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Free Quillow Pattern for Baby ~ Easy Step by Step Instructions

Did you read our article in The Old Schoolhouse Magazine, Fall 2009, on the baby quillow?

Free Baby Quillow Pattern

What is a quillow? A quillow is a quilt and a pillow rolled into one unique item. Use a quillow as a quilt to lay baby down, or keep warm, and tuck the quilt into a pillow for a comfortable nap.

Looking for more photos and a better explanation with step by step tutorial and easy directions on how to make a comfy, cozy baby quillow? Here are the expanded directions giving you the inside scoop on how to sew a baby quillow to welcome a precious new baby.

Advanced sewers can do this in an afternoon, beginners, it may take a day.

A quillow is a simple tied quilt that turns into a pillow. Easy to make, quillows make the ideal gift this Christmas season and can be made to fit babies, kids and adults. Quillows are as soft and cuddly as a quilt, comfy as a pillow and ideal for travel, long car or plane rides, grandma’s house, hanging out in the family room or the newest baby.

Imagination is the limit for fabric selection and color, try a favorite sports/teams, animals, flowers, cool cottons or warm flannels, all make beautiful custom quillows. In a few rainy afternoons, quillows can be whipped out with the kids for your whole Christmas list this year!

Step By Step Directions on How to Make a Baby Quillow Gift


  • 2 different patterns of cotton or flannel fabric - 1 ½ yard each
  • 1 yard cotton quilt batting
  • Thread to match fabric
  • Embroidery thread and needle for tying quilt/tufting
  • Pins, measuring tape/tools, scissors
  • Sewing machine
  • Iron to press fabric

A quillow is so easy to make, but the directions can make it seem more difficult. Read through the instructions thoroughly, to make sure you understand the process. Basically, you are making two quilts, sewing them together with a pocket opening on the outer edge, then flipping the pillow pocket inside out to make the quillow. Flip it back to return the quillow to a quilt. It is so simple!


Measure and Cut Fabric


Fabric for Quilt - Cut two pieces of fabric 36” long by 44-45”. Most pieces of fabric are 44-45 inches wide, so simply keep folded on selvedge, cutting both pieces 36 inches long. Unfold fabric into 2 quilt pieces that are 36x45.

Quilt Batting – Using your two pieces of quilt fabric as a guide, cut out 1 piece of quilt batting.

Fabric for Pillow - Cut two additional pieces of fabric into 15x15 squares.

Sewing Both Parts of the Quillow

Main Quilt - Pinning and sewing the main quilt is easy. You are going to make a “sandwich” out of the two quilt pieces and the batting. Place both pieces of quilt, RIGHT sides together (fabric pattern sides touching). Place quilt batting on top, then pin the 3 quilt layers together.


Leave a 12 inch space open on one side of the quilt sandwich, which will allow you to flip right sides out after you sew.

Stitch with ½ inch seam, leaving that 12 inch opening. Zig zag stitching around the edges is optional. With a baby quilt, there will be a lot of laundering, so I zigzagged the edges to make it more durable. Trim 4 corners. Press with a hot iron to lock stitches.

Now you are ready to flip the quilt right side out, through the 12 inch space left open.

Flip quilt, and smooth out all edges. Press with warm iron neatly. Press the 12 inch gap pieces to match the outer edges of the quilt, and pin.

Sew a ¼ inch seam around all 4 edges. This will stabilize the quilt and permanently close the 12 inch gap, giving you a neat rectangle, sewed on all 4 sides.

Congratulations! You just finished the main part of your quillow!


Tied Quilt/Tufting Directions

The larger 36x44 quilt rectangle is ready to be hand tied (tufted) together for strength. Measure and mark the top of the quilt into equal sections about 8-10 inches apart, with pins.

The goal is to stabilize the main quilt, sandwiching it permanently together. Thread a needle with embroidery floss, stitching through both layers of fabric, and tying into a strong knot at the top. Trim embroidery floss to about ¾ inch, this is the top of the quilt. Press quilt.

Pillow Pocket

Pillow Pocket - Follow the same directions for sewing the quilt above (without batting). Pin two pieces of 15x15 fabric together, right sides together, leaving a 10 inch seam on one side. Sew a ½ inch seam around the square. Flip inside out. Press neatly, pressing 10 inch gap into place and pinning it shut. Sew a ¼ inch seam across entire side, closing 10 inch gap.

A note on pressing fabric. While pressing may seem old fashioned, it makes all the difference. My Home Economics teacher in junior high was fanatic about properly pressing out all items with an iron set to the proper setting for the fabric. It was the difference between a well made or a sloppy item. Proper pressing makes all the difference with any quilting project, especially a quillow!

Sew Two Quilts Together Leaving Pocket at Top

It is time to attach the two quilts and form the “pocket” at the top, which becomes the pillow. Lay larger rectangular 36x44 quilt down on a flat surface, hand tied top showing. On the 36” edge, place the smaller 15x15 quilt, in the middle EDGE. Measure on either side, to make sure you have the smaller quilt pocket dead center on the EDGE. Pin both quilts together. Sew outer three edges together with ¼ inch seams, leaving the TOP EDGE of both quilts open. This allows a “pocket” at the top, that you will notice a Dalmatian Beanie Baby peeking through.

Congratulations! You have now created the “quilt” part of the quillow!


Folding Quilt Into Pillow = Quillow

Now to describe the relatively simply folding and flipping process, which you may need to practice a few times. Flip the quilt over with the back side up, top side touching the table.

Fold into thirds lengthwise. (If you were to flip the quilt back over, you will see the pocket pillow section.) Fold lengthwise piece into quarters.


Now for the flipping part that stumped us as we read directions. You will actually reach inside the PILLOW pocket, grab an inside edge, and flip that over the folded quilt, pulling the quilt into the flipped pocket pillow.

Pull quilt all the way through the pillow, smooth edges to make a neat pillow. Unflip and unfold for quilt.

Congratulations again! You have now made a quillow and figured out how to flip and pull the pillow over the folded quilt for a cozy pillow!

Now to figure out what fabric to make a quillow in for each person on your list!

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Copyright 2013 by Lisa Baughn of ~ No part of this article may be reproduced, emailed, forwarded or blogged without the author's permission

Tip Junkie

Lisa Baughn shows you how to save time, money and sanity while learning to thrive in the “new economy,” equipping you to get out of debt faster. Creative ideas to live again, nail one debt at a time, revamping your lifestyle and attitude. Enjoy signature how-to videos which explode open easy cooking techniques with simple gourmet meals and maximum nutrition. Thrive in the new economy! Great ideas and tips can be found at her website

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