Fun upcycle – from pillow to pencil!

Craft Rocks with Jo Burgess

Although some of my best sewing friends are quilters, it’s something that I have never tried. But a few weeks ago I suddenly decided I just had to have a go. So I tried my hand at making a disappearing nine patch quilt…

Me disappearing behind my disappearing nine patch (see what I did there…)

Then I thought I’d have a look at paper piecing and, guided by my great friend who owns Craftyangel, I made a QuiltyPie pattern into a Christmas cushion…

My Quilty Pie Joy paper piecing. I accidentally put the star in upside down, but still love it!

And you guessed it, now I have yet another craft addiction! Paper piecing was made for me. I love geometric shapes and have loads of random cotton I’ve bought over the years convinced I’d make dresses from it all to use up. It’s also a great way to use up your little fabric scraps.

The way it works is that you print out a pattern onto paper and then sew fabric onto the back of the piece of paper. It’s like a little puzzle, which I also love. Slowly but surely it comes to life as something fabulous. And when you finish your piece, you carefully remove the paper from the back. The fine sewing line has perforated the paper enough to make this quite easy to do.

Removing the paper from the back of the finished piece

Having already completed the QuiltyPie Joy project, I thought I’d have a go at another and bought the fantastic pencil pattern the day it was released.

What fabric to use though? Years ago my lovely mum gave me a fantastic colourful duvet set. When the duvet got past its best I decided to keep the pillow cases in my fabric stash. They are very colourful. And that yellow bit, would be perfect for a pencil, so I decided to upcycle it.

The very colourful pillow case – pink back, striped front

First of all I took the pillow case apart. I didn’t unpick it, I just cut it so all of the different colours were separated.

The pillow case taken apart and a scrap of grey fabric from my stash

Then I selected the sections I could use on the pencil. Yellow for the main body, pink of course for the eraser on the end, I hoped the cream section would work as the tip but I wasn’t sure, and purple as the nib. The only piece of fabric I used which was not from the pillow case was a tiny bit of grey for the metallic bit of the pencil which holds in the eraser. It had to be grey or silver in my mind to look like a real pencil.

The finished pencil

And here is the finished transformation. Within two hours it had gone from pillow case to pencil, and has made a great gift for my friend and artist @block_graphic_life_ It is winging its way to her as we speak!

If you like this project you can find the pencil pattern here and the Christmas cushion pattern I used here. Thank you @quiltypie! (check that)

Best cake for this project: Battenburg – has to be, it looks like it is paper pieced

Best music for this project: Aerosmith Walk This Way


Pattern: £2.76

Fabric: Upcycled a pillow case and a scrap of grey

Total: £2.76

Is This The Most Helpful Cross Stitch Book? It Could Be! #bookreview #crossstitch

Jo Burgess

Originally from Northern Ireland, Jo Burgess is a craft crazy rock music loving gal based in England. With a career including time spent as a motorsport journalist in England, in the film industry in Northern Ireland, and working on ghost tours in Scotland, her background is as mixed up as her love of craft. Jo will try her hand at anything and loves learning a new skill with tea and cake, crafty friends and great music blasting out of her speakers. Cross stitch, electronics, sewing, beadwork, glass fusing - she loves it all, and through this column Jo hopes to pass her love of different crafts, music and (of course) cake on to you. Craft rocks!

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