Monday, March 14, 2016

The Pillowcase Adventure Makes Memories

Few months ago I had my 7 year old grand daughter for 2 days and she is into crafts as much as I am...we are craft buddies! I had previously taught her to make a lap quilt out of charms, but this time...I taught her to make a pillow case.

You just need about 3/4 yard of main fabric and 1/3 yard of a print for the cuff (the bears) and 1/4 yard for the trim (the green) for a standard pillowcase, as you see in the picture below of the completed pillowcase.
How it Started

The story of Cordoroy, the little bear that lost the button on his green overalls... has been a special story to her and I. When she was 2, I started reading the story of Cordoroy to her and she loved the story! There was a store security guard in the story that was dressed  like a police officer. Her daddy is a Deputy Sheriff  and she thought  the guy in the story was a"Beddy Sef", just like her daddy!The story became very  special to us. I later began making up stories for her at nap time about Cordoroy and Silky Bear (her own little stuffed buddy) that lived in Princess Ashleigh's bedroom and when Princess Ashleigh left for school..the bears and other dolls would come to life and scurry out of the house and to a strawberry patch and have an adventure...similar to the Raggedy Ann/Andy stories.

The Fabric:

When I stumbled on these panels and the bear fabric at an online store... I knew I had to get them, no matter the cost! I had never seen them before and of course....Cordoroy fabric was in my "shopping cart" within minutes!  I intended to make her a quilt out of them some how, but just never could figure a design out! Then it suddenly occurred to me to let her make the pillow case and the rest is memorable  history!

See the little loops on the right side of the case in the picture above and left side in picture below?  She has two little "bedtime buddies". She calls them her "Silkies", one is a bunny and one is a bear (ergo Silkie Bear!) . They have silk binding on them. She said that they always fall out of bed or she rolls on them and can't find them. So I created these fabric loops and now, she puts "Silkies" in the loops and they never leave her side! The picture below is the other side of the pillowcase, the "Good Night" side and the Silkies are in the loops on the left there.

The Memory

Ashleigh will have  memories of our special time together  for years!! It started when she was 2 and now at 7, when she stays the night, she still asks for a Cordoroy story at bedtime. And I always have a different story and adventure that the bears do and she has her favorites that she asks me to tell again. She has the pillowcase at  her house and sleeps with it every night and always has her  Silkies with her...and her memories. Good night, Ashleigh!

And to further the memory (for both of us!) I later made her a small quilt about Corduroy and his escapades. I made her what I call a Symbolic Memory quilt. Instead of making a specific quilt with obvious features...I used symbols which she knows and will still be able to recount the memory and in this case...carry the memory with her to give to her children.

Click to read about the Symbolic Memory Quilt


This is the book that inspired our memory.  Corduroy is now 40 years old, but we don't have to mention that! We shall let the little bear be a child's matter how old he, technically, is!

Does your child have a favorite character....get them the book and make them a quilt or pillowcase to match it and you'll have a great gift for them with lots and lots of memories. Or...what about a character memory of yours? Do the same and hand those memories down to your children!

A Pillowcase Tutorial

Here is a great tutorial about  making pillowcases using the "tube" method. It is very quick and easy. Also, because they are so quick and can make many of them in a day or so. Pillow cases are great for gifts of all ages! Change colors and prints and the options are limitless! I do mine slightly different in that I sew the pieces together, then one seam up the side and then roll the cuff  down to cover the seam and then hand sew the hem to cover the seam. Only seam visible is the side seam and the bottom seam!

This is a tutorial for making a pillow case..really fast and easy! Click the arrow in the middle of the picture below to start the tutorial

Reasons for making pillowcases....

  1. as gifts...for any occasion! Valentines Day gets red ones, patriotic days get red, white and blue. Wedding...matching white (or the wedding color) accented with some lace! Kids birthdays...find out their favorite character or "thing" and get fabric to match! Christmas... a Santa or other holiday print. Fabric comes in SO MANY different prints these days, you can almost always find the perfect print!
  2. Fund Raisers....get a group to make them and sell them at the school fund raiser or any fund raiser.
  3. Donations to charities...especially the kids know the kids would love their very own speciality pillowcase!
  4. To match the room you are designing or a quilt you have made!
Whatever the reason...just have fun making pillowcases!


  1. Hi there, you might find this pillowcase tutorial interesting. I'm only a sewing newbie but I've made several now using this technique:

  2. What a wonderful way to make memories. My sons loved the story about the Very hungry carterpillar. They are now grown up, but when I saw the fabrics with the caterpillar I had to buy it. I hope to be a grandmother one day, and then I will make a quilt and read the story for my grandchild :)

    1. Yes! You need to do that... get the book now before it goes out of print and do the pillow cases now so they are ready when the grand kids are in case you aren't sewing then. What a memory that will all make for them!


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