July 11, 2013

Welcome to the Christmas in July Blog Hop - Christmas Tree Topiary Pillow

Welcome, everyone!
It's my pleasure to present the first project

I've designed a free pattern, just for this event.
the Christmas Tree Topiary Pillow!

{At the end of the tutorial,
there is a GIVEAWAY, too, so be sure to read all the way to the bottom!}

The Crafty Quilter blog is where I first saw this gorgeous line
of holiday fabric...Winter's Lane
by Kate and Birdie Paper Co for Moda.

{It had me at "hello".}

Photo from The Crafty Quilter blog
Through the luckiest coincidence,
 I recently WON a fat quarter bundle
of this stunning fabric range!

It coordinates so nicely with my living room couch,
that even my son said I should use it to make a lot of pillows!
I'm off to a good start already.

I chose some favorite prints from my bundle.

To make the pillow, you need the following supplies...


Heat N Bond, or other fusible web for applique shapes
(1) 15" square of background fabric
Scraps or charm squares of several different prints
for tree "seed" appliques
(1) 5" wide x 3 1/2" tall fabric scrap for tree base
(2) 2" x 15" strips of top and bottom border fabric
(2) 2" x 18" strips of side border fabric
(1) 18" piece of Pellon 987F Fusible Fleece for front of pillow


(1) 18" square of fabric for pillow backing
(1) 18" square of Pellon SF101 ShapeFlex fusible interfacing
(1) 4" x 18" strip of fabric for zipper flap
(2) 1 1/4" x 6" rectangles of fabric for zipper extensions
14" zipper in coordinating color

Click to Download TEMPLATES for ChristmasTree Topiary Appliques.
Be sure to print using the printer icon,
and use the actual size or no scaling option.
(Seed shape measures about 2" from end to end
and about 7/8" wide.)

Trace a total of 30 applique "seeds" onto the paper side
of Heat N Bond fusible webbing.
Cut the shapes apart roughly, not on the drawn lines.
Place the shapes on the WRONG side
of the fabrics you are using for the tree applique
and iron in place according to manufacturer's instructions.

Cut the seed shapes out carefully,
following the lines that were traced.  Peel away the paper
from the backs of all of the applique shapes.

For my tree, I tried to suggest snow, covering the upper boughs.
I chose the lightest prints for the top-most rows,...

and placed darker fabrics in each lower tier.

For the base of the topiary,
draw the Base template 
on the paper side of Heat N Bond webbing.
Cut the base shape out roughly, not directly on the drawn lines.

Fuse the piece of webbing to the WRONG side
of the tree base fabric,
as directed by the manufacturer.
Cut the shape out on the drawn lines,
then remove the paper backing.

Lay out all of the tree appliques,
in rows as pictured,
centering the design on the 15" square of background fabric.
Fuse all of the pieces into place,
following manufacturer's directions for the fusible webbing.

There is one seed on the top, with 2 seeds in the next row.
The third row has 4 seeds, the fourth row has 6 seeds,
the fifth row has 8 seeds, and the bottom row has 10 seeds.

Next add border strips to the top and bottom,
then the sides, of the 15" square background.
Press all seams away from the center block.

Fuse the square of Pellon 987F to the back of the pillow top.

{Alternately, you may use a layer of batting and a muslin backing,
to create a quilt sandwich. 
 Personally I prefer the smooth finish of fusible fleece, 
and it doesn't shift during the quilting process.}

Stitch around the edge of each of the applique pieces.
I used a slightly shorter stitch length setting of 2.0
and it was very easy to negotiate the gentle curves,
even without lowering my feed dogs!

{If you like, you could blanket-stitch or zigzag the edges.  I just used a straight stitch this time.}

I stitched around the base, the same way.

For the borders, I stitched in the ditch.
If you like, you may add lots more quilting.

{Here's how mine looked on the back.}

To me, this pillow top seemed finished at this point.
Well...except...I decided to fuse one tiny little cardinal
onto my favorite bough.

{I love the dash of red this little bird adds...just like in nature!}

Now that the pillow top was complete,
to finish off my pillow.

{Here's the link for the PDF of the tutorial.}

I made one important adjustment for my backing,
since this pillow was going to finish at about 18", not 16" square.
I cut the zipper tabs a little bit longer,
so that the finished zipper would be wide enough.
The tab pieces I used this time measured
1 1/4" tall x 6" wide.

