Finishing a Needlepoint Pillow
Sewing a finished needlepoint canvas into a pillow is just as easy as sewing any simple pillow, it’s also a very quick process, especially when compared to the time it takes to actually stitch the canvas! Most importantly it’s a great way to display the canvas so you can see it every day.
If you’ve never needlepointed before you may be surprised to discover just how fun and easy it is! We have a great selection of needlepoint canvases that you can find at this link by the wonderful painter and illustrator Charley Harper. We also have a brief explaination of how to needlepoint that you can see by clicking here. If you need or want more in-depth instructions on how to needlepoint we highly recommend the TNNA How To Needlepoint Booklet, which you can find at this link.
Happy Stitching! –Molly
I made my pillow out of my finished Charley Harper Baffling Belly needlepoint canvas, but the same principles can be applied to any finished needlepoint canvas (you can find all of our Charley Harper needlepoint canvases at this link).
To make one 14-inch square pillow you will need:
- One finished “Baffling Belly” Charley Harper needlepoint canvas
- 1/4-yard Kona Cotton in Yarrow
- 1/2-yard of Kona Cotton in Espresso
- One 14-inch Bamboo Pillow Form
You will also need a walking foot for your machine.
Sewing the Top
- Dry block your needlepoint canvas: Pin it down taut and flat (I pinned mine to an ironing board) and spray it lightly with water. Let it dry. Once it dries it will be a lot flatter and neater looking.
- Trim the blocked canvas about 1/2-inch from the edge of the work.
- Cut the Ochre fabric into two 3-inch by 14-inch strips.
- Pin the strips to each long side of the canvas at the very edge of the needlepoint work, right sides together.
- With the walking foot on your machine sew the strips to the needlepoint canvas using a 1/2-inch seam allowance. Make sure you are measuring the seam allowance from the edge of the needlepoint stitching and not the blank trimmed canvas.
- Fold the strips back from the seam and press them flat.
Sewing on the Back
- Cut the Espresso fabric into a 14-inch square and place it on top of the sewn top, right sides together. As you can see in the picture above the top might not match the back piece perfectly. If that is the case trim the long Ochre sides to meet the back. Do not trim the top or bottom from the canvas, it’s better to have a little of the canvas overhanging than to accidentally cut into the needlepoint work.
- Pin the back piece to the front.
- Using the back fabric as your guide, sew the back to the front using a 1/2-inch seam allowance, leaving a 10-inch gap along one of the sides (not a side that has any canvas on it).
- Turn the work right side out and poke out the corners. Your pillow case will be 13-inches square. It’s a little smaller than the pillow form so that it will fill out once you insert the pillow.
- Stuff the pillow form inside the case through the gap.
- Iron the fabric on both sides of the 10-inch gap a 1/2-inch towards the inside of the pillow and sew the opening closed using a slip stitch (you can find our slip stitch tutorial at this link).
All done! Now you can really enjoy your needlepointing work!