My Custom Queen-Sized Blanket and Pillow Set

My Custom Queen-Sized Blanket and Pillow Set

Back at the beginning of 2019 I made an afghan for our couch from a toddler blanket topper and then, near the end of the year, I made both kids their own comfy blanket for their beds using custom minky which I backed with a Costco-bought blanket. Ever since that first afghan I’ve kind of wanted to make a custom printed epic blanket for our queen-sized bed so when I saw the Travelers round open at Moon Beam Textile Company at the beginning of this year I couldn’t pass it up and this blanket and pillow set was born. I now have a fantastically covered bed and I’m so proud of seeing it whenever I walk into the room!

Pinterest image for this blog post containing three images, the title of the post, and the main url for this blog. All images are also found lower down in this post. The top image shows the fabric at the beginning while the bottom two images shows the finished bed set (left) and the pillows that had to be sewn together (right).

The Travelers preorder round opened at Moon Beam Textile Company back in January of 2020 and I wasted no time confirming the measurements of a queen-sized mattress top online so I could order the double plush Gallifreyan blanket topper. I, unfortunately, completely forgot I would need excess fabric at the bottom and sides of the topper so it could hang over the sides of our bed so I didn’t think to add more fabric to the order for our blanket. I, instead, went on to realize I wanted to make a matching pillow and since I loved the Stargate-themed fabric, I chose a toddler sized cotton spandex Home panel along with a coordinating minky portals fabric to my order. Since it was a preorder I had to wait patiently for the fabric to be printed and mailed out. It wasn’t until the fabric finally arrived that I swiftly realized my blanket-size mistake and had to wait patiently for the extra fabric to go on the website as retail so I could buy more. Once it was listed, in mid-May, I hopped on and chose a two yard pre-cut of a coordinating Gallifreyan double plush fabric so I could turn the blanket topper into a larger blanket using the same magic, at a larger scale, as my coffee afghan. I really wanted to use the striped coordinate, rather than the Gallifreyan, to edge the blanket topper but the stripes only came in cotton spandex; however, after thinking about it I ended up grabbing a yard and justified it as wiggle room for my blanket but in actuality it ended up being made into more pillows. I did end up using all of the fabric I bought and love how they all look together on my bed. With shipping the two orders together came to $185 U.S. so this definitely isn’t the cheapest option out there.

Most of the fabric laid out in one photo. The blanket topper is missing in this picture but the rest are showing. The background is the double plush Gallifreyan coordinate while the mink portals fabric lays across the center of the image. In the center of that lays the Stargate home cotton spandex panel with the striped cotton spandex beside it.
With the exception of the blanket topper I laid out all the fabrics together to confirm their colors all worked… luckily together it all looked great.

Since these are custom printed all the fabric is white on the back and along the front edges. The double plush fabric, bought for the blanket, is soft on both the front and back while the minky, for the coordinating Stargate fabric, is instead soft on only the front side and rougher on the back. The Stargate Home panel is a smoother non-fuzzy thicker cotton spandex (no name version of cotton Lycra). I made the mistake of last year buying the girls their blanket fabric out of minky and ended up having to back it with a Costco-bought blanket so the underside would be cozy.

The Blanket

The blanket was, I thought, the simplest part of this although I did end up with a skinnier and longer blanket than I had pictured. I started out by laying both the blanket topper and the two yard coordinate on the ground overtop of each other so I could easily confirm that they were the same size and thus confirm that using the same process used in the coffee afghan would work.

The blanket topper is laid out in the living room with our cars mat showing under the left side. Around it is hardwood and in the top left our Duplo bag.
At this point only the blanket topper was laid out.

The blanket topper and coordinate are both two yards, or 72 inches, long. I then measured their width, from the blue sides edges, at 57 inches wide. To calculate how wide I should cut the side strips I used the following equation where X dictates the width of each side strip:

X = (Length of the Blanket Topper - Width of the Blanket Topper) / 2
X = (72 - 57) / 2
X = (15) / 2
X = 7.5 inches

Once I found the width I needed I was able to cut two strips of the matching coordinate along the length resulting in two strips each 7.5 inches wide by two yards long. I then took the leftover coordinate, folded it in half lengthwise, and cut along that fold to create two equal pieces. These last two pieces are going to be added, sideways, to the top and bottom of the blanket which is why I did the calculations to make the blanket’s total width match the two yard length of the blanket topper and coordinate. Since I cut the remainder of the fabric in half the top and bottom of my blanket will have equal amounts of the coordinating fabric. If, instead, I cut them at a different spot, say about one quarter over instead of halfway, there would be more fabric at the one end of the blanket compared to the other end.

