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Curating sewing and quilting talent, techniques, and tutorials, since 1997.

Quilted Cushion Top

The objective of this tutorial is to provide an introduction to quilting for beginning quilters, equipping them with basic skills to further their quilting journey.  It will be presented in three parts -

      1.    Making the cushion top          -    patchwork
      2.    Quilting the cushion top         -    quilting
      3.    Assembling the cushion         -    sewing 

An important note: Unless otherwise stated it is generally understood that all seam allowances in patchwork and quilting are 1/4".  A 1/4" sewing machine foot is usually available for all sewing machine brands.

Also, unless otherwise stated seam allowances are not pressed open but are pressed closed together.

Part 1 -  Making the Cushion Top

The Finished Cushion Top

Things you will need:


Scrap coloured fabric - minimum size for a single piece  2 1/2" x 6 1/2"

White fabric (this will be cut into   2 /12" squares)

Rotary Cutter

Quilters ruler

Cotton (neutral colour - I have used black for ease of viewing)

1/4" sewing machine foot



The cushion top is made by joining four pieced squares (called quadrants) - two with the diagonal of white blocks slanted to the left and two with the diagonal of white blocks slanted to the right (see above photograph).  The following instructions are to be repeated to produce two blocks of each orientation.


Cutting Instructions: are the same for left and right slanted orientations.


  • cut four     2 1/2" white squares for each quarter (ie sixteen 2 1/2" squares in total)
  • cut eight    2 1/2" x 6 1/2" coloured rectangles (mine are different colours but they don't have to be)
  • cut eight    2 1/2" x 4 1/2" coloured rectangles, and
  • cut eight    2 1/2" squares of the same fabric as the 2 1/2" x 4 1/2" rectangles (see photograph above)


Block with Left Slanted White Squares

1. layout cut pieces of fabric in the correct placement

2. Starting with the top row and using 1/4" seam allowance align raw edges with right sides together and sew the pieces for each row to each other.

3. press seam allowance towards the coloured fabric on each row

4. After sewing each row together and pressing all seam allowances in each row towards the coloured fabric lay the rows back on your cutting mat in their proper places.

5. Each row will now be sewn together.  As there are four rows in each quadrant it is better to sew them together in pairs.  Because the seam allowances have been pressed towards the coloured fabric in each row, when you place two rows together for sewing, the seam allowances will butt together (called opposing seams) and this will help align your seams on the right side of your work for very neat and accurate joins.

6. When aligning opposing seam allowances pin on either side to ensure the seams do not move apart when sewing.

7. Aligning raw edges with right sides together, sew the rows together into two pairs. When this has been done for both pairs lay them back in correct position and then sew the two pairs together in the same way.


The left slanted block is now complete. Repeat so you have two of these blocks.


Block with Right Slanted White Squares

Lay out all the cut fabric pieces in the correct positions.  Following the above steps complete two blocks with this right slanting white squares orientation.


Sewing the Four Quadrants Together


Layout the four quadrants in the correct positions. As when making the four quadrant blocks we join them  by sewing together pairs first and then joining these two larger units into the whole cushion top.

As before, the opposing seams will nestle into each other and should be pinned in place before sewing. First sew the two tops together (vertical seam as above) by placing right sides together, aligning raw edges and nestling opposing seams. When pressing the seams, press the seam allowance for the top two pairs to the left and the seam allowance for the bottom two pairs to the right. Nestle these two opposing seams together and pin in place.  Now sew the top half to the bottom half. Press this seam towards the top pair.
The cushion top is now complete!

This tutorial was written by Karen Pior of Sew Well Maide.  You can visit Karen at her blog as well as browse her quilting patterns for sale at her Etsy Shop


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