Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Quillow Pack Tutorial

Ok, ok, twist my arm.

Of course I'll share my quillow pack tutorial with you!!

You guys knew all along that I'd post it whether you commented or not, but can you blame me for not so subtly trying to coerce you into leaving more comments???

I can't help it!

I just really love hearing from other people like what they think of my hair brained ideas or similar ideas of their own or even just how their day is going.

So please, please, PLEASE send me fun comments to read :)

Did you get that?

Ok, just checking!

Now, for the moment you all have been waiting for...
at least for the past 20 seconds after you clicked on this post

The 10 quick steps to your very own Quillow Pack (park date sold separately)

  • 1 1/2 yrds each of two coordinating fabrics for the back and front of the blanket (3 yrds total)
  • 1 1/2 yrds of fabric for the pillow casing and pack straps
  • 1 3/4 yrds of cording or ribbon to close the pack
  • Optional- extra scraps to make a front pocket on the sack
  • 2 1/2 hours uninterrupted sewing time.
Assume 1/4" seam allowance unless noted otherwise.
Measurements are for a 44" x 53" blanket that folds into an 18 " x 18" pack

Here we go!
Step 1
Measure and cut the following pieces of fabric:

Two large pieces of fabric 44 1/2" x 53 1/2"
Two 18 1/2" x 20" pieces of fabric for the pillow casing Two straps 2" x 27" for the pack straps and

one strip of fabric 1 1/2" x 18" for the draw string casing on the blanket

Step 2
Sew the 2 pillow casing pieces of fabric with right sides together and flip inside out.

Optional- sew a small pocket on one side of the pillow case. You can leave it open or close it with a button, but you should do these details now.

Step 3
Make a 1" casing for the draw string on the 20" side of the pillow casing by folding the edge down so that you end up with an 18" x 18" case.
The 1" casing will be the side farthest away from the edge of the blanket when you sew the pillow case on.

Step 4

Use the finished pillow case to trace the outline for the pillow case on the top center of the blanket piece that you would like to be the "bottom" side or the side that will touch the ground.
Next, make an additional line 1" below the bottom of the pillow case square for the draw string casing to close your sack.

Step 5

Fold the small strip of 1 1/2" x 18" fabric into a 1" wide casing (or wide enough for your ribbon, cording, draw string etc) along the bottom of the pillow case outline on the bottom blanket piece.
Don't forget to leave the ends open so you can run the draw string through!

Step 6
Sew the blanket pieces with right sides together on three sides first, leaving the 44 1/2" edge with your pillow case outline open.

Before flipping right side out again, sew 13" in on each side of the 44 1/2" open side, so that you have an 18" opening to flip the blanket right side out with right in the middle of the blanket where the pillow case will go.

Step 7

Make two 1 1/2" x 27" shoulder straps.

Tuck about 1" of the end of each strap inside the blanket at the edges of the pillow
case outline and pin in place.
Sew along the edge twice to secure each strap to the blanket. Once the straps are each sewn inside the blanket, close the rest of the blanket by sewing along the edge between the straps.

Step 8

Bring the other ends of the pack straps to the center of the pillow case outline along the edge of the draw string casing you created in Step 6. Pin them in place at an angle right in the center like so:

I went ahead and snipped off the tip of the triangle I created when I folded my strap at an angle. You don't have to re-hem, because it will be sewn over anyway.
Secure the straps by sewing over twice.

For now, Pin the straps along the center of the pillow case outline to keep them out of the way while sewing on the pillow case in the next step.

Step 9
Sew the pillow case onto the bottom of side of the blanket along three sides with the opening for the pack (the side with the draw string case) facing downward and unattached.
Don't forget to put the side you want to show on your pack face down so it's touching the shoulder straps. In this case I have my pocket side facing down, because that's what I want to be on the outside of my pack when I fold the quillow up.

Step 10
Use a safety pin to pull your cording, ribbon, string etc through the draw string casing on the pillow case and bottom side of your blanket.
Tie knots at the ends of the string to keep it from sneaking back into your casing.

Repeat for the front and pack casings

And that's all!

She's ready for testing.... Fold in thirds like I showed you with my first pack. Or by clicking here.
Does it work?


Onto phase II of the testing... pull the draw strings to close the pack and throw it onto your shoulders.
Does it fit?
Well... ok, so maybe mine wasn't designed for this size model, but you get the idea!

Last but not least, head to the park with your quillow pack full of all your park date essentials...

Don't forget the BUBBLES!!

The kiddos love this stuff, even if they can't quite figure out how to blow just right...

Btw, recognize the fairy ballerina dress Sienna's wearing? Yup, we can't get it off her....


  1. I understand the whole fixing for comments thing. Why do we live so much for others approval?.... so hint hint.... I like them too. And just to give you a hard time, you are not an official followers of my blog so get on that too. Lastly, can you just make me one of these? Thanks.

  2. Haha Mary!! I can't believe I'm not your follower?! You were the first blog I ever read!! And you're one of my best commenters of all!! Geez, how did I miss this one? I think I'll have to get a pass on account of 1) becoming a follower within 1 min of realizing I wasn't and 2) I probably having tried to follow you before but not knowing what I was doing in this whole bloggy blog world so you should still love me anyway :)

  3. Love it!! We always end up carrying SO MUCH stuff when we go to the park!

    I linked to your tutorial over at Craft Gossip Sewing:


  4. My 3 young adults still have the quillows their grandmom made them! This would be a great gift to go along with some wine glasses and a bottle of wine.

  5. That is such a great idea, Ann!!! Thank you for sharing it! What a perfect wedding gift idea. hum.... I have a lot of friends getting married soon :)

  6. WOW! You re-fashioned that fairy dress into a great AZ piece! Who said you can't wear velour in Arizona?

  7. I use a flat queen size sheet for ground cover. Do you think all this would fit in a quillow? Does it have to be folded to fit in the bag?

  8. I just came across your site, and am a new follower! :)

    I made a design for a quillow I'd like to sew for my kids last night, and I swear it is practically identical to what you've done here! Too funny! Thanks for the tutorial! I can't wait to try it out!

    Curious... what kind of fabric did you use? I was thinking of adding some batting to mine to make it a little "warmer". Have you tried this?

    Thanks again! Stop by and see what I'm making at I'd love have you as a follower too!

  9. I've been thinking about designing and making quillow packs for the homeless shelter, they always put blankets, back packs etc on their wish list. I was thinking of using a rip stop water repellent fabric on the "ground" side and adding bating to make it warmer(we get very cold up here). Definitely pockets on the out side, to put a tooth brush, tooth paste, floss, deodorant, soap and wash cloth. also a coffee card, hand warmers, toque and mitts, and maybe a scarf even a change of underwear and warm socks.

    I knew how to make quillows just needed to see one as a back pack! Thank you (^_^) I think I'll add a "flap" over the tie top to keep the inside dry. Having seen you do it I think I am ready to give it a try. Thank you so much for posting this! Bless you!

  10. Wish I could post a pic! I "borrowed" your backpack idea, made a 44" X 72" quillow for a Santa's Angel I've adopted for Christmas. The card said her favorite color is red, so red, black & white Hawaiian type flowers backed with a black & white polka-dot design on the other. It came together nicely. Sure hope she likes it!!!

    1. Thank you for reporting back!! What a great use for it! I wish I could see pictures. Merry Christmas!


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