Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Quatrefoil Painted Pillows

In our master bedroom, we have a bench seat that has an ivory fabric-covered cushion. I've been looking for some pillows to give it a little pop of color, but haven't found anything that's exactly what I'm looking for and/or affordable. Then, I was looking on Pinterest one day when I came across this free downloadable quatrefoil template.

Inspiration struck. A friend of mine had recently stenciled and painted an IKEA rug to give it a more unique look, so I was definitely ready to do some crafting of my own. I downloaded the template, printed it and traced it onto some heavy cardstock for my tracing template, then cut it out. (DO NOT TRY TO TRACE PRINTER PAPER. Learn from my mistakes! The pattern kept getting more and more stretched out, and I couldn't fix it so I had to flip the canvas over and start again with my heavier template.)
Project supplies:
• Canvas fabric
• Acrylic paint
• Pencil (believe me, trace in pencil)
• Pillow forms (mine were 16")
• Small paintbrush
• Sewing machine
• Much patience

Start by cutting out your fabric squares to the right size for your pillow forms, making sure there's an extra inch or so of fabric on each side. Put on some good TV and trace until the fabric is quatrefoiled on all your fabric pieces. (I had a Friends marathon and a How I Met Your Mother marathon to choose from! My life is so hard.)

You should probably do this step first, but I didn't. Iron the wrinkles out of the canvas.

Using your small paintbrush — seriously, don't use a big one, it may make the work go faster but these lines are small and have specific angles, and it's easy to mess up with a big brush — paint your canvas. In the tutorial, the interior spaces got the paint job, but I wanted just a little pop of color, so I did the lines instead. I did one color for each pillow. Flip back and forth between Friends and HIMYM depending on which episode is better.

I had backing fabric for each pillow, about 20x20", and I cut each of those pieces in half so they could overlap and I could eventually get the pillow form in. (Seventh grade home ec, what upppp!) I pinned the edges about 1/2" for the backing pieces so they'd have a nice finished edge.

Stitcheroo'd those suckers.


Then I matched up the backing pieces with the front pieces and pinned them all around with the patterned sides facing each other. The backing pieces should overlap each other so you can't see the pillow form once it's stuffed inside.

That pattern on the backside is from when I screwed up drawing the template the first time.

I know I messed that part up, because I can't measure and can't do math, and therefore the pillowcase was a little baggier than it should be once everything was sewn together. A tutorial I read online said your stitches should be half an inch larger than the pillow form (so if your form is 16 inches, you should sew it an extra half inch larger on each side) and this confused the heck out of me.

Pin pin pin, sew around the four edges, trim the excess canvas, flip inside out and stuff those forms inside. Voila! A beautiful bench seat!

Do you ever utilize skillz you learned in middle school? Anyone else take home ec?


  1. Those turned out SUPER cute! I wish I'd taken home ec in middle school, but sadly it wasn't on option in my area. Wood shop was, so you'd think home ec would have been too, but no.

  2. Those pillows are really cute!! I took a home ec class in either 7th or 8th grade and I still have the bubblegum machine pillow that I sewed.

  3. Very cute - I'm impressed! I love the pattern!

  4. Those turned out great! I actually like your version better than the one on Pinterest!

    I took home ec too, but they only taught us how to sew a stuffed animal by hand. Luckily my mom taught me how to sew when I was in 6th grade!

  5. I am so impressed by this!! They totally look like designer pillows! I resent my lack of sewing skills. Should have taken Home Ec...

  6. Aw, thank you guys!
    @Morgan, I would have NO CLUE how to make a stuffed animal. The only things we learned to make were pillows and pajama pants.
    @Bri, that's so sweet! *blushes*

  7. Hmm, if the stitches were meant to be 1/2" bigger than your form, do they mean in total, so you'd stitch an extra 1/4" on each side?

    Home ec was never an option here. Although I did go to a private school, so I don't know what public schools offered.

  8. @Heather, I think that's probably where I messed up. I think it was supposed to be 1/4" on each side, but I did 1/2" on each side. I don't know. :(

  9. Oh my goodness - to say these would look perfect with the comforter set I'm lusting over would be a total understatement! Thanks so much for the tutorial!

  10. hello. might you have the downloadable template? thx

    1. You can find the template here: