Now this is a great project for kids. It teaches cutting, the hand sewn blanket stitch and stuffing. What fun!
When summer, holidays, even weekends are on their way, this might be a project to print out and save in a file for those days when boredom takes over. We did ours in solid colors, but fleece comes in all sorts of sports, princess, and animal prints for those with special interests. Instead of two small pillows, you could make one big one to use on the floor while watching TV, playing games or reading!
- Fleece fabric
- Coordinating embroidery floss
- Embroidery needle
- Cutting mat (optional)
- Cutting guide (helpful)
- Fiberfil stuffing
1. Determine the size pillow you would like to make. We made ours 18” square. A nice size for a floor pillow is 30” square.
2. Square up your fabric by lining the cutting guide up to one edge, draw a line and cut. Repeat around the four sides of the pillow, lining up the grid marks so you are cutting 90 degree corners and sides that are perpendicular. (Here’s an opportunity to talk about two math terms and how they apply to daily life!! Throw in the term parallel while you’re at it!)
3. Cut two pieces exactly the same size and place them together, lining up the edges, with the wrong sides of the fleece facing each other.
4. Pin the front and back of the pillow together using the rule of a three finger space between pins.
Remember to leave an opening along one side of the pillow so you have enough room to add the stuffing.
5. Now it’s time to start sewing the edges together with the blanket stitch. Start out by cutting a length of embroidery floss and dividing it into two pieces of three threads each. Thread three together into the eye of the needle and make a knot at one end.
To make the blanket stitch, insert the needle between the layers to the front of the pillow.
Insert the needle through both layers of the pillow, about ¼ inches to the left of where the needle came out.
Bring the needle around and through the loop created by the thread on the front of the pillow.
Move down another ¼” and push the needle through both layers again.
Bring the needle around and through the loop created and then tighten this stitch down a bit. This is your first real stitch.
The thread should be flat against the top edge and then there should be two perpendicular threads ¼” apart and approximately ¼” down from the edge.
The first angled stitch will be fixed when you finish sewing all the way around the pillow!
6. Corners require a little special treatment. Do your best to make the last stitch before the corner about ¼” from the end. This will help your corner stitch to look squarer. Then, instead of moving down ¼”, simply insert the needle back into the last hole.
When you pull the needle and thread through the loop created, make sure it lines up nicely with the point of the corner. That’s how to create the angled thread. It might slip a bit but just keep adjusting it. Then, go back into the same hole again to turn the corner.
Once you pull the needle and thread through the loop, you will have turned the corner successfully. Now just keep on stitchin’!
7. At some point you will run out of thread. Just knot the thread immediately after you bring the thread through a loop as you see here. Cut the tread off about an inch from the knot. (This will be tucked into the pillow.)
Rethread the needle with three strands of embroidery floss and knot the end. Start the new piece by pushing the needle through the knot you made in the last piece.
Tuck the tails of the thread between the layers of fleece and push the needle through both layers ¼” to the left of the last hole.
And away you go! Keep stitching until you come to the opening in the last side of the pillow. When I got to the opening, I had enough thread left to finish the opening so I knotted the thread so it wouldn’t slip and started stuffing.
8. Push the stuffing into the pillow by the handful. I always stuff the corners first so that I know I have them taken care of. After that, add the stuffing bit by bit and do some pressing and adjusting to keep the pillow as smooth as possible on the outside.
9. Once the pillow is stuffed to the brim, pin the opening closed and finish the stitching. The last stitch will go right into the very first hole you made, bring the needle through the loop you just made and the angled stitch from the beginning and made your knot. Tuck the tail into the layers and you’re done!
If you’d like to see this project in action, check out the video. It might make the blanket stitch a bit clearer to make if you see it as it is being sewn. Remember, projects like this are all about having fun. Invite some of your friends over for a pillow party and help each other along as you create floor pillows! Culminate the party with a sleepover or movie night that will make memories for everyone involved!