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Popular in Decorating

Silk Pillow with Tassels

Nothing says sophistication quite like silk. This pillow features a center panel of colorful embroidered silk framed by a striped red silk flange. Well-chosen cording and a tassel at each corner echo the embroidery colors and give the pillow exquisite detail.

What you'll need:

3/4 yard of embroidered white silk

3/4 yard of striped red silk

2-3/8 yards of cording

Four 6-inch-long tassels

18-inch-square pillow form

Pencil or disappearing-ink fabric-marking pen

Quantities specified are for 52/54-inch-wide fabrics. All measurements include 1/2-inch seam allowances unless otherwise noted. Sew with right sides together unless otherwise stated.

Cut the fabrics:
To make the best use of your fabrics, cut the pieces in the order that follows:

From embroidered silk, cut:
One 19-inch square for pillow center

From striped silk, cut:
One 27x21-inch rectangle for pillow back
One 27x7-inch rectangle for pillow back
Four 4x24-inch strips for pillow flanges

1. With raw edges aligned, use a zipper foot to sew the cording to the right side of the embroidered silk square. To make a neat joint where the cording ends meet, unwind the ends and wrap them together before sewing them in place.

2. Pin a striped silk 4x24-inch strip to one edge of the embroidered silk square, matching the center points. Sew together, beginning and ending the seam 1/2 inch from the square corners as shown in Diagram 1. Allow excess striped fabric to extend beyond the edges. Repeat on remaining edges.

3. Overlap flange strips at each corner as shown in Diagram 2.

4. Align the edge of a right triangle with the raw edge of a top flange strip so the long edge of the triangle intersects the seam in the corner. With a pencil or disappearing-ink fabric-marking pen, draw along the edge of the triangle from the seam out to the raw edge. Place the bottom flange strip on top; repeat the marking process.

5. With the right sides of adjacent flange strips together, match the marked seam lines and pin as shown in Diagram 3.

6. Beginning with a backstitch at the inside corner, stitch exactly on the marked lines to the outside edges of the flange strips. Check the right side of the corner to see that it lies flat. Trim the excess fabric, leaving a 1/4-inch seam allowance. Press the seam open.

7. Repeat steps 4 to 6 with the remaining corners to complete the pillow front.

8. Sew the red striped silk 27x21-inch rectangle and the red striped 27x7-inch rectangle together along one long edge, leaving a 14-inch opening in the center, to make the pillow back.

9. Pin a tassel to each corner of the pillow front, positioning the tassel cords inside the raw edges.

10. Sew the pillow front and back together along the outside edges. Turn through the back opening; press the flanges. Use a zipper foot to sew close to the cording seam. Insert the pillow form through the back panel opening and hand-stitch the opening closed.


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