Of Rats and Jen (Inactive)

Tales of a Perpetual
Work In Progress

Quilting, Sewing – Same Skills Apply!

Filed under: Holidays,Sewing — folkcat at 11:54 am on Thursday, April 26, 2007

Did a little sewing yesterday, on Quilting Day. I’m really pleased with it, because this time, I made something very practical that replaced something old and worn that I’ve been using for over ten years.

Dogbone Neck Pillow

The original dogbone pillow had been purchased at a drugstore a long, long time ago. It’s been in continuous use ever since, and frankly, was getting a little funky – and not in a good way. I decided I could make my own new one.

Saturday, I began the disassembly process on the old pillow. The goal was to get one of the three identical body pieces out intact. Seam ripper in hand, I attacked.

Turned out the entire thing had been sewn very cheaply – monofilament, and not a thin one at that. With much fuss, especially at the ends where all three pieces came together, I worked the stitches out and separated the desired section.

No pictures of the process. It was at this point, I discovered just how gross the thing had gotten over the years. Skin oils had worked their way into the polyfill stuffing, even. I threw that out, and set up a dishpan with hot, soapy water to wash the fabric piece.

My plan was to make a pattern by tracing the fabric. Would have worked, if I could have found a piece of cardboard good enough to make a template from. What I did find, however, made the job even easier – inkjet printer acetate transparencies! I ironed and folded the clean piece, placed it on my scanner bed, and ran a copy on the acetate.

The printer side of the acetate is a little tacky, and the ink takes a long time to set up. I didn’t want it smearing on whatever fabric I chose to make the pillow from, so I got out my Xyron laminating machine, and laminated the acetate with clear plastic on both sides. This covered the smudgy ink, and added a little extra thickness.

The final step to turn this into a traceable template was merely to cut out around the outlines of the photocopy, including the notches that indicated the center of the end (the point where all three seams come together on the ends). Et voila! I had a durable, traceable template that I could even see through to place it precisely on the fabric.

Next up was to pick the fabric. I dug into the stash, and came up with the funky cat fabric I’d bought on clearance – the stuff with the adorable, wacky cats in a large, directional print that I didn’t know what I’d ever use it for, but had to have?

Placing the template on the print, I discovered that the line of cats climbing on their branches would fit perfectly across each side! With a chalk pencil, I traced three pieces, then carefully cut them out with scissors. A quick run of the seams on the sewing machine; turn it right side out; stuff it to within an inch of its life with polyfill; hand stitch the last opening closed.

In a matter of a couple of hours, I had my new dogbone neck pillow!

FO - Dogbone Pillow

The right hand end looks larger because it’s closer to the camera. In real life, both ends are about the same size. I may have stuffed it a little on the firm side, but it works well. And I love how the cats line up so perfectly along each side.

Hey! Today’s a Day, Too!

Okay, here’s an easy one to celebrate – it’s National Pretzel Day! So pick up a bag of your favorite pretzel form – I like the mini’s myself – and have a nosh.



Comment by Carrie K

April 26, 2007 @ 5:06 pm

Those cats are just crazy cute! nice job.

Cool socks (earlier post) and knitted penguins! Awesome. I’m knitting up some penguin washcloths for a friend, I think the knitted penguin must accompany them.

Happy belated Blogiversary!


Comment by Claudia

April 27, 2007 @ 9:19 am

LOVE the pillow! The fabric is adorable and green is one of my favorite colors. All around NICE! Hmmmm…. I may have to make one or a couple of those as gifts!


Comment by martha

July 22, 2007 @ 1:40 pm

i am looking for d pattern for the 3 side dog bone pillow……….can you help me with that…thank you martha

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