I’m so excited that I finally finished my Christmas pillows this year! Every year I have big plans to decorate and make things for the holiday but I always run out of time.
I started these pillows last year with the remnants of two jelly rolls that I had, Robert Kaufman’s Holiday Flourish Silver and Winter’s Grandeur 3. Since I like for everything to match I wanted to make similar patterns from each fabric line and needed some simple patterns that I could make with the 2 ½” strips. I decided to make two pillows from each fabric set, one using a Dresden Plate pattern and the other with squares creating a patchwork pillow.
The Winter’s Grandeur pillows came together easily, that jelly roll had a lot of colors and prints and I also had the majority of the roll leftover. For the patchwork pillow I cut 64 – 2 ½” squares and just started chain piecing them in a random fashion, I made eight strips with 8 squares each. Once the pillow top was sewn together I decided to quilt the pillow using my standard grid quilting.
I always use a thin, cheap muslin for the back of my quilted pillow tops. Since it will be on the inside of the pillow and never seen I don’t want to use any of the good stuff! To make the grid quilting pattern I just line my walking foot up with the seam of each strip and sew a straight line, you could always sew with a curved stich or a zigzag to add some variation to the pillow. I find this method to be a quick and easy way to quilt.
I’ve always loved the Dresden Plate quick block but had never made one before. I have the Easy Dresden Tool by Darlene Zimmerman and just followed the directions from the ruler. I took ten different prints from the jelly roll and made two wedges from each print. Since I have a need for everything to be symmetrical I laid these out in the same pattern before I started sewing them together. Luckily, I was able to find a red and gold print fabric from my stash that was big enough to use as the middle circle!
The silver Holiday Flourish material was a little harder for me to figure out. I only had about half the jelly roll left and there wasn’t as much variation in the colors and prints. I decided a scrappy patchwork may not work since there were so many silver and white prints so I decided to use a Bargello pattern and alternate the silver and white with every other strip. I also quilted it using the same grid method. I really liked the way this one turned out.
When I made the Dresden Plate from this fabric I had the same issue, you need twenty wedges but the math didn’t seem to work with only three main colors – silver, red, and black. I didn’t have much of the black material left so decided to just go with red and silver for this one, alternating every other piece. I also had a cute red and silver print in my stash and was able to fussy cut a star to be the center print. I didn’t quilt either of the Dresden Plates since the straight line method wouldn’t have worked and I’m not very good at free motion – I need a lot more practice in that area!
I actually had a hard time deciding on the background material for this pillow, it was between the black and silver print.
I really liked the black print since it made the block stand out more but was worried it wasn’t very festive. The silver definitely has more of a Christmas feel to it but I thought it blended the block too much. I ended up posting a poll on Instagram, it was a close call but the silver won by 2 votes. In the end I was glad I chose the silver since it fits in better with the gold background on the other pillow. Thanks for everyone that voted, I really appreciate the input!
I finished all four pillows with a simple envelope backing and standard binding. I’m absolutely in love with all of them and have them displayed on my entry table. I’m glad that I finally finished a Christmas project with enough time to enjoy them before the holiday!