Image showing the corner of the coordinating double plush fabric on a cutting mat with a quilting ruler measuring 7.5 inches from white edge to cut mark.
I started by measuring 7.5 inches over from the edge where the fabric goes white and cut that width the entire length down. At first I kept the white part of the fabric on as I wanted to maximize it but found that it was too difficult to determine, from the wrong side of the fabric, where to serge so I later trimmed it off. Next time I’d use my ruler to trim off the white strip and then measure the seven and a half inches along the length.
The fabric is folded in half lengthwise and then folded the other way so it mostly fits on the 36 inch long cutting mat making it easier to cut in half without measuring the fabric.
After cutting the first two strips I next folded the fabric in half and then in half again, or quartered, so it would fit on the cutting board. With the fold in place I was able to easily find the halfway point without having to measure the fabric again.
The fabric is folded in quarters, like the previous picture, but the top half is cut, lengthwise, up to the fold while a pair of sewing scissors sit poised to cut the other half.
I then cut along the halfway point making the rest of the coordinating fabric be in two equally wide strips.

Once I had the two yards of coordinating double plush fabric cut into four strips it was now time to sew my blanket together. A year ago when I did this I used my sewing machine’s zigzag stitch but I’ve since upgraded to an awesome serger so this time around I serged all my seams. I started by clipping the 7.5 inch wide strip to one of the long edges of the blanket topper and then went on to clip the other strip to the other long edge. I next serged the sides on, removing the clips as I went, giving me a blanket with the width done. I tried the blanket on my bed and wished, a bit, that it was wider but still went ahead with the plan, without over-analyzing, as I wanted the blanket to be long enough to tuck under our toes and knew if I added more fabric to the sides I wouldn’t be able to make the blanket any longer than to the mattress edge. I then took the last two coordinating pieces, the wider strips, and turned them sideways so their length matched the blanket’s width. I then clipped one to the top and the other to the bottom of the blanket, making sure they were right sides together, before finally serging these last two strips on.

Side view of the blanket on the bed. You can see a good part of the blanket topper on the bed and a section of the side coordinate draping down from the topper. It doesn't stretch too far and although it's too dark to see under the blanket the grey sheets are draping further down than the blanket.
Trying the blanket on the bed after sewing both the side strips on.
View from the foot of the bed showing the bottom of the blanket just barely touching the floor. Most of the top of the bed is visible in the photo.
Trying the blanket on the bed after finally sewing the top and bottom strips to the blanket topper. After pulling the top of the blanket over the pillows so it reached the very top of the bed the blanket was still long enough to drape to the floor… which would’ve been awesome if the sides were just as long.

And with that the blanket was done!

Looking back the only thing I wish I could’ve changed was magically making the blanket wider and shorter. Unfortunately, if I had made the blanket wider, by cutting the initial strips wider, than the blanket would’ve been too wide to allow me to add the last two strips to the top and bottom since the blanket would’ve been wider than the two yards. I would’ve had to piece something together with the leftover fabric, thus maybe wasting some of it, or leave it without any additional length. This was why we used the calculations to decide the width of the initial strips. That said if I bought a three yard cut of the fabric, which wasn’t offered, I could’ve instead cut two 2-yard strips of the coordinate, wider than 7.5 inches, and then used the rest of the fabric to cut two strips that would’ve been more than long enough to cover the width of the blanket; as long as the width would’ve been kept to less than three yards. I would’ve been left with the remaining one yard of fabric leftover from cutting the initial two strips unless I had put it, somehow, towards my pillow covers.

