Animal Cuddle Pocket Quilt

Categories: Gifts, Kid Friendly, Quilts

This fun pocket pillow quilt goes together in less than a day when you use a couple of Cuddle Cake precuts from Shannon Fabrics and batting from Fairfield.  An optional layer of Shield from Fairfield gives the quilt water resistance, so you can party outdoor without concerns of damp grass soaking through…or party indoors and protect from all those tea party spills.  The quilt folds into a tidy pillow when not in use and is great for using in the hammock as well.  This also makes a great play mat or blanket to protect your furniture from spills and accidents if you choose to add the Shield layer.  I chose the add the Shield because despite the cute picture with my kiddos…this quilt was made for the severe special ed class at my children’s school, where they had a particular need make some areas of the classroom more comfortable for kiddos while protecting from accidents.

What you need to make this project

2 Packs of Animal Cuddle Cakes from Shannon Fabrics
60" x 60" Package of Nature-Fil Bamboo Blend Batting
3 1/3 Yards Shield Water-resistant interlining
Home Elegance 18" x 18" Pillow Insert (Optional)
1 3/4 yard Cuddle Backing Fabric from Shannon Fabrics
1/4 yard Coordinating Cuddle 3 Fabric for Binding
Basting Spray
Sewing Machine
Walking foot for your sewing machine (optional, but highly recommended)

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Shield Liner Fabric 41.5″ Wide X 12 Yard Roll

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Price: $127.99

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Step One

First, gather your supplies.

Animal Cuddle Pocket Pillow Quilt Tutorial

A few notes about my choice in supplies:

Pre-cut “layer cakes” are widely available for all sorts of fabrics, but Cuddle Cakes from Shannon Fabrics are my favorites.   (Really, truly…I’m not just saying that because they donated the fabric so I could make this blanket for the special ed class at my kids school.  They make awesome stuff.)  You can cut your own squares, but using 2 Pre-Cut Adorable Animal Cuddle Cakes saves a ton of time.


I used Baby Leopard Cuddle in Camel/Brown for the back, and Cuddle 3 in Chocolate for the binding.

007 Cuddle Prints Animal Cuddle Pocket Pillow Quilt

After trying quite a few, my favorite batting is NatureFil.  Fairfield has lots of other amazing battings that will work equally well.

If you’re mainly planning to use the quilt as a cuddle/throw quilt on the sofa and around the house, you may want to leave out the Shield layer.  However, if you plan to use the blanket outdoors for picnics, or indoors to protect your floor, carpet, or furniture from spills and accidents, you may want to have the Shield layer.

Step Two

2 Cuddle Cakes will give you 40 squares that measure 10″ x 10.” Arrange your squares in a 6×6 squares arrangement. This will leave you with 4 squares left over which will become your pocket on the back.

Animal Cuddle Pocket Pillow Quilt Tutorial

Step Three

Sew your squares together using a 1/2″ seam allowance. Cuddle fabrics can be a little tricky to work with, your first time. You mainly want to make sure to pin your work and use a walking foot on your sewing machine if you have access to one. (My machine has a built in feature that mimics a walking foot, so you won’t see a walking foot in the pictures.)  If you’ve never sewn with Cuddle fabrics before, you’ll want to review these tips from Shannon Fabrics before you get stared.

Step Four

Once your top is sewn together, we’re ready to make our “quilt sandwich. There are many methods of basting, but my favorite is using basting spray. Lay out your batting first. My kitchen floor is vinyl, so I do my basting without a protecting sheet underneath. If you have a floor that needs to be protected from the basting spray, use an large flat sheet to protect the area.

022 Basting Spray

Step Five

Spread your quilt top out smoothly over the batting.  Pull back the top, 1/2 the quilt at a time.  Spray the batting with the basting spray.  Resmooth the quilt top.  Repeat until the whole quilt top is basted.

Basting Cuddle Quilt Top

Step Six

Trim the batting close to the edge of the quilt top.

024 Trim

Step Seven

Turn your quilt over, so that the quilt top is facing down and the batting is facing up.  If you’re adding a layer of Shield, use your basting spray to layer it over the batting.  Smooth it out completely.

025 Shield

Step Eight

Trim the Shield even with the edge of your quilt top.

028 Trim

Step Nine

Layer your backing fabric over the Shield using your basting spray and smooth out.  Trim the backing even with your quilt top.

031 Trim

Step Ten

Now it’s time to quilt your quilt.  Stitch in the ditch over all of your seams.  Use a walking foot for best results. (My machine has a built-in walking-foot feature, so the walking-foot is not pictured.

032 Stitch in the Ditch

Step Eleven

Now it’s time to get our pocket ready.  Sew your four reserved Cuddle cakes square together using a 1/2 inch seam allowance to form a larger square, and use basting spray to add batting to the back of the four squares.

036 Pocket

Step Twelve

Cut out a square of your backing fabric the same size as your pocket to become the back of the pocket.


With RIGHT SIDES together, sew your 4-squares backed with batting to your pocket backing.  You will sew along just THREE sides of the square, leaving once side open.

040 Stitch around 3 sides

Step Thirteen

Turn right side out.

042 Pocket

Step Fourteen

Using your quilting lines as a guide for placement, pin your pocket onto the top middle of your quilt.  Arrange it so that the open side of your pocket is lined up exactly with the edge of your quilt, so that it will get caught in your binding.  Sew along JUST the two sides of your pocket.  One side is left open so your blanket will fit inside, and the other side will get sewn closed when we add our binding.

050 Sew

Step Fifteen

Cut 2-inch strips out of your Chocolate Cuddle 3.  Use these strips to bind all four edges of your quilt.  If you are not familiar with how to bind a quilt, see these tips from Shannon Fabrics on how to bind with Cuddle.

051 Binding

Step Sixteen

Take your quilt outside and enjoy!



And you’re all finished!  Your quilt is ready to enjoy.  The Shield layer makes it perfect for a picnic inside or out.  Inside it can protect your floors from spills and outside it can keep moisture in the grass from seeping through.

Animal-Cuddle Pocket Quilt




Step Seventeen

For an added bit of comfort, you can also add an 18×18 inch Home Elegance Pillow form into the pillow pocket if you want both a pillow AND a quilt at the same time.

114 Add Pillow    116 Pillow




Step Eighteen

And when you’re ready to fold up your quilt into a single pillow, this is how you’ll do it.  Fold into thirds with the quilt top up.  Then flip over.  Fold your quilt up into thirds again, and tuck into the pocket.

How to fold a puzzle quilt

Happy Quilt Making!

~ Polly from Pieces by Polly