Gathered Quilt or Duvet Cover Tutorial

I spent a lot of time on Pinterest and google images looking for inspiration for my daughter's quilt. I never really found what I was envisioning so I created this Gathered Quilt or Duvet Cover. I'll show you how to make this top with a tutorial and you can quilt it or turn it into a duvet cover if you choose. I actually made it a duvet cover because I thought my daughter would prefer that but I might quilt it down the road. All you need is the ability to sew a straight line and you can make this cover yourself!

I chose some bright quilting cotton fabrics but you could go monochromatic or even use sheets for this. An all white cover would be really cute as well. My daughter just loves, loves color so that is exactly what she got!

Gather your supplies for the top:

  • neutral or white thread
  • 63- 21" x 10.5" fabric pieces for top (more if you are making this larger than twin)
  • 63- 10.5" x 10.5" fabric squares in white or unbleached woven fabric for a "backing" piece. I used muslin.

UPDATED: For 63 squares like this one you'll need 9.25 yards of fabric for the top (assuming 44" wide fabric). You'll get 6 cut pieces per yard if you want to think of it that way. I think I used 9 different fabrics. The squares are 10" square when finished which should help with your math if you are making a different size quilt.

For the backing fabric you'll need 4.6 yards of 44" fabric or a full sized flat sheet.

Step 1- Gather long sides of fabric pieces. Use a long stitch or a ruffler foot to make the gathered side 10.5" long just as the short side. It will be a square.

Step 2- Sew gathered piece to a backing piece to stabilize.


Step 3- Sew squares together! I recommend laying them all out to decide how you want them arranged. I chose to alternate the direction of the gathers to create the look I was going for. Then sew one row together at a time with a 1/4" seam allowance. After the rows are sewn you can finish the edges. I serged mine but you can use a zig zag stitch or pinking sheers if you'd like. This will prevent fraying.

After you have all your rows sewn, sew the rows together. Make sure to pin well and match the corners. Then finish the remaining edges.

Step 4- Make your cover into a Duvet or Quilt! I used a flat sheet and stacked the cover, right sides together and sewed around the edges leaving a 4 foot opening on one end to stuff the duvet inside. Design Sponge has a tutorial for making a duvet cover if you want more instructions. To make a quilt you'll sandwich the backing piece (the same size as the top), top and cotton quilt batting. Stitch in the ditch (the seam) in a grid to sew the whole thing together. Sew on a binding around the edge. There are tons of quilt tutorials and you tube videos if you need help!

Be warned, this is not a super quick project. It is very easy but takes time!

***Edited: You will save a LOT of time buying a ruffler foot for your sewing machine but if you don't have one you could also save time doing the basting (long) stitch and then pin the top piece to the backing piece THEN pull the thread to gather. I actually don't love this method but a few people have mentioned they like it.


  1. says

    This is lovely! A question…if you were making a quilt top from this would you need the step where you sew to a stabilising square do you think? Because presumably it gets stabilised by being quilted to the wadding and backing? Just wondering before I try it and only realise 2/3rds of the way through that I DO need it!
    thanks :)

  2. says

    I have never sewn a quilt (or duvet). I have never been interested in sewing a quilt. But now seeing this I totally am! I’ve also been looking for the perfect bedding for my girls’ room and trying to figure out how I could get it all to coordinate with the other pieces I want in their room. This is gorgeous and perfect and timeless. I’ve pinned it. I’m totally doing it! After we tackle potty training the younger one. :)

  3. Margaret Leigh says

    This quilt looks gorgeous and Jessie I’m with you and think it will look double gorgeous and expensive looking in all white. Some white on white, dots, stripes etc
    It’s such a simple process and strange it hasn’t come forth earlier.
    Thankyou for sharing with us.

  4. Dad says

    You rock baby girl! I don’t know how you get it all done. This is just another example of your abilities. I’d have you make me one but you have enough to do anyway, hug the kids for me.

  5. Terra says

    This is gorgeous! I actually tried something similar and it was a complete fail, but seeing yours, I want to try it again.

  6. Maggie says

    I LOVE this, but unfortunatly I could never have the patientce for something like this. I would definatly have to figure out my ruffle foor.

  7. adventure knitter says

    What a gorgeous quilt! I totally want to make one for my bed…which is a king…I wonder what my husband would think…

  8. Ebba says

    Do you know how many yards of each fabric do you need and how many fabrics did you use? It’s beautiful thank you!

  9. says

    For 63 squares like this one you'll need 9 and a quarter yards for the top (assuming 44" wide fabric). You'll get 6 pieces per yard if you want to think of it that way. I think I used 9 different fabrics. For the backing fabric you'll need 4.6 yards of 44" fabric or a full sized flat sheet.

