Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Fringed fleece pillows with personality

When my daughter and one of her best friends came to me eager for a craft, I took one look at the pillow-form-tower in my craft closet and pitched pillow making. It wasn't much of a sell. These tweens were all about creating something to decorate their nests a.k.a. twin beds. I pulled out the fleece I had on hand and thought they could easily make no-sew fleece pillows. However, these girls wanted to sew. I couldn't argue with that given my current sewing machine obsession, so I threw in an extra step to personalize the pillows with sewn initials. Then I reasoned, we'd transfer into no-sew mode to easily add funky fringe to the pillow edges.

First, we cut 2- 22" x 22" squares from the fleece...that's 2 squares per pillow (BTW our pillow forms were 16" x 16".) Then, we used leftover fabric to cut out an initial for each pillow. If freehanding letter shapes makes you sweat, go ahead and use a computer to enlarge a single letter in the font of choice. Print out for an instant pattern. The girls also used a heart stencil to make a pattern for hearts they wanted to add. After cutting out all the shapes from the fleece, the girls pinned them to the center of their front pillow square.

Next, we sewed each shape on to the front fleece with a straight-stitch about 1/4" in from the outer edges of the shapes. After that we zigzag-stitched the shape edges. I told the girls to have fun with it. Fleece doesn't fray so things didn't have to be perfect. Sure the stitching was to secure, but also to add personality. Perfection doesn't have much character.

Next, we laid the stitched fleece square on top of the second fleece square. We measured 4 inches in from the edge all the way around and drew a white chalk line. Then, we cut 1 inch (approx.) wide strips up to that 4 inch chalk line snipping through both layers of fleece. The corner squares were discarded.

Finally, we sandwiched the pillow form between the two layers of fringed fleece. Beginning at one corner, we tied the front fleece square to the back fleece square by double knotting the corresponding front strip to the back strip. We continued around the pillow, double knotting corresponding strips, until we had the entire pillow secured.

And here they are...two really cute, personalized, fringed, super comfy, one-of-a-kind, fleece pillows. We created these pillows in a night making this a perfect slumber party craft. If pressed for time, the sewn personalization could be omitted, but for us that's what made the pillows special. My daughter mentioned how she now wants to make two more pillows so she has all three of her initials to line up on her bed. Clever girl! I love that idea. I may need to make a fleece run.

1 comment:

Josey's mom said...

super cute! Funny to read about your sewing obsession-I finally took my machine to a friend's to help me thread it and (with 3 children under 4!) 2 hours later! So the bug has not bit yet my friend!