Music Notes Pillow Cover – Free Crochet Pattern
Ready to “jazz” up your home decor or make a gift for the music lover in your life? Here’s a “key” crochet pattern that you’ll want to take “note” of! This Music Notes Pillow Cover free crochet pattern makes an awesome crochet gift for men, women, friends, family and definitely a music / piano teacher. The cushion / throw cover goes over a 18” x 18” pillow, is super soft, removable and washable. It’ll be a “major” hit!
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Music Notes Pillow Cover Crochet Pattern
This modern and chic yet also timeless and classy pillow cover makes such a great crochet gift idea for truly any occasion. The striking black and white colours makes it very elegant looking and also inviting. With the bulky Red Heart Soft Essentials yarn, it works up super quickly and is incredibly soft.
After making the Paw Print Pillow Cover crochet pattern, I wanted to create another themed pillow but this one for a music lover. And who doesn’t love music? That’s why I think it’s such a great versatile crochet gift for men, women, friends, really anyone!
The pattern creates a beautiful, professional looking crochet pillow cover that covers an 18” x 18” pillow (46 x 46 cm) and can be easily removed and hand-washed.
The pattern (below):
- Includes a complete walk-through guide with pictures outlining every step
- Is a great introduction to colorwork for beginners, only requires knowledge of how to single crochet, double crochet, chain stitch, slip stitch and read a pattern.
- Also great for more advanced crocheters who love colorwork (but experience with colorwork is not required)
- Includes full written instructions for the pattern and a full page chart/graph
- Complete instructions on how to crochet with two colors and how to assemble the crochet pillow cover.
If you are new to colorwork, you can read my full guide on how to crochet with two colors and watch the video tutorial here: How to Crochet with Two Colors.
This Music Notes Pillow Cover Crochet Pattern is written in English for right-handed crochet using standard US crochet terminology. If you’re more familiar with UK terminology, check out my US to UK (or UK to US) Conversion Chart.
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Music Crochet Pillow Pattern Details
Easy (Colorwork and simple stitches)
Following this pattern creates a 18″ x 18″ (46 cm x 46 cm) pillow cover. The actual cover will be slightly smaller but stretches to fit over the pillow insert.
Yarn: Any size 5 (bulky) yarn in two colors. I used Red Heart Soft Essentials. This yarn is size 5 (bulky) and 100% acrylic. A skein is 131 yds / 120 m and 5 oz / 141 g.
- For the main color (MC), you will need approx. 524 yds / 480 m. I used 4 skeins of Soft Essentials in the color White.
- For the contrast color (CC), you will need approx. 131 yds / 120 m.* I used 1 skein of Soft Essentials in the color Black. *Note: you will be separating your CC skein into 7 bobbins (strands) of 8 m long yarn (more information on this is in the “Prepare Your Yarn” section)
Crochet Hook Size: K/10.5 (6.5 mm) (or size needed to obtain gauge)
Pillow: One 18” x 18” pillow insert
Other materials: scissors, pins, yarn needle, measuring tape
4″ x 4″ = 11 single crochet stitches and 13 rows. The chain row and the first two rows should be approximately 17.5 inches (44 cm) wide.
Need help understanding crochet gauge? Check out my complete Step-by-Step Guide to Crochet Gauge.
st = stitch
sc = single crochet: insert hook into stitch, yarn over, pull through (2 loops on hook), yarn over and pull yarn through both loops
ch = chain: yarn over, pull though loop on hook
MC = Main Color: The background and back of the pillow
CC = Contrast Color: The music notes
RS = Right Side: The front/outside of the pillow cover
WS = Wrong Side: The inside of the pillow cover
Working with Two Colors
New to colorwork? Read my step-by-step guide: How to Crochet with Two Colors. You’ll be a pro in colorwork in no time!
For this pattern, you will add/pick up and use the contrast color only when working on the music notes and carry the main color along the back until you are ready to use it again.
Once you get to the main color again, you will drop the contrast color (you don’t carry it to the end of the row). The rows are worked from right to left and then left to right so the contrast color will be right there when you need it again on the next row.
How to Add/Switch/Change Colors:
With the color you are currently working with:
1) Insert hook into the next stitch. With current color, yarn over.
2) Still with current color, pull yarn through stitch (you will have two loops on your hook) but instead of finishing the single crochet stitch…
3) Put the new color on hook
4) Pull through new color, leaving the old color hanging (keep it attached to ball of yarn, don’t cut).
On right side rows, the yarn will hang in the back, behind the work. For wrong side rows, the yarn will hang front of you. Give the previous color a slight tug to keep stitch tight.
