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 ~
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!
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.”
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.
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 😀
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.
Barry’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!
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
If you follow me at all you know I love to make quilted pillows (and this photo from 2015 shows just the pillows I’d made for myself, the one’s I’ve made for customers number in the hundreds!)
But of all the pillows I’ve made, I never had the opportunity to make some of those super popular reading pocket pillows I see all over Pinterest. Until customer Gus H. asked for a quilt with the names of all five of his family’s grandchildren on it.
5 kids? That meant a gift with purchase of 5 reading pocket pillows!
Searching for reading-themed cotton was harder than I imagined, but I eventually ended up with a cute book worm fabric; additional fabrics for each pillow were in each kid’s favorite color. I embroidered the phrase “Just one more chapter” under each kid’s name on the pocket.
Honestly, just laid out here for the photo, these pillows don’t look as cool as they turned out IRL. With a pillow inside, they are not just adorable, but useful, too! I included the following poem –
Tuck a book in here
and place on your bed.
You’ll never go to sleep
with a chapter unread.
I imagine with 5 different personalities of 5 different kids, not all are going to voracious readers. But at least these pocket pillows will give each one of them a reminder to try to enjoy a good book every night!
A friend of mine writes books about a cat detective named Li’l Tom who lives in San Francisco. You’re probably sold just hearing the words “cat detective” but what I really loved about her first book were the descriptions of SF, one of my favorite cities in the world. And now she has a second book coming out in March 2018 – just in time for my birthday!
Last year, I purchased an embroidery machine. While learning to use it, a promotional bookmark for Angela’s first Li’l Tom book caught my eye and I decided to give recreating it in fabric a shot —
Believe it or not, the eyeglasses and eyes came from an embroidery file for an anthropomorphic school bus – go figure! But that taught me how to select and use different elements from a pre-purchased design. And by playing around with the letters, I learned how NOT to resize fonts and also to make sure any alphabets I purchase in the future include numbers!
I got the pillow finished and sent to her late last month. Who knows? After I read Li’l Tom’s next case, there might be a coordinating pillow, too!
Thank you so much – I absolutely love it. And such quality craftsmanship, as always. It makes me happy that you took inspiration from Li’l Tom. 😻
— Angela Crider Neary