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How to make a 9 block pillow.

Also check Lara the Lacemaker for information.

How to make a block pillow Get a piece of 1/4 " (.6 cm) plywood about 18" square (that's roughly 45 cm for you metric users) Get a piece of styrofoam that is (yup you guessed it) the same size. It should be about 2-3 inches (4-7 cm) thick. I found my styrofoam at the local craft store chain (Michael's, AC Moore...) Cut the styrofoam in 5 parts like this: For those of you having trouble with my ansi art, you cut the styrofoam in 6 inch by 18 inch rectangles (15.24 cm x 45.72 cm). Then you cut one of the rectangles in three pieces each 15.24cm sqaure (6 inches, it's about their turn to be used first don't you think?) Glue two of the rectangles even with the two outsides of the plywood. I was advised to use at least two of the other pieces as a measuring aid of how far apart to put the two edge pieces. CAREFUL NOT TO GLUE THE CENTER PIECES. Let the glue dry overnight. Gently round the long outside corners of the styrofoam. Now the view from the bottom edge will look like this:

Glue a 45 cm (18 inches) square piece of felt on the bottom of the base. Cover the strofoam on the pillow with 100% cotton in some suitable shade (suitable is what YOU like looking at (except it should be so that you can see the thread on it....not white if you plan to use white thread all the time, etc.).          Use one long piece for the main pillow and smaller squares for the middle blocks. Taking darts and sew the fabric to fit like a slip cover. I wrapped mine up like a present (folds at the corners and used pins to hold it in place while sewing (note that the pins can to INTO the blocks and don't have to just weave in an out of the fabric.) Truthfully, you can pin the cover on if you wish, mine has lasted 9 years only pinned in places. I planned to cover the places where the fabric and the felt didn't quite meet with gimp, but have never had the time. Now you have a pillow, covered, with three removeable blocks (very handy for corners) and you've probably not spent more than 10 dollars (6 pounds stirling, 14 $AUS) --

Laurie J. Hughes


This is another one from Maeve's home page.
Create Your Own Block Pillow!

Easy (I think!) to follow instructions!

Maeve's Block Pillow

Material List:
2" Blue polystyrene insulation board (available through builder's supply stores. If you cannot find 2", use thinner sections and glue them together with spray contact glue so that pins can still penetrate the board.)
½" solid core plywood cut in a 22" circle
Felt (enough for 2 layers on top of the foam board and one 22" circle for the bottom. Scrapes can be used for gussets.)
Fabric to cover the pillow (include enough for working cloth and cover cloth if desired)
Glue (I found a great glue for this purpose. It is Beacon™ "Fabri Tac" and is available in fabric stores.)

Cut the foam board in a 22" circle. If you need to bond more than one piece together to get the desired thickness, do this prior to cutting. Find the center and draw a line across the circle. Align the 5 ½" squares on this line, one above and one below (I add this not to be condescending but because it took me a while to figure this out! I wanted to do it diagonally for some reason!). Cut these as in Fig. 1.

Bevel the edges of the top of the circle to a 45° angle. To smooth the edges of the cut, rub a piece of the scrap foam board against the cut edges. Use this technique to also ease the angle into the top of the pillow so there is not a sharp edge. (Fig. 2.)

Remove the blocks and set aside until later. Glue the plywood to the foam board using hot glue or another fast setting glue, being careful not to apply glue to the area where the blocks will fit later. Drill 2 ¾" holes in the plywood in the center were each block will fit later. This will make it easier to push the blocks out when they need to be moved. Cut 2 layers of the felt to fit snugly over the pillow. Cut the squares out that correspond with the blocks. Save these for covering the blocks later.

Pin the felt around the square opening using pins sparingly. Pull fabric tight and glue around the bottom edge of the pillow, flush with the flat edge of the bottom. Trim the felt close to this edge. Cut a circle of the pillow fabric approximately 24" in diameter. Position this over the pillow, pinning at the lower edge and easing in excess fabric. Pull the top fabric under the pillow and glue to the plywood bottom. Trim the excess fabric to within ¾" of the edge of the pillow.
Now cut an X from the corners of the square through the fabric (Fig. 3a.). Line the inside of the opening with a gusset made from piece of fabric (or felt). Cut this the depth of the opening and the exact perimeter of the square. Try not to let it overlap as you do not want to create bulk in this area. Glue in place under the top fabric. Now press the "V" shaped cuts into the opening. It should look like Fig. 3b.