Now use the new color until the pattern says to switch back. To switch back, repeat the same steps.
Note: When you complete the color addition/switch, it counts as a stitch with the old color as you are setting up the next stitch with the new color.
Where to Add/Switch Color
When following the chart: always add/ switch color in the second half of the single crochet stitch (when you have two loops on your hook with the old color) BEFORE the chart shows the new color.
When following the written instructions: always add the new color in the second half of the last sc stitch of the current color (when you have two loops on your hook with the old color) BEFORE the written patterns says to use the new color.
Preparing Your Yarn
Instead of carrying the contrast color yarn along the wrong side, I recommend using seven separate balls/strands or “bobbins” of the contrast color yarn. This method ensures that there isn’t a chance of the contrast color coming through the front.
Amount of Yarn Needed for Each Bobbin
Each music note and each of the 5 music lines requires approximately 8 meters of yarn. You will need seven “strands” that are 8 meters long.
Tips to help measure yarn:
- Get a 1 m piece and match that length in an S shape 8 times (do not cut into 8 pieces)
- OR: Wind the yarn around your hand 45 times
Tips to help these strands from getting tangled:
With each 8 metre long piece of yarn, you can make it into a nice little ball of yarn. You can use any kind of bobbin or you can make your own with anything you can wrap your yarn around. You could use a large crochet hook, a glue stick, an empty paper roll for example. Anything that you can wrap your yarn around and then take out. Knifty Knittings has great tutorial on how to wrap your yarn around a paper towel roll here.
To make a bobbin, wrap your yarn around your object 6 or so times. Then rotate your object 1/3 of the way away from you. Wrap the yarn around 4 times and rotate 1/3 of the way away from you. Keep repeating this. With the ball shape forming as you wrap, when you wrap at the top, put your yarn as close to your object as possible and same when pulling it towards you at the bottom. Rotate every 4 times around. When the yarn is completely in the ball, remove object.
Where you will attach and use the contrast color bobbins:
Note: this isn’t the actual pattern chart, it’s just to show you where you will be adding the contrast color. The actual full-size pattern chart is after the written instructions.
Note: The Written Instructions & The Pattern Chart indicate where to attach each bobbin. This picture and this section is just to give you a heads up of where each bobbin will be be attached.
Left Music Note:
You will attach a bobbin on Row 8 on st 41. This bobbin will be used for the entire left music note.
You will attach a bobbin for each music line on the last stitch of the row before. (Note, you will not carry the main colour across, you just leave it there and pick it up after the two rows of the music line). If you have yarn left over, cut it and leave a tail to weave in.
Right Music Note:
You will attach the a bobbin on Row 14 on st 20. This bobbin will be used for the entire right music note.
When working on the music notes with the contrast color, you will be carrying the main color along the back (the wrong side). These strands of yarn are “floating.”
Between rows 8 – 21, these pieces of carried yarn can become too long so we “catch” them and incorporate them into the back of a stitch every 4-6 stitches.
While we still carry the yarn throughout all the other rows, the yarn that’s floating is not long enough to have to worry about catching it. It’s just between rows 8-21 that we need to catch the main color when working with the contrast color.
Catching Floats on the Right Side
Insert your hook into the stitch and take the strand of the opposite color and place it on the hook (behind the stitch). Yarn over with the color you are working with and pull through. The opposite color should not have come through but instead be caught in the stitch (hidden from the front of the work). Give the opposite color a little tug.
Catching Floats on the Wrong Side:
Take the strand of yarn you are trying to catch (the opposite color) and put it over the next stitch. Simply place it there (in the middle between your active stitch and the next stitch). Insert your hook into the next stitch. Take that piece of yarn that you just placed and bring it towards you. That puts the yarn in the middle between the yarn on your hook and your new stitch. Single crochet as you normally would. Give the opposite colour a little tug.
Catching Floats Notes:
- The pattern does not indicate when to catch floats. You need to remember to do this every 4-6 stitches when working on rows 8-21.
- Always check each “catch” to ensure the opposite coloured yarn is not visible from the front.
Please note: This pattern and all images associated with this pattern cannot be copied, shared, altered or sold on your own. You are welcome to sell the finished product but please include a link (if online) and reference jototheworld.com.
Crochet Pillow Pattern Notes
- Each row has 45 stitches.
- Chain 1 does not count as a stitch.
- When working on the bottom of the music notes (the circles) between row 8-21, you need to catch your floats every 4-6 stitches.
- Stretch your pillow wide after each row.
- Ensure all strands are always kept on the wrong side of the work.
