Reading Pocket Pillow from Janome


Sew up a sweet reading pillow that will keep a book or two stowed away and be a favorite pillow to cuddle with! Use your Horizon Memory Craft 9400QCP to make your own piping to put a professional finishing touch on this perfect project. Explore several of the feet that come standard with this great machine to finish the pillow. The quilted pillow front features a pocket that is great for showcasing that cute border print you’ve been saving and has a back envelope closure. This is the perfect gift for the little reader in your family.

Janome Supplies Required:


Free motion foot PDH

Standard Foot A

1/4″ Foot O

Zipper Foot E

Foot F (optional)

Purple Tip Needle for free motion quilting

Pre-wound bobbin

Empty Bobbin

Student Supplies Required:

Iron and pressing mat

Binding Clips/pins

Rotary cutter/ruler/mat

Basting pins or basting spray

Fabrics/Notions Required:

RST-Right sides together, RSD-Right Side Down, RSU-Right Side Up, WOF-Width of fabric, all seam allowances are 1/4” unless otherwise specified.

1 yd Border print (double border) fabric (Fabric A-Pink/purple) sub cut into:

(1) 20.5” x 20.5”

1 yd Pillow front and back (Fabric B-butterflies) sub cut into:

(1) 20.5” x 20.5” (pillow front)

(2) 12” x 19” (back envelope pieces)

1/2 yd Contrasting fabric (Fabric C-green) sub cut into:

(1) 80” x 1.5” bias cut (piping)

(1) 2.5” x WOF (binding)

1.5 yds Muslin fabric (Fabric D) sub cut into:

(2) 24” x 24” (quilt sandwich backing-won’t be visible from exterior)

1 yd Lightweight fusible interfacing (Pellon P44F) sub cut into:

(2) 12” x 19”

3 yds 5/32” cording

(2) 24” x 24” pieces of batting

18” Pillow form

Coordinating thread for piecing

Contrasting thread for quilting

Quilt the pillow front and pocket

1. Make a quilt sandwich for the front of the pillow and the pillow pocket. Place one of the muslin pieces (fabric D) wrong side up and place one of the 24” square batting pieces on top of it. Place the 20.5” square piece of fabric A RSU, centered on top of the batting. Use basting pins to baste the layers in place after smoothing the wrinkles, or use basting spray. Do the same for the 20.5” square piece of fabric B and baste the layers in place.

2. Quilt as desired. I chose to quilt some organic straight lines on the pillow pocket (border print fabric A) using the free motion quilting foot and some meandering loops on the pillow front (fabric B). Use the PDH free motion foot and lower the feed dogs. After you drop the feed dogs, you should notice the foot indicator in the lower left corner of the screen will change from the standard foot A to the PDH foot .

3. When quilting is completed, square up both quilted pieces to measure 19” x 19”. Raise the feed dogs for sewing the remaining steps of this project.

4. Set aside the pillow front (fabric B). Take the Fabric A quilted piece and place it RSU on a cutting surface. Mark the vertical center with an erasable marking utensil and measure 6.5” up from the bottom edge, along the center line you marked. Measure 3” down from the top of each side and mark. Using a ruler, connect the left side mark with the center mark, and then connect the center mark with the right side mark (essentially, making a large “V” or on point 90 degree angle). Using fabric scissors, cut the “V” out.

5. Prepare your binding by taking the 2.5” x WOF fabric C and folding it in half to measure 1.25” wide, wrong sides together. Press. Change the foot to the 1/4″ Foot O and select stitch #2 from the quilting menu to move the needle to the correct position.

6. Place the raw edge of the binding on the fabric D side of the pillow pocket cut-out, aligning the raw edges, and pin in place. Let the binding hang off by at least an inch on both edges. Sew the binding down with a 1/4” seam allowance, stopping 2-3 inches prior to sewing to the center V. If needed, make a reference mark 1/4″ in from the V to remind you to stop sewing at this point. Once you reach this mark, you will sew in reverse, or backstitch, a few stitches to secure your stitches before cutting the thread.

7. Pull the pillow pocket away from the sewing area, and use your fingers to adjust the binding edge to be sewing at the remaining portion of the V. Secure the binding with pins before proceeding, and begin sewing near the point you stopped previously, with the binding folded on top of the previous stitches you made. Sew the remaining binding length down, using a ¼” seam allowance.

