This clever pillow looks complex with its intricate lattice front and peek-a-boo inset, but it is so easy! We love the splash of color behind the lattice strips, and had fun imagining this same design in a number of wonderful fabric combinations. It would be beautiful in silk and brocade as a wedding pillow. Or try it in fun and funky brights and polka dots for a kid’s room. Our instructions are for a 16″ square, but you could easily adapt the sizing smaller or larger.
Our pillow sample is stuffed with organic bamboo fiber, but you could also use a standard pillow form.
The final look of your pillow will turn out best if you take the time to carefully fussy cut all your pieces. You can see that we centered the herringbone motif on ours, which gives the lattice a lovely look, but also allows you to look through it, without distraction, to the focal panel behind.
We recommend mixing an organic pattern (like our floral) for the center inset panel with a geometric pattern for the side panels and criss-crossing strips (like our herringbone). This helps simulate the true look of flowers growing through and around the lattice. For more information on this topic, take a look at our article: Top 10 Designer Tips for Blending Colors and Prints.
The original Joel Dewberry Modern Meadow fabric we used is an older collection that is no longer readily available in all the color palettes. But, no worries, your favorite designers are coming out with new fabric collections nearly every season. Any quilting cotton pair will work.
Our pillow finishes at approximately 16″ x 16″, but as mentioned above, you can easily adjust your cuts to go larger or smaller.
Sewing Tools You Need
- Sewing Machine and standard presser foot
Fabric and Other Supplies
- 1 yard of 44-45″ wide fabric for the front side panels, back panel, and lattice overlay
- ½ yard of 44-45″ wide fabric for the center inset panel; this amount allows you enough fabric to fussy cut from the fabric’s length or width
- Pillow fill or a 16″ x 16″ pillow form: we used bamboo fiber stuffing from Fairfield
- All purpose thread to coordinate with fabrics
- See-through ruler
- Iron and ironing board
- Scissors or rotary cutter and mat
- Fabric pen or pencil
- Seam gauge
- Seam ripper
- Hand sewing needle
- Straight pins
- From the main fabric (the herringbone in our sample), cut the following:
ONE 17″ x 17″ square for the pillow back
TWO 5″ wide x 17″ high rectangles for the pillow front side panels
SIX 3″ x 15″ strips for the front lattice. We fussy cut these strips, centering the small herringbone stripe.
NOTE: If you choose a directional motif, as we did, make sure it is running the same way on all your pieces.
- From the inset fabric (the floral in our sample), cut ONE 9″ wide x 17″ high rectangle.
NOTE: Again, watch your design direction. We chose a fabric with a floral pattern and made sure to cut our piece so the flowers were running vertically to show best through the lattice.
At Your Sewing Machine & Ironing Board
- Find the six 3″ lattice strips.
- Fold a strip in half lengthwise, right sides together, and stitch along the entire long edge, using a ½” seam allowance.
- Press the seam allowance open and flat.
- Turn the strip right side out.
- Repeat to create the other five lattice strips.
- Roll the seam to the back, centering it like a pair of fancy silk stockings, and press well. This gives you six finished strips, each with a front that has a centered design (in our case the middle vein of the herringbone) and a seamed back.
- Find the front inset panel. Using your fabric pen and ruler, mark the center of each 17″ side. Using these marks as your reference guides, place the six strips in an even, over-under pattern to create the front lattice effect. The front sides of the strips should be facing up (seams down).
- Measure often to make sure the strips are at equal distance to one another. When you have everything set in place, pin each strip, then machine baste around the perimeter of the entire piece, staying within the ½” seam allowance (about ¼” from the raw edge is good).
- Once basted in place, trim the ends of the strips so they are flush with the inset panel on all sides.
- Find the two 5″ x 17″ front side panels. Lay one on each each side of the lattice panel, right sides together, matching the 17″ raw edges. Pin in place. Stitch both sides, using a ½” seam allowance. Press the seam allowances toward the side panels. This completes the front of the pillow.
- Place the pillow front and pillow back (the 17″ x 17″ square) right sides together, matching all the raw edges. Pin in place, leaving an approximate 5″ opening along the bottom.
- Sew around the entire pillow, using a ½” seam allowance. Remember to pivot at each corner and to lock your seam at either side of the 5″ opening.
- Clip the corners and turn the pillow right side out through the 5″ opening.
- Use a long, blunt tool to push out the corners so they are nice and sharp. A knitting needle, chopstick or point turner all work well.
- Press flat, pressing in the raw edges at the opening so they are flush with the sewn seam.
- Insert the pillow form or filler.
- Thread a hand needle with matching thread, and slip stitch the 5″ opening closed with tiny stitches. Small stitches are especially important if you used filler rather than a pillow form. You don’t want any filler poking out.
- We also slip stitched our Sew4Home label to the bottom back of the pillow.
Project Design: Alicia Thommas
Sample Creation: Michele Mishler