Sunday, September 27, 2009


It's become something of a family tradition that I sew a "Quillow" for my nieces and nephews for their 5th birthday.

For your enjoyment, here's instructions.


A quillow is a quilt which goes in a pocket, to form a pillow. There are two sets of instructions, how to make and how to fold.


The measurements and fabric are for a 44" x 72" lap quilt that will fold into an 18" square.

To modify size: for larger or smaller follow this simple formula:

Width is equal to finished pillow width x 2-1/2. Example: finished pillow width will be 14" x 2-1/2 equals a 35" width.

Length is equal to the finished pillow width x 4. Example: finished pillow width will be 14" x 4 equals a 56" length.


1. 45" wide fabric, totaling 5 yards as follows:

Color 1 (top color)

2.5 yards

Color 2 (bottom color)

2.5 yards

2. Batting to equal your cut fabric size, both body and pillow

3. One small, all purpose thread in a coordinating color

4. Hand sewing needle and possibly a thimble

5. Embroidery floss or yarn for tying, decorative stitch machine for tacking (Optional)


Sewing machine, scissors, straightedge, marking chalk or other marker, straight pins.

Making the Quillow

Step 1: Cut Fabric and Batting

For the pillow pocket cut as follows:

· 19" fabric square in color 1 (top)

· 19" fabric square in color 2 (bottom)

· 19" square of batting.

For the quilt body cut as follows:

· 73" long piece of fabric from the 45" fabric (if your fabric is wider, cut it into a 45" width) in color 1 (top)

· 73" long piece of fabric in color 2 (bottom)

· piece of batting 73" x 45"

Step 2: Sew Pillow Pocket Together

1. Place batting on flat surface.

2. Place color #2 (the bottom) RIGHT SIDE UP on batting.

3. Place color #1 (the top) RIGHT SIDE DOWN on top of #2 fabric.

4. Pin the fabric to the batting.

5. Using pins as markers, center a 6" x 8" opening on one side if the 19" square.

6. Keeping the batting side down, place one end of the opening you have marked under the presser foot of your machine at the 1/2 inch mark. Begin sewing and sew a 1/2" seam all around the square, stopping when you reach the other side of the opening you have marked.

7. Trim any uneven edges.

8. Reach into the opening between the two fabric layers and pull the layers right side out, so that the batting is in between.

9. Gently push out the corner points.

10. Close the seam allowance opening with hand stitches.

Step 3: Securing Batting Inside Pillow

1. Machine quilt a simple geometric figure at the center of the pillow pocket.

2. You may want to tie or make decorative tacks with your machine and not quilt, depending on your materials.

Step 4: Sewing the Quilt Body Together

1. Place quilt body batting on flat surface.

2. Place fabric color #2 (Bottom) RIGHT SIDE UP on batting.

3. Place fabric color #1 (top) RIGHT SIDE DOWN on top of the fabric color #2.

4. Pin the fabric to the batting.

5. Using pins as markers, center a 10" - 12" opening on one of the long sides of the quilt body.

6. Batting side down, place one end of the opening under the presser foot to give a 1/2 inch seam and lockstich or back stich in place.

7. Sew a 1/2" seam through all layers, all around the quilt body until you reach the beginning of the opening.

8. Trim any uneven edges.

9. Reach inside the opening between the fabric layers and pull the quilt body right side out, so batting is between fabric layers.

10. Gently push out the corners.

11. Close the seam opening (I usually use my machine, but hand stitching would work fine).

12. Tie the quilt with yarn. If you want, you can machine quilt instead.

13. Quilt the pillow top so that it will match the quilt body.

Step 5: Sew the Pillow to the Quilt Body

1. Lay out the quilt body so that color #2, the bottom, faces up.

2. Center the pillow pocket flush against one width of the body, or at the head of the quilt, so that color #2 faces up. This must be centered from edge to edge width wise.

3. Pin to the quilt body.

4. Sew the pillow pocket onto the quilt, stitching only on three sides of the pocket, leaving the side facing the quilt body or the toe of the quilt open. Be sure to reinforce stitches at beginning and end.

