Robbing Peter to Pay Paul Pillow Cover Tutorial

Amy Friendcurved piecing, pillow cover, robbing peter to pay paul, sew me a song, Sizzix, tutorial27 Comments

I am happy to report that my sewing machine is realigned, repaired and back at home with me.  Because of that, I was able to finish this pillow for my mom. I thought I would share a little tutorial today in case you’d like to give it a try.  My pillow cover is 18″ finished and I used a selection of prints, primarily Penelope and Linen Texture from Sew Me a Song, along with Ivory Essex Linen and Basic Grey Grunge Vanilla from Marmalade Fabrics. I also used the Sizzix Robbing Peter to Pay Paul 4 1/2″ die.

I started out by cutting my blue and white Penelope print into 5″ squares and placing them over the large section of the die.  I then cut smaller strips out of my off whites and placed them over the die to cut the smaller edge pieces.  Remember, you need to cut 4 small pieces for each of the one larger pieces.

I know that some people prefer to sew these curves without any pins. I like to use a couple.  By all means, do what works for you. I will show you what worked for me.  I placed the smaller curved section on top of the large piece, right sides together.  I put one pin in the center at the notch.  

I carefully lined up the edges, tip to tip and lowered my needle.  Note that I am using a 1/4″ presser foot with an edge guide. This is very necessary for sewing these blocks.  I then stitched along slowly, adjusting the fabric as I went until I came to the pin at the center.  I always set my machine to needle down when sewing curves too.
After removing the center pin, I moved it to hold the bottom tips in place and continued sewing.

I then ironed my seam allowance toward the outside of the block.

You can see that best here, from the back.
Following the same procedure, I sewed the bottom curve and then the side curve and then the top.

Here is my completed block.  To make this pillow, I needed 16 of these blocks assembled in rows of four.

When sewing the blocks together, you need to try to match those center curves as best you can.  If you were really careful sewing all your curves earlier, they will match fairly easily.

I then added borders using the Sizzix 2 1/2″ strip cutter die.  I created my quilt sandwich, basted and quilted.  When the quilting was done, I squared up the pillow cover and trimmed it down to 18 1/2″.

I have been practicing my free motion quilting, totally inspired by Angela Walter’s book.  I decided to quilt heavily in the wedges so that the centers would pop a bit more since my pillow is low contrast.

I finished up as I normally do with an invisible zipper closure from Zipit, this time in beige which blends nicely with the Linen Texture I used for the backing.

And here is the pillow in it’s intended spot, my mom’s kitchen bench beside her wood stove.  The blue and white spiderweb quilt is something I made her for Christmas a few years ago.