"Fall is Here" Folk-Art Pillow

By  Denise Clason 

  • "Fall is Here" Folk-Art Pillow
  • Step 1
  • Step 2
  • Step 3
  • Step 4


  • Pillow form, 18”x18”
  • Cotton fabrics: coordinating beige scraps (at least 4”x10”) (pillow front), eight; beige two print (part of front and back), 2/3 yd.; coordinating orange scraps (at least 6”x12”) (pumpkin), three; black scrap (at least 7” square) (crow); brown scrap (at least 3” square) (pumpkin stem); muslin (for quilting), 1/2 yd.
  • Warm & Natural cotton batting (The Warm Co.), 1/2 yd.
  • Brown cording (Expo International), 2 yds.
  • All-purpose threads to match beige, orange, black and brown prints (Coats & Clark)
  • Beige polyester zipper (Coats & Clark), 18” long


  • KK2000 Temporary Adhesive Spray (Sulky)
  • Lickity Grip (for machine quilting)
  • Steam-A-Seam Sticky Back (The Warm Co.)
  • 6-strand Embroidery Floss (DMC): #403; #830
  • Beige bead (crow’s eye), 4mm
  • Heat Transfer Pencil (General Pencil Co.)
  • Rotary cutting supplies, ruler, cutter and mat (Olfa)
  • Sewing machine with darning foot, zipper foot and appliqué foot
  • Straight pins
  • Iron and pressing board

Pattern - "Fall is Here" Folk-Art Pillow

  • Cutting Instructions
  • 1. From each of the 8 beige coordinating prints, cut: 3-1/4"x10" rectangle. From beige 2 print, cut: 3-1/4"x10" rectangle; 10"x14" rectangle; 20"x22" rectangle.
  • Sewing Instructions
  • 1. Note: All seams are 1/4". Read all instructions before beginning project.
  • 2. Position seven of the 3-1/4"x10" rectangles into a vertical row, as shown. Sew them right sides together. Press seams down.

    Step 1
  • 3. Sew remaining two 3-1/4"x10" rectangles in same way. Press seam up.
  • 4. Sew unit from step 2 to 10"x14" rectangle, as shown. Press seam up.

    Step 2
  • 5. Sew units from Step 1 and Step 3 right sides together, as shown. Press.
  • 6. Straighten up all edges. Do not cut too much off.

    Step 3
  • Quilt Pillow Front and Back
  • 1. Cut one batting and muslin piece 1" larger (on all sides) than pillow front. Cut 22"x20" rectangle from muslin and batting (pillow back).
  • 2. Lay pillow front muslin piece on a table (in a ventilated area), spray with KK2000. Lay pillow front batting on top of muslin, spray with KK2000. Lay pillow front, facing up, on top of batting. (You now have a "sandwich" of muslin, batting and pillow front.) Repeat Step 2 with the backing pieces.
  • 3. With darning foot and feed dogs lowered, quilt pillow front and back in a loopy design. (Note: Create a "practice" piece of layers to play with, to adjust thread tension and quilting technique, etc. prior to quilting.)
  • 4. Cut pillow front, only, to measure 18" square. (Note: This may seem like there is not enough for the seam allowance but, after sewing pillow together, you will have a perfect fit.)
  • 5. Cut the pillow back to 18"-wide, but do not cut length, yet.
  • Add Zipper to Pillow Back
  • 1. Cut pillow back 6" from one of 18" edges, as shown. (Note: You can change pillow cover out for different seasons.)

    Step 4
  • 2. With zipper foot, sew 18" zipper to pillow back, along 18" edge, following manufacturer's directions for "centered zipper" application.
  • 3. Cut backing to measure 18" square. Set aside.
  • Applique Pillow Front
  • 1. Print and cut out patterns. With Steam-A-Seam and a pencil, transfer crow and pumpkin pattern pieces onto paper side of Steam-A-Steam. (Note: Transfer pumpkin pieces separately.)
  • 2. Cut around tracings, leaving a small amount of paper around traced line.
  • 3. Press fusible side of pattern pieces to wrong side of the appropriate fabric choices. Follow manufacturer's directions.
  • 4. Cut out shapes. Position pumpkin shapes onto pillow front, as shown in photo. Make sure that the two pumpkin sides and stem are underneath pumpkin center. Press to fuse. (Note: Be sure that pumpkin is more near center line of pillow front, otherwise it may not show, completely, when pillow form is inside pillow.)
  • 5. Position crow onto pillow front, as shown in photo. Make sure that his head is across from pumpkin top. Press to fuse.
  • 6. With matching thread and appliqué foot, appliqué around crow. Use a 2.5mm wide x .5mm length for zigzag stitch. Slow down near curves.
  • 7. With matching thread, appliqué pumpkin pieces. Begin with two side pieces and stem, appliqué pumpkin center last. (Note: The center will cover your beginning and ending zigzag stitches.)
  • 8. Sew the "eye" bead to crow's head.
  • Backstitch Pumpkin Swirls & Crow's Legs
  • 1. With heat transfer pencil, trace swirls and crow's legs onto a piece of paper. Iron pattern to pillow front. See photo for placement of letters.
  • 2. With two strands of #830 floss, backstitch swirls around stem. With #403 floss, backstitch crow's legs.
  • Machine Stitch "Fall"
  • 1. Note: Use heat transfer pencil to mark letters-press lightly, as you may want to do more freestyle sewing, than follow exact lines.
  • 2. With black thread and a 5mm wide zigzag stitch, stitch wide areas of letters. (Note: For the "F," adjust the width, while sewing, to create a narrower stitch near the ends of the letter. This may take some practice, so you may want to practice on scraps.)
  • 3. With a 1mm straight stitch, stitch remaining parts of the letters. Take your time, no need to hurry this step. Notice how the curves are crossing over each other. Have fun with this and be creative! You may want to incorporate more sewn letters in your quilting after this step.
  • Add the Cording
  • 1. With matching thread and a zipper foot, sew the cording, right sides together, to pillow front. (Note: The cording has a piece of fabric sewn to one side. Make sure that the fabric "tape" is facing up, while sewing.)
  • 2. Begin sewing with the tape end off of the pillow and finish with the other end over lapping the beginning end. (Note: You may need to cut the cording ‘tape' at the corners, to make turning easier while sewing. Cut only a very small slit, otherwise it may unravel.)
  • Sew the Pillow Together
  • 1. Unzip the pillow back, half way, in preparation for next step. Pin pillow front and back together, right sides together.
  • 2. With zipper foot and pillow "front" on top, sew along same stitching line made from sewing on cording. This will insure the cording is secure.
  • 3. Trim the corners. Turn right side out. Fold pillow form in half and stuff.