Lawson and I decided not to get a Christmas tree this year, since we are going to be away for more than a week for the holidays (and I may be gone even longer), and we didn't want to get a tree and then not water it and have it die. So I have been thinking about what I could do to make our house still feel festive and decorated without a tree. I keep coming up with ideas of projects to make (and Lawson has said several times, "You know, we can just get a tree if you want..." - but I have really enjoyed the projects I have done this year. I will have a longer post tomorrow about the rest of our decorations (once I hopefully get some better pictures), but for now I wanted to share these holiday pillows that I made.
I made these entirely with fabric that I already had on hand, and the trees mostly from scraps from previous quilts and projects. It's a good thing that green is my favorite color, I didn't have any problem finding a variety of good fabrics to use for the trees in my scrap pile! I think that I like the pillow with the two trees better, both because I like the two trees pattern, and because I think the scale of the patchwork block to the border is better, but I am really happy with how both of them came out.
The four tree pillow is partially inspired by the little forest quilt from Purl Bee. I had fun piecing the different trees and combining fabrics.
I didn't do a tutorial for these (especially since I wasn't sure how they would turn out) but I did take a few pics of the process:
I drew my tree design on muslin using a fabric pen, and then used the muslin to freehand foundation piece the designs. Then, I used the borders that I had drawn for the tree as the sewing lines when I sewed on the muslin for the background and the piece with the trunk. I used scraps and didn't worry about cutting them to size too much as you can see below... I cleaned up the messy edges after I sewed the background piece on.
I had some trouble sewing with the linen colored fabric that is the outer border of the two trees pillow... it has some stretch in it which was causing me trouble, and the bottom zipper area is not the most beautiful, but luckily you don't see it really when the pillow is in use. I made both of these with zippers on the bottom edge, so the pillow covers will be easy to take off and store for next year after the holidays. I didn't use any batting or do any quilting on the covers, partly out of laziness and partly because I liked the looks of them without it. I'd be curious to hear if other folks decided to quilt or not to quilt patchwork pillow covers they've made!