Embroidery Library

Pretty Pair of Pillows

 

Free project instructions to make a set of embroidered pillows.

A pair of pillows with gorgeous color contrast takes just two fabric colors and two thread colors. So simple, and so pretty!

Take a one-color design and two fabric colors you love, make a pillow, then reverse the colors for the design and front and back of the next pillow, for a fabulous "positive/negative" color effect.

The instructions below show how to make both pillows.

 

Free project instructions to make a set of embroidered pillows.
Supplies Needed:

**2 pillow forms (mine are 14" wide by 14" high)

**3/4 yard fabric (per pillow -- I used lightweight canvas and suede cloth, a total of 1 1/2 yards)

**1/2 yard fabric (for inner lining pieces -- I used quilter's cotton)

**Bias tape maxi piping (2 1/2 yards per pillow, two different colors)

**Medium weight cutaway stabilizer

**Temporary spray adhesive


**
Air-erase pen


Designs Used:

I used the 6" x 10" size of the Simply Red Rose Bouquet. Designs that are up to 8" x 8" work well with this project. If your embroidery machine is limited to 100 x 100 mm designs, you can stitch two or three to fill the space.

There are many other beautiful Simply designs to choose from, or explore and choose your favorite one-color designs - visit Embroidery Library and use the search box, with keywords ONE COLOR.


Free project instructions to make a set of embroidered pillows.
 


First I prepared the fabric for the front of the pillows. To do this, take the size of the pillow forms you are using and add 1/2" to each of the dimensions (mine are 14" x 14", so my shape measures 14 1/2" by 14 1/2") . With an air-erase pen, draw the shape to that size on your fabric (I used lightweight canvas and suede cloth). Leave a couple of inches of excess fabric around the shape for hooping.
 



Free project instructions to make a set of embroidered pillows.
 

Next I found the center of my shape by measuring  and marking each side of the shape and dividing by two. I drew lines connecting the marks - where the lines intersect is the exact center of the shape.

I created a paper template of my design to use for design placement. If you haven't worked with templates before, click here for a tutorial.

I poked a hole in the center of the template and aligned it with the center point of the fabric, making sure there was at least 1" between the outer edges of the design and the edges of the shape. This will leave room for a seam allowance and plenty of space around the design on the pillow.
 



Free project instructions to make a set of embroidered pillows.
 

Now it was time to embroider my design. I sprayed a piece of medium weight cutaway stabilizer with temporary adhesive and smoothed the fabric on top, then hooped the fabric and stabilizer together by lining up the marks on the hoop with the lines on the fabric.



Free project instructions to make a set of embroidered pillows.
 

With the hoop attached to the machine and my design loaded, I moved the hoop so the needle was directly over the center point of my fabric, and stitched the design.



Free project instructions to make a set of embroidered pillows.
 

When the design was finished, I trimmed the excess stabilizer from the back of the design. The first front piece was now complete.



Free project instructions to make a set of embroidered pillows.
 

I repeated the steps above to make the front piece of the second pillow, reversing the colors of the fabric and thread from one front piece to the other for the contrasting color effect.



Free project instructions to make a set of embroidered pillows.
 

Next I prepared the inner linings of the front pieces by cutting pieces of fabric to the same size as the embroidered front pieces. I laid the embroidered front pieces flat with the wrong sides facing up (embroidery facing down), then aligned the inner lining pieces on top, pinned in place, and sewed a 1/8" seam around the entire outer edges of the fabric to tack the two layers together.



Free project instructions to make a set of embroidered pillows.
 

To prepare the back pieces, take the width dimension of the front piece and divide it by two.  Then add 4" for an overlap of the two back pieces, forming a pocket to hold the pillow form securely inside the cover. For my pillow cover, 14 1/2" divided by two is 7 1/4", plus 4" makes a width measurement of 11 1/4".

Using the width measurement you just calculated and the original height of the front embroidered piece, cut two pieces of fabric. (My two pieces measured 11 1/4" by 14 1/2".) Then, on both pieces of fabric, fold one side edge over 1/2" to the wrong side and press with an iron. Fold the fabric over again 1/2" to the wrong side and press. Then, sew a seam along the inner edge of the folds. Cut and prepare two back pieces for each pillow following these steps (for a total of four back pieces).  



Free project instructions to make a set of embroidered pillows.
 

Next I added the piping trim, first laying the embroidered front pieces flat with the right sides facing up. I aligned the end of the trim with the bottom edge of the fabric (in the center of the bottom edge) with the raw edge of the trim lined up with the outer edge of the fabric (finished side of the trim facing in).

I pinned the trim in place along the entire outer edge of the shape, and cut slits in the seam allowance of the trim at each corner as I went. These slits allow the trim to bend at the corners and to lay flat. I overlapped the ends of the trim about 1/2" and with a zipper foot, sewed a seam around the entire shape to tack the trim in place, sewing as close to the "cord" of the trim as possible.



Free project instructions to make a set of embroidered pillows.
 

To add the back pieces, I laid the assembled front pieces (with the trim) flat with the right side facing up. I aligned the first back piece on top of the fabric, wrong side facing up, with the raw edges of the back piece lined up with the left side of the front piece, and the folded edge facing inside the shape.



Free project instructions to make a set of embroidered pillows.
 

I aligned the remaining back piece on top of the fabric, wrong side facing up, with the raw edges of the back piece lined up with the right side of the front piece, once again with the fold facing inside the shape.

I pinned all the layers together, then flipped the fabric over so that the wrong side of the front piece is facing up. I sewed a seam along the entire outer edge of the shape following the trim seam (the seam I sewed earlier to tack the trim in place). I turned the fabric right side out (through the opening in the back pieces), put in my pillow forms, and my pillows were done!



Free project instructions to make an embroidered pincushion inside a picture frame.
 

A pair of pillows with your favorite colors and embroidery in a stunning "positive/negative" effect are an outstanding addition to any room.

Click here for a printable version of these project instructions.


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Products used in this Project: