Celebrating a new life

My neighbors had a new baby on August 16, and this past Saturday they had a naming ceremony for the baby followed by a party to celebrate the new life. I wanted to make something for the baby – and for her big sister – that would be beautiful and usable. I decided on a small pillow using the 9 petal flower from the Petal Power 8i design collection.

I love the 9 petal flower in Petal Power 8i because it reminds me of an intricate lace doily, the kind of thing my grandma used on her dining table for special celebration meals. At the same time, it’s fresh, clean and modern. I decided on pink and white for the color scheme, creating a pink on white pillow for the baby and white on pink for big sister.

Petal Power 8i Pillow   Petal Power 8i Pillow

To make a Petal Power 8i Pillow

You will need:

  • 1 piece of background fabric, 12″ x 12″
  • 2 strips, 1.5″ wide x width of fabric (one pink, one white – square border)
  • 2 pieces, 12.5″ x 2.5″ (same color as background – outer side border)
  • 2 pieces, 16.5″ x 2.5″ (same color as background – outer top and bottom border)
  • Fabric for appliqué shapes – petals and center (see Petal Power 8i – Appliqué Cutting Charts.pdf in the Petal Power 8i design collection)
  • 1 piece, 15″ x 15″ (same color as background – back of pillow piece A)
  • 1 piece, 15″ x 16″ (same color as background – back of pillow piece B)
  • 1 zipper, at least 14″ long
  • 1 pillow form, 12″ x 12″ (less padded) or 14″ x 14″ (more padded)
  • 1 piece of batting, 18″ x 18″
  • 1 piece of muslin, 18″ x 18″
  • Thread and other sewing notions

Stitch the flower so that it is centered on the background. The Petal Power 8i designs can be stitched in one hooping in the BERNINA Maxi Hoop (or equivalent) and in two hoopings in a smaller hoop (on any brand of embroidery machine!) Detailed instructions are included with the Petal Power 8i design collection.

Trim the background to measure 10.5″ x 10.5″.

Stitch the two square border strips together. Press the seam towards the darker fabric. Cut 22 pink + white pieces that are 1.5″ long. Create two borders using 5 of these pieces for each border. Stitch one to each side of the background. Create two borders using 6 of these borders for each border. Stitch one to the top and one to the bottom of the background.

Stitch an outer side border piece to each side. Add the outer top and bottom border pieces.

Quilt as desired. Trim the quilted pillow top to measure 15″ x 15″.

Petal Power 8i Pillow   Petal Power 8i Pillow


Quick tip

To give the appliqué a trapunto like effect, use a high loft batting (my favorites are Quilters Dream Puff and Quilters Dream Wool).

Quilt in the ditch around the outside of the appliqué shape:

Petal Power 8i Pillow

Then do some reasonably dense quilting in the background around the appliqué:

Petal Power 8i Pillow


To make the back of the pillow

Fold piece A in half, wrong sides together. Press to a sharp crease.

Fold piece B in half, wrong sides together. Press to a sharp crease.

Trim the zipper so that it is 14″ long. I like to cut off the stop on the end to eliminate bull – the ends of the zipper will be buried in the flange of the pillow.

Petal Power 8i Pillow

Center the folded edge of piece A on the zipper so that the folded edge is butted up against the zipper teeth. Use your zipper foot to stitch piece A to the zipper.

Petal Power 8i Pillow

To stitch neatly around the zipper pull: about 3″ before you get to the end of the zipper, lift the presser foot of your sewing machine. Open the zipper so that the zipper pull is now behind the presser foot. Continue stitching to the end.

Petal Power 8i Pillow

The zipper is now attached to one side of the pillow back.

Petal Power 8i Pillow

Center piece B over the zipper with the sides aligned with the edges of piece A and the fold aligned with or just below the stitching line. Pin in place.

Petal Power 8i Pillow

Petal Power 8i Pillow

Using your zipper foot, place the edge of the zipper foot against the edge of the zipper teeth and stitch all the way along the zipper. Because piece B is covering the zipper, you won’t be able to see the zipper but you will be able to feel it!

Petal Power 8i Pillow

When you get to the zipper pull, lift the presser foot on your machine and close the zipper so that the pull is now behind the presser foot.

Petal Power 8i Pillow

The zipper now has piece A stitched to one side and piece B stitched to the other side. The zipper is visible on the back, but not on the front.

Petal Power 8i Pillow

Place the back of the pillow right side up. Center the pillow front (the quilt) right side down on the back of the pillow. Pin in place around the edges.

Petal Power 8i Pillow

From the other side:

Petal Power 8i Pillow

Stitch around the pillow front, 1/4″ in from the edge. When you get into the corners, stitch 2 stitches diagonally across the corners as shown below. After stitching all the way around, trim the seam allowance to 1/8″ and clip the corner diagonally.

Turn the pillow right side out. Roll the seam around the outside edge between your fingers and then press gently. Stitch in the ditch around the outside edge of the square border to create the flange of the pillow.

Petal Power 8i Pillow

From the back:

Petal Power 8i Pillow

Insert the pillow form. Use and enjoy!

Petal Power 8i Pillow

Petal Power 8i Pillow

16 Comments

  1. I love the stitching around the flower. Do you sell patterns like this for someone who isn’t skilled in free motion?

  2. Very, very pretty! I like the added feature along the border. It reminds me of ribbon 🎀 threaded thru lace.

  3. What a cute idea. and the design is beautiful. thank you.

  4. Very pretty for A little girl! I like idea of doing something meaningful.

  5. Such a delightful and thoughtful give for the family and for us.
    Sarah, you always inspire us.

  6. So gorgeous !! They will be a lovely keepsake for the two lucky little girls.

  7. Beautiful! Love your designs.

  8. Love this! Thanks so much for the pattern

  9. I wanted you to how much I love your new web site. It is so much easier to find what you are looking for. Your new life is a great gift to yourself and you are doing it right. I love your pillows and I will use this pattern for pillows, you should try using wonder tape on your zipper and you want have to use pins and tape the flap over your zipper. This really makes it faster and straight. Thanks for being so creative your work is amazing. Lois Marie Snyder

  10. Stunning! Such beautiful embroidery!!

  11. Absolutely gorgeous!! We’re these quilted in the hoop with your quilting designs? I’m sure these will become cherished heirlooms!

    • Hi Linda, the quilting on these pillows is free motion. You could use designs from the Transformation Quilting Collection to quilt the background first before doing the embroidered applique 🙂

  12. Beautiful! What a treat for noth..

  13. Gorgeous! Thank you for sharing.

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