Saturday Series: Holiday Gifts

Hi everyone, Tracy here to share one of my holiday gift ideas -- quilted pillows.  I've been making and giving quilted pillows as gifts for the past few years.  They're pretty quick and I find them very satisfying to complete.  I don't really use patterns; I just start sewing stuff together and then trim the block down to fit my pillow form.  There's a boatload of free tutorials on the Internet which I frequently reference when making pillows.  Amanda Jean has a great one on how to make an envelope back closure, which is the only way I've made mine so far (no zippers for me).

I've made easy patchwork pillows using up scraps:


I made this one using scraps from my Big Poppy quilt.  I didn't have a full poppy, so I just cut what I had into strips and called it "Deconstructed Poppy":


I also like to do raw edge applique -- cutting out specific fabrics, ironing them on linen using heat and bond and then sewing around the edges three times (once around is not enough, two times around looks like you're trying to hard and three times around looks just right).  I use scraps to piece the border and then only quilt the scrappy part:


I made these pillows using the book "Quilting Modern: Techniques and Projects for Improvisational Quilts.  Again, I fussy cut some fancy fabric, filled in with scraps and then quilted everything loosely following the pattern in the book:


This pillow was made from the mini charm pack that we received for our "Take It With You Challenge" from last summer (I didn't take it with me):


This is probably my favorite pillow ever.  It was made from an old tee-shirt that my husband threw in the rag bag (seriously!?!).  I dug it out, fussy cut it up and framed it with some scraps.  This would make an awesome gift for someone in my family, but it's mine:


I buy my pillow forms from just about anywhere I see them.  Usually on sale at JoAnn's, but I'll picked up some from IKEA too.  I'm a bit picky about IKEA because some of their pillows are very under stuffed; they do, however, have some fun and different shapes and sizes.  I've also had good luck at Tuesday Morning.  They have reasonable prices on pillow forms, when they have them in stock.

Consider sewing up some pillows as holiday gifts this year.  You can use up your scraps and make somebody very happy at the same time.

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