My awesome piecer Susanne and I have been busy this week with a fun project. I was invited to participate in a blog tour with the folks at American Patchwork & Quilting and their One Million Pillowcase Challenge, and today is the tour day. Northcott has been a proud sponsor of the One Million Pillowcase Challenge for a few years, and this is my 3rd time participating in a blog tour about it. Last year we made a pillowcase using the popular train pattern. This year, we got to choose our own pattern from the extensive library of patterns on the AllPeopleQuilt website (http://www.allpeoplequilt.com/millionpillowcases/freepatterns/index.html). But which one to choose – that was the question!
For inspiration, I looked in the Northcott warehouse at the newest fabric collections that had come in, and found 2 that I really wanted to use: Stonehenge Prehistoric by Linda Ludovico, and Bella Ballerina by Diane Knott. I couldn’t decide, so Susanne and I used both collections. I scanned through the free patterns, and chose Pattern 38 Diamond Band for the Prehistoric pillowcase. The fabric collection includes a lengthwise border stripe that is printed sideways on the fabric, and this type of print is perfect for the body of the pillowcase. I used some of the Stonehenge coordinates for the 4-patch units and a delicious dark marble-looking coordinate for the setting triangles.
The Bella Ballerina collection features ballerinas in ruffle-y dresses, so of course Pattern 1 Ruffle Trim was perfect. This collection has a fabric that has pre-printed blocks of the ballerinas, and is printed sideways, so it became the body of the pillowcase. The width of 3 blocks was a bit smaller than the 26½” piece required for the pattern, so we made the band a bit wider to compensate. It still turned out great!
Last year, I donated the pillowcase to a charity supported by my quilt guild – Yellow Brick House, a shelter for abused women and their children. Along with the pillowcase, I donated a backpack of school supplies, because this was one of the things listed on their website as being greatly needed at this time of year. This year is no exception, and they provided me with a list of supplies. Since Susanne and I made 2 pillowcases, we filled 2 backpacks – one for a boy and one for a girl, to match the pillowcases. I was thinking, as Susanne was sewing, how fun these 2 fabric collections were, and how easy it would be to make a matching cuddle quilt to accompany each pillowcase. The Stonehenge Prehistoric collection includes a 24” x 42” panel that would be a great center to a cuddle quilt – simply add a border (or 4, as it turned out), and you’re done. The pre-printed blocks from Bella Ballerina also made a great quilt center, so we added 4 borders, and voila! In less than 2 hours, Susanne and I had those quilt tops done. I quickly quilted them on my longarm, and Susanne added the speedy machine binding. Two kids will now head back to school knowing that people care about them, and their mom will have a couple less things to worry about.
My final step was to go to the One Million Pillowcase Challenge website and add our 2 pillowcases to the count. (http://www.allpeoplequilt.com/millionpillowcases) Wow, it’s up to 568,688! How awesome is that?!? I know that total will increase on September 19 & 20th when American Patchwork & Quilting hosts their 24-hour sew-a-thon. If you can’t make it to Des Moines (me neither), you can go to one of the many participating shops across the USA and Canada (for a list of shops go to http://www.allpeoplequilt.com/magazines-more/24-hour-sew-thon-shops). If there isn’t a shop in your area, don’t despair! You can still make a pillowcase or 2, maybe with a quilting friend, and donate it locally. That’s what the Challenge is all about – spreading the love and comfort. Don’t forget to add yours to the count on the One Million Pillowcase website.
I’m proud to be part of the awesome list of bloggers below that are participating in the blog tour. Please visit as many as you can, as we share our stories with you.
- Alison Glass (http://alisonglass.com/blog)
- American Patchwork & Quilting (www.allpeoplequilt.com/blog)
- Barb and Mary of Me and My Sister Designs (http://www.meandmysisterdesigns.com/blog/)
- The Benartex Design Team: Sew in Love with Fabric (http://www.sewinlovewithfabric.blogspot.com)
- Debby Kratovil (http://debbykratovilquilts.blogspot.com/)
- Edyta Sitar of Laundry Basket Quilts (http://www.laundrybasketquilts.net/blog/)
- Heidi Pridemore (http://heidipridemore.blogspot.com)
- How To Sew (www.howtosew.com)
- Jennifer Paganelli of Sis Boom (http://www.sisboom.com/blog/)
- Joanna Figueroa of Fig Tree Quilts (http://figtreequilts.typepad.com/my_weblog/)
- Karrie Winters of Freckled Whimsy (http://www.freckledwhimsy.com/)
- Kelle Boyd of Ann Kelle (http://www.annkelle.com/category/blog/)
- Linda Carlson (www.lindacarlsonquilts.com)
- Lori Mason (http://www.lorimasondesign.com/news/)
- Modern Quilt Studio (http://craftnectar.com/)
- Nicole Daksiewicz of Modern Handcraft (http://modernhandcraft.com/)
- Shannon Fabrics: My Cuddle Corner (http://shannonfabrics.com/blog/index/)
- Tammy Silvers (http://www.tamarinis.typepad.com)
- Timeless Treasures: Sew Timeless (http://www.ttfabrics.com/blog/)
- Valori Wells (http://www.valoriwells.com/blog/)
- Verna Mosquera of The Vintage Spool (http://freespiritfabric.blogspot.com/)
- Wendy Sheppard of Ivory Spring (http://ivoryspring.wordpress.com/)
It’s no secret that I like to give stuff away. For a chance to win a packet of yummy Northcott fabrics, please post a comment on my blog, telling me which current Northcott collection (in the drop-down on the Fabrics tab) you would most like to use for a pillowcase (http://www.northcott.com/). I’ll give away 3 packets.
Thanks for visiting, and keep those pillowcases coming!