When we started our pillow challenge I had just seen Nancy Halvorsen’s book Christmas Pure & Simple and I knew I wanted to do some of the projects. The Joy to the World Pillow was a great place to start!
I chose fabrics from 2 different collections to make my pillow:
From Rhapsody of Reds I picked 5515 Striped Glaze-Crimson for the word Joy and 5500 Musical Scroll-White on White for the background & outer border.
From Friendship Patchwork I picked 5034 Pin dots-Peridot for the word world and 6912 Happy Stars-Clear Blue for the inner border and backing.
The actual construction is pretty fast and simple; zig-zagging around the fusible appliqué words took the most time and patience. I did make a small modification–the original instructions are for an 18 x 18 inch pillow filled with stuffing. I wanted to use the 20 x 20 inch pillow form so I just made the outer borders a little wider and made an envelope style back. I waited to do the embroidered words until I had made my quilt sandwich (using muslin for the backing) so it would become part of the quilting.
I tried to keep my quilting simple: straight lines, stitch in the ditch, and outlining the word ‘world’. Then I wanted to try something new. I have always admired big-stitch quilting and this seemed like a great project to experiment on. I used #8 white pearl cotton and just went for it, going around each letter in the word Joy. It’s not perfect, and when I started I wasn’t sure I was going to like it, but now that it’s all done I’m very happy with the result. (Because the thread matches the background it was hard to get a good picture)
I still need to order the specialty buttons shown in the book but even without them I love my pillow!
A pillow is a great size to try out a new technique. I hope this inspires you to get quilting and be adventurous!