Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Four Patch Pillow Tutorial

Hello there!! I'm KarrieLyne from Freckled Whimsy and I'm here to bring you a pillow tutorial! Thank you so much Madame Samm for inviting me to guest blog here on Stash Manicure!! 

This pillow actually came about because I was asked to make an "angel pillow" for a pillow swap and of course I couldn't say no! I had a lot of requests for a tutorial on this so I am really excited to bring it to you here! 

The great thing about this pillow is that it is simple to put together but also because you can use your scraps! We all need to use those up, right? For my pillow, I had some scraps left from Patty Young's Sanctuary line so I went with that, but feel free to mix up the lines and just use what you have on hand. You can't go wrong. :)


Scraps - enough to cut 64 squares that are 2.5" square. 
1 yard of background fabric to use for sashing and back of pillow
1 piece of light muslin 23" x 23"
1 piece of quilt batting 23" x 23"
thread to piece and quilt your pillow top


From your stash, cut 64 squares measuring 2.5" x 2.5".

From your background fabric cut 3 strips measuring 1.5" x width of fabric
     *sub-cut 12 pieces measuring 1.5" x 4.5"
     *sub-cut 3 pieces measuring 1.5" x 19.5"

From your background fabric cut 2 strips measuring 1" x width of fabric
     *sub-cut 2 pieces measuring 1" x 19.5"
     *sub-cut 2 pieces measuring 1" x 20.5"

From the background fabric, cut two pieces measuring 20.5" x 16.5" for the pillow back


You need to start by making 16 four-patch blocks. You can make these as random as you want or you can lay them out first before you start sewing. It's up to you. 

To make the four-patch, start by laying out 4 squares:

Flip the right pieces over to the left pieces so that right sides are together:

  Sew 1/4" seam:

To make this go faster, you can pair up (right sides together) 32 squares and chain sew them together.

Pair up these two-patches and press them in opposite directions so the seams will nest. 

Carefully match the seams together and sew 2 two-patches together. Press to one side. 

Choose 12 of your four-patches and sew a background piece measuring 1.5" x 4.5" to the right side of each of the 12. Press to the background fabric. 

Lay out your pieces as that the 4-patches that do not have  a background piece attached are all along the right side

Sew into rows.  Press to the background fabric. 

Now sew a background piece measuring 1.5" x 19.5" to the bottoms of rows 1, 2, & 3.  

Press to the background fabric. 

Sew these 4 rows together. Take care to match up your sashing pieces. Press to background fabric. 

Your piece should now measure 19.5" x 19.5". 

To square it up to 20.5" add your 1" strips to all 4 sides, starting with the 19.5" strips adding them to the left and right side. Then add the 20.5" pieces to the top and bottom.  Press to the background fabric. 

Your next step will be to quilt it, just like you would a quilt. I use warm and natural batting and for the back (since you won't see it) I use a light muslin. This makes the quilting part easier.

Layer your pieces just as you would a quilt: Backing face down, batting, pillow top face up. Pin baste if you like and quilt.  

For mine, I used painters tape to create a grid.

Place a piece of tape corner to corner and sew along that line. 

Remove tape and replace along the other diagonal, corner to corner. Sew along that line. 

Now you have guides to sew "v's" into your pillow top. Just sew along these lines equal distances apart. I use a 1/2" spacing .

Now trim your pillow top to 20.5" squared.

For the back of the pillow cut two pieces measuring 20.5" x 16.5".

Along the 20.5" side, fold over the edge 1/2"  wrong sides together and press. Fold over again on itself, press again, and sew 1/8" from the first folded edge. 

Place these pieces right sides together with your pillow top and with the folded edges facing in towards the middle. Pin in place. 

Sew 1/4" around all the edges making sure to back stitch once or even twice over the spots where you have the folded edges. These will be high stress points when taking the pillow out and putting it in so you want it to be secure. 

Now just turn your pillow cover right side out and stuff it with a 20" pillow form and enjoy!!! 


If you make one of these pillows from my tutorial, I'd love to see it! Please feel free to add it to my Flickr pool HERE so I can ohhhhh and ahaaaa over them all! :)

Also, if you'd like this in a PDF to print or save for later, click HERE to download it!

Much Love!!!

 Editors note. I left a message for KarrieLyne that her Pdf file is not linking, you can try it now..she just had to add to PUBLIC
status we are her peeps...thanks KarrieLyne


  1. Oooo- a *great* step-by-step for a project I have never done - a pillow! I think I will try this on Saturday with leftovers from a quilt I made for mom. She could use a pillow, I'm sure! I will let you know when I make one. THANK YOU for the great instructions and pictures!

  2. LOVE THIS!! Thanks for all the measurements and how you quilted it with the V's. The PDF address did not work for me though.

