Maria Charbonneaux | Staff Blog

Maria Charbonneaux

27 posts.

Canvas Corp Embellished Pillow Covers

Designer Jenn Luce embellished the versatile Canvas Corp pillow cover samples featured in the Hot Stuff column in the Spring 2012 issue of Quilts and More magazine. Jenn shared the details on how she made each pillow cover so you can re-create the looks.

Valentine’s Day Square Pillow Cover

Tuck a love note into the canvas envelope, and give a custom-made pillow to your sweetheart on Valentine’s Day.

  1. Trim the 12” square cotton zebra paper to 10” square and the 30x36” burlap sheet to 11-1/2” square. Hand-stitch the zebra paper to the burlap with red embroidery thread and a straight stitch. Glue the burlap to the center of the 14” square canvas pillow cover.
  2. Glue the 5x7” canvas envelope 2” from the top edge and 1” from the left edge of the cotton zebra paper.
  3. Top a red fabric flower with circles cut from black-and-ivory diamond paper and black paper or cardstock. Jenn cross-stitched the black circle with red embroidery thread before adhering it. Glue the red fabric flower to the bottom left corner of the envelope as shown in photo, above.
  4. Trim the 12” square damask paper to 1-7/8×2-3/4.” Stitch “XOXO” using red embroidery thread at the bottom right edge of the paper. Trim an “Amore” sentiment from the Love, Amoure, Amore scrapbooking paper, and glue it to the damask rectangle. Glue the damask rectangle to the canvas envelope.
  5. Cut a heart from the love script scrapbooking paper, and glue it to the envelope flap.
  6. Trim a “Love” sentiment from the Love, Amoure, Amore scrapbooking paper. Poke two small holes into the tag with a needle or a paper piercer. Thread a 5” length of red embroidery thread through the holes, and tie a bow. Glue the tag to the heart.

SOURCES (Click on the links below to purchase the items needed for this pillow.)




Interchangeable Rectangle Pillow Cover

The clothespins of this design make it possible to switch out the burlap flags seasonally for affordable holiday home decor that doesn’t take up much storage space.

  1. To embellish the 10x18” pillow cover, glue four mini clothespins 2-1/2” from the top edge and 4-1/2”, 7-1/2”, 10-1/2”, and 13-1/2” from the left edge, so that the embellishments appear evenly spaced and centered on the pillow cover. Jenn likes to use Beacon Adhesive Fabric-Tac when adhering embellishments to the canvas pillow covers.
  2. Add a row of hand stitching along the top edge of four burlap flag shapes using pink embroidery thread.
  3. Glue 2x2” corrugated tiles (cut to size), canvas flowers, and green pompom trim to 2x2” stretched natural canvases as shown in photo, above. To make the canvas flowers, stack five circles cut from canvas paper in graduated sizes and secure them with a cross-stitch made using embroidery thread.
  4. Glue prepurchased mini canvas squares to the remaining burlap flags. Cut birds or other shapes from canvas paper. Jenn embellished her birds with French knots and wings cut from canvas paper. Glue mini clothespins to the mini canvas squares and clip the birds to the squares.


To modify the pillow cover for Valentine’s Day, Jenn embellished burlap flags by trimming 3” square printed letters from scrapbooking paper, gluing them to the burlap flags, and embellishing them with French Knots. She added a line of hand stitching using red embroidery thread. Make a set for every season!

SOURCES (Click on the links below to purchase the items needed for this pillow.) 

To learn more about these products, visit Canvas Corp’s website. Get more ideas for using canvas pillow covers and other Canvas Corp products on the Canvas Corp blog. 

Patch-It by Marcus Fabrics

As much as we love the look of intricate projects, sometimes a quick quilt is just the ticket. We’re intrigued by the Patch-It concept by Faye Burgos for Marcus Fabrics because it combines the best of both worlds. Cut up these fabrics containing preprinted squares, and then sew them back together to get a scrappy and intricate look quickly and easily! Or, leave them as is for a quick “cheater” patchwork quilt.

In the Hot Stuff column of the Spring 2012 issue of Quilts and More, we show readers how to use CS Designs’ Lil’ Twister tool with the 5″ preprinted squares of the New London Patch-It print, available in two colorways. Click here to download the free pattern from Marcus Fabrics for more ideas.

The newest Patch-It Print from Faye’s Railroad Ties collection, contains 3″ preprinted squares that can be used with the Primitive Pinwheels 2-1/4″ tool from Primitive Gatherings. Find out more about the Railroad Ties collection by visiting Marcus Fabrics.

