Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Pillow Talk -- Not just for Lovers!!

Just before Christmas, I had a note from Sherry over at Sherry Quilts.  She had used my Alphabet pattern to make a half dozen pillows for her favorite kids!  I was thrilled.  When I wrote the pattern back in the 1980's I didn't intend for quilters to make the sampler like the pattern photo -- I thought they would use the letters as "banners" within their quilts -- well, that's how I've always used them.
I asked Sherry for permission to share her idea and I used it this week to make a couple Easter treats for my grands!  The pattern has a chart of all 26 letters of the alphabet plus the number 0 through 9 in four sizes -- 3 3/4" tall, 5" tall, 6 1/4" tall and 7 1/2" tall.  It uses squares and rectangles plus snowball corners so there are no templates -- everything can be rotary cut!
I purchased two small pillow forms -- a tube and a rectangle.  I settled on fabrics from "the most awesome" stash of fabric in the world and cut everything for GRACE to begin.
At the sewing machine, I laid out each letter -- this is a "C". 
I had all five letters together in under an hour.
The spacers between the letters make them look so much better!
I chose a fat quarter of a Riley Blake print from a stack I've been hoarding.
I've never covered a tubular pillow form so I had to stop and do some research.  I found this VIDEO from Sailrite.  It is a decorator approach and I simplified my approach a bit but watching the video helped me gather my thoughts.  This is what I came up with for my pillow.
I made a wide "casing" for each end to get a gathered finish.  Once I determined how long the main part needed to be, I cut two bands -- one for each end of the cover.  The width of these bands is the diameter of the end of the pillow form. 
I folded each casing piece in half bringing the short ends together, right sides facing and stitched a seam leaving a 1/2" opening to one side of the center.  The pencil mark by my finger is the center. 
Once I pressed the seams open, these become the openings for casings that I threaded ribbon through. 
Now I folded each casing in half, wrong sides together and you can see that the opening is right by this folded edge. 
I also stitched the short ends of the pillow cover body together so I have a tube.  Now I inserted each casing in one end of the pillow tube (which is turned wrong side out), matching the raw edges and pinning everything in place. 
The opening in the casing needs to be against the right side of the pillow cover at this point -- that keeps the opening on the outside of the finished cover.
Once I had stitched the seams on my sewing machine, I clean finished the edges with my serger to eliminate raveling. 
Once the casings were attached, I turned the entire cover right side out and pressed the seams and edges. 
I plunged into the ribbon stash and found a reel of 1/4" pink satin ribbon -- yea!!  I don't have to leave the house!! 
Once I knew the width of the ribbon, I stitched along the folded edge of the casing to make a channel to thread the ribbon through.
I found my Purple Thang (another yea!!) and threaded the ribbon through each casing.  Time to insert the pillow form!!
But first, I must break the law (-; and cut off the tag!!  LOL!!!
And into the cover the form begins to go!
I drew up the ribbon and IT WORKED!!
There's one for Ben, too.   I used the 5" tall letters for his rectangular pillow and the 3 3/4" ones for Grace's small bolster. 
That's the last of this fishing flies fabric -- Ben is showing signs of enjoying fishing and I think he'll like this "guy" fabric. 
I'm so grateful to Sherry for sharing her idea with me.  As I was posing the finished pillows on the patio chair, I decided to recover my little porch pillows for summer with some of the letters and my fruit and veggie prints -- K is for kale, B is for banana . . .
The pattern is available on my website -- HERE -- and for the rest of April, I'll offer FREE shipping when you order your own copy!!
Mary Huey



  1. What a lovely idea. Beautiful fabrics and fun letters!

  2. Thanks, Marly! I forgot how much fun it is to make these alphabet blocks!!

  3. Your grands will love their pillows. What better way to mark your territory than with a dual purpose pillow? That fly fishing fabric is too cute. I haven't seen it, but I have a grandson who would probably enjoy a pillow just like this one. Happy Easter!