Project Spotlight: ZipPillows
by Janie a Professional TinLizzie18 User
There is nothing more exciting than starting a new project. Here’s one that is fun and easy to accomplish on a TinLizzie18 longarm machine. You will be making two 18″ pillows.
Load a 45″-square quilt sandwich onto your longarm frame. Choose two 18″ quilting designs for each pillow—one for the pillow front and one for the back. Quilt the designs, placing the front design above the back design and leaving 1 1/2″ between the quilted designs. Using chalk and a ruler, mark 18″ squares around the quilted designs.
Center an 18″–22″ nylon zipper, right side up, in the 1 1/2″ space between the quilted front and back designs for one pillow, placing the beginning of the zipper teeth at one corner of the chalked squares. Tack down the zipper tabs at the beginning of the zipper. Open the zipper and twist one side to align the teeth with the chalk line on one side as shown in Photo 1. With one hand holding the zipper and the other hand guiding the machine, sew the zipper down using the chalk line as a reference to keep it straight. Stop stitching just over the chalk line. (If you prefer, use pins to hold the zipper in place, removing each pin as you approach it with the machine.) The zipper teeth serve as a guide for the foot allowing it to glide with ease along the zipper. Stitch down the second side of the zipper in the same way. Photo 2 shows the tail of the zipper with both sides stitched down. If you have a zipper longer than 18″, do not worry about the excess at the end as it will be buried inside the pillow. Zip the zipper almost to the top, leaving an opening large enough to put your finger through. Repeat to stitch a zipper between the second set of quilted designs.
Stitch around the pillow front designs on the marked chalk lines, stitching over the zipper ends twice. Cut 1/2″–1″ outside the chalk lines along the top edges and down the outside edges of the two pillow fronts. Roll the fabric so that the pillow backs are between the rails. Referring to Photo 3, fold the pillow fronts down over the pillow backs, matching the design areas as much as possible. The zippers will be inside the folded edge at the top of your machine. Pin the layers to hold together. Stitch around all four sides of each square directly on the previous stitching lines, again double stitching the ends of the zipper for reinforcement.
Remove the pillow covers from the machine and cut apart. Trim the seam allowance to 1/4″. Using a sharp, pointed pair of scissors, make a small hole just to the inside of the reinforced stitching at one end of the zipper fold. Cut along the length of the zipper as shown in Photo 4. Open the zipper and turn the pillow covers right side out. Stuff with fiberfill or insert an 18″ pillow form to finish.