Pillow Pattern!

As promised I’ve put together the pattern for the pillows that I made at the end of last year… No excuses for how long it’s taken me… I’m a busy lady!

Obviously you can put these together in any number of color choices and options.  I’ve made a pretty big variety:


In terms of fabric selecting, all I would suggest is that if you use a print have it be very small scale as the pattern of the design develops through the piecing and a loud print might detract from the overall look. I designed this pattern with solids in mind, so think of that when you pick your fabrics.

Materials needed:

Makes one 20″ pillow.

These quantities assume that you will be using three different fabrics.  One for the background and one for each set of the lines.  Since the design is made with a lot of 1.5″ wide strips, scraps are great for this and you can feel free to mix and match any number of different colors and fabrics.

– Fabric A – Dark Gray (background): 15″ x WOF (width of fabric) strip
– Fabric B – Light Gray: 4.5″ x WOF strip
– Fabric C – Yellow : 3″ x WOF strip

Pillow back fabric:
– Two 20″ x 13″ rectangles of the fabric of your choice.  I tend to use the background fabric to carry it through the design of the whole pillow.
– One 20″ x 2.5″  strip for binding the exposed raw edge.

Scrap fabric for the inside of the pillow:
-Two 22″ x 15″ rectangles
-One 22″ x 22″ square

-Two 22″ x 15″ rectangles
-One 22″ x 22″ square

One 20″ pillow form


Fabric A:


1. First cut your A15 triangle, measuring 15″ up the right side of your fabric and cutting along the diagonal to the lower left piece of your 15″ x WOF strip.

2. Use the remainder of your fabric and the diagram above to get all of your A pieces out of your 15″ x WOF strip.
A1, A2, A3, A4, A5, and A6 = 1.5″ x 10″
A7 = 1.5″ x 11″
A8 = 1.5″ x 15″
A9 = 1.5″ x 18″
A10, A11, and A12 = 1.5″ x 21″
A13 = 1.5″ x 1.5″
A14 = 4.5″ x 4.5″
A15 = Right triangle with both straight edges measuring 15″ long
A16 = Right triangle with both straight edges measuring 5″ long.

Fabrics B & C:
3. Cut 1.5″ wide WOF strips out of all of your fabric and trim down to the following sizes:

B1 = 1.5″ x 7″
B2 = 1.5″ x 11″
B3 = 1.5″ x 15″
B4 = 1.5″ x 18″
B5 , B6 and B7 = 1.5″ x 21″

C1, C2, C3, C4, C5 and C6 = 1.5″ x 10″
C7 = 1.5″ x 8″


This pattern is basically a quarter log cabin.  It can get a touch confusing because two colors are assembled before you build the log cabin,  but it’s simple!

Piece with a 1/4″ seam allowance.

4. Assemble the center as shown below.  First sew A13  to B1. Then add on A14. Finish by adding C7 to your piecing.


Now you’ll assemble all of your strips in to panels before sewing them on to the center.

5. Start by assembling A1 with C1.

6. Continue making “yellow panels” by assembling A2 with C2, A3 with C3, A4 with C4, A5 with C5, and A6 with C6.  Since all of the yellow panels are the same size, you don’t need to label them.

7. Assemble A7 with B2 – label as A7/B2

8. Assemble A8 with B3 – label as A8/B3

9. Assemble A9 with B4 – label as A9/B4

10. Assemble A10 with B5 – label as A10/B5

11. Assemble A11 with B6 – label as A11/B6

12. Assemble A12 with B7 – label as A12/B7

13. Now it’s time to start building the quarter log cabin on the center you already pieced.  Working from side to side, add the piecing from steps 2 through 8 to your piecing as indicated in the diagram below.  Start with A7/B2 and alternate between the yellow panels and the A/B panels.


Please note: If this diagram is too small for you to see clearly, just click through to where it is on flickr since it is bigger there.

14. Now that you’ve built most of the piecing, rotate it and trim it down to 20″ wide and 20″ tall.


Trimming at this point makes it easier to see where your triangles get sewn on. Note that you’ll just barely trim the bottom.  Also, make sure that you have piecing to fill in all of the 20″ wide before you make your first cut.  You don’t want to trim too much off of one side or the other!

15. Next, you’ll sew the two remaining right triangles on to your piecing.  They are intentionally a bit bigger than you need.


16. Finally, square up your piecing to a finished 20″ square.

Finishing the pillow sleeve: 

17. Now you’ll need to layer your fabric, batting and scrap backing fabric and then quilt all three portion of the sleeve.  The front, and the two 20″ x 13″ backing rectangles.  I quilted these pillows with lots of dense straight line quilt ’cause that’s my thing, but of course you can quilt as desired!

18. Once all three portions are quilted, trim off the excess scrap backing fabric and batting so that the front is 20″ square and the two backing pieces are 20″ x 13″.

19. Bind the 20″ length of one of the backing pieces.

20. Layer all three pieces, right sides together (taking care that your bound rectangle edge is what will be on the outside when you turn it all right side out) and pin thoroughly so that they won’t shift as you sew them together.

