As a U.S. Foreign Service family, we’ve spent the last 6 years living and traveling abroad. We’re heading back for a home tour this summer but it’s pretty much guaranteed we’ll be heading back into the world at some point. While we fully embrace our international life, I also think it’s extremely important to keep my children connected to their American roots. So when I saw this Map Pillow Project from Jo-Ann Fabric & Craft Stores, I knew my kids would love it!
I made a few changes from the original Jo-Ann instructions. Theirs calls for a round cushion and plays on a treasure map theme. I wanted to use this project to teach my eldest the basics of the sewing machine (basically how to sew a straight line) so we stuck with squares.
I used heat n’bond to help adhere the continents – which really helps speed up the process of this project. The embroidery is completely optional, but I thought it would be a great way to mark where our home will always be (America) as well as the countries we’ve lived in/visited.
Here’s a basic run down of how we sewed the pillow:
1. Cut two 16 inch squares as well as four 16 X 2 inch rectangles (or one 64 X 2 inch strip).
2. Adhere the continents to one of the 16 inch squares using heat n’ bond and embroider (optional) or machine sew using a decorative stitch.
3. If using the 16 X 2 inch rectangles, sew together into one long strip and press your seems open. Then place the short ends right sides together and sew using a 1/2 inch seam.
4. Right sides together, sandwich (right side up front, piping, right side down strip) the fabrics, pin, and sew the long strip to the pillow front.
5. With right sides together, pin and sew the long raw edge, back stitching at the beginning and end and leaving a 4-5 inch opening for turning and stuffing.
6. Lastly, turn your cushion right side out, stuff with Polyvore fiber fill and stitch the opening closed.