Monday, 9 December 2013

Pocket Pillow Tutorial!

I got the idea for a pocket pillow a while ago, before Tully started pre-school. I thought it would make a great 'rest time' pack to take to kindy or daycare, with room to store a little sheet and teddy. Of course, The end of the school year has arrived for us, and I'm only just making what I had in mind for him! I just needed the perfect motivation like Ms Midge's Cushion for Christmas Blog Hop to get me into gear!

For my patchwork top, I cut 2.5" squares from some 5" squares I had leftover from a quilt. I wanted to make a 16" cushion cover. For this size you'll need 64 little squares sewn together in blocks as shown above. 3 rows of eight for the top, and 5 rows of eight for the bottom half. You can adjust the size depending on your insert.

Then create a quilt sandwich for each block. I did this by spray basting the top to some scrap wadding, then spray basting the back (I just used a solid yellow that I was given by a friend.)
Quilt the sandwiches (I just used straight lines) and trim them both to the size of the patchwork. 

Next, lay the bottom piece over some cotton that will become lining of the pocket and trim it about an inch around the quilted block. This step is just to get the right size (I'm afraid I'm appalling at pre-planning and measurements!)
You now need to sew that lining to the bottom of the top piece, right sides together.

Fold the lining down flat, away from the quilted block, and top-stitch.

Next, make some binding to bind the top of the pocket.
Cut a 2.25" strip x 18". Press the strip in half lengthways.
Sew the binding to the top of the bottom block, rough edge up.

Fold the folded edge over to the back of the block. Sew in the ditch, on the front of the block. Sewing this way keeps the front tidy, but should still affix the binding to the back.

Next prepare the back of the cushion.
(I had on hand a long strip of scrap fabric leftover from a quilt back. so I just made it by sight)
You'll need two pieces for the back, both around 18" x 16". They should overlap around 5".
Turn over the edges that sit in the middle of the pillow twice and top stitch.

Lay the bottom block over the lining of the pillow and line up to sit right up against the patchworked top piece.
Trim the lining to the size of the bottom block.Pin the two pieces together.
Now lay the cushion back facing down with the overlap, lay the cushion front over the back, facing up, and trim it to size also.

Pin the two sides together and stitch around the edge to hold it for the binding stage.
Make around 70" of binding with the above method. Starting in the middle of on side, and around 5" in from the edge of the binding, sew around the outside of the cushion, 1/4" from the edge.

When you come to a corner, stop sewing 1/4" from the end of the cushion.
Fold the binding up so that it's in line with the next edge.
Fold it down to create a square top, and so the binding is now in line with the next edge. Sew down that edge and repeat till you get near the begining of your stitching. Leave another few inches and mark the meeting place by folding the two binding edges away from each other and press.

Open out the binding and sew along the crease.
Complete the stitching down the last edge.
Fold the binding over to the back and sew on the front, in the ditch, as above. (Or you can use your prefered binding method.)

Miter the corners on the back before you near the edge and go around the corners. You can see my stitching is wiggly, moving away from the corner, even with a walking foot. Any tips for perfect binding corners?

Now you've completed you pocket pillow! The perfect Christmas gift for a little one starting pre-school or kindy this year. Or you can use it for travelling, to store a book and a snack. And of course, my 5 yr old has already discovered stretching the pocket over his head! :)

This is one of the stop overs for Ms Midge's Cushion for Christmas Blog Hop! Be sure to check out the other blogs for great tutorials you can whip up in an afternoon. There's also a linky party and prizes to be won!

Sunday 1st December - Ms Midge
Monday 2nd December - Gemma at Pretty Bobbins
Tuesday 3rd December - Kristy at Quiet Play
& Ms Midge
Wednesday 4th December - Joshua at Molli Sparkles
Thursday 5th December -Rachel at Little White Dove 
Friday 6th December - Fiona at Finding Fifth
Saturday 7th December - Abby at Things For Boys
Sunday 8th December - Lauren at Molly & Mama Makes
Monday 9th December - Jodi at Tickle & Hide
Tuesday 10th December - Adrianne at On The Windy Side 
& Ms Midge
Wednesday 11th December - Alyce at Blossom Heart Quilts
Thursday 12th December - Gina at Party of Eight
Friday 13th December - Jane at Quilt Jane
Saturday 14th December - Round up of Blog Hop and link up YOUR projects!
Wednesday 18th December - Winners Announced! 

Ms Midge


  1. LOVE this little cushion! Thanks for joining in Jodi xxx

  2. Gorgeous Jodi! I love those fabrics. Great idea too. Thanks for the tute. Pinned! :)

  3. That is so cute! Great idea for preschool too!

  4. This is a great idea! Now I have to think about who I know that needs one! :-D
    E xx

  5. such a great idea - and I love the fabrics you have used :-)

  6. Hello - it may be late but it sure is worth it. Thanks for the tutorial and I have pinned it for future project work. Great fabric choices too - I must find your previous quilt.

  7. Great idea! Our youngest is making a mini-quilt as part of her preschool class, and I purchased some extra of the fabric she picked to make a Christmas-something. I think this is what I will do with it, so thanks for the great idea!

  8. Cute and useful, love that!! Children at Play is one of my faves! I think the yellow binding was the perfect choice and would make every day feel like a sunny day!!

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I so love your comments! I read all of them and reply when I can. If you don't hear back, I'm lost under a mound of scraps or outside jumping on the trampoline with the kids. Jodi. xx