How to Make an Envelope Backing for a Quilted Pillow
This is a brief tutorial on how to finish a quilted pillow with an envelope backing. I know there are already tons of tutorials out there on this subject, so why am I writing another one? Because this one is specific to how to finish the pillow size of the Sweetbriar Rose Quilt pattern and will serve as a visual aid for anyone working on finishing their pillow. I couldn’t fit all the images to show this process without making the pattern extra long, so I thought a blog post would be the next best thing!
The pillow is the smallest size option for the Sweetbriar Rose Quilt pattern and finishes at 18 1/2” by 18 1/2” when pieced together. This tutorial picks up after the pillow top has been quilted and is ready to be finished.
For this tutorial, you will need the following materials:
The Sweetbriar Rose Quilt pattern. Click here to purchase.
A quilted pillow top (18 1/2” square)
(2) 18 1/2” x 13” rectangles of fabric for the envelope backing
A ruler (I recommend a 6” x 24” ruler)
Iron and ironing board
Step 1: Gather your two 18 1/2” x 13” backing pieces. On one of the 18 1/2” ends of the fabric, you’re going to create a hem by folding the fabric over 1/2”, press flat, and then fold over another 1/2” and press flat. You will create this hem on both of the backing pieces.
Step 2: Sew a close seam (1/8”) along the inside edge of the fold on both of the backing pieces (again just on one 18 1/2” edge of each piece).
Step 3: Now the backing pieces are ready to be attached to the quilted pillow. With right sides together, pin one backing piece to the front of the quilted pillow with the raw edged 18 1/2” (opposite side from where you created the hem in Step 2) matching the bottom of the raw edge of the quilted pillow.
Then piece the second backing piece (right sides together) with the raw 18 1/2” edge matching along the top of the quilted pillow. Lay it down so that it overlaps the other backing piece.
Step 4: Pin around the perimeter of the pillow making sure to catch the quilted pillow layers and the top backing layers.
Step 5: Sew a 1/4” seam around the perimeter of the pillow. Make sure to back-stitch along the sides where the backing pieces overlap to reinforce the pieces to withstand the tugging of inserting and removing the pillow.
Step 6: Next, trim the corners, but be sure not to trim through the seam you just sewed!
You’re almost done! Here comes the fun part. Open the space where the backing pieces over lap and turn the pillow inside out!
Use a pointy tool (I used my Kwik Klip which I use for attaching pins when basting) to push the corners out.
And finally, fill with an 18” pillow form and display proudly somewhere in your house! Or you can create a pillow as a gift for a friend (makes a great housewarming gift)!
The Sweetbriar Rose Quilt is my very first quilt pattern which I wrote in late fall 2020/early winter 2021 after attending Amber of Alderwood Studio’s premiere Pattern Writing Academy. While I’ve been quilting since 2018, I’ve grown more and more excited with each pattern I’ve followed and knew that I wanted to take the next step to designing quilts. I would highly recommend this course to anyone interested in doing the same!
Thanks for reading!