Bright Stitches

Annie's Quilting for the Home - - Contents - De­sign by Missy She­p­ler

Pre­cut strips and sim­ple em­broi­dery stitches on a plain white insert cre­ate a lovely pil­low. Just imag­ine how many color com­bi­na­tions you could use!


Skill Level: Begin­ner Pil­low Size: 16" x 16"


• 8 pre­cut 21/2" co­or­di­nat­ing strips

• 7⁄8 yard solid white

• 3/4 yard 45"-wide light­weight bat­ting

• 16"-square pil­low form

• 3 (5⁄8") but­tons

• Co­or­di­nat­ing col­ors size 8 pearl cot­ton

• Thread

• Tapestry nee­dle

• Wa­ter-sol­u­ble fab­ric marker

• Walk­ing foot (op­tional)

• But­ton­hole foot (op­tional)

• Ba­sic sewing tools and sup­plies


1. Cut (15) 21/2" x 18" A strips from co­or­di­nat­ing 21/2" by fab­ric width pre­cut strips.

2. Cut one 18" by fab­ric width strip white solid. Sub­cut strip into one each 18" C square, 9" x 18" D rec­tan­gle and 111/2" x 18" E rec­tan­gle.

3. Cut one 61/2" by fab­ric width strip white solid. Sub­cut strip into one 61/2" x 18" B rec­tan­gle.

4. From bat­ting, cut one 18" square pil­low front and two 11" x 18" pil­low back rect­an­gles.

Com­plet­ing the Pil­low Front

1. Stitch two A strips to one 18" side of B and three A strips to the op­po­site side of B to make pil­low front as shown in Fig­ure 1. Press seams to­ward A strips.

2. Layer 18" square of bat­ting be­tween C square right side down, and pil­low front, right side up; baste to­gether. Use a walk­ing foot to quilt close to seams as shown in Fig­ure 2.

3. Trim the pil­low front down to 161/2" square and staystitch 1⁄8" from edges.

4. Draw two or three par­tial cir­cles on the cen­ter white panel of the pil­low front with a wa­ter-sol­u­ble fab­ric marker re­fer­ring to the Place­ment Di­a­gram and pho­tos. Draw 3–5 con­cen­tric cir­cles 1/4" apart within the first cir­cle. Note: Use a round ob­ject as a tem­plate, like a plate or lid, to draw the cir­cles.

5. Use a run­ning stitch and a sin­gle 30"-strand of pearl cot­ton to hand-quilt the con­cen­tric cir­cles as shown in Fig­ure 3. Bury thread ends be­tween the quilt lay­ers to se­cure.

Com­plet­ing the Pil­low Back

1. Stitch five A strips right sides to­gether length­wise to 18" right side of D to make A-D unit as shown in Fig­ure 4. Press seam al­lowances to­ward A.

2. Fold and press the A-D unit in half wrong sides to­gether to make the up­per pil­low back as shown in Fig­ure 5. Align seams and stitch just below the seam line to form the but­ton flap, again re­fer­ring to Fig­ure 5.

3. Mark and stitch three 5⁄8" but­ton­holes cen­tered on the but­ton flap 3" apart re­fer­ring to Fig­ure 6.

4. Slip one 11" x 18" bat­ting piece in­side the A-D unit, smooth­ing bat­ting edge against but­ton flap seam. Baste lay­ers and quilt close to seams us­ing a walk­ing foot; trim bat­ting. Trim length to 161/2" to make up­per pil­low back.

5. Stitch five A strips right sides to­gether length­wise to one 18" side of E to make A-E unit; press seams to­ward E.

6. Fold A-E unit in half wrong sides to­gether along A/E seam and press. Smooth re­main­ing 11" x 18" bat­ting piece in­side the folded A-E unit. Baste and quilt close to seams us­ing a walk­ing foot; trim bat­ting. Trim length to 161/2" to make lower pil­low back.

Com­plet­ing the Pil­low

1. With strips ver­ti­cal on pil­low front, po­si­tion up­per pil­low back with strips hor­i­zon­tal, right sides to­gether at the top of pil­low front, raw edges even as shown in Fig­ure 7.

2. Po­si­tion the lower pil­low back, over­lap­ping up­per pil­low back, on bot­tom of pil­low front with raw edges even and right sides to­gether, again re­fer­ring to Fig­ure 7; pin in place.

3. Stitch around outer edge of pil­low. Stitch again 1⁄8" from orig­i­nal stitch­ing to re­in­force seam. Trim cor­ners and fin­ish seam al­lowance with zigzag, overedge stitch or serger.

4. Turn the pil­low right side out through the over­lapped back pieces. Use but­ton­holes as place­ment guides and hand-stitch three but­tons in place. Insert pil­low form and close but­tons to fin­ish.

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