Technique Tuesday - Triple Woven Pillow Covers

In the quilt guild that I belong to, we had a gift exchange for Christmas. We had to bring in three fat quarters that we loved and exchange them with another person. Then the other person would create something out of the fat quarters and bring it to the Christmas party. I love this idea! 

I received some cute pink and grey prints and did an extensive Pinterest search for ideas. I came upon a picture of a group of ladies weaving strips of fabric together in a really cool pattern. So I made a pillow based on that idea. The ladies in quilt guild loved it!

Triple Woven Fabric Pillow in Pink, White and Grey

The hard thing was this pin was in a different language and the link didn't include any instructions that I could make out. (Because of that, I can't site it here.) So I had to figure out how to do it myself.  Well, it took me all evening, but I figured it out! And just so that you don't have to do that too, I have included my instructions! I have also included many pictures because sometimes it is easier to show things, rather than describe them.

I started with making my strips. I cut the fat quarters into 2 inch x 18 inch strips. 

Then I ironed them into 1 inch wide strips so that opening was in the back. 

An easy way I found to do this was to set up two pins in my ironing board about half an inch away from each other. The gap in the middle is 1 inch wide.

Two pins in fabric set up for ironing a strip of fabric

Then you can run the fabric under the pins to help get a consistency in width.

Making fabric strips on an ironing board

I place my iron right over the pins, but not over the heads, and pull the fabric through.

Ironing strips of fabric using pins

I put my thumb through the fabric before it gets ironed to help the seam stay in the middle.

Optional: At this point if you want to stitch the seams down you are welcome to. I did not.)

For the next steps I also used my iron board because I could pin the fabric directly to the fabric of the board and it wouldn't shift. You could use a piece of cardboard for this too. 

I laid a piece of white muslin over my ironing board so that when I was done weaving I would have a backing to help transport the project to my sewing machine. It also provides a backing for the finished product and protection for the pillow and the unfinished seams.

For the first set of strips, I laid them all out horizontally in front of me and I securely pinned them through the muslin to the ironing board.

I tried to make sure there was as little gap as possible to keep the weave tight. 

Teals trips of fabric ready for weaving

First set of strips pinned down for weaving.

For the next set of strips, I started at the bottom right corner and started on a "over one and under two" pattern. I made sure the ends extended far enough past the top to give me something to sew to. Probably about half an inch.

Second set of strips being woven together

I let the bottom hang out. As I wove them I made sure they were as tight together as possible and I pinned them down on both sides once they were in place.  There is a lot of extra fabric on the bottom. Once I made sure they were just how I wanted them, I cut off some of the extra and filled in the empty spots so my project could be more square. 

Second set of strips of fabric getting woven together.

The third set of strips were the hardest ones to figure out. Please look at the pictures for reference.

On the bottom left side I started by going under one of the purple strips, staying under till I passed the next purple. It is kind of like the "Over one under two" weave again. 

I found myself looking for a backwards 'Z' shape in the weave to know where to go up and down.

Starting on the third set of fabric strips on a triple weave pillow

Then I filled in with the rest. Just like with the second fabric, I made sure it was tight, pinned, and lined up at the top. Then I used the extra on the bottom to fill in on the ends. 

Here is what it looked like after I finished getting the third set of fabric in, filling the holes, and tightening it one more time.

ITriple weave using three different fabrics

The first set of fabric strips will have some extra on the sides too.

Triple weave fabric pillow in progress

After everything was set up the way I wanted it, I marked a stitching line on all four sides. Make sure that alI the edges are outside of the lines of stitching so you don't have anything coming undone later. 

Lining up the edges for stitching on the triple woven pillow

I carefully unpinned it from the ironing board, but kept it pinned to the muslin. Then I followed the lines I marked and sewed along all four edges and trimmed the excess. This ended up being about 13.5 inches by 10.5 inches. 

Triple weave pillow trimmed and ready to be sewn together

Then I made the pillow cover. The dimensions for this part depends on the pillow size you want. 

In general, I added a frame of fabric around the woven part to bring up to the size of the pillow plus a seam allowance.

For the back, I made a simple envelope closure. I cut two pieces of fabric that was the width of the pillow and half the length plus three inches.

So for a 18x18 inch pillow the front had to end up at 18.5 x 18.5 inches. The back was two pieces at 18.5 x 12 inches.

I finished one of the longer edges by rolling it over and stitching it in place. I did this on one side of both of the back pieces.

Finishing the edge of the pillow cover

Then I sewed the three pieces together, right sides together, using a quarter inch seam. Then I turned it right side out and inserted the pillow.

Here is the finished product.

Finished Triple Woven Pillow in Teal, Purple, and Cream.

I loved it so much I made two!

Triple Woven Pillow in Purple, Fushia, and Pink,

I love how, depending on what value of fabric you use, you see different patterns. I can see stars, hexagons, and boxes in the pattern.

Have fun, and enjoy sewing!


  • These are amazing instructions and the photos are so helpful. The tip about using pins on your ironing board to make the fabric strips is genius! Your projects turned out beautifully and I appreciate you taking the time to explain it so that hopefully I can enjoy the same success.

    M Samuels
  • Absolutely beautiful !!!!!

    Roxie Dunn

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