Mary Corbet

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I learned to embroider when I was a kid, when everyone was really into cross stitch (remember the '80s?). Eventually, I migrated to surface embroidery, teaching myself with whatever I could get my hands on...read more

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Free Hand Embroidery Pattern: Perfect Pillow Top


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This hand embroidery pattern available for free download would make a perfect decorative pillow top. I’ve only embroidered two pillows in my life – one was all satin stitch, in a very ornate entwined knotwork design, worked in silk on white linen with a royal blue velvet pillow back, finished with hand-made cording and tassels. And I still think it’s one of the prettiest projects I’ve ever stitched. I made it as a gift. Where it is now, I have no idea! The other pillow top was not quite as successful – in fact, I think it was a dismal failure. Unfortunately, I know where that one is!

So every time I clean up a design that looks like a perfect pillow top, it reminds me of those two pillows. Both of them were pleasurable to stitch, despite their varied outcomes. I’m convinced that a beautiful hand embroidered decorative pillow in the home is the perfect accent. Someday, I’ll make another one.

In the meantime, I’ll share this pattern with you. I think it’s a neat one – and you can probably find other uses for it, too!

Free Hand Embroidery Pattern: Perfect Pillow Top

That’s how I see it as a pillow top – but the pattern itself is actually turned 45 degrees. So it looks like this:

Free Hand Embroidery Pattern: Perfect Pillow Top

Either way works!

I can see the design worked in one color, in multiple colors, in white on white or ivory on white – many possibilities! It might even make a neat quilt square, done in a twilling technique. It might be a little complex for that, but I bet it would work. Reduced in size, on fine fabric with fine threads, it could make a pretty embroidered ornament of some sort. Or a box top! What do you think? How would you interpret this pattern in embroidery?

Here’s the PDF download, which you can print and enlarge:

Free Hand Embroidery Pattern: Perfect Pillow Top (PDF)

If you like it and use it, I hope you enjoy it – and I’d love to see a photo!

You can find plenty more free hand embroidery patterns here on Needle ‘n Thread! And more to come in the future….


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(11) Comments

  1. I remember a nice pillowcase you have embroidered with lots of smiley patterns. I guess that can be counted as another successful pillow.

  2. I have the perfect dusty blue silk to use as a background for this design! I’ve just been waiting to find the perfect design for a pillow, and here it is. Thanks Mary.

  3. Hey vinitha!
    Are you from India?.There is a magazine called needle’n’thread which is published in India.It’s a quarterly magazine.
    Mary-I guess she got confused because of the name.I may be wrong!

  4. What a lovely pattern! I can see it in goldwork, with lots of saturated colors (I’m partial to blue), or whitework using coton a broder or floche, or even as a quilt top, using the pattern for the hand quilting stitches.

    Amy, the dusty blue silk sounds lovely, how will you embroider the pattern?

  5. I think this may be the pattern I’ve been looking for. I have a very nice piece of white damask that I’ve been wanting to use as a background and embroider something on it. All in blue, with beads where the dots are on the curved parts.

  6. It is a very pretty pattern! I like the idea of stitching it white on white, but knowing myself(I love colour!)it would probably come out colourfull anyway, heheh. Thanks for the pattern, I would love to make a pillow out of this ^_^

  7. Hi Mary, thank you for another free pattern. I have recently agreed to help someone with failing sight finished her Hardanger supper cloth, so I think lots of things on my “Want to do list” are going to be there for some time. Although I am not going to stop doing my own work – I just won’t be able to do my own work all the time. And yes, the lady concerned is going to pay me for helping finish the cloth.

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