DIY Easter Craft Pillow

Happy March! Today I am sharing a DIY Easter craft pillow. You can make this free stitch embroidered pillow with carrots so easily.

When my girlfriends and I decided to do a post about an Easter Embroidery craft, it took me about a second to decide to use free stitch embroidery. I had always wanted to make something with carrots and this DIY Easter Craft pillow looks exactly like I hoped it would.

DIY Easter Craft Pillow
my 100 year old home logo and photo of the beach house

You Made that?

My Easy Free Motion Embroidery Pillow

DIY Easter Craft Pillow with Carrots

I know what you are thinking.

This pillow is easy?

Well, it is not hard. Painting the carrots is really simple and I will show you exactly how to do it. The embroidery is free motion, which means you get to move the fabric in any direction.

And messy is good. If you look closely you can see I sewed the outline of everything twice and none of the stitches match.

And if you don’t sew, you can use a permanent thin marking pen to outline the carrots instead!

How easy is that?

And can I just say that I really love this pillow?

DIY Easter Craft Pillow

What is Free-Motion Embroidery?

Free motion machine embroidery is a type of sewing that you do on a regular sewing machine but you can move the material in any direction while sewing it on your machine.  Normally when you sew, the machine automatically moves the fabric forward. When you sew free-motion embroidery, you get to move the fabric so you determine exactly where you want to sew. You can move sideways, forward, and backward and create any shape you want. All you need is a quilting foot (and the ability to lower the “feed dogs” on your sewing machine).

The free-motion quilting foot, sometimes called a darning foot, is designed so that the sewing machine needle passes through a small ring on the foot. Instead of hopping, these feet float over the fabric without providing pressure.  The Foot releases the fabric when the needle is in the up position, allowing you to move the fabric freely.

What Do You Need to Do This?

All you need is the free-motion foot for your machine. This foot may vary based on your type of machine but I linked a “universal” one.

I read a lot about lowering the “feed dogs” on your machine when stitching free-motion embroidery. Feed dogs are the little teeth on your sewing machine that feed your fabric evenly through the machine. These teeth are extremely important because they help us produce perfectly spaced, even stitches whenever we sew garments, piece quilts, or applique shapes on our machine. Most people recommend that you lower the feed dogs for free-motion embroidery.

For this pillow, I lowered the feed dogs using a lever on my machine and it worked great. If you don’t have the option to lower them, you can use a Quilting Slider Mat instead.

Free Motion Stitch Embroidery Close Up

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Studying the Subject Matter

Before I started this pillow I pulled out a few carrots and studied them as I wanted to make sure I got the shape right. My carrots were a bit skinny so I fattened them out a bit.

Understanding the Carrot

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What You Need to Make a Free Motion Embroidery Pillow

Sewing Machine

Pillow cover

Pillow Insert

Acrylic paint and brush

Dark Embroidery thread (I used black)

Parchment paper or cardboard to fit inside the pillow cover while painting.

Free motion quilting foot for your machine (varies by sewing machine brand)

How to Make a Free Motion Embroidery Stitch Pillow

To prevent the paint from leaking through to the backside of the pillow cover, place a piece of parchment paper or cardboard inside the pillow.

Choose your colors and place paints on paper plates. Feel free to mix the colors as this will result in a more cohesive color palette.

For this pillow, I used two orange bottles of acrylic and I added white to both of them to lighten them up.

Be sure you paint shapes on the pillow, not details of carrots. I like just painting shapes and not things. Keep it simple!

Painting Carrots on the Pillow

Once the “carrots” dried, I added the green tops.

Painted Carrots on Pillows

I used one green and added white to make three shades of green. I loosely painted the three shades of green.

Just add paint in shapes. Keep it easy.

Painting Green Stems on the Pillow

As soon as the pillow is completely dry, you can add the free-motion embroidery.

Painted Carrots Pillow

The best thing about free embroidery is that it doesn’t need to be perfect. I love how it looks when the two layers of stitches don’t match. And I love being able to push the fabric wherever I want it to go.

Carrot Pillow

Frequently Asked Questions

What is free motion stitch embroidery?