Here's the back of the finished pillow.
I think it's just as lovely as the front,
and I had the chance to use more of the tiny cardinals.

I added my signature label.

The finished pillow measures about 17 1/2" square.
It could be adjusted to make a pillow that is smaller,
(with no borders) or larger, with wider borders.

My new Christmas Topiary Tree Pillow
looks at home already on my chocolate brown couch.

{It's going to have to wait for a few months, though, before I use it.}

How would you like to WIN a kit
for making your very own Christmas Topiary Tree Pillow?

I like the way my pillow turned out,
but I'd love to put together a different kit for one lucky individual,
with all of the fabrics, fleece, interfacing and zipper,
for you to make your own Christmas pillow.

The fabrics and colors will NOT be the same as in my sample,
but I'll pick out something pretty...I promise!

To enter for the random prize drawing,
please comment below, telling me
what your favorite Christmas cookie is!

Comments will close at midnight on July 26, and 
I'll announce the winner on this blog post on July 27.
Please make sure I can contact you via email,
especially if you are a no-reply blogger.

Good luck, everyone, and come back any time!

Comments are now closed for this post.
Congratulations to Shawn, comment #27!
I've contacted Shawn via email.

Thanks to all who entered the giveaway...
good luck next time!

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  1. Thank you for sharing this great pattern with us.
    My favorite cookie is "Nissefryd". If I translate the name it is something like Pixy Joy. It is a White dough with choped chocolate and cocktail cherries in red and green. No Christams without Nissefryd.
    I don't know if internationals are welcome in your give away. But if yes, I too would love to be the Winner :-).
    Anne-Mette from Denmark

  2. Thank you for your great tutorial to an awesome pillow. I must inform you that I have linked your blog to the website of the Swedish National Quilt Guild Rikstacket. I thought that the Swedish quilters might like to enjoy the fun with Christmas in July.
    My favorite Christmas cookies are of course ginger cookies. We start to eat them one month before Christmas Eve and don´t stop until the next new year.
    Have a great weekend
    Britt-Inger in Sweden

  3. LOVE the tutorial! Can't wait to try my own! I adore the orange peel style patterns but I tried sewing them once (non applique version) and it was a disaster! I only just realised a few weeks ago that I could just applique them on!

    I too don't know if international entrants are welcome, but if so, I'd love to win this! I could do with a new cushion for on the sofa and this would be just the motivation I need to actually MAKE it! lol :)

    OH and before I forget .. My favourite cookie has to be good old traditional shortbread! But it's addictive! Before you know it a box has disappeared!

  4. I love them all...I love he Neiman Marcus cookies and also plain old fashioned peanut butter cookies and the version of it with a chocolate kiss candy on top. I lov ehow the majority of the pillow is applique. I tis beautiful. Would love to make one in my colors of aqua that I use for christmas now.

  5. My favorite cookies are Peanut Butter Blossoms - peanut butter cookies w/ Hershey kisses!

  6. Great fabric for a fun project. Lovely pattern.

  7. My favorite Christmas cookie is gingersnaps dipped in white chocolate. Love them. Thanks for sharing this project with us.

  8. Love the pillow! Got to go with Shortbread for my favourite! But I love baking cookie so I always have a great variety at Christmas!!

  9. Happy for this blog hop where you give us new design things and lovely insiration.The fabrics are just georgious too.

  10. Amy,
    The pillow is just beautiful!!! Fantastic job!

  11. I love your pillow, Amy! I must make one for myself and it will match perfectly with my Winter Seeds Table Topper. Thank you for a great tutorial and for being the first to go in the Blog Hop. You have set the bar high!
    Julie @ The Crafty Quilter

  12. Beautiful design! The fabric is just so perfect for christmas. I love that warm brown background color and the addition of the tiny little cardinal :D.

    My favorite Christmas cookie is the NY Times Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe. I make it every year and it is always a hit.

  13. Beautiful pillow!! I just finished a quilt with this fabric!

  14. Love this pillow! My favorite cookie is white chocolate chip!!

  15. Ooh, my favorite treat at Christmas is a simple triangle of pie crust dough sprinkled with cinnamon suger and then rolled up then baked, with a bit of glaze on top. My neighbor makes them every year and brings some over for the family.

