It’s February and if you’d like to add a little Valentine flavor to your home decor, then today’s project may be just the thing. This pillow is made completely with scraps, and is created with a little piecing, a little applique, and a little quilting. Go through your scraps and find an assortment of pink prints and solids. Keep reading to see how I “pieced” this project together with a lot of “throwaway” materials.
- Heart Fabric – “Pink” fabric strips with a width up to 1 ½”. I used 1” and 1 ½” strips and made them at least 5” long. This is very generous, but I wanted to make sure the pieced strips would be large enough to cut out the hearts. There are 3 hearts and each one takes 3-4 strips. If all of your strips are narrow, you will need more strips. If all are wide, you won’t need as many.
- Pillow Fabric – 15” x 32″ – I don’t have any scraps that large, but I did have two pieces of the same pink fabric that were 15” x 18”each . I stitched them together to make the size I needed. The seam is covered by the heart panel on the front of the pillow. This fabric will be trimmed to size after you quilt it.
- Batting – 15” x 32″ – low loft such as Warm ‘n Natural. My pillow fabric was light weight, so I quilted it to give more body to it. I used batting scraps that I placed edge-to-edge and stitched using a running stitch to join them until I had the size batting I needed.
- Binding – two strips of fabric, 2” x 15” each. These strips will be used to bind the ends of the pillow fabric once it is quilted and trimmed.
- Heart Panel – 15” x 5” strip of white or off-white quilting cotton. I used a slightly off-white strip of grunge fabric because the distressed print gives it more visual texture than a flat white fabric has. You can use any background fabric but make sure it lets the hearts stand out and be noticed.
- Panel backing – 15” x 5 ¾” strip of fabric that contrasts the panel fabric (mine is pink!). This is wider than the panel so when it is stitched and turned to the right side, it creates a faux binding at the upper and lower edges.
- Fusible web – paperbacked fusible web – a 5” square for each of the three hearts.
- Tear-away stabilizer – use this behind each heart, if needed, as you stitch them to the background.
- Temporary spray adhesive – for basting the batting to the pillow fabric.
- Pillow Form – 12” square form
- Heart Pattern – print the pattern below to use as a pattern for each of the three hearts
Quilting the Pillow Fabric
Place the batting on the wrong side of the pillow fabric, using temporary spray adhesive to hold it in place. Using a serpentine stitch, quilt an all-over pattern on the appliquéd fabric. I stitched vertical lines, loosely using the edge of the presser foot for spacing. A serpentine stitch does not have to be precisely placed to look good. It is very forgiving and creates more interesting texture than a straight stitch. Trim the quilted fabric to 13” x 29”.
Create bias tape by folding the binding strips in half longwise and pressing. Unfold the strips and fold each raw edge into to the center crease and press. Fold in half once more and press again. Place one folded tape on one of the ends of the quilted pillow fabric. Note: There is no backing on the fabric, the batting will be the inside of the pillow. Place the bias tape over the short ends, covering the raw edge. Clip or pin to hold it in place.
Stitch the binding to secure it using a running or serpentine stitch. Repeat on the opposite end of the pillow fabric.
Piecing the Hearts
Using a quarter inch presser foot, stitch 4-7 strips (depending on the width of the strips) together to create a rectangle large enough for the Heart Pattern. Press the seams to one side. Trim the pieced strips to 5” square and bond the fusible web to the wrong side. Trace the pattern onto the paper side of the fusible web and then cut out three hearts.
Positioning the Hearts
Draw a vertical line at the center of the fabric. Draw a horizontal line ½” up from the lower edge of the fabric. Remove the paper from the back of the hearts and fuse them to the background fabric. Start with the center heart, placing the cleft on the vertical line and the lower point of the heart at the horizontal line. Place one heart on each side of the center one, positioning the lower point on the horizontal line and spacing them 3/8” apart.
Blanket Stitch Applique
Select the blanket stitch on your machine and attach an open embroidery presser foot. Move the needle position to the far right. Place the fabric under the foot with the inside edge of the right toe aligned with the edge of the heart. Starting at the cleft of the heart, stitch the heart in place, keeping the inside toe aligned with the edge of the heart and pivoting around the curves as needed. This places the blanket stitch exactly on the edge.
Completing the Heart Panel
Place the appliqué panel right sides together with the contrasting fabric. Stitch along the upper edge using a quarter inch seam. Repeat with the lower edge. Note: The contrasting fabric is wider than the panel. Match the raw edges and then sew. Turn the panel to the right side. The contrasting fabric should show at the top and bottom of the panel, creating the look of binding. Press the panel. Position the heart panel at the center of the pillow front. Stitch in place along the faux binding at the upper and lower edges.
Finishing the Pillow
Fold the pillow fabric around the pillow form, wrong side out, overlapping the bound edges. Slide the pillow form out of the fabric, maintaining its fold and leaving the wrong side out. Stitch along the side edges using a ½” seam allowance. These seams are a good place to use your serger so the raw edges can be overcast as the seam is sewn. Turn the pillow to the right side and insert the pillow form through the opening on the back.
Hope you enjoy this Valentine pillow. If you make this, please share a photo – I’d love to see how your finished projects!
Thank you for a pillow pattern that doesn’t scream VALENTINE’S DAY. I like to decorate for each holiday but as I get older I want things a bit more subtle since my grands + family are a flight away.
Glad you liked the pillow. I like to decorate for holidays but only in small amounts so pillows are a great way to do that.
Happy Valentine’ Day!
LOVE it, Susan! Using just the heart applique panel with its faux binding would also make a perfect pillow wrap.
Thanks, Kari! Love the wrap idea. Maybe a pillow with a band for each holiday. Hope you are doing well!