Cora’s DIY big Girl Pillow Sham

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I have so many exciting things to share, but I thought I’d start where I left off!  Cora’s room is undergoing a major transformation from toddler/overflow to a real, “big girl” room.  We just celebrated our house-iversary last week and we are so excited to finally be turning our attention to our sweet, little girl’s “big girl” room.  I recently shared about the “big bed” we chose for her as well as the floral “C” we did for over her bed.

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Since the girls were born, I’ve dreamt of making them their own quilts for their big girl beds.  They received beautiful baby blankets as gifts, but I want to make them something special “made by mom” and they are both really into the idea.  Since I mentioned it over a year ago, both have brought it up, asking when I will make them their quilts.

Technically, I started on a quilt for Chloe when she was about 8 months old, but I found it overwhelming so the cut-out pieces are still carefully organized and stashed away.  I didn’t want that to happen again, so I picked a much simpler design for Cora’s quilt.  However, I’ve never made a quilt before!  I thought I’d practice on a pillow sham first to try out the techniques I’ve never done before.

Cora picked out her purple sheets, they are Circo brand from Target.  I picked up another set to make her quilt from.  I’m using the flat sheet for the quilt so I decided to use the fitted sheet (minus the elastic, which I cut off) for a practice pillow sham.

I just upgraded my sewing machine and am still learning the ropes, so there is a lot of internet searching and manual reading, but I’m very pleased with how this turned out.  It’s my first-ever project of this type and my first big project on my new, big sewing machine.

I did the appliqués first, before even cutting the fitted sheet into pillow-size.  I just cut the elastic out and gave myself plenty of room so I could make sure that everything was centered.

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I started with an appliqué of her name.  This could have been done in my old sewing machine’s 4 x 4 embroidery hoop, one letter at a time, but it was so much easier using a jumbo hoop and not having to re-hoop.  Hooping is by far my least favorite part of embroidery.

After I finished her name, I cut out the pillow.  I measured a standard pillow and added 7 inches to each side to allow for a 1/2″ seam allowance all the way around and 3″ of border.  I marked where the pillow ended and the border began with disappearing ink.  I cut out an extra piece from the lavender fabric to be the back and made it 6 inches wider than the front, then cut it in half.  I hammed each of these pieces on one side and they will overlap to fit the pillow inside later.

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Then I appliquéd flowers randomly around her name.  Since I could see where the border went (with the blue stitching in the finished product), I had a visual of where to place the flowers.  The flowers came from 3 different-but-similar appliqué designs that I found for sale online at a bargain.  One of them had a long stem and extra leaves and I stopped the machine when it came to doing those parts.  I rotated, flipped, and resized flowers to make them look different.

All of the fabric used in the appliqués is from a project I did the first year of each girl’s life.  I used a different yard of fabric each week to photograph the girls in a white onsie and made photo books of their first 52 weeks.  It’s really special to have these fabrics re-used in a quilt.

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After finishing the appliqué, I quilted a free-flowing design onto the pillow area between the appliqués.  There is no real pattern to this and I found it time-consuming but easy.  I used batting between the purple material and some plain white fabric on the back (actually a re-purposed crib sheet).

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I sewed the pillow front to the two pillow back pieces, overlapping them in the center and lining up the edges on the side.  Then I used a decorative stitch built-into my machine in a contrasting aqua-blue to sew the quilted pillow front onto the back pieces to create the 3″ border.  This decorative stitch was one right on the mark I made earlier.

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I am by no stretch a sewing expert, but I’m pretty good at reading the manual and looking online for techniques for the things I want to do.  I think that a pillow sham is a great trial project to learn your design and/or sewing machine.  Isn’t this amazing for a first-ever quilting project?

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I love it and more importantly, so does Miss Cora!

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This is going to turn out to be a beautiful quilt.  I’m hoping it also gives me the confidence to finish Chloe’s more complicated quilt (also using keepsake fabrics!).

 

1 Comment

  1. Purple Paint for a Purple Loving Princess – remodelicious

    June 26, 2014 at 10:42 am

    […] Summer has been keeping us busy with all things summer… swimming, watching movies, building snowmen named Olaf, general mayhem, be have a little update for Cora’s room. I recently shared how I made her a pillow sham as practice for a quilt that’s on my to-do list.  You can see how you can make your own in a weekend here. […]

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