Jolly Ol' Man Applique Pillow

From his bushy beard to his songbird friend, this Santa Claus pillow is a wonderful holiday project that's a snap to make.


What You Need

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  • Wool felt: 1/2 yard of 35-inch-wide teal blue, 12-x-18-inch piece of red, 12-x-18-inch piece of antique white, and scraps of rose, light blue, light peach, and gold (We used WoolFelt from National Nonwovens.)
  • 1/2 yard of fusible web such as WonderUnder
  • Ecru quilting thread
  • Embroidery needle
  • Embroidery floss: red, dark brown, and blue
  • Four small black seed beads (for eyes)
  • 14-x-14-inch pillow form or polyester fiberfill

Download Pattern

How to Make It

  1. Preshrink the wool felt before cutting out the pattern pieces. To preshrink the felt, wet the felt under warm water until it's completely soaked; run it on the spin cycle in your washing machine to remove excess water. Because the felt colors may bleed, do not wash or dry different-color pieces together. Tumble-dry the felt on medium-high. Results may vary. As much as 4 inches may be lost in shrinkage. If the finished pillow becomes soiled, dry-cleaning is recommended.
  2. Cut two 14-x-14-inch squares from teal for the pillow front and back.
  3. Lay the fusible web, paper side up, over the pattern in the Pattern Pack and trace the pieces onto the paper with a pencil. Cut the pieces slightly outside the traced lines.
  4. Place the paper pieces onto the felt before fusing to make maximum use of the felt. Fuse the pieces to the felt with an iron for 5 to 10 seconds.
  5. Cut out the pieces along the traced lines.
  6. Remove the paper backing as you assemble the design on the pillow front.
  7. Fuse the pieces to the pillow front.

Applique the Design

Blind-stitch-applique the edges of all felt appliques using ecru quilting thread. When working blind stitches, pull the thread tight so it "disappears" into the felt; use small stitches, working just into the edges of the appliques. Separate the six-strand embroidery floss and use three strands for all embroidery. Backstitch Santa's nose with dark brown floss and the bird's tail with blue. Sew black-bead eyes in place.

Assemble the Pillow

With wrong sides together, pin the pillow front to the pillow back. Blanket-stitch around three sides using three strands of red embroidery floss. Insert the pillow form and then pin and blanket-stitch the opening closed.

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