Search The Purl Bee
Sign up for our newsletter!

Idea Center
Follow The Purl Bee
« Page's Felt Flower Winter Wreath | Main | Molly's Sketchbook: New Year's Garland »
Wednesday
Jan062010

Molly's Sketchbook: Felt Flower Pillows

The way these pillows are constructed is both simple and suprizing. I loved stuffing them and watching them "bloom" in the last steps. They are also pretty quick to make, and kind of addictive. I want to make a set in every color! --Molly

Materials

To make one 17-inch x 17-inch Pillow:

  • For the background: two 18-inch x 18-inch pieces of wool felt in a neutral color, I used nutmeg.
  • For the flower petals: two 18-inch x 18-inch pieces of wool felt in two bright colors, I used ecru and yellow.
  • For the back: a 1/2-yard of muslin in white
  • An 18-inch square pillow form
  • A water soluble fabric marker
  • Neutral colored cotton thread
  • A hand sewing needle

Note- The photographs in following instructions show the middle pillow (as seen in the photograph of the pillows on the bed) being constructed. The colors for the far left and right pillows are listed below:

  • Far Left Pillow: Background- steel. Flower- ochre and yellow.
  • Far Right Pillow: Background- light grey. Flower- ochre and yellow.

Cutting and Marking

Cut the muslin into an 18-inch square and set aside.

Cut each piece of felt into four 9-inch squares.

Mark four of the 9-inch background squares as follows:

Make a mark diagonally across the square, from corner to corner.

Mark another line, parallel to the first, 1/4-inch from the first. This will be your sew line.

Make a small mark in the middle of the sew line and then another small mark 2-inches above the middle mark.

Draw an arch from a corner of the sew line, to the 2-inch mark, to the next corner as shown above.

Repeat this marking for 3 more background squares for a total of 4 marked squares.

Sewing Squares

Arrange all of the felt squares into little felt sandwiches, with a marked square on top, petal color A below that, petal color B below that, and a non-marked background square on the bottom.

Make 4 of these felt sandwiches, stacking them neatly and pinning them at two corners as shown above.

Using a walking foot, sew across the sew line of the felt sandwiches, sewing all four layers together. Backstitch at the beginning and end of each seam.

Cut along the marked curve of the top background square.

Cut the remaining three layers of the felt sandwich to match the top cut curve.

Peel up the top layer up from the bottom right corner of the felt sandwich and keep it out of the way. Cut out the petal colored felt as shown above (be sure not to cut the bottom layer). You will not need these triangles so you can toss them in your scrap drawer.

Open up the background colored felt pieces and you should have a square with a diagonal petal shape in the middle.

Repeat this for the 3 remaining felt sandwiches.

Sewing The Squares Together

Pin two of the petal squares together as shown above. Make sure that the petal colors are alternating (ecru, yellow, ecru, yellow, in this case) and that the petal corners meet each other neatly.

Pin them right sides together but make sure to move the petals out of the way so they don't get sewn.

Starting from the outside sew this seam with a 3/8-inch seam allowance. Stop sewing 1-inch before the end of the point where the petal corners meet. Backstitch at the beginning and end of each seam.

Hand stitch this last inch of the seam using a small running stitch. This way you can assure that the petal corners are meeting up neatly and that you are not sewing the petals down.

Doule check that the petal corners are meeting up well before moving on.

Repeat these steps for the remaining two petal squares.

Arange the two groups of sewn petal squares on top of each other as shown above. Again, make sure that the petal colors are alternating and that all the seams seem straight.

Pin these pieces right sides together, making sure to match up the middle precisely.

Sew this seam in two sections (both with a 3/8-inch seam allowance), first from the left side towards the middle, and then from the right towards the middle. Stop both seams 1-inch before the middle. Backstitch at the beginning and end of each seam. You will have a 2-inch gap in the middle.

Line up all four petal corners as neatly as you can and hand sew the 2-inch gap closed.

The top is all done!

Stuffing and Finishing

 

Pin the 18-inch muslin square to the pillow top, right sides together.

Sew them together around three sides with a 3/8-inch seam allowance. Make sure the petals don't get caught in these seams. I found it was easiest to sew one side at a time and then arrange the petals to one side or another before starting my next seam.

