How to Make a Biscuit or Puff Quilt

Article by

These quilts are so easy to make in any size. Basically, you make individual stuffed squares from cloth and sew the squares together. These quilts date back to the 19th century and were very popular in the 1970’s when people discovered recycling.

You can be very creative with your design. Make all your squares the same, use different pieces of fabric for each square, arrange your squares to a design you create.

The squares can be large or small; for your first quilt, start with larger squares; try four inch squares. Each square consists of two square pieces sewn together; the bottom piece is cut 4″ square and the top piece is cut one inch larger, 5″. This provides room for the stuffing to fit inside.

Using 4″ squares, you will need approximately 115 squares to make a 60 x 84 inch quilt (15 x 21 squares).

Gather around the 5″ square or make darts in the middle of two of the sides to fit the 4″ square. Place the two squares right side together and baste together at three of the edges (one side is left open to insert the stuffing).

Turn right side out, carefully pulling the corners out. Fill with lightweight polyester filling. You can use old nylons or other stuffing but you will find your quilt very heavy when it is done. If you don’t put in a general amount of stuffing, you will find that you quilt flattens over time. Slip stitch the open end closed. (using a slip stitch makes the stitches invisible).

Distribute the stuffing evenly. For larger squares, it is recommended that you place a stitch in the center; two stitches with embroidery thread arranged in an x is easy and will keep your stuffing from slipping. If you have small squares, you will not need to do this.

Hint: Do not stuff until you have finished cutting and sewing all the squares. It is easier to store cloth squares then puffy squares.

Note: These quilts are lovely but can be tedious as they are repetitive. Don’t be in a hurry and be sure to watch TV or listen to the radio while you work or work with a friend and chat as you work.

When all your squares are finished, you can join them together by: slip stitching them together or use rickrack, braid or ribbon to join.

The quilt should have a backing. Cut your backing from sheet material or satin, place it on top of the right side of the quilt, slip stitch around three of the outer edges, turn inside out so the right side of the quilt is showing and slip stitch the remaining edge. If you wish you can tack one or two x stitches throughout the quilt to hold the back in place.

It is optional to place an edging around your quilt; use lace, a ruffle or braiding.


How to Slip Stitch:

This is used to stitch two folded edges together without showing the stitches. You must take very small stitches on the fold catching only a few threads of the fabric.

Reprints: Please feel free to link to this page. Please do not reproduce this page on the Internet; you may link to it instead. You may print this page for your own personal use but not for commercial use or distribution.