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Tutorial: Mod Christmas Tree Pillow or Mini Quilt

Today, my Mod Christmas Tree 6-inch quilt block is being featured on Moda Bake Shop.  

I had so much fun being part of their Countdown to Christmas.  I can't wait to see what the other designers have in store for the rest of the Countdown.  I love what I have seen so far and I definitely have added some new projects to my to-make list.

I had so much fun making my Christmas Tree block (and I made a bunch!) that I wanted to use them together to make a pillow or mini quilt.  All of the blocks being shared during Moda Bake Shop's Countdown to Christmas are 6" square blocks.  So, this pillow/mini quilt pattern will work for any of those blocks or a combination of them also.  Let's get started!

Materials needed:
• 9- Mod Christmas Tree 6" quilt blocks (or other 6" quilt blocks)

• 20" x 20" piece of batting

• 20" x 20" piece of solid white fabric (I used Moda Bella Solid 9900-97)-- If you are making the mini quilt, you do not need this piece.

• Backing fabric- If making the pillow, you will need 2 pieces of backing fabric: 1- 14" x 20" and 1- 11" x 20".  If making the mini quilt, you will need one piece of backing that is 20" x 20".

• Binding- I cut 2- 2.5" x width of  fabric strips.  You will have some leftover afterward.  

Finished size:
• 18" square pillow or mini quilt

Pillow/Mini Quilt Front:

Choose and lay out 9- 6" squares.  

When you are happy with your layout.  Sew your blocks together to make rows. Press. Sew your rows together.

Now we will quilt this.  To do this, you will need your batting and your solid white fabric (if making the mini quilt, you will use your backing fabric, NOT the solid white fabric)

Make your quilt sandwich, top, batting, then backing.  Pin the layers together.

Now choose your quilting design.  I chose a wavy stitch.  I have a Brother Designio DZ2400.  On my machine, it is stitch 25 and looks like this:

When I am experimenting with a new stitch, I make a little stitch guide for myself.  I use two scraps of light-colored, solid fabric and a batting scrap.  I write the stitch number at the top.

Then I try the new stitch at different lengths and widths and I write directly on the fabric so that I have it for future reference.

I choose the one I like best for the specific project and then I go ahead and start quilting.  Since I wanted to do a wavy stitch, it is sometimes hard to space those evenly because of the waves.  What I do is use a Pilot Frixion pen and mark little spacing lines at the top of the pillow so I know where to start each quilting line.

Continue quilting until you are finished.

I wanted to also add some hand quilting accents to this pillow.  

I used Cotton Perle Size 8 in green and red.  And I hand quilted around the trees.  I used big stitches because I like how they looked.  

I did a simple running stitch except at the top of the trees, I used one back stitch at the very top to get a pointed tree top and then continued with the running stitch down the other side.

Once the hand quilting is done, you need to trim away the excess binding and solid fabric (or backing if you are making the mini quilt).  Use a ruler and rotary cutter or scissors and cut away the extra so that you are left with a square top.

For the mini quilt only,  skip down to the binding portion.  For the pillow, continue on.

Pillow Backing:

To make the pillow backing, take your two backing pieces.  Along one of the 20" sides, mark a line that is 1/4" from the edge.  I use a Pilot Frixion pen so that my iron will remove the line as I press.   

Fold the fabric over right on the line and press.

Then fold that over and press again.

Now, sew across this pressed line on both pieces.

Next, line your backing pieces up on the back of the pillow so that they overlap.  Pin your backings to the top.  Make sure you pin at least 1" away from the edges of the pillow so that you don't sew over your pins when you are sewing on your binding.


Fold your binding strips in half and press.  

Join the binding strips together by making over lapping the two strips like this.

Then sew diagonally, as shown below.

Cut the extra portion off, leaving 1/4" seam allowance.  

Press to one side.

Then press folded over to match the rest of the binding.

To sew the binding on to the from off the pillow/mini quilt, start along one of the sides.  Leave about 8" or so free and then start sewing with 1/4" seam allowance.

When approaching a corner, stop sewing 1/4" before the corner, break the thread off.  

Fold the binding back, hold it in place.  

Then, fold it back in the other direction.  

Place it under the pressor foot and then start sewing along this side.

Continue around the pillow.  Repeat each corner as mentioned above.

Finish the last corner and then break the threads off.

Now, we need to cut your binding to be the exact size for the pillow/mini quilt.  Lay the it out flat.  I like to do this on my cutting mat because I can easily see the measurements against the mat.

Since your binding is 2.5" wide, you want your binding pieces to overlap 2.5" exactly here.  Use a ruler to measure that or measure using your cutting mat.  Snip off the extra binding.

Now pull the piece of binding on your right to the mat, open it up, and lay it flat on the mat (so that the right side is facing up).  

Pull the binding strip on the left and open it up so the wrong side is facing up and lay it across the other strip.

Sew along this line.

Now let your binding fall back into place to make sure you sewed it in the correct direction.

As long as it fits correctly, snip the extra off.  Then sew straight down the final side of your pillow/mini quilt, to attach the binding, using a 1/4" seam allowance.  If it does not fit correctly, use your seam ripper to rip it out and try it again until it is correct.)

To finish binding your pillow/mini quilt, use thread that matches your binding, wrap the binding around to the back, and sew your binding to the back.

If you made the mini quilt version, you are all finished!  If you made the pillow, all you need to do is insert a pillow form and you are finished!

Skein and Hook Copyright © 2017

The pattern and photographs contained in this document are the property of Skein and Hook.  This pattern is available for personal use only.  This pattern may be printed for your personal use only.  You may not, in any form, copy, redistribute, sell, or represent this pattern or photos as your own.  

Please do not copy this post and claim it as your own.  Please do not republish photos from this post and claim them as your own.  

You are welcomed to sell the items that you make from this pattern- please just credit me as the designer with a link to this post.


  1. Hello...just wanted to thank you for this wonderful tutorial...I have struggled with that great binding technique, not having it clear in my mind which way to have the fabric to make the final joining, but your pictures and description are crystal clear!! Thank you! Best, Linda B

    1. Hi Linda,

      Thank you! I'm so glad that my tutorial helped you! I'd love to see the pillow you make. If you post on Instagram, tag me @skeinandhook.


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