Below you will find my original Button Back Pillow Tutorial from my old blog, Knit One Quilt Too, first published on June 10, 2007. I am republishing today and adding the Tutorials link in the header. Check it out!
Well, here they are! I was lucky that I had a few pieces of Kokka and Echino cotton/linen blend prints in my stash. These are decorator weight fabrics that are a better choice for pillows that get lots of use.
Modern Button Back Pillow Tutorial
There are probably lots of ways to do this, but this is my favorite. These are 16" pillows and the block pattern is from the book, Fat Quarters are Beautiful. In the book the pillows are not quilted. I wanted them quilted and wanted them bigger so I took the 12" block and added borders to make the whole top about 18". I layered it with batting and muslin and quilted free hand. After I did the quilting I trimmed the top down to 17" so I would have a 1/2" seam allowance. Please excuse the photo quality here. These are older and taken before I knew what I know now!
My sewing machine has an automatic buttonhole maker which is wonderful. However, it only holds buttons up to 1" I found out after I'd bought the buttons. Luckily, the 1" size worked fine for these slightly larger buttons. Whether you have an automatic buttonhole maker or not, be sure to test your buttonhole on scrap fabric first.
Now, lay the top and backing pieces together just as you did above, making sure to have the backing piece with the buttonholes on the bottom of the overlap, and pin every couple of inches all the way around. Rembember, this is a button back so you will sew all the way around and don't need to leave room for turning.
|Finished||Quilted||2 Backs||2 Backs|
|Pillow Size||Pillow Top Size||Cutting Size||After Folding|
|14" Square||15" Square||11" x 15"||8.5" x 15"|
|16" Square||17" Square||12" x 17"||9.5" x 17"|
|18" Square||19" Square||13" x 19"||10.5" x 19"|
|20" Square||21" Square||14" x 21"||11.5" x 21"|
|12" x 16"||13" x 17"||10" x 17"||7.5" x 17"|
Notes: I like to cut my top and backs slightly larger than these dimensions so that I can cut them true to size after quilting the top and after adding the topstitching on the backs.
The buttons I like to use are flat and smooth. They are great for pillows because they will still feel fine if the pillow is used back side forward. They come from Hill Creek Designs. (Theresa's Hand Dyed Buttons).
PS: Here's a link to another button back pillow I made a couple of years ago.