Embroidered Pillowcases with Fancy Jumbles

Jonah Pillowcase

     Individual characters (letters, numbers and punctuation marks) from my alphabets can be found on my Stock Design Page.  My designs are also available in packs, as described in this blog.  Those can be found here.  For designs and packs available in multiple sizes, choose the size you want in the drop down menu box.


In this blog I will share another way to use my Fancy Jumbles alphabets.  I like embroidering them on bags and caddies, but they also make a very lively addition to a pillow case for a child – or even for an adult.  My friend Pauline Fisher, from Sydney, Australia, made this pillowcase for her grandson Jonah.  She matched the colors for the letters to the colors in the print and then added an adorable trim as an accent.  It is an easy project that will make any child eager for bed time.


 Does your child or grandchild have a passion for dinosaurs?  Or ballerinas?  Or trucks or jungle animals?  Does your teen have a favorite sports team?  Does your husband enjoy fishing or hunting?  Do you love bright geometric or floral prints?  Whatever the interest, you can likely find a print fabric that will be just perfect.  There is also a wide range of trims and rickracks that you can use as accents.  You can make pillowcases for everyone on your gift list and never repeat a combination.


Below, you'll see two more pillowcases that Pauline made.  The pink print with butterflies and dragonflies is just perfect for Alexa.  Pauline used pastel embroidery threads to finish the “girly” look.  Aiden’s bold jungle print pillowcase called for strong colors for the embroidery.


As you see, you can vary the width of the embroidered panel to suit the design or the amount of print fabric you have.  The instructions include two methods for Alexa Pillowcasemaking the pillowcase.  The band on Embroidered Pillowcase 1 goes completely around the opening, as we often see on purchased pillowcases.  In contrast, Embroidered Pillowcase 2 has a band only on the front, and the back has an extra flap that keeps the pillow from falling out. Click on the Embroidered Pillowcase links above to download instructions for both styles of pillowcase.  Either style will take about one hour to complete.


You will need these products for your Embroidered Pillowcase:


Fancy Jumbles Alphabets, available here

Print fabric:  3/4 yard to 1 1/4 yards of 45 inch wide fabric (depending on construction method).

Trim:  45” or 22” rickrack or trim in contrasting color fabric (depending on construction method).

Outer band fabric:  1/3 yard (or more for wider band) of 45 inch wide cotton fabric, solid or nearly solid color.  NOTE:  Nearly solid fabrics include marble prints, some batiks, tiny polka dots.

ThreadAiden Pillowcase

Embroidery thread



Sweet dreams!


        — Carol

Comments (17) -

I am going to try the pillowcase #1, I can think of dozens of patterns for fun uses.  I want something floral for my bed and my grandson is into trucks, what fun that will be!

Thanks for the ideas!


jalcumbrack 8/29/2008 5:16:20 PM

Oh Carol! I love these pillowcases! How fun are these! I am going to make some for my grandkids this weekend for Christmas,and I know they will love them! Something musical for Tony and something girly for Marissa! What a great idea. Thanks so much for this wonderful idea!


Hi Carol.  I have been sewing these pillowcases for about 6 years now for my grandchildren and as gifts for the first child when a newborn joins the family - inexpensive "non-jealousy" gift.  Figured these pillowcases were a better alternative to complete sheet sets when Superman has been traded in for Spiderman, newest hobby is skateboarding and not basketball any longer, etc., etc.   Now all the holidays can be celebrated as well.  Judy, these were what I had suggested for your charity segment...quick and inexpensive.   Joan/NJ

Pat and Judy, I'm glad you liked the idea of making pillowcases for gifts.  Joan, you have a great idea for a sibling gift.  It's easy to create and older kids do feel so ignored with all the fuss about the baby.  As you say, with only the pillowcase to make, we can create for any occasion.

Have fun with your pillowcases, Ladies!


I love this. And what a really inexpensive gift. You are right about older kids feeling left out when new ones arrive. Especially when the "older" ones are only two years old.

Wonder ful, Wonderful, Wonderful

These are going to be this years Christmas gifts.

BTW (by the way) are any of your designs available? eyeglass,




I am glad you like the pillowcase project, too.