8. Fold the folded edge of the binding over to the fabric A side of the pillow pocket and press and pin in place. Topstitch the folded edge down or finish with an attractive decorative stitch. Change to foot A to topstitch, foot F for a decorative stitch, or the foot that coordinates with the stitch you select.

9. Trim excess binding using a ruler and rotary cutter.

10. Place the quilted pillow front (fabric B) RSU on a flat surface. Place the prepared pillow pocket (fabric A) RSU on top of it, lining up the bottom and side edges. Pin in place or use binding clips to secure the sides.

11. Using Foot A, secure the pillow pocket to the pillow front using a basting stitch (lengthen your stitch length to 5.0) with a 1/4″ seam allowance. Remove the pins or binding clips as you sew.

Prepare the piping and finish the pillow

Tip: You can use store bought piping if you choose, but it’s so easy to make your own! Follow a few steps to make your own piping, and soon you’ll be adding it to every project you can.

1. Change the foot to zipper foot E. Select stitch #4 to move the needle to the correct position and lengthen the stitch length to 5.0.

2. Take the 80” x 1.5” bias cut of fabric C and place the 5/32” cording centered on the wrong side of the piping fabric. Fold the fabric so the cording is sandwiched in the center, fabric wrong sides together, matching raw edges. Place under the zipper foot E, with the foot butted right up against the cording. Sew as close to the cording as you can without sewing into the cording, using the basting stitch.

3. Take the pillow front you prepared previously and place it RSU on a flat surface. Align the raw edges of the piping with the raw edge of the pillow, and let at least one inch hang off the side, placing it on the pillow at a little bit of an angle. Pin in place around the entire perimeter of the pillow and curve the piping off the edge of the pillow corner.

4. Shorten the stitch length to 2.4 and use the basting stitch on the piping as your sewing guide. You will be sewing at approximately a 1/2” seam allowance to secure the piping to the pillow front, sewing directly on top of the basting stitch of the piping.

5. When you reach the corner, you will sew through the cording, maintaining the 1/2″ seam allowance. Trim excess piping from the pillow corner.

6. Change the sewing foot to standard foot A and select stitch #1 from the Utility menu.

7. Take the two 12” x 19” pieces of fabric B for the back envelope pieces and the two 12” x 19” pieces of fusible interfacing and fuse the interfacing, following the manufacturer’s instructions.

8. Measure and mark 1” up from one of the 19” long edges of the 12” x 19” pieces on the wrong side of the fabric. Fold the 19” long raw edge up to meet the mark you made and press. Fold over once more and press again. Repeat for the remaining back envelope piece. Topstitch the hem down with a contrasting thread (you could also select a decorative stitch for finishing).

9. Take the two pieces you just hemmed to a flat surface. Place one piece RSU with the hemmed edge closest to you. Place the other hemmed piece on top of it (also right side up), overlapping the hemmed edges by 3”. Pin the overlapped edges in place. Measure the square you just made to double check your dimensions—it should measure 19” square. Use a basting stitch to secure the overlap.

10. Take the piped pillow front and place it RSU on a flat surface. Place the back of the pillow and place it RST on top of the pillow front, lining up all raw edges. Pin in place or secure with binding clips. Flip the pillow cover so the quilted side is face up while sewing. You will sew directly on top of the seam line that attaches the piping to the pillow. If desired, you can use the zipper foot (change the stitch to #4 for correct needle position). This will be approximately 1/2″ seam allowance.

Tip: When sewing with piping attached, it’s a good idea to frequently check to see that cording is still pushed inwards to the center of the project so you aren’t sewing through it.

11. Trim the seam allowance to 1/4″ and trim the corners of the pillow, being careful not to snip into the stitching.

12. Use a zig zag stitch-stitch #8 or serge to finish the edges of the pillow.

13. Turn the pillow cover right side out and smooth the corners. Use an 18” pillow form and insert it into the back envelope opening. Place a favorite story book or two in the pillow pocket and enjoy!

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Karen Cook

May I use this pattern to make pillows for selling at craft shows?

Hi Karen, This pattern belongs to Janome. You’d need to contact them for any permissions request. Thanks, Betsey