A felted wool square makes a bold background for a funky flower appliqué pillow. Combine cotton, ribbon, and wool for a folk art look.

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Materials

Inspired by Coneflower Pillow from designer Sue Spargo

Project Maker: Jennifer Keltner

20x32" piece purple felted wool (pillow front and back)
9x22" piece (fat eighth) purple linen or cotton (pillow back)
8x12" piece each of turquoise, medium green, and light green felted wools; orange, turquoise, and green prints (appliqués)
Scrap of dark green felted wool (appliqué)
10"-long piece of 1/4"-wide velvet ribbon: turquoise (hill)
8"-long piece of 1/4"-wide velvet ribbon: green (hill)
1-4-1/2"-long piece of 1/2"-wide linen ribbon: turquoise (stem)
Cotton threads in colors that match appliqués
Perle cotton No. 8: green
Freezer paper
Needles: chenille, No. 24; straw, No. 11
18"-square pillow form

Finished pillow: 18" square

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

Measurements include 1/4" seam allowances unless otherwise stated. Sew with right sides together unless otherwise stated.

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Cut Fabrics

Cut pieces in the following order. Click on "Download this Project" for patterns.

To felt your own wool, machine-wash it in a hot-water-wash, cool-rinse cycle with a small amount of detergent. Machine-dry it on high heat and steam-press.

To use freezer paper to prepare appliqué pieces, complete the following steps.

1. Lay freezer paper, shiny side down, over patterns. Use a pencil to trace each pattern the number of times indicated in cutting instructions, leaving 1/4" between tracings. Cut out each freezer-paper shape on drawn lines.

2. Using a hot dry iron, press each freezer-paper shape, shiny side down, onto right side of designated cotton or wool; let cool.

3. Cut out cotton shapes, adding a 1/4" seam allowance beyond drawn lines. Cut out wool shapes on drawn lines. Peel off freezer paper from all pieces.

From purple wool, cut:
1-18-1/2" square
1-10-1/2x18-1/2" rectangle

From purple linen, cut:
1-8-1/2x18-1/2" rectangle

From orange print, cut:
1 each of patterns A, B, C, D, and E

From medium green wool, cut:
1 each of patterns F, G, and N

From turquoise print, cut:
1 each of patterns H and M

From turquoise wool, cut:
1 of Pattern I
16 of Pattern L

From green print, cut:
2 of Pattern J

From light green wool, cut:
1 of Pattern K
1 of Pattern O

From dark green wool, cut:
1 of Pattern P

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Assemble and Appliqué Pillow Front

1. Referring to Pillow Front Appliqué Placement Diagram, position and pin appliqué pieces A–K, turquoise linen ribbon 4-1/2"-long stem, 10"-long turquoise velvet ribbon, and 8"-long green velvet ribbon pieces on 18-1/2" pillow front. Tuck edges of A–E petals and F flower base under medium green wool G oval; tuck ends of turquoise linen ribbon under F flower base and K hill pieces. Baste in place.

2. Using threads that match appliqués, whipstitch wool appliqué shapes in place. Use 12-weight, 50% wool/50% acrylic thread and a No. 24 chenille needle for the wool appliqué.
To whipstitch, bring needle up at A and down at B (Whipstitch Diagram). Continue in same manner around entire shape.

3. Using threads that match appliqués, hand-appliqué cotton pieces in place, turning under the 1/4" seam allowance with your needle as you stitch. (Try 60-weight cotton thread and a No. 11 straw needle.)

4. Using threads that match, whipstitch turquoise linen ribbon, green velvet ribbon, and turquoise velvet ribbon pieces in place.

5. Referring to photo on page 1, add long running stitches to create curving vertical lines on orange print petals and green print leaves using green perle cotton.

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Appliqué and Assemble Pillow Back

1. Referring to Pillow Back Appliqué Placement Diagram, position and pin appliqué pieces L–P to upper pillow back rectangle. Using threads that match appliqués, whipstitch each wool piece and hand-appliqué turquoise print M wing in place.

2. Referring to Pillow Back Assembly Diagram, join bottom long edge of purple linen or cotton 8-1/2x18-1/2" rectangle and long edge of purple wool 10-1/2x18-1/2" rectangle to make pillow back. Press seam open. The pillow back should be 18-1/2" square including seam allowances.

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Finish Pillow

1. With right sides together, layer pillow top and pillow back; pin or baste edges. Sew together on three sides through all layers to make pillow cover. If desired, zigzag-stitch around edges to prevent raveling.

2. Turn pillow cover right side out. Insert pillow form. Slip-stitch the open edge closed.

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