2016 is off to a promising start! I've already finished not one but two pillow covers. I used a 1950s palette of grey, coral and turquoise. The pieces were all die-cut using a Sizzix machine at my friend Lisa's studio. It only took an hour to cut the pieces - I'm confident that's quicker than rotary cutting by hand. Using a die-cutter also saved me the hassle of trimming half-square triangles, which I hate.
I made essentially a 20" mini quilt for each pillow top, then trimmed the top down to 19". The piping is made of 1.5" strips of bias-cut fabric, 6/32" cotton cording, and glue-basting. Glue-basting was the secret ingredient - it worked out soooo much better than machine-basting the piping with my zipper foot. I glue-basted the piping to the pillow top and machine-basted the whole thing with a zipper foot. I sewed the pillow front and back together using Clover WonderClips to hold everything in place, and a 1/2" seam allowance. I was dreading the assembly with a quilted and zippered back, but using the right tools (instead of a million pins) made all the difference.
The backs are Essex yarn dyed linen. I'm pretty proud of the way the zipper flap covers the zipper - this is my first zippered pillow back! The pillow covers fit 20" IKEA feather pillows beautifully. These were a breeze to make, especially the tumbler pillow. Piecing is so easy when all your pieces are the exact same size. Funny how that works. I'm already planning my next Sizzix project!