Machine Embroidery Projects

DIY Patriotic Pillow – Anita Goodesign

Hi everyone! Welcome back to another fun blog here at Anita Goodesign! Today we will be making a pillow casing from scratch, all while including three amazing patriotic embroidery collections from our embroidery arsenal!

Between vacation, barbeques, and summer nights on the boat, decorations can be quite the game-changer for your afternoon festivities. The red, white, and blue color palette is perfect as the theme lasts all summer long!

In order to have the complete summer party package, throw pillows are a must when it comes to your decorating to-do list. I have combined three embroidery collections that, when stitched onto pillows, create the ultimate trio for your bedroom, couch, or outdoor comfort as you relax by the fire. 

Our primary focus for today’s project is our Bow Patriotic Pillow! Follow along with me as we stitch together the perfect party accessory!



For this project, we chose to incorporate stars from our Mini Star Wreath collection! These freestanding patriotic pieces add the perfect touch and are precisely the right size to fit our aesthetic! However, you are the true designer here, so you can customize however you like! Add various shades of patriotic fabrics and prints, or play around with knit sparkle textiles!

Step 1

To begin, start by cutting out the front panel for your pillow cover. We chose to work with an 18” x 18” pillow. For the front panel dimensions, we used 19” x 19”. This will give us a ½” seam allowance around all four sides.

Step 2

Next, we will cut out the 2 back panels 11” x 19”. Once your fabric is trimmed out, fold one end of your panel, press using a steam iron, and top-stitch.

Step 3

Place your front and back panels to the side. We will now work on the bow portion of this project. Your bow can be as big as you want it to be. We cut out four red panels using the measurements 36” inches in length for the top and 33” for the bottom. This will help create an angle for the end of your bow. For the height, we used 11”.

Step 4

Take two of your bow panels and place them on top of each other with the right sides together. Stitch around all three sides leaving the straight edge of your bow unsewn.

Step 5

Turn your bow right side out through the unsewn straight edge and press.

Step 6

Repeat this process for the second bow. Once flipped, we decided to add a decorative embroidery stitch around all three sides! This adds a fun metallic touch to our design!

Step 7

Now that we have our panels trimmed out and our bow is ready to be attached, we now have to find the center point for the unsewn edges of our bow and the front pillow cover panel. Fold your front panel in ½ and steam iron to create a marking crease width-wise for your pillow.

Step 8

Take the unsewn edge of each bow panel, fold in ½, and press.

Step 9

Using the crease lines from pressing your materials, align the center point of your bow and front panel. Pin in place and stitch at a ½” seam allowance.

Step 10

Repeat on the other side. Your design will look something like this.

Step 11

Now that we have our bow ends intact, we will now move on to adding our stars! We decided to place three stars at an angle at the top and bottom of the pillow cover.

Step 12

To attach your stars to the pillow cover, you can pin them in place and stitch or use a Heat n Bond to patch and attach your freestanding pieces.

Step 13

Once attached, pin your bow ends in place towards the center of your pillow cover. This will ensure they stay in place when attaching the back panels of your cover.

Step 14

Place one of your back panels on top of your design with right sides together and the hemmed edge facing the inside of your design. Pin in place and stitch around all three sides using a ½” seam allowance.

Step 15

Repeat the process for the last back panel. You will notice that your panels will overlap.

Step 16

Turn your pillow cover inside out; the back will look something like this.



Step 17

Next we will insert our pillow! Start by pushing your pillow through the top overlapped cover panel.

Step 18

Once stuffed, your pillow will look something like this! We will now tie our bow!

Step 19

When moving forward with our bow, I realized I wanted to create a nice finish for the center. I cut out two panels 9” x 5” and placed them on top of each other with right sides together. Leave a small opening so you can turn this piece right side out. Once flipped right side out, press using a steam iron. We chose to use a decorative embroidery stitch to complete the final look of our design.

Step 20

Now we will tie our beautiful bow! To begin, start by tying a basic knot.

Step 21

Crisscross the tail ends to create the loops for the bow.

Step 22

Scrunching your bow nice and tight, wrap the centerpiece around your bow.

Step 23

Secure your bow in place with either a hand needle or hot glue. Your Patriotic Pillow is now complete!

