I've always admired crafters who can span the range of crafts, from crochet to sewing to painting, and beyond. I dabble here and there, but crochet is the only craft I'm really proficient in. Sewing seems to be especially elusive for me. Maybe it's the multiple steps before you can even start - the washing and ironing and measuring and cutting all seem daunting. Or the need for precision, which has never been my strong suit. Nevertheless, I like the look of sewn items, and so I'm glad to have figured out a way to mix fabric and yarn that involves exactly zero sewing. Meet the Hybrid Patchwork Pillow! Read on for the full tutorial.
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The secret to making this pillow without having to do any sewing is in the choice of wool felt for the fabric. Because it can be cut without fraying, I didn't need to sew any hems, making me a happy crafter. I used some luxe 1mm thick wool felt from Purl Soho. It's sold in bundles, featuring the beautiful color curation Purl Soho is known for. It's a great way to mix and match colors of premium felt without breaking the bank. In theory you could use craft felt for this project, but would need to take greater care with it to avoid the felt ripping. While shopping at my local Target, I across some felt packs that seemed thicker than your typical craft felt. While not as soft as the wool felt, they would likely get the job done. Searching on Amazon also yielded several wool blend options:
The other trick to simplify this project involves how I cut the felt. As I said before, I'm not a master crafter, but that hasn't stopped me from amassing a ton of supplies. I already owned a rotary fabric cutter and self-healing cutting mat, which made cutting the felt into squares easy. I also purchased a crochet skip blade for the rotary cutter, which allowed me to make equally spaced cuts for the crochet stitches in no time. See the materials list below for details on the specific items I used.
Hybrid Patchwork Pillow (written in standard US crochet terms)
Finished size: Fits 16" pillow form
Yarn: Worsted Weight (#4 Medium), shown here is Scheepjes Stonewashed XL (70% cotton, 30% acrylic) to join the felt squares and make the granny squares, and Purl Soho Worsted Twist (100% merino wool) for the contrasting borders.
Hooks: 4.5 mm for joining the felt squares; 5.0 mm for crocheting the granny squares for the back of the cushion; 5.5 mm for the contrasting border
9 4"x4" wool felt squares
16" pillow form
3/8" rotary skip blade
Self-healing cutting mat
Dc: double crochet
Hdc: half double crochet
Sc: single crochet
Sc2tog: single crochet two together
Sl st: slip stitch
1. Using the rotary cutter with a regular blade, ruler, and self-healing mat, cut 9 4-inch felt squares. The Purl Soho wool felt comes in approximately 8"x12" sheets, so I decided to use 4" squares to maximize the number of squares I could get out of each sheet. One bundle is enough to make at least 2 pillows with felt squares on one side and 1 pillow with felt squares on both sides.
2. Using the rotary cutter with the skip blade, cut holes on all sides of the squares, approximately 1/4" from the edge.
3. Join your main color yarn with a slip stitch in one of the corners (see photos below). Pull up a loop that is about the same height as the distance between the holes (3/8" in this case). Work 1sc in each hole to the corner, being sure to pull up a loop before making each stitch. This is to ensure that the stitches are not too tight, which makes the fabric bunch up.
4. Work (1sc, ch2, 1sc) in the corner. Continue around the square in this way, working 1sc in each hole, and (1sc, ch2, 1sc) in the corners. Because I used the rotary cutter, my holes weren't placed in precisely the same location on each square. This is okay! On some squares I had to cut a small extra hole near the corner to get the spacing to work out. A sharp pair of embroidery scissors works well for this. On the final corner, work 1sc into the same stitch as the join, ch2, and sl st to the left of the beginning sl st.
5. Ch1 to begin the 2nd round. You will work 18sc evenly on each edge of the square, including the corner spaces. This works out to roughly 2sc in each sc from the 1st round, with (2sc, ch2, 2sc) in each corner. Again, because the holes aren't perfectly cut, I had to improvise on some squares, sometimes placing (1sc, ch2, 1sc) in the corner spaces because I had extra holes. If you'd like your squares to all be perfectly symmetrical, you can of course measure out the distance between holes for a more uniform look. You would have to look pretty closely at my cushion to see the places where I fudged things a little, though. After completing the 2nd round on the first square, subsequent squares will be joined as you go on the 2nd round.
6, The join instructions are written generally; keep in mind that some squares will be joined on one side, and others on two sides, depending on where they lie on the cushion. Work round 2 as follows: Ch1, 2sc in same st as join, 2sc in each sc to the corner, (2sc, ch2, 2sc) in next ch2 sp, 2sc in each sc to the next corner, 2sc in ch2 sp. *Ch1, drop loop from hook, place hook in ch2 sp of adjacent square, pick up the loop and pull it through the ch2 sp. Ch1, 2sc in the same ch2 sp, drop loop from hook, sk 2 st on adjacent square, place hook in next st, pick up the loop and pull it through, 2sc in next sc, **drop loop from hook, sk 1 st on adjacent square, place hook in next st, pick up the loop and pull it through, 2sc in next sc** * Repeat from ** to ** to the next corner. Work 2 sc in next ch2 sp and repeat from * to * 1 time. 2sc in next ch2 sp, ch1, drop loop from hook, place hook in ch2 sp on adjacent square, pick up loop, ch1, 2sc in same ch2 sp, join with sl st to 1st sc.