The Pillows

I designed my larger Stargate pillow before I came up with a way to use the striped cotton spandex coordinating fabric but then chose to sew all three pillows at the same time so I could batch the steps together and make it simpler for me. Going into designing the pillows I knew right off the bat that I wanted to be able to wash the fabric easily so I needed to create pillow covers with my fabric rather than simple throw pillows so I could easily take the stuffing out. I looked online for pillow inserts, since I wanted to know what sizes I should aim for when creating my pillow covers, and quickly realized how expensive they truly are. I browsed through some blogs showing me how to create my own pillow inserts and stumbled upon the idea to just buy cheaper standard-sized pillows and alter them to fit inside of a pillow cover. Since I didn’t have any stuffing on hand that seemed to be the best idea so I justified doing a Walmart run and ended up grabbing three standard-sized pillows each for under $3. This way I could simply alter my cheaper and easier to replace pillows to fit inside of my finished pillow cover; rather than worrying about sewing my limited fabric to fit around a expensive store-bought insert. My next issue was how to design an opening in my pillow cover so I could easily get my insert in and out. I didn’t want to have any buttons, Velcro, or anything on the cover that might bug me when using the pillows so I started defaulting to creating envelope covers with my fabric but was leery of having the enveloping section gape open or of wasting some of my limited fabric on a, hopefully, hidden section of the cover. I instead pivoted and chose to use zippers but kept them hidden away on the back rather than putting them on a side seam or through the front where I could feel it. I had previously bought a three pound bag of assorted zippers from Wawak so instead of buying perfectly matching zippers for this project I instead went hunting through my collection and found three mismatched plastic zippers. I had made a point of not choosing metal zippers as I didn’t want there to be rough zipper teeth or a zipper pull that might catch and rip my fabric. Since the matching striped pillows include photos better showing you how I put my zippers in I wanted to share those with you first and then follow up by showing you my favorite one; the Stargate pillow. Finally, after that, I’ll go over how I created my custom pillow insert that perfectly fit into the Stargate pillow using the three standard-sized pillows I bought at Walmart for under $9.

The photo shows the long Stargate pillow (center panel with coordinating fabric to the left and right) laid over the car mat on our living room floor. Overtop of the pillow, angled away, lay two matching navy striped matching pillows both with a blue (mismatched) zipper along the center length of them halfway opened.
The final sewn pillow covers. Below I’ll show you how I made them starting with the matching striped pillows, immediately below, followed by the longer Stargate pillow, and then finally how I created my custom length pillow insert.

The Striped Rectangular Pillows

I quickly realized that I wasn’t going to be able to use the final yard of striped coordinating cotton spandex fabric on the blanket, but I promptly decided, since it matched, to instead turn the fabric into two coordinating pillows for the bed. I preferred the idea of two matching pillows and knew using the whole yard of fabric on a single pillow would’ve been too large plus having two pillows meant I could help frame the Home panel on the longer pillow behind them.

I started these pillows by folding the yard of fabric in half, lengthwise, and cutting along the fold so again I wouldn’t need to measure.

The fabric is shown folded in half and laying on top of the car mat in our living room. The bottom is cut with scissors laying overtop and
I started by folding the fabric in half lengthwise, so I’d easily find the center, and then cut along that fold with my scissors.

I wanted the pillows to be rectangular with a zipper hidden in the back so I could easily remove the insert when I needed to wash the pillow covers. For the zippers themselves I had chosen my only two blue separating ones which also happened to be longer than the width of my fabric so I was able to easily have them run horizontally through the center back with the excess trimmed off at either end. To accomplish this I simply chose to attach either side of the zipper tape to the long ends of my rectangular fabric so, once the zipper was done up, I’d have a long tube with a zipper running down the length of it. I then made sure the zipper was partly opened, turned the pillow the wrong way out, flatten the pillow so there were two folds with the zipper centered horizontally on the back, and then finally sew either end closed. Since the fabric is knit and thus a bit stretchy I realized I needed to first add interfacing to the long edges of the fabric before sewing the zipper on. I was running low on interfacing and didn’t want to waste any by eyeballing the pieces I’d need so I instead chose to partially attach the fabric to the edge of the main piece of interfacing, trim around the edge, and then finally finished pressing it to make sure it was fully secured. Since the fabric is cotton spandex the edges were curling badly so I had to be careful to uncurl the fabric while pressing it down. I then repeated these steps so both pieces of fabric were interfaced on their two longest sides. I next used my double-sided wash away tape to attach my zipper in place making sure the tape was placed closer to the edge of the fabric rather than close to the zipper itself so it wouldn’t show later after topstitching. That said if the tape does show through you can grab a wet washcloth to rub it away since it easily dissolves. I then sewed that side of the zipper on, finger pressed it open, and topstitched it down. After I brought the other interfaced side of the fabric around, while making sure the fabric wasn’t twisted and was right sides together, and used the same steps to sew the other side of the zipper on. Once I had sewn both sides of the zipper to the fabric I zipped it closed and confirm it was in fact zippable and the fabric was lined up properly at either end.

