This pillow combines patchwork pieces and hand embroidery with a stitched quote celebrating the season.


Designer: Kathy Schmitz


• 9×22" (fat eighth) of yellow print

• 1⁄8 yard of rose print

• 12" square of blue print

• 10" square of green print

• 9-1⁄2 ×10-1⁄2" rectangle of backing fabric

• 11×12" of quilt batting

• Polyester fiberfill

• 3-5⁄8"-diameter ivory buttons

• 1-3⁄4"-diameter ivory button

• 1-7⁄8"-diameter ivory button

• Ecru embroidery floss

• Water-soluble pen

• Lightweight fusible web

Finished pillow: 10×9"

Quantities are for 44/45"-wide, 100% cotton fabrics.

All measurements include a 1⁄4" seam allowance. Sew with right sides together unless otherwise stated.

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Cut the Fabrics

To make the best use of your fabrics, cut the pieces in the order that follows. Click on "Download this Project" for pattern pieces. To use fusible web for appliquéing, as was done in this project, complete the following steps.

1. Position the fusible web, paper side up, over patterns J, K, and L. Use a pencil to trace each pattern once, leaving 1⁄2" between tracings. Cut out the fusible-web shapes roughly 1⁄4" outside the traced lines.

2. Following the manufacturer's instructions, press the fusible-web shapes onto the backs of the designated prints; let cool. Cut out the fabric shapes on the drawn lines to make the appliqués. Peel off the paper backings.

From yellow print, cut:

• 1-1-1⁄4 ×14" strip

• 1 each of patterns A and I

From rose print, cut:

• 2-1-1⁄2 ×10-1⁄2" border strips

• 2-1-1⁄2 ×7-1⁄2" border strips

• 1-1-1⁄4 ×14" strip

• 1 each of patterns B and J

From blue print, cut:

• 1 each of patterns D, F, and H

From green print, cut:

• 1 each of patterns C, E, K, and L

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Assemble the Checkered Strip

1. Aligning long edges, sew together the yellow print 1-1⁄4 ×14" strip and the rose print 1-1⁄4 ×14" strip to make a strip set (Diagram 1). Press the seam allowance toward the rose print strip. Cut the strip set into a total of fourteen 1"-wide segments.

2. Sew together the yellow print and rose print 1" segments to make the checkered strip (Diagram 2). Press the seam allowances in one direction. Referring to Diagram 3, lay the Pattern G template atop the checkered strip; cut out.

Assemble the Pillow Top

1. Arrange the rose print J flower and green print K and L leaves atop the yellow print I piece (Diagram 4); fuse in place. Using ecru embroidery floss and working from the bottom layer to the top, blanket-stitch around each piece. To blanket-stitch, pull your needle up at A (Blanket Stitch Diagram), form a reverse L shape with the floss, and hold the angle of the L shape in place with your thumb. Then push the needle down at B and come up at C to secure the stitch.

2. Referring to the Appliqué Foundation Diagram, lay out pieces A through I in sections. Sew together the pieces in each section. Press the seam allowances in one direction. Then join the sections to make the pillow top center; press. The pieced pillow top center should measure 7-1⁄2 ×8-1⁄2", including the seam allowances.

3. Sew rose print 1-1⁄2 ×7-1⁄2" border strips to the short edges of the pillow top center. Then sew the rose print 1-1⁄2 ×10-1⁄2" border strips to the long edges to complete the pillow top. Press all seam allowances toward the border.

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Embroider the Pillow Top

Work all embroidery with two strands of ecru embroidery floss, except for the quote, which uses three strands.

1. Using a light table, trace the quote and the stitches from Pattern H onto the pillow top with a water-soluble marking pen.

2. Lay the marked pillow top right side up on the batting. Pin to secure. Refer to Embroidery Stitches, below, to embroider the pillow top. The stitches can be used in any combination. Refer to the photograph for inspiration. Sew the ivory buttons in place, referring to the photograph.

Embroidery Stitches

  • To stem-stitch, pull your needle up at A (Stem Stitch Diagram). Insert your needle back into the fabric at B, about 1⁄4" away from A. Then, holding the floss out of the way, bring your needle back up at C and pull the floss through so it lies flat against the fabric. The distances between points A, B, and C should be equal. Pull gently and with equal tautness after each stitch.
  • To make a running stitch, pull your needle up at A (Running Stitch Diagram) and insert it back into the fabric at B, 1⁄8" away from A. Pull your needle up at C, 1⁄8" away from B, and continue in the same manner.
  • To make a lazy daisy stitch (Lazy Daisy Stitch Diagram), pull your needle up at A, and form a loop of floss on the fabric surface. Holding the loop in place, insert your needle back into the fabric at B, about 1⁄16" away from A. Bring your needle tip out at C and cross it over the trailing floss, keeping the floss as flat as possible. Gently pull your needle and trailing floss until the loop lies flat against the fabric. Push your needle through to the back at D to secure the loop in place. Repeat to make additional lazy daisy stitches.
  • To make a French knot, pull your needle and floss through at the point where the knot is desired (French Knot Diagram). Wrap the floss around your needle twice without twisting the floss. Insert the tip of your needle into the fabric at B, 1⁄16" away from A. Gently push the wraps down the needle to meet the fabric. Pull the needle and trailing floss through the fabric slowly and smoothly.
  • To chain-stitch, bring your needle up at A (Chain-Stitch Diagram), form a U shape with the floss, and hold the shape in place with your thumb. Push your needle down at B, about 1⁄16" away from A, and come up at C. Continue in the same manner.
  • To straight-stitch (Straight-Stitch Diagram), bring your needle up at A and insert it back into the fabric at B. Pull your needle up at C and continue in the same manner.

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Complete the Pillow

1. Layer the backing fabric atop the embroidered pillow top and batting. Pin the pieces together. Sew around all four edges, leaving a 3" opening along one edge to make the pillow cover.

2. Turn the pillow cover right side out through the opening. Stuff the pillow cover firmly with fiberfill and whipstitch the opening closed.