How to make and fold a Quillow – always a favorite with kids!

How to make and fold a Quillow – always a favorite with kids!

Disclaimer: Some of the links this post may be affiliate and Amazon Associate links where I will earn a small commission at no extra cost to you.
Crayola Colors of Kindness Fabric from Riley Blake Designs

Is it a quilt? Is it a pillow? BOTH – it’s a Quillow!

Quillows have been around a long time and are very easy to make – I made one for my preschooler (way back in the mid-90s!) and still remember how much he loved it! In this video I’ll show you what a quillow is, how to fold a quillow and then how to sew a quillow. I’m using the Crayola® Colors of Kindness™ fabric from Riley Blake Designs – perfect if you’re going to make a quillow for a special child in your life.

If you prefer to have a printable PDF pattern, you can find it in my Etsy Shop >

JUMP TO THE VIDEO TUTORIAL | JUMP TO WRITTEN DIRECTIONS | GET AN AD-FREE PRINTABLE PDF OF THE TUTORIAL ON ETSY

 

the anatomy of a quillow:

A quillow is a quilt that has a pillow pocket – or a 2-sided, quilted square – attached to the bottom center of one side, usually the back of the quilt. Any quilt can be turned into a quillow by adding the pillow pocket. Here’s how you determine the size pocket you need for your quilt: Pocket width = 1/3 quilt width Pocket height = 1/4 quilt height Add seam allowances and you have the size fabric & batting to cut. If you are making a quillow from scratch, these are the pieces you will need:

Do you want an ad-free, printable copy of this online tutorial? Find it in my Etsy shop for just a few dollars. You won’t need to access the internet every time you want to make it.

blanket pillow for kids

BASIC SUPPLIES:

——————————————

OPTIONAL SUPPLIES:

MATERIALS NEEDED FOR A 2 FABRIC QUILLOW:

  • Fabric 1: 2 yards
    (Quilt Front & Pillow Pocket side)
    • CUT: 41” x 53”
    • CUT: 15” square
  • Fabric 2: 2 yards
    (Quilt Back & Pillow Pocket side 1)
    • CUT: 41” x 53”
    • CUT: 15” square
  • Batting of choice: 2 yards
    • CUT: 41” x 53”
    • CUT: 15” square

———————————————————————-

MATERIALS NEEDED FOR A 3 FABRIC QUILLOW:

  • Fabric 1:1½ yards
    (Quilt Front)
    • CUT: 41” x 53”
    • CUT: 15” square
  • Fabric 2: 2 yards
    (Quilt Back & Pillow Pocket side 1)
    • CUT: 41” x 53”
    • CUT: 15” square
  • Fabric 3: 15″ square
    (Pillow Pocket side 2)
    • CUT: 15” square
  • Batting of choice: 2 yards
    • CUT: 41” x 53”
    • CUT: 15” square

*Fabric 3 will only show when the quillow is folded into a pillow. You can use a contrasting fabric like I’ve done in the example or use only 2 fabrics – Fabric 1 & 2. To use 2 fabrics, you will need 2 yards of each.

🎯 SHORTCUTS TO SPECIFIC TOPICS:

00:00 introduction
00:07 What is a Quillow?
01:09 How to fold a Quillow
03:06 Quillow Supply List
03:32 How to choose quilt batting
04:20 Make the Pillow Pocket
05:06 Tips for quilting
08:17 Make the Quilt
12:10 Assemble the Quillow
14:35 Reinforce pocket corner
14:45 How to pull up your bobbin thread

HOW TO MAKE A QUILLOW

A quillow is made of 2 pieces of quilted fabric: a quilt and a square that becomes the pillow pocket. You then sew them together and have created a quillow.

MAKE THE PILLOW POCKET

Layer your pillow pocket fabrics, right sides together, on your workspace. (fig. 1)

Put a 15” square of batting on top and pin or clip together. Sew around the sides with a 1/4” seam allowance, leaving about 4-5” open for turning. (fig. 2)

Clip the corners, turn and press. Press the opening fabric in so it will be sewn together when you topstitch.

Topstitch around the outside, 1/8” from the edge.

Quilt as desired. (Don’t miss my secret for quilting parallel lines using Painter’s Tape (fig. 3) in the video at 5 mins 45 secs)

Set aside. (fig. 4)

how to layer pillow pocket fabric and batting

figure 1

how to layer pillow pocket fabric and batting

figure 2

how to layer pillow pocket fabric and batting

figure 3

how to layer pillow pocket fabric and batting

figure 4

MAKE THE QUILT

You will make the quilt in the same basic way, it’s just bigger and a little harder to manage.

