Autumn pillow featuring Calico Crow by Lauren Nash for Riley Blake Designs

October in Minnesota is beautiful. For most of the month, the lawns are still green but the trees put on a brilliant show of golden oranges, fiery reds, deep rusts and regal plums. While it’s true that our temperatures begin to drop in October, the weather is typically mild. It’s the season of scarves and sweaters, camp fires, crisp evening walks, and pretty pots of mums on the porch. Yes, we try to squeeze it all in before the first snow flies!

Autumn is my favorite season. While I should probably sew my fall flavored quilting projects in the summer so they are ready ahead of time, I really enjoy “sewing in season.”  There is something so special about watching autumn’s splendor unfold through your window as you play with fall fabrics!  Here’s my most recent make: an autumn twist on my Romantic Patchwork Pillow (a free tutorial).


The inspiration fabric is Calico Crow by Lauren Nash for Riley Blake Designs. I purchased some fat quarters from Allison at My Timeless Day, and then pulled in a few other favorite prints from my stash. The tea stained hand towel with the crocheted edge belonged to my grandmother, and I decided to make good use of it rather than keep it in a drawer. I intended to use the jute cording to finish the pillow, but in the end I decided to go with a fabric binding instead.


To highlight the patchwork area, I added simple straight-line quilting 1/8\” from each seam. I used my go-to thread for my autumn-inspired projects: Aurifil 2214 (Golden Honey) 50wt. I didn\’t add any quilting to the focal fabric on the right side of the pillow.  Those crows are so cute they don\’t need any embellishing!


The Romantic Patchwork Pillow tutorial is really geared toward using a mini charm pack. But for this pillow I just cut two-inch squares from the fat quarters I had purchased at My Timeless Day. I also did a bit of fussy cutting from the focal fabric. Do you see the crows in the photo below? They remind me of squabbling siblings!


This is my fourth version of this tutorial. The original pillow featured pretty pink florals with a wide band of crocheted trim taken from vintage table linens (hence the name Romantic Patchwork Throw Pillow). I’ve also sewn two Christmas versions: one in Pixie Noel by Tasha Noel for Riley Blake Designs and the other in Jingle Birds by Keiki for Moda Fabrics.


As I was auditioning fabrics for my autumn pillow, I made quite a mess of my stash baskets. (Creative mess is good for the soul!) Luckily my mom was here for a few days, resting after a dental surgery. Of course, I made her earn her keep by organizing some scraps. Thanks, Mom!


Thanks so much for stopping by the blog and checking out my autumn sewing!  I hope you are finding time to sew in your season too, wherever in the world you might reside.  Get carried away quilting!

~Taunja

15 thoughts on “Autumn pillow featuring Calico Crow by Lauren Nash for Riley Blake Designs

  1. Such a sweet pillow to have adorning your home for Halloween! I admire all of the versions of this pillow and really need to make a few for myself. You are right…those crows are perfect all on their own with no embellishment needed!

  2. As usual love all your designs! I made a pillow like this for my daughter a few years ago –on the right side of the pillow i had embroidered her initial. It turned out cute. I\”m currently working on binding 2 pillows from another one of your tutorials. I'll # these when i get done! 🙂

  3. I love reading your blog as much as I love seeing your projects. They always inspire me to go sew!! Your projects are just so sweet!!

  4. That is the nicest thing to hear! I try to share what I care about and what makes me happy to sew/make, as I figure there are others out there who will feel the same. Thanks so much for this day brightening comment!

  5. I love following all that you do! Absolutely love the pillow, that I just ordered several fat-eights of the calico crow fabric to make my own! Now that gardening season is winding down hopefully I'll find the time to make the pillow. Thanks for the tutorial!

  6. Wow, it is nice to have your mom around to help. This is certainly a fine occupation after dental adventures.I adore this pillow. Those crows are hilarious. Thank you, Taunja, for sharing your creativity and the pattern too!

  7. Such a lovely pillow! Yep, those crows are definitely having words!! Thanks for such a great tutorial and showing us so many different ways it can be made – all so different!. Mum's do come in handy!

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