Trapunto Pillows

Create these festive holiday pillows with a sewing method known as trapunto.
Tree Pillow What You Need:

Enlarge Image
Gold piping and a star-shaped
button provide the finishing

  • Graph paper for pattern
  • scissors
  • 1 yard of 54-inch-wide green fabric
  • 18-inch square of white cotton batiste
  • Fabric marking pen
  • Matching sewing thread and decorative-twist rayon thread
  • Knitting needle
  • Cotton stuffing; straight pins
  • 2 yards of 1/2-inch-diameter piping cord
  • 18-inch pillow form


1. Measurements for pieces include 1/2-inch seam allowances. All sewing is done with right sides together, unless otherwise noted. Enlarge and trace the pattern. 2. From green fabric, cut two 18-inch squares and enough 1-1/2-inch-wide bias strips to make 2 yards of piping. 3. Place batiste over enlarged tree pattern; use fabric marking pen to trace tree shape twice, positioning trees as desired and away from the seam allowances. Baste batiste to pillow front with wrong sides together. Using rayon thread in bobbin and a short stitch length, machine-sew over traced lines. 4. To add dimension, stuff the tree shapes between the fabric layers and inside the stitching lines. Cut a small slit in the batiste fabric in between stitching lines and use a knitting needle to poke stuffing between the batiste and pillow front. Hand-sew slit closed with loose stitches. 5. Sew together the piping strips to make one long piece. Center the piping cord on wrong side of strip; fold fabric over cord, matching long edges. Use a zipper foot to sew through both fabric layers close to cord. 6. Pin piping to right side of pillow front with raw edges facing out and ends overlapping at center bottom. With zipper foot, sew piping to pillow front; clip seam allowance of piping at corners to fit. Trim off excess piping. 7. Pin pillow back to pillow front with piping sandwiched in between. Sew over previous stitching, rounding corners and leaving a large opening on one side to insert pillow form. Clip corners; turn right side out. Insert pillow form; turn in raw edges, and slip-stitch opening closed.

Continued on page 2:  Trapunto Star Pillow