Free Embroidery Project/Pattern – Shadow work Bolster Cushion


This bolster will make a charming addition to any bedroom or lounge.  I really wanted to create a bolster cushion that would decorate my bedroom. I was happy to go overboard with this cushion, giving it a romantic look, by using the soft style fabrics, with the shadow work in the centre, and then two braids down the side, and the prairie points on the edge.


  • 1 neck roll/bolster cushion insert to fit cover 36 x 24cm diameter
  • 35 scraps of fabric 2.5” x 4.5” (can be in groups of colour)
  • 1 piece of white voile 7” x 22½”
  • 1 cream zipper 30cm long
  • Cream homespun 7” wide
  • 10cm width piece of bright coloured fabric (I used hot pink)
  • Embroidery thread (I used medium pink)
  • TearClean Tear away stabiliser
  • Shadow work Border designs by Julie Hall Designs
  • Sharp applique scissors (I recommend squissors)
  • 10 * 5”square scraps of fabric for Prairie Point edges
  • Free Bolster End Pattern by Julie Hall Designs
  • Sewing thread



  1. Take the cotton voile, and using a fine pencil marker, run a line down the centre of the piece of voile. This will be your marker for matching up all of the designs.
  2. Place stabiliser into the embroidery hoop, and ensure tension is firm.
  3. Place the hoop into your machine, and load up the shadow work border design onto your machine.
  4. Lay the Colourful base fabric on top of the stabiliser, and stitch out the first colour run. This colour will not only hold down the fabric, but will also show you where to trim away any excess fabric.
  5. Remove the hoop from the machine, and with a pair of small, sharp scissors (I love my squissors with the curved tip for this), trim around the embroidery. Start by removing the centre pieces of each design, and then working your way to the outside.
  6. Once all of the trimming is complete, take your cotton voile fabric, and lay it on top of the embroidery hoop. Use the markings that you made on the voile to ensure that the centre line is matched up to the centre point on the top and bottom of the hoop, and pin into place around the corners of the hoop.
  7. Stitch out the second and any further colour runs, to attach the fabric to the shadow fabric, which will complete the embroidery.
  8. Turn the embroidery wrong way over, and remove any excess stabiliser.
  9. You can now repeat steps 1-8 to create the entire strip of designs along the voile.
  10. Take the squares of fabric and join together in a cross hatch motion, using a ¼” seam.
  11. Once you have the length of fabric joined together, cut in half width wise, and join to either side of the cotton voile.
  12. Trim the excess fabric from the side of the stitching.
  13. With right sides together, stitch the length of the bolster together. Insert the zipper into this seam.
  14. Take the 10 5” squares, and press flat
  15. Fold in half
  16. Fold the edges down to meet in the middle, forming a triangle
  17. Take the triangles, and with the exposed fold to the outside, stitch 5 triangles to each side of the bolster.
  18. Take the bolster end pattern piece, and cut 2 out of homespun.
  19. Attach to the ends of the bolster, using a ¼“ seam.
  20. Stuff the cushion into the cover, and you are completed!

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