Category: Pillow Talk

Orchestra T-Shirts + Quilting = Perfect Harmony

I love when an Etsy convo pops up because it usually means someone is interested in having a favorite t-shirt turned into a custom quilted t-shirt pillow (I have 2 of these Etsy listings, one for floor pillow shams and one for accent pillow shams.)

It’s always fun to see what t-shirts (and memories!) people want to preserve. In the past, I’ve had requests to make quilted pillow shams from sports team shirts, fandom shirts and summer camp shirts, but recently I got my first request to turn youth orchestra t-shirts into custom quilted pillow shams.  Cue the music!

After a few messages back and forth, Rose W. ordered a pillow sham quintet (that’s <5> if you are musically-challenged like me) and mailed her shirts off.

When I opened the package, two of her shirts had Rockford Music Academy graphics on the front. Those ended up as this cute duet ~orchestrapillows2

The other 3 shirts featured the Rockford Symphony Youth Orchestra logo on the front, and, yes, I can hear you saying, “Can this quilter not count? There’s 5 RYSO pillow shams in this picture!”


When I turned over two of the shirts, there were logos on the back, too! And, well, I just couldn’t let them go to waste. Every t-shirt image deserves the chance to fulfill it’s destiny as a quilted pillow 😀 So, like going to a concert and having the orchestra decide to play two encores, Rose ended up getting 7 pillows for the price of 5!






4 Short Quilt Stories to Finish 2018

As I was looking back over what I accomplished quilt-wise in 2018, I noticed a few items that didn’t get posted here on Snip-Itz, so here’s a short and sweet look at 4 quilt projects from the last year —

Granny’s Glamper Quilted Accent Pillow

This adorable coordinating pillow was part of DeVon D.’s “gift with purchase” for the quilt she ordered to fit her teardrop camper. I think she liked it, because, after receiving it, she wrote,

“I told my husband he has to paint my camper to match the one on the sham! I’m not even kidding.”


Steelers Redux

In July, Sheryl M. contacted me about a Pittsburgh Steelers custom quilted checkers game. Seems that she works in a nursing home in Pennsylvania and thought the residents would enjoy playing. They must have ~ because in August she contacted me to have a second Steelers checkerboard made!

Hello There Hello Kitty

After finding me through the Whimzie Quiltz website, most returning customers contact me directly for new projects. So it was extra fun to just see 4x customer Gus H.’s name pop up on an Etsy store order in August for this Hello Kitty custom quilted checkerboard game. Glad he knew that, no matter how someone gets in touch ~ directly, through the website, through Etsy or Facebook ~ it’ll be the same great Whimzie Quiltz experience no matter what!


Sunny Day, Sweeping the Quilts Away

In 2014, I made a no soliciting sign, a no trespassing sign and two pillows ~ all quilted ~ for our home. This year, the constant sun, wind and dew exposure finally did them in. So this is the new set (the pillows aren’t pictured). I figure I have until 2022 – unless we move 😀 – before I have to do it again.


Cuddly as a Cactus ~ My Grinch 2018 Pillows

I’ve printed my own designs on Spoonflower cotton and knit fabric for lots of quilt projects over the years. Recently, I found out they now offer Minky – that super, super soft, fur-like fabric – available for custom printing, too. Of course, I had to try it out.

And the result? Um, yes, more please.


The Grinch image I found online printed really well on the Minky. For such a fur-like texture, the lines are surprisingly crisp and the colors are bright, too. Minky survived washing better than some of Spoonflower’s other fabric choices and the printed material, even after washing and drying, stayed super, super soft.


I chose this fun Kaufman fabric for the back of the pillow shams. It’s actually from a non-Grinch fabric line (Hallmark’s Maxine) but the sentiment sure was perfect. If The Grinch hasn’t said “Blah, Blah, Humbug” in one of his many holiday appearances, he certainly could have! And the candy-cane stripe for the binding is just an awesome finishing touch.

