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Nautical Ship Wheel Pillow Tutorial

September 7, 2012


Nautical is IN! Wide stripes, anchors and navy & white are the classic combos that are visible in home decorating everywhere. You may want to add a beachy feel to one room or just a hint of nautical. It is easy to curb any craving of nautical décor. My Ship Wheel Appliqué Pillow can finish off your room or inspire you to get started. If navy isn't for you try adding another shade of deep blue (like the dark turquoise canvas I used for this project) or red and white (popular light house colors) or off white/cream and blues and greens. Any color combo that evokes the feeling of sand and water will help create that tranquil environment in your home.

For the Ship Wheel Pillow you will need:

1 yd white or off white fabric (I used canvas because it looks like sail cloth) for pillow case

½ yd of navy, deep turquoise or red for appliqué

Heat n Bond

Ship Wheel Clip Art (here is the picture I used)


Measure your pillow and add 1'' to the width and height for seam allowance and cut one piece from your white fabric (if inserting a zipper, cut two pieces and use these instructions). For the back envelope pieces, cut 2 pieces using the same height measurement as above but divide your width in half and add 4'' (example: original cut width is 21'' h x 21'' w, cut 2 pieces 21'' h x 14.5'' w [21/2= 10.5 + 4= 14.5]). Zig zag or serge across one 21'' end for each back piece. Fold down this edge ½'' and press. Topstitch across pressed edge. Set back pieces aside



Print out your Ship Wheel Appliqué making sure you print it to the size you need. If you want 3 smaller wheels like my pillow measure the diagonal of your pillow to determine size. If you want one large, print it in mosaic or print it at a copy shop. Trace your ship wheel onto the heat n bond and apply to the wrong side of your navy fabric. Cut along the outside of your wheel. To create the interior of the wheel, use a fabric marker or chalk pencil to add in the details and sew over the lines with bright white thread. It is best to do this before you apply the appliqués to your pillow front.


Apply your appliqué[s] in a manner you find pleasing. I applied mine on the diagonal because it is a popular nautical flag/sail design. You can then straight stitch or zig zag stitch around your ship wheel.

Lay your front pillow piece RS up and overlap your back envelope pieces like, well, an envelope with RS facing the front piece and pin in place. Stitch a ½'' seam all the way around the pillow. Clip corners and turn RS out. Insert pillow.


This is a great design to add to canvas bags, bibs, curtains hems and mod podged to furniture to complete your nautical theme. Change it up a bit by combining one off-the-wall fabric, like silk, satin or velvet, with a standard nautical fabric, like canvas or cotton duck, to add elegance or texture. Once you start adding nautical you won't be able to stop.


Check out our other nautical themed posts here


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This page contains a single entry by published on September 7, 2012 9:39 PM.

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