How to Sew a Puff Quilt {free tutorial}


Sew up an easy and cute quilt that looks like of lots of little pillows. Well, some might call it a comforter because there is no quilting involved. Whatever the name, this puff quilt is adorable and fun and you can recruit help too – I did!

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This project is really just a bunch of little pillows sewn together… that’s what makes it so much fun.

The fabrics I used this time are called ‘The Adventurers’ by Cori Dantini for Blend Fabrics. They are so adorable and perfect for a little boy. But of course you can use any quilt weight fabrics for this puffy pillow quilt and sew one to suit anyone’ s taste.

And now on to the tutorial!

This was my layout.

This was my layout.

First decide how big you want your little puffs and if you want all squares or something more complicated like mine. Generally I think simpler is better and an all square pillow quilt would be fabulous. But the Adventurers fabrics include a print with little rectangular panels and I swear they totally inspired me for this tutorial! So I came up with a block and a quilt design using a combination of squares and rectangles.

I cut:

  • 48 squares 5 1/4”

  • 48 rectangles 5 1/4” x 8”

Remember that you need twice as many pieces than if you were piecing a regular quilt top. Each pillow has a front and a back!

Taking into account the area lost through ‘puffiness,’ the actual size of my little quilt is approximately 33” x 34”.

Place pillow fronts and backs right sides together. Sew all the way around leaving a 2-3” opening for turning. Clip corners, turn, and press.

Once you have a nice little stack of empty pillows you can recruit help!

My girl Chloe is an excellent pillow stuffer. This is a great job for kids because you don’t need to fill out the corners or do anything fussy with them. In fact, you should really stuff them as lightly as you can stand. You’ll think there’s not enough fiberfil in there, but after sewing all the edges together they firm up.

Stuff the little pillows very lightly and then sew the openings closed. You could hand sew here, but this is not a fussy project (like I said). The process gets messier as you go along, so I say tuck the pressed edges to the inside and sew the opening shut close to the edge. Repeat lots of times until all the pillows are made!

Arrange the pillows in a pleasing combination. You might have to use the floor if your quilt is large.

Overlap two pillows by 1/4” and sew close to one edge. Then flip the pillows over and sew close to the edge on the other side. You may try pinning your pillows together, but I found this step easier without pins.


This is what the seam will look like – similar to 2 rows of topstitching.

I sewed my pillows into blocks as shown and then sewed the blocks into rows. If you are using all squares you could easily skip to sewing them into rows.

Sew your rows together and you’re done. This little puff quilt is our new favorite! My kids love to lay under and over it. My husband loves to fold it up for a very comfy behind-the back pillow. Yay!


Thanks for reading!

Disclosure: some of my posts contain affiliate links. If you purchase something through one of those links I may receive a small commission, so thank you for supporting SewCanShe when you shop! All of the opinions are my own and I only suggest products that I actually use. 🙂

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  1. Bex Bauer says:

    I am curious as to how this holds up in the washing machine. Do you air dry it or put it in the machine?

    1. Becky Parzek says:

      It can be washed and dryed just as you would anything else.

  2. Marilyn Oram says:

    How could you edge around this one please? I think it would look much nicer with a border of some kind. I love the idea of of it though. X

  3. Thanks for the memory one of my best friends I use to make blankets / quilts like this in the late 70’s, we came up with the idea after seeing my sister’s yoyo quilt she made.

  4. I love this! Perhaps to put a finished edge on it could be a long tube filled, like the little ones, long and narrow?

  5. A small one would be comfy for my dog.. Today’s project.. This looks like fun. Thank you..

    1. Terry, that is exactly what I thought this evening. I have three little dogs who love to bunch up whatever bedding they have. I think they would have a lot of fun bunching up this pillow quilt. Something to do while watching – stuffing them, arranging them. I’ll add it to my bunch of fun things to do.


  6. Caroline, I adore the quilt that you have created! It is a fabulous replacement for rag quilts in my opinion. I think that rag quilts are soft and comfortable, but I hate all the snipping and tons of strings that go along with the rag quilt, therefore, after my first one I have not wanted to make another. With your tutorial and pattern you get the delightful softness without the mess. Thank you for sharing, I will be making this pattern for sure. Have a wonderful creative day!

  7. Antony Gordon fills his pitches for money and for delay of repayment with inspirational messages from Torah, including the admonition it is not permitted to pressure people for repayment. He told some creditors he would make a big push within his religious community to borrow money before Rosh Hashanah, but apparently he did not have much success.

  8. I made one of these in college (in the 70s). I would bring materials from home back to college w/ me at end of break and sew grocery bag full of squares closed, attach to others in a strip, then sew the strips together — all by hand. Bad part is I didn’t use 100% cotton for the back so all the fiberfill poked through so it didn’t really become an heirloom. Live and learn. Fun to see the technique again.

  9. Lynne Ravas says:

    Great travel project if you don’t mind stitching the pillows together by hand. I am eager to start!

  10. That is such a good idea – and I love your fabric choice too, so cute! I wonder if the little pillows could be filled with lovely warm, sheep’s wool instead of fiberfill? I’m all for using natural products and avoiding plastic in my sewing, and I’ve got my own sheep, so I think it’s worth a try!

  11. I think this could very easily be adapted to a weighted blanket idea.

  12. The very first quilt I made (about 45 years ago!) was a pillow quilt with all squares. I made it to take to college with me. It was hard finding quilting fabric back then. Loved it though.

  13. Using a sewn or stitched zig zag would be cute and save the trouble of flipping and sewing again. A lazy sewer

  14. I found this quilt difficult to sew evenly and the edges definitely needed reinforcement, so I zigzaged all around. An easier and neater puff quilt would be to make the pillows with the front being 1″ larger than the back. Then as you sew them together make a pleat in the middle of each edge. Sew the pillows RIGHT sides together. At the end, add a backing.

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