  10. Tiffany says

    This quilt is absolutely beautiful. What a labor of love and what a lucky little person to get to cuddle in it.

  11. claudia says

    Your gathered quilt it is beautifl! I love the colors you put togeher, so happy! Thanks for doing the tutorial. I really want to make one of these.

  12. says

    Holy cow! This is so beautiful! I am always amazed when people come up with things like this. That is a great talent. Thank you so much for sharing the tutorial. You make it look so easy; I will definitely be trying it out!

  13. Anne says

    The price of the fabric could be inexpensive by buying sheets at the thrift store or perhaps a Dollar Store. This is such a wonderful project! Thanks!

  14. says

    The more I look at this the more I absolutely LOVE it!! I am trying to decide who will be the lucky recipient of the one I am going to make very soon ;) Thanks for sharing your talents.

  15. says

    This would be a perfect project for fat quarters. In the quilting world a fat quarter is a pre-cut piece of fabric 18″x22″. In the above pattern, you’d use 63 fat quarters to make the gathered pieces. Just visit your local quilt shop or JoAnns fabric to get them.
    Then you can stack the fat quarters 3-4 at a time to cut them down to size. Easier than cutting up yards of fabric.
    What a great fabric stash buster too! I haven’t made this yet but I’ve been looking for a simple quilt to make for my mother-in-law, who is in a nursing home. Her bedspread needs to be replaced.

  16. says

    Just a reminder to people that if you use fat quarters you'll have to change the number of squares. If you cut the fat quarter in half you'll have to make 9" squares. If you use the whole fat quarter you'll make 18" squares and need much less than 63 fat quarters.
    Warning: fat quarters are often not cut on the grain well (especially the cheap ones at JoAnns) so beware. It isn't the end of the world for this project but just a concern in general.

  17. Ophelia says

    I was despairing about how much stash I have and how little fabric an actual quilt uses…Not any longer!! I can use up a lot of great stash on this project and also justify my purchase of that ruffler foot that has sat languishing!! It’s a great guilt-busting project.

  18. Sydney says

    A little intimidated by making two twin sized ones for my daughter’s bunk beds but wouldn’t that be cute miniature for the American Girl doll?

  19. says

    I love this. and while I was reading the instructions, I had a brain storm. What if you stuffed each square with batting making it a little pillow, or sewed batting to the lining piece and you would have a quilted (sort of) quilt then just add a back. I think I will have to try this. I have so much fabric I need to do something with.

  20. Heidi K says

    I am just curious on the size of this. What does it measure? How many squares did you put in each row? Very cute.

  21. Monica says

    Have been looking for the right look for a quilt for my grand daughter…this I think I have enough coordinating fabrics, and this will make it so feminine! Thanks so much for sharing. I will be attempting this soon!

  22. Jennifer says

    I absolutely *love* this quilt and hope to make a bigger one for my bed! I was looking on amazon for the ruffler foot and so many of the reviews said to make sure if you wanted a ‘ruffler’ foot or ‘gathering’ foot because they are two different things but sometimes referred to interchangeably. So I guess my question is, am I definitely looking for the ruffler foot or is it a gathering foot that I want?

  23. Dani says

    Love this :) I’m thinking about making this, but so that it fits my queen bed! One question: any idea how big your final duvet cover was? Just trying to do the math to see how much more fabric I’ll need to get.
    Thanks for sharing!

  24. Abbie says

    Hi Andrea-
    I’m in love with this quilt! If I choose to use a ruffle foot, do you know which size (1, 6, or 12) you had yours on?

  25. Laura says

    I would also love to know the names of the fabric if you can find them. I absolutely love this creation and the fabrics. Maybe if you don’t know the names you can remember where you bought the fabric.

  26. [email protected] says

    Andrea, I just wanted to thank you for the tutorial. I made a duvet cover for my daughter who just went to college. She picked out all the material so it was just exactly what she wanted. It turned out quite well! She loves it and she has something made by me that she touches every day:) Thanks again, Tiffany

  27. jenxo says

    I just love this quilt and have just started one myself… a friend showed me a really easy way to gather by zigzagging over some thick thread just inside the stitch line…..all you need to do is anchor one end around a pin and pull other…when you stitch squares together , you stitch just under thread….. perfect gathers and so quick…..saved me heaps of time….hope mine turns a nicely as yours

  28. Linda Norman says

    What about using fabric from your little girl’s DRESSES she’s outgrown? She would have those memories forever – if you didn’t have enough, substitute other fabric pieces – but actually using fabrics she recognizes would make this project so special!

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