It's Tuesday, and that means it is Shameless Commerce Day on my blog –a time when I feature a few of the items listed in my Etsy shop: http://www.etsy.com/shop/pasqueflower. Although my shop specializes in boutique children's clothing, I also make other fun and functional fabric items. Today I'm featuring 16" x 16" accent pillow covers, all made from out-of-the-ordinary 100% cotton designer fabrics.
Also in that section of my Etsy shop, I offer children's ready to ship or custom sleepover pillowcases made from bright novelty prints in standard and toddler (or travel) sizes. These colorful pillowcases are great for a slumber party, camping, a visit to Grandma's house, or just to make nap time or a long road trip a little bit cheerier.
The vast majority of the pillowcases I make, however, are not for sale in my shop; they are donated to charities. Adult pillowcases are given to the Lincoln Quilters Guild's pillowcase project for distribution to homeless and domestic abuse shelters in our area. My small quilt group buddies and I have also sewn several pillowcases which were donated to ConKerr Cancer. This 501(c)(3) organization was founded by Cindy Kerr whose son was diagnosed with cancer in 2002. Cindy began making fun pillowcases to brighten his hospital stay. She soon began making pillowcases for other children at the children's hospital. Although I am sad to say Cindy's son died, his memory lives on in the charity she founded. ConKerr Cancer has provided nearly 400,000 pillowcases made by thousands of volunteers for children battling life changing illnesses. For more information about ConKerr Cancer, or to locate a collection site in your area, visit: www.conkerrcancer.org.
If you'd like to make some of your own ConKerr Cancer pillowcases, here is a link to an excellent tutorial for making "hot dog style" pillowcases. http://www.conkerrcancer.org/pdf/hotdogmethod.pdf. The tutorial was created by Erica's Craft & Sewing Center of South Bend, Indiana: www.ericas.com , a fantastic online and brick-and-mortar fabric and craft store featuring high quality cotton quilting fabrics. The hot dog technique minimizes the number of exposed seams and guarantees a super neat cuff and accent strip finish for the pillowcase. I prefer to use French seams for the side and end seams, because I like the finished look, and it's a very durable seam. However, serging is a perfectly acceptable alternative, and it's much faster. (The kids won't care, I'm sure!)
Our two oldest granddaughters, Erin and Katy, shopped for fabric and sewed their own pillowcases with a little guidance from their mom and me. They learned about fabric grain, how to use a rotary cutter, and how to thread and use the sewing machine. They were delighted with the results, and proud to say, "I made it myself!" Pillowcases are a great "learn to sew" project. Pillowcases sewn by teens and tweens can also be used as a charity or community service project for scouts, 4-H, or church youth groups.
LeAnn aka pasqueflower