I wanted to make a big ball-shaped pillow, basically a plush medicine ball. This takes a little bit of machine sewing, but it's nothing complicated.
I plan to do a couple more in other basic colors, to have a nice set to kick around the living room.
Step 1: Materials
Step 2: Panels
The ball will be put together similar to a plastic beach ball. There will be six panels made of fleece. The easiest way to get a piece that's symmetrical is to fold the fleece in half twice (once lengthwise, once widthwise). Once you make the first piece, use it as a template to cut the other five.
Grab two of the panels, place the good sides together, and sew one of the edges using a straight stitch.
For the first five seams, sew all the way across the long edge. For the last seam, only sew from the ends to a few inches towards the center. You want to leave enough of a hole to fit the arm of the sewing machine in to finish the ends as described in the next step. Also, you want to be able to have an opening to put the stuffing!
Step 3: Ends
The point where all the panels come together at the ends can be covered up with a little circle of fleece.
Cut out two circles using a cup (or anything else round). Pin the circles on the outside of the ball, then sew with a straight stitch around the circle to attach it to the ball.
Clean up the edges of the circle by switching to a zig-zag stitch, and sew around the very edge of the circle. You could skip this step if you really want to, but it makes the final product look much cleaner.
Step 4: Stuffing
Once the ends are secured, it's time to add the stuffing! It's really up to you how much to put in, it just depends how firm you want the ball at the end. If you put just a little stuffing in, the ball will be very squishy. If you put a lot of stuffing in, the ball will feel heavier and will not be as squishy.
When you are satisfied with the amount of stuffing, hand-stitch the last seem closed. I went with a whip-stitch, and just went across and back to finish right where I started stitching.
Depending on the fabric you use, your finished ball should be machine washable. It will probably take a while to dry though, especially if you went with a lot of stuffing.