Christmas Village…

You know I love house blocks, right?  Complicated or simple… especially simple.

I’ve called this pillow Township.  I made it a few years ago using one of my most favorite collections, Countdown to Christmas by Sweetwater.  I had planned to make an updated version… actually two.  One top is pieced and about half-quilted – Hometown Christmas by Sweetwater – the second top is still not officially a “top”… meaning, I have five house blocks made – Petite Maisons de Noel by French General – and that’s as far as I got.  (I’ll share as soon as they’re done.)

You know this is Christmas in July, right?  And since Christmas is about gifts, presents, sharing… we’re sharing the instructions for Township.

Click Here for the Township Instructions.

I also want to share the finishing for this pillow as it’s a technique that not everyone has seen.  I first ran across it maybe fifteen years ago and I believe the idea originated with Lynette Jensen of Thimbleberries fame.  Since she had many, many cool ideas and the pillow I saw was one of hers, that’s who I am crediting.

Binding.  Seriously, that’s all it is.  The front and back of the pillow are layered with wrong sides together – right sides out – and bound like a quilt.  If you cut your binding strips at 2-1/2″, you’re good to go with a 1/4″ seam allowance.  Since I usually cut a 2″ binding, I cut my strips at 2-1/4″ to allow for that extra layer of fabric.

I finished the back with an overlap and buttons.

Why yes, thank you, I attach those buttons by machine.  If my sewing machine came with a foot designed for doing that, I know it’s because I’m supposed to do it that way.  (Which doesn’t explain why it takes me six months to replace a single button that came off a shirt…)

Make the pillow front and quilt it using a thin cotton batting and a muslin or solid backing.  Trim to size.  Make the backing using a simple overlap, or a button or zipper closure.  Trim the backing to the same size as the pillow top.  Layer the two pieces with wrong sides together – pin the layers together on all four sides.  Stitch 1/4″ around the four sides to secure the layers.

Optional ~ Curve the corners.

I think someone once made a template or tool for curving corners but I just use something round – a plate for a big curve, a cup or glass for a smaller curve. I suppose you could use a compass but really, just grab a pen-chalk marker and something round.  (Insert winking emoji here.)

Attach the binding in your preferred method.  I like hand-stitching it so I attach it to the front and bring it to the back.

For the insert, fiber-fill works but if you’re convenient to a store, I like the FJÄDRAR pillow forms from Ikea – 16″ x 26″ down-filled.  (I particularly enjoy that the insert comes in a smallish, round vacuum-sealed bag.  I’m easily amused that way.)

Stuff pillow or insert form.

C’est voila!  A new addition to your holiday decorating – or a lovely gift.

Just in case you forgot… Click Here for the Township Pattern-Instructions.

It goes without saying that a Halloween or Valentine village would also work.  As would a patriotic color scheme or something very scrappy.  Or maybe just a really happy village for your kids or grands.

So get busy building!

And I hope you have a very happy Friday!

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42 thoughts on “Christmas Village…

  1. This is beautiful and genius at the same time. I can’t wait to get started on one of these! Or two, or three,

  2. My friend and I had planned a trip to our local quilt today (where we took a class from you!) trying to figure out what to do for a smaller-than-a-whole-quilt Christmas project to use with some Sweetwater Hometown Christmas Edition fabric…and this post falls from the Internet sky! Thank you! Perfect! And perfectly darling!

  3. Why thank you my dear for the gift of Christmas in (sweltering) July. Do the rounded corners mean bias binding on such a small item? Love it Carrie, thanks.

  4. Such a cute pillow! And thank you for the pattern. My goodness these JULY squirrels are rampant!!!

  5. Love, love this pillow! I don’t know how you do all the sewing and quilting that you do, you are amazing. You inspire me to keep going every day. Thanks

  6. This is so fun! endless ideas for these houses. Thank you so much for the thoughtful gift! We will love making these 🙂

  7. LOVE THIS!! I even have some Christmas fabric I’ve been saving, but I also like your idea of a Halloween village and (my favorite!) a Valentine’s village. 🙂

  8. I love everything about this pillow! Thanks for another great pillow pattern! I really wish that I had bought Countdown to Christmas fabric when it is available. Didn’t fall in love with it until it was too late!

    Thanks too for letting us know about the IKEA pillow insert. I just happen to be going to IKEA next weekend…

  9. Really like this, thank you for the instructions and inspiration. I’m going to make some Kate Spain beach houses.

  10. Thank you so much for this great pillow pattern. It just so happens that I have been saving the rest of my precious Countdown to Christmas for something special and now I have found it.

  11. Thank you for the cute pattern Carrie – it’s a very cold winter here in Oz so Christmas in July is very appropriate this year.

  12. I love the binding finish, too, having seen it on a blog somewhere. So much easier and gives a lovely finish.

  13. Thank you for this pattern. I can imagine doing this with fall fabric, too. So many possibilities with this cute pillow.

  14. great pillow, and so fun to think of all the different themed houses we could make!! 🙂 Hugs, H

  15. So excited to see this today! I’ve had some of the same Christmas fabric tucked away (for years) for a special project. Thank you. 🙂

  16. I have tried to print this pattern about 5 times. I hit print and control P and it will not print. I would so much love to have the instructions for this Village Pillow.

  17. I was so far behind on my emails that I almost missed this one!! Thank you so much for the pattern and all the tips! Absolutely going to the top of my Sew Much to Sew list!

  18. Adorable! I’m enjoying your posts…if a little late! Just curious…do you have any “Countdown to Christmas” that you would consider selling? I started collecting for a Christmas Scottie Quilt a little too late! I need one more layer cake & some yardage for borders. I would be SO grateful!!

    1. That was such a great, wonderful Christmas collection and sadly… I haven’t seen even a single FQ of it anywhere for years. But if you’re not in a rush to finish your Christmas Scottie quilt this year, there’s something coming next year that I think you’ll like… something that will mix beautifully with what you’ve got. Just saying… 😉

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