Thursday, December 15, 2016

Plus Pillow Christmas Gift

This week, I made a pillow for my granddaughter's newly redecorated bedroom using the popular "plus" design.  Have you ever searched for "plus quilt" on Pinterest -- there are so many variations and I am drawn to it's graphic clean lines.
  After a series of photos and texts back and forth with my daughter, I settled on soft blues for the color scheme.  This darling print from the Heartwood collection by The Henley Studio for Makower  is a new acquisition for which I had no particular project in mind. 
 Grace is currently passionate about Harry Potter so I think the owl will be perfect! 
I'm expecting squealing! 
I pulled a few more fabrics from my extensive supply to give a variety of lights, mediums, and medium darks.
A few greens helped make the assortment more interesting.
 I sketched out a draft for an 18" pillow cover to help me with the cutting and layout process.
My plan is laid out for a grid of 2" finished squares.
Each complete plus requires two squares (2 1/2" cut) and a rectangle (2 1/2" by 6 1/2").
I laid out the pieces on my sewing table for easy access while sewing.
Starting with the center four pluses and comparing my progress to my diagram helped me stay on track with the arrangement.  It took longer to arrange the pluses for balance and contrast than it did to stitch the top together.  This design is stitched in horizontal rows, not blocks and pressing the seams in each row opposite to the previous row assures that seam intersections will nestle together.
I made a large laprobe earlier this year (I wrote about that quilt top HERE) which I'll need to quilt this spring and so decided to make this pillow cover a quilting experiment in preparation for the quilt.
I quilted it with a variegated blues Valdani thread using a walking foot.
The finished results -- a grid. 
 I'm not sure I like the finished result for a large quilt so I'm glad I tested the idea out on this small piece.
Once the top was quilted, I found a recycled zipper in my zipper box -- removing the old fabric was a bit tedious but I was glad not to have to make a trip to the local fabric shop to find it!  I hate to leave when I'm in a productive zone!!
 I used this precious print from my bird stash for the back of the pillow cover. 
The zipper installation went well -- and I remembered to open the zipper a few inches before sewing the back to the front so I could turn the finished cover!! 
The back!! 
It's on display in my studio for a few days until it's time to wrap it up for our Christmas exchange!
The Christmas sewing is finished!!
The Christmas knitting is not finished -- still two and a half socks to go!!
How about you?  Finished or still stitching?
Enjoy the weekend!



  1. Love the pillow! So many of the plus patterns have you cut all squares and I've wondered why. If I ever make one, I plan to have a rectangle in the center, just like your design.

  2. The pillow is beautiful and using the new stuff? must be Granmotherly love.:)

  3. What a good grandma you are. My aunt made me a pillow for Christmas when I was about 10. I still have it. Happy, happy holidays.

  4. A delightful pillow. Always love your process posts. Merry Christmas,

  5. Love the pillow and the back is perfect.

  6. This is lovely, Mary!
    I finished sewing up the one handmade present yesterday - a knitted cushion. I gave up rushing on the socks; I still have half a sock to knit for hubby but he does not seem excited by them. Two and a half socks would take me MONTHS to knit!

  7. Beautiful! I love blues and plus signs so I love this pillow!

  8. I love that you squeezed some birds into the design, Mary. I always think of you and your birding escapades this time of year. Sitting here watching mine come to feed right now, as a matter of fact. May your Christmas be merry, your troubles be few, and may you keep any snow that comes our way this week! Cheers to you and your beautiful projects!

  9. Your pillow looks wonderful! Good color placement.