Link Up Your Work! Pleated Boxes Pillow Sew Along

Have you been following our Pleated Boxes Pillow Sew Along? I’ve seen several inspiring pillows pop up already, and today is the first day to link up your pillows for prizes! Let’s see what you can win:


Update: Five random winners will each take home a prize for linking up their finished pillow to this blog post by next Friday, March 23.

1 winner: A stack of Flea Market Fancy fat quarters from my pre-order!

1 winner: Make it Sew Modern book by Vanessa Christenson
1 winner: $20 store credit to Lindsay Sews on Etsy

Make it Sew Modern book cover Lindsay Sews on Etsy

1 winner: Glass Half Full PDF pattern
+ pattern of your choice from Create Hope Designs
1 winner: Aurifil Thread Sample Pack (5 spools total)

Glass Half Full - Quilt Pattern Aurifil Thread

The downloadable pattern will tell you all you need to know to make this pillow, but we’ve also been covering each step on the blog!

Even if you’ve added to the Flickr group, you must add your pillow here to the InLinkz tool so you can be eligible for prizes. Please link directly to your blog post about the pillow or your Flickr photo URL.

Enjoy the free pattern and have fun finishing up those pillows through March 23rd! We’ll see you back on the 24th to announce the winners!

Grab a button!

Craft Buds Pleated Boxes Pillow Sew Along

Is Your Quilt Block Barn Worthy?

Today marks the beginning of the Third Annual AccuQuilt Barn Quilt Contest. What is a barn quilt, you ask?

2011 Unveiling of "Sweet Rose" barn block  - photo by Chris Bristol of the Fremont Tribune

2011 Unveiling of "Sweet Rose" barn block - photo by Chris Bristol of the Fremont Tribune

Painting quilt designs on barns as art is a relatively new phenomenon that started in 2001 in Adams County, Ohio. In recent years, barn quilt trails have been plotted so visitors can hop from one stop to the next and see all of the patchwork-inspired art.

Accuquilt wants YOU to design a quilt block to be displayed larger than life on their headquarters, and will select one lucky winner to receive a $1,000 AccuQuilt Shopping Spree along with a trip for two to Omaha, NE, to visit AccuQuilt’s new headquarters for the public unveiling of the winning barn quilt design. In addition, the runner up will have a smaller version of their design displayed and will receive a $250 AccuQuilt Shopping Spree! (You could buy a GO! Baby and your choice of dies.)

2010 Accuquilt Barn Quilt Contest Winner

2010 Accuquilt Barn Quilt Contest Winner

You can enter starting today, March 16th through April 9th. That’s just over 3 weeks! The top one hundred quilt block designs will also be recognized with a $25 to Accuquilt store credit. Note: Submit block designs as digital art. You do not need to sew the actual block at this time.

I’m going to start thinking about my block. So, let the inspiration strike, and then GO! enter the contest.

AccuQuilt - Barn Quilt Design Contest - Enter Now!

Pleated Boxes Pillow: Envelope Pillow Back + Make Pillow Form

First things first. The winner of the Mend It Better book is comment #53 Sofia, who said, “A seam ripper. Who knows how many times I’ve used and it has saved my project. Great idea for a book I’m excited to see it.”

Congrats Sofia!

This will be our final instructional post of the Pleated Boxes Pillow Sew Along.

If you haven’t had time to start yours yet, don’t worry. We’ll be back on Friday with a chance to link up your pillow for prizes, and you have until March 23 to enter. That’s 12 more sewing days!

Today I’ll guide you through the steps to make a simple envelope pillow back, and a custom-size pillow form for your pillow. This method can be applied to any of your throw pillow projects, so let’s get started!

Make Envelope Pillow Back

1. From your remaining background fabric, cut two rectangles 14” x 14” for the sides of your envelope pillow back. You’ll see here that my squares are stacked.

On the edge of one square, press a half-inch fold with your iron. Then fold over again and press, sandwiching the rough edge inside the fold.

Repeat with one edge of other square.

2. With the folded edge facing up so you can follow along with your sewing machine foot, stitch on top of the fold, ¼” from the flap edge. Repeat with other square. If you stitch it too far away from this edge, your flap will splay open and won’t have the finished edge you are looking for.

