Holiday Sewing — some I can share without ruining a surprise

I haven’t been posting what I’m working on because it’s all for holiday gifts… don’t want to ruin anyone’s surprise.

So here’s Bender helping me celebrate the holidays!

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I’ve been making really fun pieced and quilted batik throw pillow covers filled with feather pillows. I’ve found really great feather pillow forms at the Pendleton Wool Outlet at a really reasonable price. They’re 24 inches square, and make a great sofa pillow for watching a movie or napping.

The first pillow I made is for a friend who had a birthday a week or so ago. I’ve and some pillow fronts that I pieced from batik scraps left over from some table runners I made years ago. The fronts have been hanging on the wall of my sewing room for a couple years. I finally decided this was a great use for them.


My friend likes green, so I added a green border to make the pillows read green, and I LOVE how it turned out. I know she’s going to love it, and it will be a nice addition to her living room.


Here’s the finished product.

IMG_0037This green one turned out so nice that I decided to make a pair of pillows for another friend for Christmas. They just got a new brown leather couch and they love movies and sports. Blue is her favorite color, so I went with blue batiks, combined with beige, gold, and some pretty browns to tie it in with the sofa.

Here’s a true look at the batiks. I just love the warm feel and the little pops of color. I went with a disappearing nine patch block because I wanted them to be casual and comfy, and not fussy.


Here are the four pillow fronts on my design wall.


I pieced the linings from some beige batiks that I had left over from a delayed project. Then I free motion quilted a stipple design in off white thread.

They have a zipper on one end, installed in the same way I install the zippers on my pouches, so that you can take the cover off and wash it.

IMG_0239I just finished them tonight…

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… which means that all my gift sewing is now complete!

I made some new shoulder bags for a couple friends for gifts, and I can’t wait to post pictures! But I have to wait until after Dec. 29, when we’ll meet for dinner and have our holiday celebration.

Happy holidays!

Peaks and Valleys


I’ve been having fun making my own paper piecing templates in Excel. It’s taken some time to figure out how to set the columns to inches rather than whatever Excel measures in. But Google is my friend, and I figured it out.

Here’s pdf of the paper piecing template for this panel:

Penants2 template.

It comes out to 12.5 inches wide with the seam allowance, but I just trimmed it to 12 inches once I had it all sewn. You’ll want to print it on legal size paper. If you have experience paper piecing, Just start sewing on one side, and keep adding pieces until you get to the other side.

I made a little cardboard template that I used for cutting the fabric pieces — basically added 1/2 inch all around one of the triangles in the template. Then I cut strips of my fabric 5 inches wide, and then cut those strips into triangles using the cardboard template.

I haven’t printed from that PDF yet, so if it’s not 12.5 inches wide, something bad happened! Let me know, and I’ll play with it to make it the right size.

I used the most recent template on three pouches that I made this weekend. I’m just loving all the pouches I’m making with the Kaffe Fassett Collective fabrics. And I’m having fun actually cutting pieces of fabric, rather than just using up scraps.

I absolutely love the Brandon Mably Jumble fabric on the rainbow pouch. It’s so graphically strong, but soft and friendly. I can’t wait to use this in different applications.

And, of course, everything needs a fun lining!


I also made a couple of pouches out of the same panel template, but with blue chambray. I love the chambray! It’s got such nice body and structure. It’s so much fun to sew on, and it comes out really crisp and straight. I just wish it photographed better. It’s not grey… it’s blue!



More fun linings… these both have the green Mille Fiore. So yummy!


All three of these Peaks and Valleys pouches were quilted with straight line quilting. It’s more structured than the stipple, which I really like. And it’s easier and less fussy. The walking foot is much more reliable than the stitch regulator.



Next project up: I’m finishing a patchwork batik pillow for a friend’s birthday gift.