Suduko Cushion


Based on 112cm fabric

  • 60cm unbleached calico
  • Scraps of assorted fabrics in yellow, orange, red, green, light blue, dark blue, purple, grey and black
  • One fat quarter of backing fabric (it will not be visible so you can use one of your what was I thinking pieces of fabric!)
  • 50 x 50cm wadding
  • Ecru quilting thread
  • Foundation piecing paper (this is thin paper that goes into ink/bubble jet printers to produce easy tearaway foundation piecing patterns)
  • Water soluble ink pen for marking
  • 46cm (18in) square inner cushion

Elisabeth made this project using metric measurements. We have included the imperial equivalents. Please do not mix the two as this will not work.

Finished Size

Approx 46cm (18in) square

Skill Level



Cut the following:

  1. These are quite small pieces so you may like to pop them in an envelope or plastic wallet after you have cut them out. If you are not used to foundation piecing you may like to cut slightly larger pieces and trim to size after sewing, although we have included generous seam allowances for the foundation pieces.
    • Five yellow, five orange, five red, one green, seven light blue, five dark blue, five purple, three grey and five black 5.5 cm (2 1⁄4in) squares.
    • Four yellow, four orange, four red, eight green, two light blue, four dark blue, four purple, six grey and four black 3cm (1 1⁄4in) squares.
  1. From the unbleached calico cut a 48.5cm (18 3⁄4in) strip across the whole fabric width. From this strip cut one 48.5 x 54cm (18 3⁄4 x 21 1⁄4in) rectangle and four 49.5 x 4.5cm (19 1⁄2 x 1 3⁄4in) strips. Cut 3cm (1 1⁄4in) strips from the remaining calico (these can be cut as you make the blocks, as they are for the foundation blocks).

Making the Suduko Blocks

  1. Photocopy or trace out the block design onto foundation paper. You will need forty Sudoku blocks. Cut out the blocks on the outer line.
  2. Place a coloured 3 cm (1 1⁄4in) square right side up on the unmarked side of the paper. Hold it up to the light to make sure the piece extends beyond the lines of the square. Pin in place.
  3. Cut a 3cm (1 1⁄4in) square from one of the 3cm (1 1⁄4in) calico strips. Place it on top of the coloured square right sides together and pin in place. With the marked side of the paper facing you, sew on the line between the middle square and one of the side squares. For this, you will need to set your machine on a slightly shorter straight stitch than usual (not a tiny one though as foundation paper will be easier to tear away than ordinary photocopy paper). Begin by sewing a couple of stitches before the line begins and extend a few stitches beyond the end of the line.
  4. Trim the seam allowance to 5mm (1⁄4in) if necessary. Fold open the piece and finger press. Cut another 3cm (1 1⁄4in) calico square from one of the strips and place it right sides together on the coloured square. Pin in place. Sew on the line between the coloured square and the other side square. Trim seam allowance, fold open and finger press.
  5. Cut a 5.5cm (2 1⁄4in) long rectangle from one of the calico strips. Place it right sides together on the three squares and pin in place. Sew on the line from the marked side of the paper. Trim the seam allowance, fold open and finger press. Add the second side rectangle in the same way. Pin the edges of the fabric block down on the dotted line of all four sides. Trim any excess fabric along the paper edges. Press carefully from the right and from the wrong side of the block.
  6. Make 40 Sudoku blocks in the same way using the 3cm (1 1⁄4in) coloured squares as your middle squares.
Suduko cushion detail

Making the Cushion top

  1. Refer to the photo or Figure 2 to arrange the Sudoku blocks and 5.5cm (2 1⁄4in) squares on your work surface or design wall.
  2. Sew together the squares and blocks of each row in groups of three. Then piece those groups of three into 'nine-patch' units. Join all 'nine-patches' together to make the cushion centre. Keep an eye on the photo as you are piecing as you dont want to turn a block and ruin the Sudoku pattern.
  3. Use a water soluble pen to mark a point 4cm (1 3⁄4in) from the ends of all the 49.5 x 4.5cm (19 1⁄2 x 1 3⁄4in) border strips. When you attach the borders make sure these points match with the seam allowance at the corners of the cushion centre. Attach the top and bottom borders first, stopping at the marked point. Then add the side borders to the cushion centre.
  4. Take a couple of backstitches at the beginning and the end of each seam line. Do not try and join borders beyond the limits of the cushion centre yet. Press the borders away from the cushion centre. 5Starting at one corner of the cushion top, place one border on top of the adjacent one. Fold the top border under at a 45° angle so that it meets the edge of the other border. Press the fold in place and bring the top border down so that the edges of the border are aligned. With the pressed fold as your seam line, sew from the inner corner to the outer corner.
  5. Open the border and make sure all points match. Trim the border seam and any excess fabric to 0.5cm (1⁄4in). Mitre the remaining three corners in the same way. Tear away all foundation papers.
Figure 2: Suduko cushion
Figure 2: Suduko cushion layout

Quilting and Finishing

  1. Using a water soluble ink pen, trace four intersecting lines forming a 1.5cm (5⁄8in) square in the middle of each large square. Layer the top on wadding and backing and pin baste. Hand quilt on the intersecting lines with the ecru thread.
  2. Cut the big calico squares into two rectangles of the same size and zigzag around each of them. Hem one of the long sides of each rectangle.
  3. Place one rectangle on the cushion top right sides together. Align the non hemmed sides of the rectangle with three of the cushion top sides. Pin in place. Place the other rectangle on the cushion top aligning its non hemmed sides with the opposite sides of the cushion top. Pin in place. Sew all around the cushion, preferably from the cushion top side (not from the calico rectangle side). Slightly trim the corners at an angle. Turn the cushion over and slip the inner cushion inside

First published in Popular Patchwork Volume 14 Number 10 - October 2006