  3. So simple, but marvelous! Thanks for sharing!

  4. Hello KarrieLynne, That is great idea and one that I will definitely have a go at. Your tutorial was well presented and easy to follow.

  5. A wonderfully presented step-by-step tutorial. Your PDF is not working. I may just have to try one of these this weekend, but think I will go with a 2" block for a smaller pillow. Thank you for your posting and will have to peek at the flicker pool to see some eye-candy.

  6. Fabulous tut, going to make one of these from my scraps.....oops I cant get PDF to open either. Hugs Linda

  7. I love this and would love to make a valentine one. The pdf is not working though.

  8. Good Morning Karrie Lyne, what an absolutely amazing tutorial...and I just love pillows and this one, is just calling me to do something in red and white and polka dots...YOURS is striking, and your photos are perfection...You can come back anytime wink...

  9. Nice job, Karrie Lyne! That pillow is marvelous and so easy to adapt to all different fabrics...thanks for the tutorial.

  10. I love this pillow! It's great! I love the colors! Thanks for sharing!

  11. So very cute! I've saved this one for future reference. Not sure anything I could do would be as beautiful as yours!

  12. OOo its gorgeous! Thankyou for sharing your tutorial with us :) I love the fabric you used too. I will definitely be making one of these...maybe in blues, and one for my friend in Pinks!

  13. Nice tutorial on a lovely project!!

    In stitches,
    Teresa :o)

  14. I love it. I have a whole box of 2/5 in scraps. Some already sewn into a 4 patch. Very easy design and super easy instructions. I will make a few for my kids and one for me too. Thanks for the great tutorial.

  15. Very nice tutorial, Kerrie Lyne! Beautiful pillow! I will have to try one.

  16. Who does not like pillows, this one is perfect. Great tut. Thank you so much!

  17. Love it! Pillows for my couch are on my list!

  18. Love the pillow! What a great tutorial...thanks so much for sharing!!

  19. Thanks! I need some new pillows, this fits the bill!

  20. Thanks for the wonderful tutorial!!

  21. You do a great tutorial and I'm especially thankful for a PDF file. That makes it so much easier! blessings, marlene

  22. Love it! Perfect for some gifts that I need to make. Not your average pillow.

  23. What a great idea for a pillow cover AND a fantastic tutorial... very easy to understand and follow! Great job!

  24. Thank you so much for all of your wonderful comments! I am tickled that you all love it, and it really is easy to make!!

    Sorry about the PDF not working right away but it should be working now!

    Happy Sewing!

  25. Love this! Very cute and I have the perfect scraps for it :)

  26. Thanks for the great tutorial. Great pillow!

  27. I love this tutorial!!! It's wonderful!!! I definitely need to make a few of these. Love it! Hugs Ariane

  28. Cute pillow. Thanks for the tutorial.

  29. I am so excited to make this pillow. Thanks for the great tutorial.

  30. Great tutorial! Very good instructions and pictures! Thanks!

  31. So I'm anxious to make one!
    And, your tute will make it easier, thanks for all the hard work to photo and instruct. =)


  32. Gorgeous! THanks for the tutorial.

  33. Love this pillow! Thanks for the tutorial.

  34. Easy peasy, no excuses now! Thanks for the tute.

  35. Excellent stash busting project! I love to make pillows! What a nice gift this would make.


  36. Love the pillow! I just finished making my first one yesterday, I think I might have to make this one my second.

  37. Woohoo, girl! So happy to see you here on Stash Manicure, and now everyone knows what great tutorials you write! Folks, be sure to check out her Moda Bake Shop designs, too!!

  38. This looks sew fabulous and wonderful! Thanks for doing the step by step. Can't wait to try it.

  39. What a great tutorial!! I just love the good old 4 patch. The pillow is beautiful.

  40. Fabulous! My friend's daughter is soon to get her "big girl" room and I think she could use an awesome pillow in her favorite colors!

  41. Karrie Lyne... I love your pillow and your tutorial is the greatest! I must say... I am dying to get one if these cute pillows made. Thanks for sharing!

  42. Wonderful tutorial. Love the pillow. I can see making it in some nice spring colours. (wishing away the snow here!) Your sashing method is the same as I used on my 3 grandkids "i spy" quilts one Christmas. Hey, another grandchild on the way-maybe a baby "I spy"-now to visit my stash---

  43. Thank you for the tutorial.........can't wait to make a pillow.... :)

  44. Karrielyne, I love your pillow and the quilting on the straight just floors me. I think I'm going to have to try it with your tutorial. :) Thank you so much!!

  45. I love love love this pillow. Thanks soo much for sharing. I'm gathering my fabrics as I write!!

  46. Beautiful! Found you through fishskin fabrics :)


You think they are just words...they are sew much more than that...your wee messages tell me, you are kind, smart and important...