When you are finished, your quilt should look like this:


1. Place the quillow on a flat surface with the pillow pocket on the bottom.

2. Fold the quilt into thirds the long way by lapping the outside edges one over the other.

3. Pull the bottom of the pillow pocket up and over the lapped folds, so that you turn the pillow pocket "inside out" over the body of the quilt.

4. Fold the quillow into thirds lengthwise.

5. Grasp the second fold, the one furthest from the pillow, and stuff it into the inside pocket as far as it will go.

6. Smooth out the lumps and wrinkles.

Happy Quillowing!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Tricky Tricky!

Today, one of my imaginary friends (i.e. message board friends) posted a thread about how she was able to make a broom stand upright, and said it was because today is the autumnal equinox. People mostly laughed about it, but then some of us decided to give it a shot. I have two brooms- One full size, and one a little smaller that I keep in the trailer. Here is the results.

Later in the day, I was able to get the larger broom stand on end, but didn't take a photo. I went to my friend Jackie's house, and amazed her and her kids by performing the same trick with their broom. I was just as amazed as it was one of those slant ended brooms.

Then, people said that one could balance an egg on it's end today too. Well, I accidentally cracked the first egg I was experimenting with, but look at the second one:
Just think. I could have really gotten the house clean today with all of the time I wasted trying to balance things on end.

Dressing himself

This morning, Z decided he wanted to try and dress himself.

He's got the stripping down part perfectly. He allowed me to put a fresh diaper on him, and to choose the clothes he was to wear. It probably was only because I'd chosen a fire engine shirt that he let my choice stand.

He got his shorts on successfully. Sure, they're inside out and backwards, but they are on all by himself. He was so proud of himself. He keeps coming up to me and talking about his pants. His shirt was not nearly so successful. After trying to put his head through the arm holes multiple times, he finally allowed my help.

He thinks he's pretty hot stuff though. It's pretty cute just how proud he is.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Old Black Witch

There's a book entitled "Old Black Witch" by Wende & Harry Devlin (ISBN 0689716362). My grandma Jane bought the book for my Uncle Craig when he was a child. Later, when I was a child, I had frequent sleepovers at her house. I remember her reading tons and tons of books to me before we went to bed, including Old Black Witch. The next morning, we'd make the pancake recipe on the back, complete with the "magic spell" that you chant as you mix the blueberries into the pancakes.

As an adult, I'm not crazy about pancakes, but these sleepover/pancake breakfasts with my grandparents are among my most cherished memories.

Today, I bought a flat of blueberries on sale. I decided to make blueberry pancakes for dinner tonight. I borrowed the same book from my grandma, and read it to my kids. Then the "mama witch" (me), and the "baby witch" (Sabrina), and Zack made the recipe, complete with the magic words.

The pancakes really were amazing.

I feel like I'm cheating my kids out of a special memory with my grandma. I got her a flat of blueberries too, so maybe I'll arrange a sleepover with her and them next weekend so they can get the special event too. I think some things, like this, are just better if it's done with a grandma or great grandma.

Here is the recipe for the pancakes (I doubled the recipe when I was cooking it so it would feed my entire family):Bewitching Blueberry Pancakes

1 1/4 c. flour
2 1/2 tsp. baking powder
3 tbl. sugar
3/4 tsp. salt
1 egg, beaten
3/4 c. milk
3 tbl. vegetable oil
1/2 c. washed blueberries

Mix all ingredients until fairly well blended. Some lumps will still be present. Stir in the blueberries. VERY IMPORTANT (this is the magic part): As you stir in the blueberries, say the following three times:
Gobble dee gook
With a wooden spoon
The laugh of a toad
At the height of the moon!
Pour on a hot griddle and watch.

You can make things disappear just like Old Black Witch. Put three pancakes in front of any hungry boy (except Mr. "I don't like fruit in pancakes" M) or girl any watch them go.

Funny story from a stranger

Anyone who knows me knows that I love to visit with interesting people. As such, I strike up conversations with many strangers that I pass. A girlfriend of mine once accused me of finding the weirdest possible people to be friends. She went on to say she can't believe I became friends with her because she was going through a very difficult time in her life when we'd met, and she thought she had to have been absolutely unbearable to be around. Nope. She was interesting, which is good. Plus, I could also see the makings for a very good friend, and knew if I stuck around, she would end up being a treasured friend.