- Add/switch colours when you have two loops with the current colour on the last sc stitch BEFORE the new colour stitch.
- During the five black lines, don’t carry the main colour across the rows. Just carry it up the side and use it after the black line is finished.
- Read the chart from right to left when working on right side rows and left to right when working on the wrong side. The chart is lightly shaded on wrong sides to help you remember. (The written pattern lists everything in the correct order)
How to Follow the Chart:
Just a Reminder!
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Music Pillow Pattern Instructions
(see below for Pattern Chart)
Start with and use the main color until you are instructed to add the contrast colour (on row 8)
Row 1 (RS): In the 2nd chain from hook, sc. Sc in each stitch across. Ch 1 and turn.
Row 2 (WS): Sc in each stitch across. Ch 1 and turn.
***Measure your work*** If it is longer or shorter than 17.5 inches/44 cm) (give or take half an inch) start the pattern again with a bigger or smaller hook.
Row 3 – 7: Sc in each stitch across. Ch 1 and turn.
After Row 7, measure work. It should measure 17.5″.
Row 8 (WS): With MC sc 5, (***add a contrast color bobbin) with CC sc 7, with MC sc 33. Ch 1 and turn.
What this means: Sc with main color across the next 4 stitches. On the 5th stitch, add your first bobbin (the 8 m strand of yarn of the contrast color) and sc. Make sure that the hanging yarn is towards you in the front (this is the wrong side). This now concludes the 5 stitches in the main color.
Sc with the contrast color for 6 stitches. On the 7th stitch, switch back to the main color. Make sure that the hanging yarn is towards you in the front. This now concludes the 7 stitches in the contrast color.
With the main color, sc 33 to the end of the row.
This is how it looks from left to right: 5 stitches in the main color, 7 stitches in the contrast color and 33 stitches in the main color. Ch 1 and turn.
Row 9 (RS): With MC sc 32, with CC sc 9, with MC sc 4. Ch 1 and turn.
What this means: Sc with main color across the next 31 stitches. On the 32nd stitch, switch to the contrast color and sc. Make sure that the hanging yarn is in the back, on the wrong side, away from you.
Sc with the contrast color for 8 stitches. (Remember to catch your float). On the 9th stitch, switch back to the main color. Make sure that the hanging yarn is on the wrong side.
With the main color, sc 4 to the end of the row.
(This is how it looks from right to left: 32 stitches in the main color, 9 stitches in the contrast color and 4 stitches in the main color). Ch 1 and turn.
Row 10: with MC sc 3, with CC sc 11, with MC sc 31 (***Add a contrast color bobbin to last st) With CC ch 1 and turn.
Row 11: Leave the MC hanging. With CC, sc across entire row. Ch 1 and turn.
Row 12: With CC, sc across entire row. On last st, switch to MC. With MC ch 1 and turn.
Row 13: with MC sc 30, with CC sc 12, with MC sc 3. Ch 1 and turn.
Row 14: with MC sc 4, with CC sc 11, with MC sc 11. (***Add a contrast color bobbin) With CC sc 7, with MC sc 12. Ch 1 and turn.
Row 15: with MC sc 11, with CC sc 9, with MC sc 10., with CC sc 2, with MC 2, with CC 5, with MC sc 6. Ch 1 and turn.
Row 16: with MC sc 13, with CC sc 2, with MC sc 9, with CC sc 11, with MC sc 10. (***Add a contrast color bobbin to last st) With CC, ch 1 and turn.
Row 17: Leave the MC hanging. With CC, sc across entire row. Ch 1 and turn.
Row 18: With CC, sc across entire row. On last st, switch to MC. With MC ch 1 and turn.
Row 19: with MC sc 9, with CC sc 12, with MC sc 9, with CC sc 2, with MC sc 13. Ch 1 and turn.
Row 20: with MC sc 13, with CC sc 2, with MC sc 10, with CC sc 11, with MC sc 9. Ch 1 and turn.
Row 21: with MC sc 9, with CC sc 2, with MC sc 2, with CC sc 5, with MC sc 12, with CC sc 2, with MC sc 13. Ch 1 and turn.
Row 22: with MC sc 13, with CC sc 2, with MC sc 6, with CC sc 1, with MC sc 12, with CC sc 2, with MC sc 9. (***Add a contrast color bobbin to last st). With CC, ch 1 and turn.
Row 23: Leave the MC hanging. With CC, sc across entire row. Ch 1 and turn.
Row 24: With CC, sc across entire row. On last st, switch to MC. With MC ch 1 and turn.