  16. Great pillow - I love the fabrics, especially the cardinals!
    I love shortbread!

  17. Great pillow Amy! Thanks so much for the cute pattern and the tutorial too. I just love the fabrics you used... the cardinals are so cute. : ) My favorite cookie is oatmeal with coconut and walnuts. Yum! I like to bake them so that they're somewhat soft - they just melt in your mouth!
    Hope you have a great weekend. Thanks again!
    Dawn : )

  18. Your pillow is so so cute. My fav xmas cookie is Thumbprint Cookie with raspberry jam. My sister makes them every year and they are a favorite of the whole family. Thanks for the giveaway.

  19. Love the pillow...thank you so much for sharing the tutorial! My favorite Christmas cookie is Wienerstube. It is an Austrian chocolate and black pepper cookie. I can eat these anytime of the year; they are so good!

  20. Your pillow is gorgeous. Thanks for the tutorial.
    In Spain the Christmas cracker is the polvorón. Made from almonds and lard
    Greetings from Barcelona

  21. My favorite cookies is the traditional Shortbread cookie. Enjoy them when a child and still love them and make them every year. Awesome fabric and pattern. Thanks for the giveaway.

  22. My favorite cookies is the traditional Shortbread cookie. Enjoy them when a child and still love them and make them every year. Awesome fabric and pattern. Thanks for the giveaway.

  23. Beautiful pattern...love the back of the pillow :) My favorite cookie is Swedish Gingerbread cookies!

  24. Beautiful pillow and yummy Mexican wedding cake cookies....priceless!!

  25. Very nice pillow! My favorite Christmas cookie is Spritz...have to make them every year.

  26. Lovely pillow and great tutorial! Lovely to think Christmas on this very warm day! My favorite Christmas cookie is a gumdrop bar from my sweet mother's recipe! They not only taste terrific, but they look like Christmas!

  27. Hi, it's not really a cookie, but could be if you shape it. haha It is my mothers chocolate fudge. So Yummy!!!
    Thank you for the giveaway, that applique looks like I may be able to handle that. :)
    (smjohns63 at yahoo dot com)

  28. Love the pillow - thanks for the tutorial. My favorite cookie that I bake dozens of at Christmas Pecan Butterscotch Chip. Thanks.

  29. This is so very pretty! I must try to get this month's project made! :) Perhaps this pillow will be the one. My favorite Christmas cookie is an chocolate dipped almond cookie. Yum!!

  30. Your pillow is lovely! Thank you for the great tut. My favourite Christmas cookie is yummy buttery shortbread.

  31. Great look for a pillow! My favorite cookie would be Choco Cherry. It's like a chocoate chip but has cherries and nuts in it.

  32. Favorite Christmas cookie...there are so many but to choose just one. It would have to be Chocolate, Chocolate Chip Merangue . My mom also made plain with coconut and plain with chocolate chips. Thanks for the cute tut.
    thelady at hotmail.com

  33. Wonderful pillow.Thanks for the pattern and tutorial.My favorite christmas cookie is polvorón.Thanks!!

  34. My favorite Christmas cookie it the sugar cookie with icing on it. thanks

  35. Amy, what a wonderful tutorial. Reading it made a pleasant break in my work day and has me dreaming about playing with my fabric stash. My favorite holiday cookie -well it has to be a tie between gingersnaps and russian tea cakes.

  36. Nice pillow design! My favorite Christmas cookies are thin ginger cutout trees with pale green lime frosting. Mmmmmmm.

  37. What a lovely pillow!! It would look nice on my white couch...My favorite cookie is the sugar cut out cookies and have my grandchildren come over and frost and decorate. Thanks for sharing.

  38. I love special Christmas cookies, like sugar cookies that have been painstakingly decorated. My eyes feast as much as my tummy does - especially if they've been made with butter!

  39. Nice pillow tutorial! My favorite cookie is Snickerdoodles.

  40. Your fabric choice is so perfect! My favorite Christmas cookie is macadamia nut tea cakes. Thanks for the giveaway!

  41. Love the fabric and the clever way you have used it for the snow laden branches, and the little cardinal addition! Just beautiful. I love making gingerbread men cookies at Christmas with the gorgeous children in my Kindergarten class - I have 23 little bundles of delight!

  42. my favorite christmas cookie is called Ammonia Cookies, (uses baker's ammonia), it's a Mennonite recipe ;) i'm going to make this pillow even if i don't win. lol

  43. I absolutely love this pillow. I will try to find time to make one. I really love the fabric line. You're in trouble, because now I really want that fabric line! LOL. Thanks for the free tute! You are so clever with the little cardinal on there. Would love a kit and would totally trust your judgement on fabric! LOL.