Turn the pillow right side out and press the raw edges of both the top and back 3/8-inches towards the inside.

Stuff the pillow form into the pillow, Make sure to push it into the corners.

Pin the top and back together along the open edge so the folded edges are encased inside. Hand stitch this side closed with a blind stitch or slip stitch.

Fluff the pillow and press the petals down. Spray away any of the fabric marker markings and enjoy!

Reader Comments (48)

Beautiful! Although even with instructions, it doesn't seem as easy as I was hoping.
January 6, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAnna A.
Wow! I LOVE how these turned out. I think I am going to have to make them!
January 6, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterShana
Hey there
I like these a lot...unfortunately my new years resolution is to buy only used items. That includes any and all crafty things...my weakness. What if I bought second hand sweaters? Would that material still have the same effect? Do you have any other suggestions?
January 7, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJaymie
Agood project!! Thanks for the tutorial.
January 7, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterCaroladas
These are lovely! Thank you for the idea and the clear instructions.
January 7, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBeth M.
Really beautiful, bold, and different. I love felt and love felt pillows, may just have to add this to my project list :).
January 7, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKatie
Hi Jaymie-
Thanks for your comment. You could certainly try it with felted sweaters. It could be very pretty. I'd use the thinnest ones you can find. Let us know how it goes.- Molly
January 7, 2010 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
A beautiful project! Am adding to my project wish list...

I noticed that the link for muslin takes you to flannel. Imagine either could be used...
January 7, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterLark
Hi Lark-
Thanks for your comment and thanks for pointing out the bad link. You are right that the flannel would work too. In fact, any solid woven cotton would work. Here is a link to all the solids we carry: http://www.purlsoho.com/purl/products/fabriclist/style,21

- Molly
January 7, 2010 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
great effect!
January 7, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterberuta
Wow. Really interesting. I love how you reverse engineered it!
January 7, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMary P
I love these pillows! Combining my favourite materials with my favourite colours.... You sure know how to get a girl sewing!!
January 7, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterCitricSugar
Beautiful! And, a fabulous tutorial.
January 7, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterdig this chick
Oh! These are so cool. The colors are great too.
January 8, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMo
these are SO amazingly cute. i might have to try to make them if i get some free time.
January 8, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterbrandeye
These look amazing! You're so clever to come up with the solution after seeing something on the set of a film. And they do look like a fun, addictive project - I always love projects that take a bit of time, but look like they took hours!
January 8, 2010 | Unregistered Commentertara
... and ya' know what ... the leftovers would make loads of polka dots for a garland to trim the bed frame ... i know ... too much ... ok ... the garland could be hung on the window then ... happy days ... hi paw!
January 9, 2010 | Unregistered Commentertante sophie
I wonder what movie the pillows were in? They are really fantastic!
January 10, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterLux
Wow, beautiful and clever, I'm definitely going to try this!!
January 10, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterEmma
That is THE CUTEST felt pillow I have ever seen. These are going on the To Make List. AH LOVE THEM!! Thanks for the tutorial!!!
January 10, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterNatalie
I love these pilllows! Since we have 2 kids, washability is a must in our apartment. Any suggestions for alternate fabrics that could be washed. Even washing by hand would be fine.
January 10, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterjennifer
These pillows are wonderful. I'm planning a little bedroom makeover and can really picture these for the bed. And speaking of beds, where did this one come from? It is beautiful.
January 11, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterHeather
Hi Jennifer-

These pillows can be hand washed if you finish them differently, by giving them a zipper, button, or over-lap closure so the insert can come in and out.

If you'd like them to be machine washable you could try making them out of upholstery weight fabric and cutting the edges with pinking shears. (You will also need to finish them so the insert can be removed.) They will fray a bit but the effect could be very cute. Make sure to machine wash the fabric before you sew it. Here is a link to our selection of upholstery weight fabrics:

http://www.purlsoho.com/purl/products/fabriclist/style,28

Thank you for your comment!

