Circus Elephant Applique Pillow

Last fall I had the opportunity to work with some cute new fabrics by Blend Fabrics. They needed pillows for quilt market, and I couldn’t resist this cute Picadilly fabric. I am fascinated by the circus, and this fabric captures that excitement in the cutest way. One of the things I made when my fabric arrived was this elephant pillow. I used all of my favorite ThermOWeb products, and I’m happy to share the tutorial and pattern with you too!

Supplies Needed

Sewing Instructions

  • Trace the pattern pieces on the paper side of the fusible interfacing. The patterns have already been reversed for you. If using the EZ Print sheets, follow the package instructions.
  • Cut around each traced shape and fuse each one on to the back of the corresponding solid fabric. Cut out shapes along traced lines.
  • Peel the paper backing off of the shapes and arrange them on the 10.5″ square of white fabric. Fuse them into place and stitch around them as desired.
    • NOTE: The fabric I used had a print that contained balloons. I cut those shapes from the fabric, so there is not a pattern for those. However, if you want to make your own balloons, cut circles from fabric scraps and fuse as you did the other pattern pieces.

  • From the front border fabric, cut four 3.5″ x 10.5″ strips. Sew a 3.5″ square to the top and bottom of two of the strips. Sew two of the 10.5″ strips to the top and bottom of the appliqued block, pressing toward the strips and away from the white square. Sew the 10.5″ strips with the squares to the sides. Your finished pillow front should measure 16.5″ square.
  • Layer the pillow lining fabric, batting, and pillow front together. Quilt as desired.

  • Trim excess batting and lining fabric from pillow front.
  • With scraps from your border fabric, cut two 1″ x 4″ fabric strips. Fold in half, wrong sides together and matching short ends. Place the folded edge of one tab next to the metal stop of the zipper (not the end with the zipper pull), and top-stitch in place. Trim off the excess zipper.

  • Place zipper along the bottom edge of the pillow, lining up the edge of the tab you just sewed with one edge.

  • Place the other tab along the opposite edge of the pillow front, and mark where the fold sits on the zipper. Open your zipper past the mark and sew the tab with the folded edge on the mark you made. Cut off the excess zipper.

  • With the right side of the zipper to the right side of the pillow, stitch close to the zipper teeth. Press and topstitch close to the edge of the fabric.

  • Cut a 16.5″ square of fabric from the pillow backing fat quarter. Place the right side of the bottom edge of the pillow back to the right side of the other edge of the zipper, and stitch close to the zipper teeth. Press, and topstitch close to the edge of the fabric.

  • You should have something that looks like this:

  • OPEN THE ZIPPER and stitch around the remaining three sides of the pillow.
  • Insert an 18″ pillow form and close the zipper. Fluff it good, and enjoy!

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial!

Happy Sewing!


2 Comments on Step Right Up! A Circus Elephant Applique Pillow

  1. Erica Loscalzo
    February 11, 2020 at 10:37 am (2 years ago)

    We’re do you get your circus fabric

    • admin
      February 20, 2020 at 9:58 am (2 years ago)

      Hi Erica! We’d recommend shopping your favorite online store! We found it in stock at several… Shabby Fabrics being one of those! Blend Fabrics Piccadilly