Ooooh it is nearly Christmas. I have to admit I am not always a massive fan because it is just so. much. work. Things change so much when you are a Mum don’t they? I always start off all Scrooge like but then slowly over the course of the month as things start to wind down with school and sport I start to get all excited. The enthusiasm of kids is definitely contagious and as my Insta and Facebook get slowly taken over with gorgeous makes I start to want to Make All The Things.
All The Things.
Earlier this month I was lucky enough to have an amazing collection of Stripes from Riley Blake Designs as well as their stunning Christmas range Merry and Bright. I knew straight away I would turn them into a Stocking and Santa sack for my great niece Peyton. I am obsessed with stripes which you would know if you have been reading my blog for a while. It is always a go to for binding (like in my Missing Link quilt) and routinely appears in my designs. The Riley Blake basic stripes have been in my stash over the years and are always my first port of call. They just always seem to be in the colours and thickness I need when I need them.
And if there is a perfect time to use stripes then Christmas it is. They never go out of style and there is rarely a fabric range they don’t suit, or a project for that matter.
So this post was going to be all about the Stocking and Santa Sack I was making and I was all organised and ready to go but then I started seeing Christmas cushions everywhere and our Elf on a Shelf came out to play for the month and I came up with a fun and wonderful idea. From that moment the “Gingerbread House cushion that also holds your Elf” project was born. I really do need to work on the name I think.
Look at that cheeky grin. We are 5 years into this Elf on a Shelf debacle and some days I wont lie, I want to smack him in the face. Other days I am wildly enthusiastic and plan elaborate scenarios. Lucky thanks to Pinterest there is no shortage of ideas for him to keep me motivated.
One thing I noticed though was that no one had plans or ideas on where to put him during the day. He cant always stay where he is and with a puppy we are quick to disentangle him from his mischief and pop him somewhere safe. I decided to make him a wee cushion for during the day where I could put him, know he was safe, but still keep him as part of the decor until he is ready to move again.
I googled where elves live in the North Pole and it turns out they love Gingerbread houses. Which is perfect because I love gingerbread houses too. I decided to make a simple house from felt and then use Christmas fabric to add cool details. I was going to create a pocket for Elfie to sit on (you still could!) but decided a strap was more fun as then he could be seen properly. It was such a simple concept and I love how it all turned out.
And don’t worry if you don’t have an Elf of your own because this cushion is super cute in its own right. I was a bit strategic when I placed my strap on the cushion so that it blends in well when Elfie is out causing mischief. How perfect is that Christmas stripe for the project too. Have I mentioned in the past 5 minutes how much I adore them lol.
To make the cushion I simply printed the template and appliqued it onto an off white solid that was 10 1/2″ square. I used the main prints from Merry and Bright to add wee details to the house and its surrounds. I then added ric rac to the edges of the square and surrounded it in stripes to make the cushion front. When adding the last side I inserted a wee strip I made from cutting a piece of fabric that was 3″ wide and folding it in on itself and then in half again to make double fold bias binding. I stitched the binding down each length to keep all the folds in place and then inserted it into the seam. To make the cushion stronger and able to withstand the Elf being pulled in and out I quickly quilted it to a piece of wadding before trimming it to size (20″) and using Ms Midge’s Hidden Zip tutorial to finish it off.
And there you have it all done and in its glory – so cute! For now it is sitting on Hannahs’ bed but I will him to the couch closer to Christmas so he can watch everyone.
You can download your free printable templates to make your own 8″ Gingerbread House applique below. If anyone would like the whole cushion to be a much more detailed tutorial then please let me know in comments and I will get it up in plenty of time for Christmas 2020. I would love to see you all get creative and use your own stripes and Christmas fabrics to make your own fancy version, if you do please make sure you tag me on insta either using my name (@piccolostudio_sarah) or my hashtag #piccolopatternstudio
Note: when using the templates please remember you dont need to cut them out. Simply trace onto the paper side of your fusible webbing (I use vleisofix), iron onto your selected fabric and then cut the shapes out. You will get a way nicer and less fiddly finish I promise!
Look how happy he is now he has a happy and safe resting place during the day – what a lucky lucky Elf. I hope this means he decides not to cause so much destruction this year.