“Makers Gonna Make” Applique Pillow

Makers Gonna Make applique pillow— tutorial includes a templateI used to have a throw pillow addiction. I was always making new pillows or eyeing them at the store until I finally realized I could’t fit any more pillows into my closets, much less on my sofa! But then I saw this funny little throw pillow, and it got the wheels turning. The wheels wouldn’t stop turning. I wanted a cheeky pillow so much, but maybe not that exact one. It might give my friends the wrong idea. So I decided to make my own pillow with a saying I can really relate to: Makers Gonna Make.

So that’s exactly what I did— I made the pillow. And you can too! Check out how simple it is. I even included a template!

Makers Gonna Make applique pillow— tutorial includes a templateSupplies:
-fabric (1/2 yard for the base and additional fabric scraps in contrasting colors for the words)
-piping (optional)
-fusible webbing (just the size of copy paper)
Makers Gonna Make template (click to download)
-batting/pillow stuffing (not shown)
-embroidery floss (not shown)

-permanent marker
-straight pins
-fabric scissors
-embroidery hoop
-embroidery needle
-sewing machine

Makers Gonna Make applique pillow— tutorial includes a templateStep One: Trace the template onto the shiny side of your fusible webbing.

Step Two: Iron the fusible webbing onto the contrasting fabric according to the manufacturer’s directions. Be sure to leave a tiny corner unfused so step four will be manageable.

Makers Gonna Make applique pillow— tutorial includes a templateStep Three: Cut out each individual letter.

Step Four: Peel off the plastic backing of the letters, making sure the webbing is adhered to the fabric and not coming off onto the plastic. If you left one tiny corner unfused, this is where you can get started. That part of the webbing will not stick to the fabric, but that’s okay, because we will be stitching on top of the letters later.

Makers Gonna Make applique pillow— tutorial includes a templateStep Five: Double up your pillow backing fabric (I used muslin for mine) and cut into two 22″ x 15″ pieces. (Doubling up the fabric while cutting will ensure each piece is the same size.)

Step Six: Carefully arrange the letters onto the pillow backing fabric. I left a 4″ border at the top and bottom of the words, and a 5″ border on the left and right side of the words. Lay a damp press cloth onto the fabric, making sure the letters aren’t curled up or moved as you do this. Then press the letters, adhering them to the pillow backing fabric according to the fusible webbing’s instructions.

Makers Gonna Make applique pillow— tutorial includes a templateStep Seven: Slip the fabric into an embroidery hoop and stitch around the border of each letter. This is where you’ll want to have a mini Netflix marathon because the embroidering process will take a bit of time. This step is necessary—if you don’t stitch the letters on, they will certainly peel off in time.

Step Eight: While your elves are embroidering for you, you can pin the piping onto the border of the other pillow backing fabric piece, as shown in the above right image with the piping on the inside, and the scrap of the piping facing the outside. Keep the piping at least 1″ from the edge of the fabric. Use a special zipper foot to stitch it into place, but don’t get too close or your thread might show after the next step. You can get closer when sewing the pillow together in step 9.

Tip: Use a contrasting thread in the bobbin to stitch the piping onto the pillow, and use that stitch as a guide for step nine.

Makers Gonna Make applique pillow— tutorial includes a templateStep Nine: Stack the two fabric pieces with their good sides (piping side and word side) together. Pin them and use a zipper foot to stitch them together. This is where you will want to get closer to the piping. Use the contrasting stitching of step eight as your guide—you want to make sure you are closer to the piping than that contrasting stitch.

Be sure to leave an opening large enough to reach your hand in to fill the pillow with batting.

Step Ten: Fill the pillow with batting and close ‘er up with a needle and thread.

Makers Gonna Make applique pillow— tutorial includes a templateMakers Gonna Make applique pillow— tutorial includes a templateThis pillow would make a great gift for a crafty pal—or hey, if I can make room on my sofa for a new pillow, I think you can too! –Mandi

Credits // Author and Photography: Mandi Johnson. Photos edited with Stella from the Signature Collection.

  • Between this pillow and the gold leafy hand bowl thingy, I officially <3 you. I’ll have plenty of projects to make my new apartment cuter (and on the cheap).

  • May I have your opinion about my work ? https://camilledegend.files.wordpress.com/2014/12/img_1308.jpg
    It could really help me !
    Thank you!
    Camille from Belgium


    ( sorry for my english :))

  • This is adorable. I really like the large needlework outline too! Thanks for sharing.

  • A perfect way to let people know what’s going on in your space, haha!



    Winter OOTW (Outfits of the week) + IPAD MINI GIVEAWAY

  • This couldn’t have come at a more perfect time! I made two really easy homemade gifts for my grandparents last year and they went over a little too well, haha. I’ve been struggling to think of a way to top myself!

    I think a pillow with a sassy saying might be the perfect fit for grams. She used to have a sign in her office that said, “Do you want to talk to the man in charge? Or the woman who knows what’s going on?” I might have to come up with a shorter spin on that for her this Christmas.

    Thanks for the great tutorial, Mandi!

  • I just love this pillow! I gave to make something with the same slogan for my craft space.

  • Loved this project!:) Such a cute accent with a positive message. I really enjoy reading your posts!

  • Okay, I’m just going to go ahead and say that this is the cutest thing ever. Great job Mandi!

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