Closeup of the edge of the blue striped cotton spandex fabric laid out over the white interfacing.
I then laid the long end of the fabric overlapping the interfacing by about an inch and used my iron to start sticking them together.
The cotton spandex is still laid over the interfacing with the edges curling up and away from it. The interfaced has been cut away along the edge. Above the fabric my sewing scissors rest and below the fabric my ironing pad lays on the table.
Once the interfacing was connected enough to not move I carefully cut the excess interfacing off before pressing it again to fully attach the two together. I then repeated this on the other three long edges of the two pieces of fabric.
Closeup view of the zipper clipped to the fabric. The end of the fabric is folded over so you can see the front and back of the fabric and clips. On top of the fabric is a basket of sewing clips while the extra fabric, double sided tape, and my sewing scissors sit in the background.
I next used small pieces of double sided wash away tape to attach my zipper to the interfaced end of the cotton spandex making sure the two were right sides together. I used my sewing clips to make sure it stayed secure so I could carry it over to my sewing machine without worrying about the two separating. I then sewed them together, finger pressed it open, and topstitched it down.
Closeup of the closed zipper and the striped fabric. The one side of the zipper, facing down, is sewn to the fabric and topstitched. The top of the zipper is unattached to the fabric and has two visible pieces of white tape showing on the left side and center of the image. The fabric goes off photo on the right so you can't see anymore tape.
I then repeated the process using the other side of the zipper and attaching it to the other end of the fabric. Like before I started by attaching small pieces of the double sided wash away tape to portions of the zipper tape making sure I was away from the zipper so the tape didn’t show through.
View of the wrong side of the striped fabric. The one end is folded up so it stretches horizontally across the image. There's a layer of interfacing along the edge and sewing clips along the top of it.
I then pulled the other end of the fabric over and lined up the interfaced end of the fabric over the zipper and used double sided tape and sewing clips to keep them together.
View with the fabric folded in half (hidden) so you can see both sides of the zipper (at the top) with the fabric reaching down from it. The top layer shows the right side of the fabric with the zipper clipped to the top. Above it (in photo) you can see the top of the underside with the sewn on (other side of) zipper.
Same step as above but this time you can see it from the front of the fabric.
View above and looking down at the zipper that's zipped up a couple inches. Where the zipper is zipped the fabric is folded over and meeting in the center. Along the open end of the zipper the fabric gaps open showing the inside, underside, of the pillow.
After I sewed either side of the zipper onto the fabric I was able to zip it up and confirmed I had sewn it well, it zipped, and the fabric was properly lined up on either side.

Once the zipper was done it was time to sew the sides closed. I first made sure the zipper was halfway open so I would be able to turn the pillow right side out, through the zipper gap, afterwards and be sure that the zipper pull wasn’t stuck outside of the pillow (that happened earlier this year with a purse I made). I knew I wanted the zipper to run horizontally along the center back of the pillow so to do this I laid the inside out pillow cover flat on the ground making sure the zipper was centered equidistant between the folds. Once I was happy with how it was laid out I used my sewing clips to secure the zipper to the other side of the fabric before adding more clips about an inch or so to either side of the zipper. Before adding more clips I next took the pillow covers to my sewing machine to secure the zipper, using a straight stitch, by sewing over either end of the zipper. Even though my zippers were plastic I had to sew carefully and did break my needle a couple of times. After the zipper was sewn down, with the zipper pull in the center, I used my regular scissors to trim the excess zipper tape on the outside of the stitching so my serger blade wouldn’t have to cut through it in the next step. I then triple checked that my zipper was halfway or so open, clipped the rest of the pillow’s sides down, and serged along either side of the pillow thus finishing both pillow covers.

The pillow is laid flat on a floor mat. The right side of the pillow is curling up showing the zipper underneath it. The left the of the pillow is clipped in the middle and the end of the zipper tape is sticking out from the side showing where the zipper is.
After laying out the pillow cover the way I wanted it to be, wrong side out, I clipped the zipper to the other side of the fabric making sure the clips made it secure and the opened end of the zipper was pressed closed.
the pillow case is inside out and folded in half so you see the fabric side on the left and the zipper side, folded up, on the right. Both sides are clipped on and around the zipper.
This shows another view of both sides, including the ends, of the zipper clipped to the reverse side of the pillow cover.
Both pillows are shown, stacked, with the zipper facing up. If you look at the fabric on either side of the zipper, at the bottom, you can see the blue thread showing where the zipper was sewn down.
View of the end of the zipper, on both pillowcases, after the zipper has been sewn shut and to the other side of the pillowcase.
View of one end of both pillows. They're stacked slightly askew so you can see that end of both pillows at the same time. The ends of the zippers have been trimmed so you can see the fabric at the bottom.
I then used my non-sewing scissors to trim the excess zipper, close to my stitches, to make it easier to serge the pillowcase. I then made sure the zipper was opened enough to turn the pillowcase right side out before clipping along either end of both pillow so the sides would be equal.
Closeup of the serger while closing the side of the pillow. The needle has been paused to take the photo but the pressure foot is about to reach the sewing machine's stitching so it's a couple inches from the zipper tape. The other end of the zipper has been folded over so you can see where the serger went over the zipper end and sewing machine's stitches and how it looks a bit looser there.
I then serged either end of the pillowcase closed while making sure to slow down and sew carefully while going over the ends of the zippers. Even though I was careful I still ended up breaking two needles (one left and one right) while going over the zippers.
View of the back of both pillowcases. The top pillow is slightly folded in at the center so you can see the both ends of both pillows as they lay on the floor mat.
The finished pillowcases using the striped coordinate in cotton spandex. The pillow on top is folded over in the center, allowing you to see all four zipper ends, so the picture only looks like more than two pillow covers.

