T-shirt Throw Pillow (with tutorial)

A couple weeks ago, our puppy jumped up on my daughter and ripped a huge hole in the side of her favorite t-shirt.  It wasn't mendable, so we discussed some options and decided that it would make a great throw pillow.
t-shirt pillow
And since it was such a fun and easy project, I thought I'd share a little tutorial with all of you.  It is much less work than a t-shirt quilt, plus the knit fabric makes an amazingly soft pillow.  

1.  Find a fun t-shirt.  This one was an obvious pick for us because of the puppy incident, but I think it is something that we will do in the future with my daughter's favorite shirts as she outgrows them. It would also be great for old college or team shirts.  
t-shirt pillow
2.  Roughly cut around the shape that you want for the pillow, leaving at least a couple inches of extra space on each side. t-shirt pillow
3.  Cut a piece of stabilizer (I used Shape Flex) that is approximately the same size as your t-shirt minus a little and then follower the stabilizer's directions and fuse it to the BACK of the fabric.  
t-shirt pillow
4.  Now trim your t-shirt to the size that you want for your pillow, doing your best to center the image.  I centered the words on mine and it left Chewie ended up a little wonky, oh well.  Cutting will be much easier to cut now that you have adhered the stabilizer to the back.  Mine ended up more rectangular than square, it is about 10"x12".

5.  Determine if you need borders and what size your borders need to be.  If your t-shirt was adult sized and you are making a small-ish pillow, you might not need borders, but since I was making mine with a kid's small that had a chunk taken out of the side, I needed borders.
t-shirt pillow

To calculate the border sizes you need, I have plugged the equations into a spreadsheet for you.  That math minor from college is totally paying off.  You can find the spreadsheet here.  Just plug your pillow form size into the first purple boxes (mine was 14") and then plug your t-shirt piece size into the next purple boxes, and it will tell you the size to cut your borders and your pieces for the back of the pillow.  

6.  OPTIONAL: add batting to the back of the pillow top and quilt it or add interfacing.  I added fusible fleece.  I like fusible fleece because it adds a little squish like batting but it fuses to the back of the fabric so there isn't any shifting.

7.  I like to use this method for finishing the pillow, but you can finish it however you want.  If you use your own method you can just ignore the last line on the spreadsheet.
t-shirt pillow
Here is the back of my pillow.  And yes, that is the guilty puppy in the background.  I think that Harper has forgiven her.  

T-Shirt Throw Pillow Tutorial


A few weeks ago I signed up for a swap (yay!) for the first time in ages.  I LOVE participating in swaps, but over the past couple years I have had a difficult time finding the time to fit one in.  This swap seemed great, and the wonderful Alison was heading it up, so I hopped on the bandwagon.
#pcswapas pillow
Unfortunately I have been a terrible swap member.  I have neglected to comment on photos and when I have tried to comment a few times recently, I have been put into "Instagram jail" for making too many comments in too short a time.  Thanks a lot Instagram.
#pcswapas pillow
But I did make a pillow for my partner so I wasn't a complete failure.  I had a little bit of a difficult time deciding what to make because my partner didn't give me a lot to go on . . . plus she said she doesn't like one of my favorite colors and that made me want to only use that one color.  So sorry partner, I did end up using it, but I used all of the other colors too.

This block is based on a Tennessee Waltz block; it is the same basic idea except I used some smaller squares so that I could include more color.  I ended up mostly using solids with a couple squares of Lizzy House's Natural History in the center.  It is hard to tell from the photos, but I used 7 or 8 shades of gray for the background.
#pcswapas pillow
The back of the pillow is this Flea Market Fancy print.  I love how bright and happy it is, hopefully my partner likes it.  I used Crazy Mom Quilt's envelope closure tutorial for the first time.  I like that it uses a double layer of fabric so that the back of the pillow feels more substantial, but I think I still prefer using a zipper.

This will be off in the mail in a few days to a mystery location.  If you would like to see more photos made for the swap, check out the #pcswapas on Instagram.

Wish List #2

I am back with another list of things that I would love to have if I had infinite time, space, and money.  There are a few things from my awesome sponsors and a few things I have just seen around.  What is on your wish list these days?

1.  A sewing machine for my daughter.  She is turning 8 next month and is interested in learning to sew, but I don't really want her learning on my machine.  Do you have any recommendations?  I am thinking about this Janome Hello Kitty machine.

2.  A Nikon d500.  For the past few years I have been using my beloved Nikon d7000.  It has served me well, but the d500 will take better photos in low light, it has a tilting touchscreen, and can automatically transfer photos to your phone.    
3.  Some yardage of this Vintage Picnic Extra Wide print in Navy.  This would work with so many color combos, it is so cute, and it is 108" wide so you wouldn't have to piece together your backing fabric.  
4.  Sommer by Sarah Jane.  This collection is adorable, and I particularly love these two prints.  My sister is having twin girls this summer and I think these fabrics might be perfect, especially because I made a baby quilt for my sister's now 3 year old daughter using one of Sarah Jane's other collections.  
5.  A pink Olfa cutting mat.  Someone is selling one on Amazon for a ridiculous $95 and I can't find one anywhere else.  Does anyone know where you can buy these?  
6.  Speaking of pink, have you seen this Dream Pink batting from Quilter's Dream? Ten percent of the sale of the Dream Pink batting is donated to metastatic breast cancer research.  Plus, it's pink.  
7.  Some Habitat prints.  This collection is a few years old, but the more I see it the more I love it.  I have used it before but I have used up pretty much every little leftover scrap.  I may have to buy a little more (and it's on sale!).
8.  A little of this Bluebird print.  I picked up some small cuts from a few of the prints in this collection, but somehow I overlooked this one.  What was I thinking?
9.  Birch Organic Firefly Dots.  I think I am going to need this entire collection.  If you are looking to build a good stash of basic, versatile prints, this would be a great place to start.  
This post contains affiliate links and links to companies that sponsor this blog.  Please know that I do my best to provide my honest opinion and that sponsors and affiliate links help keep this blog going.

Blithe Quilt - AGF Stitched

Art Gallery Fabrics and the Fat Quarter Shop have teamed up again with another free pattern: the Blithe Quilt.  It is made up of big-ish half square triangles so it is pretty quick to piece together, but it packs a lot of visual punch.
Blithe Quilt
I chose to use mostly Maureen Cracknell prints for my quilt.  About half of them are from her first collection, Wild and Free, and most of the rest of them are from her newest collection, Fleet and Flourish.  There is also a Pure Elements Solid (it's called Ocean Waves) and one print from Bonnie Christine's collection Succulence.  
Blithe Quilt
The colors of Maureen's collections are amazing, they have such a calming effect on me. As much as I love bright and loud colors, these colors are much more "me" in real life. Instead of a random layout I decided to go a little rainbow-y. Even though the rainbow isn't perfectly balanced, it makes me happy.
Blithe Quilt
The backing fabric is this great print from Wild and Free.  I quilted it with a 3" grid to mimic the fabric on the back of the quilt.  The binding is the purple print from Fleet and Flourish which I chose mainly because it is my favorite color ever.  

This quilt is available in my Etsy shop.  
Finished size: 54.5" x 72.5"
Fabrics: Wild & Free and Fleet & Flourish by Maureen Cracknell

Do you want to make your own Blithe Quilt?

More beautiful versions of the Blithe Quilt:

AGF Free Quilt Pattern Projects:
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