Patchwork Travel Neck Pillow ~ Pattern & Tutorial

I know a lot of people travel around this time of year.  As a matter of fact, my mom and her husband will be flying in to celebrate an early Christmas with us in less than two weeks!  Many people are unable to sleep in airplanes and cars because of their uncomfortable neck position .  I’ve seen lots of travel pillows in the airports, but I wanted to make one that was a little bit more exciting………a little more “me”, shall we say.

The Patchwork Travel Neck Pillow is a great gift idea for anyone you know that travels a lot.  Or make one for yourself so you can be comfortable and stylish on your next long journey.
To download the Patchwork Travel Neck Pillow pattern piece, click HERE.
Scraps of fabric
Lightweight fusible interfacing
Fiberfill (or other stuffing)
Basic sewing supplies (including hand-sewing)
Travel neck pillow pattern piece (click HERE)
Print and cut out the pattern piece.  Use this pattern to cut the backing for your pillow.  Place pattern piece on fold of fabric and cut.
Gather a bunch of fabric scraps that you have lying around.  They can coordinate with one another or be totally random.  I kind of went for the random look this time, but if you want a more cohesive look then just stick to one color palette.
Cut your scraps into 3″ x 3″ squares.  I cut mine out using my rotary cutter, quilting ruler and cutting mat, but you can certainly use scissors, just make sure you are precise.
Lay out your fabric squares.  Place them in a desired pattern.  See my picture (a few below this one) to see exactly how many squares you will need for each row.
Sew the squares together to form rows using a 1/4″ seam allowance.  Then sew the rows together also with a 1/4″ seam allowance.  I would suggest alternating the way you press your seams so that you have better luck with the corners meeting up.  If you press one row to the right, press the next row to the left and so on.
The picture above is what your squares will look like when they are all sewn together.  If you are doing 3″ squares, you can follow the above layout and it will fit your pattern piece exactly.
Use your pillow backing as the template for the front.  Cut around to make the front patchwork piece.
This step is entirely optional, but I always love nice finishing.  I stitched a 1/4″ from each seam on both sides. I did this horizontally and vertically, so that each square has a stitched border.  If you choose this option, make sure you complete this before you sew on your backing.
Apply a light-weight fusible webbing to the back piece and the front piece.  Do this according to your package directions.  This is fusible web so it will only be fusible on one side.  Do not use double-sided for this project.  You don’t have to use the interfacing, but I think it gives the project more body and looks nicer once the pillow is stuffed.
At this point, if you choose to use a label, sew it on to your back piece now.
Pin the front piece to the back piece with the right sides together.  Stitch all the way around using a 1/2″ seam allowance, but leave a 3″ opening on one of the sides.
Clip the inner curve so that the pillow will lay flat.  Do this by cutting slits through the curve.  Cut very close to the stitching, just be careful not to go through it.
For the outer curves, notch them out so that you remove bulk.  Again, we are doing this so that the curves will lay flat and look nice when turned right side out.
Turn your neck pillow right side out and press.  You may have to work the curves so that they are nice and smooth.  Stuff your pillow with fiberfill stuffing.  Move the stuffing around so it is even throughout the pillow.  Then hand sew your 3″ opening closed with coordinating thread.
And there you have it, your completed Patchwork Travel Neck Pillow!
Patchwork Travel Neck Pillow FREE Pattern from The Cottage Mama.
The patchwork version takes a little time, but if you need a faster variation, try leaving the front piece solid.  Also, you can certainly make this pillow for a man by using more masculine fabric prints.  But you know I love girly things.

Happy Holiday Travels!

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  1. this would make such a fantastic gift for so many people I know! Your patchwork is lovely as well, really well done. Simply beautiful! but then of course, from you that is to be expected 🙂

  2. Absolutely adorable! May I add something? If you stuff the pillow with rice instead of stuffing, (Not too full though!) you can put it in the microwave for 2-3 minutes and you have a fantastic stress reliever/headache pillow. Heavenly! Thanks for such a fantastic blog!

  3. Well, thank you very much, Lindsay! You just solved my dilemma of what in the heck I was going go get my traveling sister and her husband this year for Christmas. They said not to spend any money, and focus on the kids, but if I’m creating something from my scrap stash, and using items I already own, I’m not spending any money. Yippee!

    And, thank you, Ashli, for the rice tip!

  4. I’ve been looking at those pillows but didn’t like them either, thank you for this tute!

  5. Perfectly “loverly!”

  6. Ohhh…I need one of these! Love it! Great job hun1

  7. Great project, Lindsay! For a scented version, you can fill the pillow (sparingly) with buckwheat hulls and scent with lavender or other essential oil. (Can also be warmed in the microwave for 2 minutes, or so.) Happy sewing, SJ

  8. That’s a super cute neck roll! I was just wondering if you’d mind telling me where you get your tags made for Cottage Mama. I like the way they look, and am not having enough time to make my own lately! Thanks! Kathi

  9. You make it look all so easy… I think I’ve said that before, lol.

    Looks good.

