1 Million Pillowcase Challenge

My dear friend Roxy has caught the quilting bug and of course I am more than willing to help her get started.  While we were mulling over what her first project should be she mentioned that she wanted to make her boyfriend some new pillowcases.  I immediately had something in mind, but didn’t have an official pattern in my grasp.  So I searched my favorite tutorial channel on YouTube…yep you guessed it by Missouri Star Quilt Co. Did I find what I was looking for? Surprisingly yes and it was the exact pattern I had in mind.  Crazy how great minds think alike! Winking smile  [find the tutorial here]

Anyway, in the tutorial Jenny Doan mentioned the 1 Million Pillowcase Challenge being sponsored by American Patchwork & Quilting.  I thought to myself that this would be a great project to get involved in, then I looked at the date of the video…May 12, 2010.  What a bummer, I thought, that would have been a really great cause to participate in.  Then a few days later I searched for the ‘Million Pillowcase Challenge’ and to my surprise it  is still going on!

I thought that this would make a perfect Wednesday Writing and I implore you to get involved as well!  Currently (as of this post) there are 535,185 pillowcases reported.  Let’s see if between all of us we can add at least 100 to the bunch…what do you say! 

Here is my challenge to you, I will start by pledging 4 cases.  For every 10 cases pledged by my readers I will make one more case even if we go over our original goal! Just place a comment below of how many you pledge to donate and I will keep a tally. 

Each pillow case is really only 1 yard + 2” of fabric in total.  Time to gather any leftover jelly roll strips, backing, etc. 

I also recently priced out what 4…yes 4 pillow cases would be with the current JoAnn’s President’s Day sale going on. $11…for 4 pillow cases!  $11 to give 4 different people a little feeling of comfort and security.

To get involved just click on the banner below or the link above, pick or find a charity and update the counter. Simple as that.  The site also has patterns, quilt shops hosting events and much more!

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

Feel free to post or send me photos of your pillowcases as you complete them at any or all of the following:

@notmygmasquilts on Twitter
#notmygrandmasquilts on Instagram

I’m excited to make a difference. Let’s get started!

Quick Side Note: My Grandma (Gretta, the one that inspired this blog…yes her) made both my brother and I similar pillowcases while we were in college.  They were fantastic and I know she would approve 110% and she would definitely have made at least 10 herself.  She used to make baby quilts and give them to local charities all of the time.  One day I had to ask her if I could pick one out for my future children before she gave them all away. She told me to hurry because she might get a wild hare to take them that afternoon [sarcasm noted].  Man, I miss her.

I hope you choose to participate; I can’t wait to see all of the different cases!

Until Sunday (btw are you excited for our next project?! I know I am!)

p.s. more to come on Roxy’s quilting adventures, stay tuned!

p.p.s. Thanks Rox for making me look up a pillowcase tutorial…look what you’ve done!

The Sunset of My Sunshine! Front Assembly, Quilting, & Binding!

Happy Sunday Fellow Quilters!

My most sincere apologies for not posting consistently for the last couple of weeks.  The job that pays the bills has been completely insane so needless to say quilting and blogging had to sit dormant for a couple of weeks.  But…I am back now and ready to wrap up this quilt!  How did block arranging go for you?  I’ve only made a couple of modifications since my last post, but that’s just because I missed some pretty obvious stuff.

Ready, Set, Let’s GO!

The easiest way I found to put this quilt together was to pin a bunch of the blocks then sew them in chain fashion.  Here is a photo of how they take shape.  The important thing to remember is when you sew them together to keep them in the right order…or refer to your photo when done.  Or perhaps you like puzzles and this could be a fun little add in to your day. Open-mouthed smile 


Once you have all of top half pieces completed you will want to match them to their bottom counter part.  Why not stitch all of the rows together and just have 8 long strips? If you feel comfortable doing it that way I say ‘Go For It!’.  I, however, need to make sure that I am matching my center diamonds and seams on a more frequent basis.  Think about it this way. If you mess up matching a center diamond in the middle of a long row you have to take out an entire long row.  If you mess up matching on a 4 patch block you only have to take out two block’s worth of seams.  Here is what the final 4 patch will look like.



Now that you have all of your 4-patch blocks matched up to perfection we can start to put multiples together.  I worked left to right and again pinned a bunch before I started.  One key tip here is to pin your seams. Yes, you can eyeball and match as you go, but by pinning you take all of the guess work out of it.  As the saying goes, “If you don’t pin now, be prepared to rip it later!” One trick to making sure your seams match is to pin directly through your previous stitching lines. If you match these up you are almost guaranteed a perfect seam match every time. Here are a couple of different methods I use.  IMG_1641IMG_1645



I chose to stitch all of the rows together which made for smaller matching stitches overall in one sitting.  Look how cute this is! Did you notice the border? So observant! Here’s how I cut them out…


Step 1: Clean up your edges.


Step 2: Measure in 4 1/2” in and cut. Repeat through the end of the yardage.


For your border you will want to cut out 4 –4 1/2” strips of fabric.  Note: If you are only making one quilt then you only need 1/2 of a yard.  But, since I used a full Jelly Roll and am making two full quilts so I need to cut out 8 strips and used a full yard of fabric.  Make sure you square off your edges. Why didn’t I measure and cut the border pieces?  Simply my friends, this is stress free quilting.  We will be sewing and trimming after the fact.  The up sides to this are a) no math and b) you get an accurate cut every time which leads to an overall polished looking quilt.

They key is to start with a little excess on each side. Stitch your 1/4” seams and then trim so the border is inline with the blocks.  I started with the top and bottom and then worked my way to the sides. 


Once you have the two tops done you can trim those and move on to the sides.


Here is the finished front, time for quilting & binding!


As with most of my quilts I decided to stitch in the ditch around the 4 patch blocks.  I wanted to set off the diamonds and give some focus to the quilt.  For quilting and binding please check out my previous posts for the Paradigm Shift.

I have mentioned in the past that Baxter loves being under quilts.  Here is a fun video of him “having” to be under the quilt after I pinned for quilting and then while I was doing the binding. Crazy little dude.

He must always be in a blanket!


Are you ready?

Without further ado…here is the final quilt! I hope Jenny likes it!


A post is coming…I promise!

Hi Everyone!

My apologies for not posting on Sunday.  Truth is I was waiting on a shipment of fabric to finish up the Sunshine Quilt.  When I decided to make 2 instead of 1 I realized I needed a border print.  Normally my shipments arrive within 2-3 business days, but I guess the super cold weather made everything move in slow motion so I just received it yesterday.  With that said, a post will be up soon. We will be assembling the 4×4 blocks, putting the front together and adding the border.

Thank you for your patience! See you all soon!


p.s. Oh how I wish I could stay home and work on it now, but the job that pays the bills is calling. 🙂