Christmas finishes

A couple of special Christmas present finishes today:


First up, this adorable gnome pillow! The pattern is by Kristy at Quiet Play (maven of all things paper piecing). I actually first spotted it last week when Amanda at What the Bobbin? posted a test block she’d done for Kristy. I told Amanda I was in the market for just such a pattern and the next thing I knew Kristy sent it to me! Quilt friends! Gotta love ’em.

The gnome pattern isn’t available yet but you can find many other adorable paper-piecing patterns in her shop.

I used this great Anna Maria Horner print on the back.


A couple of little procedural tidbits you might find useful:

  • I implemented a couple of straight-line quilting tips Rachel at Stitched in Color posted last week:
    • start by quilting a loose grid and then gradually fill it in 
    • increase the stitch length to 3-4

She had other fantastic tips but those are the 2 that were new to me and that I specifically tested on this pillow. Now, obviously, a pillow is rather easier to quilt than a large quilt. But nonetheless I think my quilting results were improved and I’ll definitely be trying these tips again on a larger quilt soon.

  • I’ve been using 2 1/4 inch binding (rather than 2 1/2) when I do small projects like this and I think it’s rather nicer. It’s a small difference but I like it.
  • Purely hypothetically, a “friend” told me that if she (hypothetically) bled on this pillow it came out with a little scrub by a cold, damp cloth sprayed with Shout spray n’ wash. Purely hypothetically because I of course would never bleed on one of my projects. Ahem.

It should come as a surprise to no one that I also made another Noodle-head divided basket. I know. I love these!


I switched it up a little this time by using different fabrics for the front panel and pocket (last time they were constructed from the same fabric) and by using different fabrics on either side of the divider. You can see my previous version here.


I used mostly Anna Maria Horner fabrics because the recipient is a bit of a fan.

Once again, I lined the pocket.


I don’t know why I get so much joy out of that little detail.

I won’t be spending much time on the computer for the next couple of weeks, as I’m sure you guys won’t be either. I hope you have a very blessed holiday season and I can’t wait to sew with you again next year! In particular, I am very excited for you guys to quilt-a-long with me!

Here’s a recap of the schedule:

  • November /December – fabric requirements & selection
  • January 6 – cutting
  • January 13 – assembling the HSTs and hourglass unit
  • January 20 – assembling the strips
  • January 27 – piecing the X
  • February 3 – adding the top and bottom borders
  • February 10 – quilting & finishing
  • February 24 – final link party celebration (with at least one giveaway, possibly more!)

See you next year!

(Linking up with Crazy Mom and, appropriately, Kristy at Quiet Play for her Paper Piecing Party).

28 thoughts on “Christmas finishes

  1. It’s hard to choose but I’m going for the noodle head bag as my favourite of these projects. You clearly enjoyed them all though and the recipients definitely will, so my opinion is irrelevant but isn’t it just nice if someone else agrees 🙂

    Thanks for all your inspiration. Enjoy the Christmas and see you on ‘the other side’ 2014 would you believe! It still feels like it should be 1979 to me 🙂

  2. How cute they both are. The fabric you used for the gnomes beard is perfect for a beard. The pants fabric is wonderful for his pants. Sweet! Merry Christmas to you and yours.

  3. So so so cute. I definitely use the 4 stitch length – to be done earlier 🙂 Your back is da bomb. Great fabric choices, lady. I love that pillow. We should do a pillow swap. HEEEEEY.

  4. Your gnome is so, so cute! I love gnomes and yours is awesome! What a great idea for a pillow. Another great basket you have made. I just have to get that pattern and make some, yours are so pretty.

  5. Love the gnome! It’s great that you didn’t use any solids, you’re braver than I am. I always lean on solids for paper piecing. I actually used that same print from Julianna Horner in pink for the bottom part just like you did (but it wasn’t in the picture I posted). Great minds think alike!

    Love love that divided basket. You’re on a roll!

  6. Oh my goodness, that pillow is adorable! and don’t you just love when you peek at the lining of something and it is as fun as the outside:) Merry Christmas Sarah! So nice to get to know you this year. Wishing you and your family a Happy New Year too. xx

  7. I love, love, love the gnome pillow and am putting him on my to do list along with the basket (just bought the pattern). I feel like I should just come to your house and make everything you do as everything is always so beautiful and the fabrics so gorgeous! Will finish my first quilt soon, thanks for teaching me to love a new “hobby”. Merry Christmas Sarah!

  8. Sarah your pillow is fabulous. Just love it. Thanks for the tips on the quilting. The basket is cute too. Best Wishes to you and your family for the festive season. Have a fabulous New Year! xxx

  9. That gnome pillow is so adorable! And of COURSE no one we know would bleed on our own projects. Pssshaw! 😉
    Have a wonderful Christmas and New Year!! ❤

  10. You are so ambitious! I love the gnome — who doesn’t love a man with a beard, lol. I got the noodlebag that I won in the mail today — it is BEAUTIFUL, and such a lovely Christmas present – for me! Thank you so much. I hope you have a wonderful Christmas, filled with love and joy. 🙂

  11. I have a question, oh Noodlehead divided tote goddess: Do I really need more than 1/2 yd of fabric for the outer? The pattern says something about 2/3 of a yard if the fabric is only 42” wide. But I can’t for the life of me figure out why? It’s kind of stopping me from making a whole bunch of them to hold all the random doo-dads Lucy got at Christmas. I tend to buy half-yard cuts, not one-yard cuts, so I’m hesitating because I feel like my fabric choices are limited. Please advise 🙂

    (How did the gnome pillow go over?! it was a gift, right? I bet the recipient loved it. It is too cute.)

  12. Pingback: Binge basketing | Sarah Quilts

Say something! I love comments.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s