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Gathered Pillow variation

I made some pillows to ship away to a friend, to match her little girl’s blue and green themed room.
 The pillows are in the mail and I hope this doesn’t ruin the surprise (Hi Erin!) but I just had to share the fun variation.  
What a fun little group of cozy pillows.  
Perfect for that added pop of color.
The apple pillows are the same as the tie pillows found here.
The gathered green and blue pillows are a variation of the gathered pillows found here.

I like the added texture those gathers in the middle gave to the whole pillow.
I did change the gathered pillows a little bit from the tutorial here.  These pillows I found were 18 x 18 inches and so I cut a piece of fabric for the front piece that was 19 x 38 inches and a back piece that was 19 x 19 inches.  I didn’t make it into a slip cover either…..I just sewed the two pillow pieces together (after I gathered the front piece) with right sides together, left one edge mostly open, clipped the corners, turned right side out, slid the pillow in and then hand-stitched the opening closed.
The other thing I did a little differently was that I used elastic thread and used the smocking technique like I teach in the Lily skirt pattern or the Maddy Dress pattern.  Both are found in my shop here. (The technique is explained in a lot of detail in the patterns, and gives troubleshooting tips that help if you get stuck.)
However, you can use the same basting-stitch and gather technique, just like the link to my gathered pillow tutorial above.  
And with both technique’s, make 9 rows in the center of the front pillow piece that go the long length of the material and are 1/4 inch apart.  Then make one basting stitch along both outer edges, 1/2 an inch from each edge.  (Don’t use the elastic thread on the outer edge seam, it won’t shrink enough as one lonely little stitch to gather in enough.)   Use the basting technique like shown in the above gathered pillow link or this gathering tutorial here.  Pull on your thread ends and gather/shrink down the pillow until it is the same size as your back piece.  Then you’re ready to sew them together as explained above.
**Also, before placing your pillow inside, you’ll want to steam the gathers flat a little bit.  They just tend to lay a little better after holding the steaming iron over top and applying light pressure.
But the whole technique turned into a lot of fun.
And I’m kind of crazy about those seams and gathers.
So give it a try. 
Especially if you just want to try something a little different.
And I hope you girls enjoy their new pillows Erin.
Ashley Johnston
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Ashley Johnston

Owner at Make It & Love It
Ashley Johnston is a professional DIY costume maker, sewist, crafter, and owner of Make It & Love It. She is a mom of 5 and a wife to a very patient (with my craft clutter) husband. In case you’re wondering, she always chooses crafting/sewing/designing over mopping/dusting/wiping base boards……but bathrooms/laundry/full bellies are always attended to. Whew!
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  1. @pril says:

    These are great looking pillows. Thanks for sharing. I featured them on my blog:

    Feel free to grab my Featured Button if you like, if you don’t already have it.

  2. Angie says:

    I adore everything you do, but these pillows are absolutely darling!

  3. Bridgette says:

    I really love these cute pillows! They gathered style is my favorite :) I linked to this post from my blog today…

    Thanks for the inspiration!

  4. Hear Mum Roar says:

    I am a sucker for beautifully coloured fabric, and I love those gathered pillows!!

  5. Katlyn says:

    Love the gathered pillows.

  6. Nadine says:

    These are absolutely darling!!!

  7. Kimberly says:

    Those are just adorable!!

  8. Phiphi says:

    such a lovely pillows. I love the green one:)

  9. Liz says:

    Oh how I LOVE IT!!! I think I may have to start going pillow crazy around my house. The living room ones could use some new life.

  10. ificould says:

    Such cute pillows. Love the design and the material. Luck Erin!

  11. Sarah says:

    I LOVE IT! :)

  12. Luisa says:

    Love those apples and the gathered look.

  13. Lorie says:

    These are so fun! And I love the colors! I am posting about a few different pillow tutorials I have found around the web tomorrow and will be adding a link to these!

  14. I♥thesecrazykids says:

    They are so cute. Hope to get my hands on that apple fabric.

  15. Amy Leavell says:

    So cute! You're so creative!

  16. Jeff and Aubry says:

    Ashley, I seriously don't know how you do it. You are so creative and I am DYING to get into a house so I can totally start fresh and use all of your great ideas. I mean, I guess I could still do them in an apartment, but let's face it. I just really want a house. Hope you and your cute little fam are doing well. We miss the good ol' Rexburg days!
    Aubry Freckleton

  17. Amy Juhasz says:

    Oh my heaven, I am IN LOVE! I must make some of these for our livingroom!

  18. Ashley says:


    The fabric is: Robert Kaufman Metro Market Apple Aqua

    It is no longer in print but several places still sell it if you just google that name. Good luck!

  19. Jill says:

    I love them – thanks so much for sharing. Can you please tell us what the apple fabric is called? Thanks!

  20. Susan says:

    Love the smocking!!! I just finished a few dresses using the smocking technique and am in love. The smocking on the pillow is outstanding…Thanks for the inspiration

  21. hcrjfrandall says:

    So cute, thanks for sharing!

  22. Lucy says:

    love the fabric!

  23. Shana says:

    Oh I love these so much. Gorgeous.

  24. aicha says:

    These gathered pillows are absolutely beautiful! I wanna give it a try soon!

  25. Delia says:


  26. Heather says:

    Darling I love those pillows!

  27. Jackie says:

    Those are wonderful!!

  28. Crafty Batches says:

    SO cute! I love that apple fabric, I must have it!

  29. CourtneyKeb says:

    These are so SO cute! I want some!!!
    I neeeed some!

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Hi, I’m Ashley—the DIY-enthusiast behind this crazy blog!

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