And with that I was done the two matching coordinating pillows and I love how they turned out. After making them I tried to put one of the standard Walmart pillows I had bought into them and found the covers were a bit too wide to support the pillow. I measured the finished casing and, based on looking up pillow sizes online, decided a King sized pillow may fit better as it’s longer than a standard sized one. I didn’t want to go back to a store, during the shelter in place, for a simple pillow and they seemed too pricey online for what I wanted it for. Luckily, a couple days later, I realized Matt and I had two older pillows so I grabbed those and, although they’re probably still standard sized, they are firmer and seem to work in the pillow covers, for now, so I was able to put my final completed bed set on our bed.

Closeup view of the matching blue striped pillows with a standard pillow inside them. The one on the left is zipped with the zipper hidden underneath it. The pillow on the right is zipper side up unzipped so you can see how much space is at the end. It's laying on the long custom Stargate pillow, will be shown in the next section, and is on the car mat.
The finished matching pillow covers with the Walmart standard pillows inside of them. If you look closely you can see the ends aren’t the sturdiest as they need more pillow in there.

The Long Custom Stargate Pillow

While zipper hunting I had found a zipper slightly shorter than the Stargate Home panel and chose to put it vertically down the center back of the pillow. Since it was a bit short I didn’t have to worry about trimming the excess zipper before serging over (or beside) the ends. This time I chose to create a long and skinny strip of fabric and sewed the zipper to the short ends creating a giant loop of fabric when the zipper was closed. Like before I then laid the completed fabric loop down, right sides together, and centered the zipper, and this time panel, between the two folds. Once I was happy with how it was laid out and attached the clips I then serged along the top and bottom of the pillow cover. This is just a quick general overview and since I took photos during this process I figured I’d share in more depth below.

I started this pillow by taking the cotton spandex panel and checked it against the height of the Stargate minky coordinate I bought. I saw the panel was twice as tall so I folded the coordinating fabric in half, lengthwise, and cut down the fold so I’d have two long pieces. I then sewed the short end of either coordinate to the sides of the panel so I ended up with one really long short strip of fabric the height-ish of the panel. I then switched to my sewing machine, which was threaded with a matching blue thread, and topstitched the serger seam down with a narrow zigzag stitch.

Closeup of the end of the folded coordinate placed over top of the panel so you can compare the heights.
I checked the height of the coordinating yard of fabric against the toddler-sized panel. I then folded the coordinating fabric in half lengthwise, confirmed it matched the panels height, and then cut along the fold line before clipping the fabric to either side of the panel and serging them together.
Closeup view of the topside seam between the double plush and cotton spandex. The fabric is in the sewing machine so you can see the sewing needle, and foot, about a quarter inch over from the seam topstitching.
After sewing the double plush coordinate to either side of the cotton spandex panel I folded the seam allowance toward the center and topstitched it down with a skinny zigzag stitch (lightening stitch).
Closeup of the panel and a bit of the coordinate coming out of either side. Below the panel you can see the pillow holding it up.
After topstitching either side of the panel I laid the resulting strip of fabric over a standard pillow to judge how much of the height of the pillow it would cover.

I then took the resulting long strip of fabric and interfaced both of the short ends before attaching a zipper to it creating, essentially, a really big loop of fabric. I turned the loop of fabric the wrong side out so the right sides would be together. I then laid it out on the floor so the panel and zipper were on top of each other, in the center, with the long ends stretching out to either side.

