Thursday, December 11, 2014

Joy Holiday Pillow Tutorial

 Hello and Good Tidings!

Today I want to share with you my 'Joy' pillow.  I'm making these for Christmas gifts and it is beyond easy and quick!

This pillow was my original, that I made last year.  It's a little different than the ones I'm doing this year, but here's an idea of what you could do too.  This version has a 'quilt as you go' border around it.  This years pillow doesn't have that.   The font for the JOY was  'Moderne Caps'  that I downloaded from for the above pillow.

So, onto the tutorial.  Now I didn't take a whole lot of pictures so sorry about that.  If you have any questions, let me know. :)


  • I picked out 5 different fabrics.  I used 3 for the block borders, 1 for the letters and the last one for the back.  I got a 1/2 yard of each - except for the backing, I got 1 1/2 yards.  I've made 3 pillows so far and I have lots left over.
  • White fabric - I have some one hand so I'm not sure how much, but I would say maybe a 1/2 yard, depending on how much you want to make.  Vague, I know. Sorry. :(
  • Pillow form - 12" x 16".  I got mine from Joann's.
  • Double sided interfacing

Pick which 3 holiday prints you want for your borders - or you can certainly use them all!
For the tutorial, it is based on 3 fabrics.

Cut 2 strips from each print, 2 1/2 inches wide, by the length of the fabric.
Sew together your 3 strips (1 per each print) - however you want them laid out.
(You will need about 1 1/2 strips from each print to make 1 pillow)
Press to one side.
Take back to your cutting table, and cut the strips again, 2 1/2 inches.  Cut as many as you can get from your strips to equal 2 1/2 inches wide.

Sew the 2 1/2" blocks together by chain piecing.  Sew together in sets of 6 blocks per set.   Press to one side.

From the white fabric, cut a piece about 12" by 8 1/2".  You may need to trim, depending on your blocks.

Now, take your sets and sew one strip to the top and bottom of the white piece.  Press away from the white.  You may want to alternate the strips so the ending piece isn't the same as the top piece.
So - see my picture above?  On the left hand bottom side, the green peppermint print starts the  bottom row, and the candy cane print on the top row.  This will help to alternate prints when you sew on the side pieces.

Once pressed, trim it up if needed.  Sew on your 2 side pieces, lining up your rows and making sure the prints don't repeat when they are joined.  Press away from the white.  Now, trim again and your ready to quilt it!

Get some scrap batting and use your method for basting.  I prefer 100% to spray baste.  Pinning makes me crazy.  So whichever way you want, baste your pillow top and use a spare piece of fabric for the back.  You can use muslin or in my case, I just used white fabric because I may or may not have a bolt of it lying around. ;)

Quilt as desired!  I mixed mine up and quilted them different ways, straight line quilting, cross hatch, matchstick - whatever you do, just have fun with it! 

Once you are done quilting, lets move on to the letters!

Pick a font you like.  For my new one, I'm not exactly sure what font I chose....I did a couple different ones...just pick one you like.  Bump the size up to about 400.  If the font seems big or small, adjust it to your liking.  Do a test print and make sure it will all fit in the white space.

Trace your font or print it via your fancy schmancy cutting machine.  I just got a Cameo and I'm still learning the ins and outs...and we aren't the best of friends yet, but we are getting there!

If you are tracing, make sure you are doing the font on the wrong side of your print, so it isn't backwards.  Apply some interfacing too.  I would personally iron on the interfacing first, then cut so you aren't cutting twice, cuz that's lame. ;)

Once you have your letters all cut, interfaced and pretty, lay them out how you like them placed, and iron into place.  Then applique them down!

K, now it's time to make the back piece.  I love the envelope style for my pillows.  It's super easy.
I also sewed a piece of spare lace trim I had to make it pretty.
There are lots of tutorials out there on making the envelope backings.

I cut a piece 16 1/2" x 18".  Cut in 2, at about 11 inches.  Fold down the long edges and iron at about 1/4" and then fold again.  Iron down and starch it.  Then sew it in place.  Then you can add any trims you want.  Again, I'm not going to go in depth for the envelope backing.

Pin in place, right sides together on your pillow front.  Sew a 1/4" seam around the entire border. Clip your corners and turn inside out.  Place in your pillow form and your done!

See?  Easy!

I'd love to see if you make one!  Find me at Instagram!  @robotmomsews


  1. I love it! I pinned it! I want to make it! :-)

  2. Fantastic pillow. Love it. Thanks for the instructions.

  3. I'm a little late in commenting - but I must say...these are GORGEOUS! I bet you really enjoyed having yours on your couch - so festive! Lucky gifts recipients!


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