Sewing Directions for a Puff Quilt

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Puff quilts, otherwise known as biscuit quilts, aren't really quilts at all. True quilts consist of two layers of fabric with a layer of batting in between them, which are sewn together with stitching called quilting. Puff quilts are made from dozens or hundreds of tiny pillows that are sewn together into rows to create a soft and warm comforter. Puff quilts are simple enough for school children to construct and are an ideal take-along project for doing handwork during odd moments like waiting in a doctor's office or watching a soccer game.

Things You'll Need

  • Cotton muslin
  • Cotton quilt fabric
  • Measuring tape
  • Scissors
  • Pins
  • Needle
  • Thread
  • Polyfill stuffing

Make Pillows

Cut 4-inch squares of cotton muslin. The amount of squares you need will depend on the desired size of your finished quilt. Many people make these quilts as ongoing projects, so they simply cut a pile of squares and sew them, then cut another pile of squares.

Cut an equal number of 5 1/2 inch squares of cotton quilt fabric. Use two fabrics, a collection of coordinated fabrics or many different patterns for a scrappy design.

Lay one muslin square on the table in front of you. Lay a quilt cotton square on top of the muslin square with the right side, or more colorful side, facing up. Match up the two bottom seams of the two fabric squares. The top square is larger than the muslin square, so make a pleat in the center of the edge to make the ends match up. You will have an edge with both corners matched and a pleat in the middle. Pin two other sides of this square in the same manner.

Sew around the three pinned sides of the square using a 1/4-inch seam allowance. This will create a fabric pocket that puffs up on top.

Stuff this fabric pocket with a small handful of polyfill stuffing. Stuff the pocket lightly so you don't strain the seams. You want enough filling to make the pillow part stand up, but not enough to make the pillow feel firm.

Pin the fourth edge together in the same manner as the first three and sew it together, keeping the stuffing away from the seam line.

Constructing the Quilt

Hold together two finished puffs with their right sides together and one set of edges matching. Pin these edges together and sew them, using a 1/4-inch seam allowance. You will have to push the pillow puffs together, squashing them so that you can match up the two seam allowances and pin the puffs together.

Sew another puff to the opposite side of one of the first pair of puffs. This will create a line of three puffs in a row. Continue adding puffs until your row is the desired width of your finished quilt.

Make enough identical rows to create the correct length for your finished quilt. Pin and sew all the puff rows together to make a finished comforter top.

Cut a piece of quilt fabric the size of your finished comforter, plus 1/2 inch. This is your quilt backing fabric.

Lay the backing fabric on the table with the right side up. Lay the puff comforter on top of the backing fabric with the right side down. Match up all four edges and pin them closed. Stitch all four edges, using a 1/4-inch seam allowance, leaving a 12-inch unfinished gap in the last seam. Turn the puff quilt right side out through this unfinished gap, then pin and stitch the opening closed.

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