Recycle an old chenille bedspread into an American flag pillow to use it as a summer holiday decoration or as an accent to Americana room decor. An old white chenille bedspread provides vintage charm, while the addition of tea dyeing gives it that loved-for-years age. The appliquéd pieces are quickly attached using a simple sewing machine straight stitch that allows the raw edges to remain exposed. After the tea dyeing, the pillow can be constructed in less than an hour.
Things You Will Need:
White chenille bedspread
5 qt. pot and water
10 single-serving teabags
Homespun fabrics-blue and red
6-inch wooden star
Hand sewing needle and thread
Cut a 24-inch square section from a white chenille bedspread. This will provide enough fabric for the pillow’s base, plus a little bit extra for the star.
Heat a 5 qt. pot of water to boiling. Take off the heat. Add 10 single-serving teabags. Allow the teabags to steep until the water is cool enough to touch.
Submerge the chenille in the tea. Allow the fabric to soak for about 30 minutes, stirring and agitating the fabric with a wooden spoon every 10 minutes.
Remove the dyed chenille and wring out the tea. Rinse in cold water. Repeat the dyeing process if the fabric is not dark enough. Hang the fabric to dry.
Cut two 8-inch wide by 22-inch long rectangles from the tea dyed chenille. Cut an 8-inch square from blue homespun fabric and three 1 1/2-inch wide by 15-inch long strips from red homespun.
Place a 6-inch wooden star on the remaining tea dyed chenille. Trace around the star and cut out.
Place one chenille rectangle on your work surface with the 22-inch length running horizontally. Position one red strip horizontally, a 1/2 inch from the top long edge. Line up the right hand end of the strip with the right hand edge of the chenille rectangle. Position another red strip a 1/2 inch from the bottom edge and match the right hand edges. Center the remaining strip between the first two strips. Pin all of the strips to secure.
Top stitch around each red strip, 1/4 inch from the edges. I used white thread, but red, navy blue or off-white thread could be used.
Center the chenille star on the 8-inch blue square and pin. Top stitch around the edges of the star, 1/4 inch from the edge.
Place the blue square on the left hand end of the chenille rectangle with the star facing up. Allow the right hand edge of the square to overlap the ends of the red strips. Match the remaining edges of the square to the chenille rectangle. Pin to secure. Top stitch around the edges, 1/4 inch from the edge.
Lay the remaining chenille rectangle on your work surface. Place the appliquéd chenille rectangle on top with the flag facing down. Pin the edges. Sew around all four sides using a 1/2-inch seam allowance. Leave a 4-inch opening on the right hand edge of the flag.
Clip the corners to remove bulk and turn the pillowcase right side out.
Stuff the pillow. Hand sew the opening closed.
To prevent tea residue in the dryer I recommend hanging tea dyed fabrics to dry.