I hope that this tutorial is clear - I have step by step pictures. Please comment if you need anything cleared up!
Fabric - 5/8 yard will make one pillow with matching piping. (You can make one with 2 fat quarters if you want the front and back to be different)
Cording or thick string
18"-20" zipper to match or contrast
Pillow form or stuffing
Note: You will be using a 1/2" seam allowance and a zipper foot for most of the stitching.
Cut out 2 pieces that are 18" x 18". (note: This will use a 20" pillow form - cut it 17"x17" for an 18" pillow form) You can make the pieces the same fabric or complimentary fabrics.
Also cut out strips that are 1 1/4" wide and equal to about 60" long. If you use a contrasting fabric, it will stand out more. You can combine the strips to make one long continuous strip. I will show you how.
Sew it down to 2 inches or so before the corner. When you stop, leave the foot and needle down.
Now lay it back down and sew it to the middle clip.
With the needle down, pivot the fabric, including the piping to make a sharp corner.
Continue sewing - making all 4 corners sharp!
Stop with your needle down 2" before where you started.
Fold a 1/2" flap down on the 1st end - making a neat edge and then lay the other end on top of it. Clip off the excess so that the cording meets. (refer to the photo)
Now fold the first one over the top and continue sewing the piping on.
First lay the piece that you have been working on face up with the pieced piping edge at the bottom. Now lay the other pillow piece on top. Pin the bottom edge only at the corners. You will now sew a seam along the bottom edge for 1 1/2" at each of the corners, creating a hole in the center of the edge. (sew each end of the bottom edge only, leave the center alone).
Now sew it - use a zipper foot and sew it as close as possible to the teeth and the piping.
Sew it from edge to edge.
Now get the zipper pull to end up in the "hole".
Try out your zipper!
Now make sure that the zipper is halfway open. This is really important!!!
Now lay the project so that the pillow sides are laying right sides together and all edges line up.
Sew the remaining 3 sides. Your zipper foot will be between the edge of the fabric and the piping. Sew as close to the piping as you can.
Finally, turn it right side out and insert a pillow form!