Row 25: with MC sc 9, with CC sc 2, with MC sc 12 with CC sc 3, with MC sc 4, with CC sc 2, with MC sc 13. Ch 1 and turn.
Row 26: with MC sc 13, with CC sc 2, with MC sc 3 with CC sc 3, with MC sc 13, with CC sc 2, with MC sc 9. Ch 1 and turn.
Row 27: with MC sc 9, with CC sc 2, with MC sc 14, with CC sc 3, with MC sc 2, with CC sc 2, with MC sc 13. Ch 1 and turn.
Row 28: with MC sc 13, with CC sc 2, with MC sc 1, with CC sc 3, with MC sc 15, with CC sc 2, with MC sc 6, with CC sc 1, with MC sc 2. (***Add a contrast color bobbin to last st). With CC, ch 1 and turn.
Row 29: Leave the MC hanging. With CC, sc across entire row. Ch 1 and turn.
Row 30: With CC, sc across entire row. On last st, switch to MC. With MC ch 1 and turn.
Row 31: with MC sc 2, with CC sc 3, with MC sc 4, with CC sc 2, with MC sc 17, with CC sc 4, with MC sc 13. Ch 1 and turn.
Row 32: with MC sc 13, with CC sc 3, with MC sc 18, with CC sc 2, with MC sc 3, with CC sc 3, with MC sc 3. Ch 1 and turn.
Row 33: with MC sc 4, with CC sc 3, with MC sc 2, with CC sc 2, with MC sc 19, with CC sc 2, with MC sc 13. Ch 1 and turn.
Row 34: with MC sc 34, with CC sc 2, with MC sc 1, with CC sc 3, with MC sc 5. (***Add a contrast color bobbin to last st) With CC, ch 1 and turn.
Row 35: Leave the MC hanging. With CC, sc across entire row. Ch 1 and turn.
Row 36: With CC, sc across entire row. On last st, switch to MC. With MC ch 1 and turn.
Row 37: with MC sc 7, with CC sc 4, with MC sc 34. Ch 1 and turn.
Row 38: with MC sc 34, with CC sc 3, with MC sc 8. Ch 1 and turn.
Row 39: with MC sc 9, with CC sc 2, with MC sc 34. Ch 1 and turn.
Rows 40 – 48: with MC sc across. Ch 1 and turn.
Fasten off and weave in all loose ends from both Main Color and Contrast Color. Note: weave the tail of the Contrast Color into only Contrast Color parts (same for Main Color)
Pattern Chart Legend:
- White square = sc with Main Color (right side row)
- Light grey square = sc with Main Color (wrong side row)
- Dark grey square = sc with Contrast Color
- (the black circle) = Attach and Use Bobbin
I wanted the bottom of the music notes a little more rounded. With my yarn needle and the contrast color (directly around the bottom of the music notes), I sewed over the main color stitches a few times to make the notes more circular. This is optional and based on your personal preference.
Back of Pillow
Back of Pillow Notes:
- The completed front is Piece A
- All rows have 45 stitches across
- Chain 1 does not count as a stitch
Piece B: Bottom of Back:
With main color, chain 46.
Row 1: Sc in the second chain from hook. Sc in each stitch across. Ch 1 and turn.
Row 2: Sc in each stitch across. Ch 1 and turn.
Repeat for a total of 34 rows (piece should measure approximately 10 inches tall). On the final row, do not ch 1 and turn. Fasten off and weave in ends.
Piece C: Top of Back:
With main color, chain 46.
Row 1: Sc in the second chain from hook. Sc in each stitch across. Ch 1 and turn.
Row 2-30: Sc in each stitch across. Ch 1 and turn. (Piece should measure approximately 9 inches tall.)
Row 31: Double crochet in each stitch across. Fasten off and weave in ends.
Pillow Cover Assembly
Place A (the front) face down, with the wrong side facing up (the top of the music notes at the top).
Place B (the bottom of the back) on top of A with the last row you completed on the bottom, in line with the bottom of A. The chain row of B will be just above the centre of A.
Place C (the top of the back) on top of B and A with the row of double crochet stitches in the middle. The middle of B will be in between A and C.
Pin the three pieces in place.
With the main color, attach yarn to bottom left corner. With the music notes facing you, sc into each stitch along the bottom. Sc into the corner stitch three times. Repeat around pillow cover: sc along each side and 3 sc in each corner, single crocheting the pieces together. At the final corner, single crochet twice into the final corner stitch. Fasten off and weave in ends.
Ta Da! I can hear the celebratory music playing right from your pillow cover!
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