I know this looks complicated - it's essentially the "pull loop through" (PLT) join developed by Rachele of Cypress Textiles worked on every other, rather than every stitch. See her post here for more detailed photos.
7. After all of the squares are joined, we will work a border around this side of the cushion as follows: Join your main color yarn with a sl st in any corner sp. Ch5 (counts as dc, ch2), 1dc in same sp. *[1dc in each of next 18 st, 1dc in each of next 2 corner sp] 2 times, 1dc in each of next 18 st, (1dc, ch2, 1dc) in next ch2 sp* Repeat from * to end. Omit (1dc, ch2, 1dc) on final repeat. Join with sl st to 3rd ch of initial ch5. Fasten off main color. (240 dc, 4 ch2 sp)
Granny Square Back
Now to make the back side of the cushion!
Notes: Ch3 at the beginning of rounds counts as 1dc throughout.
Make 9 squares.
Round 1: With your granny square color, into magic ring, ch3, 2dc, ch2, [3dc, ch2] 2 times, 3dc. Join with hdc to top of initial ch3. (12 dc, 4 ch2 sp, 1hdc)
Round 2: Ch3, 1dc in sp made by hdc join, 1dc in each of next 3 st, *[2dc, ch2, 2dc] in next ch2 sp, 1dc in each of next 3 st* Repeat from * to * 2 times, 2dc in sp made by hdc join. Join with hdc to top of initial ch3. (28 dc, 4 ch2 sp, 1hdc)
Round 3: Ch3, 1dc in sp made by hdc join, 1dc in each of next 7 st, *[2dc, ch2, 2dc] in next ch2 sp, 1dc in each of next 7 st* Repeat from * to * 2 times, 2dc in sp made by hdc join. Join with hdc to top of initial ch3. Fasten off. (44 dc, 4 ch2 sp, 1 hdc)
Round 4: Join the border color in any ch2 sp, ch1 (does not count as st). *[1sc, ch2, 1sc] in ch2 sp, sk 1 st, 1sc in each of next 14 st* Repeat from * to end. Join with sl st to 1st sc. Fasten off. (64 sc, 4 ch2 sp)
Join subsequent squares on round 4 using the same PLT method on every other stitch as used for the felt square front of the cushion. After all the squares are joined, border the squares as follows:
Round 1: Join the contrast color^ in any corner sp. Ch5 (counts as dc, ch2), *[1dc in each of next 16 st, 1 dc in each of next 2 corner sp] 2 times, 1dc in each of next 16 st, (1dc, ch2, 1dc) in next corner sp* Repeat from * to end. Omit (1dc, ch2, 1dc) on final repeat. Join with sl st to 3rd ch of initial ch5. (216 dc, 4 ch2 sp)
^Note: I used a contrast color only because I ran out of the main color. You can of course use the same color throughout for a different look.
Round 2: Ch3, (1dc, ch2, 2dc) in ch2 sp. *1dc in each of next 54 st, (2dc, ch2, 2dc) in next ch2 sp* Repeat from * to end. Omit (2dc, ch2, 2dc) on final repeat. Join with sl st to top of initial ch3. Fasten off. (232 dc, 4 ch2 sp)
Crocheting the Front and Back Sides Together
Line up the front and back sides of the cushion, with the wrong sides facing inwards. The felt side will be considered the "right side." When crocheting the front and back together, you will have slightly different stitch counts on each piece (60 st per edge for the felt side and 58 st per edge for the crochet side). We will skip a stitch on the felt side and make a decrease to properly align the front and back sides of the cushion. Work all stitches through both the front and back (felt and crochet) sides.
Round 1: Join contrast color in any corner sp, ch1 (does not count as st) *(1sc, ch2, 1sc) in corner sp, sk 1 st, 1sc in each of next 17 st, 1sc2tog over next 2 st^, 1sc in each of next 40 st* Repeat from * to end. Join with sl st to 1st sc. (240 sc, 4 ch2 sp)
^Work the sc2tog over two stitches in the felt side and only in one stitch on the crochet side. This creates a decrease to account for the different stitch numbers on each side.
Round 2: Sl st into ch2 sp, ch1 (does not count as st). *(2sc, ch2, 2sc) in ch2 sp, sk 1 st, [1sc in next st, 1sc in skipped st] 30 times* Repeat from * to end. Join with sl st to 1st sc. Fasten off. (256 sc, 4 ch2 sp)
And that's all she wrote! It probably took me less time to make the cushion than to write up the tutorial. I kid, but given the right materials, it can easily be made in a weekend! Please share your projects on Instagram with #mobiusgirlcrochet so I can see all of your beautiful crochet!