Posts Tagged ‘pillow’
… or you could call it a Keepsake Pillow.
Years ago, I wanted to make a memory quilt with prayers and well-wishes for my aunt and uncle. At the time, my uncle was battling an illness. Thankfully, he recovered – and then the project lay in my “to-do” pile. Fast forward to this year. We celebrated his 60th birthday. (Time has been very good to him. He stays active, keeps good company, and stays youthful with his 20-something-year-old kids.)
I resurrected the gift idea. You know, something thoughtful… but I downsized it to something manageable, like a pillow. A pillow cover, I could do; this time I added a zipper instead of doing an envelope enclosure.
Materials used: 20 in. square pillow form, fabric, iron-on sheets for an ink-jet printer, 22 in. all-purpose zipper
Wish I could say I documented all the steps, but this was really a free-flow, stream of consciousness project. No definite measurements, but I could probably go back and figure it out. Should I?
The front and back of the pillow cover are giant quilt squares. 20-1/2” square, to be exact. Something so heartfelt about handwriting on fabric. And, then to pair it with printed text… Kinda wonky, kinda cool. I worked out our family and friends’ names on wordle.net, and while I love color, I just ran out of colored ink for our printer. So black and white, it was.
(This zipper tutorial was really helpful.)
Hooray, it worked!
Another thoughtful project completed. On to the next one…
I get sentimental about things that other people would probably not even think twice about throwing away or donating. I have old ticket stubs, concert programs, newspaper clippings – those things I can put in a scrapbook. But I’ve been known to hoard be sentimental about clothes too, and only recently have I been purging all our closets. Sometimes there’s just that one article of clothing you want to keep. See this old collegiate sweatshirt…
…Became this pillow. (I know, after 10 years, right?)
An upcycled sweatshirt made into an envelope pillow – meaning, you can slip the cover on and off. Very easy for washing. Could be a cute gift for Valentine’s Day, too.
And here’s how I did it.
- Take your clean sweatshirt of choice and lay it on a table or on the floor.
- I cut the sleeves off first. Then set aside.
- Next cut along one of the side seams of your shirt and along the shoulder seams. This will open everything up. I did it this way to give the largest piece of continuous fabric.
- Cut off the bottom hem and collar (cuff material) also. At this point you may need to iron the shirt (highly recommended).
- You may need the sleeves for extra fabric. Cut off the cuffs and cut along either side of the seam.
- For a 16 x 16 pillow, you will need three pieces of fabric: (1) 16-1/2″ x 16-1/2″ for the front, (2) 12-1/2″ x 16-1/2″ for the back. (See my fancy sketch below.) I needed to use the extra sleeve material for one of the back panels. Just piece together if you need to.
- Try to center your focal point. I didn’t have too much choice – just went as high as I could.
- Prepare the back pieces first. Fold along the length (16-1/2″) and press 1/2″, then fold 1/2″ again, pin and edgestitch. Do this to the other piece. Press both pieces. Note: I found the zig-zag stitch easier to do with the stretchy sweatshirt material.
- Lay the front piece down, right side up. Next lay one of the back pieces, wrong side up, matching the raw edge with your front piece. The finished edge should be somewhere in the center area. Lay the other back piece with its raw edge along the other side of the front piece. Now the finished edges of your back pieces should be overlapping one another.
- Stitch around the perimeter with a 1/2″ allowance. Backstitch as you start and finish. When complete, remove and clip your corners, and turn rightside out.
- Stuff your pillowcase!
So here’s the thing – you can adjust the size of your fabric for any size pillow by just adding 1/2″ to your finished size. The back pieces take a little math.
16″ x 16″ pillow – cut 16-1/2″ x 16-1/2″ (front) and 16-1/2″ x 11-1/4″ (two pieces for the back)
14″ x 14″ – cut 14-1/2″ x 14-1/2″ (front) and 14-1/2″ x 9-1/4″ (two pieces for the back)
12″ x 16″ pillow – cut 12-1/2″ x 16-1/2(front) and 12-1/2″ x 11-1/4″ (two pieces for the back)
12″ x 12″ pillow – cut 12-1/2″ x 12-1/2(front) and 12-1/2″ x 7-1/4″ (two pieces for the back)
Now it has a backside.
It would’ve been finished a long time ago except for three things.
One – I miscalculated the amount of solid color fabric (Kona Coal) needed and bought too little.
Two – I usually wait until the sales to buy fabric, but Kona Coal is one of the most popular color at our local store which means it’s almost always out. I didn’t attempt to “special order” it, or comb the online stores either. So I waited. And then waited some more. Finally got the end of a bolt last week.
Three – I could’ve just made the quilt back all easy-peasy, but no. I had to get all fancy and try my hand at some wonky squares, and it was difficult just figuring out the final layout. Oh, the amount of sketches I did, and piecing things together on the floor. I told myself, “Sheesh, it’s just a blanket… just finish it already.”
And now, it’s done!
Going BIG with my first quilt.
Now it’s time to make the quilt sandwich… I have the batting, and a ton of safety pins to put it all together. As much as machine-quilting looks fun, my machine would probably explode if I even attempted to freestyle quilt. So, I think this one will be hand-tied the good old-fashioned way. My daughter really wanted to help out, and I think it’s something we can do together. Any tips on what sort of thread to use? Next time I go to our fabric store, I’ll be asking the ladies at the counter… they’re just as excited that my project is moving along, too.
I finally finished these pillowcases, and taught myself how to do French seams from the Pretty quick pillowcase tutorial (& bonus french seam instructions) at Film in the Fridge. Think of the possibilities for the holidays?! I may be busy sewing for the next few months.
Notice anything? The design is upside down on the left hand pillow. Yes, lesson learned. Now I know what one of the tutorials meant by “good with non-directional prints”. I didn’t really stop to see how it was going to look. Abby didn’t seem to mind. She said, “That’s okay, Mom.” What a relief. Besides that, I turned the main fabric (apple print) 90 degrees contrary to what most of the tutorials showed. I don’t know if it matters. It’s just that if I didn’t, the apples would be sideways, and that’s not really what my daughter wanted.
Here’s a detail of the cuff from the inside. Nice and clean.
Basically, what you see right-side out is normal. What you see when the pillowcase is turned inside-out is this: the French seam. No raw edges.
Looking to add something to your list of projects? Here are some more sites that I scouted:
- This tutorial at jcaroline creative
- The pillowcase tutorial at Little Birdie Secrets shows a “tube” technique.
- To take my pillowcase skills to the next level, I want to try these two patterns at The Lazy Organizer. They’re just too pretty to not try!