DIY Pennant Pillow

Hooray for Rain - Pennant Pillow

Earlier this Spring I made this pennant pillow as a birthday gift for my friend and former roommate Virginia, better known in Bloglandia as the Heartographer. Despite her other fancy names she will always be Ginnie to me. Ginnie loves personalized things, turquoise blue, and piping, and a pennant pillow seemed like a fun way to combine all three!

Just like Mandi, who posted a great pennant pillow tutorial over on A Beautiful Mess, I have long admired Christine Schmidt's pennant pillow collaboration with Schoolhouse Electric. (I will admit that I love pretty much anything sold by Schoolhouse Electric. Each time I'm out in the industrial part of NW Portland I am tempted to stop and ogle everything in their showroom!)

I will generally explain my process below with some photos, but stop a bit short of a full tutorial since there is already a great one out there. The first thing I did was make a triangle template for the pennant out of freezer paper. Have you used freezer paper before? It is one of my very favorite crafty tools. One side is lightly waxed, which is AMAZING because you can iron it on to fabric temporarily without damaging your fabric.  Most grocery stores sell it for a few dollars a roll.

Hooray for Rain - pillow template.jpg

I backed both triangle pieces of gray cotton with iron-on fusible interfacing to make the fabric a little weightier.

Then I used a scrap piece of freezer paper to draw out my letters. I drew on the non-waxed side so that I could iron the letters directly onto the turquoise felt.

Hooray for Rain - making letter template.jpg

Here they are, ironed on and ready to be cut out!

Hooray for Rain - letters on felt.jpg

I used matching embroidery thread to stitch the felt letters onto the pennant.

Hooray for Rain - felt letters

Next I made my piping. This was my first foray into piping. I relied on this great tutorial. The most important lessons I learned about making piping are:

  • Cut the fabric you will use to cover your piping cord on the bias so it bends nicely around corners.
  • The bias strips of fabric should be two times the width of your piping cord plus two times your desired seam allowance.
  • Giving yourself a seam allowance of at least 3/8" is handy for turning those corners.
  • You'll need to switch to a zipper foot or similar and move your needle as far over as it will go to make a tight seam for your piping.
Hooray for Rain - making piping

I sewed the piping on the front of the lettered side of the pillow, overlapping it where the ends met.

Hooray for Rain - piping sewn on.jpg

Then I pinned the right sides together and sewed around the perimeter, taking care to sew right on top of the stitching line from the piping. I left a gap on the bottom of the pennant to turn the pillow right side out.

Hooray for Rain - Right sides together

Another tip is that when you are sewing the piping on, it is okay to cut the end point of the pennant a bit short in order to nicely make the turn with the piping. If I hadn't done so, the long skinny point might not have turned nicely when I flipped the pennant right side out.

Hooray for Rain - unstuffed pillow.jpg

It's official! I've caught the pillow making bug. And piping adds such a nice luxe touch! I see many more handmade pillows in my future.

Hooray for Rain - finished pennant pillow