How to make quilted throws

Updated April 17, 2017

Quilted throws are easy to make even for a beginning quilter. The beauty of creating throws in this way is that it is a perfect way to recycle old clothes and bed linens. The patterns don't have to match perfectly, and all kinds of colours can be put together. Fabric weights can be mixed, and matched and unlikely quilting materials, such as old blue jeans, can be worked into the mix. Any piece of fabric large enough to cut into a 12.5-cm (5-inch) square is fair game. The end result is a highly individual and personalised quilted throw.

Upper section

Make the template by cutting a 12.5-cm (5-inch) square out of cardboard. Any cardboard will do the job, even an old cereal box.

Use the template to mark the fabric, then cut out as many 12.5-cm (5-inch) squares of material as you need to make a throw of the desired size. Using 12.5 cm as the size makes it easy to work out how many squares are needed. It also gives a good size square for beginning quilters and makes the quilt progress faster.

Lay out all the squares in rows in the pattern you like most. The overall size, colour and shape of the throw will now be visible and you can easily make adjustments to the colours or pattern before you start sewing. Once you've decided the order of the squares, stack each row into an individual pile.

Sew the squares together to form the rows. Use a straight stitch on the sewing machine and keep the right sides of the squares together, allowing a 1.5-cm (5/8-inch) seam allowance. As the longest you're sewing at this stage is 12.5 cm (5 inches), there should be no need for pins.

Machine sew the long strips of squares together to form the top of the quilted throw. Pin the rows together first if it helps to align the squares.

Creating the "sandwich"

Sandwich together the quilt top, the batting and the sheet. Keep the right sides of the quilt top and the sheet facing outward.

Using the yarn and needle, tie the quilted throw together by hand sewing through the layers. Working from the top of the quilt, push the needle through all layers and draw the yarn through to the back of the quilt, leaving a 10-cm (4-inch) tail showing on the front. Push the needle back through the layers to the front again and cut the yarn to leave another 10-cm (4-inch) tail. Tie the tails in a knot, then either snip off the ends or tie a bow.

Create these ties in every other square on the throw. The end result will be a brickwork effect of little knots or bows. You can use different colours of yarn to either contrast with or match the colour of the square.

Finish the edges

Pin the bias binding around the edges of the quilt so that it envelops all three quilt layers. Tuck in the folds at the corners to make them neat and tack into place through all the layers.

Machine sew the binding into place with either a straight or zigzag stitch along the tacked lines.

Remove the tacking stitches.


Old blankets can be used in place of store-bought batting to keep the cost down.


Avoid using the seams of jeans when cutting out the squares. The extra fabric thickness may break your sewing machine needle.

Things You'll Need

  • Fabric
  • Cardboard square template
  • Scissors
  • Sewing machine
  • Pins
  • Old sheet
  • Batting
  • Yarn
  • Sewing needle
  • Bias (or other fabric) binding
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About the Author

Deborah Jones started her freelance writing career in 1990. Her work has appeared in The Writer's Forum, "Reader's Digest" and numerous D.C. Thomson magazines. Jones has a Bachelor of Arts in creative writing and a postgraduate certificate in education, both from the University of Derby.