Monday, February 1, 2016

Hugs - Pillowcase

The idea for turning February into a month of giving a handmade hug to others came to me as I was sorting through my stash and found some fun novelty fabric I had purchased.

Puppy dog fabric.  Robot fabric.

Perfect for a pillowcase!

Pillowcases bring hope and comfort for to sick kids, homeless families and people who need to know someone cares.  Pillowcases can be a way for someone like me - and someone like you - who loves quilting and sewing to send a message of caring to someone in need.

American Patchwork & Quilting 1 Million Pillowcase Challenge - I made a difference YOU CAN TOO! Click here to learn more.

The American Patchwork & Quilting 1 Million Pillowcase Challenge continues – and they need your help to reach their goal of providing 1,000,000 pillowcases to people who need to know someone cares.  So far, more than 655,000 pillowcases have been recorded on their website.  A handmade pillowcase can truly brighten the day of someone in the hospital or in foster care.

(See that pillow the boy is holding in the graphic form AP&Q site?  I've donated pillowcases before using a blue coloring of that same fabric!)

While you record your pillowcase on AP&Q site, you give locally.

There are many agencies in your local community that welcome pillowcase donations.  The AP&Q site makes it easy to find a local quilt shop that will accept donations and distribute them to agencies in need.

You could also contact your local hospital for information on donations. I reached out to my local hospital and confirmed that pillowcase donations are welcomed.  My daughter spent some time there when she was young so I want to donate to support other kids in care.

For my first pillowcase, I used this basic pattern for a pillowcase using French seams which I found on the pillowcase pattern page.

If you never made a pillowcase with this tutorial before, you may wonder about the magic involved in rolling up the fabric....

sewing pillowcase

.... before wrapping the pillow edge fabric around it.

You sew through the three layers, making sure you catch both sides of the pillow edge fabric and one edge of the main pillow fabric.

Now the real magic as you turn it inside out!

sewing pillowcase

This gives a great finish to the edge and I added a row of stitching.   The directions cause for using french seams by sewing wrong sides first with a scant 1/4" seam.  Then turn right sides together and seam again, tucking your first seam inside the second for a really nice polished finish!

sewing pillowcase

I'll be making a few more pillowcases and then giving them a nice wash in the machine before donating.

Missouri Star Quilt Company has a great youtube tutorial on this easy tube construction method with an extra burst of color.

My goal with Hugs is to get lots and lots of participation - blanket the world with hugs in the month of February.   Take a look at your stash for some fun fabric and join me in making some pillowcases.

Will you help me spread the word?   Grab the button from the sidebar and use #handmadehug or #ESQhugs as our social tags.

The linky party is here - share a finished donated item or work in progress - pillowcases, quilts or just talk about an organization you have supported!

Have a wonderful day! Patty


  1. Last year I used up my novelty fabric and made 35 pillowcases for my guilds outreach program which were donated to our local foster care program.

  2. I like your creative hug month is off to a very busy start at work...but will keep this in mind:)

  3. Can the pillowcases be made out of flannel or do they need to be cotton?

    1. Great question! The American Patchwork and Quilting web site suggests you contact your local organization to see if flannel might be useful. You can find a list of local stores that collect donations on their web site.


Thanks for visiting Elm Street Quilts. Looking forward to hearing from you!