I have written about how to make a puff quilt before now for a wall hanging, but it occurred to me that a puff quilt (also known as biscuit quilt) would make a great cushion or seat pad. This one is 15″ square and is designed for my dining room chair – although it could also be used outside just for sitting on the grass. If you wanted to make a seat for a garden bench you would just have to make a lot more puffs.
Cutting requirements for a puff quilt cushion
10″ squares: five red, four blue
5″ squares: five blue, four red
Two 2″ strips of black fabric cut across the width of fabric for the binding
Stuffing of some sort – I used toy stuffing
How to make a puff quilt cushion
Place a blue 5″ square on a red 10″ square with wrong sides together. Pin the corners of the blue square to the corners of the red square – yes, I know that they don’t exactly fit together, but this is just the first stage!
Beginning at the corners of one edge, smooth the red fabric towards the middle so that the blue and red lie together along the edge, but with a big loop of the red sticking out in the middle of the edge. Flatten this loop down so that it forms two pleats, one each side of the centre. The video may help more here than words can. Pin the pleats in place and sew across the edge using a 1/4″ seam.
Repeat this on three edges of the square.
This will leave you with a pouch formed where the fourth edge is not sewn down.
Sew a line of gathering stitching across the fourth edge of the red square. This is just a long running stitch. Make sure that you leave the ends of the threads trailing.
Take some stuffing and fill the pouch with it. The more stuffing you use, the more comfy your cushion will be, but don’t overfill the pouch because that will make it difficult to sew the final seam. It will also be more difficult to sew all the puffs to each other.
Pull the ends of the threads from the gathering stitching to start to gather the red edge up so that you can make it the same length as the blue edge. Push the stuffing away so that you can sew the gathered red edge to the blue edge.
Sew the two edges together to complete the first puff. This isn’t as difficult as it may seem at first. Use your left hand to flatten the puff so that your sewing machine only has to work on two layers of fabric, not the stuffing as well.
Make nine of these puffs altogether – five red with blue bases and four blue with red bases – and lay them out in three rows of three, alternating red and blue.
How to make a puff quilt – sewing them together
Place two puffs with the bases (the flat sides) together. Sew them together. This is a bit more difficult than sewing the final seam on each puff, but just take it slowly and try to flatten the puffs with your left hand as you sew. Sew the three puffs together across each row and then sew the rows to each other.
The reason that I have shown you how to make a puff quilt in this way is that the base of the cushion is now neat and tidy because the seam allowances stick up between the puffs where they are hidden. That means that at this stage all you have to do is neaten the edges in some way – you don’t need to add another layer of fabric on the base to cover the seams.
I thought long and hard about how to finish the cushion and I considered just putting a zigzag stitch around the edge. I decided that this wouldn’t look as good as binding, so I used 2″ strips of black fabric and bound the edges just like a normal quilt, even though there are only two layers of fabric at the edge. I’m pleased that I did, because I think that this gives a more professional finish to the cushion.
I hope that this has helped you to see how to make a puff quilt cushion. The video may help to show it more clearly: