How to Add Pom Pom Trim to a Pillow

Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Today I want to share a step-by-step photo tutorial of how I attach pom pom trim to pillows in advance of my new pattern releasing later this week!

I personally love adding pom pom trim to pillows. I think the result is really cute and gives pillows a little something extra! I've purchased pom pom trim from lots of different places including independent quilt/fabric shops, big box stores (like JoAnn) and from Etsy shops online. A quick search on for "pom pom trim" brings up a lot of different options. It comes in all kinds of colors and sizes!

Just like everything else, there are lots of different techniques for sewing in a trim like this! This is simply the way I prefer to do it. If you have another method that works for you, that's great! Attaching the trim the way I outline below completely encases the trim strip (not the pom pom part) into the seam, so that the only thing showing is the pom poms. Personally I find the finish a little neater this way.

Sewing Level: Intermediate

Materials Needed:
- Pillow top
- Pillow backing
- Pom pom trim*
- Coordinating thread
- Clips
- Zipper foot

*To determine how much pom pom trim to buy for your pillow: Measure all four sides of your pillow and add them all up. Divide this number by 36. This is the exact amount of yardage you'll need. I recommend adding around 1/4 yard so that you have plenty of wiggle room.

For example: My pillow measures 20.5" on each side. 20.5" multiplied by 4 = 82". 82" divided by 36" = 2.27 yards. Rounding up, I would order 2 1/2 yards to complete my pillow.


1. Lay out a length of pom pom trim against one of the edges of your pillow top. Cut piece to length.

2. Trim away any pom poms that are within 3/8” - 1/2” of the corners, so that they don’t get in the way.

3. Place trim piece on the right side of the pillow top, lining up the edge of the trim with the edge of the pillow top so that the pom poms are towards the center of the pillow. Pin or clip trim in place. Using a zipper foot, sew trim in place using an 1/8” seam allowance.

Repeat this process with the three remaining sides of the pillow top. You may choose to trim away excess trim at the corners to reduce bulk.

Optional: Before attaching the pillow backing to the pillow top, I like to finish the edges with my serger (a zig-zag stitch on a regular machine works great too). This gives my pillow a nice clean inside seam.

4. Place pillow backing right sides together with the pillow top, sandwiching the pom poms in between the two layers. Start by clipping at all four corners, pushing the pom poms out of the way as needed. I like to use clips for this instead of pins because the clips help push the pom poms away from the seam.

Next, clip in the center of each side. Then clip in the center between the clips, and continue on in this way until the all four sides have been properly clipped. I find this method helps ease the layers together evenly.

5. Starting in the middle of one of the sides, slowly stitch around all four sides of the pillow with a zipper foot, securing all the layers. Typically I use a seam allowance slightly larger than 1/4" in order to catch the trim completely in the seam. Take your time and gently push the pom poms away from the needle as you go to avoid stitching into them. Turn pillow right sides out and check trim, make any adjustments to the seam if need be.

I hope this tutorial was helpful! I am looking forward to sharing more about my pillow projects and pattern later this week. Stay tuned!

Happy Sewing!

Vote Mini Quilt Free Pattern

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Hello! I have a little tutorial to share today, for this VOTE mini quilt.

I posted about my mini quilt last week on Instagram and there was interest in a tutorial so here we are! This is going to be short and sweet, since I didn't take photos while I made it. It's pretty straight forward though. The cutting instructions are to make a mini just like mine, but feel free to add the "Vote" blocks to anything you'd like! Maybe a tote bag? Could be cool.

We live on a pretty busy street here in Connecticut. It's not a big neighborhood, but a lot of cars cut through it to get from one main road to another. This means a lot of cars drive past our house on a daily basis. This had me thinking a lot lately about how to help get out the vote this election. I ended up going with a mini quilt that I hung on our glass storm door! This way it isn't exposed to the elements, so it doesn't need to be made of waterproof materials or brought in when it rains.

I encourage my fellow Americans to register to vote (or check your registration is still valid) and vote this November 3rd. Our democracy works best when we participate! I'd recommend checking out or to start if you're looking for more information on voting.

Finished Size: 17"x19"
Sewing Level: Beginner Friendly

- 1.5" wide blue strips (or any color you'd like)
- 1.5" wide white scraps
- 21"x23" piece of batting
- 21"x23" piece of backing fabric
- 1/4 yard of binding fabric

A - 5.5”x1.5”
(3) White
(15) Blue

B - 4.5”x1.5”
(9) White
(9) Blue

C - 3.5“x1.5”
(15) White
(3) Blue

D - 2.5”x1.5”
(9) White
(6) Blue

E - 1.5”x1.5”
(3) White
(6) Blue

Final sashing strips*
(4) 17.5"x1.5"

From binding fabric
(2) 2.5"xWOF strips

*I recommend waiting to cut these until you've finished the "vote" blocks. With all those seams it's likely they won't measure exactly 17.5" (mine didn't!). Waiting to cut means you can cut them to fit your blocks.

*Use a 1/4" seam allowance unless otherwise noted.*

1. Each letter is pieced as it's own block. Use the diagram above for how each block goes together! I pressed all my seams open since the strips are pretty small, but feel free to press your seams however you like.