Glue these to the plywood bottom. Cut a piece of felt to fit over this and glue this in place to cover the raw edges of the fabric. To cover the blocks, cut a piece of fabric to go around the block with only a small seam allowance. Wrap this block as you would a present, putting the layers of felt on the top side, and hand sewing the seam on the bottom as tightly as possible. Try and do this with little bulk so the block with fit nicely in the pillow opening. (Fig. 4). Fold the ends under, trim bulk away and sew these in place.

If you are using a heavy material, such as velvet, you might want to shave down the edges of the block the same approximate thickness as the fabric. This might be as much as an 1/8th inch some cases. I had to take mine completely apart after finishing it because I could not put the block in the opening. Be forewarned! You can make a roller for this pillow by using a swimming "Noodle," padding it with felt to a 4" diameter and covering this. You will want to make a smaller block to fill the opening of one of the blocks. Turn the pillow over and glue a 22" piece of felt on the back. Cut out the holes for access to the blocks. If you want to "pretty" your pillow up a little bit, glue some braid or trim around the bottom edge and enjoy!

Travel Pillow

1 yard quilted material (some of our ladies chose plain on one side, patterned on the other.)
1/2 yard plain cotton material to coordinate colorwise cotton to stuff it
foam core board (it has a 1/4" layer of foam between two pieces of poster board)
thread (use the sewing machine if you have one, it can be done with a
small pieces of velcro,
felt, about 3"by10"
pool noodle
The pattern is very simple, two 9"x9", squares, four 3"x9" rectangles, one 3"x10" one of the foam core board. Lay them out on a pattern with 3/8" between them for bendability later.

       |                                |
       |        top                  |
       |         6                     |
   |    |         |_7__|            |      | the neck inside (7)
   | 2  |              4               |  3 |
   |    |         bottom          |       |

It was a bit hard to draw out without the straight key, but having a new computer, I could not find it! Just remember to draw it out on paper first, and allow 3/8" between all pieces. Double the material, cut all the way around the pattern, then sew all but the top area. Put #1 foam core in first, sew it down closely with the machine, and again about a 1/4" away from it. Put in #2, do the same, then #3. Now you are ready for the big bottom piece. If it is too tight, shave a bit off the sides, sand it off, cut off with a razor knife. You want it to fit firmly in. Put in the others in their sequence. But where does #7 go? Wait till you have all the other pieces in and sewn down. You can turn in the top edge and whip down firmly.

Now you can see how your pattern will fold up. Keeping the top piece up, put the "neck" in where it is shown. You have a piece of 3"x10" left over, crease it 3" in from each side, leaving 3", 4", 3", and bend it at the crease, making the neck. You will glue the neck onto the fabric. We used airplane glue. When it is dry, take the plain material and put glue on the top of the neck and lay the material on it, getting it even on each side. It needs to be cut to fit the inside of the neck, I usually cut it from the middle to each corner, making a triangle, and it glues down easily in each side. When it is dry, glue the felt inside the neck to cover the material. This makes you roller work better, holds it tight.

Sew the sides down, and the front, the shoulders will be left open. Start to stuff your pillow, we make them full at the shoulders, but slanting down to the front. This is where your bobbins will reside so make it firm but soft. When you have the shape you like, sew down the shoulders to the bottom.

To finish, we make handles from 2 or 3" by about 12" from the material and sew them through the foam core to front panel and back panel. You can work out where you want them. Then we make a small flap to hold it all together, using a small velcro patch to anchor it.

For extras, we make a small pin cushion out of scraps, put a ribbon on it and attach it to the pillow so it does not get lost. We also cut out two pieces of foam core, 3"x4", glue them on top of each other to make a piece to lift up the roller while using it, and add another small ribbon to tie the scissors onto the pillow as well. It all fits in a small area, and loads of fun on an airplane.

Now for the roller! Do you have a pool noodle? Cut if off at 4" and put the new roller into the neck! you can cover it with material if you like, or not if the cover matches or coordinates with the color. If you cannot find a pool noodle (long 3" wide noodle to play in the pool with), you will have to find a piece of styrofoam you can make into a round 3" side by 4" long and cover it. If you have not made it tight, you can use a couple of corsage pins to hold it on each side, just stick them into the front of the side of the noodle and it will hold tight.

Helen Crews,Virginia Beach, VA, USA

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