I’ve made quite a few fleece quillows over the years. We have maybe four or five around the house of varying sizes. The kids have one each, there’s a baby one from Dinoboy’s toddler days, Mr CraftyAdy has one and I have one too. I love making them to give as gifts. It’s a really quick sewing project – especially if you use a store-bought fleece blanket or throw.
In case you don’t know, a quillow is a blanket (or a quilt –hence the name) with a pocket. The blanket folds up into the pocket, creating a pillow. You can pretty much make a quillow from any blanket or quilt. All you have to do is attach a pocket with a finished width which is a third of the width of your blanket plus roughly 1 inch for seam allowances and a length of about a quarter of the length of your blanket plus 1 to 2 inches again for seam allowances.
Now the pocket isn’t just for tucking your blanket into. When using the quillow, the pocket makes a really nice foot-cosy for tucking your feet into.
Here’s the quillow I made over the weekend.
Actually, I made 3 identical ones. I had recently purchased 3 fleece throws from a local warehouse sale. I then bought a metre of the purple floral print fleece off Ebay. It probably took me just over an hour to make all 3 and I was working slowly (with lots of interruptions from Missy Moo). The fleece throws I bought measured 140 cm by 200 cm.
When finished, the blanket tucks into the pocket. See?
There are lots of tutorials on the internet which tell you how to make a quillow. I thought I’d add my own photo tutorial to the list.
So – to make one of these, you’ll need:
1) a fleece throw or blanket
2) a contrasting piece of fleece for the pocket
3) matching thread
I like my quillows a little fat. This means more folds of the blanket inside the pocket. Most tutorials say to go for a pocket that is a quarter of the length of your blanket. For this one, I’ve gone for a sixth. So I measured my fleece blanket again to be sure and determined it was indeed 140cm by 200cm. I then cut a pocket from the printed fleece measuring approximately 49cm by 36cm. I pinked the edges of the pocket piece with my pinking shears to make the edges pretty. You don't have to use pinking shears if you haven't got a pair. Fleece fabric doesn't fray.
(So - just to recap, whatever size your blanket is, you'll need a pocket with a finished width which is a third of the width of your blanket plus roughly 1 inch for seam allowances and a length of about a quarter of the length of your blanket plus 1 to 2 inches again for seam allowances.)
I then turned down one of the wider edges by approximately 3 cm and pinned it.
Then using this stitch on my machine …
…. And my walking foot … (By the way, I'm using my walking foot because my sewing machine is not very keen on sewing fleece material with a regular foot. No idea why. I've found that it's easier to sew fleece on my sewing machine using my walking foot.)
I sewed a line of stitching all the way along to the end.
This forms the top edge of the pocket. You can use any stitch you like really. I like this one as it’s kind of decorative and matches the hemming stitches in the blanket.
Take the blanket and fold one of the narrower sides in half. Make a chalk mark to note the center point. My blanket didn’t really have a right side or wrong side. If you are using a blanket which has a right and wrong side, you should make your mark on the wrong side of your blanket.
Fold the edge at the bottom of the pocket in half, right sides together. Locate the middle point and make a chalk mark. Remember that this mark should be made on the right side of the fabric.
Spread the blanket out flat. Placing the pocket right side down onto the blanket, match up the two chalk marks. The edge of the pocket should sit along the edge of the blanket. Smooth the pocket down with the palms of your hands to ensure both the blanket and pocket lay flat. Then pin in place.
Following the direction of the arrows, sew down one side of the pocket using a half inch or 1.5 cm seam allowance, starting from the red star (back-stitch a few times at the beginning to strengthen the corner of the pocket) down towards the bottom of the blanket. Then sew across the bottom of the pocket and back up the other side until you get to the top of the pocket where the little red heart. Back-stitch a few stitches to secure and strengthen that corner of the pocket.
Remove your pins and you’re done! Now to fold your quillow:
1) Turn your quillow so the pillow is underneath the blanket.
2) Fold in each side so blanket is in thirds.
3) Then fold the blanket over in half, bringing the one end up to meet the other end where the pocket is.
4) If you have made your pocket so it’s a quarter the length of your blanket, then you just have to fold over in half again. If like me, you’ve decided to make your pocket one sixth of the length of your blanket, then you have to fold it in by a third …
… and then fold again.
5) Now flip the quillow over like this …
6) Stick your hands into the pocket and grabbing the blanket ends, turn the pillow right side out tucking the blanket into the pillow.
Here you have it – your quillow.
I hope you find this tutorial helpful.
Happy sewing, friends!