Foot of the Month: Grateful & Blessed Pillows

Finished pillows measure approximately 22-inches wide X 12-inches long. Back of Pillow Creating custom pillows with clever lettering and beautiful fabric combinations is easy with a Brother Sewing machine
and a Brother electronic cutting machine.
We’re featuring the Open Toe foot this month as it’s ideal for neatly attaching the letters as appliqués. This foot gives you great visibility as you stitch around each letter. Copy our lettering or create your own custom message to add to a pillow front. Are you ready? Let’s go sew!

Materials and Supplies:

  • Brother
    Sewing Machine. Note: any machine with zigzag stitch capability will work for this project. Featured machine is Brother Model NS1750D.
  • SA147
    or SA146
    Brother Open Toe Foot
  • Extension table, optional but recommended.
  • Basic sewing notions including thread to match or blend with fabrics.
  • Brother Electronic Cutting Machine
    with standard mat for creating and cutting lettering for appliqués.
    Brother Iron-on Fabric Contact Sheet for creating fusible appliqués.
  • Two 12” X 22” pillow forms, one for each pillow.

Materials needed for each pillow:

Fabric #1: Solid color duck cloth or firm, smooth fabric for pillow front and back:
  • Cut one rectangle measuring 23-inches wide X 13-inches long for pillow front.
  • Cut two rectangles measuring 15-inches wide X 13-inches long for pillow back.
Fabric #2: Printed quilt weight cotton for appliqué and contrast trim:
  • Cut two strips measuring 3 ½-inches long X 23-inches wide for trimming top and bottom edge of pillow front.
  • Cut two strips measuring 3 ½-inches long X 13-inches wide for trimming side edges of pillow front.
  • Cut one piece measuring 12-inches square for creating appliqué letters.
Note: Follow instructions below to construct each pillow in the same manner.

Instructions for Creating Pillows

1. Attach iron-on product to wrong side of 12-inch square printed fabric piece, taking care to follow directions on the CASTBL1
package. Select the basic block style lettering. Program lettering for cutting with the Brother cutting machine. By using a maximum of 2.74-inches for the height of each letter you can fit the letters on one 12-inch square of fabric and cut all letters in one simple step. See examples in Figure #1a and Figure #1b. [caption id="attachment_21591" align="aligncenter" width="380"] Figure #1a[/caption] [caption id="attachment_21592" align="aligncenter" width="665"] Figure #1b[/caption]
Note: The list of fonts may vary from machine to machine. Follow your cutting machine manual to cut appliqué letters from fabric.
2. Arrange letters in the center of each plain pillow piece. Fuse according to directions included with iron-on product. See Figure #2a and #2b. [caption id="attachment_21593" align="aligncenter" width="800"] Figure #2a[/caption] [caption id="attachment_21594" align="aligncenter" width="800"] Figure #2b[/caption] 3. Set up machine for sewing with the open toe foot. Select a medium zigzag stitch to use for stitching around lettering. See settings below: 4. It’s wise to test your stitching on scraps of pillow and appliqué fabric before sewing your actual pillow. You’ll want to guide the foot around each appliqué so that the right-hand swing of the zigzag stitch falls just off the raw edge of the fabric and the left-hand swing fully catches the fabric. Tips: Use the needle down option on your machine if available. When stitching outside curves, pivot fabric with needle piercing outer edge of appliqué. When stitching inside curves, make sure you pivot fabric with needle piercing inner edge of appliqué. See example of outside and inside curves in Figure #3 and Figure #4. Stitching Outside the Curves [caption id="attachment_21595" align="aligncenter" width="800"] Figure #3[/caption] Stitching Inside the Curves [caption id="attachment_21596" align="aligncenter" width="800"] Figure #4[/caption] Turn corners with the needle outside as well, overlapping the stitches by a small amount. See example below: 5. Change to regular presser foot. Prepare to sew printed strips to pillow top. Beginning with a long piece, pin strip 2 ½-inches from the raw edge. See Figure #5. [caption id="attachment_21597" align="aligncenter" width="800"] Figure #5[/caption] Sew strip using a ½-inch seam allowance. See Figure #6. [caption id="attachment_21598" align="aligncenter" width="800"] Figure #6[/caption] Repeat for bottom strip. Press both strips to meet the edge of the pillow front. Sew and press side strips in the same manner. See example in Figure #7. [caption id="attachment_21599" align="aligncenter" width="800"] Figure #7[/caption] 6. Prepare back pieces for overlap closure by clean finishing two short edges with an overcast stitch. Next, turn, press, and sew a 1-inch hem along each overcast edge. Place back pieces over finished front, overlapping at the center back, and making sure all raw edges are even. See Figure #8. [caption id="attachment_21600" align="aligncenter" width="800"] Figure #8[/caption] 7. Stitch around the pillow using a ½-inch seam. See Figure #9. [caption id="attachment_21601" align="aligncenter" width="800"] Figure #9[/caption]
Tip: When sewing the four corners, round them slightly for a neat finish.
You are finished! Enjoy!