North Star Christmas Cushion

 Is it ever too early to start sewing for Christmas? 

Yep, I agree with you. It's not too early to get right into that festive kind of feeling, especially after the year we've had so far. 

I was driving into town the other day and passed a hair salon which had a great big decorated Christmas tree in the front window. I guess they're super eager for some of that festive feeling in that space. I wonder if they have twinkling lights on at night? I may need to drive by when it's dark to check.


What's leading all of this Christmas talk? Well I joined Nadra of Ellis & Higgs in testing out her new pattern - the Bright Stars Quilt. You can read all about it on her blog.


The individual block is called the North Star block. I made mine with some Cozy Christmas fabric which is an older range by Lori Holt along with a white and silver dot background. Gosh I love this background low volume fabric. I bought a few metres from Spotlight a couple of years ago and have used it in quilt backgrounds a number of times, but am running low now. I really need to keep an eye out for some more.


The instructions provided are great and once the block was finished (at 14.5") I decided to sandwich it with some batting and quilt it. Firstly, I stitched in the ditch (URGH) and then used my hera marker to mark out some lines for some extra big stitch quilting.

I used a silvery cotton perle 8 thread for the hand quilting which really suits the rest of the colours in the cushion. This pillow is finished with a simple envelope style back and is all ready for the lounge this Christmas.

I wonder if I leave it out on the couch, I can start decorating for Christmas a little bit early this year - just like the hair salon has done.

When do you start decorating for the holidays at your house?


26 comments

  1. Lovely Christmas pillow! The big stitch quilting is just the perfect touch.

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    1. Thank you. I do love a little bit of extra hand stitching on a project.

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  2. Beautiful Christams pillow, no,decorating here until a week before Christmas 😃

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    1. My MIL is the same when it comes to decorating for Christmas - only a few days before. But then they like to leave their decorations up until mid/late January, whereas ours usually come down on boxing day.

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  3. Beautiful cushion and lovely use of the block....
    Hugz

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    1. Thanks Fiona. I do love the whole quilt too, but living where we do, quilts for Christmas aren't really very useful (unless we hang them on a wall or something).

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  4. The cushion is gorgeous & I LoVe the fabric choice.
    I might get decos out early this year too as I want to have a clean out of some older items. I just have TOO much to decorate the house with after so many years of collecting.
    Stay safe...xox

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    1. That's a good idea and a good reason to start decorating a little bit earlier than normal. We have a lot of older decorations too from when the kids were in preschool etc and tinsel that desperately needs replacing.

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  5. I think we will all be hoping for some Christmas cheer this year. I love your star cushion and the quilting sets it off beautifully x

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    1. Thanks Michelle. I do love some extra hand quilting on a project, plus it's a good way to use some of my perle 8 cotton threads. I went through a phase of buying them, but not actually getting around to using them as quickly as they accumulated.

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  6. That’s a super cute block. And as far as when to start decorating for Xmas, then I reckon that after the year 2020 has been (so far) you should start whenever you like!

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    1. Yep, I totally agree with you. Let's get into the Christmas spirit early this year ;-)

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  7. not to early to start sewing for Christmas.......the cushion is lovely.....

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  8. Your cushion is beautiful. Fabric selecetion and quilting thread are lovely. Love the hand quilting which just finishes it off beautifully. Well done!


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    1. Thanks so much Ondrea. It was a lot of fun to make and for once, I didn't leave it until the last minute so had time to finish it properly before Nadra's pattern release date :)

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  9. That made into such a pretty pillow!

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    1. Thanks Vicki. It's a lovely block - quite simple but very effective.

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  10. We love Christmas! My Husband completely outlines the house with 10,000 lights, but no ground stuff. I make all the gifts so I give myself a little break and don't start until April. Then out comes all the holiday stuff. Disclaimer: I used to teach sewing and quilting and had a "Christmas in July" class. So everything had to be made, patterns printed, photos taken WAY AHEAD of time. Absolutely love this pillow/quilt. And great colors.

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    1. Wow, that's a lot of lights. I bet your home looks fantastic at Christmas time all twinkly and pretty. You had a good reason for having your holiday things out and ready early with Christmas in July preparations. Thanks for stopping by :)

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  11. Your pillow is lovely and I agree, that background fabric is fabulous. I need to make a mental note to try something like that next time instead of reaching for Kona Snow yet again. Question about the big stitch quilting: Do the hand stitching thread weights work the same as machine threads, as in bigger number weights are actually skinnier threads? Asking because I attempted to add some big stitch hand quilting detail to a quilt recently and had a lot of trouble that made me think I was using the incorrect thread weight and/or not the best needle. I was using perle cotton #5 and tried several of the tapestry type needles in a hand stitching assortment pack. Finally found one that my thread fit through the eye and the point was sharp enough to pierce the quilt sandwich, but still felt like I was punching my way through the quilt and had a terrible time trying to pop the thread knot between the layers of the quilt the way I would do with traditional hand quilting thread. Also could not do my rocking hand quilting stitch with the needle and thread I was using, so instead I was stabbing the needle straight down through the layers, then reaching underneath and stabbing it straight back up to form the stitch. Is there a more efficient way of doing big stitch hand quilting? I love the look and would like to try it again, especially if there's a tutorial out there that could help things go more smoothly next time!

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    1. Hi Rebecca,
      Thanks for stopping by. The larger the number, the finer the thread. I've personally have never tried perle 5 but it is thicker than the perle 8 which is what I mostly use.
      I sometimes use Aurifil 12 weight but it doesn't seem to have the same quilty/dimply effect that I prefer (so sometimes double it up for effect).
      When it comes to needles I think it may come down to personal preference. I usually buy the packs of needles with various sizes.
      My favourites are the Clover Gold Eye embroidery needle packs or the Straw Milliners. The straws are longer and have a lovely rounded shaped eye which makes threading them much easier. Both of these packs I buy come in size 3-9.
      I hope this helps :)

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  12. Lovely! Did you use a pillow form? If so, what size? It's the perfect amount of fluff.

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