Patchwork Pillow Tutorial

Last week when I was in Utah, I had the great privilege of visiting the Riley Blake Fabrics warehouse and Offices.  I had a great time meeting new people and taking in all of the INSANE eye candy at Riley Blake.

When we visited the offices, Cindy (one of the co owners) showed me some scraps she had left from the strike offs of Lori Holt’s new line, Millie’s Closet.  I about flipped and begged Cindy to let me take the scraps!

I knew right away what I wanted to make. My polkadot chair has needed a “friend” for quite some time… This fabric I thought would make the perfect companion.

Here’s how I made it.

*just a note about the measurements:  I used a 18″x18″ pillow form that was not very firm. I like my pillows to fit tight in the forms, so I started with measurements for a 17″x17″ pillow top, which after washing was 16.5″x16.5″.  Adjust based on if you are going to wash your pillow top and how firm your pillow form is.*


1 18″x18″ pillow form
2 12″ long pieces of ribbon
1/2 yd fabric to be cut on bias for cording
Fabric cut to the sizes:
9″x 12″
17″ x 12″
17″ x 7″

To begin:

Piece your pillow top together as desired-  One of the prints i used is a “cheater” print- meaning it looks like 2 squares already sewn together. (it’s the 5.5″ x 11″ piece in the bottom corner)

Sew with 1/4″ seam allowances then trim so that the pillow top measures 17″ x 17″ (it will sew together slightly larger than that)

Make a quilt “sandwich” with your pillow top and quilt as desired. I’ve shared an instagram photo above of myself quilting circles on to my pillow.  I won’t share a tutorial on that part, since I’m new and hardly know what I’m doing when it comes to free motion quilting.  You can just quilt straight lines with walking foot if you like.

Wash (if desired) your pillow top and dry (this will make it soft and wrinkly and help hide any “mistakes” made quilting.

Trim pillow top so that all layers are flush.

For the pillow back, take your 7″x17″ piece of fabric and your 12″x17″ piece of fabric and hem one long side of each. (about a 1″ hem)

Stitch your ribbon to the hemmed edge of each piece.

Make cording and stitch to the outside edges of pillow top approx. 1/2″ in from the edge-  (NOTE: A separate tutorial on how to make the cording is coming this week!!)

Stitch pillow back pieces onto pillow front right sides together.  Stitch along the line you stitched to attach the cording- that way you know that the cording is placed correctly on the pillow.

Trim the corners and turn right side out.

That’s it! You’re done!

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Melissa Mortenson is the author of the Polka Dot Chair blog which is in its 7th year of sharing fresh and creative ideas with readers. She is the author of “Project Teen, Handmade Gifts your Teen will Actually Love”. Her first fabric line “Derby Style” debuted in January 2015 through Riley Blake Designs. A mom of 3, she considers herself lucky to be living in Kentucky.


  1. says

    Very cute! I love that circle quilting – I’m going to have to figure out how to do that! Is the template something that came with your machine or did you purchase it?

  2. says

    I love the cushion, I need to make some new ones for my sofa…could you please post a photo of the back? Does the back not pull apart with just the ribbon holding it together? I usually cover buttons with matching fabric, but I love this.

  3. says

    What a beautiful pillow!!! And can I say how jealous I am that you got to visit the offices. I wish I lived closer so I could have gone :(…….maybe someday I’ll get out there. I’m sure it was amazing. The pillow is SO perfect with that chair. Great tutorial!!



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