If you’ve ever wanted to add a pinch of squeezable, squish-able, bubble-centric modern art to your living room, this is your big chance. This ultra-textured pillow cover is made by stitching together squares stuffed with hi-loft fiberfill. I love how the extra weight gives a little extra heft and density to the throw pillow—making it as comfy as it is eye catching.
I chose to make my pillow cover in a single color, a dusty shade of lilac to be exact, but you can easily make this project your own by playing with multiple colors or different varieties of fabric. (Hello, stripes and checkers!) I recommend using something with a little bit of stretch, like interlock, microsuede, or even crushed velvet.
While this project does have quite a few steps, it is surprisingly forgiving, so you don’t have to be a sewing expert to pull it off. Little imperfections in the puffs and the stitching are not noticeable since the overall pattern is super cute and eye catching. I made this with the living room sofa in mind, but it would also make a lovely accent pillow in the bedroom.
-1/2 yard pretty fabric (I used a lilac microsuede, but you can use anything with a little bit of stretch.)
-1/2 yard plain muslin
–16″ square pillow form
–rotary cutter, ruler, and mat
-clothespins or wonder clips
Step One: Start by measuring and cutting 25 5″ x 5″ squares from the pretty fabric, 25 4″ x 4″ squares from the plain muslin, and two 16″ x 12″ pieces of the pretty fabric. Using a rotary cutter with a sturdy ruler will make this step much easier. But if you don’t have a rotary cutter, you can also cut the pieces using a regular pair of scissors.
Step Two: Match up one square of each type of fabric. With the right side of your pretty fabric facing out (wrong sides together) pin the two squares together on one side. Make a pleat with the center pin by folding the fabric flat.
Step Three: Stitch across the pinned side of the square using a 1/8″ to 1/4″ seam allowance. These edges do not have to be perfect, so don’t worry if your stitching isn’t perfect. Pin, pleat, and sew two more sides on the square, leaving the fourth side open. Repeat the last two steps with all of your remaining squares, making a total of 25 pockets.
Step Four: Stuff each pocket with a small handful of fiberfill. You’ll want to add just enough to give each pocket a nice puff—but don’t overdo it! You’ll need to be able to sew each pocket closed after they have been stuffed with fluff.
Step Five: Pin the pockets closed, adding a pleat as you did on the first three sides. Stitch the pinned sides closed and snip any stray threads. Now you have quilt puffs!
Step Six: Next you’ll start sewing the quilt puffs together. This is the trickiest part of the process because the quilt puffs are SO very fluffy. I’ve found that using clothespins to hold the quilt puffs together works better than using pins. I’ve also seen bloggers use something called a wonderclip for this purpose. Match up two quilt puff squares by their edges with the right sides together (pretty fabric facing in), and then clothespin or clip them together. Carefully stitch across the edge. After you are finished, take a close look at your seam to see if you’ve missed any spots. If so, go back and stitch over the seam again. Repeat this process until you have five strips of five quilt puffs.
Step Seven: Using the clothespins or clips again, sew the five strips together to form a square.
Step Eight: Fold the 16″ edge of each of the remaining pieces of fabric down the wrong side by about 1/4″, and then fold it over once more by another 1/4″. Pin the fold flat. (Bonus points if you take a moment to iron the edge flat). Straight stitch each edge giving each piece a hem.
Step Nine: Match the 16″ raw edge of one of the remaining pieces of fabric to the quilt puff square (right sides together). Clip to secure, then stitch the edge. Match the other two sides of fabric to the edges of the quilt puff square and stitch these edges as well. Leave the hemmed edge open. Repeat the process with the last piece of fabric on the opposite side of the quilt puff square, creating an envelope.
Step Ten: Check the seams for missed spots, snip off any loose threads, then stuff the pillow insert into your new cover. Give it a healthy pat or two to fluff it up before setting it on your favorite chair or sofa.
I hope you have so much fun making your own puff quilt pillow covers! You can use this same technique to make blankets too. In fact, I might have to pull this style out the next time I’m working on a shower gift. How cute would a puff quilted baby blanket be? xo. Mary Helen