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Casey York’s new Modern Applique Illusions includes exciting techniques to bring extra depth and interest to your quilting. 12 new quilt designs use appliqué and easy straight stitching with beautiful results.

From the publisher:

Join secrets of perspective borrowed from fine arts with easy quilting methods to create modern quilted optical illusions. With 12 sophisticated quilts, award-winning designer Casey York teaches you to create landscapes that recede into the distance, objects that look three-dimensional, even fish that seem to swim underwater— all with easy raw-edge appliqué and straight-line machine quilting! Hand stitching finishes the appliqué with a clean look that still has a handmade feeling. These quilts look like they belong in a museum, but they are actually designed for everyday use.

To see more of the book you can stop by Casey York Designs for in-depth looks at each of quilts in her recent book tour. (And here’s a list of every review or project on the tour too.) We’re excited about the Winter Grove Pillow which features one of our favorite motifs in the book, trees with shadows. Casey has templates for you to download and shows you how to make this wintery design! You’ll want to make the full Grove quilt and every other quilt in Modern Applique Illusions

Enter to win a copy of Modern Appliqué Illusions with your comment below, and hop over to the Casey York Design blog for another chance to win. (Casey also shows you how to re-size appliqué patterns as a bonus!)

Designed by Casey York for Sew Mama Sew.

This pattern is based on the Grove quilt project from Modern Appliqué Illusions. I grew up in northern Minnesota, and have always been enchanted by the long blue shadows and cool light of winter sunsets.

For this pillow I used the amazing Italy collection by Oakshott Fabrics, which lends the tree trunks and shadows a beautiful iridescence; I’ve included a coloring sheet with the template download so that you can devise your own color scheme. This pillow cover will fit a standard-sized bed pillow, making it perfectly suited for using as shams on a twin- or queen-sized bed. For more information about Modern Appliqué Illusions and the projects it includes, please visit my Casey York Design website and my blog, The Studiolo!

Finished size: 26: wide x 20″ long

Unless otherwise noted, all measurements refer to 40″ wide, 100% cotton quilting fabric.

  • White: 1 1/2 yards for background, pillow back and optional quilting backing
  • Grey: 1 fat eighth for shadows
  • Assorted solids: 5 fat eighths for trees (I used purple, violet, pink, orange and yellow)
  • Solid: 1 fat quarter for binding
  • Batting: 30″ by 24″ (craft size)
  • Double-sided lightweight fusible web: 1 1/4 yards
  • Standard-size bed pillow (26″ X 20″)
  • Appliqué pattern templates + coloring sheet

1. Cut white fabric into (2) 20″ X 20″ pieces and (2) 26″ X 20″ pieces (see Cutting Diagram below).

Assemble the Pillow Front:
2. Print the Appliqué Pattern Templates and tape them together. Trace each one onto the paper side of the fusible web (templates have already been reversed). Make sure to transfer the numbers from the templates to the traced versions. I’ve numbered the shadow appliqués to match the trees they correspond to (Shadow 1 goes with Tree 1, and so on; Shadow X does not have a corresponding tree).

Tip: It also helps to make a note of which color fabric corresponds to each traced template. You can use the colors I used (noted on the templates) or use the coloring sheet included with the templates to create your own color scheme.

3. Cut out each traced template roughly, leaving about 1/4″ margin outside of the traced lines.

4. Using your iron and following the fusible web manufacturer’s directions, fuse each template to the wrong side of the designated appliqué fabric.

5. Cut out appliqués along the traced lines.

6. Working from left to right, position the tree appliqués on the background fabric in the order they are numbered, spacing them evenly. Remove the paper backing from each appliqué as you place it. Align the top edge of each Tree appliqué with the top edge of the background fabric.

7. Removing the paper backing as you go, position the corresponding shadow appliqué for each tree, aligning the lower edges with the bottom edge of the background fabric. Tuck the top of each shadow beneath the roots of each tree, making sure that the roots completely cover the tops of the shadows (shift tree appliqués left or right and trim the shadow appliqués if necessary). When you are satisfied with how they are positioned, pin all appliqués in place.

Tip: You may need to adjust the placement of both the trees and the shadows to get all of the appliqués to line up correctly. Don’t worry if the top edges of the trees or the bottom edges of the shadows extend a bit past the edges of the background fabric, as these can be trimmed.

8. Shadow 3 will cross over Tree 4 beside it. Very carefully trim the shadow appliqué so that it extends just past the vertical edges of the tree appliqué, as shown in the photo. Tuck the trimmed ends beneath the tree appliqué, making sure that the two trimmed ends appear to form a continuous line. Similarly, tuck the end of Shadow 5 beneath Tree 6, trimming if necessary.

9. When you are satisfied with the placement of the appliqués, use your iron to fuse them permanently to the background fabric, remembering to remove the pins before fusing each appliqué (make sure to follow the fusible web manufacturer’s instructions).

10. Stitch the appliqués to the background to secure. I like to use a zig-zag stitch with invisible polyester thread in the top needle and fine white cotton thread in the bobbin.

12. If you wish to quilt the front of your pillow cover, do so now. Use the second 26″ X 20″ piece of white fabric for the backing.

Finish the Pillow Cover:
13. Hem one side of each 20″ X 20″ piece of white fabric by folding the raw edge under 1/4″ and then again 1/4″ and stitching close to the folded edge.

14. Place the pillow front panel with the right side facing down. Lay the two pillow back pieces on top with right sides facing up and hemmed edges overlapping in the center. Align the raw edges of the back pieces with the raw edges of the front panel. Pin in place.

15. Using a 1/4″ seam allowance, stitch around the perimeter of the pillow cover.

16. Prepare 108″ of double fold binding. Apply to the covers as you would to a quilt, stitching to the front side, then folding over the back and hand stitching in place, encasing the raw edges.

17. Insert pillow form.