A Blog for the Perpetually Frustrated Home Sewist

GoHeen Designs RIP Tombstone Pillow Pattern Review

Hello everyone! While I realize it is till only July, that hasn't stopped me from working on Halloween projects any less. This week I'm going to discuss my experience sewing the Goheen Designs RIP Tombstone Pillow earlier this year. I'll review the pattern and discuss the construction process further down below.


This RIP tombstone pillow was designed by Goheen Designs and is available as a PDF online. It is for a quilted tombstone shaped pillow that measures approximately 21" in height, 17" in width, and is 3" thick. The pattern consists of a front and back piece connected with a boxing piece. This pattern is designed to say "RIP" on the front, but the front statement is completely customizable in the shop! 

Available here.

The pattern demonstrates three different methods for quilting the front design onto the front piece. These include using colored tracing paper and a tracing wheel (like this), using some type of press and seal plastic wrap, and using tissue paper. I opted to use the tissue paper method. This made it necessary to trace the quilting pattern and front pattern piece shape on to tissue paper with pen or marker. Then, the tissue paper is pinned to the front piece on top, with the front piece, batting, and lining underneath. 

After pinning everything together, all that's left is to stitch through the tissue paper with the thread of your choosing. I chose to use a thick white home decor thread; if you want your thread to show up more vibrantly against the fabric, I'd recommend using some sort of topstitching thread! Keep in mind you may need a topstitching needle for this to work. 

Overall, this method worked pretty well. However, tissue paper can be somewhat difficult to work with, as it sticks to small pieces and will rip in some portions. I definitely should have been more careful when stitching around some of the curves and details. Also, be aware that your backstitching spots will be much more noticeable when using a thicker thread! I'm sort of mad at myself for not being more careful about this looking back. 

A slight mistake I made when creating this pillow was my choice in batting. I used some extra thick batting (leftover from my pumpkin candy holders) and it made the quilting process a bit more difficult. I would highly recommend using a thinner batting, because pivoting around tight curves can be a huge pain, especially when trying to keep tissue paper in place.

The quilting step is by far the hardest part! Once you've completed it, the rest of the pillow is smooth sailing. Also, if you want to try a different quilting method, there are a bunch of suggestions online! One method I looked up used mesh in lieu of tissue paper. The design is traced with a marker onto the mesh and then pinned and sewed the same way. A tear away fabric material would also be suitable. A problem you may run into with this method will depend on your fabric color. A mesh outline may not show up against a black background fabric. 

For whatever reason, I didn't take many photos of the construction process. But great news! Goheen Designs has an entire sew-along on the blog. If you're interested in this pattern, I highly recommend looking over the sew along first. The steps included there are very similar to the steps included with the pattern instructions. Generally, I found the pillow to be easy to construct. This project prompted me to buy an adjustable piping/zipper foot for the first time. I was able to follow the instructions to make my own piping!

However, there was one piece of the instructions I didn't quite understand, possibly due to not reading closely enough. I wasn't sure where exactly the markings were supposed to go for the boxing. Although I realize the clipped portion is supposed to line up with the curved top of the pillow, none of the markings really lined up correctly for me, which is no real fault of the pattern. It still worked out perfectly fine, and I clipped the fabric where necessary. This misstep may have been due to my inexperience in sewing home decor. My one and only criticism of the instructions is that some of the steps feel very zoomed in, and it would be nice to have some steps illustrating what's going on with the whole project. (I'm probably being a bit too nitpicky.) That being said, the pattern is very well put together, and I'm extremely grateful for the photographed steps. Taking and organizing that many photos can be a lot of work.  It's far better than what some companies provide! 


I purchased all of the materials used at JoAnn Fabrics. The main fabric was a black home decor fabric. I don't remember much about it, but it was easy to work with and wash. I already had enough batting leftover from previous projects, but it was also originally purchased from JoAnn Fabrics. I also had enough stuffing left over to finish the project! Keep in mind this project uses quite a bit of stuffing to keep its shape. 


Overall, I highly recommend this pattern. It's well made and super unique! You really won't be able to find another pattern like it anywhere else. The end result is super cute and functional, and it's the perfect home decor decoration for fall. It's also a good home decor project, especially if you're relatively new to to home decor sewing. The helpful photo instructions and sew-along make this project accessible to everyone! 

The pillow is far from perfect, and I wish I had done a few things differently (that backstitching on the bones-yikes!). But I'll be able to use the finished project as Halloween decor, so I'm happy about that! 

Thank you so much for reading this far! If you have any comments or questions, please don't hesitate to let me know down below.

To see more of my Halloween projects, click here.
To see more projects that use indie sewing patterns, click here

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