I find everyday presents inspirations for projects. Hope you enjoy my ideas.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

"Hawaiian Quilt" Stencil Pillow

You can probably tell from the blog title we're back in Hawaii.  We were here for the tsunami...our house is pretty high so we were never in danger...but the island did sustain quite a bit of damage.  Of course, it pales in comparison to Japan...but the people who lost their homes here are suffering nonetheless.
We've had some milestones...Chris turned 60 on Thursday...and retired last Monday.  Wow...where's the time gone?..I don't feel THAT old!
Since we're here for a month I thought I'd work on some pillows for the living room.  All the furniture is white slipcoverd so it's easy to change things up a bit just by tossing around new pillows.  I've had Pierre Deux (Provencal fabric) pillows up til now (since the house was inspired by a couple of houses on St Barth's, a French protectorate) I thought that was only appropriate...but little bits of Hawaiiana keep creeping in so I thought a graphic version of the traditional Hawaiian quilt designs would be nice.  I got the idea from Martha Stewart Living...they have templates and great "how to" directions
You'll need, 
white fabric (2  15" squares per)
a sheet of freezer paper 15" square
fabric paint
foam brush
Cut your fabric squares and a piece of
freezer paper the size you want your finished pillow to be
Fold the freezer paper in half
Now fold it in half the other direction
And then fold opposite corners together to
form a triangle
Sketch your design along the folded edge 
(templates are available on marthastewartliving.com)
Carefully cut out the design
(if you were using fabric instead of freezer paper, you could use 
the cut out piece and stitch it to an existing pillow) ugh...
LOTS of work!
We're using the OUTSIDE piece...so carefully unfold it and
lay it out on your fabric piece
iron the freezer paper (shiny side down) to
the fabric...warm iron NO steam
Using a foam brush and fabric paint...daub on the paint until
the entire stencil has been filled in and the coverage
is fairly opaque...let dry

Carefully peel back the freezer paper...
Heat set the fabric paint as per mfg instructions
Now sew up a pillow using the second piece of fabric.
I always put in a hidden zipper in the bottom seam 
so I can "move" the pillow inserts from case to case



  1. Hi Laurie, The pillow turned out wonderful and it really pops against the white sofa.

  2. Wow! I love the pillows! And your directions make it seem like something a regular person like me could try! So as soon as school is over, I think I might try this!

    PS: I love, love, love, love the book you sent! Many thanks! :D

  3. I love the colors. so so pretty.


  4. Thank you for this. I designed a Hawaiian style pillow years ago and never made it (it is with tiger lilies, not a typical Hawiian subject).
    Now I might actually make it!
    Yours is lovely.

  5. The pillow looks fantastic against the white sofa and I love that you made the stencil out of inexpensive freezer paper instead of buying a ready-made one. I'll have to keep this idea in mind for later.

  6. Just wanted you to know that I added your cushion stencil idea to my 'inspiring ideas' page so I can remember it for future reference. Thanks for posting about it.