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This is a really cute, free pattern I used last Christmas with less than a year’s experience in knitting. I had no problems and thought they turned out well – something a little different from the usual holiday decorations.  Here is the link:  https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/jolly-old-elves

I used two difference sizes of yarn and needles to get two different sizes from the same pattern.

The larger elf (about 8 inches tall) was made with #4 worsted yarn and #5 circular needles.


The smaller elf (about 6 inches tall) was made with DK or sport weight yarn #3 and #3 circular needles.

I gave one to each of my daughters along with a gift card for a special Christmas morning gift.


SP-needle

Awhile back, I saw a cute item in a needlework shop – a small pillow that had a frame on top in which a piece of needlework could be inserted and then changed out if desired.  I thought it was something I could duplicate and I worked out the details for a 5×5 inch pillow that would accept a 4 inch piece of needlework (see picture above).
I plan to make some of these pillows as Christmas gift card  or check holders, using a favorite photo and tucking the gift card or check in back of it.  I’ll attach a tag:  Look behind the picture for a surprise.

Here is how I made the pillow:

Cut:

  • 1 piece of 5-½ x 5-½ inch muslin for the top of the pillow
  • 1 piece of 5-½ x 5-½ inch fabric for the back of the pillow
  • 4 pieces of 3 x 5-½ inch fabric for the frame
  • You will also need a small amount of stuffing

SP-layout
Press the four pieces of frame fabric (3×5-½ inches) in half lengthwise.

Place the muslin on the table and arrange two of the frame pieces on top of the muslin, matching raw edges with folds toward center.

SP-sides
Place the remaining two frame pieces top and bottom on the muslin, matching raw edges with folds toward center.  Pin and stitch 1/8 inch from the raw edges to secure the frame.

SP-frame
Place the right side of the backing on top of the frame, matching raw edges.  On the bottom edge, place a pin 2-½ inches from each side and leave the center portion open for stuffing.  Stitch ¼ inch seams, beginning and ending at pins.  Remove pins, trim four corners and turn piece so that frame portion is on the front of the pillow.

Stuff the pillow and hand-stitch the opening gap.

SP-back

For insert, choose a needlework piece with a 3-½ x 3-½ inch design and leave a ¼ inch border around the edge to form a 4 x 4 inch block.  Zigzag stitch around the raw edges of the piece.  Insert into pillow frame.

You could also fussy-cut a pretty design from fabric 4 x 4 inches ….
SP-fab

…or print a 3-½ x 3-½ photo on fabric (such as June Tailor’s Sew-In Colorfast Fabric Sheets) and leave a ¼ inch border around the edge to form a 4 x 4 inch square.
SP-photo

This would make a cute gift with just one insert or, even better, stacking three inserts in the frame with a tag for the recipient to check under the first fabric for a surprise or two.

This pillow is very easy to make and uses up a little bit more of that scrap fabric that is in everyone’s sewing room.