Project: Holiday Forest Pillow | OLFA - CraftOLFA – Craft

Project: Holiday Forest Pillow

This project uses a quick, no-waste method to make flying geese for a forest of holiday trees in bright, fun colors. Use it to whip up some colorful holiday decor for the softer spots in your home.



  • Finished size is 18″ x 18″, and uses an 18″ pillow form
  • Read through all instructions before beginning the project.
  • On flying geese, press seams open to reduce bulk and lead to greater accuracy.




60mm Deluxe Handle Rotary Cutter (RTY-3/DX)
24″ x 36″ Double-Sided Rotary Mat (RM-MG)
6″ x 24″ Frosted Acrylic Ruler (QR-6X24)
6-1/2″ Square Frosted Acrylic Ruler (QR-6S)

17″ Rotating Rotary Mat (RM-17S)


18” square pillow form
1/4 yd of bright pink fabric
1/4 yd of light blue fabric
1/4 yd of darker blue (for tree trunks and pillow binding/trim)
1/2 yd of white fabric
1/2 yd of fabric for pillow back
22” x 22” cotton batting
22” x 22” muslin


Cutting instructions:

  1. From bright pink fabric: (3) squares 5-1/4” x 5-1/4”.
  2. From light blue fabric: (4) squares 5-1/4” x 5-1/4”.
  3. From darker blue fabric: (4) pieces 1-1/2” x 2-1/2” and (2) strips 2-1/2” x width of fabric (for pillow binding trim).
  4. From white fabric: (28) squares 2-7/8” x 2-7/8”, (8) pieces 2” x 2-1/2”, (2) strips 1-1/2” x 16-1/2”, and (2) strips 1-1/2” x 18-1/2”.
  5. From the pillow back fabric: (1) piece 14” x 18-1/2” and (1) piece 9” x 18-1/2”.

To make the flying geese:

  1. Mark a diagonal line on the back of all 2-7/8” white squares using your favorite fabric marking tool.


  2. Place two 2-7/8” marked white squares on opposite corners of a 5-1/4” square, right sides together so the marked sides of the smaller squares are facing out. The corners of the two small squares will overlap a bit in the center, and the marked diagonal lines on the small squares should now align across the large square, corner to corner.


  3. Sew on both sides of the marked diagonal line, a scant 1/4” from the line, across the entire unit, corner to corner of the large square.


  4. Use your rotary cutter to cut on the marked diagonal line, between the two lines you just stitched. You will now have two triangular pieces, as shown.


  5. Press the white triangles outward, pressing seam allowances open. (Tip: Pressing seams open on flying geese units leads to greater accuracy and less bulk.)
  6. Place another marked 2-7/8” white square onto the corner of each unit. The marked diagonal line should run from the corner of the unit right between the white triangles you just pressed.


  7. Sew on both sides of the marked diagonal line, a scant 1/4” from the line. Again, cut the units apart on the marked diagonal line, between the two stitching lines.


  8. Press the white triangles outward, pressing seam allowances open. You now have four flying geese units measuring 2-1/2” x 4-1/2”.


  9. Repeat for the other 6 squares 5-1/4” x 5-1/4”. You should now have 28 flying geese units: 12 pink and 16 light blue.

To make the tree trunks & finish the pillow top: 

  1. Sew a 2-1/2” x 2” white piece onto either side of a 1-1/2” x 2-1/2” piece. Press seams open.
  2. Arrange flying geese units and trunk pieces into 4 columns, as shown in the diagram.


  3. Sew the units into columns. (Tip: As you are sewing flying geese together, always flip the unit so that you can see the point you are sewing through, and aim your seam so that you don’t cut off that point!) Press seams open.
  4. Stitch columns together and add border strips as shown to complete the pillow top.

Construct the pillow:

  1. Make a quilt sandwich with the muslin, batting, and pillow top. Baste the layers and quilt as desired.
  2. On each of the two pillow back pieces, fold under one long edge 1/2” twice and press. Topstitch 1/4” from the folded edges to secure the hems.
  3. Lay out the quilted pillow top, right side down. This pillow cover is sewn wrong sides together. The binding added in Step 5 below will hide the side seam allowances. Lay one of the pillow back pieces onto the pillow top, right side up and with bottom edges aligned. Lay the other pillow back piece on top of both, right side up with top edges aligned. The back pieces will overlap. Pin all three layers together.
  4. Using a walking foot, sew around all sides 1/8” from the edge.
  5. Join the darker blue binding strips to make a continuous length. Bind the raw edges as you would with a quilt to finish the pillow cover.
  6. Insert the pillow form and enjoy!




Project design by Lee Heinrich.

November, 2015

For personal, non-commercial use only.