It’s that lovely time of year when the crisp, cool days of fall remind us that a winter wonderland is just around the corner. And what better way to celebrate those long, cold nights than with warm and cozy quilts, pillows, shams, and other comforts?
Our authors have ideas that will soon have home-decor accents dancing in your head like sugarplums. Let’s begin with instructions on how to make the easiest pillow ever, from the inspiring book Make Your Bed by Leslee Evans. Then we’ll follow up with a few of Leslee’s tips for making your bed a piece of art!
The Easiest Pillow Ever
This pillow’s front can be pieced and lined or pieced and quilted, or it can be just a single piece of fabric. The back opening is overlapped 3″. The instructions are for making a 16″ x 16″ pillow, but they can easily be altered to any size you want to make.
- ⅝ yard of fabric for pillow front and back or 1 fat quarter of fabric for front and ½ yard of different fabric for back
- 16″ x 16″ square pillow form
- 18″ x 18″ piece of plain cotton or muslin for front lining (for pieced or quilted front only)
- 18″ x 18″ piece of batting (for quilted front only)
- 2 yards of fringe or lace or 2 yards of cording and ¼ yard of fabric to cover cording (optional)
- 4 tassels for corners (optional)
From the front fabric, cut:
1 square, 17″ x 17″
From the back fabric, cut:
2 rectangles, 17″ x 12″
Making the Pillow
1. If the front is pieced, either line or quilt it to protect the seams on the inside of the pillow. To line it, center the pieced front over the lining square, baste around the edges, and then trim the lining even with the pillow top. To quilt it, center the pieced front over the batting and lining, baste around the edges, and then quilt. Trim the batting and lining to 17″ x 17″.
2. If desired, sew fringe or cording to the edges of the front piece using a scant ½" seam allowance or baste tassels ½" in from each corner.
3. Turn under one 17″-long edge of each back piece 1″ twice and stitch close to the first folded edge.
4. With right sides together, place the back pieces on the front piece so the hemmed edges overlap 3″ at the center and the outer raw edges are aligned; pin. Stitch around the pillow edges using a ½" seam allowance.
5. Trim the corners at an angle. Turn the pillow cover right side out and press. Insert the pillow form through the opening in the back.
Tips for Making Your Bed a Piece of Art
Start with a blank canvas, such as a white duvet cover or a textured matelassé bedspread. Then, splash on personality with a long strip of fabric—a bed runner that is pieced, quilted, and embellished with yummy, fun things like tassels and crystals that were formerly forbidden on bed quilts. Turn back the top sheet to reveal a band of color, toss on shams and a few pillows, and—bam! You have a beautiful bed!
While a bed runner is reminiscent of a traditional quilt, it’s more like the blanket that is artfully tossed on the end of a bed in design magazines to give a space color and warmth. It’s small enough to temper the “Oh my goodness, this is going to take forever!” fear. It gives you creative freedom because a bed runner is meant to be art, which grants it the privilege of providing the snuggly accent of a typical bed quilt or existing just for the sake of beauty.
Plus, bed runners require a fraction of the materials used to make a standard quilt, so you can feel secure in the knowledge that if you don’t love the finished product, it didn’t cost you a fortune, either in fabric or in time.
Four of the nine projects also give instructions for a “flip side,” which is simply a complete second design on the back of the runner. Even some of the pillows can be flipped. The best part about a runner or pillow’s flipability is how easily your bedroom can be transformed. A simple flip to the runner and pillows gives a whole new look!
Thanks for inspiring us to think beyond full-sized bed quilts, Leslee! I’m ready to stitch some bed runners—how about you? In Make Your Bed, Leslee includes instructions for nine gorgeous sets of bed runners with coordinating projects. Learn everything from how to make a pillow with piping to how to embellish sheets. Make Your Bed is 40% off this week only!*
Now check out these ideas for making the rest of your home snug for the winter.
This charming door hanger is a great gift idea from Kim Diehl. Large and small yo-yos give the hanger a richly textured appearance, while baby rickrack holds it in place on the doorknob. Find the complete pattern and a host of other inspiring projects in Kim’s book Simple Graces—40% off this week only!*
Jeanne Large and Shelley Wicks bring warmth to the home with this beautiful table topper and lap quilt. Strip piecing makes quick work of the checkerboard units, and appliquéd floral panels bring the designs to life. Get instructions for these projects plus many more in Urban Country Quilts—40% off this week only!*
For a fun tactile experience, try this fuzzy fleece pillow—it’s covered in circle appliqués. Complete instructions, including how to install an invisible zipper, are included in Sew Decorative, along with a host of decorating and gift ideas. Check it out—Sew Decorative is 40% off this week only!*
How do you keep your home cozy and snug for winter? Tell us about it in the comments!
*Sale ends midnight, October 26.