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    Patchwork pillow on embroidery machine

    Patchwork pillow

    A soft and fuzzy pillow with frayed edges that one can easily create by utilizing scraps from other embroidery projects. The edges will become more frayed with every time the pillow is used.

    Soft and fuzzy patchwork pillow

    The pattern is basically an ordinary square; the seams will go inside so they won’t need a finish.

    One cannot have too many pillows, but what if you have more ideas than your flat has free space? The solution is a simple one! Sew several pillows and change their “clothing” often. Pillowcases don’t take much space and can be washed, if necessary.


    To create a fluffy pillowcase, take a piece of cardboard and draw a square of side 10 cm plus 2 cm for fraying. Cut out 16 squares from fabrics of various colors.

    Square piece of cardboard

    Six square fabric cutouts

    Arrange them as you wish, matching them by color and print. Cut 16 more squares out of white baize or white chintz; these fabrics are easily frayed and suitable for creating the chenille effect.

    Sixteen square fabric pieces

    Square fabric pieces pinned together

    Install the feed dog on your machine and stitch the cutouts together into horizontal bands. If you're going to join multiple layers (4 in our case) with an ordinary foot, lessen the foot pressure first.

    The details should be joined with their wrong sides facing each other.

    Layers of striped fabric under presser foot

    Layers of checkered and sole colored fabric stitched together

    Pin horizontal bands together, in order to mark the places where the seams meet. 

    Layers of fabrics of different colors

    Stripes of fabric pinned crosswise

    Stitch the details together, folding the fray allowance from the seam on both sides before they go under the foot. 

    Layers of checkered fabric under presser foot

    Seams open and flat

    Having finished stitching, you’ll get the outlined squares on the wrong side, and fray allowance on the right side of the fabric. Rip off the stitching where the fray is.

    Square piece of white fabric

    Fabric seams and seam ripper

    Fray the allowance at a distance of 0.5 cm to the stitching and fluff it. You may leave the last bit to your washing machine :) Several washing cycles will fray your pillowcase alright.

    Patchwork pillow cover with frayed edges

    Seam allowance with frayed edge

    The back side of the pillowcase and the button panels:

    The back side of the pillowcase is comprised of two rectangles 48 by 27 cm.

    On one side, where the button panels will be, attach a 3 cm wide strip of the adhesive stabilizer. 

    Fabric marked with a cross

    Pillowcase hem with pins in it

    Finish the edges with overlock or with overhand stitch.

    Fold the edge by 3 cm and stitch with a straight stitch; cut the buttonholes on one of the details.

    Pillowcase hem with pins wrong side

    Patchwork pillowcase with pins

    Piece of fabric with a cross under presser foot

    Pin the two pieces of the back side of the pillowcase together with their wrong sides facing each other. Mark the starting point at the distance equal to the fray allowance.

    Starting from any corner point, sew the parts of the pillow perimeter-wise, rotating it at the corners. Having finished, trim the edges.

    Pieces of checkered and striped fabric stitched together

    Patchwork pillowcase front side stitched

    Pillowcase with a plastic template

    Cut the fabric reserved for fraying, avoiding the stitching.

    Patchwork pillowcase hem with buttonhole

    Patchwork pillow frayed edge closer look

    Sew the buttons, cut the buttonholes and put your pillow into your new pillowcase. Done!

    Patchwork pillow hem with buttons

    Patchwork pillow buttoned

    Patchwork pillow with frayed seam allowance

    Original text by Olga Ionova

    Edited by Irina

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