Where to start? First off lets not call this a “tutorial” but just think of me as your friend showing you what I did (that’ll take the pressure off me a bit). As I have said before, I made my first Starburst Dresden pillow from Amy Sinibaldi’s book Sweetly Stitched Handmades last year when I was VERY new to sewing. So if I can do it, so can you! For sure!
I had my pieces all cut out months ago, Amy has nice instructions for easy cutting of all the “starburst” bits that made it go quickly. For this one I went with a combo of Paperie and Liberty of London fabrics. If you are like me, step by step pictures are helpful for using with the written instructions so follow along in your book (these pictures are not meant to replace the actual instructions).
First up! Fold, sew, flip, iron. Pretty straightforward.
This is the part that stumped me the first time. My visual learner mind did not want to wrap around the instructions for the life of me so I ended up just following along and going “OHHHH” as soon as I had done what the instructions said. Once all your bits are ironed, here’s the basic assembly. The white “sunburst” is folded in half and sewn with it’s raw edges lined between two Dresden pieces. You will want to line up the corner bottom tips as shown in the above bottom left picture. I almost always use Clover clips instead of pins.
You will keep sewing and adding this way until all your pieces are used up and you’ve created a circle. Here’s what you should have:
Next gently iron your Dresden with the white starbursts all laying in the same direction. Press the seams from the back also to help everything lay nice and flat.
I spray basted my Dresden centered on the backing fabric and machine stitched each “starburst” down. As far as the center of the “plate” I had quite the trouble this time around, firstly because I rushed and secondly, because I tried to fix my wonky center and ended up drawing more attention to it. Ha! Just have to laugh! Lesson learned (again!), slow and steady wins the race… Or in this case the pretty circular center. My only advice is to stitch the circle very slowly and don’t iron the center till after it is sewn to the rest of the Dresden.
I chose to applique stitch the Dresden down but I have no doubt it would be just as beautiful hand or machine sewn too. Like English Paper Piecing, there are endless options and no wrong way to make it your own. I enjoyed doing a little of each sewing type in my first pillow and decided to do the same here. Lastly we have the hand stitching to outline the Dresden plate which really is the icing on the cake!
I added a tiny bit of binding to the back of my pillow cover using a tutorial that you can see Here. I love how it came out and look forward to trying this method on some bigger binding projects. The finishing steps for making the pillow pockets are really simple.
So here it is all finished! I’ll be honest, it kinda took my breath away. Sorry if that sounds like bragging but I don’t always like my finished projects this much, so let me just look at it a minute more before we move on… OK, I’m good now!
I just love how Paperie and Liberty fabrics play together and look forward to making more with these two beauties down the road.
It’s all in the “sweetly stitched” details, isn’t it?
Some well placed fussy cut quotes to add a little extra charm.
And just for another option, how about a wall hanging? Or you could quilt this up and use it as a beautiful table topper.
OK, so the center is still a bit wonky but it’s mostly circular so I’m good with how it ended up. And since two of these Starburst Dresden pillows isn’t enough, I’m already planning a Summer one in all bright Liberty prints!
So, to sum up: When I saw this pillow at the end of Amy’s book (remember, the book I bought just to look at the pretty pictures?) I thought she had saved the best project for last. Turns out I still feel that way. I have seen many of these posted to Instagram and they are all equally stunning. I really hope you will give it a try and be as pleased with yours as I have been with mine. Really, this one is fun from start to finish and with such a lovely ending how can you not make at least one! I hope this was helpful for you. Feel free to ask any questions in the comments and I will do my best to walk you through your own make.
Right at home with one of my other Paperie pillows on my worn out comfy old, I mean VINTAGE chair.
Lastly, WINNER of the Paperie Heartstring and charm set from Amy is: Hannah W Please contact me so we can get those sent out to you.
Thank you all for your lovely comments from the blog tour, Made. My. Day!