Christmas Cottage Cushion - A Holiday Quilting Tutorial

Nov 25, 2015 9:00:21 AM / by Belinda Karls-Nace

Hello quilters and fellow sewing enthusiasts! My name is Belinda Karls-Nace and I am back as guest writer on the AccuQuilt Blog today. For those of you that are unfamiliar with my work,  I'm a quilting and needlework designer, creator, finisher, and teacher (and the author of the Samplings from a Blue Ribbon Girl blog)...and lucky enough to design projects and create quilt samples for AccuQuilt.

Today, I am here to talk about several extremely versatile GO! cutting dies: the GO! Schoolhouse, the GO! Rectangle-2½" x 4½", and the GO! Isosceles Triangle-5" x 6"...and I'm going to share a new quilting tutorial with you that uses all three - my "Christmas Cottage Cushion" (a festive pillow pattern).

I have been wanting to make a  GO! Schoolhouse project for quite a while and I finally carved out some time for it...and although it may look a little bit tricky, it was actually a breeze and I completed the entire project in just a few hours. This holiday pillow is a great decorating size, finishing at 21½" x 13½". I used scraps and a couple fat quarters for the pillow top,  gathering mostly traditional colors of Christmas and holiday quilt fabrics. The die cut shapes make this a quick and easy project - especially when pressing the fusible web to the back of the appliqué fabrics before cutting the motifs. My tip for this project (well, actually all my projects) is to press and starch your fabrics before beginning - it will give you smooth clean cuts and make your fabric much easier to work with...

So, let's get started with my latest quilting tutorial - it's a perfect winter project for a beginner or an advanced quilter...


Pillow Outside


Christmas Cottage Cushion
Finished Size: 21½" x 13½"

GO! Fabric Cutter:
GO! Fabric Cutter (55100S) or GO! Big Electric Fabric Cutter (55500)

GO! Cutting Dies:
GO! Schoolhouse (55344)
GO! Rectangle-2½" x 4½" (2" x 4" Finished) (55159)
GO! Triangle-Isosceles-5" x 6" (55016)
GO! Strip Cutter-2" (1½" Finished) (55025 or 55164)

Materials Needed:
Background Top - Snowflake or Neutral - 22" x 10¾"
Background Bottom - White or Cream - 22" x 3¾"
Red Print - fat eighth
Red - fat eighth
Light Brown - scrap or fat eighth
Dark Brown - scrap or fat eighth
Light Green - fat eighth
Medium Green - fat eighth
Medium Dark Green - fat eighth
Dark Green - fat eighth

Fusible web—⅓ yard
Backing fabric (for envelope pillow back)—26" x 14" (2 pieces)
Batting—24" x 16"
Muslin—24" x 16"
Pillow form(s)—I used two size 14" x 14" (I like a full pillow) - or you can create a 21½" x 13½" pillow form with muslin and fiberfill.

Cutting Instructions:

GO! Schoolhouse (55344)
NOTE: Apply fusible web to the wrong side of fabrics following manufacturer's instructions before cutting each of these appliqué shapes.
Red—1 Front (3½" W x 6½" H)
Red Print—1 Back (6¾" W x 8" H) and 1 Chimney (1" W x 1½" H)
Light Brown—1 Doorway (1½" W x 3½" H) and 2 Windows (1" W x 2" H)
Dark Brown—2 Chimneys (1" W x 1½" H) and (optional - I used a small hole punch to     cut one very small circle for door knob)

GO! Rectangle-2½" x 4½" (2" x 4" Finished) (55159)
Assorted project fabrics—20 (for scrappy binding)

GO! Strip Cutter-2" (1½" Finished) (55025 or 55164)
Light Green—one 2"x8" strip
Medium Green—one 2"x8" strip
Medium Dark Green—one 2"x8" strip
Dark Green—one 2"x8" strip


Lay out , pin and sew the 22" x 10¾" top background fabric and the 22" x 3¾" bottom background fabric to form a 22" x 14" rectangle. Set aside.



Lay out, pin and sew the four green 2" x 8" strips together to form a 6½" x 8" strip set.

Fuse a 6½" x 8" piece of paper-backed fusible web to the wrong side of the strip set.

Place strip set on the GO! Triangle-Isosceles-5" x 6" (55016), covering both triangles. Run through the GO! Fabric Cutter to cut two strip set isosceles triangles.


Strip Set


Lay out and fuse all appliqué shapes on the pieced background using the following image as a guide.


Applique Placement


Layer batting between pillow top and muslin.

Pin or baste layers together.

Machine appliqué all shapes in place and add any decorative quilting. I used a blanket stitch for all machine appliqué. I used organic wavy line quilting across the bottom to give the look of a snow-covered ground. I added some straight line quilting to create window panes.




Fold and press one pillow backing fabric piece (26" x 14") in half, making a sharp crease (this pack piece should now measure 13" x 14"). Repeat for second piece of backing fabric.

With the pillow top face down (wrong side up), place the two pillow back pieces on top, matching all raw edges. The folds will overlap in the center of the pillow top - wrong sides together, right sides facing out. Pin backing pieces in place.

Baste/sew all around the pillow unit with a scant ¼" seam allowance. Set aside.

To create scrappy binding - sew all 20 of the assorted 2½" x 4½" rectangles into one long strip, measuring approximately 2½"x 80½". Fold in half lengthwise and press. I used straight seams - if you choose to create angled seams, you will need quite a few more 2½" x 4½" rectangles.


Scappy Binding


Add scrappy binding to pillow unit, mitering corners.The straight seams in the scrappy binding do add a bit of bulk, so take your time sewing through all the layers.

Your holiday cushion is now complete - stuff and enjoy!! I like a full pillow, so I inserted two 14" x 14" pillow forms - or you can create a custom 21½" x 13½" pillow form using muslin and fiberfill.

This project would make a great wall hanging or runner, as well - simply quilt and bind as usual....and you can use a single fabric binding instead of the scrappy piecing, should you so desire. You could also use your favorite pillow finishing instructions and omit the binding. There are TONS of possibilities!


Pillow Black


I hope my guest blog post will entice and inspire you to make a Christmas Cottage Cushion of your very own (or...make it a wall hanging or runner)....and just think, if you start now, it will be ready in plenty of time to enjoy this winter and throughout the holiday season.

As always, I would be thrilled if you visited me via my blog, website, or social media - I would love to see your GO! holiday finishes - stop by for a happy, quilty visit - I thoroughly enjoy meeting and inspiring new virtual quilting friends!


Topics: Beginner, GO! Rectangle, GO! Schoolhouse, machine applique, Pillow, Blue Ribbon Designs, Christmas Project, Fabric Cutters, GO! Isosceles Triangle, Holidays, Tutorials, Winter

Belinda Karls-Nace

Written by Belinda Karls-Nace