Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Soft Landing

Everyone needs a nice, soft place to lay down their head. Or to plant their bottom on after a long day walking. You can recycle your batting scraps into useful pillows for just this purpose. My guild started collecting scrap pillows for local homeless shelters last fall and I bet we've donated more than a hundred already.

Here's a super quickie tute on how to prepare and make pillows out of your too-skinny-to-be-useful batting scraps; you know, the ones you trim off the edges of your quilted quilts prior to binding?


I purchased a large remnant of home dec weight solid blue fabric (dark colours are best) for about $5 that has been enough to make four pillows. Other's are being resourceful and using upholstery fabric sample squares they got for free from a local sofa company.

Here's what you need:

2 squares home dec weight fabric 18" x 18"
2 squares batting 18" x 18"
1 5" length of 1" twill tape, or left over binding with raw edges turned into the fold and sewn closed.

Layer the squares in this order, bottom to top:
fabric right side up
fabric wrong side up

Between the fabric layers, at one corner, pin the tape ends to 2 adjacent edges, about 2" from the corner (photo below). This will function as a handle for the pillow.


Sew around all four sides with a 1/2" seam allowance, leaving a 4" opening in the middle of one side and be sure to back stitch at the beginning and end. Clip corners (save those batting corners, you can throw them into the pillow!).


Turn the works right side out, gently poking out the corners.


Leave your pillow form near your cutting table and cram full of batting scraps! At first we asked people to use all fabric scraps, but as you know, cotton can get pretty heavy. Plus, we figured if the pillows got wet (hello, we are talking Vancouver, people!) they'd be pretty gross if they were full of fabric. Therefore, we're asking our members to stick with batting only.


Once it's nice and full, slipstitch the opening closed! There you have it, one nice, soft landing.

Why not suggest this great recycling initiative at your guild or sewing group? All you need is someone to volunteer to collect the pillows at meetings and deliver them to a local church or shelter that can get them into the hands of folks who need them. And we all know how easy it is to get people to volunteer at guild, right? hehe.


Katie B said...

A really, really good idea.

Canadian Kristin said...

Love this idea! I will mention at the local quilt guild, those ladies are the most generous people I know and I know they love charity projects! Thanks for sharing!

Amy Friend said...

Oh, the guilt I now feel over all the batting scraps I have thrown away....
Good idea Krista.

Live a Colorful Life said...

Great idea. I never know what to do with all those little scraps.

paulette said...

Fantastic idea!! AND a great way to recycle...I'm going through my garbage right now... Thanks for sharing!!

felicity said...

Great idea! I stuff my fabric and batting ends into a pet pillow for the SPCA. I just love that it's not getting thrown away.

Cathy @ CabbageQuilts said...

Absolutely fabulous idea, I always hate throwing those bits away!! xo

dutchcomfort said...

Great idea to use those batting scraps Krista!

Unknown said...

3 cheers for recycling!!!! Way to go Krista!

Vivian said...

Thanks for this one Krista! We recently went camping and realized that we only had two camping pillows (from our original camping set) but need two more as there are now four of us.

I had already been planning to use my batting scraps to stuff them but wouldn't have thought of also using a layer of batting under the pillow top and backing, so I really appreciate this idea. Thanks again!

Teri said...

Do you leave your scraps whole, or chop them up? Just curious if this made difference.