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Quilted Pillow with Cutwork Embroidery

This charming pillow uses some simple blocks to create a unique appearance. The template for the blocks is included.

For the project we used the Squirrel Cutwork Lace design.
The finished size of the pillow is about 16" x 16".

You will need:
  • about 1 yard of light beige fabric,
  • about 1/2 yard of dark brown patterned fabric,
  • a piece of low-loft batting (about 1/2 yard) and polyester stuffing.
For embroidery, we used embroidery polyester threads and watersoluble mesh stabilizer.
Out of light beige fabric, cut
  • a square measuring 8 1/2" x 8 1/2" and
  • 3 squares measuring 16 1/2" x 16 1/2";
Out of dark brown fabric, cut
  • 4 squares measuring 4 1/2" x 4 1/2" and
  • a square measuring 8 1/2" x 8 1/2".
Download the template and use them cut out the rest of the pieces. Cut part A from the beige fabric and part B from the dark brown fabric. You will need eight of each part. Click on the image for a full size template you can print out. All seam allowances included!

Click for Full-Size Template
Assembling the Top
Sew the parts cut with the help of the template into eight squares, seam allowance is 1/4":
Sew the new squares into four pairs:
Sew the first pair to the left and right sides of the 8 1/2" x 8 1/2" square:
Sew the the dark brown squares to the left and right edges of the third and fourth pairs.
Sew the new strips to the upper and lower edges of the central unit.
Print out the template of the embroidery and with its help mark the position of the embroidery.
Stabilize the fabric with the water-soluble mesh, hoop the fabric and make the embroidery. Read about how to embroider the Squirrel design on its instructions page.
Now place the backing (one of the 16 1/3" x 16 1/2" beige squares) on a flat surface (table) face down. Cover with batting. Place the dark brown 8 1/2" x 8 1/2" square in the center over the batting. Spread your working piece over it.
Pin all four layers together with 1" pins and start quilting. We quilted around the embroidery and then made stippling all over the piece.

After the quilting is finished, press the work with heavy steam and square the work -- all corners should be 90 degrees and opposite sides should be of the same length.

Finish the raw edges with zig-zag stitch.

Take the remaining 16 1/2" x 16 1/2" light beige squares. Place a piece of batting between the pieces and quilt the piece all over. Press. Square. Finish the raw edges with zig-zag stitch.

Note that the back should be of the same size as the front of the pillow.

Now place the back and front panels face to face. Topstitch 1/4" along the edges, leaving an openning about 8" long.
Step 1/8" from the first stitched line and topstitch again.
Turn the pillow right side out through the openning. Put the stuffing through the openning.
Machine stitch, or hand stitch, the opening closed.
The pillow is ready. Enjoy!
Happy Stitching!
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