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x-stitch textured throw pillow: a tutorial

gray and orange x-stitch textured throw pillow

I finally finished – and photographed – my first couch pillow. As mentioned in a long-past wiwo wednesday post, I made a copycat of a Crate & Barrel pillow that I liked. It had little X-stitches across the front in a grid formation, which gave it just enough texture.

I made my own pillow form for this pillow since I thought the selection at JoAnn’s was terribly overpriced. But in the future, if I need more than one pillow form, I’m planning on ordering from Pillow Cubes, a reasonably priced site for ordering pillow forms in bulk. A down pillow form? That sounds amazing.


The Crate & Barrel version of this pillow was turquoise with matching X’s, so the thread blended into the background. I wanted my stitches to pop more, and I can never resist an orange-and-gray pairing. Plus, my white couch means the pillows can be as exciting as I want them to be.

For my pillow backing, I used a coordinating yellow and orange floral and, my favorite, an orange zipper.

gray and orange x-stitch textured throw pillow

This is the texture of my finished X’s before I inserted the pillow form. I love how simple and cute they are.

Click through for the tutorial!

diy duvet cover

diy duvet cover: so cozy

Recently, I converted to the European style of bed covering: a fitted sheet, but no top sheet, just a duvet with a duvet cover. There’s nothing cozier than rolling up in a fluffy comforter while you sleep. I sleep like a caterpillar in a cocoon, and it’s the happiest sleep in the world.

diy duvet cover: sewing away

For my new apartment and new bed, I made my own duvet cover. Two thrifted, mint-condition flat sheets: print on the front, white on the back. Both sheets are incredibly soft, which is crucial. I used king-size sheets for my full-size duvet. I utilized the sheets’ big hem for my button placket, and I only had to trim one edge: the rest I left in their hemmed state. After stitching all the buttons and button holes, the assembly was just a lot of long, straight edges. My Adler breezed through the fabric – its weight makes it ideal for pulling heavy projects like this one.

It’s incredibly warm and comfortable, yet the floral print looks like a spring breeze. When I’m going to bed at 9 every night, it’s nice to be able to look forward to the coziness of such a soft blanket rather than dreading the early bedtime.

The verdict: sew your own duvet cover! It’s a large project, but a super simple one. And it will keep you happy and warm forever.

diy quilted dish drying mat

quilted dish drying mat DIY

It must be Germany fabric week around here, because this project features another fabric from the pile I brought home last summer. This is an American fabric, not German or even European, but it’s still a special reminder of that trip.

I made this dish mat for two reasons: first, I wanted the mat to fit perfectly underneath my drying rack; and second, I was getting really tired of spending money on furnishings and supplies for my apartment (it’s like the list never ends!). This was a quick and easy project that helps me showcase a beloved fabric in a super useful way.

quilted dish drying mat DIY

I took an old white kitchen towel that wasn’t so white anymore, chopped it in half and cut off its binding. I used two layers of towel in between my cotton outer layers.

DIY quilted dish drying mat

the quilting was just disastrous!

I quilted along the lines of the spatula pattern, and everything shifted while I was quilting. It was a mess! But I just trimmed the edges so they were square again. No worries.

As you can see, the stripe of the towel shows through on the yellow side of the dish mat. That’s the bottom, so I don’t care!

quilted dish drying mat DIY

I cut my own binding from the yellow cotton – straight binding, not on the bias. Because of the thickness, I used Heather Bailey’s Quilt Binding Tutorial, a great way to flawlessly bind quilted items, especially when you’re using homemade binding.

After stitching the binding right-to-right to the front of the mat, I decided to go for it and secure the binding to the back side by machine, rather than hand-stitching. I used a ton of clips and managed to catch all the binding, which always feels great.

quilted dish drying mat DIY

Of course, in day-to-day life, the mat hides underneath my dish rack like this. But the cheeriness of the bright spatulas manages to peek through my mountains of dishes, and my countertop stays dry. A win for sure. I’m planning to make another to have on hand for baking days, when I have too many dishes for the dish rack and am forced to lay them out on a towel on the counter. This is a much more elegant solution!