Embroidery Library

Ornamental Pinwheel Pillow

Lovely lace designs are the "star" of the show!

One-color lace embroidery designs sew up in a flash, and, although digitized as freestanding designs, they look fantastic on fabric too! The diamond shapes that make up this pillow fit together just like a six-pointed star quilt square. Tassels and covered buttons give extra charm. 

You'll want at least two pillows to decorate your sofa. Match a quilt and they'll look great as accent pillows on the bed, too.

Supplies needed:

  • 1/3-yard of each of the three fabrics

  • 6 tassels

  • 2 large covered buttons

  • 16 oz. bag of stuffing

  • Button and carpet thread

  • Hand needles - soft sculpture needle (4 to 6 inches long) and large-eyed needle with a sharp point

  • Printout of the pattern piece - Click here  for the pattern pdf file.

  • Tracing paper

Embroidery Designs from Embroidery Library:

Special Project Notes:

You can use either 40 weight rayon thread or 30 � 35 weight cotton thread. 

I use Coats and Clark 30 and 35 weight cotton thread. It's labeled as Mercerized ELS Cotton for Machine Quilting & Crafts; Machine Quilting; or All Purpose. I find Coats and Clark cotton thread at JoAnn's. I've also used Madeira Cotona, which is a 30 weight cotton thread.

I use the 30 - 35 weight cotton thread both in the bobbin (I wind my own bobbins) and in the top (needle).



Print out the pattern piece and then trace two pattern shapes onto each color of fabric. 

Stabilize the fabric as you would for any normal embroidery.

In the center of each traced piece, embroider a lace ornament design 


Making the pillow top and backing:

Cut out the embroidered pieces. Trace and cut out two plain pieces from each color fabric. There will be 12 pieces in all.

Editors note: Half-inch seam allowances will be used throughout this sewing project.

Join 3 pieces (one of each color) to form one half of the pillow top. The top of the embroidery should face the place where the points meet in the center. Repeat to make the second half.

Join the two halves together with a seam down the center.  Match the points in the center of the pillow top as closely as possible.

In the same manner, join the plain pieces to make the back of the pillow, but, when making the final center seam, stitch only to the  place where the points meet. Leave the other half unstitched so that you have a place to turn the pillow later.

Lay out the pillow top and back with the right sides together, matching the points as precisely as possible.


Stitch along the entire outside edge of the star.

Inserting the tassels:

At each point,  add a tassel. Bring a piece of the button and carpet thread through the loop of the tassel, then thread both ends of the thread through the eye of the needle. 

Poke the threaded needle out through the very tip of the point of the star, bringing the thread, and the tassel loop through the fabric. 

Tie a knot in the tassel loop to secure the tassel in place.

Repeat these steps for each of the 6 points in the star.

Turn the pillow right side out. 

Stuff the pillow. It should be firm, but soft. The eraser end of an unsharpened pencil is helpful for getting the stuffing into the small points. It is important that the stuffing be firm in the center. Close the opening.

Assemble the covered buttons according to the package instructions.  I used small scraps left over from the red fabric to cover my buttons, but you could use  a coordinating print, or embroider a mini design on the fabric to make it extra special before you cut it out.

Thread the soft sculpture needle with a long piece of the button and carpet thread.  Double the thread over and knot together at the thread ends. 

Pierce the center of the pillow, where the points meet, and bring the needle through to come out where the points meet on the other side. Make two stitches like this, then pull the thread firmly and steadily until the indentation is as deep in the pillow as you like. If you pull too much, and the fabric puckers, let up a bit, and the puckers should ease out. Make a couple more stitches, then tie off the thread. Attach the buttons through the center of the pillow. 

I just love the look of this classy star. The dark green, burgundy, and off-white give it an old world feel. But if you want a more jolly mood, you could use the classic red, holly green, and white. For those who celebrate Chanukah, picture it in blue, white, and gold, with Dreidel or Menorah embroidery. The possibilities are endless.

Click here for a printable version of these project instructions.

You'll need to have Adobe Acrobat Reader installed on your computer. If you don't have it, you can download a free copy by clicking on the icon below.

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Products used in this Project: