Project Merry Little Pillow

By Kelly Bowser

Skill Level: Beginner  

Merry_Little_Pillow_p.jpg
-+ FromTo Love List

This little pillow is quick project and will make any room feel merry and bright! Make one for yourself and for any of the hard-to-shop-for people on your holiday shopping list to put a little merry in their Christmas.

Materials:

  • ½ yard of a neutral color for the pillow front and interior lining
  • 1 fat quarter of a print for holiday appliqué and pillow back
  • Scraps of a solid for the word appliqué
  • 70” of binding
  • Heat n’ Bond Lite or similar paper-backed fusible web product
  • 1 spool of neutral thread for piecing and quilting
  • 1 spool of thread to match your scrap color for the word appliqué
  • 1 spool of invisible thread
  • Piece of batting at least 13” x 17”
  • Pencil or pen
  • Scissors
  • Safety pins or basting spray
  • 12” x 16” pillow form
  • Computer with printer

Tools:

  • Baby Lock Sewing Machine

Steps:

  1. Cut 2 rectangles from your neutral solid measuring 13” x 17” each.

  2. Cut a 12.5” x 21” rectangle from your print. Cut this rectangle into (2) 12.5” x 10.5” pieces. The large scrap you have left from this fat quarter will be used for the holiday appliqué (tree)

  3. Draw your favorite holiday shape (I chose a tree) onto the back of the print scrap you have left from Step 2. Cut the shape out.

  4. Pin the holiday shape, right side down, to the WRONG side of one of the neutral 13” x 17” pieces. I put my tree in the upper corner, but you can place it any way your holiday heart wants!

  5. Working from the back side of the neutral solid, use a 1/4” to 1/8” seam allowance to sew around the holiday shape.

  6. Working from the front side of the neutral solid (with holiday shape now attached) gently begin to cut away the neutral fabric inside the stitches outlining your holiday shape.

    1. Be sure not to cut your print fabric! You will want to cut about 1/8” away from your stitches.

  7. Layer the second rectangle of the neutral solid, the batting, and the neutral solid with the holiday shape.

    1. The wrong sides of both neutral rectangles should be facing the batting—just like how you make a quilt. Baste the layers.

    2. Use basting spray or simply pin all three layers with safety pins about every 4”.

  8. Use your walking foot and the neutral thread to quilt as desired. I quilted mine with straight lines about ½” apart.

  9. Trim the quilted pillow front to 12.5” x 16.5”.

  10. Using your computer, type the words “be merry” in any font you want! My letters are about 1.5” high.

    1. I used the Word Art function to make the letters chunky and I chose the American Typewriter font.

    2. Then, before you print, flip the letters (rotate on the vertical axis) so they look like a mirror image. This step is very important!

    3. If you cannot figure out how to flip the letters, print it out like normal and then hold the paper up to a window and trace the letters on the backside of the paper.

    4. This will give you the mirror image of the letters.

  11. Trace the mirror image letters onto the paper-backed side of the Heat n’ Bond.

  12. Fuse the solid scraps to the glue side of the Heat n’ Bond. Let cool, then cut out the letters.

  13. Peel off the paper back on the letters and fuse to the quilted pillow front.

  14. Lower your feed dogs and, using a free-motion (open toe) foot and thread to match your letters, stitch VERY close to the edge of the letters.

    1. If you are not comfortable using your free-motion foot, you can use your walking foot and a short stitch length, but it will take much longer.

  15. Fold the 12.5” side of a 12.5” x 10.5” print rectangle over ¼” toward the wrong side. Press. Fold over ¼” one more time and press.

  16. Stitch very close to the folded edge.

  17. Repeat Steps 15 and 16 for the other 12.5” x 10.5” print rectangle

  18. Place the quilted pillow front right side down. Lay both 12.5” x 10.5” print rectangles right sides up on top of the quilted pillow front.

    1. Match the 12.5” edges of the quilted pillow front and the UNFINISHED 12.5” sides of the two print rectangles.

    2. The two print rectangles should overlap—this will form the envelope back of the pillow. Pin around the outside of the pillow.

  19. Baste around the edges of the pillow using an 1/8” seam allowance.

  20. Bind as you would a quilt. I took 2.25” binding strips, folded and pressed them in half, and sewed the binding to the BACK of the pillow with a ¼” seam allowance.

    1. I then folded the binding to the front and used invisible thread to stitch the binding to the front of the pillow.

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