I love tiny pillows while I’m lounging on the sofa. The smaller the better – that way I can stuff them under my feet, behind my back or under my neck.
Apart from their function, the mini pillows are also cute: I used the pretty birds pattern by Elizabeth Hartman. I love to make them without the background so that the pillows are in the shape of the animal 😍 How do you like them?
1. Cut fabric squares
Cut the different fabric squares according to the instructions. You can leave out the background patterns. For me, cutting and preparing always takes the longest time! I often loose concentration and cut out the wrong size or the wrong color 🤦🏼♀️
2. Trim edges
If you sew the birds without the background, you need to adjust some of the squares. Since the background turns some of the squares into triangles or smoothes the edges, you need to cut these edges to match the pattern. Here’s an example:
For the cockadoo, the front head needs to be trimmed: First, I check how large the background squares are, let’s say it’s 2x2in. Then I draw the 2in on the colorful piece and draw a diagonal between them (see photo). This diagonal line is going to be the new outer edge of the pattern piece. So no, I cut 1/4in away from the diagonal (for the seam allowance). That’s how I trim these edges down so that they turn into the bird shapes later on.
3. Sew birds together
Now sew the birds according to the instructions. I love the instructions by Elizabeth Hartman, they are always very clear and make sewing the pieces together easy.
4. Sew bird front to the backs
Once you’re done with the birds, make sure to give them one last good press. Then cut a piece of fabric large enough to cover the bird front. Instead of cutting the back piece, I always just sew the front onto a slightly larger back piece and then trim them back. It can be a bit more wasteful, but soo much faster. To reduce the waste, I trim the back panel down smoothly, so I can use the scraps. Next, pin the bird to the back panel, right sides facing each other.
5. Sew front and back pieces together
Sew with a 1/4in seam allowance around the edge of the front piece. Make sure to secure the threads at the ends and at the tips. Also: leave an opening to turn the bird inside out [uhh, not a good sentence if taken out of the sewing context 😂].
6. Trim seam allowance
Before you turn the pillow inside out, trim the seam allowances. Trim the corners back thoroughly, so that they turn out nice and pointy. For the inner corners, cut the seam allowance pointing towards the corner.
7. Turn inside out, add filling and finish
After trimming, turn the pillows inside out. Use a needle/scissors to get crisp finishes for the corners. It took me more time to make sure all the corners and tips came out well than actually sewing the birds 🙈 but I think it’s worth it.
The quilt-pillows are a cute present, by the way. I gave my aunt three dogs for the holidays last year – and she still loves them 🥰!
Have fun sewing!