School or Team Themed Quillow Project Idea

Today I’d like to share this quillow I made for my child who attends RIT.  If you have never heard of a quillow before, it’s a quilt that folds into a pillow or a pillow quilt.

This quillow can be made in any school or team color. It is perfect for a dorm or college apartment since it can be used as either a warm lap quilt or a pillow.

There are school and team logos available for free or for purchase online, one could be made for your favorite team or school. 

This quillow is made with two layers of super soft fleece fabrics.  A pocket is added on one side of the quilt and by folding the quilt and putting it into the pocket, it becomes a pillow.School or Team Themed Quillow - fb

Today, I do not have a full tutorial for you on this project but I will give general information on how I made it. 

If you would like a full tutorial on making a quillow, please go to our YouTube video or Contact Us page and leave a comment letting us know!  

Watch our video or keep reading about this school-themed quillow project.

COMPLETE VIDEO TUTORIAL AVAILABLE! The video below is a preview with no audio, to watch the whole video tutorial, click the link School or Team Themed Quillow Project Idea to watch in Youtube.

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Quillow Project

This quilt can be folded and tucked into the pocket to make it into a pillow.  Below is a photo of it as a pillow.  For this quillow, I appliqued the RIT logo and used the school colors of orange and black.  RIT stands for Rochester Institute of Technology and its mascot is a tiger.

Theme Quillow Folded Into Pillow

When the quillow is unfolded, it becomes a large lap sized quilt with a pocket on one side.Theme Quillow Front

This quillow is very soft and fluffy because it’s made with two layers of soft fleece fabrics.  A layer of flannel was put in between the layers instead of batting.  This quilt was pretty heavy with just the fleece so it didn't need thicker batting.

This will be a nice warm blanket for the cold days and nights in Rochester this winter! 

About the Quillow Pocket

Almost any blanket can be modified into a quillow just by adding a pocket.  So, even if you purchased a blanket, add a pocket and it will be a quillow!

Theme Quillow Pocket

The pocket is made with two layers of flannel since that is less stretchy than the fleece. The pocket is attached after the blanket is completed.

If you want the logo or applique to appear when the quilt is open or as a pillow, place the logo on BOTH sides of the pocket.

Making the quillow Pocket

The quillow pocket is made 1/3 the size of the width of the quilt and a square. My quillow pocket was made to be a 20" x 20" finished size.

Cut two pieces of black flannel fabric 20 1/2" x 20 1/2".  After adding the applique to both pieces of black flannel, the pieces were sewn together, turned pressed and topstitched.  

The pocket can be quilted if desired before adding it to the quilt.  Be careful if quilting since you have the logo or applique on both sides.

Making the quillow Pocket Applique

To make the applique, I used a Cricut machine to cut out the logo. Start with a downloadable SVG version of the school logo available on the school's website.  School and team logos can be purchased in SVG format or downloaded from their website.

I borrowed a friend's Cricut machine and she helped me with editing the SVG logo and cutting the fabrics.  It's likely the SVG logo will need editing before cutting out the fabric.  

The RIT logo SVG had a LOT of layers and colors.  My friend helped me learn how to use the Cricut software to edit the SVG logo to reduce the layers and get something that would be easier to cut from fabric.

I reduced the logo to two layers of fabric, white background and orange for the letters and tiger paw.  Once I had the logo ready, it was time to prepare the fabrics for cutting.  

Theme Quillow Close Up Applique

I backed the white & orange fabrics with heat-n-bond lite and then cut out the logo using the Cricut machine.  Once the pieces were cut out, the orange pieces were placed on top of the white background and fused together.

The finished logo was then fused to the black flannel pocket square.  I used the raw edge fusible applique technique to attach the logo to the fabric.

Don't have a Cricut Machine?

The logo applique could also be made using raw edge or turned edge applique.  Our page How to Applique has many tutorials on these methods but the basic steps are below.

