Okay, I know this is way beyond my normal level of craftiness, which is zero. (If you don’t believe me, click the “crafts” tab. I think I’m up to a whopping two posts.)
But I had to do something to save my favorite pajamas! Let me explain. In 2008, I went to Disney World. I’m a total Disney freak, it was my 16th visit, it was Christmas, and I was six months preggo with my older son, Danger. So I was pretty much as happy as I could get, despite the fact that 14 hours a day of Disney magic made my cankles look like legit water buffalo hooves.
Anyway, I bought a pair of awesome pajama pants while I was there. I loved the fabric — hot pink, day-glo orange, lime green, turquoise, red, and black. It was borderline vaudeville and borderline tacky, and I wore them almost every night (and some days) for about two years, until they finally ripped. Hubby suggested it was finally time to get rid of them. I’m pretty sure I heard joy in his voice — I think these pants were his Leg Lamp. “I am never throwing these out!” I proclaimed. “I will make them into a quilt!”
Cue one year later and the pants were still sitting on a shelf in my office. “Can we throw these out now?” hubby asked. We were in the middle of a 365 project in which we threw out one item a day, so I had to get going on the quilt or the pants would be tossed.
The only problem was I had never made a quilt before. But between a vague recollection of seventh grade Home Ec, a helpful Joann’s Fabrics employee (who patiently fielded questions like, “what’s batting?” and “how do you put all the layers together?”), and occasionally checking Pinterest to make sure I wasn’t screwing up royally, I managed to cobble it together. Here’s a basic patchwork quilt tutorial, if you can call it that. I won’t use any technical terms because I don’t know them.
STEP 1: Pick out a crap ton of fabric. If you’re not familiar with fabric, it’s usually 54″ wide — you order the length you need in yards. I bought two yards for the back of the quilt, plus a cumulative 2-3 yards for the front of the quilt. Err on the high side for the front, since you’ll lose a lot of square inches while sewing. I got a full yard of polka-dot blue for the front, 1/2 yard of orange, 1/2 yard of lime, 1/2 yard of hot pink, and had about 1/2 yard after I cut up my pants. The cotton and flannel fabrics are usually cheapest, which is good when you need a lot of yardage and there’s a distinct chance you’re going to ruin everything and/or give up.
STEP 2: Cut fabric into 6-inch squares. My quilt is about 4′ x 5′, which required 96 squares. (Save some for the trim — a little over half a yard.)
STEP 3: Make a map. This is nerdy, but it was a huge help. I didn’t want to have three big squares of lime next to each other, or to get halfway through the quilt and realize I’d run out of Mickey squares.
hen you’re a step ahead of me.) Cut the batting to the same size as the front and back of the quilt.