    If you have something christmasy, bath bomb creations has a linky party. Link top right of blog


  10. I cannot wait to try this. I always have a hard time putting different fabrics together, but this looks so nice!

  11. Fantastic pattern! Thank you for sharing it with us. I think if I had one on my daily commute home I would definitey miss my station! (I am hopeless in the afternoon! I always have a siesta. I have been very lucky not to miss my stop so far)

  12. I just made one (though I didn’t do the patchwork…just a solid piece), and it was so easy! Thank you so much for the wonderful tutorials! (I’ve also made a few infinity scarves from your website for Christmas presents)!

  13. Definitely adorable! May I add something? If you products the bed sheets with grain instead of padding, (Not too entire though!) you can put it in the microwave for 2-3 mins and you have a amazing worry reliever/headache bed sheets. Heavenly! Thanks for such a amazing blog!

  14. Have a camping trip starting tomorrow and with so much trouble sleeping in the kombi, I was absolutely delighted to see this. I’ve made two, one for me and one as a Christmas gift for my mum, and they’re gorgeous! And they work too.. fell asleep sitting upright on the couch with it till 1am last night. Thanks heaps, my camping trip looks like it might be saved. If I can’t sleep lying down, I’ll be able to sleep nicely sitting up 🙂 🙂

  15. Great tutorial! You’ve been featured on the Quality Sewing Tutorials blog.

    We hand select only the best free tutorials and patterns for home sewers.

    Grab a brag button!

  16. Its nice to see that you are taking the ordinary travel pillow, making them very stylish and unique, and that they are starting to get more attention. Bravo!! They seem to be becoming very popular and have some of the best travel pillow reviews online.

  17. This is PERFECT for our mini-roadtrip in June. Ill make one for me and my two girls! 🙂

  18. This blog give best information on travel neck pillow

  19. A lot of pillows have special features that can fit your need for sure. Children may want to have pillows that are designed after their favorite cartoon character.

  20. I tried to download the pattern (this is so cute),but when I got to scrib to download, it says you have to be a premium subscriber to download this. so sad.

  21. Thanks so much for sharing your pattern. I am going to make 2 oafter the holidays for our vacation in Feb. One thing I may do is add ribbon
    (or something) to the ends so that we can hook them to our carry-on ….

  22. This tutorial compelled me to sew something for the first time since high school! Ive just finished making this pillow and absolutely adorable – so easy! My only alteration was to ammend the template a lot to suit my own preferences – i prefer a skinny back (so it doesnt push my head forward) and big fat sides that wrap right around to the front so my head can loll forwards.

    Ready just in time to take on my first long international flight!!!

  23. Your pattern did not work. It instructed me to pay for a membership. May by you should try Google drive. I have seen other bloggers do that. Other wise it looks cute, wish I could download it though.

  24. I just found this cute tutorial after searching for neck pillow tutorials. I love your patchwork! Like the previous commenter, I’m having trouble downloading the template from Scribd without paying for a membership. Can you help? I’d love to make one of these! Thanks!

  25. If anyone has trouble with Scribd, feel free to email me and I will send you the pattern directly. Thanks so much and sorry for the inconvenience. Have a great day! Lindsay

  26. I would also love the pattern please. It’s adorable. Thank-you.

    • Linda, I tried to email you, but you don’t have an email associated with your blogger id, so I can’t send it. If you leave me an email address I can send it to you. Thanks!

  27. I would also love to have this pattern, but your email button/contact link doesn’t seem to work for me. 🙁

  28. Could you email me the pattern? I am going on a long road trip, and would love to make myself one of these. Thanks so much for the great tutorial!

  29. Thanks for the great tute! I would love to have the pattern, as well. Scribd doesn’t allow free download and requires a membership.

  30. Lindsay,
    Just wanted to say thanks for this pattern. I, along with some of my quilting friends, will be traveling to Australia next spring and this will help with me getting some sleep on the plane.
    Thanks again,
    Anna in IL

  31. I love this pattern. I had one but yours is a better pattern because the one I had didn’t have the seam allowance added.
    Thanks so much
    Donna Laster from

  32. Thanks for sharing 🙂

  33. Love this – patchwork & the “C” shaped pillow! Thank you for the wonderful pictured tutorial! I can hardly wait to get this project started/done!

    I’ve included your link in today’s blog round-up!

  34. Could you please email the pattern for the neck pillow? We are planning a trip to Hawaii and would love to make a couple of these to take along on the plane! Thank you so much for the great tutorial!!!!

  35. Hi, thank you so much for this pattern and tutorial! I plan to make a few, especially for my two young granddaughters. I was just going to suggest adding a small tag on the outerside, back center to slip in a clip or something so that it can be clipped on to luggage or a purse while you’re moving thru an airport/train station. I’ve lost a few and this would keep it in place until it’s needed!

  36. Love it, I will be making one of these for all my friends. Gorgeous.

  37. Can’t seem to get pattern to load. Great idea, would be helpful since I’ve had cervical spinal surgery twice now.

  38. Please send to me the pattern for Patchwork Travel Pillow Thanks

  39. Can you please send me the pattern. I wish to make some of these for presents.

  40. I love, love this pattern. So easy, uses up my scraps & looks really pretty. I’ll be making more.


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