The Great SMS Pillow Contest ~ Rules and Prizes

on February 1 | in Contests & Giveaways | by | with 77 Comments

As part of a month full of fantastic pillow information and inspiration, we’re thrilled to introduce the GREAT SMS Pillow Contest! There are two categories in which you can enter your pillow:

Pieced Pillows

  • Pillow tops should be fabric sewn together to create a design, image or texture.
  • Can be traditional or modern patchwork.
  • Any type of fabric is ok (i.e. new or recycled, cotton or wool, etc.)
  • Can include applique.
  • Can include embroidery.
  • The pillow can be any size or shape.

Words to Live By Pillow

  • The pillow must include words to live by. This will obviously mean different things to different people. We’ve collected some inspiration photos for you as a springboard for your own ideas.
  • Words can be applied in any manner (i.e. screenprint, appliquΓ©, embroidery, etc.).
  • The pillow can be any size or shape.

We’re looking for beauty, creativity, innovation, inspired stitching, great use of color, pattern & texture… Something to “Wow” everyone! Our guest judge Jennifer Paganelli, and our board members, Heather and Autum, will help us narrow the field down to 20 pillows in each category. We’ll post those finalists so you can vote for your favorites on February 25th. We’ll have a basic pillow tutorial this week on the blog so you can enter even if you’re new to sewing pillows.

Contest Rules:

  • Pillows must be new, created between February 1-February 23.
  • Edited to add: You can have up to two total entries (2 in one category or 1 in each).
  • Edited to add: International entries are OK.
  • To enter:
    Send an email to
    Use PILLOW CONTEST as the subject.
    Attach one good photo of your pillow, no larger than 500 px wide.
    You can include a brief story about your pillow, or a link to a blog post if you’ve written about it there. You can also link to a location where we can find more photos.
  • Tips: Take a good picture with natural light. Share the inspiration behind your design. Give your pillow a snazzy name… Jazz it all up a bit to make it fun!

Contest Prizes:
Robert Kaufman Fabrics, Reliable, Downlite and Jennifer Paganelli of Sis Boom are our Pillow Month sponsors, and they have provided some really incredible prizes for you to win in our Pillow Contest!

First Place Prize in both contest categories

Reliable Velocity V50
The new Velocity (V50) will not spit or leak and produces continuous volumes of steam even at low temperatures. Removes wrinkles like a professional iron.

With its patented two heating element design, the Velocity won’t let you down. For sewers and quilters, the Steam Ready feature means the Velocity will be ready to work when you are.

  • Built-in anti-scale cartridge
  • 8 minute auto shut-off
  • Steam Ready (bypasses auto shut off)
  • 1800W heating element
  • 1.25 cups (300 ml) water capacity
  • Retail Value $99
Second Place Prizes

The second place winner in the Pieced Pillow category will win a fat quarter pack of the complete collection of Betty Dear by Darlene Zimmerman, courtesy of Robert Kaufman.

The second place winner in the Words to Live By category will win a fat quarter pack of Night & Day in the Summer Colorstory, courtesy of Robert Kaufman.

Third Place Prize in both contest categories

Pack of 11 Fat Quarters of Jennifer Paganelli’s beautiful collection, Queen Street, plus a half yard of Queen Street laminate, courtesy of Jennifer Paganelli.

First, Second and Third Place prizes in both categories

Downlite is a premiere manufacturer of down and feather bedding, including unique and quality pillow forms perfect for your next sewing project. DOWNLITE now has novelty pillow forms in three funky shapes including spheres, triangles, and cubes. They are made here, in the USA, of Hypoallergenic materials (10% White Goose Down, 90% White Goose Feathers). All three shapes come in three varying sizes ranging from 12 inches to 16 inches. Learn more on the Downlite Facebook page, or follow @downlite on Twitter!

The two first place winners will receive a 16″ cube, the two second place winners will receive a 14″ cube and the two third place winners will receive a 12″ cube.

First, Second and Third Place Prizes in both categories
The two first place winners will receive a $25 gift certificate to SMS, the two second place winners a $20 gift certificate and the two third place winners a $15 gift certificate.
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77 Responses to The Great SMS Pillow Contest ~ Rules and Prizes

  1. June S says:

    Can we vote yet? I’m excited to see all the entries!

