How to Sew a Patchwork Cushion

Updated November 22, 2016

Making a pillow or cushion as a functional item for your home can be practical and inexpensive, but to add a touch of charm a patchwork cushion can be made just as simply and give more style to the room you're putting it in. While the pattern is straightforward, basic knowledge of your machine and working with fabrics can make sewing a patchwork cushion an enjoyable task. Once your cushion is complete you can place it on a chair, couch or bed for an instant look of comfort and appeal.

Cut up a variety of cotton fabrics using a rotary cutter to make 16 squares each 4½ inches in size. The fabrics can vary greatly for a rainbow like patchwork, or vary within a single colour, such as multiple shades and patterns all using blue.

Pair two squares together with the patterned sides facing in. Sew the squares down one side with a 1/4-inch seam to form a rectangle. Pair the other squares in sets of two and sew until you have eight sets of two. Iron the squares to open the seam and make the rectangles lie flat.

Select two rectangle units and align them on one short side with the pattern facing in. Sew the rectangles on the short side to form a strip. Pair together and sew the remaining rectangles to form four strips in total. Iron open the new seam of each strip.

Pair two strips together along one long side with the pattern facing in. Sew down the long side and iron the seam. Repeat with the other two strips and iron. Pair the final two 2-by-4-square units along one long side with the pattern facing in. Sew and iron to complete the patchwork pillow top.

Cut a section of fabric that you want to use for the back of the pillow to 16½ inches square. Lay the fabric on a flat surface with the pattern facing up. Lay the patchwork square over the backing fabric with the pattern facing down.

Sew the backing and patchwork squares together down three sides, using a backstitch at the corners where your seams starts and stops. Turn the cushion right side out through the open side.

Stuff the cushion full with stuffing or push a pillow form inside it. Turn the raw ends of the cushion's backing and patchwork fabric inward by a 1/4-inch and pin the fold together to hold the pillow closed. Sew along the opening, removing pins as you go, to close the cushion.


Purchasing "fat quarters" can give you a variety of colours, patterns and styles in your fabrics without leaving a lot of extra fabric behind when your project is complete.

Things You'll Need

  • Variety of cotton fabrics
  • Rotary cutter
  • Sewing machine
  • Iron
  • Backing fabric
  • Stuffing or 14 inch pillow form
  • Pins
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