I was so excited to get a call from American Patchwork & Quilting last Summer ... asking me to take part in the One Million Pillowcase Challenge Blog Hop! Through the entire month of September, designers, fabric companies, manufacturers, and the APQ staff have been blogging about their pillowcase events. The list of the bloggers is here or you can follow along on APQ's Facebook page or on the Quilts & More page.
If you've been looking for something charitable that you or a group can do easily, the One Million Pillowcase Challenge is for you! Basically, you gather a group of friends together and do what we love to do ... you sew! Or you can make some by yourself and drop them off at your local quilt store ... like the Cottage. We have collected and given over 600 pillowcases! What I love about this program is that it stays in your neighborhood. You give them to organizations who you feel need them most ... hospitals, women's shelters, senior care centers ... places that matter to you. Listen to what Jennifer Keltner has to say about why the challenge matters!
The blog hop came with a few easy rules ... one of them was to make a pillowcase from their free pillowcase patterns. I'm never good with too many choices so I asked the readers on my Rosebud's Cottage Facebook page to pick from a few that I had selected. They made great choices!
Pattern #5 was the favorite ...who doesn't like prairie points? We had this adorable Halloween fabric so I had to use it! If you decide to make this pillowcase, I've got some tips for you.
The prairie points are squares that are folded diagonally, pressed, and then folded diagonally again. I like to have them spaced equally so I slid a 24" ruler inside the pillowcase cuff, and pinned them so that I could baste them in place first. Not only did it help me get my placement equal, I was able to pin without accidently going through to the next layer. I had to fudge a bit so that they all fit. You can tuck one point into the other by at least a half inch.
I like to pin just through the point so that my pins stay out of the way. Keep a small scissors handy to help guide the fabric under the presser foot and to keep the points tucked inside each other.
I know the directions said to top stitch 1/8" from the edge but I'm not good at eyeing that. I like to use the inside edge of my presser foot and just run it along the seam. And yes ... I left on my 1/4" foot ... I'm too lazy to keep switching back and forth!
Ugh. In spite of my best efforts, a few of those prairie points slipped and didn't come out even. I should have paid more attention to that when I was sewing. Too late now but learn from my mistake!
Another pattern my fans chose for me was #10 ... the pillowcase with the flying geese band. We just got in a shipment from Studio E called Belle's Dream. Seemed appropriate for a pillow case!
I rely on traditional quilting methods and don't use a lot of tools ... but we got in the Folded Corner Clipper from Susan Nelson recently and I knew this would be the perfect time to try it out. Works like a charm! You line up the template according to the size of your corner square ... slice ... and sew!
I liked how the template trimmed the dog ears at the same time. And ya ... I saved the little triangles I cut off and sewed them together right away. You'd be surprised how many cute things you can make with them!
I like to press my seams in opposite directions so that the block lies flat.
Ugh! I didn't pay attention. I hate ripping ...
I had an extra hour so thought I'd see how long it would take to make the basic pattern. Forty minutes for two! I made them from a flannel line by Deb Strain for Moda. Some little kids will love them! One thing about this pattern ... and some of the others ... the seam allowance is 1/2" so I taped my machine to make things easier.
I've made pattern #15 before so understood how it worked ... it didn't take me too long to whip up a few more pillowcases! This pattern has a strip of piping along the cuff to add some interest. Truly ... it takes more time to choose the fabric than to sew them!
To make sure all of the components are the same size, I fold the body in half then lay the cuff and the piping on top ... making sure all of the edges and folds are even. I use my 60mm cutter to trim the pieces to the correct size. When I get ready to sew, it all fits together perfectly!
It took me four days ... working about an hour each day ... to make six pillowcases. Imagine how you can fit this into your time ... or how many pillowcases a group of your friends could make! I'm going to leave mine in the store for a little bit but then they'll be going to the East Metro Women's Council ... I know they'll put them to good use! When you donate, don't forget to go to the web site and add your totals so that we can reach that million mark!
Leave me a comment and when the blog hop is over, I'll pick two winners who will get Folded Corner Cutters. I know you'll love them