Because this will be a self-bound quilt, you need the 2 fabrics and batting to be the SAME SIZE. I find the easiest way to get the batting the same size as the fabrics is to take a piece that is slightly larger, place one of the fabrics on top, face up, and trim to size. (fig. 5)

Then place the other fabric on top, face down – so the fabrics are right side together – and pin around the edges. (fig. 6)

Because of the size of the quilt and more potential for a little shifting, sew with a 1/2” seam allowance, leaving about 4-5” open for turning.

Clip the corners, turn and press.

Press the opening fabric in so it will be sewn together when you topstitch.

Topstitch around the outside, 1/8” from the edge. Quilt as desired. (fig. 7)

how to layer pillow pocket fabric and batting

figure 5

how to layer pillow pocket fabric and batting

figure 6

how to layer pillow pocket fabric and batting

figure 7

Do you want an ad-free, printable copy of this online tutorial? Find it in my Etsy shop for just a few dollars. You won’t need to access the internet every time you want to make it.

TIPS ABOUT BATTING

It’s important to know that not all battings are created equally. Batting can be made from different materials (100% cotton, polyester blends, etc) and require quilting at different minimum intervals (anywhere from 4″ to 10″ apart) to hold up to use and washing. Be sure you look at the manufacturer’s suggestions on the packaging and quilt accordingly.

Label your scraps so you know what the pieces are if you use a variety of batting in your projects.

SEW THE POCKET TO THE QUILT

Place your quilt on your workspace with whichever side will match the pillow pocket facing up.
Fold in half and put a mark, pin or clip at the center of the bottom edge.
Place your pillow pocket, matching fabric side up, on top of the quilt, matching the pocket center with the quilt center and clip. (fig. 8)
Pin the edges to the quilt.
Sew the sides and the bottom wide edge to the quilt (fig. 9) and reinforce the top corners by sewing back and forth or adding a triangle for extra durability. (See video tutorial at 14 mins 35 secs)

how to layer pillow pocket fabric and batting

figure 8

how to layer pillow pocket fabric and batting

figure 9

HOW TO FOLD A QUILLOW

Lay the quilt out flat, with the pillow pocket side down.

Fold one long side to the center until you see the edge of the pillow pocket. (fig. 10)

Repeat for the other side. (fig. 11)

Fold the quilt down towards the pillow pocket (fig. 12), 3 times for this size quilt, until it is folded on top of the pocket.

Turn the pocket inside out and stuff the quilt into the pocket as you turn it. (It gets easier after you’ve done it once or twice!) (fig. 13)

I usually put my hand in the pillow pocket and push out the corners when the folded quilt is about 1/2 way in – it makes it easier to get it in and organized.

how to layer pillow pocket fabric and batting

figure 10

how to layer pillow pocket fabric and batting

figure 11

how to layer pillow pocket fabric and batting

figure 12

how to layer pillow pocket fabric and batting

figure 12

how to layer pillow pocket fabric and batting
buy the quillow tutorial pdf on Etsy

Love this idea?

If you post on Instagram be sure to tag me (@artisttarareed). Follow my YouTube channel for new sewing projects and tips every week.

🧵 Tara Reed

P.S. Is there a sewing tutorial you’d love to see? Leave me a comment and I’ll add it to my idea list!

 

—  YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE  —

More free sewing projects >

My favorite sewing supplies >

The Easy Way to Sew Bowl and Plate Cozies

The Easy Way to Sew Bowl and Plate Cozies

🎥 Video Tutorial: How to Sew Bowl and Plate Cozies with Pre-Cut Batting

I’m a big fan of quick, simple and useful projects to sew for the home, gifts and just because they are pretty. Today’s tutorial is all 3.

I was so excited that my western fabric – Ride the Range – came out from Riley Blake Designs when we are all glued to western dramas on tv.

If you’re going to mosey over to the couch with dinner or a snack to watch your favorite western, won’t it be that much better if you have a plate or bowl cozy with the same theme? Of course it will!

Tara Reed holding large bowl cozy

The wonderful people at The Gypsy Quilter gave me some of their pre-cut batting to try and I’m IN LOVE! Of course I COULD cut my own (they have a template for that!) but sometimes I just want to cut down on the steps so I can get done. I always have more ideas than I have time so a few shortcuts are helpful.

