Simple Throw Pillows from Potato Sacks or Coffee Bean Sacks

Flipping through one of my home decorating craft books I saw this photo of throw cushions or pillows and smiled at the memory of when I made something very similar to these. It was about 15 years ago and for whatever reason my parents had a pile of old potato sacks at their home. They weren't going to use them for anything so I took them home, washed them, cut them apart to use the most interesting part of the bag (the advertising and name) and then resewed them into pillows. I used the leftover pieces that still had advertising on them to cut squares and framed them in a simple mat and frame set from the store. The results were very cute, very original and looked wonderful tossed in a corner in triple, or on the couch as throw pillows.

I have no idea what happened to them. I remember they weren't very comfortable to use because the material was scratchy and at the time we would have had tiny children so imagine I gave them away to Goodwill in exchange for throw pillows that looked cute but still could be used to lay your face against without it being rough or scratchy. Still, this photo in my craft book gave me a great idea and now that my kids are 18, 16 and 13 perhaps I can make them again... this time with Coffee Sacks!

Coffee Bean Bags
Jute thread
needle and thread (or a sewing machine)
wool or tapestry needle
masking tape
fiberfill or an old pillow to reuse for filling

Cut the bag to the size you want plus 1 inch all the way around. You need two separate but equal sized pieces. Lay one piece of fabric on top of the other with rights dies (printed sides) together. Hand or machine sew the pillow together, leaving one side open. Clip the corners off the seams so the corners don't bunch up and then turn it inside out so the printed sides are now facing you.

Using the jute thread and a large eyed wool needle sew a decorative cross stitch around the edges of the three finished sides to make it look like a rough seamed coffee bag again. If you want to keep the X's even and equal you can use a strip of masking tape laid down along the edge and mark off 1 inch marks to sew. Or you can skip the tape and wing it. Your choice.

Stuff the pillow with the filling. Stuff it well especially into the corners. Turn in the 1 inch seam allowance on the unfinished side and hand or machine stitch it closed. Cross stitch the finishing stitches on this side now to match the rest.
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