A New Look with Pillows

quilt pillows
Fun and creative pillows are the perfect accessory for every room.

Fun Doodle Pillowcase

This crazy pillowcase is great fun to make with your child. Screen-print an image and line the pillowcase edge with coordinating rickrack and ribbon.

Towels into Pillows

Turn towels into throw pillows! For the patterned pillow, fold the ends of a bath towel around a pillow form like an envelope. Fold in the sides of the towel so the towel is the same width as the pillow form. Add three pairs of grommets along each side. Thread a length of ribbon through each grommet pair and tie.

For the white pillow, cut and fold a decorative hand towel to the size of your pillow form and stitch along the edges with right sides together, leaving an opening large enough for turning and placing the pillow form inside. Turn right sides out, put the pillow form into the cover and hand-stitch the opening closed.

For the bolster, embroider a towel with a word or purchase an embroidered towel. Roll the towel around a bolster form. Tie the ends with cording or ribbon.

Graphic Number and Letter Pillows

Personalize purchased pillows with fonts you love. Print numbers or letters on paper and cut them out to make patterns. Trace the patterns on fabric and cut out the fabric shapes. Remove the pillow forms. Follow manufacturer's instructions to fuse fabric shapes to the pillow fronts with fusible web. Machine-stitch around the shapes as desired.

Cute Cat Pillow

This adorable pillow will liven up any room. Use our sewing patterns to create a one-of-a-kind cat accent.

Bold Scarf Throw Pillows

Choose bright, retro geometric-patterned silk scarves to sew into pillow covers. Silk is slick under a sewing machine's needle, so press a piece of fusible backing onto your chosen scarves with a warm iron before cutting and sewing. With your pillow form dimensions in mind, cut out a pillow top from one scarf and a pillow back from a complementary color. Sew together along three edges; turn right side out, add the pillow form, and sew the open edges closed.

Buckle-Embellished Pillow

Embellish a purchased pillow with buckles or clasps. Choose a coordinating fabric and sew it into a strap that can wrap around your pillow, or use a wide ribbon. Slide the strap through a repurposed or purchased belt buckle and attach at the front of your pillow.

House Number Pillows

Paint oversize house numbers on purchased pillows and place them outside near the front door. They are a lovely accent for warm weather. For an all-weather version, use pillows made with outdoor fabric. Print fonts from your computer to use as patterns for these graphic pillows.

From Place Mats to Pillows

Matelasse place mats are great pillow covers. Monogram a place mat on your sewing machine or have it done for you. Topstitch two mats together, leaving an opening for stuffing, to make a pillow cover. Stuff the pillow cover; topstitch the opening closed. For the small yellow pillow, overlap the two ends of one scalloped-edge place mat, and topstitch the sides together to make a pillow cover. Insert a pillow form into the cover and close the envelope opening with a jeweled brooch or a large decorative button.

Painted Flower Pillows

Big pillows in sturdy fabrics add modern flair. To make these pillows, cut a stencil from clear acetate or cut flower petal shapes from a flat sponge. Mix fabric medium with acrylic paint. Use the mixture to stencil or sponge the flowers onto purchased pillows; let dry. Paint the centers freehand.

Rickrack-Edge Pillowcase

Pretty embroidery stitches highlight rows of rickrack on a pillow's edge.

What you'll need:
-- Sewing machine
-- Thread
-- 1-1/2 yards of maxi rickrack
-- Standard red pillowcase
-- 1-1/2 yards each of 5 different medium to jumbo rickrack in green, white, and red
-- Embroidery floss in assorted shades of red, white, and green
-- Sewing needle

1. Machine-stitch maxi rickrack along the inside edge of the pillowcase so that half of the rickrack extends beyond the edge. Space the five other rickrack lengths 1 inch apart and baste around the outside of the pillowcase.

2. Embroider rickrack with shades of floss using various embroidery stitches.

Felted Throw Pillow

Repurpose your worn wool sweaters as pillows! Once you machine-wash wool, the fabric no longer ravels and you can use it to stitch home accents, such as these pillows.

Silk Pillow with Tassels

Nothing says sophistication quite like silk. This pillow features a center panel of colorful embroidered silk framed by a contrasting striped red silk flange. Well-chosen braided cording and a tassel at each corner echo the embroidery colors and give the pillow exquisite detail.

Ribbon and Tassel Pillow

For an expensive look, wrap an inexpensive pillow with coordinating double-faced satin ribbon. Add a purchased beaded tassel for a look reminiscent of a wonderfully wrapped gift.

Quilted Bolster

Details make all the difference in this quilted bolster. Purchased quilted fabric lends a foolproof hand-quilted look to the refined pillow. Use beaded pom-pom trim, looped tassel cording, and covered buttons to dress up each end. To mimic the winding ivy of the chair fabric, silver beaded cord was stitched around the pillow.

Color Code

The colors and shapes of this trio of pillows pack a punch. No need to settle for plain when panache is just a step away. Mix and match solid colors and basic forms to banish a room's neutral blahs.

Calico Circle

Bolster pillows are all-around perfection; they don't have a wrong side. Prop one under your neck to ease tension, add one to the end of the sofa for a cushy armrest, or put one at the the back of an office chair to ease a weary back.

Sweater Season

Crocheted pillows like these are a cozy addition to winter decorating. Be adventurous and try a tougher pattern; after all, pillows are smaller than sweaters, and all the sides are the same number of stitches!

Buttoned Down

Have an hour? Make a pillow cover! Simply put button holes on a peppy cocktail napkin and buttons to match on a solid color pillow. It's just one way to have flexible pillow style.

Fashionable Seating

Some of the best cushion designs serve a practical purpose. Seat cushions as beautiful as this patchwork design make a room look brighter. And you won't even mind if the kids don't push their chairs under the table after dinner.

Floor Show

A home can never have enough places to sit down. So why not make the floor more comfortable? Big boxy pillows look good just propped up against the sofa, or scattered about the floor as the family gathers to watch a movie.

Square in Stripes

The simple, square pillow goes uptown with the stylish addition of ribbons and buttons. Choose a color theme, then check your sewing box for leftover notions, a few scraps of fabric, and you've got a new pillow cover!

Scraps and Such

Pillows are the perfect way to use leftovers of favorite fabrics; then they have a quilt-like look whatever the fabric.

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