Sweet Treats

Lovely Pillow

Spruce up your home with this lovely pillow. The gorgeous red LOVE print together with the pink patterned background fabrics give this cushion a cool, shabby chic feel; ideal for a present for a loved one or perfect for your own abode. To create your own version of this pillow, just follow the steps below…

  • Sewing
  • 1-2 hours
  • Intermediate

What You Need

You Will Need:

Cotton fabric:

  • 25cm (9 3/4in) red fabric
  • 30cm (11 3/4in) pink and white checked fabric
  • 10cm (4in) each of 6 different patterned fabrics in red, pink and white

Additional items:

  • 30 x 40cm (11 3/4 x 15 3/4in) sheet of red felt
  • Scraps of rose and pink felt
  • 175cm (69in) red bias binding
  • Fabric glue

Cutting Out:

A seam allowance of 0.75cm (1/4in) is included in the patterns.

From the red fabric, cut out:

  • 2 pieces 52 x 23cm (20 1/2 x 9 in) for the backing fabric

From the checked patterned fabrics, cut out:

  • 1st strip 35 x 5.5cm (13 3/4 x 2 1/4in)
  • 2nd strip 35 x 5.5cm (13 3/4 x 2 1/4in)
  • 3rd strip 35 x 8.5cm (13 3/4 x 33/8 in)
  • 4th strip 35 x 3.5cm (13 3/4 x 1 1/2in)
  • 5th strip 35 x 11.5cm (13 3/4 x 4 1/2in)
  • 6th strip 35 x 5.5cm (13 3/4 x 2 1/4in)
  • 7th strip 35 x 3.5cm (13 3/4 x 1 1/2in)
  • 8th strip 35 x 8.5cm (13 3/4 x 33/8in)
  • 9th strip 35 x 5.5cm (13 3/4 x 2 1/4in)
  • 10th strip 35 x 3.5cm (13 3/4 x 1 1/2in)
  • 11th strip 35 x 5.5cm (13 3/4 x 2 1/4in)

For the strips of pink and white checked fabric, first cut across the fabric on the bias (i.e. at an angle of 45°) and then cut parallel strips of the required sizes.

Finished Size:

50 x 30cm (19 3/4 x 11 3/4in)


  1. Arrange the strips as in the sketch above. Begin by sewing groups of two strips together and neatening the edges of the seam allowance with zigzag stitch..

  2. Then sew pairs of these together so that four strips are joined and so on until all the strips have been joined. This method will prevent the strips from pulling out of shape. Neaten all the seam allowances with zigzag stitch. Trim down the front of the pillow cover to a height of 31.5cm (12 1/2in).

  3. Transfer the patterns for the individual letters to the red felt and cut them out with no seam allowance (see Sewing techniques, page 13). Arrange them on the pillow cover and attach them with a little fabric glue. Top stitch around all the edges with short stitches (stitch length 1.5-2). Cut the small heart out of rose felt and the bigger heart in pink felt. Glue them in the middle of the 'O' and edge stitch.

  4. For the envelope closure on the back of the pillow, fold over a double hem of 1cm (1/2in) along one long edge of each of the red fabric backing pieces and top stitch. Place the two backing pieces together, with the hemmed edges overlapping far enough to make the back the same size as the front. Place the pillow cover on top of them, wrong sides together, and sew around the edges. Trim the back to the exact size of the front.

  5. Bind all the edges with bias binding.

    Bias strips and bias binding

    Bias strips run diagonally to the straight grain of the fabric. This makes the strips of fabric very stretchy and particularly good for binding edges and curves. Ready-made bias binding is now available in many colours and patterns. This binding has the folds already pressed in, which makes it easier to use for binding edges.

  6. Spread the fabric out smoothly on a cutting mat. Place the cutting ruler at 45° to the selvedge and cut the fabric with a rotary cutter. Most cutting rulers show divisions in degrees.

  7. Cut further strips of the required width parallel to this cut edge.

  8. If you need a longer bias strip than you can cut from your length of fabric, cut several strips of the same width. To retain the elasticity, the strips should be joined at an angle of 45°. If necessary, draw a line 0.75cm (¼in) from the selvedge to help you sew.

  9. Iron open the seam allowance and trim.
      Top Tip: For this project plus loads more fantastic sewing ideas, grab your copy of Love To Sew Simple Patchwork Gifts Book.