I anticipated that this these pillows might not be as well-liked as the other camp crafts because hand stitching is rather time consuming. Surprisingly, these fleece alphabet pillows were very popular at girls camp.
I got the idea from a book titled 101 Crafts Under $10 from the editors at Butterick. Their craft is called “Felt name pillows.” The Butterick editors ironed the rest of the name in smaller letters onto the pillow, which I loved but decided was too difficult for camp purposes. We used fleece instead of felt because it’s softer and cheaper.
The hardest part (for me) was drawing and cutting out each letter of the alphabet in cardboard for the girls to trace onto the fleece, but you won’t have to make the whole alphabet.
Mostly everyone made a pillow out of their first initial, but I thought it would be cute to make “X” and “O” (kiss and hug) pillows. I used red embroidery floss on the “X” and charcoal floss on the “O” so they coordinate.
Supplies and tools
1. Draw your letter onto the cardboard. Cut it out. For best results, make the letter as fat as possible and round the corners so they aren’t as pointy as my “X” pillow. Two alternatives to freehand drawing your patterns: 1) Print out your letter in Gill Sans Ultra Bold, Lithos Pro Black, or Insolent font and enlarge to 16 inches tall, or 2) Try McCall’s pattern #3274 (minus the seam allowance).
2. Trace the pattern onto one piece of felt.
3. Cut out both pieces at the same time. If you used a permanent marker, cut just inside the line, so the ink will be cut away.
4. Line up the edges of the two fleece pieces. Thread your needle with a long piece embroidery floss, using all six strands. Tie a knot in the end.
5. Blanket stitch all around the letter, stuffing the pillow with fiberfill as you go. Alice at futuregirl craft blog has an excellent tutorial on how to sew felt (or fleece) using the blanket stitch. Follow her instructions here. For letters such as A, B, etc., blanket stitch around the opening(s) in the letter first, then around the outside.
4. You’re done!