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Birdsong Pillow Tutorial from Mandy Munroe

Today we’re welcoming back Mandy Munroe to show you how to create an adorable pillow with our Bird Song collection! Whether you’re curled up with it reading your favorite book, or just looking for a new summery decoration, this pillow is sure to come in handy. Here are the instructions you’ll need to bring Bird Song’s vintage feel to life!

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You will need the following fabrics from Timeless Treasures’ Bird Song collection:

Bird-C3640-Ivory (background & envelope back): 1 yd
Bird-C3641-Pink: 1/8 yd
Heart-C3642-Pink: 1/8 yd
Fun-C8224-Kiss: 1/8 yd
Fun-C8224-Dill: 1/8 yd

Additional fabric for pillow lining:
Soho-White: 1 1/4yd

Rotary cutting equipment: cutter, quilting ruler, mat
Starch, pins, neutral thread, sharp pencil, large coin
Batting 22” square and two 14” x 20 ½”
Thread for quilting, walking foot
20” pillow form

Spray starch (or a starch alternative) onto the back of your fabrics before you cut to help stabilize the bias.

Although the pillow design looks like hearts, it is based on the “Card Trick” block. Mandy has repeated the hearts out into the border. There are two hearts in each of four fabrics on an Ivory background. There are a total of 25 blocks in the layout – 5 horizontal, 5 vertical.

Cut the large pieces first: Envelope Backs

Cut 2 pieces of Bird-C3640-Ivory, measuring 15 ½” x 20 ½” each (keep direction of print consistent for both pieces).
Cut 2 pieces of Soho-White, measuring 15″ x 20 ½” each. These will be used for the lining of the envelope back pieces.

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Quarter square triangles- Stack and cut 5 ¼” squares

One of each: Fun-C8224-Dill, Fun-C8224-Kiss, Heart-C3642-Pink

Two of each: Bird-C3642-Ivory and Bird-C3641-Pink (more than you need but allows for options as they’re directional; you can discard some pieces later).

Half square triangles- Stack and cut 4 7/8” squares

Four: Bird-C3640-Ivory

Two of each: Fun-C8224-Dill, Fun-C8224-Kiss, Bird-C3641-Pink, Heart-C3642-Pink

Background strips

Four strips of Bird-C3640-Ivory measuring 4 ½” x 8 ½” (Two horizontal and two vertical for directional fabric)

If you’d like to fussy cut the birds, cut eight 4 ½” squares instead.

Piecing the front

1. Make outer border half square triangles from the smaller 4 7/8” squares. Pair each of the two Dill squares with an Ivory background, right sides together. Make sure the directional birds are upright. Draw a pencil line diagonally across from corner to corner on both pairs – mark line from bottom left on one and from bottom right on the other.

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2. Sew ¼” from either side of the pencil line. Press to set the stitching, then cut on the pencil line to create two half-square triangles from each pair (four HST’s total).

Repeat for Heart-C3642-Pink (again paired with Ivory background fabric).

Lay out pieces so the background birds and hearts are facing in the same direction, then press the seams in opposite directions.

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3. Cut the remaining 4 7/8” squares diagonally into two large triangle pieces.

4. Cut each of the large 5 ¼” squares diagonally twice, into four pieces (as shown).

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5. Lay out the pieces as shown below, so that the Birdcages face in the same direction.

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6. Complete the layout with the Ivory background strips (or squares, if you decided to fussy-cut), also keeping the birds in the same direction as the rest of the layout.

7. Patchwork time! Follow the diagram above. Join the laid-out triangle pieces into nine square blocks. For each block (indicated by a black box in the photo above), start by sewing the smaller triangles together, press, and sew that unit to the larger triangle. (For the center block, sew the light and dark triangles together, then sew the two block halves together.) Press seams in opposite directions where possible to reduce bulk, and nest seams. Trim excess at corners and join into rows. Press the seams in one row to the left and the seams on the next row to the right. Nest seams, pin together, and join rows. Press and trim any threads.

Finishing the front

Layer your quilt sandwich with lining on bottom, then batting, then pieced front on top. Quilt as desired. Mandy hand-quilted in pink around the outside of the bold heart shapes in Perle thread. She then continued quilting inside or outside the other hearts, working outwards to the edges.

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Trim square.

Use a walking foot and turn your stitch length up slightly to baste around the outside 1/8” from edge.

Envelope Back

Make two more quilt sandwiches using the back envelope pieces (lining, batting, bird fabric). The birds should both run in the same direction as you lay them out for your envelope back. The inner long edges will be hemmed to create the envelope closure (see photos below).

To neaten the overlap edges, press the raw edge under (toward the wrong side of fabric) ½”on each piece. On the wrong side, place the batting and lining up to this raw edge. Fold over again to enclose the batting and lining edges. Pin.

Reset your stitch length and top stitch along this edge on both pieces.

Quilt if desired.

Pin raw outside edges together and machine baste all three layers.

Finishing

Place front right side up, then place the top and bottom backs (overlapping each other in the center) face down, lining up the raw edges with the pillow front’s raw edges. The finished edges of the top and bottom backs should overlap in the center third of the pillow. Pin outer edges together.

Mark rounded corners with a coin ¼” from edges.

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Stitch ¼” seam all the way around. Run an extra line of stitching all the way around in the seam allowance for extra strength. Trim corners and turn right side out, poking out corners.

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Enjoy your new Birdsong pillow!