Jun 13, 2011

Making a Quillow

Quillow: Etymological Note: quilt + pillow

After posting a photo of my 14 quilting projects...on two walls, in umpteen baskets, and on my design floor just a few days ago......I was reminded that a Great-Niece was graduating from High School and being honored with a family barbeque.

Here I am, 14 projects already started... and none of them is either appropriate or can be quilted/finished in time for the party. I ended up with only 3 days to get the gifts figured out, designed, and sewed.

I have always given quilts to every child in our family...nieces and nephews or at least their babies when the had them, and now great-nieces and great-nephews and several times I have given 'quillows' and they have been big hits! So...a quillow was decided upon.

My original tutorial on How To Make A Quillow shows one of her cousins' quilt/pillow being made. But I decided to take photos as I went along for a second photo tutorial.....then maybe I could just made the next one on automatic pilot!

I used a simple quilt panel for my quick quilt, added some 5 1/2" borders all the way around, some co-coordinating fabric for the back panel and some stitch in the ditching for quilting. I was delighted to discover that my panel was designed by Diane Phalen, who once lived in Banks, Oregon. She also made lovely quilting art cards and prints that many of us still treasure! So, it was great fun finding this favorite panel among my supplies! But if you have a nice quilt top all finished.....try using that for a wonderfully easy to finish quillow!

Materials Needed:

4-5 yards total of assorted fabrics for piecing
or 2 yds. for quilt top and 2 yds. for quilt back
1/2 yd. for pillow pocket (pocket needs to be 1/3 of width of finished quilt)
thin batting of your choice ( a twin batt, 72" x 90" will make 2 quillows)

Step 1: Cutting Directions
For the "pillow pocket" :
Cut as follows or pieces that measure 1/3 of width of finished quilt top:
(1) approx.18 " to 20" fabric square or pieced square in color 1 for top
(1) 18 " to 20" fabric square or pieced square in color 2 (or the same) for bottom
(1) 18 " to 20" fabric square of thin batting

For the "quilt" cut as follows:
(1) 45" x 72" piece (or pieced into blocks) of fabric for top of quilt
(1) 45" x 72" piece (or pieced into blocks) of fabric for back of quilt
(1) 45" x 72" piece of thin batting
*For a baby quillow, down size as desired, making pillow section 1/3 of total width of quilt

Step 2: Sewing the Pillow Pocket Together
1. Place batting on flat surface.
2. Place bottom fabric on batt, right side up.
3. Place top fabric piece on top of backing, right side down.
4. Pin together, stitch closed with 1/2", leaving an 8" opening.
5. Reaching into opening, pull out to turn pillow, shape corners and hand stitch opening closed.
6. Machine stitch a simple quilting pattern or hand tie to secure into a now flat pillow piece.

Step 3: Sewing the Quilt Body Together
1. Place batting on flat surface.
2. Place bottom fabric right side up on top of batting.
3. Place top fabric right side down on backing.
4. Pin, then sew closed with a 1/2" seam, leaving a 10" opening on one side.
5. Reaching into opening, pull right sides out, shape corners, hand stitch opening closed.

Step 4: Sew the Pillow Pocket to the Quilt Body (if quilting or tying is needed under it do that before attaching pillow to quilt!
1. Lay quilt body, back side up.
2. Center the pillow pocket, flushed edges together, positioning at the center section of quilt,
wrong side of pillow pocket up, design nap pointing up towards outside edge. *pillow pocket final opening will be at the bottom of the pillow top, facing towards center of the quilt body as you look down at the backing. The 'right' side of the finished pillow is 'inside' and does not show on top at this point!
3. Sew only three sides of pillow down flat to quilt body, leaving lower pillow edge open (facing the center of the quilt, not the outside of quilt edge) to form pocket.
4. Secure the quilt layers together by either hand tieing or machine quilting every 9" apart.
Do NOT sew over the pocket!!! If need be quilt under it before getting to this stage!

You should now have a lovely finished quilt, with a pillow section on the back. This is a quillow. A quilt+a pillow=a quillow.

How to make it look like a pillow, you ask;) It's pure magic!!!

Folding the quilt into the pillow shape to create the quillow in 10 steps:

1. Take the quilt,laying it flat as shown above.

2. Fold over 1/3 using back pillow edge as guide line.

3. Fold over another 1/3 using back pillow other side as guide line.

4. Fold down 1/3 using top of back pillow as guide line.

5. Fold down again creating a square shape.You can see my elastic loops at the bottom edge.Using these with buttons on the other side of the pocket opening is a closure option.

5.Using your hand, open up the inside of what will become the pillow section. You hold onto this edge as you reach within to pull the folded quilt sections into the inside of it and then inside out...like pulling through a case inside out.

6.Here it is beginning to emerge from the inside to the outside. The bright yellow strippy square is on the quilt front, you see as you pull it into the pillow.

7. And here the final step of pulling it out. Now you see the pink blocks that become the front of the little pillow form.

8. Almost a pillow!

9. Now...if you want buttons and loops, as you might see here, I added mine at this last stage by hand and just tacked them down. Sew 2 bottons and two pieces of tied black elastic made into little button loops.