This is what your finished seam will look like. I’m showing you the back side of the fabric, which will be tucked inside your pillow.

3. Place your pillow front on a flat surface, right side up.

On top, place one of your squares, right side down with raw edge aligned to raw edge of pillow front and folded edge across the third column of boxes. Since you want the smoothest finished edge to show, place that side so it is face down and touching your pillow front.

Place matching square right side down, raw edges aligned to the other side of the pillow front. Reminder: Everything currently visible will be tucked to the inside of your pillow cover after turning. All “right sides” should face to the inside of your stack.

4. Pin stack together and stitch ¼” around entire perimeter.

Here it is after stitching the perimeter.

5. Trim and finish edges with a wide zigzag foot, or clip with pinking shears to prevent fraying over time.

6. Turn pillow cover right side out and press.

Make Pillow Form

1. Lay your pressed pillow cover flat on top of folded, inexpensive muslin fabric. You could use muslin from the bolt, or something you have around, like an old sheet, pillow case, t-shirt, etc. Just make sure the print of your muslin fabric will not show through your pillow case.

Cut two rectangles of fabric 2” larger than pillow top on every side (two pieces of 18” x 22”).

2. Align muslin rectangles with right sides together. Stitch ¼” around perimeter, leaving a 4” gap for turning. Turn right side out and fill with 8 oz. to 10 oz. of polyester fiber filling, depending on desired thickness of pillow form. Try to keep fiber filling in one large piece, rather than separating into handfuls, as you push it uniformly into the pillow form. Leave end open until you have tested for fullness inside pillow cover.

3. Insert pillow form into pillow cover. Adjust filling, using your fingers to push into corners. Roll pillow form with hands to smooth out filling. Once you are satisfied with the shape, remove pillow form and stitch opening closed before inserting.

You may choose to machine stitch the pillow form on one end like I did here, or hand stitch so your thread is barely visible. Since this will be hidden inside the beautiful case, this is a step I don’t worry about looking too perfect.

And it’s that easy! Here are some in-progress beauties and the first finished pillow from our Flickr group! Gorgeous interpretations here.

Pleated Boxes Cushion

pleatedpillow sew along2 Close up on my crooked sewing


Photos: 1. Mary 2. Janelle 3. Bayeaston 4. QuiltingLodge

Craft Buds Pleated Boxes Pillow Sew Along

If you haven’t already, you may download your free PDF pattern here.


Pleated Boxes Pillow: How to Pleat

Welcome back to the Pleated Boxes Pillow Sew Along!

Today I am going to show you how to add those lovely pleats to the rows of your pillow front. It’s not as difficult as you might think. Let’s get started! Did you get your free PDF pattern?

Add Messy Pleating

1. Along each of the background fabric rows you just added, take a 5” section of the row and add 3 to 4 horizontal folds.

Hold in place and press.

Repeat with the next 5” section until you’ve pleated the whole row.

2. Pin gathers in place, at the patterned box intersections, so that the pleated rows are about 1” to 1.25” wide. You can measure the first one and approximate the rest.

3. Starting at the right-most patterned box intersection, stitch a vertical line from the top to bottom of the row, just between the box corners. Remove pin as you sew and use your fingers to carefully guide fabric through, retaining the pleats. Backstitch at both ends.

4. Without cutting your thread, release your presser foot and lift your pillow front so you can stitch the next vertical line. Again, stitch between the patterned box intersections and backstitch at both ends. When finished with the row (six vertical lines), trim threads. This will save you lots of starting and stopping!

5. Repeat process for other two rows. To keep the pleats on outer edges of pillow front from shifting, stitch across each row with 1/8” seam allowance from the edge, so stitching is not visible when pillow is assembled. (See below: Left pleated edge is stitched close, and right is still open.)

6. Trim threads. Your pleated pillow front should measure about 14” x 18”.

And that’s a wrap! There are some lovely pillow front popping up in the Flickr group, so pop on over if you are still wondering what fabrics to use. You still have two full weeks to get in on this sew along and enter to win prizes!

Craft Buds Pleated Boxes Pillow Sew Along


Book Review + Giveaway: Mend It Better

Mend it Better: Creative Patching, Darning, and Stitching by Kristin M. Roach is a new release from Storey Publishing that celebrates a well-worn piece of clothing and teaches the reader how to make it new again. In a society that flocks to the new and discards what is old, the advice in this book is simply refreshing.

