Blog Post by Kim Hanson


Welcome everyone. Designs by JuJu has just introduced some wonderful embroidery designs that work oh-so-well when crafting a Reading Pocket Pillow for that special little someone in your life. Word Art embroidery and Story Time applique work hand-in-hand in creating some sweet and special designs. I’ve made this particular pillow for my granddaughter, Harlow. I will give it to her for Christmas, filled with books tailored to meet her grade two reading abilities. Her name is embroidered on this pillow, but that is optional. There’s still plenty of time to make a Reading Pocket Pillow before Christmas arrives. So gather together several of your favourite fat quarters, turn on your embroidery machine and let’s get creative!


Please be sure and read through all the instructions prior to commencing. Fabrics shown are from Robert Kaufman’s line – Blueberry Park – Bright Spectrum by Karen Lewis

Shopping List:

Designs by JuJu DBJJ1077 Story Time Applique
Designs by JuJu DBJJ1078, 1079 Reading Word Art Set 1 and/or Reading Word Art Set 2
Designs by JuJu DBJJ652 Simply Sweet Block Applique Font (optional)

Deep Purple Fat Quarter (18"x22") for pillow front cut to 17"x17"
Lime Green Fat Quarter for pillow pocket cut to 11"x17", scraps for applique**
Light Purple Fat Quarter for pillow pocket lining cut to 13"x17", scraps for applique**
Pink and Purple pieces for envelope-style pillow back, each measuring 11"x17"
Green rickrack - 90"
Medium weight tearaway stabilizer – one yard
Embroidery thread, embroidery bobbin thread,
embroidery needles, embroidery scissors, hand sewing needle (optional)
White pencil, omnigrid ruler, rotary cutter
16" pillow form (flattened out)
Spray Starch and Temporary Spray Fabric Adhesive
3 large buttons (optional)

*I use Brother Embroidery thread for all my projects
**To avoid the pattern from these two fabrics, I used the wrong side of the fabric for applique


1. Download your choice of Reading Word Art Set 1 and/or Reading Word Art Set 2 and one Story Time Applique design. Load them both into your machine.

2. Using a pencil, mark the center of the lime green, pillow pocket fabric. Measure one inch above the pencil mark and mark again. Use the second mark as your center point.


3. Hoop lime green fabric with corresponding piece of stabilizer.

4. Being mindful to center the design, stitch out your choice of Word Art embroidery. Remove fabric from hoop.

5. Mark the center point to both the right and left of the Word Art design. Re-hoop the fabric, center and stitch your choice of the Story Time Applique designs. Stitch the tacking stitches of the design. Remove hoop from the machine.


6. Cut a fabric scrap slightly larger than the outline of the design. Spray the scrap with spray starch and the wrong (patterned) side of the fabric with spray adhesive. Adhere scrap over the outline of the design. Return hoop to the machine and stitch outline of the design.


7. Remove hoop from machine. Using embroidery scissors, cut as close to the stitched outline as possible.


8. Place the hoop back on the machine and complete the applique embroidery design.
Repeat for the second embroidery applique design.


9. Stitch the pocket lining to the pocket itself. Right sides together, pin along the top edge and stitch. (The lining will measure longer than the pocket itself.



10. Flip over the lining to the right side, leaving a 1½" border on the top of the pillow pocket. Press.

11. Pin the rickrack to the bottom of the border on the pillow pocket. Stitch.


12. Line up bottom raw edges and pin the pillow pocket to the pillow top as per the photo. Stitch.


13. Pin rickrack to the perimeter of the pillow front. Stitch in place.



** If you choose to embroider your childs’ name on the pillow front

14. Download the 2" Upper Case applique letters of your childs’ name from the Simply Sweet applique font alphabet.

15. Using your omnigrid ruler, measure 1" from the edge of the pillow pocket border, as shown in the photo.


16. Using a white fabric pencil, mark a straight line along the straight edge. Fold the pillow front in half, marking the center. Embroider your childs’ name being mindful to center. (I stitch the middle two letters first, on either side of the center mark and then work on either side of the name.)

17. Hand stitch large buttons in place, if you wish.

18. Take both pieces for the envelope-style pillow back. Fold over top edge of each piece, ½" press.

19. Fold an additional ½" press and stitch in place.

20. Right sides together, line up the top raw edge of one pillow back piece with the pillow front and pin. Line up the bottom raw edge of the second pillow back piece with the bottom raw edge and pin, in an overlapping style, like the photo.


21. Stitch around the perimeter of the pillow front and back unit. Flip to right side out. Pull out the pillow corners. Flatten the pillow form and insert into the pillow cover.

There you go….all done. You will have a super cute reading pocket pillow for your favourite child. Please contact me via email at [email protected] if you have any questions. Thank you so much.

Kim Hanson