Closeup of a part of my kitchen table. On the left you can see a small section of the coordinating fabric, angled, with the zipper placed along the edge. In the middle of the image is my roll of wash-away tape with my sewing scissors to the right.
Like the previous pillows I interfaced the wrong side of both ends of the fabric that I wanted the zipper to attach to before using double sided wash away tape to attach the zipper to the topside of the fabric. This time I attached it to the short ends. This photo was taken before I used my sewing clips to make sure things didn’t shift when moving it to my sewing machine and sewing it down.
Image is captured looking down at the pillow cover from above. It's laid out on my car mat with a container of sewing clips and wash-away tape next to it. The fabric was folded right sides together with the zipper zipped closed. The zipper end of the cover is folded over a couple times but still shows the zipper with the sewing clips attached to the non-sewn side.
After sewing and topstitching the one side of the zipper on I next zipped the zipper closed and attached the other side of the zipper to the other end of the pillow. I kept the zipper zipped so I could level the fabric on either side of the zipper so the fabric would be even on either side. After attaching the zipper to the fabric using the wash-away tape and reinforcing it with sewing clips I next, after this image, opened the zipper so I could sew it together, finger press it open, and topstitch it.

I folded the pillow in half making sure the closed zipper was centered below the middle of the panel. I then used my sewing clips to clip the center of the panel and the zippered areas together before moving out from the center and clipping the rest of the fabric together until I got to the fold at either end. I clipped along the top and bottom of the pillow. Since this zipper was slightly shorter than the fabric I didn’t have to worry about serging over the zipper teeth like the previous pillows so I also didn’t have to sew over the ends of the zipper. Instead, after making sure that the zipper was halfway open, I went straight to serging the top and bottom of the pillow cover closed.

The fabric is laid out on the car mat with the left and right side of the pillow cover going off photo although the left side is folded or rolled up so you can see more of it. In the center the panel, and zippered coordinate underneath, is laid out flat and clipped along the top and bottom.
I then folded the pillow cover in half, wrong sides facing, so the zipper was centered compared to the panel. I clipped the panel to the zipper and the coordinating fabric.
The pillow cover is laid out, mostly, flat and clipped along the top and bottom. The pillow goes a bit off screen on the right and left but you can see most of it from the reversed side as it's inside out. The paneled side is showing with the zipper hidden underneath.
After clipping the center of the pillow together I spread out and clipped the coordinating fabric, on either side of the center, together creating a long rectangular shape.
Closeup of the center of the pillow showing the opened side of the zipper with the panel image showing through the gap. The top is clipped together but there's space between either side of the zipper teeth that may be too large for the zipper which may cause a pucker to form.
Before serging the top and bottom closed I first flipped the pillow over to make sure the zipper was halfway open and inspect the ends. I noticed the opened end of the zipper was gaping apart, probably since the panel was knit, so I removed the clips, re-positioned the zipper, and reattached the clips so the zipper tape couldn’t move apart again.
Same closeup image as before but now the opened end of the zipper is touching, maybe slightly overlapping, at the tip and there's clips holding it in place. The one clip, in the center, has both sides of the zipper and the panel in it's clasp which stops the panel from stretching the zipper sides apart.
I made sure to keep either side of the zipper even and tried to slightly overlap the zipper tape. I then used several sewing clips to keep the zipper ends together. I also made sure to sew this side of the zipper with this side facing up so I could make sure the zipper tape stayed close together while serging it.

After tying off and trimming the serger thread and turning the pillow right side out I inspected the seam to make sure it was secure and didn’t show any of the panel’s white selvedge. And with that the long pillow cover was completed… although I still needed to put together a custom pillow to fit inside it.

Creating the Custom Pillow Insert

Around the time I started sewing the pillow covers I went to Walmart and came out with three standard pillows for under $3 each. Once I finished sewing the long Stargate pillow I zipped open the back and inserted one of the pillows into it. It was definitely too short but I was really testing the pillows height and it was perfect inside the cover. With the height already good the next issue to solve was the pillow length. I decided to eyeball the pillows by laying out all three, end to end, over the pillow cover and although they were longer than the cover itself I figured they’d be perfect once cut open and sewn back together since I’d be loosing length with the seam allowances. I decided to attach all three pillows together, along the sides, so I’d have one long custom pillow for inside my cover. To do this I took two of the pillows and cut open only one end, the side with the tag so I could easily remove it, resulting in essentially a fabric sack filled with fluffy stuffing. I then took the third pillow and cut off both ends before pulling the stuffing out. I figured the two pillows with one side opened could be the left and right side of the final pillow with the last one becoming the center of it; hence why I removed the stuffing.

