I love pillow shams. I acknowledge that they are at best decorative and mostly useless. That does not stop me from loving them. Whenever I see pretty pillow shams at thrift stores I buy them. Needless to say, I have more pillow shams than any one person would normally need. Then I had a brain flash!
I need to practice my quilting techniques and I don't want to do that on something that I have spent hours piecing together. Free motion quilting is tricky for me still and I do not want to risk ruining a quilt top while working on my skills. I decided to use the pillow shams as practice projects with a purpose.
I make pet nap mats from them!
I measure the opening that would take a pillow to see how much quilt batting to cut. I use pretty thin batting, Warm and Natural brand, so I use 2 layers of batting. I insert the batting inside the sham and pin the flap shut so that it will lie flat as I am quilting. I am careful to not run over those pins with my sewing machine. That can cause damage to the machine or myself.
Then I flip the sham over and start quilting on the front. Depending on the pattern of the sham, I may do free motion stippling as is shown in the purple plaid mat. I may stitch along the seam lines if the sham has a pieced front as is shown in the blue and yellow mat.When the stitching is finished I have a nice nap mat for a cat or dog. I have an older cat who cannot groom himself as well as he used to. These mats protect my furniture from his accidental messes. The mats can be used in the car, in your pet's sleeping crate, at the foot of your bed in your pet's favorite lounging spot or as a security blanket when you need to board your pet at a kennel.
If you do not like the idea of using pillow shams from thrift stores, you could purchase shams at your local discount department store. They come in many patterns and colors and you are sure to find some to match your home decor. If your dog is larger than medium sized, you can use pillow shams meant for king sized pillows.
They are easily cleaned in the washer and dryer.
Let me know if you try this idea. I am thinking this will make a good present for my pet loving friends.