Free motion machine embroidery is a type of sewing that you do on a regular sewing machine but you can move the material in any direction while sewing it on your machine.  Normally when you sew, the machine automatically moves the fabric forward. When you sew free-motion embroidery, you get to move the fabric so you determine exactly where you want to sew. You can move sideways, forward, and backward, and create any shape you want. All you need is a quilting foot.

How do you do free-motion embroidery?

Use a medium-heavy fabric for free-motion embroidery. Attach the darning foot to your machine, and lower the feed dogs. (The feed dog is what moves your fabric forward. If you lower it then you can move the fabric in any direction you want.)
Sew your design two times so the stitching is more predominant but DO NOT try to sew perfectly. It’s so easy and you should not worry if you make a mistake here and there. It looks better that way.

Can you sew free-motion embroidery on any machine?

Yes, you can sew free-motion embroidery using a regular sewing machine. You will want to use a darning foot and lower the feed dogs to allow you to move the fabric in any direction you want.

DIY Easter Craft Pillow

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This live show is titled Spring and Easter Table Ideas.

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Here are Some of My Free Stitch Embroidery Projects

In the past year, I have made quite a few Free Stitch Embroidery projects and I have made pillows, placemats, and coasters.

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Easter themed pillow with painted carrots and stitching on a vintage chair.

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    1. Love, love, love your pillows❣️ And, I’m eager to try some of that free style studying! You’re so inspiring and I appreciate your creativity!

  1. I honestly love all your pillows!!! I can’t wait to try this myself. I’m having major surgery tomorrow but once I recover I will definitely be trying this. I have one question though….. how do you get the pillow to lay flat as you sew it since the pillow is already complete? Thanks so much for these great DIY posts!!! — Wendi 🙋🏼‍♀️ 🇨🇦🥰

  2. This looks so fun! Question: How do you sew on one side of the pillow cover that’s already made (two-sided)? You are so creative! Love your style.

  3. Love the carrot pillow.. will be making several real soon…. Thanks for all of your creative ideas.

  4. I love free motion sewing. I’ve made 100’s of quilts and used this method known as ‘stippling’. It’s a beautiful end result. Great creativity!

  5. Leslie, I love everything you do! I know you mentioned before you get the IKEA white covers. Was it hard to work with the already made pillow to do the embroidery? Any tricks? Do you take it apart?

    1. Thank you so much! Dottie, the pillow cover is pretty easy to work with since the pillow insert is not put inside until after the pillow cover is completed. Let me know how yours turns out!

      1. How did you keep from sewing the two layers of fabric on the pillow cover together when you did the embroidery. I sew but I have never tried free style embroidery

    2. I love this, and your other pillows! So creative. I made the heart one last year, came up with a shamrock design of my own , and then made this one and the Easter egg pillow. I place them on my bench on the front porch at the appropriate time and get many compliments. The carrot is my personal favorite. They were a lot of fun to make. Please keep the ideas coming!

  6. OhmyGosh Leslie I just love this! I made a carrot pillow from a beautiful tea towel on Homeroad but now you’ve got me wanting to paint one!!! I love this. I’ve also gotta try that free stitch sewing sometime too it’s so pretty!!

  7. You talk about placing something between the layers of the pillow case so the paint will not go thru….but I don’t understand what you do about sewing on the machine! Doesn’t the stitches go through to the bottom side of the pillow case? You did not address that.

  8. Thank you for such a cute Easter project idea! I’m in the process of making 4 pillowcases following your directions 🥰. I’m excited about how they are turning out. They will make great Easter gifts!

    1. Susan, am so happy that you are making this project! Please let me know how they turn out! Happy Easter!! 🐰🥕

  9. I’m in NC but my granddaughter lives in England and one way we stay connected is to do crafts on FaceTime.. You’ve inspired me to make a pillow for every season and place it on an old vintage green kitchen chair..I’m going to share this idea with my daughter-in-law and granddaughter.. blessings to you, Elizabeth

  10. Isn’t this just lovely! The combination of hand painting and single stitching is amazing. I hope to give this a try.

  11. I love your pillows – your crafts are so wonderful. I have an old 1960ish singer machine: do they have a Quilting foot attachment for that old a machine? Thanks fir your help.,

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