How about Love Note Pillows?
I'm pretty sure I saw this project first (or one similar to it) in Amanda Blake Soule's Handmade Home book last spring. I don't own the book, but when I checked it out from the library I think I saw it in there. At the time, I had no need or desire to make the pillows. If I recall, hers were made from an upcycled wool blanket (like the banners I love) and were meant for families to leave little notes to each other in the pocket.
Until recently, my little people were not into leaving me notes. Suddenly, a few months ago, K, who loves to write, started writing notes to me and really wanted me to write her back. I remembered this project and knew it would be perfect for us.
Also, it gave me an opportunity to use the old, beautiful quilt that I procured from my gramma back when I was 12.
I used the quilt for years as a bedspread. It wasn't made by my gramma, but it belonged to her, and it brought me great comfort after she died. She was a big part of our lives; when she was gone, I really felt adrift, like one of the few normal adults in my life, and certainly the one who was my anchor, had left. The quilt was made by one of her sisters. I'm pretty sure it was made from pieces of other projects and scraps of "upcycled" fabric, way before upcycling was fashionable or even had a name. I love to think about where all of that fabric came from. Plus, I'm fairly certain that the entire quilt was sewn by hand, since I don't remember seeing a sewing machine in my great aunt's home during any of my visits. How long it must have taken to make this!
Unfortunately, until fairly recently I knew very little about caring for and preserving a quilt, so I just used to wash it with the normal clothes loads. As a result, it became threadbare and sorry-looking after many years, way beyond the help of even the most skilled quilt restorer. So it sat in our linen closet for the past several years, until I got the idea to use it for my Love Note Pillows.
I made a heart template from the newspaper (how fitting that it featured an article about how we were going to experience a pretty bitter cold spell...). Then I took the quilt, two pieces of ribbon, and a scrap of an upcycled sheet from my scrap basket:
My husband was surprised that I cut up the quilt, since he knows how much I love it, but I really had no qualms about it. It was either cut it up and make it into something else, or fold it up and put it into storage. It was an easy decision. Plus, I'm pretty fearless regarding taking scissors to things. I will cut up and re-do almost anything. The dogs better watch out if their hair gets too scraggly.
I simply made a pocket from the sheet scrap, sewed it on the front of one of the hearts, then sewed the hearts together, making sure I caught two pieces of ribbon at the top so I could hang it. I stuffed it, sewed the opening up with a whipstitch, and now they're ready to go:
The quilt was already pretty shabby-looking (in a good way!), so any imperfections in my whipstitching look like they're just part of the quilt.
Now one of these is hanging on my daughter's doorknob, and one is on my bedpost, waiting for the pocket to be filled with a note. I get to see K's writing every day, tell her how much I adore her, and look at this beautiful quilt, which is so important to me in so many ways. I love that it has been recycled into something to be filled with love; it won't sit in a dark linen closet for the next several years. It has a new life, in more ways than one.
Even J wants one of his own, which I'll get to tonight. When your 8-year-old son tells you he wants a special pillow so he can write you notes, you don't procrastinate. I've been told that he will grow up all too quickly. And if he wants his mom to make him a Love Note Pillow right now so he can tell her how much he loves her...I'm going to do it.