Wednesday, November 23, 2022

For Quilters Who Love their Scraps Too Much: Upcycle them into Pet Pillows

Here are my latest scrap-filled pet pillows, (photobombed by the Beatles.) I just unloaded a dozen of them! (The pillows, not the Beatles). Here's the the story: 

Nothing focuses the mind like a new grandchild, and one of my instinctive responses to this joyful development is that I'm trying to clear and downsize my sewing room -- so I can fit some baby toys in.

And the area most in need of clearing in my sewing room was a corner stacked with pillows, most stuffed with small fabric and batting scraps. 

Thanks partly to Covid, I had about five years worth of scraps. Before the pandemic, a nearby animal shelter was happy to take them. But then I didn't donate any for a couple of years; and Covid struck, when no one wanted anything from anyone's house. My scrap stash grew. 

Last week, I called the shelter, and to my horror, they told me they no longer wanted pillows! What in the world would I do with them? The thought of sending them into the landfill filled me with despair! (I REALLY love even my tiniest scraps, and care deeply about their future. If you do too, we probably need a therapy group.)

So I posted on Nextdoor marketplace, pet section, that the pillows were free. I got two bites: one from a guy who apparently wanted to use them for humans. I told him that scrap-filled pillows, tragically, are NOT comfortable for human heads. (Wouldn't it be great if they were? Quilters could get rich with a side-hustle making bed pillows from our scraps!) Unfortunately, scrap-filled pillows are too lumpy for human faces. 

Fortunately, the second bite came from a woman who fosters kittens. To my delight, she wanted them all! So the photo on the top shows how they looked on my porch, awaiting   pickup (I wasn't giving away the Beatles photo, it's permanent porch decor).  

For pillowcases, I used a wide assortment of fabrics on hand, including

  •  New fleece featuring the Pillsbury Doughboy, gifted to me by a friend.

  •  A soft knit featuring dalmations on plaid - dots and lines, what's not to love? How I wish this were a woven cotton quilting fabric. 

  • Old (but still strong) sweatpants. Here's one of them:
I cut off the waistbands. Then I cut open the inseam (up and down the inside of the the legs.). Next, I sewed the two front legs together down the middle, the two back legs together down the middle. Sewed up the side seams. Turned the whole thing right-side-out, stuffed the open end with scraps, and folded the opening over twice and sewed it up. Done, cozy, and upcycled! 
  •  Tee shirts, processed in a similar way.
  •  Old pillowcases, sewn shut. These are the easiest.

I am so happy that my scraps went to benefit kittens, and I wish the kitties, as well as my scraps, a very happy, adorable future! In the meantime, my sewing room is positively echo-ey with this vast mountain of scraps removed!

If you're interested in making pet pillows, I suggest you first try to locate someone who actually wants them them. Some shelters do and some don't, but individuals who foster pets might be more likely to take them. Nextdoor, Freecycle, Offerup are all places you can post them. 

I would absolutely love to hear what you do with your smallest fabric and batting scraps!