Red Cross–inspired Appliqué Pocket Pillow: A Craft from Jerusalem Greer

Red Cross–inspired Appliqué Pocket Pillow

Red Cross–inspired Appliqué Pocket Pillow

Yesterday, we featured the terrific book A Homemade Year: The Blessings of Cooking, Crafting, and Coming Together by Jerusalem Greer. Today, I’m thrilled to share a uniquely beautiful homemade craft, pulled directly from Jerusalem’s book! We hope you check out this terrific resource for your family! LMH

Red Cross–inspired Appliqué Pocket Pillow

American pioneer Clara Barton started the American Red Cross in 1881 after she witnessed the good works being done by the Swiss-inspired International Red Cross. Having served in the Civil War, Barton was acutely aware of the needs that war creates, both during and after the fighting has ended. The Red Cross symbol that we are all familiar with now was created so that Red Cross workers could identify themselves in hostile areas, sending a beacon of hope and help. This pillow can also be made as a gift to give to those who may need a reminder that they are not alone. The edges of the cross are frayed as a symbol that Christ does not ask that we come to him tidy and neat, perfectly pressed and finished; but that he wants us to come, just as we are, messy and lost, tattered and worn.

Materials Needed

Main piece of fabric (I chose aqua gingham.)
Contrasting fabrics in three colors (I chose a yellow polka-dot, a pink floral, and a red pin dot.)
Pillow insert
Sewing machine
Straight pins
Hot iron

Red Cross–inspired Appliqué Pocket Pillow

Red Cross–inspired Appliqué Pocket Pillow


Begin by washing, drying, and ironing all your fabrics.
Next, cut the pillow fabric to measure 19 x 39 inches.
Cut Rectangle B out of the lighter color strip, measuring 5 x 11 inches.
Cut Rectangle A out of the darker strip, measuring 5 x 11½ inches.
Download pattern for heart here

Creating the Appliqué

Lay the pillow fabric out lengthwise, right side down.
Fold the left side in 13 inches, press with iron, then open.
Repeat this on the right side, remembering to open after ironing.
This should create 3 13-inch sections, denoted by the pressed creases.
(The middle section will be the front of the pillow.)
Flip fabric right side up.
Center Rectangle A in the middle 13-inch section, horizontally.
Pin and topstitch 1/8 inch from raw edge on all 4 sides.
Lay Rectangle B on top of Rectangle A, vertically.
Pin and topstitch 1/8 inch from raw edge on all 4 sides.
Center heart sideways on the crossed rectangle, the top of the heart pointing to the left edge and the bottom pointing to the right edge.
Pin and topstitch 1/8 inch from raw edge. Remember you are leaving the edges of the heart raw.

For the Pillow Construction

Flip fabric wrong side up (your cross will now be face down).
Fold left edge in 2 inches, press, fold in 2 more inches, and press.
Do the same on the right side.
Stitch left fold down with 1½-inch seam allowance from outside edge.
Repeat on right fold.
Flip fabric right side up, heart cross facing up.
Fold right section in 9 inches (this will follow the original 13-inch crease).
Fold left section in 9 inches as well, overlapping the right section by 5 inches.
Pin and stitch the open ends with ½-inch seam allowance.
Turn your pillow sham inside out and insert pillow form.

Activity from A Homemade Year: The Blessings of Cooking, Crafting, and Coming Together
by Jerusalem Jackson Greer

Order A Homemade Year: The Blessings of Cooking, Crafting, and Coming Together and support with your purchase

©2013 by Jerusalem Jackson Greer, images by Judea Jackson

Used by permission of Paraclete Press,


About Author

Lisa M. Hendey is the founder and editor of and the bestselling author of the Chime Travelers children's fiction series, The Grace of Yes, The Handbook for Catholic Moms and A Book of Saints for Catholic Moms. As a board member and frequent host on KNXT Catholic Television, Lisa has produced and hosted multiple programs and has appeared on EWTN and CatholicTV. Hendey hosted “Catholic Moments” on Radio Maria and is the technology contributor for EWTN’s SonRise Morning Show. Lisa's articles have appeared in Catholic Digest, National Catholic Register, and Our Sunday Visitor. Hendey travels internationally giving workshops on faith, family, and Catholic technology and communications topics. She was selected as an Elizabeth Egan Journalism Fellow, attended the Vatican Bloggers Meeting, the “Bishops and Bloggers” meeting and has written internationally on the work of Catholic Relief Services and Unbound. Hendey lives with her family in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. Visit Lisa at for information on her speaking schedule or to invite her to visit your group, parish or organization.

1 Comment

  1. Pingback: Celebrating Holy Cross Day

Leave A Reply

Notify me of followup comments via e-mail. You can also subscribe without commenting.