Yesterday at about 5:00 in the afternoon I suddenly got it into my head that I wanted to make a pillow for Canada Day. I quickly designed a project using the Canadian flag block in my EQ7 software. I got started tracing the leaves on fusible web and then had to stop to make supper. After supper I made the flag blocks and then my kids wanted me to watch an hour long show with them. I finished my pillow at about 10:50 p.m. All that to say that you can easily do this project in an evening and it will probably take less than four hours to make. 🙂 This post contains affiliate links.
I started out thinking that my pillow would be 16 x 28 inches but in the end it is quite a large pillow at 18 x 30 inches.
Originally I was not planning to have sashing:
But as you can see… that results in a big block of red in the middle.
So I decided that sashing was a must. If you are doing yours in rainbow colours or using alternating lighter and darker reds than you could skip the sashing and it would look great. Or, if you do not want such a giant pillow you could turn this into a table runner. Maybe have all the flags with the leaf stems facing the border so people on either side of the table would see the flag the right way up.
Okay, so here’s what you need:
1 fat quarter of white or white on white print for white in flags
4 fat eighths of different red prints for flags
1/2 yard for sashing and border
1/2 yard for backing
about a fat quarter size piece of fusible web such as Heat’n Bond Lite Iron-on Adhesive
if making table runner:
1/4 yard by width of fabric for binding
1/2 yard of batting
if making pillow:
36 x 62 inch piece of muslin for pillow form (I get something like 3 yards extra wide for under $15 at Walmart)
64 oz. bag of polyfil stuffing (again I buy at Walmart for less than $20)
The maple leaf applique template. Print at 100% (no scaling, do not fit to page). The maple leaf should be about 5 inches square.
Here’s what you do:
from each fat eighth of red fabric cut two 3 1/2 x 6 1/2 inch rectangles and one 6 1/2 inch square
from the white fat quarter cut four 6 1/2 inch squares and press into quarters with your iron to make registration marks
from sashing/border fabric cut six 2/12 inch strips
Trace the maple leaf with a pencil on your the paper side of your fusible web. If using Steam a Seam trace on the side that does not peel off easily.
Cut out around the maple leaf shape with paper scissors and fuse to the back of your maple leaf squares following the package directions for the fusible.
Cut out with paper scissors on the drawn pencil line. Peel off the paper backing and fuse to the front of the white squares using the registration marks you made with your iron to get the leaf centred.
Sew the coordinating red rectangles to either side of the matching white squares with leaves fused to them. Press seams towards the red fabric. Make four flags.
From one sashing strip cut two 6 1/2 inch lengths to sew between two sets of two flags. Press as desired. I think I pressed towards my sashing but it would probably be better to press towards the red if using lighter sashing.
Sew the two sets of two flags together into a grid of four using another strip of sashing between the two sets. Press towards the red fabrics. Trim excess sashing off ends.
Sew two sashing strips on the side of the grid and two on the top to create the finished quilt top.
If making the pillow lay the quilt top on your batting and quilt. If you wish you can back it with muslin before your start quilting. I just left mine with batting only. My pillow top was quilted with wavy lines about an inch apart and then I free motion quilted around the edges of the maple leaves. If you prefer you could zig zag or blanket stitch your edges. The fusible will keep them from fraying too much and we probably won’t be washing these pillows that often. If you do not like free motion quilting you can also straight stitch leaving your needle in at each corner and pivoting the work to change direction until you get all the way around the edges.
Make the table runner as above but of course layer your backing face down, then batting and then quilt top face up before you quilt.
Trim your top and bind if making a table runner or continue to next step if making the pillow.
Envelope Pillow Back:
To make the pillow back take your half yard of backing and cut it along the factory fold line to make two halves. Hem these edges by folding 1/4 inch and pressing and then folding another 1/4 inch and press again. Then sew down the edges to secure the hems.
With fabrics face up overlap these hemmed edges by as much as you would like. (Mine overlap about eight inches which is probably a bit too much as it was difficult to get my pillow form in.) Then lay the quilted pillow top on top face down and pin. Sew around the edges with 1/4″ to 1/2″ seam. Go around twice to be on the safe side. Trim off excess backing, clip corners and turn right side out.
Make the pillow form by folding your muslin in half and stitching around the three raw edges with a one inch seam leaving a five inch opening on the long side for turning and stuffing. Clip corners, turn out and press. Then stuff with stuffing to your desired firmness making sure to really get the stuffing into the corners. Hold the opening closed with Wonder Clips and sew it shut with your sewing machine. (It’s tricky, I know… go slow and watch your fingers.) Or if it’s really stuffed and you can’t get it under your needle sew the opening closed with a whip stitch or a ladder stitch.
Then put your pillow form into your pillow and enjoy! Happy Canada Day on July 1st! 🙂
I hope this post was helpful to you today! Whether you’re new to quilting or you’ve been quilting for years we all love cute paper to design on:
Sign up for my newsletter to receive this fun free printable quilt planning page, a free quilt pattern plus more exclusive content!