Embroidery Library

Cutwork Pillow

Free project instructions to create a cutwork pillow.

Free project instructions to create a cutwork pillow.


Highlight the intricacy and delicacy of cutwork designs with a lovely pillow! Accent fabric is applied behind the cutwork design adding a pop of unexpected color.

Project Needs & Notes:

- 1/2 yard woven fabric (like linen)
- 1/2 yard accent color fabric
- 12" x 12" pillow form
- Craft knife
- 30-35 weight cotton thread
- Medium-weight (2.5 ounce) cutaway stabilizer
- Light-weight water-soluble stabilizer
- Temporary spray adhesive (like Gunold's KK100)
- Air-erase pen for marking
- Double-stick tape
- Paper towels

The design featured in this tutorial is:
M13685, Floral Square (Cutwork)


Finished Sizes:
12" x 12"
Free project instructions to create cutwork embroidery. 
The video tutorial demonstrates how to embroider cutwork designs. Instructions specific
to the cutwork pillow are below.
 
Special Notes:
There are some special cutwork needles available on the market, however, we used a 75/11 sharp sewing needle. Cutwork needles should not be used with our cutwork designs. The open areas are cut using a sharp craft knife (while the fabric and stabilizer are still hooped).

It's important to use 30-35 weight cotton thread when embroidering cutwork, as it is thicker than rayon or polyester thread and will hold up the delicate detail of the cutwork.

Free project instructions to create a cutwork pillow.

Cutwork is a mix of freestanding embroidery and embroidering directly onto fabric.

Woven fabrics, like linen, are an excellent choice for cutwork. Avoid stretchy fabrics and fabrics with Lycra or Spandex as these types of fabric will bunch and pucker.

Before starting, be sure to preshrink the fabric by washing and drying it. If you do not preshrink the fabric, it may pucker later on.


Free project instructions to create a cutwork pillow.

Draw a 13" x 13" square onto the woven fabric.

Cut around the drawn shape, making sure to leave enough extra fabric around all four sides to hoop later.


Free project instructions to create a cutwork pillow.

Hoop the fabric with one piece of cutaway stabilizer, lining up the marks on the fabric with the marks on the hoop.

Free project instructions to create a cutwork pillow.

Since both sides of the cutwork can be seen, wind a bobbin with the same thread used in the needle.

It's important to use 30 or 35 weight cotton thread when embroidering cutwork. There are a couple of different names for cotton thread, like mercerized and all-purpose.

Free project instructions to create a cutwork pillow.

Attach the hoop to the machine and load the design.

Embroider the design -- the first thing to sew will be the cut lines. These lines will be used to cut the openings in the fabric.

Using a darker colored thread to sew the cut lines will make it easier to see them on the fabric.


Free project instructions to create a cutwork pillow.

After the cut lines have sewn, remove the hoop but do not unhoop the fabric.

Place the hoop onto a cutting pad. Then, using a sharp craft knife, carefully cut out the openings by cutting in between the sewn cut lines.

Cut through the fabric and the cutaway stabilizer.

Free project instructions to create a cutwork pillow.

Next, cut a piece of water-soluble stabilizer to the size of your hoop.

This tutorial uses Vilene, which is soft and fabric like.

Add double stick tape to the outer edges of the stabilizer and smooth it on the back of the embroidery.

Free project instructions to create a cutwork pillow.

Attach the hoop back onto the machine and continue with the design.

A zigzag stitch tack down will sew around the raw edges of the fabric. This tack down binds the fabric and stabilizer together.

Next, the design will sew over the water-soluble stabilizer and the fabric, covering the raw edges of the openings.

Free project instructions to create a cutwork pillow.

After the design has finished, unhoop the fabric and cut away the excess water-soluble stabilizer and the cutaway stabilizer on the backside of the embroidery.

Then, cut out the 13" x 13" square that was drawn earlier.


Free project instructions to create a cutwork pillow.

To remove the remaining water-soluble stabilizer, lay a dry paper towel underneath the embroidery and using a damp paper towel or sponge, dab the embroidery inside the open areas.

Or, you can hand wash the fabric with a mild detergent.

Allow the fabric to air dry. Then, using a pressing cloth on top, press the embroidery with an iron.

Free project instructions to create a cutwork pillow.

Now that the embroidery is finished, take the accent colored fabric, and draw out a 13" x 13" square.

Cut out the shape.

Free project instructions to create a cutwork pillow.

Lay the embroidered piece on the table with the right side facing down.

Next, lay the accent color square on top of the embroidered piece. Make sure the right side of the accent fabric is also facing down, so that it is resting against the wrong side of the embroidery.


Free project instructions to create a cutwork pillow.

Line up the edges, and pin the two pieces together.

Sew a 1/4" seam along all four edges.


Free project instructions to create a cutwork pillow.

For the back of the pillow, cut two pieces of the outer pillow fabric to 8" x 13".


Free project instructions to create a cutwork pillow.

On both pieces, fold one of the long edges over 1/2" to the wrong side and press.

Fold the fabric over 1/2" again and press.

Sew a seam along the folded edges.


Free project instructions to create a cutwork pillow.

Lay the front piece flat with the right side facing up.

Align the back pieces on top, right sides together, with the folded edges facing inwards and with the back pieces overlapping.

Align the outer edges of the back pieces with the outer edges of the front piece. Pin in place.


Free project instructions to create a cutwork pillow.

Sew a 1/2" seam along the entire outer edge of the fabric.


Free project instructions to create a cutwork pillow.

To finish, turn the fabric right side out.

Insert the pillow form in between the layers of the back pieces.


Free project instructions to create a cutwork pillow.

Colored fabric shines through the open areas of these cutwork pillows for a unique and eye-catching look.


Cutwork Pillow



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Products used in this Project: