Monday, May 16, 2011

Making a Celtic Braid (Knitted) Pillow

I’ve just finished this Celtic Braid Pillow and thought I’d share the steps to make one.

DSC06173 My beginning inspiration is this book.


Inside are twenty classic Celtic designs. Only half a pattern is shown in the book. Once the design choice was made, I made four copies of one page of the pattern.DSC06177

Then, these four pages are rotated, overlapped and taped together making one full pattern.


A lightweight cotton blend fabric is cut to a dimension a bit larger than the pattern.


The fabric is then placed on top of the pattern for tracing.


The pattern is then pencil traced onto the fabric.


Now it’s time to knit I-Cord, lots and lots of I-Cord.


Next comes the appliqué of the cord to the fabric on top of the sketched design.


I like to do this is small segments and pin as I go.


One stitch at a time, it’s coming!


My cord is now complete. The interesting thing about Celtic braid, is there is no ending or beginning, and the braid crosses “over and under “ itself consistently.


Next the finished top is placed on a thin batting and another square of more fabric. Then an outline is hand quilted all around the braid.

DSC06259 Here’s the backside once all the quilting is done.

DSC06258 Now I’m ready to make the pillow. I cut two pieces of the same fabric for an overlapped back. Because my fabric is fairly fine weight, I am folding each in half, with the fold toward the center, so there’s no need for an edge hem.

DSC06260 Here’s the second half pinned in place.

DSC06261 I’ve now machine stitched all the way around my pillow.

DSC06263 Now it’s time to bring out the object of the love/hate of my life…my serger. Because I only use my serger for certain, specific jobs, I don’t use it everyday. So, if it decides to misbehave, I’m somewhat at a loss. Let me just say this about sergers…when they’re good…they’re very, very good. When they’re bad…they’re horrid!!!

DSC06264 Today, my serger is good. It does a nice overlock stitch and cuts away excess fabric at the same time.

DSC06266The pillow top inside edge is now clean and neat.DSC06267 Here’s the pillow top turned right side out. Not finished yet!

DSC06269 Time to knit more….


DSC06284This I-Cord is hand stitch around the outside edge of the pillow top.

DSC06285This must be done around both the front and back side.

DSC06301Whew!DSC06302 Now I’m ready to insert my pillow form. First I’ll fold back the top half on the back side.

DSC06303 Slide the form into half of the pillow top.

DSC06304Then, carefully, turn the remaining back, right side out.DSC06305 And, voila! The Knitted, Celtic Braid, with quilting is finished!


This week I’m linking to: Wow Us Wednesday at Savvy Southern Style

All Things Inspired at All Things Heart and Home

Whatever Goes Wednesday at Someday…Crafts

Transformation Thursday at Shabby Chic Cottage

Feathered Nest Friday at French Country Cottage

Show & Tell at My Romantic Home

Metamorphosis Monday at Between Naps on the Porch


John'aLee said...

What a cool pillow and one GREAT tutorial!

Shirley said...

I really like your celtic braid pillow. It is so neat. I am trying to catch up with my reading here in blogland. Blogger has had a problem lately. I couldn't post any comments. I could only read. Thanks for share the directions on making your pillow. I just wish I had the time to do everything that I would love to do. Have a great week. Your Missouri Friend.

Kathy said...

This is one of my all time favorite projects! I am in awe, you could see these for a fortune!

Betty said...

Wow! I just love the celtic braid pillow. Working on a tea cozy and my next project is the cute sweater you made in January. I love the colors.

Lesley said...

What a brilliant idea. i'm just longing to try it, but I've so many UFOs that it will have to wait. No, I can't wait. Now where did I put my knitting needles? lol Blessings
PS, Help how do you do i-cord?

Tanna at The Brick Street Bungalow said...

OH.MY.GOODNESS!! I had no idea you had done the i-cord on this pillow, Susan!! Makes it all the more spectacular! This is simply gorgeous! GREAT job!! blessings ~ tanna

Karena said...

Susan this pillow is wonderfully artistic!! I adore it!! What work went into it!!

Could you email me at

Art by Karena

Oh and,Come and enter my New Giveaway from Serena & Lily! You will love it!

Deb W said...

It's such a lovely design. I would like to try it in wool on a wool pillow, and needle-felt the cord onto/into the backing fabric. The design wouldn't be as crisp, but I think it would still be nice.

Kim @ Savvy Southern Style said...

Wow, Susan that is gorgeous and a lot of work. Thanks for sharing this at my party!

Christine @ said...

Wow, that looks like quite a bit of work and well worth it too! Beautiful.

Katie said...

OMG! This is amazing times 10! I’d love if you stop by Sew Woodsy and link this project up!

jojo said...

This pillow is stunning! Great tutorial, I almost think that I could do this if I had a serger and knew how to knit..;)) beautiful!


Amazing! You make it look so easy(it is if your talented like yourself!). Love Celtic patterns too. Beautiful cushion. xxx

Privet and Holly said...

My jaw just hit
the ground....
You are so talented.
I'm absolutely
smitten with this pillow.
Beautiful, Susan!
xx Suzanne

Sherry @ No Minimalist Here said...

Hi Susan! This pillow is fabulous and one of the prettiest I have ever seen! Love it.

KnitOne, PearlOnion said...

Thanks for a great tutorial.....great pillow! Joann


Hi Susan, you're pillow is gorgeous, really, one of the prettiest I've seen. Thank you for the tutorial, I think I might try it, I like the design so much!

Stitchfork said...

Love this pillow Susan!
xo Cathy

Angie @ The Country Chic Cottage said...

WOW! This is gorgeous! I am in awe -- you are so talented!! :)

Courtney ~ French Country Cottage said...

This is such a beautiful pillow~ you really did a wonderful job on it! Thanks for sharing this at FNF :)

Red Door Home said...

Your pillow is beautiful! Such a clever and creative idea. I do a little bit of knitting so I think I might give this a try.

Tanya @ Greetings From the Asylum said...

Wow! What and undertaking! I love the finished product! It is truly beautiful! Thank you for sharing!

Cathy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
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