I recently saw a monogram pillow in the Pottery Barn Kids catalog that I really liked. I wasn’t too thrilled with the price tag and I knew I could make it myself. This is an easy project and the big bonus is that you are the designer and can decide things like colors, fabrics and sizes. I always like doing things my way! I made a 16 inch square pillow. Please adjust the measurements and materials as needed for the size you make.
1 yard border and backing fabric
1/2 yard pillow front fabric
scrap of fabric for monogram
small section of two-sided fusible webbing (I prefer Heat N Bond Lite)
NOTE: Sew everything with 1/4 inch seam allowances unless otherwise stated.
Cut all fabrics
Pillow front 16 1/2 inches square piece
2 Long borders (top and bottom) 4 inches x 24 inches
2 short borders (sides) 4 inches x 16 1/2 inches
backing 23 1/2 inches x 14 1/2 inches
backing 23 1/2 inches x 12 1/2 inches
Sew front section
With right sides together (RST), sew side borders to each side of pillow front.
Press seam flat with seam allowance facing the outside edges.
Sew long borders to top and bottom of pillow front. Trim any excess edges so everything lines up.
Be careful when sewing over a seam. You want it to stay flat.
Press seams to outside edges again. Press seams from the top, too.
Prepare back sections
Fold center back edge (one of the 23 1/2 inch sides) under 1/4 inch and press.
Fold over another inch and press in place.
Sew in place and press flat.
Use your word processing program to print out the letter you will use.
Be sure to print it the same size that you want.
Tape the letter backwards to a sunny window. Tape the Heat N Bond (HnB) over the letter.
Trace the letter directly onto the HnB paper backing.
(You will see I forgot to do it backwards so I just traced over it again. I flipped this picture around, though, so it is shown correctly.)
Iron the HnB to the back of the fabric scrap.
Cut out the monogram and peel off the paper backing.
Iron the monogram to the pillow front. I chose to center mine, but you can do anything.
Change your stitch to a zig zag stitch.
Change the stitch length to almost 0.
Experiment with the stitch width on a scrap fabric to determine how wide you would like it.
I decided to make the stitch length a bit larger than I usually do when sewing an applique, but I probably wouldn’t do it again. I like a satin stitch that is very tightly packed. There were a lot of curves in this letter and those are hard. Go slow and be patient. You’ll see that mine is by no means perfect!
Press the applique flat especially around the curves.
Sew back to front
Lay the back sections on the front section with RST. The piece that is a little wider should be under the other one.
Mine did not come out even (it never does!), but it can just be trimmed. Be sure the sections are flat.
Pin very carefully all of the way around.
(I didn’t the first time and had to rip it out. The second picture shows how I pinned around the “flaps” from the back section. It is really important that they are flat.)
Sew all of the way around the square. Trim the corners as shown.
Turn right side out through the opening in the back of pillow. Carefully poke the corners out so they are sharp. Press flat along edges and seams.
Pin the “flaps” in place again and stitch in the ditch around the pillow front.
Stuff your pillow form carefully in through the envelope opening in the back.