Back to School With Love

22 Aug

Fellow Quilters,

My awesome piecer Susanne and I have been busy this week with a fun project.  I was invited to participate in a blog tour with the folks at American Patchwork & Quilting and their One Million Pillowcase Challenge, and today is the tour day.  Northcott has been a proud sponsor of the One Million Pillowcase Challenge for a few years, and this is my 3rd time participating in a blog tour about it.  Last year we made a pillowcase using the popular train pattern.  This year, we got to choose our own pattern from the extensive library of patterns on the AllPeopleQuilt website ( But which one to choose – that was the question!

For inspiration, I looked in the Northcott warehouse at the newest fabric collections that had come in, and found 2 that I really wanted to use: Stonehenge Prehistoric by Linda Ludovico, and Bella Ballerina by Diane Knott. I couldn’t decide, so Susanne and I used both collections. I scanned through the free patterns, and chose Pattern 38 Diamond Band for the Prehistoric pillowcase. The fabric collection includes a lengthwise border stripe that is printed sideways on the fabric, and this type of print is perfect for the body of the pillowcase. I used some of the Stonehenge coordinates for the 4-patch units and a delicious dark marble-looking coordinate for the setting triangles.

The Bella Ballerina collection features ballerinas in ruffle-y dresses, so of course Pattern 1 Ruffle Trim was perfect. This collection has a fabric that has pre-printed blocks of the ballerinas, and is printed sideways, so it became the body of the pillowcase. The width of 3 blocks was a bit smaller than the 26½” piece required for the pattern, so we made the band a bit wider to compensate. It still turned out great!

Last year, I donated the pillowcase to a charity supported by my quilt guild – Yellow Brick House, a shelter for abused women and their children. Along with the pillowcase, I donated a backpack of school supplies, because this was one of the things listed on their website as being greatly needed at this time of year. This year is no exception, and they provided me with a list of supplies. Since Susanne and I made 2 pillowcases, we filled 2 backpacks – one for a boy and one for a girl, to match the pillowcases. I was thinking, as Susanne was sewing, how fun these 2 fabric collections were, and how easy it would be to make a matching cuddle quilt to accompany each pillowcase. The Stonehenge Prehistoric collection includes a 24” x 42” panel that would be a great center to a cuddle quilt – simply add a border (or 4, as it turned out), and you’re done. The pre-printed blocks from Bella Ballerina also made a great quilt center, so we added 4 borders, and voila! In less than 2 hours, Susanne and I had those quilt tops done. I quickly quilted them on my longarm, and Susanne added the speedy machine binding. Two kids will now head back to school knowing that people care about them, and their mom will have a couple less things to worry about.

Susanne and I with our pillowcases, cuddle quilts and backpacks of school supplies

Susanne and I with our pillowcases, cuddle quilts and backpacks of school supplies

My final step was to go to the One Million Pillowcase Challenge website and add our 2 pillowcases to the count. ( Wow, it’s up to 568,688! How awesome is that?!? I know that total will increase on September 19 & 20th when American Patchwork & Quilting hosts their 24-hour sew-a-thon. If you can’t make it to Des Moines (me neither), you can go to one of the many participating shops across the USA and Canada (for a list of shops go to  If there isn’t a shop in your area, don’t despair!  You can still make a pillowcase or 2, maybe with a quilting friend, and donate it locally.  That’s what the Challenge is all about – spreading the love and comfort.  Don’t forget to add yours to the count on the One Million Pillowcase website.

I’m proud to be part of the awesome list of bloggers below that are participating in the blog tour. Please visit as many as you can, as we share our stories with you.

It’s no secret that I like to give stuff away.  For a chance to win a packet of yummy Northcott fabrics, please post a comment on my blog, telling me which current Northcott collection (in the drop-down on the Fabrics tab) you would most like to use for a pillowcase (  I’ll give away 3 packets.

Thanks for visiting, and keep those pillowcases coming!



