I’m excited to have creative contributor Christina from Sweet Potato Quilts here to share a pattern for a Quilted Body Pillow pattern perfect for stuffing with Fabric Scraps.
Are you looking for other ideas for using left over fabric scraps? I am Christina, the owner of Sweet Potato Quilts in Boise, Idaho. I am sharing with you how to make a fabric body pillow that you can fill with all your fabric scraps!
SWEET POTATO QUILTS
My mission for Sweet Potato Quilts is to:
- Show how quilting brings joy, fulfillment, and reflection.
- Experiment without fear of failure and/or judgment.
- Design unique and contemporary patterns.
- Give back to those in need.
FREE BODY PILLOW PATTERN
Get your FREE Body Pillow pattern, the Secret Starry Stash pattern, used to make my body pillow.
** CLICK HERE** to get your FREE QUILTED BODY PILLOW PATTERN
If you’re anything like me, you’ve accumulated enough fabric scraps to fit in a large storage bin, but there’s just never a good time to sort through it and make a scrappy quilt.
BODY PILLOW WITH FABRIC SCRAPS
I will guide you through making a beautiful, functional body pillow that doubles as scrap storage: The Secret Starry Stash. The finished pillow is 18″ x 54″, and its name comes from the two stars that appear from piecing together three blocks. Secret Starry Stash also refers to the fun and functional way in which we can ‘hide’ and stash our fabric scraps.
BODY PILLOW MATERIALS
- Quilting Fabric (yardage is provided in the downloadable pattern)
- Quilt Batting (amount is indicated in the pattern)
- (1) 20″ Vinyl Zipper
- Optional – if you don’t want to use scraps, I found a 20″ x 54″ pillow insert on Amazon. Though the case is 18″ wide, I found that this specific pillow was easy enough for me to squeeze into the cover. CLICK HERE
MAKING THE BODY PILLOW
Once you’ve cut the fabric as indicated in the free downloadable PDF, the pattern will guide you through making eight Half-Square Triangles (HSTs) at once, then four Flying Geese (FGs) at a time.
The trickiest steps in the pattern involve making eight Half Square Triangles (or HSTs – left) and four Flying Geese (or FGs – right)
Half-Square-Triangles, 8 at a Time
Your free pattern includes steps to make all of the HSTs you need for the design. Here is how you make them:
Pencil marks can be seen in black pen, and red thread was used to show the ¼″ seams.
1. Draw two diagonal lines on the wrong side of the Background Fabric square.
2. Place the Background Fabric square RST with its counterpart.
3. Sew a ¼” seam on both sides of each diagonal line.
4. Cut along the diagonal lines to create 4 units, then cut each of those units in half to create 8 HSTs.
5. Open and press the HSTs
6. HSTs should measure 3 ½” x 3 ½”.
Trimming the HSTs
This HST method will leave you with very little to trim, if not for the dog ears only.
To trim the HSTs down to 3 ½” x 3 ½”, align the bottom left corner of the HST with the red star while matching the diagonal seam with the 45-degree line of the ruler. The star is at the intersection created by the 3 ½” vertical and horizontal markings of the ruler. Trim any excess on the right and top sides of the ruler. Turn the HST 180 degrees and repeat the steps to trim the remaining two sides of the unit.
Making Flying Geese, 4 at a Time
Your free pattern also includes steps to make no-waste 4-at-a-time Flying Geese.
- Draw a diagonal line across 4 smaller fabric squares.
- Place two of the smaller squares RST with one bigger fabric square so that the diagonal lines overlap and match.
- Sew a ¼” seam on both sides of the diagonal line and cut along the line to separate the unit into two pieces.
- Open and press the smaller pieces away from the half-square units.
- Add one smaller square to each of the two new units and sew a ¼” seam on both sides of the diagonal lines.
- Cut along the lines and separate the units into four parts. Open and press.
Trimming the Flying Geese
I find it a little tricky to trim Flying Geese because there are more points that are needed to match with the ruler at once:
FG POINTING TO THE LEFT: Since the Flying Geese are going to be trimmed down to
6 ½” x 3 ½”, match the point of the triangle ¼” away from the vertical 3 ½” ruler mark. The acute corners of the triangle should also line up with the top corner and the 6 ½” mark. Trim at the right and top edges of the ruler.
FG POINTING TO THE RIGHT: Turn the Flying Geese around so that the triangle point is ¼” away from the edge of the ruler. Align the unit under the ruler with the 3 ½” and the 6 ½” ruler markings and trim at the right and top edges of the ruler.
PIECING THE BLOCKS
Once the HSTs and FGs are made, assembling the blocks will be a breeze. To help make sure the points of the Flying Geese match, I recommend keeping the FG’s on top whenever sewing them RST with another piece. This will make it easy to watch the ‘X Seam Cross’ of the FG line up with your ¼” seam.
Once the blocks are complete, there will be a total of three blocks to piece together in a row. The image below shows the three blocks in the row basted and quilted together, revealing the two ‘secret’ stars in the middle that form when the blocks are pieced together.
Putting the Body Pillow Together
To make your body pillow, baste and quilt the front of the pillow and the back of the pillow as desired, each with their own piece of batting and backing fabric. You might want to draw from your scraps or stash for the backing fabric, for they will end up facing the inside of the pillow. I used a flowery Riley Blake Designs print for the back of my pillow.
The back of my pillow, basted and quilted.
Trim away the excess batting and backing from the pillow top and align it with the back of the pillow to trim the back side down to the same size.
- With the zipper facing up, align the short edge of the pillow top RST with the top edge of the zipper with pins or clips, and sew with a ¼” seam. Press open.
- With the zipper and pillow top facing up, align the short edge of the backing fabric RST with the other edge of the zipper with pins or clips, and sew with a ¼” seam. Press open.
Left: Sewing the top of the pillow to the zipper. (Inside of the pillow is facing up)
Right: Sewing the bottom of the pillow to the zipper. (Again, inside of the pillow is facing up)]
This is my favorite step in making the pillowcase – align the top and bottom of the pillow RST, and clip them together along the perimeter. Leave the zipper half-way open and sew the pillow inside-out with a ¼” seam along the three non-zippered sizes of the unit.
Open the zipper all the way and reach in to grab the corners of the far end with both hands. Turn the pillow right-side out. Fill the pillow with your scraps and enjoy!
Finished Quilted Body Pillow
You now have a completed your quilted Body Pillow you can fill with fabric scraps! Now that your storage container is no longer needed for scraps, you have more room to acquire more quilty notions. It’s time to go to the store!
Thank you so much, Christina! I love how the tradition blocks made with the solids give this quilted body pillow a fresh, modern look. And it would be equally fun to see this made with prints. And also a great reminder that there are lots of ways to use up our scraps – especially the ones that no longer inspire us. Clean them out and put them to use in another way!
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