Friday, February 3, 2017

Boatyard Discombobulation

I was excited this week to connect with Torina who is collecting pillowcases for Camp Heartland, a camp for youth with HIV or AIDS. Each kid leaves with a new set of their own bedding, and they also can use the pillowcases to carry personal belongings. The ages range from 7 to 15 years old.

Psychedelic turtles, autumnal cats & dogs, bones & Boston terriers pillowcases

I made these pillowcases using the "burrito" technique from The Seasoned Homemaker. It was a great way to use some fabrics that have been underfoot, since I'm on a mission to really clean up right now.

A pillowcase burrito getting pinned together

We are currently tied up in a boat yard in a rather industrial part of New Orleans. In fact, it is along the Industrial Canal, infamous for the levee breach here that flooded the Lower 9th Ward after Hurricane Katrina. The views are rather, um, industrial, but I can see both nice sunrises and sunsets between the cranes and rusty metal work buildings.

Pile o' burritos ready for sewing

We'll be here for at least two months while our boat is being repainted. About a month from now, we'll have to move off the boat altogether when they get to the super dusty and dirty sanding part of the job. We'll be moving into an even smaller space, a friend's 30 foot RV, so I'm organizing my fabric into piles of stuff to take with me and stuff to put completely away into sealed containers.

Sweet little owls, laid out to show full size of pillowcases

I'm often a DReami (DRop Everything And Make It) quilter...I rarely plan out my projects, but get struck by inspiration and plunge into my stash up to my elbows. I want to take it all with me to the RV! But it's smarter to try to plan a few things in advance and only bring the fabric for those projects.

While doing my thinking and sorting, I kept stumbling across my WTF fabrics (that stands for "What's THIS For?") As my style and my stash coalesce, there are pieces that just don't GO, you know? Certain pastels, for instance, that don't work well with my very brightly colored stuff aimed at older kids. And my small remaining stash of fleeces and flannels, now that I've decided not to buy any more of them because of how bulky they are to store. I'm happy that I was able to make pillowcases out of some of this yardage and get it out from underfoot.

Kid friendly, but not my style at all. Baby pink is my least favorite color, and the cats are too "down-home old fashioned" for me

I wanted to make pillowcases that appealed to both boys and girls across the entire range of ages, so not all these are WTF fabrics. The teal horses are actually one of my very favorite pieces that I've been hoarding. I thought they might be just right for an older teen, and paired them with a subtle heart print to keep the pillowcase more sophisticated than, say, the lurid turtles.

Laurel Burch teal horses. I love this fabric. Sigh.

All told, I made eleven pillowcases over the course of two days. This was a great project and I'm sure I'll make more in the future. Since each pillowcase uses three fabrics (main fabric, cuff and accent stripe) I spent a couple of fun hours pulling and matching colors and patterns. I love that part of quilting! There's not a huge amount of ironing, so I was able to use the rest of some cotton/polyester blend fabric that make lousy quilting fabric. (It's the tiny cream heart fabric in the main body of the teal horses above.) I'll keep that in mind next time I accidentally purchase some blends.

Linking up with Sew Some Love for this new to me charity donation opportunity!


  1. I'm so glad you made some cases for them! I loved the idea when I saw it Instagram. Thanks for linking up :)

  2. What a great way to declutter the fabric stash!

  3. Good for you, I am sure the kids will appreciate getting them. And a bonus for you using stash.

  4. Such a great use of fabric. My grandkids love their pillowcases. Know that these pillowcases will give a smile to these kids. Thanks for the link to their site

  5. I've been making pillowcases, too! They are such fun. Have fun sorting and planning! XO

  6. That's a great use of those fabrics. They will be loved too.

  7. Way to work through some of your stash... especially for such a worthy cause!!

  8. oh wonderful.... great project to support and I love those pillowcases... and I love your acronyms too..... next time I swear it is because I forget What's this For? oh dear....
    Love that technique too.... thanks for the link

  9. What a wonderful way of using up fabrics that don't speak to you but will be enjoyed by someone else. Your boating (and other) adventures are fascinating to me as I am decidedly a land lubber.

  10. What total win win sewing and stash busting!! I'm often s dreaming quilter you. I'll get going on one and squirrel! Start something random, can't imagine the temporary move...hand in there. I hope the repairs process goes smooth.

  11. My first time on Kat's linkup and so nice to find out about new charities. I like fast and simple stash busters, so I will take a look at the burrito pattern. Good luck with your packing for the RV move.


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