You know I love house blocks, right? Complicated or simple… especially simple.
I’ve called this pillow Township. I made it a few years ago using one of my most favorite collections, Countdown to Christmas by Sweetwater. I had planned to make an updated version… actually two. One top is pieced and about half-quilted – Hometown Christmas by Sweetwater – the second top is still not officially a “top”… meaning, I have five house blocks made – Petite Maisons de Noel by French General – and that’s as far as I got. (I’ll share as soon as they’re done.)
You know this is Christmas in July, right? And since Christmas is about gifts, presents, sharing… we’re sharing the instructions for Township.
I also want to share the finishing for this pillow as it’s a technique that not everyone has seen. I first ran across it maybe fifteen years ago and I believe the idea originated with Lynette Jensen of Thimbleberries fame. Since she had many, many cool ideas and the pillow I saw was one of hers, that’s who I am crediting.
Binding. Seriously, that’s all it is. The front and back of the pillow are layered with wrong sides together – right sides out – and bound like a quilt. If you cut your binding strips at 2-1/2″, you’re good to go with a 1/4″ seam allowance. Since I usually cut a 2″ binding, I cut my strips at 2-1/4″ to allow for that extra layer of fabric.
I finished the back with an overlap and buttons.
Why yes, thank you, I attach those buttons by machine. If my sewing machine came with a foot designed for doing that, I know it’s because I’m supposed to do it that way. (Which doesn’t explain why it takes me six months to replace a single button that came off a shirt…)
Make the pillow front and quilt it using a thin cotton batting and a muslin or solid backing. Trim to size. Make the backing using a simple overlap, or a button or zipper closure. Trim the backing to the same size as the pillow top. Layer the two pieces with wrong sides together – pin the layers together on all four sides. Stitch 1/4″ around the four sides to secure the layers.
Optional ~ Curve the corners.
I think someone once made a template or tool for curving corners but I just use something round – a plate for a big curve, a cup or glass for a smaller curve. I suppose you could use a compass but really, just grab a pen-chalk marker and something round. (Insert winking emoji here.)
Attach the binding in your preferred method. I like hand-stitching it so I attach it to the front and bring it to the back.
For the insert, fiber-fill works but if you’re convenient to a store, I like the FJÄDRAR pillow forms from Ikea – 16″ x 26″ down-filled. (I particularly enjoy that the insert comes in a smallish, round vacuum-sealed bag. I’m easily amused that way.)
Stuff pillow or insert form.
C’est voila! A new addition to your holiday decorating – or a lovely gift.
Just in case you forgot… Click Here for the Township Pattern-Instructions.
It goes without saying that a Halloween or Valentine village would also work. As would a patriotic color scheme or something very scrappy. Or maybe just a really happy village for your kids or grands.
So get busy building!
And I hope you have a very happy Friday!