How to make a quillow

How to make a quillow

Quillows are Quilts and Pillows all in one. By sewing a special pocket into your quilt the blanket folds up and fits inside itself to make a pillow. These are the perfect sleepover accessory for kids to take with them to Grandma’s house or a nice item to keep in the car on long trips! You could even make them with sports insignias and take them to your tailgate parties and football games to keep you warm!

Quillows can be made any size but I made mine to have a finished size of 45 x 65″ which is long enough to cover a full-size adult but not designed for use as a bed comforter. They do however make a nice throw pillow to be used as a bed accessory.

Items you will need to make a Quillow include:

2 Fabric Panels Pre-Washed
Yarn for Quilt Tying
Sewing Machine
Quilt Batting

Start by making the Quillows pocket. You will need 2 pieces of approximately 18×18″ fabric squares. These pieces of fabric will be getting a lot of wear and use and will need to be extra sturdy.

You can purchase commercial pillow panels that are pre-printed on the material in a variety of styles. You can find panels with sports teams insignia, tractor and racecar panels, outdoor fishing or hunting motifs, southwest pillow panels, and dainty flowered panels. Fabric stores have a wide variety of options available for decorating your quillows.

I chose to use a basic star quilting pattern and piece a quilt block to use on the top of my quillows.

If you are not using a very strong material, reinforce it with heavy-duty fusible webbing sandwiched between your two pocket panels. After choosing your pillow top panel, layout the 2 pillow panels right sides together. Sew them together leaving a few inches open at one end to turn the pillow inside out. Before turning the pillow panel, use a pencil point to bring your corners to a nice point and clip off the corners at an angle. Turn the pillow right sides out and using a hand needle and thread, blind stitch the turning hole closed. Press the pillow for a crisp look.

Position the finished pillow front on the top middle of one of the quilt fabric panels. Match up the panel on the unfinished outside edge of the quilt panel. Machine stitch the pillow panel to your quilt panel leaving the side of the pillow that faces the vertical quilt open to form a pocket. Be sure to double stitch the top ending seams of your pocket for durability.

Next, laying out both top and bottom quilt fabrics with the “right” sides of the fabric together, the pocket facing in. Separate your quilt batting in two as the general commercial batting tends to be to thick and makes it difficult to fold your bulky quilt into the finished pillow pocket. You will find it quite easy to pull the batting apart once you start separating a corner and working it apart.

Lay the batting on top of the two pieces of fabric and pin all three pieces together along the edge of the fabric. Turn the pinned pieces over with the fabric side up and trim the batting to fit the fabric panels.

Next, machine sews all the way around your pre-pinned quilt leaving a 12-inch hole to turn your quilt inside out. After turning your quilt using a hand needle and thread, blind stitch the turning hole closed as you did with the pocket.

My quillow was made for my rough and tumble children so I decided to machine stitch a 1/4 inch stitch around the outside edge of the fabric to make the quilt edge stronger but this is not necessary.

The last step is to hand tie your quilt with coordinating yarn and wide eyed quilting needle. If your fabric has a pattern you may want to tie off the yarn along the design. Yarn ties should be made about every foot of the quilt to keep the batting in place.


After you have folded your quillow into a pocket a few times it will be easy to do. To start, lay out the quilt with the pocket side down and fold the outer vertical edges of the quilt towards each other overlapping the first one side, then the other edge. Flip your quilt over so the edges are folded in and the pillow pocket is at the top of your quilt. Start at the bottom of the quilt and fold it into approximately 2-foot sections until you get to the pocket and slide the quilt into its self-made pillow.

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