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Monday, February 3, 2014

Cuddle Floor Pillow Tutorial and Matching Blankets

If your children are like mine, they live on the floor.  Whether they are playing with cars, trains, Legos, paints, crayons, dolls, or watching television, they are sitting or sliding around in the floor. We have hardwood floors in most of the rooms of our house, and sometimes it can be a bit uncomfortable and cold in the cooler months to sit on it for a long time.

So when Shannon Fabrics asked me if I wanted to try out some of their newest Cuddle fabrics, I jumped at the chance to make my daughter and son their own Cuddle Floor Pillow and Blanket.

First, let's talk fabrics.  I chose Embossed Chevron in Fuchsia for the Cuddle on my daughter, Ella's, pillow and blanket.  I then picked out some bright, cheery, cotton Ann Kelle prints from Robert Kaufman (Garden and Summer Ovals from the Remix Collection and Jewel from the Girl Friends Collection) to use as the inner pillow form, piping, part of the main pillow, and the blanket binding.

For my son, Connor's pillow and blanket, I went with Cuddle in Superheros Bright and the Comic Strip Panel in Bright.  For the inner pillow form, piping, and part of the main pillow, I chose the coordinating cotton fabrics (Steel and Red) from Robert Kaufman's Superhero line.  All of these fabrics are top-notch quality, held their color after washing, and were easy to sew.

Next, let's discuss the blankets.  I won't go into a lot of detail here since there are so many Cuddle blanket versions and tutorials available already on the internet, but I will give a brief overview of how I put together these two.

For Ella's pink blanket, I cut out two pieces of Cuddle 5 feet long and 4 feet wide (which translates to 1 2/3 yards fabric required).  For the binding, I cut 6 - 5" wide strips (approximately 1 yard) of the cotton fabric to sew around the perimeter of the blanket. There are a number of ways you could attach the binding, so I will leave that up to you!

For Connor's Superhero blanket, I took the Comic Strip Panel and cut out the center newspaper print and words above and below it.  I also cut off the skyline images, removed the superhero characters (and used my wash cloth tutorial to make them into Superhero Cuddle/Terry Wash Cloths), and then resewed the skyline panels back along the sides of the newspaper print.  I then sewed the Superhero Cuddle to the top and bottom of these pieced prints to make the overall blanket be 5 feet long.  The width was determined by the pieced prints but ended up being less than four feet.  I used a single piece of the Superhero Cuddle for the back and completed the blanket without any binding.

Now on to the tutorial for the fun Cuddle Floor Pillows!

These are really quite simple to make, but do require a few steps for the construction.  Both pillows have a zippered opening so that an interior pillow form may be removed so that the exterior pillow sham may be laundered.  I felt like this option was very important considering these pillows will primarily be used on the floor.

Here are the supplies required to make a single 20" wide x 30" long x 5" thick Cuddle floor pillow.

Inner Pillow Form (all Cotton fabric):

2 Pieces cut 20" wide x 30" long
2 Pieces cut 5" wide x 50 1/2" long
Either 1 - 2 cubic foot (2 1/2 pounds) bag of Fairfield Bean Bag Filler or 50 oz. bag of Fairfield Polyester Fiberfill or Polyfil

Pillow Sham:

2 Pieces of Cuddle cut 20" wide x 30" long
2 Pieces of Cotton cut 1 1/2" wide x 3" long
2 Pieces of Cotton cut 5" wide x 24 1/2" long 
2 Pieces of  Cotton cut 5" wide x 26 1/2" long
1 22" long polyester zipper
1 Piece of Cotton cut 4" wide x 8" long
2 Pieces of interfacing or stabilizer cut 1 1/2" wide x 4" long
6 yards piping (store bought or homemade)

First, construct the pillow form by sewing the short ends of the 5" wide x 50 1/2" long pieces together using a 1/4" seam allowance.  When you are done, press the seams open.  You should now have a loop of fabric.

Next, find the center of either the long or short side of the 20" x 30" pieces of fabric and mark with a pin. Take one of the seams of the loop of fabric and match it with the center mark you just found (right sides together).  Pin.  Continue pinning all around the rectangle of fabric, then sew the two together using a 1/4" seam.

Repeat on the other side of the loop but make sure to leave an opening roughly 6" wide for inserting the filling.

Turn the pillow form right side out and then stuff with either the Fairfield Bean Bag Filling or Polyfil.  When done, turn the raw edges in, pin, and hand stitch closed.  

* I'm going to add a little quick note here about the filling.  Fairfield provided me with a bag of each--the Bean Bag Filling and the Polyfil--and asked me to give my opinion about which worked better for this project. 

