Patriotic Pillow Project
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Patriotic Pillow Project + Tips for Sewing Pom-Pom Fringe

finished patriotic pillow from side

Patriotic Pillow Project

+tips for sewing pom-pom fringe

Create a fun patriotic pillow with pom-pom fringe to celebrate Memorial Day, July 4th, or any day of the year! The featured Land that I Love design is included in the Red, White & You machine embroidery mini palette, which comes with six spools of thread, including 3 rayon, 1 white Glowy™, 1 Original Metallic and 1 spool of white bobbin thread.

Finished pillow measures approximately 14″ square.

SUPPLIES FOR PATRIOTIC PILLOW

PATRIOTIC PILLOW EMBROIDERY

Load the chosen design onto the machine. The Red, White & You collection contains a link for six suitable designs for the patriotic pillow center.

Hoop a rectangle of fabric with Tear-Easy stabilizer (1 or 2 layers – I just used one). To make sure you have enough fabric for the pillow, mark a 5-3/4″ square on the fabric, leaving ample space for the remaining cuts (see “Cutting & Prep” below). Hoop the fabric and stabilizer, centering the marked square without cutting it out.

Embroider the design with a 75/11 embroidery needle (or an 80/12 topstitch if your machine prefers), trimming jump threads with each color change.

The featured design noted black thread for the lettering. This color was swapped for the blue (in the same thread package) to match the pom-pom fringe.

If desired, use the Original Metallic thread for the spritzes in the design for extra sparkle. Swap the needle for a 90/14  needle when sewing the metallic accents for best results.  Lower top tension a bit more.

When embroidery is complete, trim the jump threads on the fabric’s wrong side before removing the fabric from the hoop.

Remove the fabric from the hoop and gently tear away the stabilizer beyond the design edges.

Press the fabric from the wrong side. If the square markings disappeared with pressing, redraw the square outline.

CUTTING & PREP

From the main fabric, cut the following rectangles for the patriotic pillow:

  • 15″ square
  • 4-1/4″ x 10-1/2″ rectangle
  • 4-1/4″ x 7-1/2″ rectangle
  • 4-1/4″ x 14-1/4″ rectangle
  • 4-1/4″ x 11-1/4″ rectangle
  • 5-3/4″ square (with embroidery)

From the coordinating 1-1/2″ wide strip, cut one 7-1/2″ length, one 6-1/2″ length, one 7-3/4″ length and one 5-3/4″ length.

PATRIOTIC PILLOW PIECING

With right sides together, stitch the shortest coordinating strip to the embroidered square right edge; press the seam toward the darker fabric. Continue stitching the strips around the center square, matching up the lengths as you go.

piecing front of patriotic pillow

Stitch the shortest main rectangle to the center square left edge, with right sides together. Then press the seam toward the darker fabric. Stitch the next longest rectangle to the square upper edge; press open the seam. Stitch the next longest rectangle to the right edge. Similarly, press open the seam. Stitch the last rectangle to the square lower edge; press open the seam.

Finally, trim the patriotic pillow top to measure 14-3/4″ (approximately).

pieced patriotic pillow top

POM-POM FRINGE

Pin the pom-pom fringe to the pillow perimeter, placing the pom-poms toward the pillow center. Make sure to leave at least 3″ of trim hanging beyond the patriotic pillow edge to overlap with the opposite end.

pinned patriotic pillow top

At the corners, there are two options.

  1. Round the corners slightly and follow the curve with the trim; pin.
  2. Trim the fringe at least 1″ beyond the corner edge, and then overlap the next piece to continue to the adjacent edge; pin.overlapped corner with fringe

When you reach the trim beginning, overlap the ends by at least 3″ and cross them over each other; pin.

overlapping ends of pom-pom fringe

Thread the needle with 50 wt. Cotton+Steel thread by Sulky. Also, install a zipper foot. Then stitch the trim to the pillow top, using a 1/4″ seam allowance and stitching close (but not as close as possible) to the pom-poms.

use zipper foot for trim

At the corners, lift the presser foot, pivot the work with the needle down, and then continue stitching. Whether you overlapped ends or rounded the corner, the result is super similar.

Place the large main fabric square over the pillow top with right sides together and sandwiching the pom-poms. Pin generously, especially at overlaps and corners. Note: the pillow back is cut slightly larger to account for the pom-pom bulk.

Stitch the pillow back to the pillow front, using the zipper foot. Remember to leave a 5″ opening along the side or lower edge for turning.

finished patriotic pillow without stuffing

Stuff the pillow to the desired firmness through the opening using the fiberfill.

stuffing the patriotic pillow

Finally, hand sew the opening closed.

hand sewing opening closed

Enjoy your patriotic pillow!

patriotic pillow finished

The Husqvarna Viking Designer Epic 2 was used to embroider and construct the featured pillow.
Pink extra large cutting mat provided by Havel’s Sewing.
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I am the Director of Content for Sulky of America. The former Editor in Chief of Sew News and Creative Machine Embroidery magazines, I hosted Sew it All TV on PBS for nine seasons. I've appeared on It's Sew Easy on PBS, DIY Network's Uncommon Threads, Hallmark's Marie Osmond Show, MacPhee Workshop and more! Come sew with me!

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