Plethora of Pillows – Joy To The World Pillow



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!

Christmas Pure & Simple

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!




  1. Ann - September 2, 2014

    Cute! Cute! Cute! I like the big stitch idea and effect. The combination of fonts and embroidery is great.You sure are getting ready for the holidays!

  2. Winthur - September 3, 2014

    I love the big stitches! So fun.

  3. Katrina - September 11, 2014

    This is ridiculously cute!!

  4. Patricia Leon - September 13, 2014

    That’s really nice, a combination of light and nice color making it more attractive and wonderful.