  2. Joanna says:

    I also submitted a pillow today. I am so excited to see all the pillows – I just know there will be a ton of inspiration!! Thanks Sew Mama Sew for giving me another excuse to make a pillow:)

  3. Robyn says:

    I submitted my pillow today. Now I want to see everybody else’s pillows!

  4. Vicki says:

    Totally loving all the pillow posts! Thanks!

  5. Kelly Sas says:

    This is a great pillow again today! Thanks for ALL the great pillow ideas and tutorial.

  6. Evelene Sterling says:

    Great contest sounds fun.

  7. Theresa says:

    awesome! just read this blog entry today… so better get to the sewing machine quickly and start making my pillow!

  8. bagsnstyle says:

    I am very curious how all the pillow will look like! great idea, thanks! sabine

  9. Leslie says:

    Love the pillows! So inspiring!

  10. Sonja says:

    How cool! I was just thinking that I need new pillows for my living room. Perfect timing!

  11. Carla Finley says:

    I wish I had time to enter. Good luck to you all.

  12. Tiffany says:

    Fantastic prizes! I hope I can come up with something great to enter.

  13. Kristin says:

    I entered. First time I entered anything I’ve made in any contest. ever. πŸ™‚

  14. Mary Jo says:

    HI! I entered my pillow, but was just wondering if I was supposed to receive a confirmation email for my entry? Just curious. I don’t want my entry to end up as spam! πŸ™‚

  15. Melissa says:

    I am looking forward to the journey of pillows- even if I am late in arriving to the party:)

  16. […] our Pillow Contest! Create a pillow this month and enter to win some fabulous […]

  17. Karen Hudson says:

    Pretty neat! I’m needing to update some pillows.

  18. Sheila says:

    Now why didn’t they have this contest when I made my pillows for my daughter’s dorm and for a friend at Christmas :)oh well gives me another excuse to make pillows yay!

  19. […] our Pillow Contest! Create a pillow this month and enter to win some fabulous […]

  20. Charo says:

    I’d love to participate, I’ll send my photos very soon!!!
    Thanks for this contest

  21. Kelly L says:

    LOVE IT!!!

  22. Teresa W says:

    Looks like fun. Can’t wait to see all of the amazing pillows everyone comes up with! πŸ™‚

  23. Betty says:

    This is a great time of the year to make the pillows. I need another color to look at besides dirty snow!

  24. Andreia says:

    I’ve just made two pillos and posted here:

    And I’m going to make more, with different shapes and textures too. I show you then!

    Thanks for the contest!

  25. priti says:

    i’m jumping in:)

  26. Claire says:

    I am seriously considering entering this!

  27. Sara says:

    Sounnds fun! Working on my prototype as I type…

  28. […] our Pillow Contest! Create a pillow this month and enter to win some fabulous […]

  29. Nancy says:

    Yes, I’m wondering too if international readers can enter. I’m in Canada and might just get my act together to try this.

  30. Rebecca says:

    Hi there I have just sent my pic in, I hope we are able to enter from the UK! So does my little girl who the cushions / pillows were made for!

  31. Liz W. says:

    Can’t wait to see everyone’s entries! I know it will be inspiring.

  32. chris says:

    Hi- I’m also wondering if this is open to international readers too? I’m in Ireland but would love to make an entry:)

  33. Great contest!
    I hope I can make it. I love pillows.

  34. Aniza says:

    wow! can’t wait to see all the line up from contestants

  35. Karo says:

    the last time i entered any sort of competition was over fifteen years ago. gymnastics.
    haven’t felt the itch to compete since.
    this may be a big turning point in my life… πŸ˜‰
    can’t wait to see all the beautiful creations this will spark!

  36. wendy says:

    Is this just open to US bloggers or can international sewists join in too? (I’m thinking that the iron wouldn’t work in the UK – different voltages, my hair straighteners didn’t work in New York… Not that I’m going to win but a British person might… Or a French person…)

  37. Ann says:

    I was just thinking about making new pillows for my living room sofa when I saw that the month of February was going to be pillows! Perfect timing!!

