Free Holiday Pillow PDF Tutorial from Maw-Bell Designs

on December 6 | in Sewing Tutorials + Patterns | by | with 13 Comments

Susan Maw and Sally Bell of Maw-Bell Designs and Maw-Bell Sewing Patterns have a new book out with C&T Publishing called Summer at the Lake Quilts.

The book includes six quilt designs, plus additional projects perfect for a picnic by the lake (tote bags, a pillow, and more). Many of the projects are great for scraps, and Susan and Sally teach you how to create lots of different textural effects with techniques like raw-edge appliqué and gathers.

One of the most popular designs in the book incorporates ruching, a sewing technique where you gather ribbon or fabric to form ruffles or petals. Susan and Sally write, “We have used a ruching technique to make borders for quilts before, but none has received such attention as the Indian Paintbrush quilt in our latest book… We thought it might be fun to make a little pillow with the ruching strips. That way, if you’re inclined to use this ruching technique, a small project might be a good starter for you. We used whites, tans, and creams with blue wool… Have fun.”

You can download your free Holiday Pillow PDF! Learn all about ruching with today’s project, and check out Susan and Sally’s Summer at the Lake Quilts. You can also win a copy of the book at Maw-Bell Designs this week, so head over to enter their giveaway.

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13 Responses to Free Holiday Pillow PDF Tutorial from Maw-Bell Designs

  1. Sally Bell says:

    A basting stitch is a long stitch, the longest stitch on your machine. Baste a stitch close to the edge of the fabric. Since the seams are 1/4″, I basted a stitch just barely inside that 1/4″ seam area so that it wouldn’t show on the outside when I pressed the seam. Leave the threads tails long on each end of the basting stitch so that you can use them to pull the stitches to make the ruched ruffle. Any more questions, email me at
    Have fun. Send me a pic of your finished project.

  2. Christie says:

    that detail is so cool!

  3. Nei Pori says:

    Button looks rather nice but my kids would destroy them in matter of minutes 🙂 I’d go with circle patches instead. Nice tutorial 🙂

  4. Christine says:

    What a pretty pillow.

  5. Anne Marie says:

    Lovely pillow – thanks for sharing.

  6. Helena Pope says:

    I love this, there are so many colorways it could be done in to give it very different looks, thanks for the great tutorial.

  7. Amy says:

    Can someone explain the ruche process in more detail? I have never done a basting stitch before. Is that something I can do on my machine? And how close to the edge of the fabric do you put that stitch? Thanks.

  8. MarciaW says:

    pretty pretty pillow

  9. Jennyroo says:

    So sweet! This pillow would work year round if I pick the right colour palate!

  10. Julie Warner says:

    I love the pillow, though I think I would probably use traditional Christmas colors for a holiday decoration. Maybe a red, cream and green plaid. Thanks for sharing this.

  11. Kritta22 says:

    sooo fun! I love the colors. thank you.

  12. Melissa says:

    Love it, thank you!

  13. Looks like a fun project to try! Thanks

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