Here are my step by step instructions to machine-stitch a Quilt In A Pillow. The Quilt In A Pillow is a cot-size quilt measuring 44″ x 72″ and is made with an attached pillowcase so the quilt can be folded and tucked into itself when not in use. The pillowcase holds the pillow intact and is attached to the sides and bottom of the Quilt In A Pillow quilt, hence the name I coined for my class.
Easy and quick to sew, the Quilt In A Pillow is good sewing project for the home. The Quilt In A Pillow can be a lap quilt, a traveling quilt for a road trip, or a nice snuggly quilt for kids. It also makes a wonderful gift!
The Quilt In A Pillow is a machine-stitched quilt designed to be folded and tucked away into its own pillow when not in use. When in its pillow-form, the Quilt In A Pillow becomes a square pillow measuring about 18″.
Fabric and Batting Requirements
2-3/4 yards EACH of 2 cotton fabrics, 45″ wide
* Note: One fabric will become the quilt top, the other fabric will be the quilt backing.
Suggested fabrics include: Floral print, large floral print, tropical print, theme print, or animal print.
Polyester batting, low-loft piece measuring 45″ x 72″
Polyester batting, low-loft piece measuring 18″ x 18″
Label each of the two different fabrics as Fabric A and Fabric B.
Fabric A will become the Quilt “top”; Fabric B will become the back of the Quilt.
- Pillow Pocket
- Cut 1 unit 18″ x 18″ of Fabric A
- Cut 1 unit 18″ x 18″ of Fabric B
- Cut 1 square of low-loft polyester batting, 18″ x 18″
- Cut 1 piece of Fabric A to measure 45″ x 72″
- Cut 1 piece of Fabric B to measure 45″ x 72″
- Cut 1 45″ x 72″ low-loft polyester batting
Stitching the Pillow Pocket
1. With right sides together, pin Fabric A and Fabric B pillow square units together.
Pin batting to wrong side of Fabric B.
2. Stitch layers together using 1/4″ seam allowance. The layers are easiest to stitch when the batting is on the top.
NOTE: Keep a 6″ opening along the edge of one side of the pillow pocket. Be sure that the opening is relatively centered. Once layers are stitched, trim corners and excess batting, if necessary.
3. Turn pillow right side out. Gently finger-press sewn edges of pillow, making sure that the seams lay flat. Press pillow lightly, especially around edges so they are crisp and squared.
Turn opening of the pillow seam under 1/4″ slip-stitch opening closed.
Stitching the Quilt
Stitching the quilt portion of the Quilt In A Pillow is done with the same process as the pillow pocket portion.
1. With right sides together, pin Fabric A and Fabric B quilt units together, making sure that raw edges are even and fabrics align properly.
2. Pin batting to the wrong side of Fabric B.
3. Stitch layers together using 1/4″ seam, leaving a 10″ opening along the center of one edge of the quilt. (Note: It appears easier to turn a quilt right-sides out when the opening is made along the ‘top’ or ‘bottom’ which is one of the 45″ sides of the quilt.)
4. Turn quilt right side out. Gently roll out and finger-press sewn edges of quilt, making sure that the seams lay flat. Press quilt lightly, especially along sewn edges.
5. Turn opening of the quilt seam under 1/4″ and finger-press along edge creating crease for seam line. Pin to close; slip-stitch opening area.
Quilting The Quilt In A Pillow
The Quilt In A Pillow can be hand-quilted or machine-quilted along the lines of isolated fabric motifs.
The quilt can also be machine-quilted at measured intervals in long, vertical lines, diagonal lines, or cross-hatched lines. The Quilt In A Pillow can also be hand-tied using embroidery floss.
*NOTE: If you choose to quilt an all-over pattern to your Quilt In A Pillow, then do not attach the pillow pocket until you have quilted the body of your Quilt In A Pillow.
Optional Machine Quilting for the Quilt In A Pillow
If you choose this optional method to machine quilt your Quilt In A Pillow, you can attach your pillow pocket prior to machine quilting. This option requires minimal machine quilting but cannot be recommended if you are using a cotton or cotton-poly batting.
1. Mark 2 straight lines from the inner edge of the pocket to the opposite end of the quilt. These lines will be the guides for machine-quilting.
2. Pin-baste the Quilt In A Pillow near the straight lines to prevent layers from shifting.
3. Machine-stitch along the marked lines.
Attaching the Pillow Pocket to the Quilt
1. Mark the center of the sewn pocket. Mark the center of one short edge of the sewn quilt.
2. With Fabric B facing up on both the pocket and the quilt, pin the pillow pocket on the quilt, matching the center markings for alignment.
3. Machine-stitch 1/4″ from pillow pocket edges leaving top edge open (this is the pocket and must have one side remaining open!)
Folding the Quilt Into the Pillow Pocket
1. Lay the quilt on a flat surface with the pocket side down. Fold the quilt into thirds, overlapping the long edges.
2. Turn the pillow pocket over the end of the quilt. (Turn the pocket INSIDE OUT.)
3. Fold remaining end of the quilt into thirds and continue folding the quilt into the pillow pocket, until the pillow is formed.
4. Adjust the pillow shape, if necessary, and the Quilt In A Pillow is a pillow!