For Ella's pillow form, I used the Polyfil.  To make it nice and full, it took at least 2/3 of the 50 oz. bag (so roughly 33-34 oz. of material).  It's very soft and feels like a traditional bed pillow and is definitely comfortable to lay or sit on.  The fiberfill keeps the pillow's rectangular shape.

For Connor's pillow form, I used the Bean Bag Filling.  I used the entire bag (minus about a cup that I spilled all over the floor), and definitely found this a little trickier than the Polyfil to insert into the pillow form.  The Bean Bag Filling makes the floor pillow great for lounging on the floor since the pellets provide a firmer foundation and the shape of the pillow is not so rigid.  However, the Bean Bag Filling makes the pillow a little noisy when you move around on it!

Overall, my preference for fill material is the Fairfield Bean Bag Filling.  Both of my children seem to like it better, too, which has caused a little upset at times by Ella because she likes the feel of her brother's pillow over hers.  I eventually may have to replace the Polyfil in her floor pillow with Bean Bag Filling!

Now we are ready to construct the pillow sham.  Start by cutting one of the 5" wide x 24 1/2" long pieces of cotton fabric in half along the length (you should now have 2 pieces that are 2.5" wide x 24 1/2" long). These pieces will form the gusset for the zippered opening.  Lay out these two pieces along with your zipper and 2 - 1 1/2" wide x 3" long pieces of fabric.

Fold the 1 1/2" wide x 3" long pieces of fabric in half so they are now 1 1/2" square.  Place the folded edge over each end of the zipper as shown below and stitch in place as shown.  Then trim the fabric so it is the same width as the zipper (do not trim the length).

Match the edge of the zipper to the edge of the 2 1/2" wide x 24 1/2" long strip of fabric.  Don't worry if the little squares of fabric overhang the ends.  Pin the zipper in place and then sew using a zipper foot.

Fold the seam open and finger press.  Repeat for the other side.  Now your zipper gusset should look like this.

Topstitch on either side of the zipper using your zipper foot.

Now take the 5" wide x 26 1/2" long pieces of fabric and sew to each short end of the zipper gusset using a 1/4" seam allowance.  Finish the raw edge with a zig zag stitch or serger and then topstitch the seam away from the zipper.  This will help reinforce the pillow sham seams.

Sew the last 5" wide x 24 1/2" long strip to complete the loop which will be the thickness of the pillow sham.  Again, be sure to finish the raw edges and topstitch the seam.

Now, match the raw edges of the piping to the raw edges of the fabric loop and pin in place.  Sew together using a zipper foot and a 1/4" seam allowance.

We're now ready to make the handle which will make it easy to pick up and carry the pillow.

Ideally, the handle should be made and attached before you sew the Cuddle onto the gusset; however, I made Ella's pillow first without a handle, so that is why you see the sham already assembled in the picture below.

Find the center of the handle and the center of one of the long sides of the gusset.  Pin the handle in place making sure that you have a piece of the interfacing or stabilizer pinned on the wrong side of the gusset under the ends of the handle.

Stitch the handle ends in place using the topstitching lines and the mark you made as a guide.  For added reinforcement, sew an "x" inside the box.  Turn to the wrong side and then trim the stabilizer.

Here's what your handle should look like from the front.

We're almost done!

Now it's time to sew the Cuddle sides onto the gusset.  For this part, I found the center of my zipper and the center of one of the edges of the Cuddle and begin pinning with right sides together. Continue pinning all the way around.  At the corners, you can round them out slightly to make sewing together easier. Stitch the pieces together using a 1/4" seam allowance and your zipper foot. Repeat for the other side making sure that your Cuddle pattern or nap follows the same direction as the opposite side of the pillow. Make sure you leave the zipper open a few inches so you can turn it right side out when you are done sewing!

Insert the pillow form inside the pillow sham, and you are done!

Watch your children smile and enjoy!

To see my quick tutorial on how to add Cuddle knee patches to pajama pants, click HERE!

If you like this tutorial and project, please leave me a comment letting me know!  I'd love to hear from you! Also, if you want to see more Shannon Fabrics' Cuddle inspired ideas, visit their blog at My Cuddle Corner!

Have fun sewing!


  1. Those are so awesome!! I've got a Craft Gossip post scheduled for this morning that links to your tutorial:

  2. I love this tutorial, thanks!! This would also be great for dog beds, as well! :)

  3. Ooh, they're nice and large so perfect for lounging around on. They're sure to get lots of use.

  4. Where did you get the bean bag filler??

    1. I received mine from the manufacturer, but you can order it online through Amazon or Walmart.

  5. I love these cuddle floor pillows and plan to make some. Thanks for the great tutorial. Just found you today via Craft Gossip.

    1. You are welcome! So glad you found my blog too! Please share a picture of yours when it is done!


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