If you buy a pillow for your couch at a store, it’s usually about 12-14″ square. But if you want to stitch a needlepoint for a pillow you might find that to be larger than the design that jhas caught your eye. Or your design might be the wrong shape for a square pillow.
Don’t give up. There are plenty of things you can do before, during, and after stitching to turn that needlepoint into a great pillow.
I have a charming, but unstitched, pillow in my office of a dede canvas. It’s of a china cat. Instead of just leaving it as a plain canvas, she inset the canvas into a pillow. All that needs to be done is the stitching and the project is finished.
To do this cut out the front for your pillow and cut out a hole 3/8″ smaller than the finished size you want the needlepoint to be. Cut diagonals in the corners of the opening and turn under the edges. Pin the needlepoint face out to the back of the pillow opening. Sew around the opening, just at the edge on the front. Remove the pins and assemble the pillow.
You can also stitch the needlepoint first and then assemble the pillow.
You stitch the needlepoint by keeping the back of the pillow out of the way as you stitch.
Stitching assembled pillows must be done in hand. You can use stretcher bars on unassembled pillows but your tacks will need to be in the area that will be inside the seams.
If you have enough space on your canvas and inside your frame, you can enlarge or change the shape of your needlepoint.
Most of the time we face this problem after the needlepoint is stitched, when we are ready to finish it. There are still many things you can do the make that needlepoint into a pillow.
- Inset the needlepoint into a pillow. This works if you or your finisher is comfortable with the technique in before stitching. Most finishers will be more comfortable with:
- Add fabric to make the needlepoint bigger. Here, instead of cutting out the center of the pillow front, you add fabric to two sides to make a bolster or rectangle or to all four sides, to make a square. This completed pillow front is then finished. It only works with square or rectangular needlepoint. It’s the most common way to make needlepoint bigger.
- Sew the needlepoint to the front of a finished pillow. This can be a bit tricky to do and you need to have a good eye to center the piece. Begin by finding an already-made pillow you like. Open the pillow and take out the stuffing. Trim the unstitched margin of the canvas to 3/8″. clipping curves if needed. Fold under the unstitched edges and pin. Working from the back and using matching heavy-duty sewing thread, blind stitch the needlepoint to the front, just catching the needlepoint at the edge. Restuff and close the pillow.