Pillow Talk: Gifting Quilted Pillows

Photo by Art Illman

My adult children and I still exchange gifts at the holidays. This past year, I really wanted to make each of them something special but I really did not leave myself enough time to make each of them a quilt. What else might they like and use? Think, think, think …

Then I remembered Shayne Dickson’s “Bubble Up” pillow from Modern Patchwork Winter 2017. Shayne’s pillow was a field of fused circles carefully arranged in a geometric pattern on a pillow top with gridded machine quilting all over. And the pillow was giant–28″ square!–which made it fun and unexpected. Her design was clean and minimalist (perfect for my daughter) yet whimsical (perfect for my son).

I chose fabric and got to work. Immediately after returning home from the fabric store, however, I realized I didn’t buy enough fabric for four pillows–two pair–and had to return. Another trip to the fabric store, though, is never too much of a burden!

My adaptation of the Shayne Dickson ‘Bubble Up’ pillow for my daughter. Photo by Art Illman

I used one time-saving tool that Shayne did not–instead of tracing circles on the fusible release paper and cutting them out, I fused the fabrics and then used a die cutter to cut the 300+ circles I needed. And because the circle die I used was larger than Shayne’s circle template, I used fewer circles overall than her pattern called for. The die cutter precisely cut, and cut quickly, several layers at a time. I even had a few friends over one evening and they volunteered to help peel off the release paper while we sat and chatted! That helped, too.

Did I mention that I really didn’t leave myself enough time for a sewing project? But, perhaps, there’s never really enough time to do the things you love. You just have to jump in and do it! Over the course of two weekends–and a tiny bit of sewing on the morning of Christmas Eve–I successfully made four pillows that were wrapped and ready to go for Christmas. They were a big hit!

My adaptation of the Shayne Dickson ‘Bubble Up’ pillow for my son. Photo by Art Illman

I loved Shayne’s design and plan to make more pillows down the line. They will be great on a bed or as a floor pillow. There are several other projects in Modern Patchwork Winter 2017 that I hope to make–maybe a quilt for each child that will match their pillows. Hmm, I may have enough time for Christmas 2017 if I start now!

– Kristine

Other topics you may enjoy:


Quilted Gifts, Quilting Daily Blog
Kristine Lundblad

About Kristine Lundblad

Kristine is Associate Editor of Quilting Arts Magazine, Modern Patchwork, QuiltCon magazine, International Quilt Festival: Quilt Scene, Modern Patchwork Holiday and Quilting Arts TV.