    Favorite Christmas cookie? Hmmm.....I like Christmas candy more than cookies, but, if I had to pick one, I'd have to say sugar cookies. :-) (I used to hate them, but now I love them. What's up with that?)

  44. What a beautiful pillow! I love the straight stitch appliqué, it suits the modern look of the tree and the colours are lovely. My favourite cookie is 'mandelflarn'. They are basically chopped almonds and butter, held together with a little flour, sugar and milk. They spread on the baking tray and look like lace. When I take them out of the oven I hang them over a broom handle to make them curved. Greetings from Norway!

  45. Gorgeous pillow! My favorite Christmas cookie is frosted sugar cookies - YUMMMM! Tradition is that I make the dough, my kids (still at age 21 and 23) cut out the cookies, then we bake them. The next day or so the three of us frost the cookies. We've been doing this since the kids were very young.

  46. I love that pillow, the fabric is gorgeous! My favorite cookies are candy canes, I take sugar cookie dough and divide it in half, adding in red coloring to one half. Then I roll "snakes", twist them together so that they look like candy canes, and sprinkle them with crushed peppermint candies. They are so good! :)

  47. Love love love this pillow. Colors are gorgeous, not the traditional red and green. I'm definitely making this one.
    Favorite cookie for Christmas has got to be Mexican Wedding Rings. A shortbread type cookie my mother made only at Christmas time. Yummo.

  48. My favorite Christmas cookie is the gingerbread men. Beautiful fabric in the pillow!

  49. I love the look of a decorated sugar cookie. When decorated with colored frosting and sprinkles and such, they scream Christmas!! Pretty pillow. Thanks.

  50. Very cool pillow! My favorite Christmas cookie is the chocolate crinkle cookie.

  51. Love the pillow! I love no bake cookies and fudge! MMMmm. thanks for the giveaway. vickise at gmail dot com

  52. What a versatile pattern - it could be made for any season. I love the colour graduation of the leaves too. I'm gonna make me one of these - which means it HAS to go on my pinterest board! Thanks Amy - another lovely pattern. p.s. Your zipped cushion back is an excellent pattern too.

  53. Lovely pillow,great colours even though they're not 'traditional' My favourite is shortbread. Thanks for the chance to win a kit.

  54. I love your pillow...how wonderful! Inspired! Good thing I am working on Christmas projects today!

  55. What a pretty pillow you made. Those fabrics are beautiful! I like the gratuation idea as well. As for cookies. I like the local ones we make every year.

  56. Your pillow is lovely and the fabric is beautiful. Looks like a fun project! My favourite cookie is a cut out sugar cookie. My granddaughters love decorating them. Thank you for the generous giveaway.

  57. Love the pillow, so pretty, my favorite cookie is the simple sugar cookie, but I just love it, although I usually end up eating all of the dough before it gets cooked.

  58. First business first - my favorite Christmas cookies is Orange Refrigerator cookies. You make the dough which has real orange rind in it. You put them in the refrigerator to set. Then after the appropriate time, you can bake a batch or the whole recipe. They were always a family tradition when I was a little lady.
    Second, I love the tutorial for the pillow. I think it would make a beautiful table runner, too. Our guild has asked the members to make small table runners for a "meet and greet" with our keynote speaker next summer. The table runners need to be on the small side since the tables are not really big for that type of event. Some will be given as door prizes and some auctioned in our small quilt auction. The table runners can be for any timeframe. My small stitch group decided that each of us would make one from the same pattern. Someone had already taken Christmas, so I used my stash (leftovers) from when I made quilts for my brother's twin grandchildren. I thought it would be cute for a baby shower. Now I have another great idea for a table runner. Thank you for participating and the great give away. This team headed by Julie is terrific.

  59. Ginger snaps are my favorite Christmas Cookie!

  60. Great tutorial Amy – I love the topiary applique tree! I also love your covered zipper back. Such a perfect project to liven up a home for the holidays! Also, I love peanut butter thumbprint cookies with a hershey's kiss in the middle. Mmmm!

  61. Your pillow tutorial is wonderful. Makes me want to make it right now! My favorite Christmas cookie is a marzapan bar. My sister makes them every year.

  62. I love Christmas tree patterns, and yours is quite lovely and unusual! Thank you SO MUCH for the great tutorial.

    Favorite Christmas cookie? Candy cane cookies, from the Betty Crocker cookbook!

