Harry Potter Transforming Cushion Quilt Tutorial

I was lucky enough to be one of the first people to get their hands on the fab new Harry Potter fabrics thanks to the lovely people at the Cotton Craft Company. There are 10 designs in the collection and I was given 8 to play with. When I was thinking of Harry Potter projects that I could make, I thought maybe a reading cushion or bookmarks. Maybe a book bag or something book related.

My cousin is a huge Harry Potter fan and since I knew I had this fabric arriving I gave her an "IOU something made with Harry Potter fabric when it arrives" for her birthday. Although I think she would have liked anything HP related, a bookmark or bag just didn't seem magical enough. I needed something that transformed or had some kind of surprise element to it. After a lot of thought I came up with the concept of a quilt that folded back up into a cushion. I made a demo version with an existing blanket and some safety pins and it seemed to work. So here is is my Harry Potter Secret Quilt Cushion Tutorial. Although the idea was inspired by the magic of Harry Potter, you could of course create this quilt using any fabrics. I have since discovered that this is not a new concept (nothing ever is!) and they are known as a "quillow".

This project will take around 5 hours so you might need to do it over a few sessions. It is for personal use only. Please also be aware that the Harry Potter fabrics are fully licensed and anything you make with them should be for personal use only.


- 1 metre of each of the house colour fabrics

- Half metre of 3 other designs

- Fat quarter of Marauder's Map

- Wadding 44 x 50"

- Sewing machine

- Fabric scissors

- Rotary cutter and quilting ruler (optional)

- Pins

- Iron and ironing board

1. Start by cutting out the fabric for your quilt. The squares are 4x4". You will need a piece measuring 22 x 25.5" of each of the house colours for the back so make sure you cut these out first and then cut the squares out with what is left. You will need the following:

15 red

15 green

19 yellow

19 blue

23 cream Harry Potter

23 black logo

22 newspaper

2. Lay out your patches in order ready to sew. I have arranged the house colours in the order they appear on the Hogwarts crest so it goes red, green, yellow, blue. Each section is 5 by 6 squares. I have done it in the following order: black, house, cream, house, newspaper, house etc. Continuing the pattern of the 3 generic fabrics really helps tie the fabric together.

I have allowed 3/8" seam allowance and sewed red and green house sections first, sewing each row and then sewing the rows together. Press in between each stage to ensure accuracy.

3. The yellow and blue sections are done in 3 columns to allow for the secret cushion to be hidden amongst it. Sew the first 3 yellow columns as one section, then 4 blue and yellow and then the final 3 blue. See the picture of the 5 sections laid out for reference.

4. You now need to make your cushion pocket. The idea is that it is a secret and hidden so I have repeated the bottom middle section. Sew these 16 squares together. The cushion will be around 50cm squared.

Cut a piece of wadding the same size and pin the two sections together. Quilt diagonally across the squares, I though this helped tie in the fabrics and would be easier to match up with the main quilt. I decided on grey thread because it generally works with most colours and there wasn't a dominating colour.

5. Cut out a piece if Marauder's map fabric to fit the back of your cushion. With right sides together sew along the top edge only. Fold them with wrong sides together and press. The other three edges will be hidden inside. Tack or pin the other three edges to stop them from moving around.

6. Place your cushion over the bottom middle yellow and blue sections. It should look the same. Pin it into place and then match up the other two sides, sew and press. Accuracy is super important at this stage to help keep your secret.

7. Now you sew red and green together and then sew top and bottom sections together. Press, your quilt top is complete. I have pressed all my seams open to make it easier to match up my squares.

8. I played around with a few different backing options. I thought about just doing a blanket but I only like sewing polar fleece, all other fleeces are so slippery and tricky to sew. The polar fleece wasn't thick enough so I stuck with a quilt. I thought any one of the fabrics on their own would look good but it was wider than the fabric width so it would have to be pieced. Just the simple four house colours looked really effective and mirrored the front well so I went with that.

Sew your top two sections together first, then the bottom two, press and then sew top and bottom together and press.


9. Now for the quilting. Lay out the wadding on the back of your quilt top. Place the quilt back on top and match up each coloured section, this bit is a bit tricky and might take a bit of shuffling around. When you are all lined up, pin and you are ready.

I have continued the diagonal quilting with the same grey thread as the cushion. When you get to the edge of the secret cushion, stop, you don't want to sew this down! I have just done a back stitch to secure it and trimmed the threads at the end.

10. When it is all quilted, trim your edges and bind. I always make my own binding and usually stick to 2" strips. I have more details on how to do this on my Peter Rabbit quilt tutorial. I thought the black with the Harry Potter wording worked really well for the binding.

Your quilt is complete! To fold it into a cushion, put your hands in the pocket and keep hold of the corners, pull them out and push the corners out, fold up the quilt and tuck it inside. Magic!

I would love to see if you give this tutorial a go. Make sure you subscribe to my mailing list to be the first to hear of future tutorials and new fabric ranges.

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