Fuel Your Creativity with Tess Grant

Today, I have Tess Grant sharing a really simple project that has fabulous benefits. I may have to bug her for the pattern to try some out on my own.  Tess Grant is also one of my awesome critique partners!

I thought Joselyn’s idea to explore other aspects of writers’ creativity was brilliant. Too bad I didn’t have any other aspects. I hemmed and hawed and thought. And then I thought some more. While I was busy thinking, my sister asked me why the arts-and-crafts gene had seemed to pass our generation by. That’s not completely true…I have half of an arts and crafts gene. Unfortunately, much to Long-Suffering Husband’s chagrin, it’s the half where I get a fabulous idea, spend a lot of money on supplies, and then let it all sit around the house until I take it to Goodwill.

But then it came to me…the one craft I do make that is 1) cheap, 2) expressive, and 3) I actually finish it because it’s so darn easy.

pillowcases 2

I make pillowcases. My niece turned me on to these little gems when she made a gorgeous coffee-themed one. Here are a few I made my girls. pillowcases 3

It only takes a total of one yard of fabric to make one of these, and my kids love them. Okay, I like them too. This one is mine!

Watermelon pillow case

And with all these fabrics, I can always find something to match everybody’s personality. Bolt of pillowcase fabric

My kids love to give these to their friends for their b-days. Tuck a gift inside and for the price of what you would spend on gift wrap, you have a second gift. Plus with the straight seams, it’s a great way to teach my girls how to sew. Even if they wiggle a little bit, these are ultra-forgiving.

And…how cool is this? The children’s hospital near our house takes donations of these to give to their sick kids. That way the kids have something cheery and nonclinical, and they can take it home afterwards. Six or eight of us ladies at church got together, each of us bringing a couple yards of fabric or whatever remnants we had at home. Within a couple of hours, we had whipped up close to 30 of these.

Ha! Take that fickle generation-skipping arts-and-crafts gene!

I think this is an awesome idea! So if you are inclined, go and try it out. But don’t forget to check out the Kitty Irish Trilogy. These books are geared toward middle grade readers, but readers of any age will enjoy them.

Trajectories book coverTrajectories: http://www.amazon.com/Trajectories-Kitty-Irish-Trilogy-ebook/dp/B007O48PWK

Kitty Irish has heard all the rumors swirling around Daniel Phinney. Most of them involve a gun, a flask, and a temper. One chance encounter with the WWII veteran over a grisly find in the woods pulls the cover off the dark secrets of their small town, and Kitty is drawn into an unlikely partnership.

Armed with an antique rifle and a handful of homemade silver bullets, the two form an efficient team. Unfortunately, their game is werewolf hunting, and disaster is only a bite away.

Gathering Speed book cover
Gathering Speed: http://www.amazon.com/Gathering-Speed-Kitty-Trilogy-ebook/dp/B009875I94
All Kitty Irish wants to do is complete the task given to her by Daniel Phinney—free their small town from the werewolves that plague it. But every move she makes sets off an unforeseen reaction.

She burns Phinney’s cabin to the ground to lay her mentor to rest. Instead the hot ashes raise up a detective bent on connecting the dots between Kitty and his cold case list. The truth she tells to free a friend brings her an unexpected ally in the fight. And the letter she opens shows her a window into a past she never knew she had. Kitty’s mission is gathering speed.

Flying in the DarkFlying in the Dark: http://www.amazon.com/Flying-Kitty-Irish-Trilogy-ebook/dp/B00BOD0EEO
High school senior Kitty Irish knows exactly what Daniel Phinney expected of her—eradicate the werewolves haunting the Manistee National Forest—until her father comes home from Iraq and takes over.

Too bad Kitty’s plan unravels. Her father spends his time watching the tree line from the safety of a wingback chair. Her hunting partner analyzes college campuses while she analyzes kill sites. When her brother finds a new friend in a long-lost uncle, Kitty’s war with the werewolves becomes a battle for more than just her own life.

Whatever Phinney prepared her for, this isn’t it.

In the final installment of the Kitty Irish Trilogy, Kitty’s past meets her present in an explosive confrontation, bringing the battle to her front porch. The fight for the future is more than claws and fangs.



  1. Beautiful! And what a great idea. I’ve got a ton of fabric, and this is a wonderful idea for using a lot of it up quickly. I’m about halfway through Trajectories. Guess I’ll have to step it up so I can finish all three! Congratulations!


    1. Thanks, Patty. I have so much fun with this project precisely because of all the great fabric out there–it’s too beautiful not to use and kids love them!


    2. I was thinking the samething, but I have a lot of fat quarters.


  2. Thanks for hosting me (and my pillowcases) today!


    1. You’re welcome. I’ve been inspired to try another project. 🙂


  3. What an awesome idea! I bet they make excellent, fun gifts! 🙂 I wish I was able to sew! 🙂


    1. These are a great way to learn! That’s one of the reasons I like them.


      1. I’m teaching my friend to sew using these right now. Straight seams, whooo!

        And I love the idea of sewing them for the children’s hospital! I’m going to see if there’s somewhere around here that would take pillow cases as donations.


  4. I forgot about making these—-what a great idea to do them for kids in the hospital, especially with all the fun fabrics out there. I might even get my weak creative gene inspired!!


    1. Kris–Go, go, go!

      Kate–thanks for showing me the idea!


  5. I love your pillowcase idea. And your book series is sure to entice teen readers to pick up your books. Nice post.


    1. Thanks for stopping by, Mary.


  6. I don’t sew, but even I can see how this project has appeal. They are great, I’d love one as a gift, you’ve come across a priceless idea. Your books sound very very interesting Tess!


  7. Thanks for stopping by, Hildie!


  8. I think these pillow cases are fun and probably easy enough that kids could make them and have a delightful outcome. I wish my experience with sewing in freshman home ec would’ve been more successful for me. I might have pursued sewing, but the class certainly did not instill any hope for me as a seamstress…!! Love your books and am reading Flying now…I’m sorry it’s # 3 in the trilogy. I want more!! Best wishes!!


  9. My experience with home ec was more positive but I still hate laying out a pattern because of it!

    As for the trilogy, I had a reader suggest I do a spinoff trilogy featuring Kevin. Hmmm….


    1. Hey, that’s a great idea!! I Know you’ve got some great ideas swirling about in regards to his character!!


  10. What a great idea! I love doing crafts when I have time. LOL
    I can’t wait to read all three books in your series!!


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