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grain line for bolster pillow fabric

jeanvand | Posted in General Discussion on

I’m getting ready to make a bolster pillow without purchasing a pattern.  Does anyone know which is the best way for the grain line to run–parallel to the length of the pillow form or perpendicular to the form?  My guess would be parallel but would like some feedback before proceeding!  Thank you for whatever help anyone might give me.


  1. Marionc032 | | #1

    I've made a number of pillows including bolsters and in my opinion, grain isn't as important with non-wearable items as it is with garments because the fabric isn't subjected to stress or gravity the way garments are. I usually let the pattern of the fabric be my guide. If you think it looks best running crosswise or perpendicular to the form then I see no reason why you shouldn't sew it that way. Of course, I'm assuming that you plan to use a stable fabric unless you plan for the bolsters to be purely decorative. If you're going to use a less stable fabric, then I'd probably recommend stabilizing it with a lightweight woven fusible interfacing before you sew it.

    Have fun!

  2. Teaf5 | | #2

    I agree that grain is less important than pattern. I just made two bolster pillows of striped fabric, and I really like the look of the stripes running down the length rather than around them. Since you can't see both ends at the same time, I didn't have to worry about the alignment of the stripes on the circular end pieces, although I lined them up so that they are running up and down when the long pillow seam is on the bottom, where no one sees the closure.

    Taking the advice I had read somewhere, I made matching bias piping and inserted it in the seams at both ends. It took only about 30 minutes longer, and the end result was very professional looking-- the piping covers up any inconsistencies in the seam or pattern and makes the cylindrical shape much more distinctive.

    A lot of online sites and books explain how to make piping; it takes 1.5" wide bias strips, cotton cord, and a zipper foot, but it's very easy. I'd really recommend taking this little extra step!

    1. User avater
      jeanvand | | #3


      Thank you, MarioncO32 and Teaf5, for your help!  The material I am using is small checked and has two colors (red and a dark tan).  It is to coordinate with the valance in the room, which is a large plaid of the same colors plus a green.  I edged the valance with green fringe, to match the green material I inserted for a center pleat.  I want to sew a strip of the valance material around the middle of the bolster, on top of the checked material.  The plan is to fringe the edges of that center material.  I like the idea of using binding around the ends. 

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