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BILLOWS-Quick Gift Blankets folding into Pillows

Updated on November 25, 2016

Pick a Theme- in this case Hummingbirds

One side of the pillow face
One side of the pillow face | Source

The opposite side of the Hummingbird Billow Pillow

So you can flip your pillow and see a different view of the same theme...
So you can flip your pillow and see a different view of the same theme... | Source

How Billows Started in My Sewing Room

I love quillows. The problem with quillows are, they are not particularly quick. I can't get the whole thing done in one night. I had some double sided minky...If you don't know what that is --- well you must take a field trip to GSTREETFABRICS.... and touch and feel the minky. There is single sided, but for these billows I used double sided, so it is delightfully soft like the luxury blankets you find in the stores and it is warm, but lightweight. I have made many pillows and blankets just plain or combining colors with borders so that I have very soft pillows to hug...

I was thinking of my cousin and thought how she loved hummingbirds and how soft the minky was and it felt like a big hug. So, I thought of combining the machine embroidered hummingbirds onto the double sided minky to send her a big hug.

So, a billow is a big blanket (whatever size you want) and the edges are just folded in and hemmed with a blanket stitch. The billow pocket is on third the size of the blanket end. For myself, I make the pocket embroidery separate sew it onto the pocket sides and then sew the sides together to make the pocket. It can be just used to fold the blanket into, or for a footsie warmer.... The third billow you will see uses a little different technique.


Just A Big Lovie Huggie Blanket-Soooo Soft

Blanket without Billow Pillow Pocket-Hummingbirds
Blanket without Billow Pillow Pocket-Hummingbirds | Source
This is trial and Error- I was making it up as I went along-Prototype Pin
This is trial and Error- I was making it up as I went along-Prototype Pin | Source
Checking to see if it would work
Checking to see if it would work | Source
Folded Billow into Pocket before Permanently Sewing to Make sure Proportions were Correct
Folded Billow into Pocket before Permanently Sewing to Make sure Proportions were Correct | Source

The Next Loving Gift for Grand Daughter

Although these billows are quick to make if you just sit down and do it, I did not do them all at the same time. I would be in the mood to give something loving and then stay up all night making it. When there was a big sale at G Street Fabrics I would use a coupon and buy enough double sided minky to do many gifts... It is very wide... So at 64 inches you have enough in one length of blanket to do the blanket and one billow pocket out of one blanket length. Usually your pillow pockets on billows and quillows are around 18 to 20 inches wide.

Do your next gift in a different theme-i.e Horses

Reversible Pillow Pocket on Horse Billow
Reversible Pillow Pocket on Horse Billow | Source

Horses and more Horses

The opposite side of the Horse Billow Pillow Pocket
The opposite side of the Horse Billow Pillow Pocket | Source

Tootsie Warmer Billow Pocket

The reason the pillow pocket is on the end like this is because I thought of when you wrap yourself in a blanket you only need you feet wrapped, not that whole width. I decided It would save on fabric, but also make sense to the person opening the gift to stick their feet in it and wrap themselves up.

The pillow capsule is soft inside

Checking the Softness
Checking the Softness | Source

Testing Again before Actual Sewing

Laid out with Pocket Pinned on Matching Seams where it is going to be Sewn
Laid out with Pocket Pinned on Matching Seams where it is going to be Sewn | Source

Finished and Folded Horse Billow

Fold into Three centered over Billow Pocket and Roll in -Square Size of your Pillow then Stuff
Fold into Three centered over Billow Pocket and Roll in -Square Size of your Pillow then Stuff | Source

VOILA-Your Blanket is a Pillow

The Horse Billow Folded
The Horse Billow Folded | Source

How the Billow Looks with other Pillows

Folded Billow-Different Horses on Other Side
Folded Billow-Different Horses on Other Side | Source

A Slightly Different Way to Make the Billow-Dog Billow

So, when I got around to the Sister Granddaughter's Billow, I had time to think about improvements. This is always unnecessary things I think of, but I decided I was going to do big dog heads on this billow. Well, I didn't know which dogs she would like best. I proceeded to do, 4 big doggie faces and did the billow pocket so it could fold inside out and she could change which dogs were on the pillow.

Pick the Dogs

Laid out Before Decisions
Laid out Before Decisions | Source
In this case-Trim to Decide
In this case-Trim to Decide | Source
Laid Out Faces  Loved them All Figure new way of Folding
Laid Out Faces Loved them All Figure new way of Folding | Source
Folded Dog Billow After Finishing
Folded Dog Billow After Finishing | Source

Thinking Through the Pillow Pocket Folding

I laid out the faces, and I couldn't decide which she would like best. So I decided to do one long piece of Double sided minky cut off the side of the blanket. This left the blanket 64 inches long and 44 inches wide. Certainly wide enough to keep you warm and long enough to work as a billow.