2. In between each letter block is a sashing strip (A), plus one on either end. Sew blocks and sashing strips into one long strip to complete word. Make three blocks total.

3. Arrange three vote blocks with four final sashing pieces. Sew rows together, press seams however you'd like.

4. Baste, quilt, bind, enjoy!

As I mentioned, I hung my mini quilt on my front door. I used fishing line to attach mine to some screw on the inside of my storm door. Seems to be working pretty well so far!

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial. Share your progress and finished project photos using #jenibaker hashtag on social media, and be sure to tag me @jenib320 too!

Happy Quilting!

Work in Progress: Bear Paw Pillows

Monday, September 21, 2020

Happy Monday! I haven't been in this space much lately, but as the temperatures cool, I feel more drawn to it. I've also been starting to feel better physically, which is good motivation to spend time in my sewing room.

Lately I've been working on a set of pillows that will become my next pattern. I'm excited to tell you all about it!

The first set of these pillows I made for Quilts & More Magazine. These were one of my favorite projects I made for them, and I am looking forward to finally releasing them as a standalone pattern!

For more on these particular pillows see this blog post: Bear Paw Pillows in Quilts & More Winter 2019

New pattern means new samples! The color scheme for this set of pillows is centered around this moth print from the new Heather Ross 20th Anniversary Collection*. It's such a great color, the perfect blue-ish purple. The neutral print is also new, it's from Collection CF* by Carolyn Friedlander. The other prints are from my stash.

I love working with bear paw blocks in my designs, and these pillows are a fun twist on the traditional block.

As with many of my patterns, there will be lots of options. In particular finishing options. I'm finally writing up thorough instructions for my favorite pillow back method, a zippered back. There will also be instrucitons for making an envelope back and how to finish the pillow with pom pom trim, binding or without either.

I am hoping to release the pattern next week! The pillows are done and I'm pretty far into the computer work. Hoping this post helps hold me accountable. These colors feel very Fall to me, but I think this design would look pretty done up in loads of different color schemes!

Happy Sewing!

*Note: Any links marked with an asterisk in this post are affiliate links. This means if you click through and buy something, I make a small commission, at no extra cost to you.

Patchwork Essentials Turns Five Years Old!

Thursday, September 10, 2020

Five years ago, my book Patchwork Essentials: The Half-Square Triangle was published! I can't believe it's been that long already. I've written about it extensively here on the blog, including sharing all the quilts that are included. You can find all those posts here: My Book. I'm still really proud of this book. It was an incredible amount of work, a project I'll never forget!

To celebrate this anniversary, I have a special promotion running this weekend! From today through Sunday (9/13), all signed book orders in my online shop come with a free paper pattern, while supplies last! Just let me know in the notes at checkout what pattern you want! Otherwise I'll choose one I think you'd like.

You can find it in my online shop here: Patchwork Essentials: The Half Square Triangle Book.

Thank you for your support, and Happy Quilting! 

August Monthly Report

Tuesday, September 1, 2020

Happy September! It's time for August's monthly report. See past reports here.

The weather has finally started to break and it is making me feel more like sewing. It's been incredibly hot here the last two months which has made it tough to find the motivation to have the iron and sewing machine running! That being said, I actually sewed quite a bit this month. No big finishes to show for it (except one quilt that I'll share soon), but progress is being made so that's good.

These pretty Dreamin' Vintage* half-square triangle rows are now a finished quilt top, yay!

I made some more masks! I used this tutorial: Fabric Face Mask with Ties

I picked up some knitting this month too! I've been working on these color work mittens, just have the linings left. Need to get a move on these so that I can wear them this Fall. They're living in one of my favorite (project size) drawstring bags I've made.

Bag pattern: Lined Drawstring Bag Pattern
Mitten pattern: Sweet Nectar Mitts

With the heat and my arthritis flare-up this Summer, I've been sewing in the dining room the last few months. This meant my sewing room got neglected and was really turning into a mess. I spent some time this month cleaning it up and getting it organized again. Hoping I can move back upstairs sometime this month. At least now it's ready for me!

To keep myself accountable for my stash goals, I track my yardage for fabric and yarn each month. Read more about how I track here. Here is how I did in August:

August Fabric
Used up: 1.5 yards
Brought in: 0 yards
Net: -1.5 yards
Year to date: -10 yards

August Yarn
Used up: 0 yards
Brought in: 0 yards
Net: 0 yards
Year to date: 0 yards

Not much fabric came in or out last month!

Last year I posted this artwork in a rather large ornate frame (see it in this post: Recent Thrifting Finds) that I thrifted for a few bucks. Well I finally got around to re-framing it! I love how it turned out. It's an original painting on an art store canvas, which is pretty cool. Glad I was able to rescue it from the thrift store!

I baked a cake for Michael's half Birthday in early August. My Mom used to bake half a cake for us when we were kids so I decided to surprise him with his own half cake. It's just a single layer cut in half and stacked. I made the coconut cake + coconut frosting from Smitten Kitchen Every Day*. It was tasty!

George the bun, always so cute.

Have a great month!

*Note: Any links marked with an asterisk in this post are affiliate links. This means if you click through and buy something, I make a small commission, at no extra cost to you.