Monthly Archives: October 2016

Pillow Fight!


Whew! I’m finally coming up for air here after a pretty busy, but kind of amazing summer. Think biking the Central California Coast with my husband to celebrate our twenty-year anniversary, a visit with my brother and family on their lovely hobby farm in Washington state,  afternoons spent watching my youngest play soccer, taking trips to the garden with my oldest, end-of-day swims across the lake, more bike rides with friends and family, runs through the woods with my pup, and outdoor concerts on a picnic blanket with pals, and you get the idea. But summer always has to end, and somehow, by the time it does, I’m ready to let it go. Goodbye summer, hello autumn. Back to some semblance of a regular schedule, including more frequent blog posts (yay!).

I DO feel a little guilty for not blogging about the garden like I did last summer, but I hope you’ll forgive me after you hear what I’ve been up to. I have been hard at work on two new books, including a follow up to The Nitty Gritty Gardening Book AND a craft book for teens. The craft book came about as a direct result of the Project-a-Day challenge I posted on Facebook in October 2014. This Favorite T-Shirt Pillow is one of the projects that will appear in the book, which is scheduled for a Fall 2017 release. I am super excited about it!


But I ramble on. Back to pillows, and beloved T-shirts that may have become too small or too raggedy along the edges to wear, but still have a place in your heart. The Favorite T-Shirt Pillow is one cozy way to keep those Ts around a bit longer, and they are fun and easy to make. For the turtle and grasshopper pillows pictured just above, I used a cotton weave men’s button up dress shirt and an old button up pajama top for the pillow covering and backing, arranging the placket on the back of the pillow.

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I love this idea because it means the pillow can be removed easily for washing. Best of all, it’s less finishing work for me. But the pillows can also be made with fabric yardage, and it’s not a whole lot more time to sew a back flap. Here’s how I made these pillows:


  1. Using a good fabric scissors, cut around the design on the shirt. I tend cut out the design in a square or rectangle shape, simply because that mimics the shape of the pillow, but if a circle or oval shape works better for your design, go for it.
  2. Cut a piece of fusible interfacing large enough cover the back of the T-shirt design piece.
  3. Place the t-shirt design face down on the ironing board with the fusible interfacing on top of it, shiny side down. Cover with an ironing cloth (or scrap piece of fabric that you don’t care about) and iron over it 3 or 4 times until the interfacing is fused to the t-shirt design.
  4. Trim excess fusible interfacing from the edges of the T-shirt design.
  5. Measure the width and height of the pillow, taking care not to compress the pillow stuffing as you measure. Write down measurement.
  6. Now cut the button up-shirt in half  along the side seams. Place the back of the shirt face down on a work surface, aligning seams and smoothing wrinkles.
  7. Measure, mark, and cut the pillow front piece from the fabric, adding 1/4 inch seam allowance to each side.
  8. Measure, mark, and cut the pillow back piece from the front of the button up shirt, adding 1/4 inch seam allowance to each side. Align so that the placket will be centered either vertically or horizontally along the back of the pillow.
  9. Center the T-shirt design on the right side of the front pillow piece and secure with pins.
  10. Using Zig-zag stitch, sew all the way around the edge of the T-shirt design. Remove pins and snip threads.
  11. With right sides facing each other, pin the front pillow piece to the back pillow piece and sew a 1/4-inch seam all the way around. Remove pins and snip threads.
  12. Open the buttons, turn the pillow covering right side out, and stuff pillow into casing. Work buttons along back.

There. Now toss the pillow on your bed, comfy chair, or couch and snuggle in with a good book! All ready for fall.

Stay tuned for more posts and projects from both of my upcoming books!