Image shows the long pillow cover laid out on the car mat mostly covered by the two pillows with the one end open. The center panel shows through but covering the bottom of it, angled up, lays the stuffing of the third pillow with it's pillow covering flopped overtop.
The three pillows after I had cut them open and, for the third, removed the stuffing out of it.

Sewing the center pillow to the first side was simple. I turned the pillow, with both ends opened, inside out and stretched it over the first pillow so they’d be right sides together with the open ends lined up. I then clipped the two open ends together, making sure the top and bottom seam of the pillow lined up, and then serged them together. I then grabbed the other side of the center pillow, the only hole left, and pulled it so the center pillow would come off of the first pillow making, basically, a longer pillow with a hole at one end or, if I turned it with the hole in the top, a sack with stuffing in the lower half. I then stuffed the stuffing from the center pillow back into it creating a pillow twice as long as it was before with the one end open.

Closeup of the resulting, small, seam in the pillow.
The serged seam connecting the two pillows together didn’t stand out at all.
Closeup of the two pillows, sewn together, laid overtop of the pllow cover. The third pillow is inside the end of the pillow cover so you can see they are almost the same length, just a bit long for the pillow, compared to the cover.
After putting the stuffing back into the pillow I ended up with a pillow about two thirds the length of the pillow cover I made.

At this point I have a standard pillow opened at one side, a double-long pillow opened at one side, and a pillow cover that’s just a bit shorter than the two pillows if you lay them side-by-side. I knew I wanted to join the two pillows together but wasn’t sure how. Technically I could’ve cut the other end open on the standard unaltered pillow and removed the stuffing so I could follow the same steps as I did above. I chose not to as I didn’t want an obvious side seam, when closing the hole, that might show through the cover plus I was worried the stuffing might end up bunching weirdly if I had to re-stuff the pillow after the fact especially if it was through a smaller opening. By leaving the stuffing in I knew I couldn’t turn anything inside out so these pillows would be harder to join together. By laying out the two pillows end to end overtop of the pillow cover it looked like the pillow might end up being a bit too long so I knew I shouldn’t be worried about loosing too much length in the seam allowance when joining them together. I decided to shove the stuffing into either pillow, so it wouldn’t get in the way, and then serged the edge of both pillows to their ends wouldn’t unravel. I then placed the two pillows beside each other and pushed them together so their open ends overlapped, one pillow inside the other, before lining up the top and bottom seams and used my sewing clips to keep them together. Since the pillow looked like it might be too long for the cover I made sure to overlap the pillow ends by at least an inch resulting in a slightly shorter one. I then hand stitched the two pillows together using matching white thread. I noticed, at times, the thread pulled the pillow case fabric so it ended up gathering along the stitching so I made sure to frequently pull the fabric so it remained un-gathered and every five stitches or so tied a knot so it wouldn’t cinch the fabric in later. The knot also meant that, in the future, if part of my stitching rips I’d only have a small hole to fix rather than the whole thing. Also since I had serged the ends I didn’t have to worry about sections of the pillowcase unraveling.

Closeup of the two pillows joined with the edges mostly overlapping. The center top of it is pulled apart so you can see both edges and the stuffing in the middle.
After finishing the two pillow edges, separately, on the serger it was time to overlap them so I could connect the pillows together.
Closeup of the new 'seam' connecting the two pillows. Near the bottom you can see the bottom seam lined up with an orange clip holding it in place and at the top a blue clip holds the pillow together. In between the two you can see the serged edge of the pillow overlapping the other and a sewing needle threading white thread through the layers holding the seam in place.
I then lined the pillows up making sure the top and bottom seams would match up before clipping them in place so they wouldn’t budge although I found jostling them a bit made some of the clips pop off and I’d have to put them back on. I then threaded my sewing needle with white thread and sewed the two together making sure to knot it every five or so stitches so the thread wouldn’t cause gathers in the pillowcase.
Closeup of the serged edge as I hold the one part of the join up so the fabric underneath is pulled taunt. The needle is sitting through the layers of fabric while I take the picture with my other hand. In the background, to the right, you can see part of the pillow and DUPLO, blurred out, on the floor.
I found it easier to sew along the edge while the fabric is pulled taunt so it doesn’t bunch up.
Closeup of the overlapped hand sewn seam. You can see the finished serge end of the one pillow. The seam puckers and ripples from the hand stitching that's hard to differentiate from the serged edge.
When done the seam still blended in although the one serged end does stand out more than the first seam.

