Make a Cozy Floor Pillow
I like sitting on the floor and my children do too, so this week's project is a floor pillow! They can be very expensive in stores. However, the most expensive item if you’re making it yourself is the filling. If you have a fabric stash and some cord, the rest will cost you close to nothing. Just reserve one afternoon of sewing me-time!
How to calculate your fabric needs
For a 22” circle, you need one 7 by 69 inch strip for the side panel, and 2 piping/cording strips of 1.5 inch by 69 inch each.
If you want to make a pillow in another dimension, decide the diameter first. To figure out the length, the side panel, and the piping strips, you need to calculate the circumference of the circle: the diameter of the circle x 3.14 (π).
How to cut a circle
1. Cut a square the size of the diameter of your pillow: 22 x 22 inch.
2. Fold your fabric in half twice in different directions, so that you’ve folded the fabric into 4 quarters.
3. Take a pen, a string, and a ruler. Tie the end of the string securely around your pen or pencil about an inch from the tip. You now have a homemade compass.
Place your pen vertically with the tip on the ruler. Mark the radius on your string. The radius is half your diameter, in this case 9 inches.
4. Place this marked point at the center of the square and use your compass to draw one quarter of a circle.
5. Once your quarter-circle is drawn, cut through all layers with scissors or your rotary cutter.
How to make piping for a pillow
Our quilting blogger Carole made a great tutorial about piping and cording, so click HERE and have a look if you want to make the piping yourself. Make sure you cut your fabric on the bias because you are working around curves. But, of course, you can also buy some ready made piping! Get 138 inch of piping.
How to add a zipper to the pillow
If you want a zipper in this project, I would suggest using a centered zipper. I explained how to do this in this tutorial. You will have to add the zipper insert in the bottom circle, or in the side panel.
If you want the zipper in the circle, you need to change one of the 2 circles: Draw half a circle on your double folded fabric and add seam allowance to the diameter. The 2 half-circles are the zipper casing pieces.
If you are inserting the zipper in the side panel, cut the strip shorter, about the length of the zipper, then draw and cut that piece wider by adding the seam allowance twice. Cut in half lengthwise. You have your 2 zipper casing pieces. After you add the zipper, you can attach the zipper piece to the side panel strip and continue.
How to add a handle to the pillow
The final handle will be 2 inches wide.
1. Cut a strip, 8 inches wide and the length of the width of the long fabric strip + 1 inch, so in my case, 7 inch + 1 inch = 8 x 8 inch.
2. Fold in half lengthwise, press.
3. Fold each half in towards the middle and press.
4. Close and topstitch along the edges. I used an edge joining foot for clean edge stitches
5. Pin the handle to the right side of the fabric strip that will be the side panel on your finished pillow– you’ll sew the handle into the pillow when you assemble the sides of the floor pillow. .
Assemble the different pillow parts and add the filling
To start, you need your side panel, the 2 circles, and the 2 long piping bands.
Take your piping and line the raw edges around the circle with the right side of the fabric facing up. Pin together and use a lot of pins.
Head to your sewing machine and sew the piping to the circle all the way around. Don’t attach the first inch of the strip yet– you want to be able to join the piping ends so that the edges don’t show.
Using a piping or beading foot enables you to stitch close to the piping in a controlled way.
These 2 presser feet come with the 32 Ultimate Presser Foot Set. The beading foot can be used with thicker cord than the piping foot, but you have to put your needle off-center to be able to use it to stitch next to the piping. If you use a very thick cord, too thick to fit under these feet, you can also use a zipper foot to stitch close to the cord.
When you’ve attached the piping band all around the circle, stop and follow the next steps to join the piping ends in a clean way.
1. Cut both piping ends at a 45° angle– the strip ends need to overlap 1 - 2 inches.
2. Rip open one end of the piping about 2 inches
3. Measure and cut off the cord so it matches
4. Fold in the fabric of the side you ripped open
5. Fold around the other end of the piping.
6. Pin down
7. Continue sewing
Do the same with the other circle and piping strip. The 2 circles should look identical.
Take the long fabric strip– your side panel. Fold one short end in ½ inch and press.
Line up the edges of the circle with the side panel, right sides facing, and pin around.
If you want a handle, it should be pinned to the side panel before this step so that it will be sewn in between the side panel and the circle. Sew all around.
At the end, where the 2 short side panel ends meet, put the 2 ends one over the other and sew until the one that will be seen at the right side is attached.
Pin the other circle to the side panel and follow the same steps.
Turn the project right side out through the opening between the strip ends.
Insert the filling. You may need a lot depending on how firm you want your pillow. Mine swallowed 1 kilo of synthetic filling plus the filling of 2 old pillows, and it could still use some more, I think.
Close the opening with an invisible hand stitch. Make this one a firm invisible stitch. It will get some pressure from the filling! I’m considering inserting a scratch band to close this opening better. It’s the weak point of my pillow. Does anyone have a better tip to close this opening?
When you are happy with the closure, you are all done!!