Since I wanted a more “squishy” overall feel, these shams aren’t quilted. But they are really comfortable. When my niece was visiting a few weeks ago, she curled up with them on the couch and instantly fell asleep. Even the cuddly-as-a-cactus Grinch would have to smile at that 😀

4 Fun Facts About These Zia Sun Pillow Shams


The traditional Zia sun motif was created by the indigenous Zia peoples of New Mexico to symbolize the importance of both the sun and the number 4 in their culture. In keeping with that cultural tradition, here are 4 fast facts about these quilted Zia pillow shams I made for customer Barry L. –


They were a free gift with his purchase of a custom Whimzie quilt… yes, free! (You can find out more about his original quilt in my blog post Big-Hearted Zia Quilt for a Big-Hearted Customer.)


When you request a custom Whimzie quilt, I typically provide 3-4 designs to choose from. Barry had such a hard time picking between his favorite and second favorite designs that the runner up became these pillow shams.


So that they’d coordinate well, all the fabrics for these pillow shams were fabrics also used in the making of his quilt – except one. In addition to two Adobe reds and two turquoise fabrics, the pillow design called for two ocher yellow fabrics instead of the single ocher I used in the quilt so I had to purchase another.


anasaziBarry’s was the first request I’ve had for a Zia sun symbol, though not my first Southwest-influenced quilt design. The very, very, VERY first full-sized custom quilt I ever made featured a Southwest pottery fabric and ombre greens. I called it Anasazi Fair because the quilt block is known as a World’s Fair.

This is a photo of a photo of that quilt because it’s been so long that I don’t even have the computer hard drive the image was stored on anymore!

Will the Real Judson Please Stand Up?

Our niece was set to graduate high school this year and we were anxiously awaiting the announcement of which college she’d be attending in the fall. It wasn’t a snap decision, as she had a lot of great schools to choose from, but ultimately the she went with Judson College.

As I usually do, I went straight online and bought a couple of t-shirts to turn into dorm pillows for her graduation gift. Judson isn’t a huge school, so I didn’t know a lot about it, but I knew it was a religious institution and that their team mascot was the Eagles.  I fell in love with the graphics on these two and quickly set about finishing up the pillows.


Notice anything?

Yep, those pillows are for Judson University. My niece is going to Judson College.

In my defense, both are small, religious institutions and both have an Eagle mascot. I’ve since found out that there are FOUR institutes of higher learning with the name Judson, none of which are affiliated in any way. What are the freakin’ chances?**

I apologized profusely that her graduation gift would be late and got to work on turning shirts from the right Judson into dorm pillows. While I didn’t get them to her in time for her graduation party, I did get them finished before she leaves for college this fall.


Now that she has her quilted dorm pillows in hand, I’m super happy to say…

Congratulations, Kari, on your graduation!

And thanks for being so understanding 😀



**I was able to reach the Judson University Communications Department and offer them the original set of pillow shams. They are going to use them in a give-away so at least I know all that hard work isn’t going to waste!



More Graduates, More Graduation Pillows ~ California-style

Congratulations to our cousins’ daughter, Nicole, on her recent graduation! And you know what more graduates mean around here – more graduation pillows!

I love giving these over-sized pillows to recent graduates because they are SO perfect for dorm life – you can use them for extra seating when people visit, or to prop up text books while studying or just to scream into during finals 😀


Usually, I make these with college t-shirts, but Nicole is going to community college for a couple of years first (wish I’d been as fiscally responsible at such young age!) She’s a Cali girl through and through, though,  so these will work no matter which university she picks in the end.


Got a recent grad in your life? If you know a young adult heading off to college this fall and are looking for the perfect gift, contact me for your custom set today!

Everything Aligned Perfectly

I wanted to practice dense embroidery AND

my friend is into Day of the Dead imagery AND

her birthday was coming up – –

so everything just aligned perfectly in the making of this pillow (figuratively AND literally – the stitching came out great, too!)


 ‘Til Death embroidery design from Urban Threads