Once I was done hand sewing them together I smacked the pillow a bit to try to distribute the stuffing equally throughout the entire pillow. I then folded the finished pillow in half and started stuffing one end of the pillow into the pillow cover and, after getting about a foot into the cover, started stuffing the other end in. I figured it was better to stuff the two ends in equally and, once I got to the center, unfold the pillow, pushing the last bit in in, and zip it closed. Compared to the first seam the hand sewn one seems ungainly and obvious but inside the cover it’s one giant comfy pillow.

Closeup of the long Stargate pillow. The light from the window is shining on the left side causing the one stargate to light up more compared to the others.
The finished Stargate pillow with the custom length pillow inside of it.

The kids absolutely loved the final pillow and after making them stand back so I could quickly snap the above photo I let the kids hug and play with the pillow before I moved it out of their way.

View from above of the pillow with Zoey laying on it, in child's position, and Ada, below her, laying on the end.
The kids started by hugging the pillow…
The kids rocking on the pillow.
They next sat on the pillow and rocked back and forth until Ada fell off and then Zoey copied. They repeated this until I put an end to the game.

Zipper Troubleshooting

After I finished the matching pillows I quickly realized one of the ends of a zipper was trying to separate from the fabric so when the pillow was right side out you can see the stretching serger stitches. To fix this I turned the pillowcase inside out again and took it back to my sewing machine to stitch over the end of the zipper. I made sure my new stitches lined up with the serger’s inner line of stitches so they’d match and be reinforced. I also made sure to carefully go over the stitches several times. It fixed the zipper end perfectly.

View of the zipper ends laid almost flat pulling up the center of the side seam so it looks like there's a 2D hill along the seam. You can see the white serger stitches stretching from the seam to whichever zipper tooth it's looped around or through.
Closeup of the zipper and serger stitches pulling away from the side seam. Since the pillow was made with cotton spandex it was easily able to stretch the fabric wherever it wanted and since the zipper, and interfacing under it, doesn’t stretch this is where it chose to pull.

The other issue I noticed was when the white selvage wasn’t completely hidden in the seam allowance so it showed when the pillow cover was turned right side out. Since I wasn’t worried about exact measurements I just turned it wrong side out again, used a clip to mark where the shown selvage line started and ended, and re-serged over that section. After turning it right side out and confirming the selvage was hidden I made sure to unraveled the excess serger tails, tied them, and trimmed off the excess thread.

The side of the pillow is laid flat so you can see the side seam. The closed end of the zipper is on the left side of the image with a white selvage line showing starting a couple millimeters over from the zipper.
Visible selvage of the outside of the pillow cover.

The Finished Set

And with that the bed set that I didn’t realize I absolutely needed was done. Both fabrics are so comfy and the double plush is so soft. I love sitting on the blanket and am so glad I decided to buy it and sew it up as the end result is amazing. I was never a person that wanted extra pillows on the bed but I’m so glad I have them now.

Angled overview of the blanket and pillows on the bed.
The complete bed set all laid out and looking awesome. I love the quote on the blanket and the Stargate pillow shining out between the two dark striped pillows. At first I was worried the Stargate pillow wouldn’t match but I think they used similar colors in parts, since it’s from the same preorder, so it all goes together beautifully.
Close up view of the bed showing the pillows and the upper third of the blanket.
Closer view of the pillows.
Closeup view of the corner of the bed showing the blanket just hitting the floor at the foot of the bed and laying much higher on the side allowing the sheet to dangle lower.
I don’t mind how skinny the blanket is while using it but looking at the blanket on the bed I wish it was wider and, maybe, not quite as long. I would love if the length matched on all three sides of the bed.
View from the foot of the bed looking up the bed and seeing the, slightly blurred, pillows at the head of the bed.
Overall though I love the blanket and matching pillows.

I’m so glad I jumped on the Travelers preorder through Moon Beam Textile Company even though I had to buy more to make it work once the fabric went to retail. If I had to order all of it at once the sticker shock may have made me not jump on it although, looking back, I’m so glad I did. I absolutely love it together on our bed.

Have you made a blanket set before? Where did you get your fabric and what did you do? What do you wish you did differently and what did you learn? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below. Hope you’re having an amazing day!

If you’re interested in getting any of my future blog updates I currently come out with a new one every Wednesday and share them to my Facebook page and Instagram account. If you’d rather you’re more than welcome to join my email list located right under the search bar or underneath this post.

Related Posts

Latest Posts