Several years ago, prior to Merits of Mischief’s release, I attended an American Booksellers Association conference in New Orleans. Hubby and I’d never been to Louisiana, so when this opportunity arose, we decided to combine a little work and play. He joined me on the trip, and when the conference was over, we stayed a few extra days for sightseeing, jazz—and lots of beignets. (If you’ve never tried these sugar-dusted doughy clouds, proceed to Café du Monde ASAP!) We so enjoyed the city’s culture, music, architecture, and overall vibe, we were reluctant to leave and vowed to return for an even longer stay.
That said, despite our great affection for this metropolis on the Mississippi, we ended up cutting our visit short. We didn’t have to, but then…we kind of did. Because it was 2012. A Very Major Event was about to go down. We didn’t know it yet, but along with millions of others, we were hopeful. Which was why, on our last night in New Orleans, we went out to an early dinner. Picked up some beignets. And were back in our Bourbon Street hotel room by six p.m. Just in time…for the Giants game.
That probably sounds lame. After all, it was a beautiful night in our new favorite city! But this wasn’t just any football game. It was the NFC Championship, in which the New York Giants, led by Comeback King Eli Manning, would beat the 49ers in a thrilling victory—before going on to win the Super Bowl.
Okay, if you don’t care about football, that probably still sounds lame. Not that long ago, it definitely would’ve to me! But that was before I caught hubby’s pigskin enthusiasm. I’ll write more about this surprising sports switch in another post soon, but suffice it to say that I now eagerly await the start of a new season, watch every single Giants game (and even a few others), pay attention to Power Rankings, check in daily with Jordan Raanan, ESPN’s Giants writer, and otherwise consider myself a full-fledged fan. I even have some Giants swag, including an Eli jersey hubby gave me for a recent birthday.
What I don’t have…is football home décor! I’ve actually looked for something fun to have around the house in-season, but the official NFL styles are pretty limited. So, to kick off this season, I decided to make some of my own in the Giants’ colors. And I’m very happy to share a tutorial for:
The Daisy Duke Quilted Football Pillow!
This cute little pillow features customizable block letters, patchwork, and sweatshirt stripes. It’s soft, cozy, and pretty—which can’t be said about most sports memorabilia! It’s named for the Duke, which is what NYG coach Ben McAdoo calls the football, and for its sweet, flowery prints. Add yours to any room for an instant infusion of team spirit, squeeze it during those moments of unbearable game-time stress, or spike it in celebration when Odell catches that uncatchable pass. However you use it, your team will surely appreciate the extra juju!
To make your own Daisy Duke Quilted Football Pillow, you’ll need:
Quilting cotton for team letters (I used royal blue and white for the NYG)
Quilting cotton scraps for patchwork squares
Sweatshirt fleece for stripes and backing
Cotton or muslin for lining
Basting spray/quilting pins
Rotary cutter mat
20” or 22” pillow insert
(Note: the following letter measurements are for a NYG pillow. See below if you cheer for another team)!
From white quilting cotton for N:
(2) 1 ½” x 5 ½”
(1) 1 ½ x 3”
From white quilting cotton for Y:
(3) 1 ½” x 2 ½”
(1) 1 ½” x 3 ½”
From blue quilting cotton for N:
(4) 1 ½” x 1 ½”
(1) 1 ½” x 2”
From blue quilting cotton for Y:
(2) 1 ½” x 1 ½”
(3) 1 ½” x 2 ½”
From blue quilting cotton for sashing:
(2) 1” x 5 ½”
(1) 1” x 5 ½”
(2) 1” x 8 ½”
From quilting cotton scraps:
(52) 2 ½” squares
From muslin or cotton lining:
(1) 24” x 24”
(1) 24” x 24”
From sweatshirt fleece:
(4) 2 ½” x 21”
(2) 2 ½” x 6.5”
(2) 14” x 21”
A Few Notes:
On fabric: I used sweatshirt fleece for its comfy, sporty appearance, but feel free to incorporate any other accent fabric you’d like!
On letters: My measurements were inspired by McCall’s letter blocks. Since those blocks were too big for this project, I basically halved the original numbers. To do the same for your team, check out the entire (free!) alphabet HERE.
On stitch length: I used 3.5” for quilting and topstitching and 2.5” for all other sewing.
On seams: I used ¼” unless otherwise noted.
Let’s Start Stitching!
1. Make Team Center Block
a. Refer to the free McCall’s alphabet pattern (HERE) to make your team’s letters. For this pillow, you’ll want to (approximately) halve the measurements.
b. Sew sashing in between letters, on either side, and on top and bottom.
c. Your finished block should be 6.5” x 8.5”. Trim as necessary, set aside.
2. Make Patchwork Strips
a. Sew four full rows of 2.5” squares. Each row will have ten squares.
b. Sew four shorter rows of 2.5” squares. Each row will have three squares.
3. Assemble and Sew Pillow Front
a. Alternating patchwork and sweatshirt strips, make four blocks. Two will consist of four 21” rows. Two will consist of three 6 ½” rows. (See picture below.)
b. Sew shorter blocks to either side of the central block.
c. Sew longer blocks to top and bottom of central block.
4. Quilt Pillow Front
a. Make a fabric sandwich with your pieced top, quilt batting, and cotton lining. Spray baste and/or pin in place, and quilt as desired.
b. Your finished front will be approximately 21″ x 22.5.” Leave as is, or feel free to trim top and bottom. I trimmed 1/4″ from both top and bottom.
5. Make Back Panels
a. Hem one long side of each 14” x 21” sweatshirt panel. To do this, fold long edge down ½” and press. Fold down another ½” and press. Topstitch ¼” along hem.
b. Repeat with other panel.
6. Finish Pillow
a. Place back panels on top of quilted pillow front, right sides together. Pin or clip sides.
b. Sew ½” around entire pillow perimeter.
c. Clip corners, turn right-side out, and press.
d. Add pillow insert. I used a 22” pillow for a puffier look, but a 20″ would work, too.
7. Enjoy your Daisy Duke Quilted Football Pillow!