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Quilted Heart Pillows made from Shirts

3 out of 4 Completed Pillows. They are all similar but unique in their own way. 

My friend ask me to make something very special for her and her family. After her mother passed away, she wanted something symbolic of her mother, a keepsake made from something of her mom's. My friend came up with the idea of making her mother's favorite t-shirts into pillows. Luckily my friend let me run with the idea and come up with the quilting pattern. 



The shirts were all different colors and different materials, so I decided the best way to mix them up would be to quilt them. Then, I came across one shirt that spoke to me. Her mom was a teacher and there was a t-shirt that said "To Teach Is To Touch The Future." I thought what better way than to make this portion the middle of the 4 pillows. It not only symbolized her mom's favorite shirts, but what her mother loved to do, to teach. So the middle of each pillow was the graphic portion of the "Teach" shirt.

I started by sketching out a basic graph design and for some reason I just thought a heart would be the best design for the pillows. 





I thought a good size for the pillows would be 18 x 18. I'm not a very experienced quilter, so my pillows actually ended up a little smaller than that, but I cut each shirt into 6 x 6 squares. Luckily that made for very simple math. Quilts are so mathematical and very precise, you truly cannot just throw one together. 

The 6 x 6 squares gave me 3 rows of 3 squares. 


I laid all my pieces out and then decided how to cut each piece, at this point they are just folded.

Then I cut diagonal sandwich style in the right/left top corners and the middle row right/left ends. On the top row middle and bottom row middle I cut using my quilting board as you see below on the 30 and 60 degree diagonals. The very middle square and bottom right/left squares stayed a 6x6 piece. 


After this, I sewed each horizontal row together. 

At this point, you line everything up and sew each row together. 
(The back of the pillows were just plain squares and you do the same thing as them.)

I lined the inside of the pillows with one of her mother's favorite colors. I serged the front to the purple lining and a back to the purple lining making sure the front is facing out. 


At this point I sewed the two sides right sides together leaving the bottom of the pillow open for a zipper. and I inserted a zipper on the bottom that way she can easily take the pillow cover off for washing. 
Pillow Front
Pillow back (I used a pink zipper on the bottom - Pink was also her favorite color)


Lastly, I used a pre-made pillow form to help the pillow hold its shape, zipped it up and they were ready for display. My friend actually surprised her siblings and father with the pillows for Christmas.

I think they turned out pretty amazing if I do say so myself, and it is a great keepsake!

Completed Pillow Front
Completed Pillow Back 






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