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Quilting Changes Everything: Modern-Day Quilt Dowry

In the April 2012 issue of American Patchwork & Quilting (on sale now), we introduced readers to Nyshma Nolette, a 24-year-old bride and new quilter who learned the ropes while creating a dowry of quilts in preparation for her wedding.

Nyshma and her husband, Ryan, displayed her 13 quilts at their wedding reception in September 2011. Photo by Nicolle Durkee (

Inspired by a long-ago tradition, Nyshma spent three years making 10 quilts in preparation for her wedding to fiancé, Ryan. Her mom, Sandy Mercado, filled out the traditional dozen quilts that a pioneer bride would have brought to the marriage, plus special No. 13, the “bride’s quilt,” and long-arm machine-quilter Margaret Gunn quilted Nyshma’s quilts.

In the process, Nyshma learned a variety of quilting techniques. See five of Nyshma’s quilts below. To learn more about all 13 quilts, click here to visit Sandy’s blog.

Rhythm & Blues, from the August 2009 issue of American Patchwork & Quilting®, was Nyshma's second quilt.


Nyshma learned Buggy Barn's crazy piecing method while making Pineapple Tidbits from their book, Certifiably Crazy.

Nyshma pieced Wild Thing by Thimble Blossoms at a retreat with her mom, Sandy.


Nyshma left the borders off her version of A Piece of Cake by Thimble Blossoms.

Nyshma learned how to make Flying Geese while working on Shiloh by Bonnie Blue Quilts.

Pillowcase Dresses

We hope you’ve already been making pillowcases right along with us as we work towards of our goal of 1 million pillowcases for charity as part of the American Patchwork & Quilting 1 Million Pillowcase Challenge. (Learn more about the challenge by clicking here.) But have you considered making pillowcases dresses? These easy garments stitched from finished pillowcases count for the pillowcase challenge too and can be donated to needy kids both in the U.S. and abroad.

Hilltop Stitchers 4-H club members from Georgia, below, recently learned some new sewing skills by making pillowcase dresses for kids in Mexico, Nicaragua, Haiti, Africa, Costa Rica, and the U.S.

Volunteer Deborah Tedder of Chatsworth, Georgia, (pictured below helping one of the children use a serger to finish the edges) taught these kids how to transform pillowcases into dresses by cutting arm and neck holes in the sewn edges of a pillowcase, which allows the open edges to become the hem. They hemmed the arm holes and then stitched a casing along the neck holes so they could gather the neck holes with ribbons, tying them at the shoulders. Some stitchers choose to use elastic for the neck holes to avoid using a ribbon drawstring, which can be a choking hazard.

There are lots of methods and great tutorials and patterns out there to teach people how to transform a pillowcase into a dress. Search for “make a pillowcase dress” or “donate a pilllowcase dress” to find a method and organization that works for you, or check out one of these links:

Learn how to transform a pillowcase into a dress and how to donate the finished dresses to Little Dresses for Africa, a nonprofit group that sends pillowcase dresses to little girls in African countries, by clicking here. 

Here’s a great tutorial with diagrams and photographs from graphic designer, photographer, and former blogger Jen Leheny.

If you’d rather make a dress from yardage instead of a finished pillowcase, Nancy’s Notions has a great free pattern and video that shows you how to start from scratch (with modified instructions for starting with a finished pillowcase).

Happy stitching!

The Binding Tool Tutorial

Do you struggle to create binding with perfect angled seams without bulk?  The Binding Tool, a product from TQM Products, makes the task easy. We recently featured this handy product in our Hot Stuff column. See our review in the Winter 2011 issue of Quilts and More (available in quilt shops and on newsstands November 8) and get the complete tutorial below.

1. Leave a 12″ opening and 10″ tails when sewing on your binding. We used pins to help mark the opening before stitching.

2. Butt the tool up to the left edge of your binding where the stitching ends. Transfer the marked line onto the binding.

3. Open up the binding and line up the marked line on the tool with the marked line you just made. Using a rotary cutter, trim around the tool.

4. Rotate the tool and butt it up against the right edge of your binding where you stopped stitching. (Note: Do not flip over the tool.) Transfer the marked line as you did in Step 2. Open up the binding, line the tip of the tool on the marked line, then trim with a rotary cutter.

5. Open up the bindings ends and line them up using the pressed line as a guide. Hold the two ends in place with pins.

6. Stitch using a 1/4″ seam allowance.

7. Press the seam and stitch the binding to your quilt for a smooth-looking edge without any bulk.

Watch a video on how to use the tool here. 

What other tips or tools do you use to make binding easier?