Thursday, December 8, 2022

Grandma's House

Quilt names don't usually come easily to me, but sometimes they do and this was one. I am excited to share my original design, a bench pillow, with you today!
It is one of four projects in my newly-released pattern, 'Rainbow Neighbourhood'. Did I mention the pattern is on sale all week? 25% off. It's a pretty darn good deal if I do say so myself: $10.50CA which is $8US for four projects, two of which are a throw quilt and a twin quilt, each with a completely different layout, a 22" cushion cover and this 20" x 36" bench pillow. 

All four projects use the same size house block. There are four styles of houses, though! And, there are eleven, yes eleven 6" star blocks for the side of the house so you can pick and choose what ones you want. The throw has nine houses, and the twin has ten. The twin has the evergreen trees you see in the bench pillow, along with round trees in the same size so you can interchange them. It also has heart blocks, flower blocks and small trees blocks, the last two of which are also interchangeable. You can see the possibilities mounting as to how to personalize your quilt! 

I could see this bench pillow as a spring or summer edition with the round trees instead of the evergreen ones. It doesn't have to be a pillow; it makes for a nice runner! I put an angel kitty in one window, a couple of doves in the other, and mod-podged a wreath on the door.

This pillow took a little longer than expected, 1.5 hours longer to be exact. What happened? Well, I was pretty pumped to settle upon the cardinals in winter Moda fabric as my background, and so I made my trees. Then I got worried it would be too busy and look weird to have trees up by the roof, so I used a gold dust snowlike fabric for the house sky, and added rectangles of that fabric to the top of the tree blocks.

It bugged me. I think it was the abrupt horizontal line. Anyhow I told myself, Sandra, get this done; stop overthinking it. It's just a bench pillow!

I put on the borders and went to bed, somewhat happy with it. The next morning I got up and just knew it wasn't right. So I cut the rectangles out of the Moda fabric and placed them on top of the gold dust ones, just to see... and immediately knew my gut had been right. 

Some serious reverse sewing and surgery happened. I redid the entire sky.

Yes! It's grandma's house in the woods.

I quilted it on Avril, pretty simply with SITD, lots of lines, a little dot to dot, and snowdrift lines. I was going to bind it with the same blue as the border, but then I thought nope, I think that red might be the ticket!

The only problem is that I am now on the hunt for a bench pillow form. For the photos (shh) I put in two regular pillow forms to puff it out. I love the back, one of my beloved Laurel Burch Christmas fabrics.

It’s an envelope back, matched pretty darn good! The angel kitty in one of the windows came from this fabric.

The surgery for the pillow resulted in lots of leader/ender chain-piecing, and ta-da! An unplanned birth (haha): a Christmas fabric makeup bag! And I have some squares pulled already for a second one. I made two last year and they sold quickly, presents for daughters. I just this week sold two more, a pink one and a sky blue one, presents for daughters. This makes me happy.

Remember, the pattern is only on sale for a couple more days, until Friday midnight. I’ll be back on Friday with a post dedicated to the throw. Be sure to check out my Instagram stories for a sneak peek of the twin that Michelle in Scotland is making. It’s to die for! 

Carol of Quilt Schmilt made the bench pillow project too but with a bit of a twist...
She turned it into a runner for her son and daughter-in-law! It will fit perfectly on their farm table, and has already been sent off in the mail. Be sure to check out Carol's post. She has a couple other treats within it for you!

Did you notice that the star in each of the three pillow projects is a different one? Also I made the house with two windows. Patterns for these two houses, as well as two other styles, are included in the pattern.

Also be sure to check out Wendy’s Christmas cushion at Pieceful Thoughts:

Here’s my original cushion I made in late 2016 and finished in January 2017:
The block that birthed the RSC challenge and this pattern!

Here's another I made in December 2019 when I was an ambassador for Island Batik, this one Christmas themed:
I just found some stars and snowflake buttons I will be sewing to the top of the presents.

I love the doorknob on that one. The evergreen trees on either side of the front door are buttons, and the red 'berries' on the wreath are seed beads I hand-stitched on. You can do a lot with this pattern! I made another quilt using the house into a wallhanging, again when I was with Island Batik, but that one will make an appearance on Friday.

I would greatly appreciate it if you would pin the bench pillow and the pattern cover on your Pinterest pages! Thank you so much, as that helps to spread the word.

Quilt Stats:
Pattern: Rainbow Neighbourhood available here
Size: 20.5" x 36.5"
Fabric: stash and scraps
Backing: "Enchantment' by Laurel Burch for Clothworks (from stash)
Batting: Nature's Touch 100% cotton (left over from Rainbow Neighbourhood throw)
Quilted: on Avril: 16 196 stitches
Threads: pieced with Aurifil; quilted with So Fine, Aurifil and Sulky

Linking up


  1. Great pattern & you keep giving more ideas, so will be getting it. Wish i could help on the cushion insert problem, but too far away. Thanks for sharing your variations, take care & hugs.

  2. Following that gut instinct is almost always the right way to go. Aren't you glad you did. You'll forget that hour and a half. What a lovely pattern you've created. I'm so proud of you as I've watched your talents and skills change and grow over these years.

  3. I'm glad you had a sleep and thought about it more. It looks great with the update and Grandma's house in the woods is fabulous.

  4. Oh that quilting time was unlimited! I love these projects Sandra.

  5. Yep that background fabric just sings; it's just soooo right!

  6. Love the backing fabric for the pillow! It's perfect!

  7. OH MY! Each new version of projects made with this pattern just makes my eyes so happy Sandra. It is too much fun to imagine more projects/Color ways. 😉

  8. I'm glad you did the surgery, your gut was right on. A wonderful versatile pattern!!!

  9. Grandma's house in the woods is perfect! Love the trees all over the block....definitely gives the woods near Grandma's a lot of interest. Love Carol's version too, so much fun to see it.

  10. I love your bench pillow, Sandra! I agree that it looks better with the trees fabric as the full background; the surgery was worth the time and effort. Congratulations on the pattern release!

  11. All these cushions and the runner are beautiful! The changes you made to your bench pillow made a big difference. I love how it turned out.