The most interesting patchwork is the crazy pattern, as one is the master of both designs and stitchery.
Step 1: Decide, first of all, what size you wish your pillow to be. Then cut a piece of unbleached cotton, or even a piece of old sheeting will do, to the correct size.
Step 2: Cut out a piece of paper the exact size of the cotton material, then let your imagination take over and draw lines as you will making your pieces as large or small as you wish. A combination of straight lines are used, and it is more interesting if you vary the size and shape.
Step 3: Choose your material. Perhaps you have outdated evening gowns or dresses or even a favorite tie of your husband's you'd like to perpetuate. Your family and friends can also be a source of material, if you wish.
Step 4: Cut out paper patterns. Carefully pin to the material, Cut out, allowing 1/2" on all sizes except sides which make up the edges of the pillow. Turn under the 1/2" on sides of pieces which overlap and press. Pin the pieces on the cotton backing, care to be taken in choosing the adjoining pieces of material so they compliment each other in shape, color and design to make a pleasing effect.
Step 5: Baste all pieces and remove pins.
Step 6: To join the pieces, use decorative embroidery stitches using silk, rayon, perle cotton, or embroidery floss. Combine stitches as desired over seams. One or more colors may be used for a decorative effect but the main object is to have the embroidery hold the pieces together.
Step 7: When all the pieces have been embroidered, pull out bastings. Press and sew to a piece of material you have choosing for the back of the pillow you are making. Be sure it is the same size as the front. Velvet makes a rich and effective back. Three sides can be sewn on the machine and the fourth done by hand, using very close stitches after the pillow has been inserted.
You can also sew a zipper in. First sew two sides together. Open and press seam, then lay the zipper down on wrong side on seam. Make sure the pull is against fabric. Sew edges around the zipper. Stitch across top and bottom. Take the stitches out where the zipper unzips. Sew the other 3 sides together then turn inside out thru zipper opening.
The finished product is not only beautiful, but also a fascinating conversation piece.