Pillow Pop Review & Giveaway

Today, I’m reviewing ‘Pillow Pop’ by Heather Bostic. Let me start this post off by saying that before I even got this book into my sweaty-with-anticipation hands, I already knew which pillow I would be making from it. I’ve had this pillow on my bucket list for, oh, two years (I could be wrong because my concept of time is really wacked out). I’m talking about Ryan Walsh’s contribution to the book.

This pillow is made with applique circles, which are overlapped and trimmed. I had a really hard time choosing fabrics for my pillow. Of course my first instinct was to buy something new (because isn’t that what the point of a new project is? Why would we use something we already own in our stash?? haha), but I reminded myself that I’ve been recently complaining that I have all these quilt cuts stashed when I mostly make bags (which obviously take bigger cuts). So I pulled out some Good Folks. I had a charm pack that I cut for myself last year (for what reason, I don’t even know), so I used my Accuquilt Go! Baby circle die to cut the circles out. I used the two smallest (adjacent) circles on the die, so the charms worked nicely since I could get one circle of each size from each piece of fabric. I pre-trimmed the circles in what I felt was a good overlapping circle. I used a text fabric for my background.

The pattern in the book calls for the circles to be topstitched on, which would give a great raw edge effect. I just have a personal preference regarding raw edges (or maybe it’s because I have children who throw the pillows around and use them to practice boxing training), so I assembled my circles using a blanket stitch using my trusty Aurifil 40wt thread. I admit this takes a lot longer, but I was pleased with how it turned out.  All-in-all, the pillow took me 4 hours to make. I made it for my husband, and he picked out another Anna Maria Horner fabric for the backing of the pillow, this one from her ‘Field Study’ line.

I love this pattern because there is so much room for error. I wasn’t terribly worried about my fabric placement, I just added the circles one at a time (oh, and also the fact that I was using a glue stick to temporarily adhere each circle before I appliqued it – my own idea, because I’m lazy). The overlapping trims also don’t need to be perfect either. Because this is such a busy design, your eye will travel all over the pillow and catch all of the beautiful fabrics.

Now that I’ve excitedly shown you my completed project, I would like to talk some more about this lovely book! There are 25 projects inside, all from different designers, who you may already know from reading their blogs. Each project comes with concise instructions, and in the back of the book are also directions for assembling your pillow after the top of it has been pieced; there are several different techniques (envelope, zipper, etc.). Some of the projects also require templates (such as the pillow that I worked on), and those are in the back of the book, no enlargement necessary, which is always a plus.
There are several pillows that would be able to be sewn by a complete quilting newbie (pieced rectangles, etc.), and there are others that require a bit more skill, but I think the book showcases a nice range of projects using many different sewing and quilting techniques.
Image courtesy of Fat Quarter Shop, where you can also buy this book!
Some of the pillows are based off of traditional quilting (such as the Dresden Plate and Cathedral Window), but there were also other designs that were contemporary. Another of my favorites from the book was Brioni’s pillow, pictured above. I loved the outward-reaching design, and I think it was seriously perfect with the fussy cutting to accentuate the flower shapes, not to mention the wonderful quilting on this!
Another great pillow from the book is this one by Little Miss Shabby. The pillow is called ‘Garden District’, and it combines patchwork with a curved edge. I think the hand stitching on this version also makes it super-lovely.
All of the pillows feature modern fabrics, which I liked very much. I could see myself making any of these pillows really, and I think this is a wonderful book for ideas for making presents or Flickr swap gifts for other people. Pillow Pop would be a useful thing to have right before the holidays, especially when you need a last-minute gift to whip up in an evening. The great thing about making pillows as opposed to quilts is that they have a low level of commitment…chances are, if you start making a pillow, that you’ll finish it (instead of having to add it to the UFO pile…guys, I know you know what I’m talking about).

So, would you like to win a copy of the book?? One lucky winner will receive ‘Pillow Pop’ by Heather Bostic, courtesy of C&T (international winner will be an eBook). Please click the link below to take you to the entry page, and you have until April 1st at 11pm CT to enter! Good luck!
This giveaway is now closed. The winner is #25 Deborah.

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10 replies on “Pillow Pop Review & Giveaway

  • Jake

    This book is currently enroute to me, along with Ayumi’s Zakka book. I’ve entered the giveaway anyway as it would be nice to have a copy of this book to give to my great seeing friend, Stamie.
    Thanks for reviewing books! I hate buying books only to find out they aren’t much good, but so far, you’ve nailed the reviews great (I’m still jealous you got Ayumi’s book early!).

  • Alison

    Thanks for the review, I have now gone and ordered the book from Amazon. I love the ideas and would like to try to scale some of them up to quilts – but I can practice on some cushions (I’m British) first!

  • Tiffany

    Darn… I was hoping this was a giveaway of that awesome pillow you made 😉 Ok ok, hope your husband and kids love it and snuggle it a lot 🙂 Gorgeous Sara, just gorgeous!

  • Jake

    Well, my book showed up today. What an incredible disappointment! While the pillow designs are cute, the actual CONSTRUCTION TECHNIQUES are SERIOUSLY lacking. The instructions for designing the pillow front were great, very thorough and clear, but I expected the book to discuss construction technique of pillows a (whole lot) bit more. It would have been nice to include how to construct pillow TYPES…envelope, zipper, flap/fold etc. I’m glad I only spent $9 on this book. While most of your other reviews are right on (Ayumi’s book, that HAT BOOK)…I think you missed the mark on this one. This is the biggest disappointment I’ve received in the mail in a long time…thank goodness Ayumi’s Zakka book showed up at the same time! Now that is one rockin book!

    • Jake

      I did see the two pages of construction techniques near the end, but the photos of steps and wording weren’t much help at all…not very clear, not well illustrated. I’ve been sewing about 10 years and admittedly I am a newbie at sewing things other than quilts, but if I were a pro, I wouldn’t be buying books that are supposed to explain HOW to me.

  • Beth

    I went back to work today after the move (ugh) and the book was in the shop. I knew it was coming, but didn’t remember the release date. I love it. In fact I will be bringing it home with me next time I work.


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