Sew a Reversible Halloween/Thanksgiving Pillow

From scary cat to classic turkey, this clever applique pillow makes it easy to transition your decor from Halloween to Thanksgiving.

What You Need for Pillow Toppers

  • 1/2 yard blue print (applique foundations)
  • 1/3 yard solid black (appliques)
  • Scraps of yellow and off-white felted wool (appliques)
  • Scraps of pink print, orange plaid, gold plaid, yellow check, dark brown print, rust print, brown plaid, mottled gold, and yellow print (appliques)
  • 1/4 yard mottled brown (turkey applique)
  • 3/8 yard blue plaid (binding, ties)
  • 2  15-inch squares backing fabric
  • 2  15-inch squares batting
  • 2  1/8-inch diameter black beads
  • Lightweight fusible web
  • Purchased 18-inch-square pillow

Download Applique Patterns

Finished Quilts

12 1/2 inches square

Unless otherwise specified, quantities are for 44/45-inch-wide, 100% cotton fabrics. All measurements include a 1/4-inch seam allowance. Sew with right sides together unless otherwise stated.

Cut Fabrics

To make the best use of your fabrics, cut pieces in the following order. To use fusible web for appliqueing, complete the following steps.

  1. Lay fusible web, paper side up, over patterns.
  2. Use a pencil to trace each pattern the number of times indicated in cutting instructions, leaving 1/2 inch between tracings.
  3. Cut out each fusible-web shape roughly 1/4-inch outside the traced lines.
  4. Following the manufacturer's instructions, press fusible-web shapes onto backs of designated fabrics; let cool.
  5. Cut out fabric shapes on drawn lines and peel off paper backings.
  • From blue print, cut two 12-1/2 -inch squares
  • From solid black, cut one each of patterns A and B, 2 of Pattern D
  • From yellow wool, cut two of Pattern C
  • From off-white wool, cut two 1/4-x-3-inch strips
  • From pink print, cut one of Pattern E
  • From orange plaid, cut two of letter O, one each of letter B and patterns F, G, and W
  • From gold plaid, cut one of Pattern H
  • From yellow check, cut one of Pattern I
  • From dark brown print, cut one each of patterns K, L, M, N, and O
  • From rust print, cut one each of patterns P, Q, R, S, and T
  • From brown plaid, cut one of Pattern U
  • From mottled gold, cut one of Pattern V
  • From yellow print, cut one of Pattern X
  • From mottled brown, cut one of Pattern J
  • From blue plaid, cut three 2-1/2-x-42-inch binding strips, two 1-1/2-x-42-inch strips

Applique Cat Block

  1. Referring to Cat Applique Placement Diagram, lay out pieces A-D, orange plaid letters, and pieces F-I on a blue print 12-1/2-inch square; fuse in place.
  2. Using threads that match the applique pieces and working from the bottom layer to the top, machine-blanket-stitch around each piece.
  3. Arrange two off-white wool 1/4-x-3-inch strips in an X on the cat's face to make whiskers. Center pink print E nose on top of the strips; fuse in place. With pink thread, machine-blanket-stitch around the nose, leaving whisker ends loose, to complete the cat block.

Download Cat Applique Diagram

Applique Turkey Block

Turkey Applique Diagram
  1. Following the manufacturer's instructions, press a fusible-web 3-inch square onto the back of a solid black scrap; let cool. Cut the fused square into two 1/4-x-2-inch strips and four 1/4-x-1-inch strips; peel off paper backings.
  2. Referring to Turkey Applique Placement Diagram, lay out pieces J-X and the fused black print strips on the remaining blue print 12-1/2-inch square. Fuse all pieces in place.
  3. Using threads that match the applique pieces and working from the bottom layer to the top, machine blanket-stitch around each piece.
  4. Referring to patterns W and X, machine straight-stitch the veins on each leaf to complete the turkey block.

Finish Quilts

Tie Placement Diagram
  1. Layer each appliqued block with batting and backing 15-inch squares.
  2. Quilt as desired.
  3. Use black thread to hand-sew black beads on the turkey for eyes.
  4. With right sides inside, fold each blue plaid 1-1/2-x-42-inch strip in half lengthwise; sew together long edges. Cut each strip into four 10-1/2-inch-long pieces for eight ties total. Turn ties right sides out; press.
  5. On back of each quilted block, sew ends of two ties along top and bottom edges according to Tie Placement Diagram. Tie raw end of each tie in an overhand knot.
  6. Bind quilted blocks with blue plaid 2-1/2-x-42-inch strips. Place mini quilt on each side of 18-inch pillow and tie the ties together in bows.

Give Yourself a Hand

Little hands can be big helpers as you approach the holiday season. If you have more than one set of little hands helping around your house, consider modifying the single handprint turkey design to include several turkeys made with one of everyone's handprint in your family. (Perhaps you'll have to tie it on a bigger pillow!) To turn your seasonal decor into a lasting keepsake, add a label to the back that lists the names and ages of each contributor and the year you made the pillow.


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