Earthly Angel Pillow

By  Mary Ayres 

Show mom just how special she is this Mother's Day with a one-of-a-kind crafted gift. This easy-to-sew pillow can be created in a variety of colors and fabrics, so make an angel that looks just like Mom, right down to a dress in her favorite color.

  • Earthly Angel Pillow
  • Closeup View


  • Cotton fabric, 45”-wide: tan, 3/8 yd.; flesh-tone, scraps; medium brown print, 1/8 yd.; black print, 1/8 yd.; green print, 1/8 yd.; blue and blue/tan plaid, scraps
  • Lightweight cotton batting, scraps
  • Pillow form, 12” square
  • Fabric and Battenburg lace doilies, 3”, four
  • Off-white piping, 1-1/2 yds.
  • Light blue satin ribbon, 1/8”-wide, 1/4 yd.
  • Embroidery floss: black, blue, dark brown, flesh, gold, green, off-white.
  • Flat-backed buttons in colors of choice: 1/2” diameter, six; mottled brown, 5/8” diameter, four


  • Air-soluble marker
  • Pellon Wonder-Under Lightweight Fusible Web Adhesive
  • Optional: red acrylic paint; 1/4” stencil brush, tea bags, saucepan

Basic Supplies

  • scissors, pinking shears, pencil, ruler, transparent tape, sewing machine, matching threads, straight pins, embroidery needle, embroidery hoop, iron, pressing cloth, paper towel

Pattern - Earthly Angel Pillow

  • Prepare and Cut Fabrics
  • 1. Wash and dry fabrics. For small pieces of fabric, it is best to wash by hand and let air dry to prevent tangling. Press fabrics.
  • 2. For center panel, cut an 8-1/2" square from tan fabric. For border, cut four 2-1/2"x8-1/2" strips from medium brown. For corners, cut four 2-1/2" squares from black.
  • 3. If desired, tea-dye doilies for a vintage look. To tea dye, fill saucepan half full with water and bring to a boil. Remove from heat; add one or two tea bags for each cup of water used. (Note: The more tea used, the darker the final color.) Let tea bags steep for 15 minutes; remove tea bags and stir. Place doilies into tea, stirring fabric occasionally. Check every five minutes until desired color is achieved. Remove fabric from tea; squeeze out excess liquid. Line dry or place in dryer with old towel (to absorb the tea). Press doilies. Wipe out dryer before drying other items.
  • 4. For appliqués, print and cut out patterns, cutting along dashed lines; set lettering pattern aside. Trace outlines of remaining patterns onto paper side of iron-on adhesive, omitting halo on hair pattern and flower stems on grass pattern. For wings, trace one wing and one reverse onto paper side of adhesive. Cut out appliqués just outside traced lines; remove paper backing.
  • 5. Following manufacturer's instructions, fuse iron-on appliqués to wrong sides of following fabrics: hair to medium brown; dress to blue; face and legs to flesh-tone; shoes to black; grass to green; wings to cotton batting. Cut out appliqués on traced lines, using pinking shears to cut top edge of grass.
  • 6. If desired, drybrush angel's cheeks with red acrylic paint. To drybrush, dip brush into paint and wipe on paper towel until almost dry. Apply paint to cheeks in a circular motion.
  • Center Panel
  • 1. Using lettering pattern and air-soluble marker, trace pattern onto right side of center panel. The "E" in "Earthly" should begin 5/8" from left edge and 9/16" from top edge of center panel.
  • 2. Using photo as guide, position appliqués on right side of center panel and pin in place as follows: grass (side and bottom edges should be even with panel side and bottom edges), shoes, legs, dress, face, hair, and wings. (Note: Dotted lines on patterns show where a pattern piece is overlapped by another piece. For example, legs are overlapped by shoes and dress; wings are overlapped by hair and dress; etc.) When pleased with arrangement, use iron and pressing cloth to fuse appliqués to center panel.
  • 3. In same way as lettering, use patterns to transfer remaining details to center panel: halo, facial features, dress details, line to divide legs, line to divide shoes, and flower stems.
  • 4. (Note: Use three strands of floss for blanket stitching, one strand for hair bangs, and two strands for all other embroidery.) With matching floss, blanket stitch around outside edges of hair, wings, dress, legs, and shoes. In addition, blanket stitch lines dividing legs and shoes, working stitches toward the left. For grass, blanket stitch along top edge; stitches should begin between pinked points and end approximately 1/4" from top of grass.
  • 5. With dark brown floss, stem stitch lettering and hair bangs. With green floss, stem stitch flower stems. With gold floss, stem stitch halo. With blue floss, stem stitch arm lines on dress. With black floss, straight stitch eyes.
  • 6. For apron, use pinking shears to cut a 1-3/4"x2-3/4" rectangle from blue/tan fabric. Sew a gathering stitch along one long edge of apron, 1/4" from edge. Gather apron to measure 1-1/4"-wide at gathering. Pin apron to dress; gathering stitch should be even with dashed line shown on pattern. Sew apron to dress using blue floss and stem stitch.
  • 7. From satin ribbon, tie a 1"-wide two-loop bow with tails; trim tails even. Tack bow to center neck of dress. With off-white floss, sew to top of each flower stem one button in color of choice.
  • Assemble Pillow Front
  • 1. (Note: Sew with right sides facing in 1/4" seams. Press seams outward away from center panel.) Sew one border strip to left side and one to right side of center panel. Sew corner blocks to ends of remaining border strips. Sew assembled corners/borders to top and bottom of center panel.
  • 2. Using photo as guide, pin doilies to corner blocks; outer edges of doilies will extend over edges of pillow front. Trim doilies even with edges of pillow front. Sew doilies to pillow front using matching thread. With dark brown floss, blanket stitch around center fabric edge of each doily; stitches should point toward center of pillow. With off-white floss, sew one 5/8" diameter brown button to fabric corner of each doily.
  • Finishing
  • 1. Beginning and ending in a bottom corner, sew piping around pillow front, 1/4" from edge. Clip piping seam at corners as you work, to round edges.
  • 2. For pillow back, cut a 12-1/2" square from remaining tan fabric. Sew pillow front to pillow back along piping seams, leaving a 10" opening at bottom for turning and stuffing. Trim corners; turn right side out. Insert pillow form into opening. Hand sew opening closed.
  • Tip
  • 1. To trace pattern in reverse, tape pattern to window during daylight hours, right side of pattern facing window. Position adhesive over pattern and trace.
  • Add Your Own Touch . . .
  • 1. Create a treasured keepsake from packed-away baby clothes.
  • 2. Use flower-shaped decorative buttons instead of round buttons.
  • 3. Extend the lines of the angel's dress, leave off the apron, legs, and shoes, and appliqué several angels onto a tree skirt or table runner for the holidays.