Posted on 4 Comments

Project :: Granny Square : Pillow Set

Does anybody here remember Project::Granny Square? I don’t blame you, if you don’t. I took an unintentionally long hiatus from the project when I got sidetracked by the shiny and the new (also known as sweater knitting and building of my own from-scratch granny square blankets, among other things).

Here it is in a nutshell: I inherited a pile of granny squares, crocheted by my own Granny. Little by little, I’ve been turning them into finished objects for the family. The original squares came in a variety of sizes and colors, so it’s been an interesting challenge for me to assemble them into something unique for everybody. If you’re interested in seeing the rest of the projects so far, as well as a more detailed back story, it’s all here.

Today’s project was a long time in the making. I finished the crochet part more than a year ago, but when I misplaced the fabric I was going to use for the back, I lost enthusiasm and let the project languish. Christmas seemed like the perfect excuse to revive it.

Project #5: Pillow Set

For: My aunt

Squares used: 18 (2 five-round one-color, 10 five-round three-color, 1 four-round two-color, 5 three-round one-color)

Step 1: Modify and/or supplement the squares

My aunt didn’t have a preference for color, so I chose all of the squares on her behalf, keeping a warm color scheme in mind as I did. There are a lot of browns in her living room, where I imagine these pillows will live.

Once again, I had a pile of squares that were different sizes.  I needed them all to have five rounds, so I would have to add rounds to six of them to bring them up to size.

I wanted the two pillows to have as much symmetry as possible. One would feature the single-color brown square in the center and a cream-colored background, while the other would feature the cream single-color square in the center and a brown background.

Additionally, I wanted squares in similar positions to be made of similar colors (for instance, the top right square on both pillows would be made of squares with gold, cream, and a dark color in the center.


This is how they looked once I added the necessary rounds to each of the smaller squares.

Step 2: Join the squares

Joining the squares was just a simple matter of adding a sixth round to each of the squares, connecting them into their neighbors as I went.  for one pillow I chose cream for the connecting rounds, and for the other pillow I chose brown.

Step 3: Finish and enjoy

I wove in the ends and blocked the top to square it up to 16-inches. And this is how the project sat for roughly 15 months.

All that remained was to turn it into an envelope-style pillow cover, and this was done in exactly the same fashion as I did my brother’s granny square pillow.

For each pillow, I machine-stitched the granny square piece to two offset 12×16 fleece sections (with right sides together), turned the covers right-side out, inserted the pillows, and that was it!

It’s the most nerve-wracking part of a project like this, I think. I’m confident in my crochet skills, but screw up the machine stitching on these guys, and you’ll have a date with a seam-ripper. Ripping seams out of my precious crochet doesn’t sound like a lot of fun to me. Luckily, it didn’t come to that. With care (and a lot of pinning that I wouldn’t normally do), the pillow cases were sewn together.


Project #6, used eighteen of Granny’s squares (six of which were modified by me), and I no longer remember how many yards of new yarn in cream, brown, and various colors.

The original blocks were most likely made from worsted weight acrylic yarn, or some kind of acrylic/wool blend.  All of the additional yarn I used was a washable worsted weight acrylic/wool/nylon blend (Berroco Vintage) a washable acrylic/wool blend (Ella Rae Amity) or a superwash merino/wool blend (Nashua Creative Focus).

I used a G (4mm) hook.

As with most of the previous projects, I joined the squares this way.

I’ve known the basics of envelope pillow construction for some time, and that’s what I did here, however I was definitely inspired by this tutorial for making a pillow cover with a granny square top and a sweater back. The biggest difference is that I sewed it by machine instead of by hand.


Before and after.

Two more projects to go before they are all used up! Next on the list?  A Christmas table-runner.



Sign up for occasional Polka Dot Cottage news and get a coupon for 10% off your next order!

Don't worry, we won't bother you more than once or twice a month!

Posted on 4 Comments

4 thoughts on “Project :: Granny Square : Pillow Set

  1. Great job Lisa! Just started my Granny project this Christmas. My goal is making a vest, so I’m looking at 75 granny’s as a goal for 2013… LOL

    1. Ooh, I have been wanting to make a granny vest, too! I would love to see yours when you finish 🙂

  2. Just popping by to say that I think Project :: Granny Square :: is really cool. I was taught to knit and crochet by my Grandmother, and although I opt for wooden needles and luxury yarns and she will always choose aluminum and acrylic we have this special bond. That is what this project reminds me of. Also, my Mom has a big bag of granny squares from her youth in the basement…maybe this will inspire me to do something with them for her as a surprise.

    1. You hit upon my one regret in all of this – that my grandmother isn’t around to show her what I’ve been doing with her squares. I think we could have had some enjoyable conversations about this stuff.

      Definitely see what you can do with that bag of squares! 🙂

Leave a comment!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.