Today, I'm sharing with you a fun holiday pillow that you can use to add that festive feeling to your living room or even to give as a gift over the holidays. This pillow uses four paper pieced units to create a center block as well as colorful strips around the center block, much like a traditional log cabin quilt block. I love making holiday pillows, they're a fun and quick way to decorate! Let's get started, shall we?
Mariner's Star PillowMakes one 20" pillow
note: center block is 12.5" unfinished, makes a great quilt block, too!
23" square piece of batting for pillow front
2 pillow back pieces, 14" x 21"
various pieces of red and green fabric, see chart below
|5” x 7”||8|
|2 ¾” x 16 ½”||1|
|2 ¾” x 18 ¾”||2|
|2 ¾” x 21”||1|
|2 ½” x 5”||8|
|2” x 6 ½”||8|
|2 ½” x 12 ½”||1|
|2 ½” x 14 ½”||2|
|2 ½” x 16 ½”||1|
|2” x 6 ½”||8|
|1 1/2” x 4”||8|
1. First, print four copies of the template PDF. Double-check to make sure that the 1" line on the template measures 1", and if it does not, make sure that your printer scaling options are set to "Print at actual size." Trim off some of the excess paper, but be sure to leave some white paper around the gray rim of the block template.
2. Start by placing your white center piece in the center of the back, unprinted side of your template paper, with the wrong side of the fabric touching the paper. Align your fabric in the center of the #1 area of the block, making sure your white fabric overlaps over the edges of area #1. Pin in place.
3. Next, line up your first light green piece, for area #2. Align your light green fabric approximately 1/4" beyond the line between areas #1 and #2 on the template, right sides together with your pinned white fabric.
Stitch along the line, and be sure to shorten your machine's stitch length to approxiamtely 1.5 mm. This will perforate the paper, making it easier to remove when we're all done.
Flip your paper piece over, and make sure to open your light green strip to ensure it covers the entire #2 section. Then, you can trim the excess remaining white fabric, trimming down to a 1/4" seam allowance. Finger press the seam, then set the seam with a hot, dry iron.
4. Repeat Step 3 for the adding piece #3, an additional green piece that borders the opposite side of the white fabric you began with.
5. Next, let's add some holiday red. Align a 5" x 6" piece of red fabric along the line between area #3 and #4, right sides together. Pin in place, if needed. Stitch along the line between area #3 and #4, and trim excess seam allowance, as needed. Press seam to set your work.
7. To finish area 6 on the template, align a strip of dark green fabric with the fabrics you've sewn in place so far, rights sides together, with approximately a 1/4" overlapping the seam, as shown. Stitch along the seam line, making sure to stitch into the gray seam allowance that surrounds the template. Clip your threads and flip your template piece over. Trim your excess fabric to approximately a 1/4" seam allowance, and press to set your work.
8. Repeat step 7 to cover area #8 on your template, using your other strip of dark green fabric.
9. To finish piecing the template, we'll use two strips of white fabric. This will become the center of the mariner's star. Align your white strip, right sides together the fabric side of your template, approximately a 1/4" beyond the seam line for area #8 on your template. Pin, as needed. Stitch along the seam line, making sure to stitch into the gray seam allowance border. Trim excess fabric to create a 1/4" seam allowance and press to set your piecing. Repeat for area #9.
10. After you've finished piecing each template piece, trim it down, trimming along the gray edges of the template. Do not cut off the gray seam allowance border!
11. Repeat steps 2-10 to make a total of four paper pieced units. Lay out your four finished template pieces in an order that you like. Feel free to swap them around as needed until you're happy with your layout. At this point, you can remove the paper from your templates; or you can choose to remove the paper after seaming your four template pieces together, it's just a matter of personal taste.
14. The pillow top finishes at 21". If yours turns out larger, don't trim it down just yet. First, layer your finished pillow top on a piece of batting and baste as desired. Then, quilt your pillow top however you'd like. Once you've quilted the pillow top, trim down to 21" square, as needed.
15. To finish the pillow back, fold 1/4" down on the top long side of a back piece. I'm terrible at this, so I use a seam guide as shown above to make sure my fold is consistent across the length of my fabric. Use a hot, dry iron to press in place. Repeat, folding down a total of 1/2", and topstitch along the edge. Repeat for both back pieces.
16. Lay your finished pillow top face up on a flat surface. Align the raw edges of a back piece with the top of your pillow front, right sides together, with the seam you just finished in the center of the pillow top. Repeat with the other back piece, aligning with the opposite side of the pillow, so that finished seams overlap. Pin in place, all the way around the pillow.
17. Stitch 1/2" seam all the way around the pillow, backstitching to secure your threads.
18. Remove the pins and reach in through the envelope opening you've created to pull your pillow front through. Make sure to use a pencil eraser or other turning tool to push the corners out all the way. And voila, a lovely finished pillow!
I hope you enjoyed this tutorial! If you use this tutorial to make a pillow or just the center block, I'd love to see it in the Stitching with Don't Call Me Betsy Flickr group!
The wonderful Brenda of Pink Castle Fabrics is sharing in the Christmas in July fun today, giving away a wonderful bundle from her shop, full of gorgeous reds and greens. I especially love how these fabrics aren't necessarily holiday fabrics, they don't use typical holiday graphics or designs, but the colors still evoke that holiday feeling.
THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED. THANK YOU!
Stay tuned for the rest of the Christmas in July posts, running through next Thursday!
Monday 7/16 - Don't Call Me Betsy
Tuesday 7/17 - Sew Crafty Jess
Wednesday 7/18 - Pink Penguin
Thursday 7/19 - Freshly Pieced
Friday 7/20 - Sew Sweetness
Monday 7/23 - Happy Quilting
Tuesday 7/24 - Comfort Stitching
Wednesday 7/25 - Diary of a Quilter
Thursday 7/26 - Felicity Quilts