FRIDAY ! FREEBIE Napkin-inspired decorative pillow

Hi Everyone. On Monday I showed you photos of my two napkin-inspired pillows made after watching Quilting Arts TV Series 600. I loved this process. So easy and fun to do. Here are detailed instructions for you to follow. Post what you make on our Facebook page.

Purple Pillow Paper Napkin Collage

Purple Pillow Paper Napkin Collage


  • 2 pieces of fabric cut to 17″ X 17″  for front and back of pillow (depending on your pillow form size of course)
  • 1 piece 17″ X 17″ fusible fleece or plain batting and spray fabric glue. Recommend either 505 for temporary work or 606 for permanent fusing.
  • 1 medium sized dinner napkin – approximately 6 1/2″ X 6 1/2″
  • One border fabric to outline napkin. At least 4″ wider than the napkin. In mine, I used a 9″ piece.
  • 1 – 16″ square pillow form
  • If you do not have 606 spray glue (permanent), then you’ll need some fusible web (like wonder under) to applique the napkin.
  • Decorative threads – perhaps some metallic.
  • Parchment or baking paper.
  • Piping, 2 yards or just under 2 meters for this size pillow  – buy or make your own.




Audition Fabrics

Audition Fabrics. I chose to cut the red/white fabric on the diagonal to reduce fraying and to create a candy cane effect.


Audition Fabrics

Important Note: You will be taking only the thinnest layer of the napkin so the outline color (in photo above, the beige) must not be something that will show through and destroy the look of the image on the napkin. Nothing too busy or too dark.

Pressing and Cutting:

Press your selected fabrics and the napkin.

Cut out a 6 1/2″ X 6 1/2″ section of the napkin that has the best overall design.

Cut all of the following:

  • fleece or batting (same size as front)
  • front and back fabric pieces (17″ X 17″ or adjusted to your specific pillow)
  • outline fabric (approximately 9″ X 9″)
Mark position with chalk pencil

Mark position with chalk pencil


To layer all pieces:

Gently peel away napkin backing so you are left with only one layer.

Gently peel away napkin backing so you are left with only one layer.

I suggest using parchment paper to protect your surface while spraying glue. It also made stitching around the flowers super easy. You may not need it if you’re going to use a free motion foot. If you do not use glue, you will need to use fusible web to applique each piece.

Here are the layers, bottom to top:

  • Bottom – parchment paper or plain cotton to protect your machine from any residual glue.
  • Fusible batting
  • Front of pillow
  • Outline fabric
  • Napkin piece (be sure to remove the second layer of napkin – see above)
Spray gluing layers

Spray gluing layers

Fixing the layers:

If you use the 606 glue, you can spray both top and bottom of napkin which acts as a protection for the top of the napkin. However the 505 can cause problems as it is VERY sticky and I had to throw out my first napkin; it got wrapped around my fingers and wouldn’t let go. My suggestion – first use fusible web to position it and then spray on top of it. Cover with parchment/baking paper and  iron.

So, now you have a napkin ‘sandwich’.


I started by using a metallic thread and a wide, long stitch to attach the napkin. If you don’t want to cut the paper, use a stitch that will not perforate the paper, hence the long stitch.

I then appliqued the outline piece by using another colorful decorative stitch. The design is up to you here.


Trapunto effect by stitching around the flowers and flower centers.

Closeup of stitches

Close-up of decorative applique stitches

On the purple pillow I added rows of quilting around the outline fabric to give a more finished appearance. You can use your imagination here.

Once you’ve done your decorative stitching and quilting, you’re ready to assemble your pillow.


  1. Carefully pin your piping on the right side of the top of the pillow, fat side facing inward, around the edge of the pillow. I chose to have the piping begin and end at a corner. Sew as close to the piping as you can using your zipper foot and moving your needle as close as possible to the fat part of the piping. I suggest a half inch seam allowance here. It will make the next step so much easier.
  2. Now, carefully (and I mean this – I had to redo one pillow because of carelessness) lay the back of the pillow right side down onto the right side of the top of the pillow, piping carefully tucked inside. Pin around the edge being sure to keep the piping in the seam allowance.
  3. Sew very carefully and leave open about six inches of one seam to turn the pillow.
  4. Turn and push out the corners.
  5. Insert the pillow form and slip stich the final seam closed.

Here are Sweet Pea Quilting in Parksville, we have the following fusible  and glue products in stock:

  • 505 spray
  • Clover Item #514 Temporary Fabric Adhesive Stick
  • Aleene’s  4 oz. No sew temporary fabric glue
  • Aleene’s Fabric Fusion  – Permanent Glue
  • Aleene’s No sew Fast drying Glue Pen
  • Roxanne’s Glue – Baste- It in a ½ oz. bottle as well as in 2 oz bottle
  • Steam A Seam Lite 2

If you need more details on how to assemble the pillow, you can check out this video from Quilters Club.

Try one of these for a special Christmas touch.

Paper Napkin inspired Christmas PIllow

Paper Napkin inspired Christmas Pillow

Don’t forget Sweet Pea’s Sample Sale on Friday December 2nd and Saturday December 3rd.





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