pillow talk


Ever since he’s been in his big bed, Jakob has been asking for pillows.  I won’t let him use our regular pillows because I find them too thick or fluffy for him, and my searches at local stores for “safe” pillows found only one- a pillow marketed for infants, of all things, that is just as fluffy as our pillows, and has a tag, inside the packaging only, stating that it is for decorative purposes only.  Sheesh!

I decided to make my own pillows for him.  I had some white fabric already, and bought a bag of quilt batting for flat stuffing.  I wanted to make pillowcases and looked for fabric with fish on it, ‘cus that is his favorite thing. 


I found a cute panel that had some fish, and planned to cut it up.   I went back and found a nice rainbow print for the back of the pillows.  I prewashed all the fabrics in case they would bias or shrink, and I was good to go.

Before Henri was born I had brought my old sewing machine (like, 40-50 years old) to be repaired and cleaned, and this past weekend I had the woman who had done the embroidery on Jakob’s blanket (remember?) come over and do a mini lesson with me, teaching me the basics of making a pillow case.


These are the pillows I made.  They are completely sealed and while the finishing isn’t my best, it was a learning experience and they will get the job done. 

jkpilfo04My only regret is that they are slightly smaller than I’d wanted, as I’d forgotten to include a seam allowance in the measurements.  I’d only realized this after cutting the pillowcase fabric, so they are a little too small for the pillowcases.  Not a big deal, and they still fit Jakob’s head perfectly.


This is the first pillowcase, using the section of the panel with the duck in the boat.


…and the back with the rainbow lining.


This is the second, using the area with the worm, fish, clam and shrimp.


…and the back of the second pillow.  Did you notice I made them each open on opposite sides?

When I was done I had quite a bit of fabric left over.  There were 2 cute areas of the original panel left (the sun and the fish with glasses), as well as all the cute checkerboard trim (that I had wanted to use for backing but they don’t make that as an all-over print).  I decided to take advantage of being in a sewing mood, dust off my memories of vague quilt-making from high school, and make 2 little quilted panels as mini throw pillows.  I used some scrap black for the corner squares.


These are the throws before quilting.


These are the throws after.  I had planned on hand-quilting them to get the stitching perfectly outlining the graphics.  Then I remembered I still want to knit sometime, ever, and not carry around a little quilt square to hand quilt when I could find spare time.  So I zipped through it on the machine instead.  My lines don’t line up, but I like the free-form look.


I quilted the sun block by going around the spokes and center of the sun, and then for the border I quilted the black squares only.



For this one I quilted (very haphazardly!) around the fish, and for the border I did the checkered areas instead of the black squares like before.


Ok, so they look more like hot-pads then throw pillows.  Whatever- he can use them for whatever he wants.  I just didn’t want to waste the cute images.

At least the pillows were successful- he’s been sleeping with them for the last few nights, and in the morning his head is still on them.  Yay!  I like seeing my handmade stuff actually being used!

Author: Jennifer Lori

Punny dork who makes stuff.

4 thoughts on “pillow talk

  1. Wow, those are wicked! I really have the itch to learn to make stuff too by sewing machine and learn how to quilt. One of these days!

    Great job! I hope Jakob likes them!


  2. How cute! I love how you used the panel to make two pillows. Very creative! I have done some hand quilting and it is a lot of fun, but very time consuming.


  3. Awesome job!!!
    I need to learn how to use my machine finally!


  4. Jeez! Knitting, crocheting, baking and now sewing!?!? What are you trying to do, put the rest of us to shame???


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