Island Batik Label Pillow

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Pillows are always a great way to try a new quilting technique! If you have bought fat quarter bundles of fabric or jelly rolls, then you probably have some of the ribbon labels that are used to keep the fabrics together. I keep all of mine and used some of them to create this label pillow using Island Batik labels.

Quilted pillow made with labels from Island Batik fabric easy tutorial

Quilted Label Pillow Tutorial
18″ x 18″

Island Batik Ambassador Playful Pillows project

Each month the Island Batik Ambassadors have a different project to work on. For May we are making pillows and if you have followed me for any amount of time… know I love making them! In fact I’ll be showing a different one next week.

Quilted label pillow on bench on the deck

I might have a few pillows and table runners made with my Island Batik fabrics in my home. In the photo below I have two of my Box Quilt Block Pillows that I have already shared a tutorial on.

Quilted pillows on couch with table runner on table

Many times the Island Batik Ambassador boxes have little 5″ strip bundles in them and I have saved all of the labels. 

Island Batik fabrics with label ribbons

Creating the pillow background

I also hang on to each little piece of my neutral fabrics and decided it would be fun to make a strip pillow and then add the labels.

I measured the labels and decided to make a pillow that was about 18 inches.

I decided to make a piece about 14 inches wide. Many of my neutral scraps were shorter than this so I sewed some of the short pieces together to make enough rows.

Neutral strips of batiks used to make background for pillow

Add Labels

I used Aurifil 40wt thread to straight stitch the labels onto my fabric and used a washable Elmer’s glue stick to hold them in place. I wanted to make sure I didn’t have to sew through too many layers so I placed each label ribbon over a seam.

Place the labels over seams


Then I added some borders, I didn’t worry about using pieces that were the exact length or width. All I wanted was to create a piece that was at least 18 inches square.

Using Aurifil thread for my stitching on the pillow

Free-motion quilting

All of the piecing and quilt was done on my vintage 15-91 Singer sewing machine using a darning foot that I purchased about 25 years ago. I bought it before there were free-motion feet available. Most quilters use a variety of different free-motion feet now.

free-motion quilting

Here is the pillow top all quilted and ready to be trimmed. I always wait until the quilting is all done as the piece will shrink a little bit.

Quilted pillow top

Pillow backing

I just did a simple envelope style back and also edge-stitched about a quarter inch in from the edge of the pillow.

  • Cut 2 pieces of a neutral fabric – 13″ x 18″.
  • On each piece fold one of the 18″ sides under ¼” and press.
  • On one piece, fold under another 1″ and top stitch it.
  • On the other piece, fold under ¼” again and top stitch.
  • Place the 1″ top stitched piece face down on the right side of the pillow top.
  • Next place the ¼” top stitched piece face down on top of it.
  • Pin the pieces and stitch around the pillow with a ¼” seam allowance.
  • Double stitch over the area where the back pieces overlap to make the seams stronger.

Have you ever used the fabric ribbons for a quilt project? If so I would love to know what you created.

Quilted pillows including the label pillow on couch

Pin this so you can save it for later

quilted label pillow tutorial

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  1. Was looking at another post and “tripped” over this – how did I miss it! Love the technique, I’ve saved ribbons that were tied around jars or candles ( take them off the candles for safety because I’m a klutz!) But what a great way to use them! Thanks as always for great inspiration!

  2. Such a great idea using the Island Batik fabric ties. I always save them, but I never do anything with them!

  3. The pillow are wonderful. I am in love with your newest X-Box tablerunner. Thank you for sharing and for all you do to encourage us who want to learn more about quilting!

  4. Well, Connie, that is just too clever and your new pillow looks great on your couch. I’d be suspicious if Katie or Elizabeth suddenly invite themselves around if I was you! 🙂

  5. I like your idea of using the Island Batik labels. Very Clever! I think I could do something similar with selvages. I am going to give it a try.

  6. I love this pillow and how cleverly you have re-used the Island Batik labels. A lovely reminder of your amazing design time with Island Batik fabrics. Pillow Bliss Dear…xo

  7. Vicki in MN says:

    What a clever idea for the ribbon labels!

  8. Brenda Ackerman says:

    Hello again Connie; Instead of sewing my pieces together for a California King quilt that I am making for a very dear friend, I am still playing on the computer. I was checking out the Inspired by Fabric blog post, went into their projects/patterns page and then into their tutorial page on Pinterest. Where I discovered the pin/link to

    this fabulous quilt pattern tutorial! I have a couple of baby quilts that I need to make and am for some reason struggling with what pattern to use. There are just far to many adorable patterns to choose from. Yet, I am going to make at least the middle section and see where I go from there. I am so glad to have discovered your sight and follow you. Thank you for sharing all that you do!!

  9. That looks great, Connie. The whole setting with the runners and pillows is perfectly coordinated.

  10. What a wonderful way to use those labels. I also like all the pillows you have, plus the table toppers. You have been a very busy lady. Thanks so much for sharing.

  11. Quilting Tangent says:

    Pretty pillow, who ever thought label could make such a nice design.

  12. That turned into a very cute pillow. It is amazing how a pieced neutral background looks so rich. It probably is because of the subtle variation of tone.

  13. Brenda Ackerman says:

    Hello Connie; Wonderful idea for adding design to your pillow! I have not made many pillow covers, but always enjoy the whole process when I do. I may make up a couple of covers for my Mother for Mothers Day. She has everything and does not want anything. Kind of like me. LOL. Thank you for sharing your fabulous ideas and beautiful results! Have a great day!

    Also, Connie, I asked my friend about the none blooming bushes and she went through some stuff she had and also we talked about them, but she could find nothing. She suggested you go to your local garden center and ask them for their advice and suggestions. Sorry we were not of any more help.

  14. That pillow is great! Love how you did it.

  15. As always Connie, a great idea and a very novelty outcome. If anyone studies novelty pillows you will find either poor quality fabrics and shoddy stitching or outrageous prices on well made examples. Yours seem to cover all the bases and I think most of us who quilt have bits and pieces left over! My question, do you use a purchased pillow form in feather or foam or do you stitch one for each pillow? I have made some small pillows in wool etc then made a little fiberfill pillow for stuffing. I think your work is so nice I am just curious. Hope you are having a lovely Spring, finally!

    1. Thanks Cheryll, I actually do a little of both for pillow forms. I have a good stash of purchased ones and I also take bed pillows, take them apart and make them the size I want for throw pillows. Fiberfill will also work….I use it too.

  16. Shelley Folkerts says:

    I love how your brand label ribbon pillow turned out. It is a very creative way to reuse them. I have quilted for almost 30 years and wished I would have started saving all the selvages. I am making a quilt for the Stash Statement book as well and am using the labels saved from the shirts from my memory quilts. It is turning out to be a fun way to reuse them.

    1. I know what you mean Shelley, I’ve been saving selvages for the last couple of years and wish I had started sooner. Also I now work with batiks a lot and they don’t have a selvage. Can’t wait to see your quilt for the Stash Statement book!

  17. I don’t make a lot of pillows, but I love yours! It’s a good challenge!