How to Make a Lovey-Dovey Pillow

In the mood for a little romance? Whether the answer is “Yes” or “No,” this cute Lovey-Dovey Pillow from Miriam Lawson (Fabric Folk books and patterns) is a humorous way to signal your intentions.

Lovey-Dovey Pillows - front and back


  • Eight fat quarters (select prints A/B/C/D/E with white background for contrast)
    • 1 solid white
    • 1 red print
    • 1 pink print
    • 3 red and white coordinates (A, B, C)
    • 2 red and pink coordinates for heart (D,E)

Note: The heart is pieced from the red and pink prints, so these must contrast with the red and white prints. 

Download and print the embroidery designs: Lovey-Dovey_Pillow_-_Templates_121814.pdf

All seam allowances are 1/4″ unless otherwise designated.

Step 1) Cut the fabric.

Pillow front

  • Ten 4″ squares from red fabric
  • Two 1-3/4″ x 5″ rectangles from red fabric
  • Four 4″ 2″ squares from red/white print A
  • Four 1-1/2″ x WOF (width of fabric) strips from red/white print A
  • Two 4″ squares from red/white print B
  • Four 4″ squares from red/white print C

Pillow back

  • Ten 4″ squares from pink fabric
  • Two 1-3/4″ x 5″ rectangles from pink fabric
  • Two 4″ squares from red/white print B
  • Four 4″ 2″ squares from red/pink print D
  • Four 1-1/2″ x WOF strips from red/pink print D
  • Four 4″ squares from red/pink print E


  • Two 1-3/4″ x WOF strips of red fabric

Step 2) Stitch the embroidery.

Lightly trace two 5″ x 12″ rectangles onto the right side of the solid white fat quarter.

Download and print the embroidery designs. Use a pencil to trace the “tonight” embroidery design in one rectangle and “not tonight” in the other, centering them in the rectangles.

How to Make a Lovey-Dovey Pillow

Hoop the fabric and embroider the designs as described below. 

  • Use a back stitch for all letters and the lips, French knots for the periods, and straight stitches for the eyebrows. 
  • Cut a length of red embroidery floss; separate two strands and use them to embroider everything except the XOXO and eyelashes.
  • Cut a length of black embroidery floss; separate two strands and use them to embroider XOXO and the eyelashes.

When finished, press the embroidery from the wrong side.

Cut out the two 5″ x 12″ rectangles, making sure the embroidery is centered in each one.

Step 3) Piece the squares.

Draw a diagonal line across the following blocks:

  • All red/white print A and B blocks, and red/pink print D blocks
  • Two red/white print C blocks
  • Two red/pink print E blocks

To assemble the front, place a red block and print A block right sides together; stitch on the diagonal line. Trim the excess fabric away and press the seam allowances toward the red fabric.

Repeat for blocks B, C, D, and E. Note: Two of the red blocks and two of the print C blocks will be left un-stitched.

Lovey-Dovey Pillow step 3

Step 4) Assemble the patchwork panels.

With right sides together, stitch a red 1-3/4″ x 5″ rectangle to the ends of each embroidered piece; press the seam allowances toward the red fabric.

Lovey-Dovey Pillow step 4

Place the square blocks for the pillow front on a table in rows as illustrated, rotating the blocks as needed so the red portions form a heart. Stitch the blocks together in rows and press the seam allowances open.

Stitch the rows together, matching the seams. Press seam allowances open.

Lovey-Dovey Pillow step 5

With right sides together, stitch one of the 1-1/2″ red/white print A strips to each side of the pillow front. Press seam allowances toward the heart. Repeat for the top and bottom edges.

Repeat this sequence to make the pillow back, substituting fabrics as shown below.

Lovey-Dovey Pillow step 6

Step 5) Quilt the front and back panels.

Spray baste the pieced pillow front to a batting square; trim. Spray baste an 18″ square of muslin to the back of the pillow front. Quilt as desired.

Repeat for the pillow back.

Step 5) Make and attach the piping.

Sew the red piping strips end-to-end on the diagonal; press seam allowances open and trim to 1/8″.

Lovey-Dovey Pillow step 7

Fold the strip around the cording. Using a zipper foot, stitch close to the cording.

Lovey-Dovey Pillow step 8

With raw edges together, start stitching the piping to the middle of the side of the front, leaving a 2″ tail free at the beginning. Clip the seam allowance of the piping as needed to accommodate the turn at each corner. Continue stitching around the pillow, leaving the last few inches unstitched.

Lovey-Dovey Pillow step 9

Cut the filler cord to butt against the beginning of the cording. Fold under the edge of the excess fabric which covers the cord; bring it around the piping so no raw edges show. Pin in place, then finish stitching it down.

Lovey-Dovey Pillow step 10Place the two pillow panels right sides together. Stitch them together, sewing on top of your previous stitching; leave an opening in the middle of one side for inserting the pillow form.

Insert the pillow form. Hand sew the opening closed using a ladder stitch.

Lovey-Dovey Pillow - not tonight

Lovey-Dovey Pillow - tonight

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