Button Back Pillow Tutorial

I got these three pillows finished the other day.  They had been sitting around in various stages of quilting which I finished this week.  When I was sewing them up I decided to take some photos to illustrate my technique.  There are probably lots of ways to do this, but this is my favorite.  These are 16" pillows and the block pattern is from the book, Fat Quarters are Beautiful.  In the book the pillows are not quilted.  I wanted them quilted and wanted them bigger so I took the 12" block and added borders to make the whole top about 18".  I layered it with batting and muslin and quilted free hand.  After I did the quilting I trimmed the top down to 17" so I would have a 1/2" seam allowance.

To make the back, cut two pieces of backing fabric to 12" x 17".  Prepare both pieces of fabric this way: Fold under one 17" edge 1/2".

Then fold under again 2".  This is the part of the backing that overlaps and has the buttons/buttonholes.

Lay the pillow top down right side up and position the two backing pieces right side down on top to make sure the folded parts overlap properly. 

It should look like this.

Button Back Pillow Tutorial (8).JPG

Top stitch close to both edges of the fold on both pieces of backing. 

Now it's time to mark the places for the button holes. For mine I marked the center, then made marks every 3" out from that on both ends.  I did 5- 1 1/8" buttons total.

My sewing machine has an automatic buttonhole maker which is wonderful.  However, it only holds buttons up to 1" I found out after I'd bought the buttons.  Luckily, the 1" size worked fine for these slightly larger buttons.  Whether you have an automatic buttonhole maker or not, be sure to test your buttonhole on scrap fabric first.

To cut open your buttonholes, fold the fabric like this and make a tiny snip right in the middle of the buttonhole.

Then, unfold and insert the scissors this way and snip to just before the sewing on each end of the buttonhole.

Now, lay the top and backing pieces together just as you did above, making sure to have the backing piece with the buttonholes on the bottom of the overlap, and pin every couple of inches all the way around.  Rembember, this is a button back so you will sew all the way around and don't need to leave room for turning.

Using a 1/2" seam allowance, sew all the way around, clip the corners, turn and iron it out to be sure you have the edges are neat.  Sew on the buttons and you are done!

Button Back Pillows (4).JPG

This one is my favorite.

And here are the backs.