How To: Make a Quillow

To help us ring in Escapes Month, Ohdeedoh reader Holly (of dinosaur play mat fame) wrote in to tell us about a super-cool item she designed for her little boy:

I've been enjoying the posts regarding traveling with children, particularly the idea of a smaller quilt for traveling. Here's what I recently made for my son before a trip to Italy: a "quillow," which is basically a quilt that folds into a pillow. So it does double duty: big enough to cover up with (which came in handy on the long overnight plane ride), but can be packed into a smaller space. In this case, it did triple duty because I designed the quilt to resemble train tracks.

Keep reading to see the unfolded quillow in all its glory, and to get Holly's tips on how to make your own.

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Says Holly:

If you google "quillow" there are a lot of tutorials for making them, which I looked at to figure out how big to make the pillow part. The basic steps are:

  1. Make a quilt top using any pattern you want.
  2. Cut backing fabric to the same size. I used fleece but flannel would be nice, too.
  3. Sew the pillow piece to the backing, following any number of quillow tutorials that are out there.

It's more like a blanket than a quilt because I didn't use batting or binding, I just laid the finished quilt top right side down over a large piece of fleece, sewed around the edges leaving about six inches open, then turned it right side out and sewed the opening closed.

I intentionally kept the shapes pretty basic so he could use his imagination (and I didn't want to hear "That water tower/crane/shed doesn't look exactly like the one on Sodor Island!). You could use black strips for the sashing and make a cityscape, or make the blocks "rooms" of a house.

Have you created an original accessory to make travel easier (and, let's admit it, cuter) for your young ones? Let us know!

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