mom shelf pillow
Applique,  Free Patterns,  Mother's Day,  Quick Projects,  Quilting,  Sewing for Kids

Shelf Pillow for Mom to Celebrate Mother’s Day

Shelf Pillow How-Tos

finished shelf pillow

celebrate Mom with reverse appliqué & pretty piecing!

Celebrate a special mom by gifting her a small shelf pillow, a perfect addition to her spring décor. Swap the “name” to create pillows for anyone in need of a quick gift. The reverse appliqué technique is fun and easy, especially when working with a no-fray fabric, such as Sulky Felty™.


shelf pillow supplies


This shelf pillow features reverse appliqué and pretty piecing. Reverse appliqué is the technique of cutting away the upper fabric in a design while revealing the fabric underneath.

For the reverse appliqué, it’s a great idea to use a no-fray fabric, such as Sulky Felty. With this professional needle felt, you’ll achieve high-quality results, as the embroidery needle is not deflected when piercing the felt. Felty is soft and yet dimensionally stable. Because it’s washable, the felt can be used in a variety of ways when embroidering on textiles, enabling you to quickly and easily create high-quality appliqués, in-the-hoop embroidery files, tags, emblems, badges or patches and much more.

When stitching the appliqué edges, try adding a heart inside the “o” of “mom,” or another fun motif. Stitch this by hand, using 2 or 3 strands of thread. Or set your machine for free-motion stitching to add fun motifs.

close up of reverse applique stitching

Did you know? Needle felt is not the same as ” craft felt.” For this special needle felt, fibers are mechanically connected with the help of numerous barbed needles until a high-quality felt surface is created.

Sulky Felty is:

  • Washable at 86°F
  • Vegan
  • Manufactured for clean cutting edges & correct needle penetration
  • Dimensionally stable
  • Soft

Three Felty assortments are available: Rainbow, Heather and Neutral. Use one or more sheets for small projects, such as this shelf pillow, wall art, and greeting cards.

For the piecing, dive into your fabric stash and grab eight different prints that either coordinate or contrast. The scrappier the better!


Here is your chance to showcase a pretty ribbon! The ribbon is topstitched over the Felty/piecing seam, so any width is do-able. Just make sure the ribbon isn’t too wide so it doesn’t conceal that pretty piecing.

If you can’t find a ribbon with a crochet edge, as showcased on the featured pillow, try adding your own using Sulky 12 wt. Cotton Petites Thread. CHECK IT OUT>

Or, use any ribbon you like! A printed grosgrain ribbon is all you need to add a little special something to your finished shelf pillow.

finished shelf pillow with thread

Cute buttons also add a personal touch. Now’s the time to find your button jar and look for some cute floral shaped buttons, pearl buttons or vintage buttons that remind you of the moms who have come before you. Honor a special someone with just the right button, and pass it on to a mom in your life!

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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!