Yesterday, I was at Wal-Mart. I got into a conversation with the greeter, who told me a really funny story. Recently, a man was leaving the store with a cart full of groceries. He had a very large watermelon on the bottom of his cart. As he walked out of the store, the cart hit a bump, and the watermelon went rolling right off the cart. The store is on a slight hill, so the watermelon took off, gaining momentum as it went. The man began trying to chase the melon making a run for its' life, dodging cars, carts, and people as it went. The melon picked up speed, and the man was falling behind. It got a couple hundred yards ahead of him before the man finally threw up his hands in disgust and frustration and gave up.

Run away and be free, watermelon. Find a nice resting spot to have babies in the Golden West Credit Union flower bed.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Digital Scrapbooking

I never really could get into regular scrapbooking. I hated the idea of cutting up pictures, spending an hour (at least!), and several dollars to make ONE page with one or two pictures. Compounded by the fact that I was never meticulous enough to make cute pages. I'd lose patience and end up with crappy pages.

Enter digital scrabooking. Totally mess free, and your photos stay intact. I make a lot of cute pages using photoshop, and then use a site like Inkubook to make a bound book.

To make cute pages, you need "electronic paper". I have managed to amass a ton of really adorable things.

This week I decided I was really, really sick of my current blog background. I've been looking for some new fall/halloween paper so that I could make a new blog background. Today, I came across this cute set. Isn't it adorable? It's from a scrapper named Robyn. You can find her website HERE.

Check back to see if I managed to set aside enough time to make a cute blog background from her darling kit.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Crookneck Squash

I see nothing dirty here. Really.

First Day of School Pictures

I'm late in getting this posted, but wanted to post pictures of the three older kids on their first days of school. K & M started a week or so before S, which was deeply upsetting to S.

Everyone has settled in nicely to the school year again. I am excited that all three of my kids have amazingly talented teachers. I've really loved all of their teachers they've had so far. I feel blessed that we have gotten such wonderful people to teach our children.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Almost cried at church. Again.

Or, as an alternate title to the story: "How the Bishop and I Ended Up in the Ladies' Room Together"

A month or so ago, the cub scout pack leader asked if I wanted to teach the kids how to use pocketknives at our next pack meeting. Show 15+ kids ages 7-10 how to carve with knives and then let them have at it? Sure! Sounds like LOTS of fun. The scary thing is, that was my honest attitude.

Tonight was the big night. We do the regular opening- flag ceremony, awards, etc. Then, the pack leader announces that I'm taking the kids outside to carve soap, and the adults will all stay inside and have a meeting.

I was a teensy bit nervous to be doing it alone because a bunch of boys, their siblings, pocketknives, and soap can be a dangerous combination.

Things were going smoothly. The boys seemed properly impressed on how to use a knife safely. I handed out soap and let them go to town. I had three little girls around me, age 8 or so. I offered to carve them something into their soap, as I wasn't sure if their parents wanted them to use a knife.

One little girl kept begging me to let her carve herself. She is a very cautious, good girl. Her older brother was a cub scout of mine, and he was always perfectly behaved as well. If she was my child, I would let her carve. So, I decided to let her.

She was doing remarkably well, so I took my attention off her a little to see how everyone else was doing. She suddenly said, "I don't want to do this any more", and got up hurriedly.

Of course I immediately knew something was wrong, so I run over. Sure enough, she's cut her finger. Not bad enough to need stitches, but bad enough to think about consider the idea. She bled all over the place. So, I had to leave everyone outside alone while I rushed her to the bathroom to get her cleaned up. She was extremely upset about it. Lucky for both of us, her dad (the bishop) happened to be hovering by the door, so I got his attention, and he got his wife, and they joined me in the bathroom to clean her up.

She went home with her mom to get some special tape to seal up the wound.

Honestly, I felt so awful about the whole thing. I came soooooo close to crying over it, but managed to hold back. This little girl is just the sweetest little thing, and I felt responsible for her getting hurt.