Pillow Pocket in the Making

The Faces are embroidered on a 20 inch wide Strip of Double Sided Minky.
The Faces are embroidered on a 20 inch wide Strip of Double Sided Minky. | Source

Check Face Direction and Measurements

So when you do this part, you want to be able to fold the strip in half and in half again. The size should be the correct size for the billow to fold into. The faces have to be in alternate direction so when you fold it both faces are facing the same way, as to flip the pillow and it will be right, or to turn your pillow pocket inside out and the same thing occurs with the faces on the outside of the billow.

When you test this and it seems to work you are going to sew a tube and then fold the tube so you only have one side to hem, either by hand or by machine. I did a little of both. I also got carried away with the faces and kind of embroidered and then quilted things like eyes and noses to make them more three dimensional... I get kind of carried away when I am doing things and then the rush is over.

Fold the Long Pocket in Half

I Folded it in Half-Looked Good then Made it a Tube
I Folded it in Half-Looked Good then Made it a Tube | Source
Check and Double Check Pillow Folding
Check and Double Check Pillow Folding | Source
Checking to Make sSure I don't need to do Anymore Embellishing- Free motion or Outline Quilting
Checking to Make sSure I don't need to do Anymore Embellishing- Free motion or Outline Quilting | Source
Crazy Folding When Sewing- First one side and Flip
Crazy Folding When Sewing- First one side and Flip | Source
Sew-flip fold Open and Sew Together on inside so you can flip Only One end will be open, the other one will be a fold
Sew-flip fold Open and Sew Together on inside so you can flip Only One end will be open, the other one will be a fold | Source
Folded end up and I made a seam for one side of the open end and then Hand sewn the edge that was open inside of the pocket so it was turned under
Folded end up and I made a seam for one side of the open end and then Hand sewn the edge that was open inside of the pocket so it was turned under | Source
Before I hand attached the inside seam I flipped the Pillow Pocket over to See if it was attached okay to the Billow-  The Fabric is very washable... Your Sewing Should be Sturdy.
Before I hand attached the inside seam I flipped the Pillow Pocket over to See if it was attached okay to the Billow- The Fabric is very washable... Your Sewing Should be Sturdy. | Source

Folding and Attaching Pocket

So you Can see what I was trying to acheive...No raw edges. It is pretty good. When You do these things you need to perfect them. I am only good at inventing things and then I sort of go, I did that, now on to the next crazy thing. I love these billows, but I don't have anyone to make me one and I won't spend the time on this for me. You can see that my blanket on my bed is a double sided black minky. I might do something for my other Grand Daughter that is away at college. I just had back surgery and I have not sewn for 3 months. That is a record for me. I will probably have lots of new things on hub pages, because I supposed to be recovering and I am chomping at the bit to go back to work. I have a new grand daughter on the way and I am going to make her some booties and an I spy quilt.

So these last pictures are the four different pillow sides to the one pillow pocket on the end of the billow. Be sure to rub your hands all over the seams to make sure there are no pins left and throw it into the dryer to remove any nap from the trimming while sewing...

I love it so much I might make myself a butterfly one.

The Same Tri-Fold into the Billow Pocket

Attach Pocket and then Fold
Attach Pocket and then Fold | Source
Fold over to size of pocket and Roll into the pocket
Fold over to size of pocket and Roll into the pocket | Source
Size of the Roll Will the Size of the Pillow-Stuff It
Size of the Roll Will the Size of the Pillow-Stuff It | Source
DONE!
DONE! | Source

Note Freemotion outline

His barrel, ears, eyes, nose and cheeks are outlined to give three dimension.  This is so easy with the thick minky.
His barrel, ears, eyes, nose and cheeks are outlined to give three dimension. This is so easy with the thick minky. | Source
Note his ears, eyes, muzzle, nose, mouth and bow around his neck are all outlined.
Note his ears, eyes, muzzle, nose, mouth and bow around his neck are all outlined. | Source
This one also had a great face and ears to outline and so sweet looking.
This one also had a great face and ears to outline and so sweet looking. | Source
This is one that I know A lot of people would love its face.... They just can't look like their smiling.
This is one that I know A lot of people would love its face.... They just can't look like their smiling. | Source

SEW IT, SQUISH IT, SEE IT, LOVE IT!!!

Sending Hugs to Others with a SQUISHY MINKY BILLOW!

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