Katie's Once Upon a Thread, Chapter 3 is drawing to a close and I couldn't resist playing along with my Lola Pajama Pillow.
The pillow is a small quilted sham in which Nora's PJs can be tucked out of sight each morning. It's big enough to hold a blanket too, so it could also make a cute "going to grandmas" overnight travel accessory.
My children's book inspiration is I Am NOT Sleepy and I WILL NOT Go to Bed by Lauren Child.
I am drawn to all of Lauren Child's books as much for her illustrative style, which combines textiles and real paper elements with Ms. Child's sketched drawings, as for her infectious and charming characters.
I am NOT Sleepy is one of a series of stories (based upon the Charlie and Lola television series) about a little girl (I am guessing 4-5 years old) and her older brother Charlie. Charlie is often tasked with keeping his capricious sister in line--in this case, he has the monumental job of getting her ready for bed. Lola pulls out every stalling technique in her arsenal and several make-believe animals all to avoid going to bed. Will Charlie succeed?
As for my sewing project, I selected a trifecta of illustrations from this bedtime book that would make for perfect embellishments for Nora's PJ pillow--Lola in her pajamas, her toothbrush and toothpaste, and her favorite snack: strawberry milk (for my daughter, it matters only that the milk is pink).
The finished pillow uses a combination of linen, quilter's cotton, vintage sheets, and, for the toothpaste tube and pink milk, a few scraps of Umbrella Prints left over from my Trimmings Pack. And if you look closely, you'll see the real 1/4" buttons I used on the front of Lola's pajamas.
I've used one of my favorite techniques--raw edge applique--to apply the pictures to the pillow front. Here's where I traced the shirt to the vintage sheets for Lola's pajamas:
A few more mid-process shots:
Once I finished up the design, I quilted it to a neutral interior fabric (with a bamboo batting sandwiched in between for stability and shaping). The finished dimensions of the front are approximately 12"x14".
The 2 back panels are also quilted with a curly-q design similar to something I saw in the book. The dimensions of these panels are 12"x9"--which provides about 4" of overlap on the back of the pillow and easy access to the PJs within. Here's a shot of the back:
The raw edges of the back panels are finished with the same binding trim I used for the piping around the outside border.
Finally, here's the construction of the pillow, showing the right sides of the two back panels against that right side of the front panel. You can see me starting to pin in place the piping to be sandwiched in between all these layers:
I can't lie, this final step was a gigantic pain to sew because of all the layers (upwards of 8 in some places if you count the batting layers). But remarkably it came out pretty well when turned to the right side. This type of opening is ideal for a quilted pillowcase such as this one since you can turn it to the right side through the finished opening. Otherwise, you'd have to leave a 4-6" opening and then try to hand stitch it closed after turning.
If I were to make the pillow again I would make the overall final dimensions a bit smaller (so the pajamas really fill up the pillow). I also think wider seam allowances, including that on the piping, would also make assembly a bit easier. None of this seems to bother Miss N, however!
We're off to bed!