This festive pillow is just one unique way you can decorate for any patriotic holiday. If this summer sewing project inspires you to make more, consider checking out our Patriotic Gnomes and other machine embroidery designs we have to offer! 

If you are looking for an in-depth tutorial on making a pillow casing without the bow, check out our Sewin’ Singles Gnome video on our YouTube channel!

If you decide to make this project, snap a picture and tag us on Facebook and Instagram for a chance to be featured!

Happy Sewing!

Brooke

Project Recipe


DIY Patriotic Pillow

Estimated Completion Time: 3 Hours

Materials Needed:

  • Pillow Insert or Polyfill

  • Base and Back Fabric - 1 yard

  • Bow Fabric (size varies based on desired bow length)

  • Appliqué for Stars

  • Color Coordinating Threads

  • Heat n Bond - Optional

  • Rotary Cutter

  • Ruler

  • Glue Gun or Hand Needle

  1. To begin, start by cutting out the front panel for your pillow cover. We chose to work with a 18” x 18” pillow. For the front panel dimensions, we used 19” x 19”. This will give us a ½” seam allowance around all four sides.

  2. Next, we will cut out the 2 back panels 11” x 19”. Once your fabric is trimmed out, fold one end of your panel, press using a steam iron, and top-stitch.

  3. Place your front and back panels to the side. We will now work on the bow portion of this project. Your bow can be as big as you want it to be. We cut out four red panels using the measurements 36” inches in length for the top and 33” for the bottom. This will help create an angle for the end of your bow. For the height, we used 11”.

  4. Take two of your bow panels and place them on top of each other with the right sides together. Stitch around all three sides leaving the straight edge of your bow unsewn.

  5. Turn your bow right side out through the unsewn straight edge and press.

  6. Repeat this process for the second bow. Once flipped, we decided to add a decorative embroidery stitch around all three sides! This adds a fun metallic touch to our design!

  7. Now that we have our panels trimmed out and our bow is ready to be attached, we now have to find the center point for the unsewn edges of our bow and the front pillow cover panel. Fold your front panel in ½ and steam iron to create a marking crease width-wise for your pillow.

  8. Take the unsewn edge of each bow panel, fold in ½, and press.

  9. Take the unsewn edge of each bow panel, fold in ½, and press.

  10. Repeat on the other side. Your design will look something like this.

  11. Now that we have our bow ends intact, we will now move on to adding our stars! We decided to place three stars at an angle at the top and bottom of the pillow cover.

  12. To attach your stars to the pillow cover, you can pin them in place and stitch or use a Heat n Bond to patch and attach your freestanding pieces.

  13. Once attached, pin your bow ends in place towards the center of your pillow cover. This will ensure they stay in place when attaching the back panels of your cover.

  14. Place one of your back panels on top of your design with right sides together and the hemmed edge facing the inside of your design. Pin in place and stitch around all three sides using a ½” seam allowance.

  15. Repeat the process for the last back panel. You will notice that your panels will overlap.

  16. Turn your pillow cover inside out; the back will look something like this.

  17. Next we will insert our pillow! Start by pushing your pillow through the top overlapped cover panel.

  18. Once stuffed, your pillow will look something like this! We will now tie our bow!

  19. When moving forward with our bow, I realized I wanted to create a nice finish for the center. I cut out two panels 9” x 5” and placed them on top of each other with right sides together. Leave a small opening so you can turn this piece right side out. Once flipped right side out, press using a steam iron. We chose to use a decorative embroidery stitch to complete the final look of our design.

  20. Now we will tie our beautiful bow! To begin, start by tying a basic knot.

  21. Crisscross the tail ends to create the loops for the bow.

  22. Scrunching your bow nice and tight, wrap the centerpiece around your bow.

  23. Secure your bow in place with either a hand needle or hot glue. Your Patriotic Pillow is now complete!

About Brooke Berglund

Hi there! I’m Brooke, your Content Specialist from Anita Goodesign. As we relaunch Anita's Blog, I am sew excited to join you in this journey where our two worlds—embroidery and sewing—collide. Together, we will find new ways to enjoy our passion for embroidery, all while exploring all of the creative avenues this industry has to offer. As someone who is mostly known as your video seamstress, as well as one of the story tellers behind your All Access magazine, I plan to make this blog fun and informative for all! Whether I am behind the computer or in front of the lens, I’ll be with you 100% of the way.

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