Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Day 3-Valentine Count Down ~Pillowcases and a tutorial

Aren't pillowcases fun!? What a difference it makes to have fun pillows to lay your head down on at night. I have pillowcases like these for every month, for my kids. I think it's great to send kids off to sleep with great thoughts in their head. If the last things they see before they fall asleep at night is something pretty, I think it helps!
Aren't my valentine ones the cutest?
I have also made quite a few pillowcases by embroidering plain ones, as well. So easy , yet effective! I have given sets of these as gifts at weddings. I embroider up sets for the whole year! When I do those, I generally write some "cute" name that couples call each other, and use a different name on each pillowcase (like the example above of Handsome and Wife).OK, in coming up with todays post, I realized how pillowcase spoiled I am! My Grandmother has always embroidered these lovely pillowcases, by hand! This is what we (her children and grandchildren) would receive as gifts from her at Christmas (along with $$ to spend as we wish!!). She continued embroidering these until just a few years ago...and she is now 92! It is no wonder that pillowcases mean so much to my sister and I! In my newlywed years I would not use these. I wanted to save them, because they meant to much to me. Luckily I wised up and realized that gifts like these are meant to be used. So you can tell in the above pictures that some of these have been well worn/loved! I rarely have plain pillowcases on my pillows. In fact, only when we go camping do the plain ones come out! I either have my seasonal ones, or for daily use I use the ones my Grandmother made me. Seriously, I have LOTS of them! How can I be so lucky? Any time someone comes to stay with me, I always put on a fresh pillowcase, and it has to be one of my Grandmother's! My guests are always delighted at the thought that the special ones are being used for them.I was smart enough to stop putting all of these pillowcases into use. When I had my first child I started putting the pillowcases aside for her. Luckily my Grandmother continued making them and giving me more, until I had enough to put aside for all of my children. When they move out on their own (after college, or when they get married) I will give them a present that will contain these fantastic pillowcases that were embroidered with love by their Great Grandmother. My children all know this woman well enough that no matter what, they will remember her. We even had her live with us for one summer. I actually have enough to give them each 3 different sets! Isn't that something neat to pass on!? They also have some crocheted hanging towels from her that I have put aside as well. I hope you can see why for us, pillowcases are indeed a special tradition to have with our children!

Don't forget you still have one day to enter for our first give-away! Scroll down to the first post of the Valentine Count down and you will find the info for this Valentine Banner Give-Away!

Anjeanette here. Checking in late today because my 2 year old is sick. In between cleaning up throw up and loads of laundry, I baked some cookies and made some pillowcases.

Ok so pillowcases! We love our pillowcases. Rebecca talked a little bit about our history of pillowcases. I love to put my Valentine's pillowcases on for the whole month of February. Last year my Maternal Grandma was living with us over Valentine's Day. I made both my boys and Grandmas Valentine's pillow cases. (Grandma takes turns with all the family. We usually get her for 4 or 5 months during the winter holidays. This year she is still with my uncle. As cranky as she is, I really do miss her.)

I took the boys to Joanne's last year and they picked out their own fabric for pillowcases. We used them for the whole month of February.

Here was the fabric and the way they turned out. I think they were cute. And I love that my boys picked out the fabric.

We have King sized pillows. We like our pillows and our pillowcases big. When I was in Jr High, I learned to make a pillowcase from one yard of fabric. I pretty much based my pillowcases on that. Basic pillowcase, you take a yard of fabric. Fold it in half. Sew along the side and bottom. Then turn under the edge. I don't have a (working) serger. I don't like my edges to unravel. So I figured how to put a trim on a basic pillowcase and have the trim & contrast piece seam hidden. The side seam and bottom are still exposed. But I just use pinking shears to cut them. It does keep the edge from unraveling.

Decroative Pillowcase Tutorial
Here is my basic tut for the pillowcases. I would love to hear if you find this helpful. And if you actually make a pillowcase using my tutorial, please post it to our little flickr group

You need:
Fabric for the main part of the pillowcase I cut mine to 28" Mine is a red print
Fabric for the trim. I cut mine 3" long this is brown
Fabric for the coordinating accent. I cut this 7 inches long. Mine is the heart fabric.
I use the whole width of each fabric piece. It usually runs about 44" wide.

Take your accent piece. Put it right side up. Take your trim piece and fold it in half. Layer that on top of the accent piece and pin in place.

