Monthly Archives: December 2016

Tree Block Patchwork Pillow Part 2

Sometimes, I’m fussy about my makes.

I couldn’t stop thinking that the center of my pillow needed an improvement.

I drew a tree.  Fussy cut the tree from fabric.  Fussy pinned the tree to the pillow, first lower, then higher.  Finally my fussy voice said “OK, you got it”.

Drafting a Tree

Fussy Cut Tree

I hand appliqued the tree with ends turned under, and hand quilted around the tree.

Tree Block Pillow with Center Tree

Tree Block Pillow with Applique Tree

The bottom row doesn’t really show up because of the very plump pillow form.  So I thought the center was lacking and needed a focal point.

The before and after:

Tree Pillow Before and After

Much better!  If only all of my mistakes were so easy to make right.

Do you listen to your fussy voice until it’s satisfied or do you accept perceived flaws and call it a day?







Tree Block Patchwork Pillow

I love leftovers!  Especially fabric leftovers.

My Christmas project this year used seven leftover tree blocks from my “A Home in the Forest” wall quilt, patchwork rectangles, batting with hand quilting, and red piping to make an pillow cover.  I quilted little tree shapes on some of the patchwork squares.

Tree pillow cover with piping

Making my own piping was worth the extra steps.  I wanted to match the binding on my “A Home in the Forest” wall quilt.

Home in the Forest Quilt binding

A home in the forest quilt

I cut 1 and 1/2 inch bias strips and encased the clothesline cord using the machine’s zipper foot.

Then I moved my needle closer to the piping and sewed it to the quilted front of the pillow.  The edge of the fabric on the piping has to be clipped as you come to the corners to help the piping lie flat when you make the sharp turns.

Lastly, I put the two pieces for the envelope back face down (wrong side up) on top of the pillow front and moved my needle all the way to the left to get as close to the piping as possible.  In this step you can’t actually see the piping, but you can feel and see the raised ridge it makes.

pillow envelope back

My completed top before sewing front and back together was 14 and 1/2 inches to fit a 14 inch square pillow form. I cut the fabric for the back 20 inches long to allow for the overlap, then cut it in half and hemmed both sides.

Tree block patchwork pillow 14inch form

Tree Block Pillow on couch

In hindsight, I should have arranged the squares differently and added a tree block to the middle row so that a tree would be the focal point in the center instead of the two patchwork squares.  With the chubbiness of the pillow form the bottom trees aren’t as visible.  Oh, well.  I don’t want to take it apart. I was thinking about appliqueing a tree to the center.  Maybe I will give it a try before putting it away because I feel it needs a “fix” to be artistically pleasing. Do you agree or am I being obsessive?

Unlike most of my sewing, I was more process oriented than product oriented when making this pillow. It was fun, relaxing, and soothing to create.

The tree blocks are from Amy Smart, who writes the blog “Diary of a Quilter”.  She wrote tutorials for both a small size block and a larger size for big quilts. This is a fun block to make as the cuts to make the tree are done freehand instead of by measuring.  You can’t go wrong!

Thank you for reading along this year on my sewing and crafting journey.  I appreciate your comments and encouragement as I try to improve my sewing and write posts that are interesting for you to read.

Happy New Year!












Twas the week before Christmas

Twas the week before Christmas;

The tree was put up

And decorated with ornaments made by my hands.

Knitted socks, felt socks, and little knitted bears,

Rustic cloth stars, and cinnamon stars with a sharp scent.

A few cross stitched scenes thrown in as well,

With a burlap and poinsettia wreath on the inside front door.

What’s left to do?

Well,  I took out 7 tree blocks left from the quilt of last winter,

7 tree blocks

Arranged them with patchwork and red piping so bright,

backing and cord for piping

And made something new with an idea long in mind.

I pieced and hand quilted while music was playing,

batting back hand quilting tree blocks

Enjoying the process, the making, the peace,

tree patchwork

Away from the hustle and bustle that comes with the season.

clove entrusted oranges

I finished in time, the details will come later,

I haven’t the time to hone a new post.

The rain stopped and the dog put his head up

To howl and to tell me “Let’s go for a walk”.



Before I go, let me stop and say:

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and a

Happy New Year to all!

(My apologies to Clement Moore)