One of the upsides of not having in-person holiday craft shows this year, has been the ability to try new projects and crafts that pop into my head. While driving to the post office earlier this month, I was hit with a brainwave of mountain landscape pillows. I thought these would be great gifts for friends and family. This probably came about because I’d recently finished the Mirrored Mountain Quilt pattern by Cloth and Crescent for my own bed and had also been prepping Pacific Northwest Pendant kits for my upcoming workshop with Monster. Needless to say, mountains were on my mind.
Once home, I dug into my fabric stash. I pulled some Kona solids and coordinating pattern fabrics I’d recently purchased from Wyldwood Creative. Happy with my color choices, I started cutting out triangular mountain shapes. After laying out a lovely Pacific Northwest inspired mountain landscape, I began to wonder how I’d actually sew this design together. At first, I thought of piecing the design together, similar to the Mirrored Mountain Quilt. I quickly became discouraged with that idea as it involved a lot of quilt math that I wasn’t ready for and would've probably meant the fabric I’d cut out wouldn’t actually work as I’d intended.
So instead, I turned to appliqué! This was a much easier approach to creating this design and made it so that I could use the fabrics I'd excitedly cut out. With a lot of ironing, some pinning, stitching, stuffing, and a few true crime podcast episodes later, I had a finished pillow!
Want to stitch your own landscape appliqué pillow?
Here’s what you’ll need:
Fabric for the pillow background and back
Fabrics for mountains
Fabric for the landscape stripes
Pillow stuffing or pillow form
Sewing machine with thread
Now let's make our pillow!
1. Start by cutting the pillow background and backing fabric into two equal sized squares. I made my throw pillow rather large at 24x24 inches. Since I wanted that to be the finished size, I cut my fabric squares slightly larger at 24.5x24.5 inches to account for 1/4 inch seem allowances.
2. Next, cut the mountain fabrics into triangles. For these, I folded my fabric in half, choose an angle for my mountain and cut my fabric so that the fold of the fabric was the mountain peak. I found it helpful to cut my mountains with a thicker base to allow for mountain downsizing from ironing and also more fabric overlap when layering the mountains on top of the pillow front.
3. Repeat for as many mountains as you’d like on your pillow.
4. Then, cut rectangular strips of landscape fabric to fill the area below the mountains. These should be slightly longer than your pillow.
5. With everything cut, it’s time to iron and sew. For the landscape, start with the background and work toward the foreground. Starting with the furthest back mountain, place it wrong side up on your ironing board and press a 1/4 inch fold along the angled sides of the mountain. Placing the ironed mountain piece right side up on the background fabric, pin the mountain in place. Next, using a 1/8 inch seam allowance, sew the mountain onto the background fabric, removing the pins as you sew.
6. Repeat this process for all mountains.
7. With the mountains in place, sew the landscape fabrics. Place the first landscape fabric with the right side facing the mountain and align the seam edges. Pin the fabric to the pillow front and sew a 1/4 inch seam. Iron flat and top stitch with a 1/4 inch seam.
8. Repeat for all rectangular landscape sections.
9. Once the pillow front is complete, trim any fabric along the edges.
10. Now let’s assemble the pillow. Place the pillow front and back with right sides together. Pin around the edges, leaving at least a 6 inch gap along one side to flip the pillow right side out. If you're using a pillow form, instead of stuffing, your gap should be almost the entire width of the pillow.
11. Sew a 1/4 inch seam around the outer edges. At each corner, leave the needle inserted in the fabric, lift the sewing machine foot, and rotate the pillow 90 degrees to continue stitching along the outer edge. Before flipping the pillow, clip the corners.
12. Flip the pillow and poke out all corners. Before stuffing, iron the section where the gap is to make it easier to align the seam later.
13. Stuff the pillow. Once stuffed to your personal preference, pin the gap, matching up the seam allowance.
14. Using a needle and thread, sew the pillow closed using the ladder stitch.
15. And ta-da! You have an appliqué mountain pillow! Add to your sofa, guest room, or office and enjoy.
Looking for more landscape inspired designs? Try these landscape inspired embroideries: