Thursday, July 21, 2016

12 Days of Christmas in July Blog Hop

Welcome to my stop on the 12 Days of Christmas in July Blog Hop, organized by Sarah over at Confessions of a Fabric Addict. A big thank you to Sarah, for organizing and hosting this blog hop! Be sure to check out the other bloggers' posts, too, including Michele at Crayon Box Studio who is also posting today.

I'm planning some hand-made Christmas gifts this year. But they're not made of Christmas fabrics; instead I've chosen colors that I know will appeal to the recipients. 
Monogrammed Pillows for Christmas Gifts

My husband and I celebrate Christmas with his sister's extended family including her in-laws. So I'm making monogrammed pillows for D and M.  I chose orange for D, her favorite color, and raspberry for M, the accent color in her living room. So, no Christmas colors or holiday-themed fabrics here. But I've made a good start on my hand-made gifts, and I think the recipients will like them. 

These pillow covers were so easy to make that I'm sharing a tutorial here. There's plenty of time between now and Christmas, and these don't take very long at all. 

Monogrammed Pillow Tutorial for 
12 Days of Christmas in July Blog Hop

Pillow size 16”. Skill level: Confident beginner. 


- Printer and paper
- Freezer paper
- Feature fabric for applique, approximately 8” x 10”
- Wonder Under # 805, approximately 8” x 10”
- Background fabric, 1-1/8 yards
- Thread: 
            To match background fabric 
            Optional, Mono-Poly invisible thread or thread color to match fabric for applique
- One sheet of gift tissue paper or stabilizer of your choice
- Muslin or lining fabric, 1-1/8 yards
- Batting scraps:
One piece 19” x 19”
Two pieces 19” x 12-1/2”
- Binding, two WOF (width-of-fabric) strips cut 3” wide

Preparation and testing

1. Determine monogram font and size. 
- M font is Brush Script, Bold, 500 point size, landscape orientation, shown on 8-1/2" x 11" paper
- D is Times New Roman, Bold, 700 point size, portrait orientation, shown on 8-1/2" x 11" paper
Printed Monograms

2. Cut freezer paper to 8-1/2” x 11” and place in printer so printing will come out on the plain unwaxed side of the freezer paper. Print. Trim printed freezer paper to about 1” larger all around than the monogram letter.

3.Cut feature fabric for appliqued monogram to about 8 by 10 inches; must be larger all the way around than actual applique.

4. Apply Wonder Under to wrong side of feature fabric following product directions. Leave backing paper attached. 

5.After Wonder Under has been applied to feature fabric, iron the freezer paper to the face side of the feature fabric. This results in a sandwich of freezer paper, feature fabric, Wonder Under and backing paper. The applique initial should be face up.

6. With the freezer paper adhered to the feature fabric, carefully cut around the motif. Remove the backing from the Wonder Under.
Applique Preparation, Steps 2-6

7. TEST: before proceeding to the actual pillow cover, test applique stitching using the cut away parts from the applique motif.

- Position applique on scrap of background fabric and press to adhere following product directions.
Tip: leave freezer paper attached to avoid distorting motif; when adhered, remove freezer paper and press again.

- Place tissue paper or stabilizer on the wrong side of the background fabric and pin, keeping pins out of the way of the applique.

 -Using zigzag stitch or decorative stitch of your choice, stitch around applique. Samples are stitched using Mono-Poly on top, Aurifil 50-wt white in the bobbin; stitch length 1mm and zigzag width 2 mm.  

- Needle down
- Start and end zigzag in the middle of a long stretch, not in a corner; overlap ½” past the start of stitching at the end.
- When going around an outside curve, stop with the needle on the outside and pivot. When going around an inside curve, stop with the needle on the inside. 

Make pillow cover:


1. When satisfied with your test, applique the letter to the background fabric.

2. Remove tissue paper from back. (Disregard any tiny bits that may remain caught in the stitches; they’ll be sandwiched inside the quilting and they’ll disintegrate in washing.)
Monogram applied to background fabric 
and tissue stabilizer removed

3. Cut batting and lining (muslin) to 19” square. Layer lining face down, batting, and top face up; pin baste.

4. Quilt as desired. For curvy script I used straight line matchstick quilting and for Times New Roman I used FMQ stippling. 
Quilted Pillow Tops


5. Cut two pieces of background fabric 19” x 12-1/2”. Cut two pieces of lining (muslin) and batting slightly larger.

6. Layer and baste. Stitch 1” from long edge of fabric and then quilt as desired to coordinate with pillow front. 
Back, step 6 

7. Fold fabric away from edge along the 1” stitching. Trim batting and lining (muslin) close to fold, being careful not to cut the folded edge.