Now take your main piece and lay it right side down on top of that. Pin it all together.

This is kind of tricky. But it was the only way I could figure to hide the seam. I guess you would consider it a french seam? I took the whole length of the main fabric and rolled it up. I left about two inches at the top. You want to make a roll and you don't want the body of the pillowcase to get caught in the seam.

Now fold around the accent piece around the roll of the main piece. Pin that to the edge that includes the other side of the accent piece, the folded trim piece and the main piece.

Sew along the edge making a tube.

Carefully pull the main piece out of the tube. You will turn it all right side out now. This is a little tricky. (Oh and I cut my selvedge edges off after I sew. I know that isn't the correct way, but it is what I do.)

Once it is all pulled out, it looks like this:

Now put your right sides together and sew along the bottom and the side seam.
Go ahead and make 4 more 'cause the little one isn't throwing up right this second. I tried to mix them up a little. There are 3 different variations of the same thing. The first one has brown as the main piece 'cause it is for a boy. The second one I used some ribbon for the trim piece because I thought my one Grandma would like that. The other three are the same basic one I showed here.

Every year when February rolls around, I look forward to getting my mail. I wait anxiously to see when I get my package from my paternal Grandmother. She always sends all the grandkids and great-grandkids something. She has 12 grandkids and numerous more great-grandkids. I love that about her. She usually covers the envelope with stickers and makes it cute. That Grandma is only in her 80's;)
I think it is really nice to remember when you are celebrating something...there are people that don't have little kids around anymore. I like to show my children that we need to think of others all the time. Family is precious to us and we want to make sure they know it. They love getting mail just as much as I love getting mail. So I made 5 pillowcases this year to mail off to family. My paternal Grandma has her sister living with her. They are both widdows now. Isn't that fun? If I outlive my sweet husband, I totally want to live with a sister. (I'd really rather live with my sweet forever though;)
I also picked up some crazy socks for each Grandma. I like crazy socks. I hope they put a smile on their faces.

I guess my point is...please try to think of others too. Make it a new tradition to put a fun pillowcase on your pillows for the month of February. And while you are at it, think of someone else. Try to help make their Valentine's Day special too.


Lucky Mom said...

I love your Valentine pillow cases. If I could manage to sew a straight line, I would try to make some for my kiddos. And the embroidered ones... FANTASTIC. Those are the best gifts. They came from the heart and can't be bought. They are one-of-a-kind. :)

RootsAndWingsCo said...

Anjeanette, your pillowcases are so awesome! I love pinks and browns together! I think that's my favorite color combo right now...other than forest green and burgandy, of course! I also love those sticker covered packages from Grandma! So much love from those women!! =)

erika said...

Love the Tutorial! I think I could actually do that!

Regina said...

This is how I do mine, too - great tutorial! The only other thing I do is topstitch on the big cuff very close to the seam -this helps keep it flatter after it comes out of the wash.

I am working on 'occasion' cases for our house, too - as well as some "get well" cases with bandaid fabric to have on hand for those sicky days.

Regina said...

oh - I do wrong sides together - sew a very narrow (1/8" seam) then turn it wrong side out and sew about a 1/2" seam - I guess that french seams it? That encases the side seams, too.

Land family said...

I got hand embroidered pillow cases from my grandmother when I got married! :)

Jenna said...

what a great idea. i love pillowcases too, and they are so easy to make. but a new one for each month is so fun. my daughter loves picking out fabrics and this would be a blast for her. thanks for the tutorial!

it all adds up said...

Just found your blog and I LOVE it! Thanks for the tutorial. Also, could you tell me who makes that cute heart print. I've seen it on so many projects but can't seem to locate it. Thanks, jenn

RootsAndWingsCo said...

Regina I am totally going to do a bandaid pillowcase. I am also going to do that little topstitch on the top too. Thanks for that.

The material came from Walmart.

Heather@ theherberfamily.blogspot.com said...

So adorable! These would be cute for all the holidays, and birthdays!

Thanks for linking up with Talented Tuesdays at My Frugal Family!

deerie65775 said...

Aren't theses the most fun pillowcasess to make EVER!!
My mom is making my sister a quilt for each holiday, so I jumped in and started making her pillow cases to match -- it has been fun 'coordinating' gifts with my mom!!
I like these pillowcases so much that I had a 'sewing day' at my house and invited a few young women over to make them. What a fun day we had!!