Kristin got her start in mending pre-loved clothing for her blog Craft Leftovers. Although she wasn’t always in love with the craft of sewing, she learned from her grandmother to artfully wield a needle and thread.

Mend It Better book contents

The book covers techniques like patching, darning (fixing holes in knit fabric) and caring for clothing. You’ll also get a quick history lesson, to show you how sewing has progressed over the years – particularly mending clothes.

Mend It Better Buttons

Buttons, snaps and zippers are among the notions that Kristin breaks down in an approachable, meaningful way. Gorgeous photography of vintage notions throughout this book pairs perfectly with the author’s sage advice. You’ll learn how to confidently tackle a split seam, a sweater snag and a torn buttonhole without tossing the garment.

Mend It Better Repurposed Mending Bag

Project tutorials, such as The Repurposed Mending Bag, are paired with the techniques as they are discussed. The idea of having a dedicated bag for mending is not lost on me, and would save my husband’s buttonless shirts from an endless pile of to-dos on the floor.

Mend It Better Hemline

Kristin and 21 contributors show the reader how to make an old garment dance again. Have you ever tossed a skirt that no longer fits? This clever project shows how to let down a hem by adding a patchwork border. This clever detail completely “makes” the skirt in a way that makes it hard to imagine the garment without it.

Mend It Better Rickrack Skirt Updo

Another favorite project in the book is the Rickrack Skirt Updo, meant to cover up a random spattering of ink spots. There are plenty of “why didn’t I think of that?” moments in this book.

Mend it Better is a visual reference that you will love to have around to help guide your sewing efforts. Chances are that this book will teach you something new and you’ll be inspired to revisit your wardrobe and give that old ______ a second chance. And on a side note, this book is a padded hardcover – the only book of it’s kind that I’ve ever held – and it’s just fun to hold.


Would you like to win a copy this book? Storey Publishing is giving a copy to one lucky reader!

  1. Enter to win by leaving a comment about your must-have sewing notion or tool.
  2. For an extra entry, “Like” Storey Publishing on Facebook and leave a second comment.

Giveaway open to U.S. residents only, and we’ll choose a winner on Monday 3/12. Good luck!

Pleated Boxes Pillow: Join Rows

Did you check out Lesson One: Cut and Arrange Squares? You are welcome to join us at any time throughout the sew along, and I promise . . . you can do it!

Maybe you’ll use up your scraps to make a pillow that matches your favorite quilt, or work from a friend’s favorite colors and print to make a handmade gift. The sky is the limit!

We’ve loved seeing some of your fabric choices and patchwork squares come to life this weekend in the Craft Buds Flickr group.

Pleated Boxes Pillow Sew Along: Your Squares

Photos: 1. Janelle 2. Javadiva1 3. Bayeaston 4. Cheraldine73


And because it’s Monday, and you’ve got the whole week ahead of you, let’s focus on a short lesson today. It’s time to join together those rows! Cutting and stitching these rows should take you about 15 to 20 minutes, so it’s totally doable.

Join Together Rows

1. From the 18” edge of your fabric, cut three 3”x18” strips. Here’s the cutting diagram again. You should have already removed the 12 small squares from one end, so now you’ll cut the three strips below.

Cutting Diagram


2. Alternate background fabric strips with pieced rows. You’ll notice that my strips are a little longer than my pieced rows, but yours should line up just right.

Pin pieced rows to fabric strips, with the fabric’s right sides together.

Stitch together the pinned edges using a 1/4″ seam allowance. When you get to a patchwork box, make sure it lines up with the previous patchwork box, as shown in the photo below.

3. When all rows have been joined, press your pillow front and trim edges if needed.

Your patchwork block will measure approximately 18”x18”. Those solid rows you just added will be embellished with beautiful pleats in our next lesson!

And it’s that simple! Please join us again on Friday for an easy tutorial on adding the pleating to your pillow front. I can’t wait to share this part with you.

Share your fabric choices, in-progress pillows and finished sew along photos in our Flickr group. If you haven’t already, you may download your free PDF pattern here.

Craft Buds Pleated Boxes Pillow Sew Along


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