  1. Print out a picture of the logo in the desired size.  You will want to print it out inverted (opposite).
  2. Trace the sections to be cut out onto heat-n-bond paper.  Trace all of the same color onto one section of heat-n-bond.  Layers are traced separately.
  3. Fuse the heat-n-bond to the back of the fabric pieces (this is why the pattern needs to be inverted.  Cut the fabric pieces out on the traced lines.
  4.  Remove the backings from the top layers and fuse them in place.  The bottom layer keeps the paper until it's ready to be fuzed onto the fleece pocket fabric.
  5. Stitch around the pieces. 

Making the Quillow Blanket

The easiest way to make a quillow is to purchase two fabrics, cut the fabrics in thirds lengthwise and swap the colors and sew them together.  With this method, the width of your fabric determines the width of the quillow.

For a toddler or kid's quillow, 42"-43" wide fabric is wide enough as they are smaller.  I've made a couple in the past with 42" wide flannel and they turned out nice and soft.Theme Quillow Quilting Close Up 3

For an adult, a wider fabric should be used.  A 60" wide fleece fabric is a perfect size for a lap-sized quillow blanket.  My quillow ended up being around 55" x 66".  

For the fabric length, I purchased two yards of each fabric (72" long).  Since the fabrics are cut in thirds lengthwise, the length of the fabric determines the length of the quilt.  Purchase a longer piece of fabric if you want a longer quillow.

For my quillow, I purchased two colors of super soft fleece fabric in the team colors. I also have a layer of flannel in between.  2 yards of each fabric are needed.

Basic Steps for Making the Quillow

I don't have a photo tutorial or full pattern for this project, if you would like to see a full tutorial, please go to our YouTube video or Contact Us page and leave a comment letting us know!  

My instructions are assuming the use of 60" wide fleece fabric for the outside layers and a layer of flannel in place of batting.

  1. Cut the two fleece fabrics in thirds.  So, my pieces were approximately 20" wide by 72" long.
  2. Sew the 20" strips of fabric together with a 1/2" seam allowance by swapping the two middle sections.  This will make the colors alternate. 
  3. Use the pillowcase method to make this quilt. Layer the two pieced layers right sides together matching all four edges and the seams.  
  4. Cut the flannel batting fabric to be the size of the pieced quilt.  Lay this piece on top.
  5. Pin & sew all around leaving an 8" opening for turning.  Use a 1/2" seam allowance.
  6. Turn the quilt through the opening.  Push out all corners, lay flat.
  7. Hand stitch the opening closed with a ladder stitch.

The quilt is ready to be quilted.Theme Quillow Quilting Close Up

Quilting the Quillow layers

Once you have the quillow blanket sewn together, turned and the opening stitched closed, it's time to quilt the layers.

The quillow doesn't need a lot of quilting, but I would recommend at minimum sewing down the seam lines or tying the quilt to hold the layers together.  This will ensure the blanket will not get all bunched up when it's laundered.

Pin-baste the quilt to hold the layers together matching up the seam lines as best as you can.Quillow Showing Quilt Lines Back

I decided to quilt straight lines in groups of five both vertically and horizontally across the quilt.Theme Quillow Front Bottom Half

Since there are large sections not quilted, I added ties in those sections.  This will ensure those sections stay together properly during washing the quilt.Quillow Close Up Quilt Lines

Quilts can combine different quilting methods.  Don’t feel limited to using one method or another, do what you feel is suitable for the quilt you are making.Theme Quillow Back

Add the Quillow Pocket

Once the blanket is quilted, the pocket section is appliqued onto the center at one end of the quilt.  

Lay the pocket at one end of the quilt over the center section and sew around three sides (top, left & right).  Leave open along the bottom.Theme Quillow Front Top Half

The quillow is finished!

Folding the Quillow

The quillow is folded by laying the quilt with the pocket side facing down.  Fold the two sides to the center in thirds.  Fold the end up in thirds so that the size of the folded quilt is the same size as the pocket.

Turn the pocket inside out putting the folded fabric inside the pocket as you are turning it.

Visit our page on How to Make and Fold a Quillow for several step-by-step videos and photo tutorials on folding a quillow.Theme Quillow Back Bottom Close Up

We hope you enjoyed learning about this school-themed quillow project I made.

Happy Quilting!

Chris's Signature


If you have any questions about this project, contact us through the YouTube Video comments or our Contact Us page. We respond to questions in e-mails and YouTube comments regularly.

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