Button those elastic loops around your optional buttons hand sewn to the outside of the pillow bottom for closure..or you can just leave the pillow opening open, no buttons and loops, or use velcro tabs....whatever you want!.. As the pillow 'sits' on a surface, it is on top of this opening and it doesn't really show very much, anyway! But I added this last step as the gift was part of the quillow directions test I put into my hand made Graduation card...for even more fun ;)

10. My quillow....a little quilt that turns into a pillow!

Quicker and easier than it even sounds! I made the quilt, the pillow, and a cute bag with pockets, and and ID tag in less than three days. And yes, you can be that crazy productive, too ;)

Free Bag Pattern and ID tag tutorial

Quillow Tips/patterns

No tme for a quilt? Make a Flillow!.......a Fleece Blanket + Pillow ;)

Make a Fleece Blanket (or quilt) into a Pillow Quilt
Any quilt or fleece blanket can be made into a pillow quilt by making the pocket as described below.
For pocket: Cut out two pieces of fabric and one piece of batting approximately 18 1/2” square (Smaller if your blanket isn’t very big - pocket should be about a third the width of the blanket). Put fabric right sides together and place batting on top of fabric. Sew all the way around (with batting on bottom), leaving an opening of 4” - 5” on one side to turn - this is the same method used for making quilts envelope style. Some quilters call this birthing a quilt.
Trim corners of the pocket and turn right side out. Stitch opening closed.
Place pocket at end of blanket & stitch to blanket on three sides (see diagram). A zigzag stitch is more durable.
Fold blanket into thirds - pocket will be on top (along dashed lines on diagram), then fold blanket up and insert into pocket as you turn the pocket inside out.
Note: The pockets can also be made out of two layers of fleece. We have received some very nice pillow quilts made this way.

Thanks to Google Free Images for this diagram!


Michele Bilyeu Quilts With Heart and Hands for the Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initiative (AAQI) Join in my Liberated Quilting Challenge and buy or donate a quilt, today!

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Michele Bilyeu said...

Blogger took me 3 hours to get this to post correctly! And then I was invisible on your linking blog lists until now.

Please check back here every three days if I remain invisible..that's how often I update.

PLUS! I have totally lost my enormous blog list that shows me all of YOUR blogs! Still working on that one.

I am using my followers list for now, and your comments in back posts for connecting to all of you to read your blogs! Oh you blogger gremlins you!

Maritza said...

Michele, blogger está con problemas, a mí se me desaparecieron los seguidores durante tres días!!!!
El tutorial del cojín-manta te quedó fantástico, Un beso

Winifred said...

That is a great gift. They must all be so grateful to you. Amazing to have an auntie like you who gives up so much time to make them presents filled with love.

Thank you so much for the instructions for the quillow. Think I'll try to make one each for my grand daughters. I have enough stuff just not the confidence. Never mind I have your instructions. Just need to finish crocheting a shawl for my great nephew who was born at only 23 weeks and weighed a tiny 17 ozs. I should have been making two shawls as he was a twin but sadly his brother died. He has a long way to go still but little Liam is doing fairly well.

Michele Bilyeu said...

I love hearing from Maritza. She lets me practice my 'google translate' skills which said:
Michele, blogger is having problems, to me they just disappeared for three days fans!!
The pad-blanket tutorial I was fantastic, A kiss

As I wrote back..translating to her,again...I was having so many blogger problems I didn't know which one to correct first and felt lucky to be able to post at all!

I hope my translation she received was close enough with 'my' Spanish ;)

Rosa said...

Yes,blogger doesn´t work very well.
Your quillow is very cute.

I use google chrome and now blogger allow leave a comment.

Mrs. Goodneedle said...

Crazy? Yes. Productive? I don't know if I could hold a candle to you, Michele! I love, love, love quillows. Your tutorial is excellent.

Lynne said...

Great quillow - I'm sure your niece will love it.

quiltmom anna said...

Great tutorial Michele,
I haven't made one of these for quite awhile but they are fun and a great way to have a fast quilt.
Thanks for sharing- You are one generous lady.
Hope you have a wonderful week.
Warmest regards,

Teodo said...

Great tutorial Michele. Thanks.
ciao ciao

Shelly said...

Oh, what a wonderful gift for a young family member! The receiver will cherish this forever, I'm sure. Love this wonderful quillow...and did you say you finished it all in 3 days only? Thank you for doing the tutorial. Quillows are cool and I'd like to try to make one soon.

Mishka said...

Great post Michele .. now I have a link to refer people too. This is one of the most common questions I get asked on my site.

The other Michele

Threeundertwo said...

This is what I need! Perfect tutorial. I'm off to look at your tote bag instructions next.

Floridatjej o Buttons said...

Fabulous, I'm so glad I found your blog, there's a lot of inspiriation to get...........I'll be back.
I'm linking to you on my blog so I can find my way back, hope it's OK

Stephanie said...

What a great gift. I have to say I was a bit relieved when you said you used a panel. For a moment there I thought it was a pieced pillow. I made my kids quillows for Christmas a few years ago and they loved them. Most of the time they just stay in the car for road trips. Thanks for the great tutorials.