One of my favorite decorating hacks these days is quilted throw pillow covers. I can change them for the seasons or holidays and they don’t take up much room to store, especially when compared to storing an entire pillow. We have three throw pillow sizes in our living room, so I was on a mission to make covers for them; a 16″ square pillow, 20″ square pillows, and 16″ x 26″ lumbar pillows. The lumbar pillows are still in the works, so I’ll update this post once they are completed. Want to make your own? Check out the tutorial.
Cross-Stitch Santa Pillow
Oh, my cross-stitch Santa! How long you’ve been in the works! I found the cross-stitch kit at a thrift store for $1 four years ago. Every year, I’d take him out around the holidays, work on him for a bit, then shove him back into the WIP closet. I’m not a cross-stitcher, so I was painfully slow at this, even though I liked where the project was heading.
This year, I took Santa out in August, determined to get him finished for the holidays. The original kit is from 1996, so the instructions came with a very 90’s ruffle finish. Sorry Santa, I’m gonna bring you into the new millennium, okay?
I added a border around Santa (in my very favorite Moda Bella Scarlet), and hand-quilted both around the cross-stitching and the border. The back is a solid piece of Moda Scarlet, hand-quilted with a diamond pattern with DMC Perle cotton thread in size 12. The pillow and the hand-quilting match my Christmas Joy quilt that lives behind the couch. The whole set up makes me ridiculously giddy!
Prairie Point Tree Pillow
We have this one weird 16″ pillow that I bought eons ago from Forever 21 (yeah, you read that right). Most of the year it fits just fine in our living room, but it sticks out like a sore thumb at Christmastime. So, a pillow cover was in order!
I used the Prairie Point Tree pattern from @Sterlingsewn for the front and added borders until it was big enough. The pillow is hand-quilted with DMC Perle cotton thread in size 12. The front is hand-quilted with snowflakes, and the back with a diamond pattern.
I kept the color palette the same as my improv pillows below so that there would be a cohesive feel to them.
Improv Modern Hand Quilted Pillows
Okay, so these aren’t strictly holiday, and I’m sure we’ll keep them out after the season is over. Improvisational sewing has become my way to unwind and let my creativity flow. Recently, I separated all my small solid fabric scraps into color families, grabbed the bag of teals, and decided to play. I added some Blueberry Park fabric I had to the panels for a pop of print.
Once the panels were sewn into the right size, I basted them and prepped them for hand-quilting. In a season of a lot of work travel and holidays, hand-quilting pillow panels has become a great take-along project. They’re small enough to carry around yet take enough time that they can last me through a trip.
I quilted these with a baptist fan motif (check out the tutorial) using DMC Perle cotton thread in size 12, something I’ll have to share in a later blog post. I kept the backs less-scrappy-yet-still-improv (I know, such technical terms), and I wanted to hand-quilt them as well. You’ll hear me say this often, but I feel that the back of a pillow should be as nice as the front. All of my hand-quilted pillows get the same treatment on the back. Having a pillow that’s quilted on both sides makes such a luxurious pillow! Try it sometime!
Since I had enough scraps, I made two! The zippers were salvaged from the package of a new set of sheets. I still need to make zipper pulls for them, but I couldn’t wait to put them to use!
Do you have any questions about these pillows? Ask me anything!
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