Friday, June 28, 2013

Stars and Stripes

Sew Easy Project for Patriotic Beginners and Kids

This began as one of those serendipitous moments. I was out on my back porch folding a load of freshly washed linens (which I love to do btw) and I happened to glance over at a shelf holding my fabric stash. That's when it happened! 

I saw this:

then I saw this:

Are you now thinking what I was thinking? 

I liken my experience to the old commercial for the Reese's Peanut Butter Cup (and I am probably dating myself here) where the lady holding a chocolate bar stumbles into the gentleman holding a jar of peanut butter. 
Then the couple exchanges accusatory words: "You got chocolate in my peanut butter".  "Well, you got peanut butter on my chocolate bar." Then they lock eyes, they have this magical second or two before the light bulbs go on and the Reese's Peanut Butter Cup is born.

I saw stars and I saw stripes and I had that same "aha" moment, though not nearly as corny! So I pulled out the fabric and whipped up a quick 4th of July project that anyone can do. I did this without a pattern, eyeballed the entire thing and ended up with a pillow approximately 14" x 10". 

If that size is fine with you, then your first step will be to cut (2) pieces of fabric and add 1/4" to 1/2" for seam allowance. For kids, it is sometimes easier for them to sew a wider seam allowance. Even easier, cut the fabric in a strip 28 1/2" wide (I did this) and that leaves only 3 sides to be stitched.

Then cut a piece from the blue fabric. Again I eyeballed it and cut a piece about 6 3/4".  I turned in the edges (to the wrong side--see above) on the right hand and bottom sides of the blue fabric as the piece will be stitched to the red fabric. The left side and top side of the blue fabric will be stitched into the seam allowance of the pillow.

Pin in place. 

Stitch the right side....

next...the bottom. Be sure to stitch very close to the edge.

Press with an iron. Here you can see that I used one long piece of red fabric. This makes stitching a breeze--great for kids or first timers! I then folded in half...

You can pin sides together before sewing.

I stitched around the 3 sides and left about a 3" opening so I could stuff it.

Turned it right-side out....

Pressed it with an iron....

Added stuffing...

I like my pillows stuffed very full....

Pin the opening and whipstitch it closed. Your star spangled banner is now complete. easy start to your 4th of July decorating. Great rainy day  project for the kids.  It is just pouring here!

Place it in a spot that needs some holiday color. (I have not whipstitched my opening closed yet as you can see if you look closely)

I have plenty of red ticking fabric left (I got this good sized remnant on clearance at Joanne's) so I have some other 4th of July ideas I hope to create and post, time permitting! 
Please scroll down to view update to this post: a larger pillow top that coordinates with the pillow above!

"You're a grand old flag....."

Linking this post to:

The Charm of Home's Home Sweet Home #125 CLICK HERE

The Tablescaper's Seasonal Sunday Party CLICK HERE for some more 4th of July inspiration!

More link-ups after the update below!


I have been working on another pillow top to coordinate with the American Flag pillow I made this morning. This one is pieced and much larger.

Not sure what I will back this pillow with....just completed the top 
for now! Hooray for the red, white and blue....

sew many ways
2014 Link ups:
The Checkered Apple's Patriotic Link Party. Click HERE to visit or to link up your patriotic creations!


  1. It really did turn out cute. I see so many projects using ticking fabric. I need to see if I can find some. And the flag can be used all during the year...Americana things are always in style! Enjoy your afternoon my friend!

  2. Cute and super easy! Very cool. Saying hey from the Aloha Friday hop!


  3. I just found your blog at the Aloha Blog hop. I never would've thought to sew the fabric on top like that! This pillow is perfect for the 4th! :)

    I'd love it if you visited my blog, but the only thing sewing-related is this quilt that I made for my husband, haha.

    1. THANKS! I did visit and I love it! I will be back! Linda

  4. Replies
    1. Thanks Anne! So nice of you to drop by!

  5. Love your pillow. Such inspiration. if I ever get my sewing machine working again, i might have some projects. Happy 4th....

    1. Happy 4th to you too Linda! Thanks for checking out my pillow post!

  6. Cute pillows! And perfect any time of the year. Visiting from Seasonal Sundays.

  7. Thanks Babs for checking them out! Yes, I will probably use them year-round...

  8. Very simple and perfect for the week. I should get busy and make something patriotic!

  9. Great idea for a pillow! Thank you for joining Home Sweet Home!

  10. Hi Linda,
    Don't you love it when things just come together? Thanks for sharing your wonderful pillows at my Patriotic Link Party! They look great together!

  11. I really like both of your pillows! I knew exactly what the commercial was that you were describing, so I guess we are of the same age! Thanks for visiting my blog post, too, by the way. It is great to "meet" you.

  12. I <3 your patriotic pillow! I used the same stripe fabric for my flag. I found your link at the patriotic party:) Pinned your pillow!

  13. Thanks Michelle! Nice of you to drop by and I appreciate your kind comment. I am anew follower of yours. Thanks for adding me! I will stop by to check you out!