In this video you will learn how easy it is to sew Bowl and Plate Cozies with The Gypsy Quilter pre-cut batting.

I demonstrate a plate but the big bowl cozy works the same way.

VIDEO SHORTCUTS:

  • 00:00 introduction
  • 01:48 Supplies
  • 02:46 Prepare fabric
  • 04:16 Sewing
  • 04:41 Sewing the darts
  • 05:58 Pin the two halves
  • 07:14 Sew together
  • 08:37 Press the plate cozy
  • 10:08 Topstitch
  • 10:29 Tip for stitching over darts
  • 12:05 Finished photos

TIPS TO AVOID BREAKING YOUR NEEDLE

I’ve had a microwave bowl cozy tutorial on my blog and YouTube channel for a while (where you cut your own batting) and the main question I get is about how to avoid breaking your needle. Those darts and corners get thick with 2 layers of batting and the fabric – especially when you get to topstitching.

🪡 TIP 1: Use a NEW NEEDLE

We (or at least I) often don’t think about just how many times a sewing machine needle goes up and down through fabric with each project we make. It makes sense that it will get dull over time – making it work that much harder with each stitch.

You want a nice SHARP needle to get through the thick spots on any kind of cozy so always start out with a fresh one.

🐢 TIP 2: Go SLOW

 If you sew slower, you give the machine and needle a better chance at going straight up and down – through all the layers – and not bending and snapping.

🧵 TIP 3: Pivot at the Dart Seam

Stop and PIVOT at the dart seam. Trying to sew through the thickness at the darts when topstitching, and making a slight turn without stopping, is often a recipe for a broken needle. Stop with your needle down right at the dart seam. Lift the presser foot, slightly turn the fabric so you are lined up to go straight again.

But as Robert Burns wrote way back in 1785, “The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry.”

That goes for sewists and needles too. Sometimes they just break – it happens to the best of us!

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial and give The Gypsy Quilter Pre-Cut Battings a try. If you do and post on social media, be sure to tag me – I love seeing the fabrics and combinations people use!

Happy Sewing!

🧵 Tara Reed

How to Sew a Casserole Dish Hot Pad – Sewing for Beginners

How to Sew a Casserole Dish Hot Pad – Sewing for Beginners

How to Sew a Casserole Dish Hot Pad

Tara Reed with a Casserole Dish Hot Pad

The Gypsy Quilter gave me a Casserole Dish Hot Pad Kit with Pre-Cut Batting and Insulating Material to try when I was at the Missouri Star Quilt Co. Birthday Bash. I’ve made lots of microwave bowl cozies so I definitely wanted to give it a try!

SHORT STORY: I love it! I didn’t follow the directions correctly – but it worked out anyway.😁

In this video I’ll walk you through what you get in the Gypsy Quilter Casserole Dish Hot Pad Kit and how easy it is to put together.

I’ll also show you where I went wrong and how I fixed it.

This is a great sewing project for beginners.

SHORTCUTS TO SPECIFIC TOPICS:

  • 00:00 How to Sew a Casserole Dish Hot Pad
  • 00:02 Introduction
  • 01:17 Supplies
  • 02:15 Preparing the fabrics
  • 04:21 Quilting the fabrics
  • 06:09 Sew the Darts
  • 06:59 Assemble the fabrics
  • 09:55 Sew the layers together
  • 12:44 Finish the Hot Pad
  • 13:48 More Ways to Use

I’ll be honest and say I almost deleted all the video – thinking, “How can I share this when I didn’t do it perfectly?” Well… we all goof up from time to time, right? The key is to figure out how to keep going – and sewing – which I did.

These are not microwave safe. I love how you can flip them and use either side – so be sure to pick two fabrics you love.

In this example I used two of the fabrics from my Fall Barn Quilts Fabric Collection I designed for Riley Blake Designs.

The fall leaves and fall colored quilt block print are perfect for cool fall nights, Thanksgiving, taking a casserole to a pot luck and more.

SUPPLIES ON AMAZON

Ask for my Fall Barn Quilts Fabric where you like to buy fabrics from Riley Blake Designs.

If you make and post any of these on social media be sure to tag me so I can see! Happy fall, happy sewing and happy casserole season!

🍁 Tara Reed

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE:

More sewing tutorials > 

More projects using my Fall Barn Quilts Fabric >