Wednesday, August 7, 2013

VW bus Pillow case you're starting to think about Christmas...what?!?!

I posted this over at CSI Project: they're having a pillow link party right now, and figured might as well mention that Christmas is coming up....fairly soon.  I have a tradition where I make everyone in my family a pillowcase for Christmas Eve to go along with their new jammies.  So, if this is not a tradition you currently have, it is one of my faves.  It's fun to choose the fabrics that fit my kids and husband for that year...or whatever strikes my fancy.  So, time's a ticking.  Get started on those Christmas projects now!

This post is about the raddest pillowcase I've ever made...and the most involved.  When I initially posted this, I didn't want the Mister to see what was going I put a pie decoy picture up.  Very clever, very clever.  Well, let's get to it...

Sometime in Winter 2011
Just thought I'd start this post with a put him off the track picture...are you looking Mister? I hope the way this is a tasty little creation of mine using chocolate ganache and chocolate pudding. Top it with homemade whipped cream and some chocolate shavings and you've got pure heavenly goodness. Make this.  I used Callebaut dark chocolate as my chocolate involved in the ganache and pudding and it was rich and awesome!  I also weighed my ingredients when necessary. Go get a scale, you'll be happy you did when all your recipes turn out amazing.

Sometimes I'm ambitious...maybe a little too ambitious some might say.  But, look I figure if I want to make a pillow case with a picture of a Volkswagen Camper Bus on it, circa 1970's...then by golly I should be able to do it!  Commence the very difficult project...

I had to scour the Internet for pictures of a VW Bus...because I'm not schooled in this lovely mode of transportation.  We only had 3 kids, we got to pile 3 deep in the back of the Lincoln belts optional. 

There are lots of pictures and of course I figure I can make my own paper-pieced block from my own brain cells.  I've done plenty of paper piecing.  I'm smart enough...good enough...etc etc etc...well...I am...I think.

This started out much more complex.  I figured I could do a slightly off center full-body view of a VW Bus...HAHAHA.  No.  You can't!  Don't try it! Unless you do try it and it works...please let me know if this is the case.

Look, you have to be able to keep everything perfectly centered and so you can't just put a piece wherever you want and hope it'll match up correctly.  There are seams involved! 

Just a fun little fact...the windows on this VW Bus are from one of my husband's shirts.  He thinks I'm a loon because I like to keep fabric from shirts of maybe torn sheets or whatever and save them for future projects.  I like to think I'm frugal...he thinks I'm crazy!  So it was a bit of fun revenge to use one of my scavenged treasures in his pillow.

Really I had to think and rethink how I was going to pull this off at several points during construction.

Because I'd get to sewing what I was sure would work....and then come to realize that I just made it have weird wings at the top...rethink time.

One of the trickiest things about paper piecing is sometimes you just have to take a leap of faith and hope you are positioning your fabric correctly...because you are going to fold it over to the right side and sometimes angles are not so friendly!

I confess, I wasted more than my share of fabric on this project...but I was in a bit of a hurry and didn't know exactly what I was doing...I felt a little overlap was what i need to make sure everything ended up the way I wanted it.

Then I got to this point and realized I had to figure out a way to get the wheels on...hmmmm...won't exactly work with the current block, so luckily I had an epiphany and made 3..ish separate pieces to be sewn together at the end!  AHA!  Turns out it actually is part of paper piecing to sew multiple blocks and then stitch them all together at the end.  Now I know. At the time, thought I was a freaking genius!

Oh yeah, got me some wheels.  Of course things didn't exactly work out with these wheels the first time as I miscalculated and cut one of them off completely...right time. 

My seam ripper and I were besties again for this project.  So...the wheels are a little wonky.  But, by this time...the pile of wasted fabric and unpicked thread had piled up and I was a little I figured wonky was the way I wanted it from the start...right?  Right.

Add the extra bits to be later needle-turn appliqued into place...and I was starting to feel really good about things.  The wings were gone...there were wheels, a bumper, the W on the front...HURRAY!!!

Finished product and DAMN if I don't love it!  I put a piece of paper over the personalized license plate...I know, I know...but just in case.  So you can embroider whatever you want on the licence plate to personalize it.  I love the Denyse Schmidt fabric I used to complete the pillow case.  What turned out to be an impulse buy I once regretted has now made me so happy!  I have made 3 things now using it and I love them all!

Here's the back.  I always like looking at the backs of blocks.  It's just fun.  Yeah...there are paper scraps still attached.  I was exhausted by this time.  And picking off every last piece of paper was not happening.

All done and it's love!  This might not be the side my loving husband ever sleeps on, as it's not exactly smooth, but that's okay.  I love it too much and am pretty sure he will too!

Thanks for sticking with me through the play by play.

Back to the future, My Oldest has currently claimed this as her pillowcase.

Thanks for reading!

Shared here:
The Dedicated House




  1. Okay, the whole pie thing threw me off initially, because...YUM. But the bus is adorable. Both my daughter and I drive VWs. We don't have a bus, but they're way cool. :)


  2. Yum I need some pie, but the pillow is super cool!!!

  3. You make everyone a new pillowcase for Christmas eve? Have you already started? I am impressed. I adore this VW pillow. It is so amazing. I pinned it from your original source and it has been repinned like it should!

  4. Your family is lucky, what a fantastic Christmas idea. You sound like one sweet lady:)
    Plus, you managed to work in the word "raddest" in a blog post...but of course, when there's a VW bus involved, that word totally fits! Thanks for sharing :) Di {CookTheTV}
    PS Pinned this to my Mom Blog DIY Board on Pinterest:)

  5. That is an amazing piece. I was anticipating the final result while watching how you were putting it together. I love it! I'm sure your husband will love it. Great idea for hiding the post. lol

  6. Love this Heather! Still dream of having an old VW bus for traveling the countryside...inner hippy I guess!

  7. LOVE LOVE LOVE this pillowcase! I just shared on my FB page..too awesome not to share! :D

  8. This is just crazy amazing girl! I am sending the link to my sewing sister!


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