Venusaur, Charizard, and Blastoise from Pokémon

I was asked if I could make pillows to adorn an otherwise empty, boring, albeit comfortable couch at my significant other’s office. I had been playing with the idea of something minimalist and geometric for my next craft, and was unsure about the subject matter until I came across these awesome designs by etall on tumblr.

Original Hexels artwork by etall on tumblr, please be sure to check our their awesome work!

The beauty of taking something geometric is that it translates well into patchwork, which is something I haven’t really done before so really, what could go wrong? Square shapes felt too simple in a way, being ‘easy’ to convert any 8-bit design to patchwork, so etall’s artwork had a very unique appeal for me.

Simplifying the design a bit by cutting down on a lot of color variation. I’m not that patient.

I decided on using 14″ square pillows (big enough for the base triangle size to not be unbearably small to work with, while also keeping the pillows cuddle-sized). My significant other helped to pick out a lot (read: all) of the patterns for the fabric quarters since I’m used to working with boring solids…

The final haul! Might be the most colorful base set of materials I’ve ever started out with.

I was excited to start since I recently got a new rotary cutter and mat; I was pretty jazzed to use them.

Ironing out all of the fabric. So many creases D:
Ironing out all of the fabric. So many creases D:

Pro-tip: Make a stencil, It will make life so much easier (my stencil was 1.25″ per side, with an additional 0.5″ seam allowance on all sides). I learned the hard way that it was much easier to just trace a stencil over and over than to try and measure out every triangle. It especially sucked when I realized, before the stencil, I wasn’t measuring out the triangles properly anyway. Apparently math I can’t even.

Pokepillows_ Prep_4
Much easier after the stencil! Also a reminder of my failures of triangle construction on the right…
The triangle nightmare is over… only 8 more colors to go.
All triangles finally cut out!
Laying out all of the triangles! The completed patchwork designs looked pretty big all laid out like that :|

The process of actually assembling the triangles was long. As ‘simple’ as patchwork seemed, I quickly learned that it was a very tedious process.

I started out by sewing adjacent pairs of triangles together. Once those were completed, I sewed 2x pairs of triangles together, than 2x groups of 4 triangles together, until I ended up with ‘rows’ of triangles completely sewn together. The ‘row’s were then sewn together to create completed patchwork designs. Every seam was also ironed open to make the seams crisper.

And so begins the long process of sewing all of the tiny triangles together.
Such triangles, Very sewing. Ironing open the seams usually made for some neat designs.
All of the rows completed!
All of the rows completed!
The completed patchwork designs! Definitely rushed the Blastoise and Charizard a bit… but hoped that the slanted sewing wouldn’t look too bad once they were on the pillows :(

The actual pillowcases were made out of leftover cosplay fabric by cutting out a rectangle of (pillow edge size) x (2x pillow edge size) with seam allowance. The completed patchwork designs were roughly centered, then carefully pinned in place so that all of the outwards facing seam allowances were tucked underneath. Once pinned, the designs were sewn on to the pillowcases, and all lose ends hidden on the backside of the pillowcases and tied off.

So many pins to keep these in place!
So many pins to keep these in place!
The completed design completely sewed on! All of the loose tails of thread were hand sewed to the backside of the pillowcase and tied off.
The completed patchwork design completely sewn on! All of the loose tails of thread were hand-sewn to the backside of the pillowcase and tied off.
Everybody completed sewn on!

The pillowcases were then sewn up, pillows stuffed inside, and final seams finished off!

Finishing off the pillows with more practice using the hidden stitch!
Finishing off the pillows with more practice using the hidden stitch!
The completed pillows!

Hexels artwork by etall.
Product Photography by Michael Len!