21. Sew, using a 1/2″ seam allowance, all the way around the outside edge of your layers.

22. You’re in the home stretch! Trim your corners and turn the sleeve right side out and stuff with the 20″ pillow form.  Since the finished sleeve will be about 19″ across, it will create a really full firm pillow.

23. And now the most important step: throw that pillow on your couch and enjoy it!!

Have questions or found a mistake in my pattern? (Totally possible!! Ha!) Let me know in the comments and I will reply as quickly as I can!

Screen shot 2013-12-02 at 9.11.10 AM

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  • Pat S

    April 21, 2014 at 11:35 am | Reply

    Wow, these are terrific. Thanks so much!

  • Rose Braun

    April 21, 2014 at 12:23 pm | Reply

    This is Great!! I am really looking forward to trying this.
    It will be great with small crab and beach prints. Thanks

  • christopher

    April 21, 2014 at 1:57 pm | Reply

    hi alissa, thanks for the great pattern! i am going to make a couple of these as christmas gifts this year!

  • ChristaQuilts

    April 21, 2014 at 4:10 pm | Reply

    They are gorgeous! I’d love to see a picture of one of the backs 🙂

  • Emily

    April 22, 2014 at 5:55 am | Reply

    I’ve been admiring your pillows!
    And thank you so much for your generosity in sharing the pattern!!!!!!

  • Jaci

    April 25, 2014 at 9:45 am | Reply

    Hi Alissa! I started working on your tutorial and I believe I found a mistake in work step 4. I believe it should be sew A13 to B1 (not A12 to B1) and then add A14 (not A13). The labels in the figure would need to be corrected as well. Thank you for the tutorial.

    • Alissa

      April 25, 2014 at 9:57 am | Reply

      Hey Jaci! Thanks for catching that – you’re completely right. I made the fix in the pattern!

  • Debbie R.

    April 30, 2014 at 8:17 pm | Reply

    Thanks so much for sharing this pattern. Your pillows are fabulous!

  • Kathy Dwyer

    May 15, 2014 at 12:35 pm | Reply

    So generous of you to share the pattern. Good motivation to update my window seat pillows! Thanks.

  • Sylvia Coleman

    June 4, 2015 at 2:12 am | Reply

    Love the design, simple But very affektive.
    Sehr schönes design, einfach aber wirkungsvoll.

  • Ana

    November 16, 2015 at 10:24 am | Reply

    Thanks Alissa for the pillow pattern. I was looking for something modern and came across this one. I made a couple of them a few weekends ago to match a quilt to give away at Christmas this year.

    The only things I did different were adding larger triangles to the corners (6″ and 16″ instead of 5″ and 15″) and I trimmed mine after quilting. I always find that the quilting tends to shrink the piece and I was glad I did as by the time the quilting was done, the piece was a bit smaller and I had enough to trim to 20″ x 20″.

    I am planning on finishing the second one this weekend. Thanks again for your generosity.

  • Connie

    January 22, 2017 at 7:50 am | Reply

    Hi Alissa! I seem to be a little late in seeing your tutorial but love the pillows and plan to make a couple to match a quilt I made for my daughter for her birthday in 2 weeks. I am having trouble finding 20X20 pillow forms so I bought 18X18. Do you have an idea of how to make the pattern fit that smaller size form? Thank you for a reply.

    • Alissa

      April 20, 2017 at 11:10 am | Reply

      Sorry to reply so late! I’m the worst about monitoring my comments over here…If you’d like to scale down the pattern you can draw it out on graph paper and adjust the sizes of each piece to accommodate a finished size of 18″ but really, with this pattern you could also just make it as described and then trim it down to a 19″ square that you then use to finish up. Hope that helps!

  • KB

    August 10, 2017 at 12:14 pm | Reply

    Alissa –
    I just came across this pattern and it’s really great! I do have a couple of questions…

    1) if I want my finished size to be approximately 14.5″ x 14.5″ would you suggest I reduce each piece of your 20×20 by 25% or should I make it as you designed and then cut it down?
    2) If my fabric has a slight stripe to it (ie like a raw silk might have) would you cut the contrasting colors on the diagonal so that the stipes remain horizontal? Or cut it out straight, which would mean the resulting contrast would have the stipes following the cut line.
    Thank you!

    • Alissa

      November 20, 2017 at 11:10 am | Reply

      Seeing this AGES later – I’m so sorry for such a late reply. I would say you could just shrink everything by 25% but the other method of just trimming more would work too – it would just change the proportions of the design somewhat. Thanks for your kind words about the pattern!

      • KB

        November 20, 2017 at 12:35 pm | Reply

        Thank you for your reply. I ended up making the pillow in 18″ x 18″, following your pattern and just trimming it to the size I wanted. It turned out great! I ended with a two color pillow that works really well in my family room. Due to the fabrics I used, I didn’t end up quilting it, but it still turned out beautifully. One of the fabrics was a faux suede in dark blue/navy. The other fabric was similar to raw silk in turquoise. I’m sure that’s hard to imagine the results, but it really looks stunning. I don’t see a way to include a photo with my reply, but please let me know if you’d like to see it.

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