Hi everyone, I’m Erin from Two More Seconds and I’m so thrilled to have the chance to share with you a simple tutorial for a festive and easy Christmas throw pillow! I love sewing so much I started a blog conference for sewists called Sewing Summit, but as a small business owner, mom to two small boys, and wife to a PhD candidate, I REALLY love fast and easy sewing projects – and this throw pillow fits that bill perfectly! I’m so excited to get to play along in the Bake Craft Sew Along this year – I love sewing throw pillows for my home, I have tons of them & love to change them out with every season. This scrappy Christmas version is quick, doesn’t take many supplies, and is a great way to use up some of those fabric scraps you’ve got left over from your other projects!
Supplies You’ll Need:
– red and green fabric scraps in assorted prints
– a 20″ piece of 54″ wide linen (you’d be safe in getting 2/3rds of a yard and cutting it down to size)
– straight pins
– glue stick (fabric glue stick or regular old Elmer’s is fine)
– sewing machine
– 20″ x 20″ pillow insert
– chocolate supply (my choice today is chocolate covered cinnamon bears)
1. Get your scraps organized. I pulled a bunch of my favorite red and green fabrics from my scrap bin and then chopped off little rectangles anywhere from 1″ to 2″ long and wide. You can do this with a straight edge and rotary cutter or just plain scissors. You want about 35-40 rectangles, depending on their size.
2. Get your linen ready. This pillow is easy because we only use one piece of long fabric for the pillow – front and back! We need to do a little prep work to get the linen ready to go so we know where to put the scrappy pieces as well as have the envelope-style back ready to sew. Lay your linen out in front of you (give it a quick once-over with the iron if it’s particularly wrinkly) in one long strip with the selvedges of the fabric at the top and the bottom. Measure 12″ down from the top, then mark a straight line across the fabric with a pencil or a line of pins, like I did. Then measure 20″ down from that line and mark straight across again. Then, measure 16″ down and mark a 3rd time, but this time we’ll be discarding the additional inches the rest of the way. It will be about 5-6″ you discard. You should end up with your linen looking like this:
Notice how the section in between the pins should measure a 20″ x 20″ square – this will be the front of your pillow & where we’ll attach the scrappy rectangles. (Make sure that you get linen that’s 54″ wide – this is wider than normal fabric on a bolt which is usually 44″ wide. Even though it’s called 54″ WIDE fabric, we’re using it sideways so the 54″ is actually our up & down part.)
3. Arrange and attach the scrappy rectangles. Start laying out your red and green scraps, keeping within the 20″ x 20″ square you’ve marked off on your piece of linen. I started in the middle, adding and subtracting my pieces until they all fit together – kind of like a sewing version of Tetris. Keep your scissors handy in case you need to chop up some of your pieces to make them fit. See how I have some tall skinny pieces that fit in some small spaces? Anything works here! Try to keep the pieces approximately 1″ away from all of 4 edges so they won’t get sewn up in the seam allowances when we finish the pillow.
Once you’re happy with your layout of the scrappy pieces, we’ll glue them down. I used Lapel Stick, a fabric glue stick, but a regular old Elmer’s glue stick works too. You just want to temporarily attach your scraps to the linen so they don’t fall off when we take the pillow over to the sewing machine to permanently sew them down.
4. Quilt your scrappy pieces onto the pillow. We’re almost done! Next we’re going to quilt our scrappy pieces down on to the pillow. I did this by using my sewing machine to sew lines horizontally across the pillow about 3/4″ of an inch away from each other. I didn’t mark where I sewed my lines, I just eyeballed it & they turned out (mostly) straight.
When you’re done you might have some strings on the sides of the linen from the quilting that you’ll want to trim off before we sew up the pillow for good!
5. Hem the top and bottom pieces that will make the envelope enclosure. We need to finish the ends of the linen so they don’t fray after the pillow is finished. I actually only hemmed the bottom of my linen, by folding over 1/2″ twice and sewing a straight seam, because the top of the linen had a finished edge already from it being the selvedge of the fabric. I liked how this looked and so I just left it (one less line of hemming to do!)
6. Sew the sides seams & finish the pillow! Lay out your piece of linen with the scrappy rectangles facing you, the shorter, 12″ piece of linen going up and the longer, 16″ piece of linen going down.
You’ll want to fold the top piece down first, folding right on the line of pins that we had put in place to mark the 20″ square. Remove the pins and make a good fold right along that line. (You can press with an iron if you want). Then, fold the bottom piece of linen up on top of the top piece, again folding right along the line where the pins were. Make sure you take out the marking pins though! Pin up the left and right side of the pillow to hold in place while we sew up the side seams.
Using an overlock stitch on your sewing machine (or even just a zig zag stitch, or a serger if you have one), sew up both sides of the pillow to finish the enclosure.
Turn your pillow inside out and poke out the 4 corners using a turning tool or pencil eraser. Stuff with your pillow form & love on your new adorable pillow! I’m sure it’s amazing. (Just a note: the edges of the scrappy rectangles are unfinished and will just fray and get softer in time. I like the look of a good, scruffy, worn in pillow & don’t mind the ragged edges. If you want to keep it cleaner looking you could use fray-check on the edges of all the rectangles or keep trimming the loose threads.)
If you love to sew then you won’t want to miss a day of sewn handmade gift ideas. According to Kelly is featuring gifts that can be crafted and A Southern Fairytale is sharing recipes perfect for making edible gifts!
I’d love to connect with you on social media – Instagram is my weapon of choice lately, but I’m also on Facebook and Twitter. If you make a version of my pillow, make sure to tag me – I’d love to see it! Make sure to visit my blog, Two More Seconds, to enter in the amazing giveaway for over $1000 worth of sewing supplies!