purple pillow cases, machine sewn

My notes for creating king size pillow shams and decorative stitching (on the cuffs) pillow cases:

This summer I began creating large sized lap quilts. Besides the enjoyment that I receive from the creative side and the hours of “chilling while working a quilt”, I also have three storage boxes (medium size Rubbermaid boxes) for hiding my quilting supplies from nesting mice (that like to move indoors as frosty weather arrives). Inside those storage boxes are several different yardage of cotton quilting fabric.

The tale of three king size shams and two pillowcases:

Four years ago I purchased a twin size quilt (Blair.com, on sale it came to $19.99 with free shipping). The single sized quilt is for our guest bed and came with a matching sham. I wanted more shams but they were only being sold as part of a set. So I purchased another twin quilt set (which gave me a second sham for a regular sized pillow) and finally (yes, after four years) I cut the second single size quilt into lengths for three (king size pillows) shams.

Cost for the shams (both sides are the quilted fabric) came to about $6.50 each, a good price for a king size sham. At first I had planned to make the sham with a slide-in-through the back style opening for inserting the king size pillow but as I find those a pain to deal with (getting those long pillows settled inside the sham), I decided to make the sham like a pillowcase with one end open. All I had to do was cut the quilt into three pieces, fold each piece, stitch along both long sides to create a pillowcase and, as the original quilt had stitched on piping along the full edge, the open end of the sham-pillowcase is finished with piping.

Also these single quilts are reversible so inside of the open end of the pillowcase looks nice.

I have been having a problem since I started machine quilting this summer — rather sore shoulders. Such that, at night, I find myself balling up a comforter and jamming it into my arm pits to cushion my shoulders when I sleep.

But first: I like to create and work crewel and Bargello style embroidery designs, finishing them as throw pillows for benches and sofas. My favorite throw pillow size is 10 to 14-inch square. This spring I had purchased six 14 by 28-inch soft stuffed pillow forms and had already used one of these 14 by 28-inch stuffed pillow forms as a 10-inch square and a 16-inch square (press the pillow down, machine sew two lines and cut between the two lines to form two pillows). So I had five of these 14 by 18-inch pillows, unused and stuff (for storage) into any place that I could find in my sewing room.

Back to my original chat: Two things happened as I was machine stitching the shams).  (1) my shoulders got sore and (2) I found myself looking around my sewing room wondering where else I could move the five remaining 14 by 28-inch pillow forms (so that I did not have to see them sitting around all the time).  The light bulb within my brain went off …. make two pillowcases up to fit 14 by 28-inch size pillow forms and use those two pillows under my shoulders to cushion them while sleeping at night time.

Because of the quilting I have fabric yardage on hand from which I selected two yards of a shaded purple cotton fabric for the pillowcases. And I did something that I have not done before — used the decorative stitch functionality of my sewing machine to create fancy stitch cuffs on the pillowcases.

purple pillows decorative stitching

Purple pillows, decorative stitching, machine sewn.  Photo taken after I used these pillows over several nights of sleep so the cotton fabric is rather rumpled looking.

    Material and costs for the two cushioning pillows:

  • Pillow form: 14 by 28-inches, purchased from Joann Fabric (on sale with free shipping). $12.49 each.
  • Fabric, 100% cotton: 33-inches along selvage edge by 44-inches (cross grain).  Fold along cross grain to provided 16.5 inches of selvage. Yard by 44-inch $8.00
  • Thread: 100% cotton, two shades.

Not counting my time (90 minutes per pillow) to measure, cut and sew fabric, stitching thread ($8.00 for a spool of 1425 yards), the pillow form and fabric cost about $21 per pillow.

 

fabric dimensions to form pillow envelop

fabric dimensions to form pillow envelop

purple pillows sewing threads

Purple pillows sewing threads. Left spool (dark eggplant) is brand new, right (fuchsia color) spool of thread is after decorative stitching of these two pillows.  Notice (by comparing the two spools) how much of the fuchsia thread was used up with the decorative stitching of the two pillowcases.

start decorated sewing

start decorated sewing

about to fold back and top stitch

about to fold back and top stitch

purple pillows

Folded back area of the cuff covers up the back side of the decorative stitching.

purple pillows decorative stitching

Decorative stitching, machine sewn

sewing setup

sewing setup

Sewing Machine: Singer Confidence Quilter 7469Q, new machine purchased 08/21/2011 for $255. This machine has served me well for start-to-finish of five 60-inch quilts, regular straight stitch (clothing, pillows) and decorative sewing like I did along the cuff of these two purple pillowcases.

Since I began quilting (July 2018) I have purchased, for this machine, the (24 by 32-inch) Sewing Steady customized clear acrylic work top with leveling legs and a Singer walking pressure foot. Plus the metal wall racks for holding my quilting threads and bobbins and two beech wood Ikea gateleg tables that when pushed together provide me a 60-inch square fabric/cutting design area. The “emptied” plastic spice bottles that you can see on the right side of my lower wall rack are used for broken pins and broken embroidery needles.

Green pad under the sewing machine and acrylic work area is an outside front door pad, used to keep the sewing machine from walking across the card-table top when I hit high speeds when quilting.