Back in December 2016, before Sie macht had a following of any size, I published this free pillow pattern. It didn’t get a lot of attention at the time, but I never lost faith in its appeal.
That’s why I’m resharing it now!
If you’re looking for an (almost) instant-gratification sewing project, the Spiegel pillow is your jam. Take a break from sewing that sundress and go on autopilot with short, straight lines. Your brain deserves a break, no? And if you’ve got pretty scraps from your summer projects, this is a great way to stretch the life of your fabric!
I am obsessed with the flying geese block. It’s so simple: only three triangles and two seams.
In spite of its simplicity (or maybe because of it?), the flying geese block offers myriad opportunities for bold designs.
That’s why I came up with a Sie macht sewing DIY: my first ebook, a pattern for a flying geese block pillow.
The Spiegel flying geese block pillow is just the project for beginner sewists or sewists who’d like to try quilt-style piecing. Keep reading to discover more about your next favorite pillow DIY!
This post contains affiliate links. If you click through and make a purchase, I may receive a commission at no additional cost to you.
What’s great about the Spiegel flying geese block pillow
It lets you test drive a new type of sewing.
If you’d like to trying quilting, this pillow DIY pattern gives you a taste of piecing. You can hone your technique without making an entire quilt.
It reveals the power of simple shapes.
Each block is three triangles: two small and one large. But when you experiment with triangle colors and block orientation, you can make larger shapes. So, from a distance, you see diamonds and chevrons — not right triangles.
It helps you build (or bust) your stash.
The Spiegel sewing DIY pattern calls for a half yard each of the dark and medium fabrics and three quarters of a yard of the light fabric. Buy a little extra to grow your fabric library, or shop your stash to complete your pillow (and make room for more fabric — see what I did there?).
Spiegel success: Sewing DIY tips
Make sure your blocks are square.
Use a ruler or cutting mat to check for right angles. To get square blocks, treat your fabric with spray starch before cutting. Stiffer fabric is easier to cut and sew, which means your piecing will be more accurate (and blocks more square). If you use spray starch, you may want to wash your pillow cover before you add the pillow insert.
Give yourself permission to experiment.
Because the pillow DIY pattern is so simple, fabric choice is how this project will shine. This pillow could be sophisticated in a trio of tone-on-tone fabrics, where pattern becomes critical. The polka dots (here’s the white-and-gold colorway), forest print, and flower print (no longer available, but here are other gold florals) are some of the Robert Kaufman fabrics sold by Amazon.
Or try creating a graphic pop by sewing Spiegel in a color triad. #colortheoryFTW (The yellow, blue, and red Kona cotton solids also are available from Amazon.)
Don’t be on autopilot.
Behold my cautionary tale:
First I cut some white triangles.
Next I cut some navy triangles. Feeling good.
Then I completed four white geese blocks! Rejoicing!
I was feeling so good, I cut “geese” (the large triangles) out of the black fabric.
Except there are no black “geese” in the design.
There are small triangles, that when pieced, LOOK like large triangles (see above). The moral of the story is it’s important to double check pieces before you cut them. I’m glad I bought extra fabric!
Preview the Spiegel flying geese block pillow ebook
If you’re hot to sew this flying geese block pillow, here’s a mini Q&A about Spiegel.
What does Spiegel mean?
Spiegel (pronounced SPEE-gull) is the German word for “mirror.” The pattern is a reflection of flying geese blocks. And since Sie macht is German for “she makes,” I thought, Why not make give my first pattern a German moniker, too?
How many pages is the ebook?
It’s eight pages, including the cover and a Notes page. That may sound like a big instruction ebook for a pillow. I’m telling you right now that the text is pretty big and there are a lot of visuals. “War and Peace” it ain’t.
I heard the ebook was black and white. What gives?
Yes, that’s correct. I did that for two reasons:
1.) Color printing (even at home) is more expensive than black and white printing. This simple ebook doesn’t need special treatment.
2.) I want YOU to design YOUR OWN pillow, with your own colors. A color ebook could be distracting. My charge to you: Be the boss of this sewing DIY!
If you’re looking for design inspiration, I put together a flying geese board on Pinterest.
How do I get the pattern?
Glad ya asked! Click this image to access the PDF. Easy peasy (lemon squeezy). Yup, it’s free!
I see an error in the ebook! What should I do?
Please tell me! I will make a correction! I made the ebook in Google Slides; it’s SUPER fast for me to make changes. And if you have constructive criticism for me, I’m all ears. I’ve never published a pattern before!
This pattern is great for beginning sewists. Pillows are wonderful early sewing projects, and Spiegel is more engaging — and pretty to look at — than your average envelope pillow.
Over to you, sewing tribe: What’s your favorite pillow sewing project? How many pillows did you make when you were starting out? Do you still love making pillows (I know I do!)? Please sound off on these burning questions, the Spiegel pillow pattern, flying geese, and more in comments!
P.S. Thanks in advance to all of you who give me thoughtful feedback on this pattern. Sewing people are the best!
P.P.S. PLEASE share your makes with me! And with other Sie macht readers! Hit me up via the Sie macht Facebook page, Twitter, or Instagram. Hashtag it #siemachtspiegel. I would just about lose my mind from happiness if I could make a Spiegel photo album. It would mean the world to me. ♥ ♥ ♥
P.P.P.S. You should check out these posts, which give more background on the genesis of the Spiegel flying geese block pillow pattern:
A Bowie pillow
Choosing fabric for the Bowie pillow
The easy way to calculate flying geese quilt blocks
P.P.P.P.S. The Spiegel pattern and ebook are my products; I encourage you to make as many Spiegel pillows as your heart desires (for non-commercial purposes, natch), but please give credit where credit it due. Danke schön!