Apple Pillow

By  Mary Ayres 

The warm colors, doily accents, and blanket stitching make this pillow the perfect accent decoration for fall. And just so your apples are not all in one basket, stitch an extra pillow for that special friend.

  • Apple Pillow
  • Closeup View
  • Fig. 1


  • Cotton fabric prints, 45”-wide: black, neutral, 18 yd. each
  • Cotton fabric solids, 45"-wide: tan, 3/8 yd.; red, 1/8 yd.; brown, scrap (for stems)
  • Cotton fabric stripes, 45"-wide: neutral, 1/8 yd.; tan and black, 1-1/2”x6” (for bowl)
  • Fabric and crochet lace doilies, 4”, two; 6”
  • Black piping, 1-1/2 yds.
  • Black pearl cotton #8
  • Off-white flat-backed buttons, 1/2” diameter, four
  • Pillow form, 12” square


  • Sewing machine and matching thread
  • Embroidery needle
  • Iron, pressing cloth, and pressing surface
  • Lightweight iron-on adhesive
  • Tea bags, saucepan, air soluble marker (optional)

Basic Supplies

  • scissors, washer, old towel, pencil

Pattern - Apple Pillow

  • Note
  • 1. Sew with right sides facing using 1/4" seam allowances.
  • Pillow
  • 1. Wash and dry fabrics. (Note: For small pieces, it is best to wash by hand and air dry to prevent tangling.) Press fabrics.
  • 2. 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.
  • 3. For center panel, cut a 6"x8-1/2" rectangle from tan fabric and a 3"x8-1/2" rectangle from black fabric; set aside tan rectangle. Use Fig. 1 as guide to pin 6" doily to right side of black rectangle. Trim doily even with top edge of rectangle. Use off-white thread to sew doily to rectangle.
  • 4. For appliqués, print two patterns. Set one pattern aside to use for placement in Step 6. Trace outlines of patterns onto paper side of iron-on adhesive. (Note: To trace pattern in reverse, tape pattern to window during daylight hours, right side of pattern facing window.) Position adhesive over pattern and trace. 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: apples to red; stems to brown scrap; bowl to tan striped. Cut out appliqués on traced lines.
  • 6. Using photo and pattern as guide, position appliqués on right side of center panel and pin in place as follows: apples; stems; bowl. (Note: Dotted lines on patterns show where a pattern piece is overlapped by another piece.) When pleased with arrangement, use iron and pressing cloth to fuse appliqués to center panel.
  • 7. With black pearl cotton, blanket stitch around outside edges of apples, stem, and bowl. In addition, blanket stitch between fabric and crocheted sections of doily. Sew buttons to apples as indicated by "x" on pattern.
  • 8. Sew black print center panel to bottom of tan center panel with right sides facing using 1/4" seams. Press seams outward away from center panel.
  • 9. For border, cut two 2-1/2"x8-1/2" strips from neutral print and two from neutral striped fabric. For corners, cut four 2-1/2" squares from black print.
  • 10. Sew one striped border strip to left side and one to right side of center. Sew corner blocks to ends of remaining border strips. Sew assembled corners/borders to top and bottom of center panel.
  • 11. Using photo as guide, pin doilies to corner blocks. (Note: 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 black floss, blanket stitch around center fabric edge of each doily. (Note: Stitches should point toward center of pillow.)
  • 12. 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.
  • 13. For pillow back, cut a 12-1/2" square from remaining tan fabric. With right sides facing, sew pillow front to pillow back along piping seams, leaving a 10" opening at bottom. Trim corners; turn right side out. Insert pillow form into opening; hand sew opening closed.
  • Tip
  • 1. To ensure even stitches when blanket stitching, use an air-soluble marker to draw stitches before stitching.