Tag Archives: pillows

Scrappy Christmas Trees

October 10th 2015

Some scraps are just to pretty to toss, some might argue, “what can you do with such a small scrap?” Well today, I am going to show you how to make a scrappy Christmas tree.

Scrappy Christmas tree sachet

You can make it into a sachet, a pillow to hang on a door knob or an ornament. So gather your scraps, here we go!

As I sew, I like to tuck my tiniest scraps, greater than an inch, into labeled baggies so I know what line it is. The larger scraps are cut into certain sizes, but that’s for another day.

scrappy christmas tree 1 (2)

Here I have my designer scraps and some left over neutral strips.
Arrange your scraps smallest to largest like a wedding cake. 🙂

scrappy Christmas tree 4

Center the smaller piece with the larger piece, eyeball it.

scrappy Christmas tree 5

Sew the pieces together using 1/4 inch seam.

scrappy Christmas tree 5a

Cut your “cakes” into triangles, no special rulers needed! Center your cake on the cutting mat so there is a line down the center of the block.

scrappy Christmas tree 6 (2)

Cut from the center line diagonally to the corner of the last piece.

scrappy Christmas tree 7 (2)

Align your trees along a neutral strip, leaving at least 1 inch above and below ends of the triangle.

scrappy Christmas tree 8 (2)

Press, repeat on the other side. Scrappy Christmas tree 9a (2)

To trim your blocks, cut down the widest point where top and bottom strips align. A minimum of 1/4 inch is ideal but not necessary.

scrappy Christmas tree 11 (2)

See below how this “fat” tree has no extra 1/4 inch. (It will be okay!)

scrappy Christmas tree 10

Once sides are trimmed, trim the bottom of the tree.

scrappy Christmas tree 11a

Aren’t they festive?

scrappy Christmas tree 11b

Make trunk units. Trunk unit is a 1 1/2 inch square. Add neutral scrap to either side guess-timating the size of your block.

scrappy Christmas tree 12 (2)

I did it slightly bigger and trimmed.

scrappy Christmas tree 12a

After trimming, add stabilizer, either Shape Flex, interfacing or whatever else may be at hand. Sometimes it’s just a neutral piece of fabric (I like an extra layer between when I am using the Balsam Fir)

scrappy Christmas tree 13 (2)

Follow instructions suggested by package instructions for whatever stabilizer you are using. Trim as desired. When trimming I leave about 1/2 inch from the top of the tree so when it’s stuffed, the shape is not lost.

scrappy Christmas tree 14a

Cut a pretty backing piece and a neutral piece (or more stabilizer) about 1/4 inch larger than the front. In case you are worried about the tree on the right being imperfect, don’t. 🙂

scrappy Christmas tree 14

If you want to add any embellishments, do it before stitching the layers together. I added beads in the same color as the fabric for a little subtle bling-y effect.

scrappy Christmas tree 13a (2)

scrappy Christmas tree 13b

To assemble your tree, pin a ribbon in the center of the tree for hanging later.

scrappy Christmas tree 15

With right sides together, pin everything in place, aligning the bottom.

scrappy Christmas tree 16

Leaving a 2 inch opening, start sewing (back stitch to secure) with 1/4 inch seam (from front fabric not backing) all the way to the other side, DON”T STOP AT CORNER AND TURN YOUR SQUARE. I used the method for making corners suggested by Sew Mama Sew in this video. Sew all the way to the the end of fabric.

scrappy Christmas tree 18

Remove from machine and trim off the excess. Fold the sewn seam at stitching and start your next stitch there, back stitching a little to secure.

scrappy Christmas tree 17 (2)

scrappy Christmas tree 18 (2)

When all sides are done and you back stitched at the opening, turn and press. Push out corners with something with a point. I used a wooden skewer.

scrappy Christmas tree 20

You can fill with Balsam Fir, available here (or other scenty substance) or poly-fil.

scrappy Christmas tree 21

When using the Balsam Fir, I finish off the last bit of filling with some poly-fil for a clean finish.

scrappy Christmas tree 22

Hand stitch the bottom closed.

scrappy christmas tree

If you rather not stuff, use batting instead of stabilizer between front and  back. Quilt the top decoratively if you are turning it out or quilt as a sandwich if you will or finish it off with binding like a quilt.

Love, American Style

February 3rd 2014

 Welcome to day three of the Valentine tutorials!  I hope you are enjoying these projects and are making some of your own. I’d love to see them! There is a Flickr group where you can add your projects too!

valentine tutorial button

Today’s project was inspired by that show from the 70’s “Love American Style” I was very young, but I remember the song.


What you’ll need:

A template of a heart (optional)

Needle and thread, sewing machine

Star embellishments or buttons

An assortment of red and white ribbon

**but if you only have one roll that’ll work and it’ll just look more uniform SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

5 1/2 inch squares in denim and white and a 10 1/2  inch rectangle also in white


Once you have your squares lay them out like this.

(Let me just say right now, that I am so happy with how this turned out!)


Approximate the size of your ribbons by laying them over the white fabric, you’ll want them to get “sewn” into the seam, arrange them in whatever order you like.  Before you start sewing the ribbons on, make sure you leave the ribbons lying on the mat the way you planned it.


 As you sew each ribbon on, you will stitch on each end of the ribbon as indicated by the arrows.   **IMPORTANT:  You will want to loosen the tension on your machine (I did 2 numbers less) to reduce puckering and give you the smoothest look. You may also lengthen the size of the stitch as well, for best results.


Once the ribbons are attached, trim off  the ends and sew your squares together, then the rectangle.  Don’t  forget to press ON THE BACKSIDE, just in case your ribbons can melt!


Now place your stencil over your flag for cutting.


CONFESSION: This came out so nice, I did not have the courage to cut my flag. So I kept it whole.  Maybe that disqualifies it as a Valentine project? But I do love the USA! I guess I’ll re-post this for the Fourth of July!


Next, sew on your star embellishments. I saw a cluster of stars in my mind instead of rows, love that!


I added some fusible interfacing to the back of the “flag” to give it some body.  Add a nice patterned, patriotic back and sew your pillow closed. You can use this zippered back tutorial from this post over at Amy made that!  I didn’t have a zipper so I opted for velcro!  I  like the freedom to take off the cover if I want to.


Then I measured the backing. The top panel measures 4 plus 1 3/4 for overlap and seam and the bottom 6 inches plus 1 3/4 inch for overlap and seam:  

Notice below the 1/4 inch seam I pressed for the overlap piece


 I inch overlap for the Velcro.


 Pay attention to how you sew the Velcro on. See below:


I made my own pillow insert.  You can also skip the Velcro and forget the insert and just stuff and close your pillow. I don’t like outward pillow seams though.


Close your Velcro, then with right sides together, pin back and front together and sew


using a 1/2 inch seam.

Turn simply by separating the Velcro, easy peasy!


Put your insert in the pillow.


 I was going to add Rick Rack or trim to the opening on the back, but I like the “invisible” look just fine.


Now I wish had an “All American” room…. Maybe in the Summer I can work on that!