- Molly
January 11, 2010 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
LOVE! The flowers remind of of Plumerias.
January 11, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAngela
Hola!
Muy hermosas sus almofadas!
Yo no hablo su lengua, pero me gustó mucho de su sitio.
Soy de Brazil y me lengua nativa és el portuguese, pero pienso que el castllano sea más facil comprender que mi idioma.
Felicitaciones!
Un abrazo
Cláu
January 13, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterCláudia
Thanks for sharing this awesome tut! I've linked your post in my blog.
Eleonora
January 16, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterEleonora
Hi,
I'm brazilian (sorry my poor English), I am in loving this pillow.
Wonderful job!
Xoxo....Aninha
January 23, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAninha
I just finished making these pillows! Thanks so much for the wonderful tutorial!
January 27, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterLan
Thank you for sharing your creative mind with the world :)

I am definitely going to make these pillows, they are just so beautiful!

-Christina
January 28, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterChristina
Thanks so much for the very clear tutorial! I fell in love with these pillows the first time I saw them and immediately went out to buy the felt I needed. Luckily I found a local crafts store where they sell felt by the meter. This was the first time I ever worked with felt and a long time since I had sewn anything. Thanks to your wonderful instructions it was very easy. I just finished my first one in a beautiful gray-white-green arrangement.
Anne
February 11, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAnne
loved these pillows I'm definately gonna try and make them. I think your tutorial is excellent, thank you for sharing this creative craft!
February 16, 2010 | Unregistered Commentercece
I just made one of these pillows for a wedding gift for a good friend. I made it in brown and turquoise and it was so cute! I honestly was wondering if I would be able to give it away. I see another one of these darling pillows in my future...thanks for the great tutorial!
March 7, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterHolly
These are absolutely breathtaking. And so easy to make. You are so talented as well as right: these pilllows are so addicting! Thank you sooooo much for posting this. My house will never be the same!
May 27, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterhesanflicka
What I say else except you are genius... very artistic and creative....What a great idea to pop up the leaves really thats great....... You are not only talented but have a very creative mind. lovely..
July 1, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterFarah
Wow. I just stumbled across this tutorial. I love it. It's now on my list of things to make SOON! Thanks so much for sharing and for your lovely blog!
July 28, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKatie
I love these pillows. They remind me in a way of the cathedral window quilts. I can just see these in Peanut butter color, caramel and a fudge color. Can't wait to make them.
January 11, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterEve
I love these cushions and I've just made one. I only had green felt but the effect is still really great. We have two armchairs with blue upholstery and I'm going to make the grey and yellow combo for them, I think that would look great. Thanks so much for a great, easy to follow tutorial.
April 29, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLaura
These are stunning. Love the lines! I am featuring these at somedaycrafts.blogspot.com. Sending my readers your way!
February 26, 2012 | Unregistered Commentermichelle@somedaycrafts
These are tota
Ly awesome, thank you.
March 21, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterWendy
The pillows are wonderful. I made four of them for my mum and my friends mum for todays mother´s-day :) If you want a picture, let me know ;)
With love from germany, Kat
May 12, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKat
How difficult do you think this would be to handsew?
July 11, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterChristina
Hey Christina,
I made the pillows some weeks ago and I can tell you, this will last a while doing them by hand... With the machine it is so much faster and I think also stronger. But if you dont have a sewing machine, it may work as well to handsew them... Just need 10 times as much time...
Greetings from germany, Kat
July 12, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKat
Wow wow wow this looks great to me!!
Thanks for sharing.
June 3, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMonogo
Hello,

I love your pillows, could you please tell me how thick is the felt you used? Is it rather thick and not flexible or thin and soft? Thx in advance!
October 15, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterRoma
Hi Roma-

Here is a link to the felt we used. It's 1mm wide: http://www.purlbee.com/the-purl-bee/2010/1/6/mollys-sketchbook-felt-flower-pillows.html

Thank you!
Molly
October 15, 2013 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
Hi Molly,

Thank you for the link. Greetings from Belgium!

Roma
October 20, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterRoma
Greetings from Seattle!

Gorgeous pillows! Does your shop still carry the wool felt used to make them? The links take me to somewhere else in the store now, and I realized this is an older post. Thanks!
March 4, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterLee
Hi Lee-

Thanks so much for bringing the bad links to our attention. The links have been fixed and everything used in the project should be in stock!

Thanks again!

Molly
March 4, 2014 | Registered Commenterpurl bee

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Post:
 
All HTML will be escaped. Hyperlinks will be created for URLs automatically.