Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Quick Craft: Quilty Pillows

A couple months ago I bought a collection of 16 fat quarters (18-inch-by-22-inch pieces of fabric) from Anna Maria Horner's Chocolate Lollipop fabric collection; we were doing some work with Anna Maria, and with our marketing manager expecting a daughter, I thought it would be fun to make her a baby quilt using some of Anna Maria's fabric. The quilt was only going to take three or four fat quarters, which left me with about a dozen more pieces of this gorgeous, colorful fabric. What to do?

Then I was lounging in the TV room, technically a first-floor bedroom that we made into a small family room. We live in that room. And it shows. This day I actually looked at the bedraggled pillow on the love seat, which I'd grown used to:

So I decided some of the extra fabric needed to perk up our dumpy TV room.

The fabric has big, bold patterns that would look great with a little extra texture. Because I was feeling all maternal and wanting to do some hand stitching, I made mini-quilts of the pillow tops, backing the pillow fabric with some quilt batting and a piece of muslin. Then I hand-quilted around random parts of the pattern. When each pillow top was finished, I machine-sewed three sides of the mini-quilt to the pillow back, stuffed in a 16-inch pillow form, and hand-sewed the fourth side.

I like the slight texture that the hand-quilting gave the pillow tops; you don't even really notice it, but I think it gives even more depth to this great fabric. And the hand-quilting was a relaxing way to hang out with the boys while watching Speed Racer episodes.

Cost of the project:
About $9 per pillow: $3 for the patterned fabric, $5 for the pillow form, $.50 for the muslin, and $.50 for the solid-colored backing. The quilt batting came from some batting scraps I had from other projects, so it was free.

How to make it cheaper:

  • Not using specialty fabric, which is about two to four times as expensive as sale fabric at a store like JoAnn's. Or better yet, for prolific sewers with good stashes, using leftover fabric. Vintage fabric from the 60s, if you can score it at thrift stores, would make incredible floor pillows.
  • Using regular pillow forms, which would have been about $2.50, rather than getting sucked into buying the "eco-form," whatever "eco" means in this case. Better yet, recovering existing throw pillows.
Random thoughts:
After extensive usability testing, Tommy certified the pillows 100% nappable:


Hooked on Houses said...

These are so pretty! Love them. And they do look very nappable!

Amy Jo said...

That's a fabulous idea. I'll have to try that. I like that it's still a simple project, but adds more texture and interest to a throw pillow.

Pillow Form Fun said...

I was surfing the net today and found your blog. It's interesting and fun to read. Those pillows are beautiful!

I have a site where I provide craft ideas for pillows and pillow forms. I thought it might be mutually beneficial if we swapped blogroll links.

Please take a look at my site and see if it's something you might be interested in. If you are at all interested please shoot me an email and let me know the text you want me to use in your link. I'll get it up right away and then send you the text for my link.

Look forward to hearing from you.