Are you asking about embroidery designs or project designs?  My Fancy Jumbles, Contour Script and Pinstripes alphabets are available right here at www.annthegran.com .  You can also find my instructions for the pillowcases through this blog.  My previous blog included instructions for an Embroidered Gadgets Caddy and the one before that had an Embroidered Double Pocket.  The Eyeglass Case will be the subject of an upcoming blog.


Kids of all ages love personalized pillowcases.  Last year I made pillowcases for my grandchildren for Christmas and at our holiday gathering suggested they put their gifts in them to keep them safe until they got them home.

I also made personalized pillowcases for everyone in my sons unit when he was in Iraq.  The fabric had a patriotic theme and he gave me the names of everyone in his unit.  It was my way of showing these very brave men and women that someone was thinking of them.

serenemachine2 8/31/2008 10:33:49 PM

Thanks for this great blog!  I wanted to make pillowcases for my GD's that said "Goodnight Grace" and "Goodnight Lily" with Kissing Lips on the edge, now I have a pattern too!!  Thanks again!

Anttibears, what a lovely gift for the men serving their country so far away from home.  Adding the names is a terrific idea, too, so the men can keep track of their own pillowcases.

SereneMachine2, Your pillowcases will be adorable.  I am glad to help with your project.


travelbug1237 9/2/2008 1:41:05 AM

HH Carol,

  It's really great to see pictures of completed projects!!! THANKS!!!!

They sure turned out cute!!!!

   As I hope I told you before, I just LOVE, LOVE, LOVE your alphabets!!!!

I had seen them somehow-someway before I ever won my machine last April!!!! I can hardly wait to get a COMPLETE set....choosing one over another is just TOO hard!!!! I just love the dots and stripes...and well you name it...They are just beyond cute!!!

  IF you have time...I would just LOVE to know how your mind works in regard to how you did it. Did you picture it in your mind 1st, or did you have the outline sketched initially on paper and then started playing with the design patterns inside...etc.???  I'd really love to know how your creative mind did it!

Ann shared how she did the digitizing...holy cow --- that takes patience!!!!..

Did they 'just come to you' in a flash so to speak??? SmileSmile


Cathy in Oregon

Thanks for the pillowcases.  I now know what to do for my great nieces for Christmas.


Thank you for your interest in my Fancy Jumbles alphabets.  Have you tried stitching one of the samples in the free download?

You asked how I came up with the idea for the alphabets.  I wanted to make a gift for one of my art professors after I explained a little about digitizing at my college reunion.

I thought it would be fun to overlap letters and then I had the idea of putting different patterns in the letters.  For this gift, I digitized the entire name as a single design, going from letter to letter with color changes between

After a few more names I realized it would be more efficient to make an individual design file for each letter and then "jumble" the letters in the customizing program.  I set out to do just that.  I created the artwork and then digitized all the letters in all of the fill patterns.  It does take patience to digitize, especially so many files for a single project, but once you figure out a plan it's just a matter of spending the time.

Joan, I think your great nieces will love their Christmas pillowcases.  I'm glad you like the idea for a project.


Thanks for the info.  I made a pillowcase for my granddaughter. As soon as I pick up more fabric, I'll make one for my other granddaughter.  Goodness, the ideas are endless.  Thanks again.

Hi Carol... wow...I had planned on making pillowcases for CHRISTmas this yr for friends & my kids...now I don't have to buy off the shelf cases, I can personalized for each. THANKS sew much for helping me.

Sweet dreams   Donna Smile

Kargrace and Donna,

I'm glad you can use the pillowcase instructions.  It is fun to pick out just the right prints, isn't it?  I like personalizing gifts, too.


Hi Carol

Love your blog. The pillowcase pattern are great . I am going to make some for my nephews for Christmas. Your Piggyback hooping is a brill idea, will definately be trying it out.


Fellow Dilly Kath

Ps Im going to treat myself to your contour alphabets too <Smile

Hi, Dilly Kath

Thanks for taking a look.  I am glad that my project and hooping technique will be useful to you.  The contour lettering will look great on the pillowcases, too.


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