8. To hem edge, press top fabric to the back, then press raw edge under ½” and pin in place. Stitch hem.
Back, steps 7 & 8

9. Place right half of back right side up, hemmed edge to the left. Place left half of back right side up, hemmed edge to the right, overlapping about 5”. Pin all layers together securely; keep the pins away from the edges. (Note: photo shows 6” overlap; 5” would be sufficient and easier to insert pillow form.)
Overlap backs about 5"


1. Trim quilted top to 17” square.
Tip: If you have a 17” rotating cutting mat, separate the layers and use the back as a template. The hole in the center will enable you to position it over the center of the monogram. Trace around the outside edges of the mat. This is 17-1/2” so trim ¼” inside the marked lines. 
Trim top to 17"

 2. Trim the layered and pinned back to 17” square. Baste overlapped edges of back together.

 3. Place pillow back and front wrong sides together, right sides out, and baste around all edges. 

4. Prepare binding: join two 3" WOF strips and press in half lengthwise. Due to the thickness of the quilted layers, 3” wide strips are recommended. Binding will finish at ½” on the front.

5. Attach binding to the back of the pillow using a 3/8” seam allowance. Miter corners as usual,  and close the binding using your preferred method.

6. Press the binding away from the back. Pin, clip, or glue-baste it down to the front and stitch down by hand or machine. Samples were machine stitched down using Mono-Poly thread. 
Bound edges

7. Insert pillow forms. Voila, finished monogrammed pillows, ready for gifting. 
Finished gifts

Is there someone on your gift list who would like a monogrammed pillow? So easy and so fast. These took me two days, but only because I kept stopping to take photos and write down the steps. Start your Christmas making now and you'll be done ahead, with plenty of time to bake cookies at Christmas! 

Check out the other stops on the 12 days of Christmas in July Blog Hop. Sarah has the complete list over at Confessions of a Fabric Addict. 

Thanks for visiting, and have fun with your Christmas in July sewing!


  1. Those are really great Jan. So simple in many ways but also so perfect.

  2. I like your idea using freezer wrap to build a monogram applique. I have used freezer paper before, but not for an applique, what a wonderful project-thank you.

  3. This would be a perfect gift for two of my nieces (who received monogrammed quilts last Christmas!) Thank you for making a tutorial for us to follow.

  4. Thank you for a great tutorial! I would love to make some for my nephews!

  5. Love these, Jan! What a great idea, and so simple - thank you for sharing, and for all your hard work in making the hop a success!!

  6. I am sure the recipients will love the cute pillows!

  7. What a great gift idea! These would make perfect gifts any time of year too. Thanks for sharing the tutorial.

  8. Making gifts that will be appreciated year round is a fantastic idea. Lovely tutorial and with these and the quilt you just finished, you are well on your way to being ready for Christmas gifting. :)

  9. cushions make the best gifts, everyone loves them :D #12daysofchristmasinjuly

  10. I love monograms and your cushions are really great, I am sure your relatives will be delighted with them.

    Would love you to link them up to this month's Ho, Ho, Ho and on We Sew link party over at

  11. Beautiful! They would make such a special gift.

  12. Oh, what a lovely idea for Christmas presents. Thank you for a very nice tutorial. I love the quilting you did on them. I plan to try this.

  13. what a great idea. thanks for the tutorial. this year i am going with place mats for christmas

  14. HI,Thanks for a neat tutorial! Great Gift Ideas! THANKS FOR SHARING!

  15. These will be greatly admired and appreciated gifts Jan! I really love the stippling style you did in the D pillow background. Great directions!

  16. Great tutorial! I love the clean look and the lovely binding that looks a lot like piping :)

  17. Thank you for sharing these, they are perfect for a couplek his/hers, & a great way to showcase quilting!

  18. Very cool love the freezer paper idea...Tyty for sharing...

  19. Thanks for taking the time to show the breakdown of how simple this idea can be to reproduce. Great job and very lucky recipients.

  20. You've done an outstanding job at writing this tutorial. It's clear, easy to follow and has great tips to ensure everyone's success. I'll be making one or two of these this year. Thank you.

  21. Awesome idea! And your tutorial is clear and easy to follow. Awesome job! Thank you!

  22. Nicely done, and a wonderfully useful and personal Christmas gift idea.

  23. Wonderful idea, and such clear directions. Thank you! I'm going to have a busy fall. =)

  24. Personalized gifts are the best! I'm sure the recipients will be very pleased! Thanks for the tutorial!

  25. Can something like the closing on this be used for normal bed pillows? I could have sworn I saw something the other day about bed pillows so pillow wouldn't fall out. Thank you for the tutorial.

  26. Makes for a mich gift thanks For the tut.

  27. What a great gift idea - for anyone on the list! Thanks for sharing.