Custom Applique Pillows

I got a little bit of sewing time this week and made two pillows this week for two kids celebrating birthdays. Both have envelope enclosures at the back which is perfect for storing pyjamas.

Phoebe is one of my daughter's little friends (though in saying this, she's almost as tall as I am!). She's not really a "girlie girl" so my go-to little pink florals were out of the question. Her favourite colour is turquoise, so I raided my stash and came up with these prints for her pillow. They're bold and graphic and I really think she'll love the fabrics I chose for her.

When I make these pillows, I usually...
just applique around the letters with a straight stitch in co-ordinating thread. If I have time, I go around each letter twice, ensuring that I stay within the raw edge of the letter without going over onto the back ground fabric.

After seeing a fabulous tutorial by Ali over at Arabesque Scissors for her "Joy" pillow, I tried her method of satin stitch and then outlining the letters in a dark thread. It was a little more time consuming, but the result is just so fabulous. I think that the 'Phoebe' really pops!

The other pillow which  I made this week was a commission for a little boy called Padraig (which I later learned is Patrick in Irish).

With an unusual name, this little boy will be like me, never being able to find or buy things with his name on them. I'm glad that I made something special, just for him.

I am often asked how I make and transfer the letters. It's a little bit fiddly, but a very simple process. 

I use 'word art' in my favourite word processing document to choose a suitable font and size and then reverse the word. I print this and then trace the word onto heat'n'bond or vliesofix (or any type of double sided bonding paper).

I cut it out with very sharp pointy scissors and then press to fabric and applique as normal.

I'm always open to creating these 'name' pillows. They make a lovely gift (especially for people with unusual names). Feel free to drop me a message if you'd like to place an order.


  1. Hi Anorina,i love your cushions,they make such beautiful gifts xx

  2. Love the satin stitch/outline idea. You did it so well.

  3. Definitely like the satin stitch edging. :-)
    My daughter Aisha has never been able to get things with her name on them so when I made her something a few years back with Aisha stitched on it she was almost in tears (of joy!).


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