Sunday, July 24, 2016

Making a Personalized Travel Quillow

I don't know that quillow is the correct term. It's basically a mini-quillow. What the heck is a quillow? It's a quilt pillow. They're usually much larger (think throw pillow) and quilted with a heaver material. I wanted to make a travel version that was a more comfortable blanket. Blallow? We'll stick with mini-quillow... 

I had a friend who was moving overseas, and I wanted something super functional, but personal. I made an open call to our friends to text/email/drop off very basic messages in thick sharpie. I color corrected them to black/white and added them to a Photoshop file. When I did the color fill I liked how the hearts stayed white. Her favorite color is green, so I went with that! The inside of certain letters stayed white as well, but I filled that in. Who wants a travel blanket with lots of white?! Here's what my square psd file looked like:

I picked a hex code that I knew Spoonflower could use, then I uploaded/ordered some custom fabric from - I don't get any perks from sending you there... just wanting to share a great company! They let you choose the repeat, so I did an offset one. I also ordered custom fabric from them for a first birthday party. They have wallpaper, and all sorts of fabric. I got 2 yards of the modern jersey. This is what the fabric looked like (a bit darker than the image shows):

I found some coordinating minky at JoAnn's Fabrics as the backside.

This is the point where I really dug in and focused on the project, so I didn't take many good pictures. You can find many quillow tutorials online, here are the basic steps I took:

-Measure out 'pocket' to be 2in wider and longer than you want your final pillow to be. 
-put fabric face-to-face and sew them together 1in from the edge(leaving a spot to flip inside out). I added a rope handle so it could go over a roller bag handle. You do not need to top-stitch this mini-blanket (pocket) because it will be sewn down to the blanket.
-It is optional if you want the fabric to match or contrast the blanket. I did one side of each so the pocket blended to the signature side but was the minky zig zag when flipped inside out.

-Make a standard blanket; face-to-face good sides, sew around (leaving a hole to flip it inside out), and DO TOP STITCH this bigger blanket.
-The blanket should be just under 7 times the pocket width and just under 3 times the height/length.

-Sew down 3 sides of the pocket to the blanket. Leave the side in the middle of the blanket unsewn (this is also the side where the handle needs to be).

Sorry again for missing the 'in the process' pictures! It's basically a tiny blanket on a bigger blanket.

The trickiest part about a quillow is folding it. 
-Pocket down.
-The 7x width of the pocket is because you want to fold each side into 1/3s and pile it on top of the pocket It's going to be tucked in, so if you can make it ever so slightly inside the pocket, it'll make your life easier!

Then, fold it down into 1/3s so you end up with a fat pile on top of the backside of the pocket.

Then, you simply invert the pillow. If you make the blanket too big, this is more difficult. The corners will always need a bit of finessing; I find it easiest to put my whole hand inside the pillow and push it to the edges of the pocket.

I ended up with enough fabric to make two, so they got a set of mini-quillows. Here they are at the going away party! We will all miss our friend, and even though we can't all go along, we can be with them in spirit!

Both fabrics are super soft and I'm thrilled with how it turned out!!