How to Sew a Patchwork Bench Cushion! {free tutorial}


This Patchwork Cushion is beautiful on my piano bench, but it would look awesome on any other kind of bench too, such as a patio swing, window seat, or picnic bench! Sewing a cushion is a great project to learn basic skills such as sewing straight seams, inserting stuffing, and sewing on buttons.

This blog post has been converted to an optional PDF that’s optimized for printing. Find it here. The free Patchwork Bench Cushion Pattern is included in the blog post below and is totally free to read, print, and sew! Just hit CTRL +P on your computer to print. The Optimized for Printing PDF pattern for $3 is totally optional. Did you know you can get ALL the Optimized for Printing PDF files organized in a library for you to access anytime you want? Check it out.

I designed to fit this cute little thrifted piano bench. It is long and skinny (12 1/2” x 34”), but I will tell you how to easily change the dimensions to fit a different sized bench too.

I sewed ties at the corners for attaching the cushion to the piano bench…

But the ties look really cute knotted at the end like a tassel too! These tassels make me want to lay it over a coffee table for a look similar to a tufted ottoman. Then the kids can move it to the floor for watching TV!

Conclusion: we need another one.

So let’s get to the sewing tutorial!

Patchwork Bench Cushion Sewing Tutorial

To sew a cushion approximately 12 1/2” x 34” (not including the straps, cut 40 squares 4” x 4”. Sew them together in a rectangle with 4 rows of 10 patches.

To sew a cushion approximately 15” x 30” (standard piano bench size), cut 45 squares 4” x 4”. Sew them together in a rectangle with 5 rows of 9 patches.

Note: The dimensions of the cushion will vary depending on how much you stuff them. If you use only batting and leave out the extra filling, your cushions will turn out a bit longer and wider (but not as thick). If you want to design your own cushion, make the finished size of your patchwork 1 – 2” bigger than your intended bench.  The length and width will shrink a bit as you stuff it.

As you can see, I used fusible gridded interfacing (Pellon Quilter’s Grid 820) to help me sew the patchwork together in a snap. The interfacing also makes my cushion more sturdy and durable.

Gridded interfacing is totally optional on this project – go ahead and sew your squares together without it if you want. But here are some tips if you do decide to use it:

1. Arrange your patchwork squares on the interfacing. Press to fuse in place.

2. Fold the long (horizontal) seams first and stitch with a scant 1/4” seam allowance.

3. Clip the seam allowances at the intersections with the shorter seams. This will help you nest the seams in the next step…

4. Sew the shorter (vertical) seams next, nesting the seams where you clipped.

To finish the cushion, you will also need:

  • about a yard of high-loft polyester batting

  • shredded foam or polyester fiberfill to stuff the cushion even more

  • 1/2 yard fabric for the ties

  • 1/2 yard fabric for the cushion bottom

  • quilt basting spray (such as SpraynBaste from HeatnBond)


  • Cut 4 strips 3” x 40” for the ties

  • Cut a fabric rectangle the same size as your patchwork piece for the cushion bottom

  • Cut 2 rectangles of high-loft batting the same size as the patchwork piece

Make the Cushion:

1. Spray baste the batting to the backs of the cushion top and bottom by spraying both the batting and the fabric before putting them together.

2.  Fold and press the 40” tie strips bias tape style: Fold in half lengthwise, press. Open and press the edges almost to the center. Fold in half again and press to make a long strip 3/4” wide.

3. Topstitch 1/8” from the long edges.

Tip: a walking foot makes topstitching straps easy.

4. Cut each 40” tie in half to make two 20” long ties. Sew the ties to the corners of either the cushion top or bottom. They should be about 1” away from the corner on each side

5. Pin the cushion top and bottom together, right sides facing. Be careful not to catch the ties.

6. Sew the cushion together with a 1/2” seam allowance. Leave a 7-8” opening for turning. Sewing over the batting is like sewing through a cloud, lol. The batting kept getting stuck in my sewing machine foot and I’d have to stop and back it out.

7. Trim the corners close to the stitching.

8. Turn the cushion right side out and add more stuffing if you want. I filled mine with shredded foam until they seemed about 1/2 full. Too much and it will be hard to add tufts and buttons!

9. Sew the opening closed. I think hand sewing looks nicer in this case, but you could machine sew it too.

9. Decide where to add buttons. Mine are along the center seam, in between every 2 patches.

10. Thread a long needle with heavy duty thread. Push the needle straight down through the cushion, take a small stitch and push the needle back up to the top again without pulling the end all the way through. Use your hands to tie the thread tightly and securely.

11. Sew a button to the top…

And to the bottom if you want. Can you see my little button? It’s lost in Wonderland!

That reminds me, you can find the gorgeous Wonderland fabric from Blend at Fat Quarter Shop.

12. Tie the cushion to the bench (if desired) and decide if the ties are the right length. Trim them down if needed. Then fold the raw edge over twice and stitch close to the fold.

If you love patchwork, you might also like my free patchwork tote tutorial.

Happy sewing!

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. 🙂