22 Responses to “Back to School With Love”

  1. Cathi August 22, 2014 at 1:42 am #

    The Stonehenge Daffodil would make such wonderfully cheery pillowcases! But oh, how hard it is to choose just one collection with which it would be fun to make pillowcases.


  2. Whiskers August 22, 2014 at 2:05 am #

    Shark Attack, Bugaboo (I’m working on a bug quilt right now), and Blast Off. But, how did you ever decide? So many lovelies there to choose from.

  3. Chris August 22, 2014 at 4:48 am #

    My grandsons would love the Stonehenge Prehistoric. I’m sure it feels wonderful!

  4. Lisa Marie August 22, 2014 at 5:52 am #

    I would choose Flamingo Fling for its fun prints and bright colors!

  5. Shirley (Petunia Pinner) August 22, 2014 at 7:20 am #

    I do think I would use OH Canada! But then again – loving dinosaurs, I think I would make one from that too! Thanks for the give away, Patti!!

  6. Mindy Veldhuizen August 22, 2014 at 8:03 am #

    My choice would be the Stonehenge Slapshot. Love it!

  7. Carol J August 22, 2014 at 8:38 am #

    Love what you and Susanne have done – so generous! When someone loves just about everything Northcott, how can I just pick one! How about anything from the Northcott Kids collection? That is one choice… isn’t it? LOL Keep up the great work ladies!!

  8. Maxine August 22, 2014 at 8:52 am #

    Definitely Patterns.. Thank you

  9. Sheila August 22, 2014 at 9:35 am #

    I think I would love to use the watercolour impressions , just so pretty . Our quilt guild participated in the pillowcase challenge a few years ago making 68 pillow cases for our local women’s shelter , maybe I should suggest we do this again 🙂

  10. Sandy K August 22, 2014 at 9:56 am #

    Sew many lovely collections. I love Stonehenge Daffodils.

  11. Vicki H August 22, 2014 at 9:58 am #

    How fun is Flamingo Fling. It would make great pillowcases.

  12. Rosalee August 22, 2014 at 11:10 am #

    I think Dalmatian Rescue would be great in pillowcases, but of course they all would be! I make them and donate to hospitals and Project Linus. Thank you!

  13. Tabitha Keener August 22, 2014 at 6:21 pm #

    I’m in love with the Marie Antoinette collection! After that would be Charlemagne and Bella Ballerina! I loved the cute little quilt and I would love to make one of the ballerinas! Thanks

  14. Bev Smith August 22, 2014 at 7:09 pm #

    I love the prehistoric dinosaur fabric. What little boy, or girl wouldn’t love a quilt and pillowcase made with such fabulous fabric?

  15. Karen August 23, 2014 at 12:43 am #

    I would pick Alpine Getaway as I love downhill skiing!!!

  16. dlamastus August 23, 2014 at 1:06 am #

    Well, looking at all the lines, I’m thinking I will be making 5 pillowcases! I love Flamingo Fling, Safari, Safari kids Little Girls, Up & Away, and Woodland Friends in flannel. It would be hard to pick only one. you two did a great job with yours, I like that you made them a quilt and donated a backpack to match.

  17. Lee August 23, 2014 at 7:34 pm #

    I love Whiskers! Such cute cats and love all the colors in this collection! thank yoU!

  18. Betsey Ryan August 23, 2014 at 8:47 pm #

    I would love to make a pillow case out of either the Prehistoric Dinosaur or the Oh Canada collection.

  19. Linda Christianson August 25, 2014 at 7:44 am #

    I love Watercolors Impressions. It looks sweet. Love the quilt shown too.

  20. Shelley August 29, 2014 at 12:21 pm #

    I love the Good Vibrations line. Beautiful color!

  21. Carol Pezet December 6, 2014 at 7:11 pm #

    Is there a printed diagram of where to place the lights for the Star Light, Star Bright christmas tree pattern?

  22. Debbie Schroder February 3, 2015 at 10:39 pm #

    Just came home from my Guild meeting at Durahm Trillium where you presented an excellent trunk show. Love to see you back again. Safari from the Kids Collection. Kids are the ones most thrilled with fancy pillowcases.

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