Il Cuscino


Hi my name is Tacha and I am part of the Fat Quarterly team and I’m super excited to be here on the Moda Bake Shop to share my latest recipe!

Pillows are a weakness of mine. I love making them and could happily deck every piece of furniture and even cover the floor with pillows given half the chance. Somehow or other all my pillows usually get commandeered by someone else. Our cat Noodles has taken a fancy to this particular one – probably because of the pom pom trim!

I called this pillow Il Cuscino as the black and white, and, red and white, check prints remind me of the fabric used for the chef’s trousers or aprons in some Italian pizzerias. Il cuscino simply means the pillow in Italian!


1 Charm pack of Reunion by Sweetwater
Fat eighth of black and white check print (Ink 5478 18)
Fat eighth of red and white check print (Cherry 5478 12)
Fat quarter of white solid
Pom Pom trim
22” square piece of batting
½ yard of backing fabric ( I used strips from Reunion)
1 yard of lining fabric


Cutting Instructions:
From the charm pack cut:
45 squares 1 15/16”
18 squares 3”

From the black and white check print cut:
32 squares 1 7/8” cut in half diagonally

From the red and white check print cut:
40 squares 1 7/8” cut in half diagonally

From the white solid cut:
18 squares 3”
18 squares 1 7/8” cut in half diagonally

From the lining cut:
20” square
1 piece 14” x 18 1/2”
1 piece 10” x 18 1/2”

From the backing fabric cut:
1 piece 14” x 18 1/2”
1 piece 10” X 18 1/2”

The pillow is made up of 1 block repeated 9 times.

Make the half square triangles
Draw a line down the diagonal on the wrong side of each of the white squares.
Put a white 3” square and a print 3” square right sides facing. Sew ¼” away from the diagonal line on both sides of the line. Cut along the line. Open, press and trim each half square triangle to 2 ½” square.

The pillow front is made up of 9 blocks. There are 5 print 1 15/16” squares and 4 HST squares in each block. Have fun trying out different combinations until you are happy with the layout of prints in each block.



Sew the Block
Take the print 1 15/16” square that will be the centre of the block and 4 of the triangles made by cutting the white 1 7/8” squares in half diagonally. Sew the triangles to the sides of the print square.

Press and trim away the ears.

Take the remaining 4 print 1 15/15” squares and 16 of the triangles made by cutting the red or black check print 1 7/8” squares in half diagonally. Sew these to the sides of the print squares.

Sew the block together in rows as shown.

Repeat to make 9 blocks. 5 of the blocks will use red check print and 4 blocks will use the black check print. Arrange the blocks in a 3 x 3 layout. Sew the blocks together in rows.

Layer the quilt top, batting and lining fabric and baste in place. Quilt as desired. I stippled all over the quilt top. Trim the pillow top to 18 1/2” square.



Make the pillow
Place the backing 14” x 18 1/2” and lining 14” x 18 1/2” pieces together right sides facing and sew down one of the 18 1/2” edges. Open so wrong sides are facing and topstitch along the same edge.
Repeat for the backing and lining 10” x 18 1/2” pieces.

Cut 4 lengths of pom pom trim about 2” longer than each side of the pillow. Pin in place along the sides of the pillow, allowing the ends to overlap the edge of the pillow. Baste in place about 1/8” from the edge.

Place the pillow backing pieces and pillow front together, right sides facing, with the pillow back pieces overlapping. Sew all around the pillow. Use a zig zag stitch to prevent fraying.

Turn your pillow right side out. Press and stuff with your 18” pillow form.


18″ square pillow.

Tacha Bruecher

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