Does your child have a baby blanket that is getting ratty, a favorite pair of pants that are falling apart or a cozy sweater that has seen better days? Recycle that battered treasure into a special handmade gift - a memory pillow.
Choosing Your Pillow's Size and Shape
If there is a holiday coming up, you may want to choose a special size or shape for the pillow. For example, an egg shaped pillow is great for Easter and a heart is perfect for Valentine's Day. If you want to keep it simple, a round or square pillow is just fine, too.
Although the size of your pillow is only limited by the size of the item you are cutting the pillow's front and back out of, a pillow that is no larger than twelve inches is great for kids to carry around easily. Parents can tuck it into a purse and children can fit it into the limited space of the car seat to catch a nap.
Adding Some Decorative Touches
Before you begin sewing the memory pillow together, you should decide which decorative touches you want to add. For an egg shaped Easter pillow, I embroidered a chick on the front and sewed on a button eye. (For a child under three, use embroidery floss instead of eyes for any details.) For a pillow for an older child, I decided to sew on a little pocket so I could tuck in an extra birthday surprise.
Sew Up the Loose Ends
Once you are done embellishing the pieces, it is time to put the pillow together. There are two ways to do this, by whipstitching the edges or by hiding the seam on the inside of the pillow.
To create the whipstitched effect, put the two pieces together with the right sides facing out. Then, simply use embroidery floss to sew through both layers from the top about a quarter inch from the edge. Next, bring the needle back up over the edge of the pillow and through both layers from the top again. Continue until there is a two to three inch opening remaining. Stuff the pillow with polyester filling until it is nice and soft. Continue stitching around the pillow's edge until you are done.
To hide the seam inside the pillow, simply place the right sides of the pillow pieces together and machine stitch around the edges until only a small opening remains. Turn the pillow right side out and stuff it. Stitch up the remaining opening by hand, tucking the raw edges inside as you go..
Finally, you may discover that these little memory pillows are a hit with big people, as well. A pillow made from a deceased loved one's old sweater or suit coat can mean so much to someone who is grieving and felt that holding on to an entire closet filled with clothes was wasteful.