Herringbone Quilted Body Pillow

Categories: Bedding, Decor, Quilts, Pillow

This Herringbone Quilted Body Pillow is a great stash and scrap buster project. I used the new 16″ x 38″ Crafter’s Choice basic pillow form, Smooth Fusible Fleece Interfacing, and 31 fabrics to create this pillow. Body or bench pillows are a great size for lounging on the floor, couch, bed, or window seat. For my color palette, I chose black, white, grey, and silver fabrics in geometric inspired prints, which match my artsy decor. You can use any combination of prints and colors you desire. I attached my strips to each other and the Smooth Fusible Fleece Interfacing, using a quilt as you go technique, for the herringbone design. I didn’t do additional quilting, but you definitely can.

What you need to make this project

16" x 38" Crafter's Choice basic pillow form
Smooth fusible fleece interfacing
1/8 Yard pieces of several coordinating cotton prints
1.5 Yards solid black denim
Black thread
Clear quilting ruler
Black pen
Fabric scissors
Ironing board
Sewing machine
Hand sewing needle

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Smooth Fusible Fleece Interfacing 44.5″ Wide X 6 Yard Roll

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Step One

The fabrics for this project must have matching or coordinating colors. For mine, I choose geometric inspired prints in black, grey, white, and silver. I used 31 fabrics. You can use less, but I recommend at least nine. An odd number is good. You won’t need much of each, so feel free to get 1/8 yard cuts at a fabric store.

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Step Two

I cut four 1.5″ by 14″ strips of each fabric. I ended up only needing two of each, for a total of 62 strips. I used partial strips for the beginning and end, because my repeating pattern worked out exact.

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Step Three

Cut two pieces of Smooth Fusible Fleece interfacing 18″ by 40″. This is 2″ bigger than the pillow form, which allows the sides to have fancy edges later. Set one piece aside for the back. On the glue (rough) side of the front piece, with the pen and quilting ruler, divide the piece in half. Draw diagonal lines, 1″ apart from each other. These are guidelines for sewing the strips. They diagonals should intersect at a right angle. I staggered my lines, but that wasn’t helpful later. Only draw a few lines at the beginning. You won’t need them after a few rows.

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Step Four

Starting is tricky. Set the iron to cotton and dry. Lay a strip covering the small triangle. Iron carefully in place. Cut back the excess fabric, and set the excess aside. Lay another strip along the right side of the 1st strip, right sides facing, matching up the bottom edges. At the sewing machine, straight stitch in place 1/4″ from the edge. Fold the 2nd strip back. Iron in place. Along left side, lay a 3rd strip right sides facing, lining up the edges. Straight stitch in place, 1/4″ from the edge. Fold the 3rd strip back and iron in place. Repeat for a 4th strip, along the right side.

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Step Five

Continue sewing and fusible ironing on new strips, until you get to the end. Try hard to keep the point pattern centered, or you’ll end up with a wonky pillow like mine. Still looks good though! For the end, those leftover bits of the beginning strips came in handy to fill in the bottom corners. Set the pillow top aside when you’re done creating it.

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Step Six

Onto the back. Iron the 2nd Smooth fusible fleece interfacing onto the black denim. Since denim is thicker than quilting cotton, fusing might take a little more time. Make sure the fleece and denim are completely fused. Trim away any excess denim.

At the sewing machine, extend the stitch length for topstitching. Quilt the black denim and fleece together using a basic design. Remember this is the pillow back, so basic is good. I chose to do a concentric rectangle design.

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Step Seven

Line up the pillow back and front, right sides facing. Straight pin in place, to prevent wonky sides. At the sewing machine, straight stitch around one long, one short, and one long side, 1/2″ from the sides. The leaves the 2nd short side open. Trim back the sewn sides to about 1/4″. Clip the two sewn corners back at an angle.

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Step Eight

Turn the pillow cover inside out, shaping the corners. Flat out the pillow cover, so the edges are straight. Iron if desired. At the sewing machine, top stitch around the sewn edges, starting and ending about 2″ down from the open edge.

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Step Nine

Insert the pillow form into the pillow case. I found shaking the case up and down was the easiest way. Once the form is inside the case, smush down the form a few inches below the case opening. This makes finishing easier. The finished pillow will fill out later.

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Step Ten

Fold in the opening edges 1/2″ and straight pin in place. Thread a hand sewing needle with black thread. Match up the ends and double knot them together. Using a blind hem stitch, sew the opening closed. When the stitching is complete, knot off the thread. Insert the needle along the hand stitched seam about 4″, and pull up. Cut the thread tail. This hides the tail and knot, making the closure more secure.

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Step Eleven

Back at the sewing machine, finish the edge topstitching. This is a big tricky, but you’ll be glad you shoved the pillow form down into the case. When you are finished topstitching, give your pillow a big hug. This will shift the pillow form, filling out the pillow case. Also, you deserve something to hug after making this pillow.