Fresh Tulip Pillows

These easy-to-create pillows feature machine-couched springtime tulips and piped or bead trims.


What You Need
  • Polyester fiberfill
  • Water- or air-soluble marker
  • Clear monofilament thread
  • Embroidery Pattern A
  • Embroidery Pattern B

Square pillow:

  • 1/2 yard heavy-duty, solid off-white (pillow top and back)
  • Scraps of assorted pink, orange, and yellow yarn
  • 3-1/2 yards green chenille yarn
  • 2 yards green beaded cording

Rectangular pillow:

  • 1/2 yard heavy-duty, solid off-white (pillow top and back)
  • Scraps of assorted pink, orange, and yellow yarn
  • 1/8 yard solid bright pink (piping)
  • 1-1/2 yards green chenille yarn
  • 1-1/2 yards 3/16"-diameter cotton cording
Finished Pillows

14" square;
9X14" rectangle
Quantities are for 44/45"-wide, 100% cotton fabrics.
Measurements include 1/4" seam allowances.
Sew with right sides together unless otherwise stated.

Cut Your Fabrics

Cut pieces in the following order.

For square pillow:

From solid off-white, cut:
--1 -- 16" square
--1 -- 14-1/2" square for pillow back

For rectangular pillow:

From solid off-white, cut:
--1 -- 11X16" rectangle
--1 -- 9-1/2X14-1/2" rectangle for pillow back

From solid bright pink, cut:
--2 -- 2X42" strips

Embellish Pillow Tops
  1. Fold solid off-white 16" square in half twice. Lightly finger-press folds to create placement guidelines; unfold.
  2. Tape Embroidery Pattern A onto light table or sunny window. Place one fourth of the 16" square atop pattern, aligning fabric creases with pattern's dashed placement guidelines. Using water- or air-soluble marker, trace embroidery design onto fabric. Repeat to trace design in each fourth of the 16" square, rotating pattern each time.
  3. Trace Embroidery Pattern B three times across solid off-white 11X16" rectangle.
  4. Set up your sewing machine with a couching foot (see photo) or any foot that has an open center. Use clear monofilament thread in needle and off-white cotton thread in bobbin. Set up your machine for a long and narrow zigzag or blind-hem stitch.
  5. Lay a strand of yellow yarn atop a drawn tulip shape. Machine-couch yarn to the fabric by stitching over yarn on drawn lines.
  6. Referring to photograph for color placement, couch remaining tulip shapes with assorted pink, orange, and yellow yarn. Couch stem and leaf shapes with green chenille yarn.
Finish Square Pillow
  1. Centering design, trim couched white square to 14-1/2" square including seam allowances.
  2. Stitch beaded cording to all edges of couched white square, beginning 1-1/2" from cording end; use a zipper foot to stitch as close as possible to the beads. As you stitch each corner, round it slightly while gently easing cording into place.
  3. Cut end of cording so the ends abut, then stitch in place to complete pillow top. (Place a small amount of clear craft glue on each end of beaded cording to prevent fraying.)
  4. Join pillow back to pillow top, stitching around all edges and leaving an opening for turning. Turn right side out, stuff with fiberfill, and stitch opening closed.
Make Cording
  1. Cut and piece solid bright pink 2X42" strips to make a 60"-long strip.
  2. Fold one strip end under 1-1/2". With wrong side inside, fold strip in half lengthwise. Insert cording next to folded edge with cording end 1" from strip's folded end. With a zipper foot, baste through fabric layers right next to cording to make piping (Diagram 1).
Finish Rectangular Pillow

Centering design, trim couched white rectangle to 9-1/2X14-1/2" including seam allowances.

Aligning raw edges, baste piping to all edges of couched white rectangle, starting 1-1/2" from piping folded end. As you stitch each corner, clip seam allowance to within a few threads of stitching line (Diagram 2); gently ease piping in place. Cut end of cording to fit snugly inside folded opening, then stitch to beginning point to complete pillow top.

Join pillow back to pillow top, stitching around all edges and leaving an opening for turning. Turn right side out, stuff with fiberfill, and stitch opening closed.

Download Embroidery Pattern A

Download Embroidery Pattern B


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