the color combination. Thanks for a great tutorial.

Elizabeth Dackson said...

Thank you for sharing!!! I loved Kati's pillow too, as did my husband. And I love the colors you used! I just adore this, I will definitely be making one of these after the holidays pass, now that I've got 4 pillow forms that will need new cuteness. :)

Rebecca Merry said...

I saw your pillow over at fabric tuesday and had to hop over to say WOW!! I've got a thing for argyle too and this is GORGEOUS!!

Emily said...

Awesome Argyle!! How clever of you to figure out how to make your own.

Quiltstory said...

Oh my goodness! That pillow is awesome! Looks time consuming! I want one! Thanks for linking to quiltstory!

Georgia said...

So cool! Thanks for sharing!

Susanne said...

Thanks so much for this tutorial!! I have a thing for argyle too!!

Anonymous said...

Wow, that's beautiful! I do not plan to attempt it...I'm intimidated, but I think it's amazingly beautiful!

Anonymous said...

This is really cute. I found your tutorial when I was at GenX quilters today. Thanks for sharing.

Jenny {Heavenly Blossoms} said...

wow...this is really good!

Judy said...

Found your tutorial through GXQ. I love argyle and this is definitely on my to-do list....I'm thinking of waiting to see what colors I get back from the Kona Your World swap and go from there! Thank you!

Mandie said...

Wow- this is gorgeous!!! I absolutely love argyle. I'd love to do this some day, but those points are very scary!


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