Sunroom Seating

Rhonda Darnell
Sunroom Seating


When you entertain alfresco this summer, surprise your guests with comfy and colorful pillows scattered about on your lawn furniture. Hundreds of durable outdoor fabrics are available for outdoor decor, ranging from the subdued colors of nature to bright stripes and charming prints.


  • Striped and print outdoor fabrics in varying amounts
  • 16* matching zipper for each pillow
  • Polyester or down pillow forms
  • 7/8 yard of 3/8*-wide iron-on bonding tape (for the blue and white striped pillow)
  • Matching all-purpose thread
  • Rotary cutter and accessories
  • Yardstick

Zip Tips

  • Follow these general directions to add the zipper to each pillow style.
  • Cut out all the pieces for each pillow, and then serge the edges to prevent fraying. Assemble each pillow front according to the individual directions and using 1/2* seam allowances. Press the seams to one side.
  • To insert the zipper, fold the front and back pillow piece lower edges 1/2* to the wrong sides; press. Unfold the pressed edges, and place the pillow front and back together with right sides facing. Stitch in the crease about 2 1/2* from each end, leaving an opening for the zipper. Attach a zipper foot to your sewing machine.
  • With the pillow front and back right side up, center the closed zipper under the opening; pin if desired. Align the pillow-front folded edge with the lengthwise center of the zipper, and then topstitch 1/4* from the fabric edge along the zipper length; backstitch and cut the thread. Rotate the project around and position the pillow-back folded edge so it abuts the pillow-front folded edge; topstitch the other side of the zipper from beginning to end.
  • Clip into the seam allowances about 1/2* from each zipper end so the seam allowances open flat just past the zipper. Open the zipper. With wrong sides facing, stitch the remaining three sides of the pillow.
  • Turn the pillow right side out, insert the form and close the zipper.

Square Deal (18* square)

Cut a 21* square from blue-and-white stripe fabric, making sure to center the stripes from top to bottom exactly. Using a yardstick and pencil, draw diagonal lines connecting the corners and forming four triangles (1).

Cut the square precisely along the lines. Use the two triangles with the stripes parallel to the longest edge; discard the other two. Using the retained triangles as patterns, place them on the remaining fabric. Carefully align all the stripes and cut two more identical triangles. Cut a 19* fabric square for the pillow back; set it aside.

Arrange the four triangles so the stripes form concentric squares (2). Working with two adjoining triangles, turn under and press a 1/2* seam allowance on one triangle where it will meet the other triangle. Press the 3/8* bonding tape to the turned-under seam allowance; remove the paper backing. With right sides facing up, place the turned-under edge over the second triangle as it will be sewn, precisely aligning all stripes and raw edges. Press to fuse the two triangles together.

Carefully turn the triangles over so the wrong sides are facing up, and stitch exactly in the crease to form one-half of the pillow front--the stripes should match perfectly (3). Repeat with the remaining two triangles.

Connect the two pillow halves using the same process; press.

Using the 19* backing square, install the zipper and finish as described in "Zip Tips" above.

Pattern Play (18* square)

Using a rotary cutter and ruler, cut the strips as shown (4), placing the cutting lines 1/2* beyond the stripe edges for the 5 1/2*- and 8 3/4*-wide strips. If the stripes in your fabric are different than shown, cut a 1/2* seam allowance on the outside of each stripe that will completely show on the finished pillow. For an 18*-square finished pillow, the pillow front should form a 19* square when sewn together.

With right sides facing, stitch strips A and B together.

When stitching stripes, make the striped fabric the upper layer so that you can follow the stripe and stitch perfectly along its edge.

With right sides facing, stitch strip C to strip B, stitching along the stripe edge; press. Cut a 19* fabric square for the back, and finish as described in "Zip Tips" on page 00.

Red, White & Blue (14*x18*)

Using the measurements shown, cut two rectangles (5) or adjust for your particular stripe fabric. (When pieced together, the resulting rectangle should measure 15*x19*.)

With right sides facing, stitch the two rectangles together along the 15* sides; press.

Cut a 15*x19* fabric rectangle for the back, and finish as described in "Zip Tips" above.

Red, White & Yellow (14*x18*)

Cut rectangles to size as shown (6) or adjust for your particular striped fabric. (When pieced together the resulting rectangle should measure 15*x19*.)

With right sides facing and with piece B as the upper layer, stitch pieces A and B together along the stripe's edge; press. With the joined section on top and right sides facing, stitch to piece C; press.

Cut a 15*x19* fabric rectangle for the back, and finish as described in "Zip Tips" above.

From-Scratch Forms

  • To make a pillow form for an 18* pillow, cut two 19* squares from muslin or other lightweight white or ivory fabric. Using a 1/2* seam allowance, stitch around all sides leaving a 6* opening on one side. Turn right side out, and then stuff with polyester fiberfill until the form is plump. Make sure to fill the form corners. Machine or hand-stitch the opening closed.
  • For extra plump pillows with no flat corners, purchase or make pillow forms 1" larger than the pillow covering. For example, purchase a 19* pillow form for an 18* pillow.
  • Trim a purchased 18* square pillow form to create a 14*x18* rectangle. Use a tape measure and mark a line 14* from one side seam across the front and back. Cut 1* beyond this line, to allow for the seam allowances. Remove half of the polyester filling and set it aside. Turn under the cut edges along the drawn line, align the folded edges and topstitch leaving a 5* opening. Replace some of the polyester fiberfill until you achieve the desired plumpness; topstitch the opening closed.

Indoor/outdoor fabrics are treated to withstand sun and water. Most can be sprayed clean with a hose or spot-cleaned with a mild soap. Visit the manufacturer's Web site to read the care instructions for the fabrics you purchase.


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