Applique Circle Pillow Cover

Designer: Amista Baker 




Hello! Happy November and welcome to the blog! It’s Amista Baker again, and I've got a great tutorial for you featuring perfectly cut, hand appliquéd circles and quilted linen for a beautiful Autumn inspired pillow cover! Keep reading for all the details!


Handmade decor pillow with appliqué circles


It’s best time of year! Beautiful colors, cozy weather, and falling leaves. It is my absolute favorite! Today I'm going to show you how I made this awesome pillow cover using the OLFA CMP-3 Rotary Circle Cutter and a few charm squares!

OLFA Products Used:

If you use circles in your sewing adventures you NEED this cutter!


It's so effortless to use, has adjustable measurement settings, a ratchet handle to reduce wrist fatigue, fits the OLFA 18 mm replacement blades, and can be used for right or left handed users.


Handmade decor pillow with appliqué circles


Pillow Top Tutorial - #appliquecirclepillow

For this pillow top you need minimal supplies. I'll walk you through creating the top but for the backing I'll leave that up to you. I chose to finish it with a hidden zipper, but you can also do an envelope backing.


The following tutorial will make an 18" finished pillow top:



  • 19" x 19" top fabric (I used natural linen in Flax)
  • 19" x 19" batting
  • 19" x 19" backing for the top (this will be hidden inside the pillow)
  • 6 - charm squares (5" square pieces of fabric)
  • Basic sewing supplies, sewing machine, etc.



  1. First, start by cutting circles from your charm squares using the OLFA Rotary Circle Cutter. I adjusted my circle measurement at approximating 2 ½ inches on the slider bar. If you need a visual video showing how I use the cutter please view this video on the OLFA YouTube page


OLFA CMP-3 Rotary Circle Cutter with cut out circles gold fabric


  1. Make a quilt sandwich from your 19" square pieces of top fabric, batting, and backing. Quilt as desired. I chose to do free-motion scallops in alternating directions that gave my pillow top the illusion of having circles quilted on it.

Trim to 18" x 18"

  1. Arrange your circles evenly on the pillow top. Place the ones closest to the edge approximately 1 ½" from each edge and 1" to 1 ½" apart from the next circle" They don't have to be perfect, just do your best to space them out evenly as possible. Baste in place using appliqué glue, pins, or a wide basting stitch.


Handmade decor pillow with appliqué circles


  1. Sew circles in place. This is where I chose to turn the edge of each circle under by ⅛" to ¼" and hand appliqué them to the quilted pillow top. There are multiple ways to do this, do what is most comfortable for you, even if you just appliqué them using the raw edge method.
  2. Prepare and attach your pillow back as desired.


Handmade decor pillow with appliqué circles


As I stated previously, I chose to do a hidden zipper backed pillow (my first time doing this!).


 Small vintage pouch bag with flowers and handwriting on it


Handmade pillow decor


The fabric prints featured on this pillow are all from Riley Blake Designs. The circles are pulled from the Flea Market line by Lori Holt. I thought they seemed perfect for an Autumn inspired project.


Handmade pillow with orange and yellow circles on a bench


If you make one of these pillow covers I would love to see it! Please tag me @amistabaker and OLFA @olfa_craft on Instagram and use the hashtag #appliquecirclepillow



UPDATE: The pillow cover that Amista made ended up going to a charity auction to support the family of Christie Barnett of New Lexington, OH.  Through a shared connection of their children’s school, Amista heard of her benefit to help her battle cancer & a blood infection.  The pillow ended up being auctioned for $150!  While Christie ultimately lost her battle, her family was blessed financially from Amista’s talents.  The family is taking donations via Venmo @Christies-Crew-2021 for funeral and medical expenses.