This project is an intersection of patriotic decor, comic book fun, and even a little bit of play time. These will majorly upgrade your pillow fight game, if you're into that sort of thing. Make these fleece pillows for kids of any age! It's also a good project for kids who are learning to sew, since fleece is forgiving and easy to work with. It's not a precision project. All you need is fleece in red, white and blue, plus thread and a bit of Poly-fil. If you get 2/3 yard of the red and blue, and 1/2 yard of white, you will have more than enough for both pillows.
To get started, I used my opaque projector to throw images of the shields onto poster board taped to a wall and traced them. You can totally freehand them, though. (I'm just not very good at freehand work.) For size reference, my circular shield ended up 16.5 inches in diameter, and my other shield sketch is about 15 by 21.5 inches.
Once I had my designs roughed out onto the poster board, I cut them out, leaving a little extra around the edges.
I separated out all the circles for the round shield, then cut a circle of red fleece for the base, and cut each subsequent smaller circle so I could layer them all on top of one another. This gives it a little bit of a convex shape, just like Captain America's shield.
For the longer shield, I cut the base in red, but then cut off the top band detail of my poster board tracing and used that as a pattern piece for blue fleece. I appliqued all my star pieces on their blue backgrounds (for both the circular and elongated shields) before doing anything else.
Then I layered those blue pieces onto the next red layer. I use fairly long stitches throughout the projects to prevent distorting the fleece.
For the circular shield, I then proceeded to layer my circles together to build up to the full width. Once my blue star band was in place on the long shield, I cut white stripes (mine were about 1.5 inches wide) to applique onto the red base, then I pinned them in place and stitched them down.
I cut my backing pieces for both shields out of blue fleece, and cut two 11-by-9-inch strips out of blue fleece as well. I hemmed the 9-inch edges by simply folding them under and stitching, and then stitched the unfinished edges to the pillow backs -- these create sleeves to run an arm through so that the pillows can be used as soft play shields.
Once the backs were ready and the fronts were completed, I stitched the fronts to the backs, wrong sides together, leaving an opening for stuffing. (That's correct -- no turning! You stitch them together right side out!)
Once my shields were stuffed with Poly-fil, I machine stitched the openings closed, and voila! Ready for comfy superhero snuggles ...
... or battling Hydra. Whichever you choose.