  38. TroyJennene says:

    Love pillows . . just finished one & maybe just perhaps I will enter it. Have a few more gift pillows to make as house warming gifts. Love a good pillow & I make my own pillow forms because why pay when you can play and make your own?

  39. Jennifer says:

    Fun! Now I need to start planning my pillow…

  40. Vanessa says:

    The Downlite pillow forms look gorgeous!

  41. Sarah Z. says:

    Fun project! Definitely pieced for me and hopefully jazzy and fun.

  42. This is wonderful I have something stuck in my head waiting for some time to get made, will have to get moving with it!

  43. julie says:

    Amazing, just started making notes for a big bed pillow. Thanks for the additional motivation!

  44. Paula says:

    Wow! The perfect thing to get my creative juices flowing…something “spring-y” maybe?

  45. Angelina says:

    sounds like fun!

  46. LindaP says:

    This sounds like fun to me . I have to put my minds eye to work now to come up with something and get started.

  47. Wendy says:

    I might just have to get busy on the pillows I’ve got in my ufo boxes…we’ll see. Regardless, I can’t wait to see what ppl turn out.

  48. Katie says:

    February is going to be an awesome month! These prizes are fabulous!

  49. Papgena says:

    oh I made 3 pillows recently but can’t present those…well I have to think in something else!!!

  50. Elizabethdx says:

    So lucky for me that February is pillow month at SMS, because it’s pillow month at my house. Mine don’t fall into your categories, but I’m sure to find lots of inspiration all the same.

  51. Gen says:

    Does anyone know how many entries we are limited to? In other words, can I enter two pillows (one in each category)?

  52. suzanne says:

    ooooo I have an idea… thanks for the motivation to get started!

  53. janimal says:

    Oooooh this is cool. I must get to stitchin!

  54. Deb Cameron says:

    I think I’m convinced I need to make a pillow, I love the ‘words to live by’ concept, I’m in!

  55. Tina says:

    so many ideas – too little time πŸ˜‰

  56. Sounds like fun!

  57. Jennifer says:

    As if my throw-pillow-less couches weren’t enough incentive to finally get around to making some pillows…

  58. Linda says:

    What a great idea! Can’t wait to see what everyone comes up with!

  59. Brigette says:

    I can’t wait to see what everyone does!

  60. Kerri Kowal says:

    Great prizes… I’m going to have to seriously consider entering this one!

  61. Sarah J says:

    OMG I love this competition, I’ve never made a pillow in my life…. but I may just have to!

  62. Amber H says:

    Want a pillow to “WOW?” Hrm… that’s got the wheels in my head turning for sure…

  63. Carolyn says:

    Looks and sounds like loads of fun! I’d best get my act together to come up with an idea worthy of SMS.
    Fabulous prizes up for grabs.

  64. Rebmara says:

    Wow! Great prizes. I already started a pillow, but now I need my safety pins for quilting the front and they’ve gone into hiding πŸ™ Luckily I’ve got a whole month to find them πŸ˜›

  65. Cassandra says:

    Oooh! I’ve never done either of these two types of pillows before. A pieced pillow will be fun to try.

  66. patricia says:

    Good luck to everyone. Thank you for having this contest.

  67. Katrina H says:

    OOH this sounds like fun!!!

  68. Kate says:

    Silly question — can we enter multiple times? Or have multiple pillows as one entry?

  69. Linda says:

    Oh, what fabulous prizes!!

  70. Rebecca says:

    sounds like fun!!

  71. Shannon H says:

    What awesome prizes! I want to give this a try since I’ve never made a pillow before. Thanks for all the inspiration and I look forward to this fun month!

  72. Oh, man, I have a pillow I’ve started but it doesn’t include patchwork or words,and I don’t know if it would be appropriate here anyway (nudity). It is going to be embroidered applique. Too bad.

  73. Jen B says:

    Oh, how I wish I had sewing time this month! Good luck everyone!

  74. Amy S says:

    Wow! Great prizes…guess I need to dig into my fabric to make a pillow happen!

  75. Anita says:

    So exciting can’t wait to see the pillows.

  76. Angelina says:

    Can we enter one pillow per category? Or just one pillow overall?

  77. christine says:


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