  63. Thank you for the chance to win this great prize. Thanks for sharing your beautiful tutorial. My favorite Christmas cookie would be the sugar cookie.

  64. Gorgeous pillow. Whipped shortbread with maraschino cherries are my favourite cookie. Thanks so much for sharing.

  65. Beautiful pillow! Thanks for the tutorial. Thanks also for the chance to win the kit. Our favorite family Christmas cookie is a butter spritz one that I make for every family gathering from our tree decorating party thru New Year's Day. My personal favorite is rolled gingerbread cutouts with a thin glaze of icing. Yum! ... Happy Christmas in July! ... :) Pat

  66. The pillow is lovely. My favorite Christmas or anytime cookie is chocolate chip.

  67. I'm not much of a Christmas pillow kind of person but I'm loving this one. I just might have to make it! Love the fabric choice too!
    Fave Christmas cookie: almond vanilla crescents, yum!

  68. I just love this pillow. Thank you so much for the wonderful tutorial.

    OH my favorite cookie for the holidays is the old fashioned sugar cookie cut out with great frosting on them, not the glaze type but the buttercream type. YUM. I've been known however to eat far too many of those cut outs before they even saw their frosting. LOL

  69. Love your pillow and thanks for the pattern. I bake a lot of cookies at Christmas and I think my favorite would be shortbread (hope that's a cookie - if not then Spritz (Norwegian butter cookie - see a pattern???)

  70. What a gorgeous pillow, Amy - and such a generous offer, too. Shortbread, made to my late Dad's recipe, is my favourite at Christmas. Although my Mum taught my 3 brothers and I how to bake all sorts of yummy things, shortbread was Dad's one and only speciality and us kids were allowed to help him if we were very good and didn't eat too much of the mixture! Making it brings back many happy memories.

  71. How would I love to win a kit for this pillow? I can't even begin to tell you how much I would love it!! And thanks for the extra info on the zipper tabs. Good to know! I totally adore this pillow, Amy!

  72. I love your pillow, and thank you for sharing such a great tutorial! My favorite Christmas cookie is a "Hello Dollie" -- with lots of coconut and chocolate goodness all melted into graham cracker crumbs, pecans, and condensed milk. Yum!

  73. Great pillow - with great fabric - which I just bought some of last week and was looking for a project for it.

    Cookie - Mom's sugar cookies. The trick was to see who could roll them out the thinnest - my sister or me.

  74. I love your pillow. Favorite Christmas cookies are oatmeal wreath cookies

  75. i love this line of fabric, the cardinals are very striking. love your pillow. you are so very talented! my favorite christmas cookies are sugar cookies. babscorbitt@gmail.com

  76. LOVE IT! I would love to win a kit. I feel so inspired after looking at this! Thanks for the chance to win!!

  77. Your pillow is beautiful and your tut is easy to follow...thanks!

  78. I love a good old sugar cookie! This pillow is adorable. Going to make it:)

  79. Your pillow is beautiful.Thank-you for they tout.

  80. What a gorgeous pillow. Thank you for sharing this with us. My favorite Christmas cookie is a sugar cookie. They just bring back so many memories for me from when I was a child to when my children were little and we would sit around the kitchen table decorating them (and making a big mess).

  81. My favorite Christmas cookie is kiffel -walnut, moon shape cookie.

  82. Absolutely gorgeous cushion, love the little red cardinal!

  83. Beautiful - would love to win. My favourite cookies have to be plain fork biscuits (very like a shortbread).

  84. lOVELY PATTERN AND PILLOW. I love a snickerdoodle cookie anytime anyplace,

  85. Thanks for sharing Amy ! Beautiful pillow... Love winter's Lane myself...

  86. Thank you for the lovely tutorial.
    My favorite Christmas cookies are sugar cookies cut in shapes sprinkled with colored sugar crystals and Spritz cookies.

  87. What a cute cute pillow! I absolutely adore it. My favorite Christmas cookie (and all the time) are chocolate chip. Thanks for the giveaway!!!!

  88. Your pillow is beautiful! I would love to win the kit and make it for my daughter's new Mother-in-law. This will be their first Christmas together. I absolutely love Christmas sugar cookies with all the different toppings!

    Thanks a lot for the tutorial!

  89. I would have to say that I don't have one particular cookie but anything with coconut, caramel, and white chocolate. Thanks for the tutorial and the chance for a giveaway!