Tutorial | Appliqué Initial Pillow

This tiny accent pillow project can be easily adapted to any size pillow form. This form is 10 x 16, but it is not a common size, so we’ve omitted exact measurements and rather, gave approximates and proportions. This went together VERY easily. No fusing was used for the appliqué, but it would be a great help for this.

B Pillow
It is a simple envelope sleeve type of closure in the back. Fabrics used in the image above are:
Sunny Bunny | Sky on the side panels and for the entire back
Solid Sky on the center panel
Crumbs | Grass for the initial
Before starting, you should consider the overall dimensions of your final product. It’s recommended to give a little wiggle room to your pillow case, so add an inch to the pillow form’s dimension. For example, if your pillow form is 12×12, plan for a 13×13 finished case.
Also, pre-wash and shrink your fabrics!
As a measuring guide, we’ll give proportions in blue and an example for a 13×13 case in pink:
  • Initial is about 1/3 the width of the finished pillow case.
  • If your case will measure 13″ w, then make the letter approx. 4.5″ w. Use your judgement on height/width depending on the font and shape of the letter.
  • Center Panel is about twice as wide as the side panels. Add 1/2″ seam allowance to ALL sides of all panels, which equals 1″ total to height and width.
  • For 13″ w (finished), the center panel may measure 6.5″ w x 13″ h (finished), therefore cut pieces would be plus 1″ seam allowance = 7.5″ w x 14″ h.
  • Side Panels (cut 2) would be 1/4″ of the width each.
  • That would make them 3.25″ w x 13″ h (finished), the cut pieces would be 4.25″ w x 14″ h…. still with me??! Almost done with the math portion!
  • Back Panel is the exact width of the final pillow case, only add 1/2″ seam allowance to ALL sides.
  • 14″ w x 14″ h.
  • Back Flap is 5″ wide and as high as the Back Panel piece.
  • 5″ w x 14″ h.
Whew! All done with THAT. On to the fun part.
1. To create the Initial itself, we just typed and printed out a big letter B from our design program. Even if you don’t have a design program, it’s possible to use Word, too. Maybe even your email program. Just make the font as large as you can, then print it out to the scale you want. The font I chose was Aachen Bold. Bold letters will be easier to work with.
2. If you’re going to use fusible webbing, you should attach that to the back of the Initial Fabric before cutting it out. Cut out the letter from the paper, then trace the letter to the backside of the fabric- be sure to reverse the direction of the letter so it’s correct on the front.

3. Attach the letter to the center of the Center Panel. Fuse or pin well. Using a zig zag stitch at its widest setting and tightest stitch*, make a satin stitch the entire perimeter of the letter.

*It would be best to test this on two thickness of scrap flannel before doing it on your project. Tensions, stitch width, etc. can all vary, so test it with your machine first until you’re satisfied with the results.

4. Next, attach the Side Panels to the Center Panel one on each side. Press the seams out flat.

5. On the large Back Panel, take the right edge on the wrong side, fold 1/2″. Press. Fold over another 1/2″ again. Press. Pin. Topstitch through all thicknesses a scant 1/2″ from edge.
6. Do the same to the Back Flap, only do it on the left edge.
7. Facing up, overlap the Back Panel’s sewn edge over the Back Flap’s sewn edge and adjust until the combined width is the same as the width on the pillow Front.
8. Place pillow Front face down on the back pieces (so facing sides together). Pin through all thickness around the perimeter.
9. Starting in the middle of any side, stitch 1/2″ from edge all the way around the pillow, pivoting at each corner.
10. Trim the corners.
11. Turn inside out and using a boning tool or something pointy but not sharp, push out the corners making them neat.
12. Press the whole thing neat at the edges, then slip your pillow form in.

3 thoughts on “Tutorial | Appliqué Initial Pillow

  1. You make loverly fabrics and I adore that its all organic! I am a product devolper in the fashion buisness and would love to in the future just use fabrics like your! Really really cute!

  2. I am so thrilled to found you and your lovely space here! Truely inspiring!! Love this tutorial lots and i love your collection of fabrics!! Have a lovely merry happy day and love to you!

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