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Reverse Applique Pillow

The stabilizer in this cozy wool craft not only assists in transferring the patterns, but also steadies the fabric while sewing, which will reduce the chance of puckering.




  • Wool fabric in two colors
  • Leaf template
  • Iron-on, tear-away stabilizer
  • Marker
  • Iron
  • Scissors
  • Pins
  • Sewing machine
  • 18-by-18-inch pillow form
  • Applique scissors


  1. Step 1

    Cut 3 pieces of wool to 19 by 19 inches: 2 pieces in the pillow (outside) color, and one piece in the design (inside) color. Set aside.

  2. Step 2

    Download leaf template and enlarge to desired size (we used the design at 200 percent). Print on regular paper.

  3. Step 3

    Lay pieces of stabilizer, paper side up, over printed design elements, and trace with marker. Lay these pieces of stabilizer on the "wrong" side of the inside piece of fabric. Arrange elements as desired, and then iron into place.

  4. Step 4

    Lay inner piece, with stabilizer side up, on top of one piece of the outside fabric, align edges, and pin together.

  5. Step 5

    Machine-stitch along all the traced lines. When all lines have been stitched, tear away the stabilizer. 

  6. Step 6

    Turn fabric over. Inside the areas of the sewn design, carefully clip and remove top (outside) fabric to reveal the fabric underneath.

  7. Step 7

    When front is complete, place face down on remaining outside piece and pin along edges. Stitch around 3 edges with a 1/2-inch seam allowance. Turn right side out, and fill with pillow form. Hand-sew opening closed.

The Martha Stewart Show, February 2010



Reviews (2)

  • kymsmum 6 Mar, 2010

    If you would like to see this technique taken to the nth degree have a look at Alabama Chanins site. reverse applique gone haute couture. Love it.

  • nfrank 5 Mar, 2010

    I haven't done reverse applique since I was an art major back in the dark ages...this is great inspiration to revive an old, and not so difficult skill! Thanks!