Patchwork Pillow Pattern and Tutorial

My mom’s birthday was last month. She and Savannah actually share the same birthday, March 5th…’s pretty special. Mom always comes to visit for the kids birthday and I wanted to make her something special for her birthday this year. She has really been into quilting lately and we share the same love of patterned fabric. I came up with this pretty patchwork pillow for her to put on the couch in her sewing studio. The ‘M’ is for Mom or her last name, ‘Michel’.

The pattern I created for this pillow makes a fairly large pillow (20″ x 20″), but you could certainly make it smaller by not adding the sashing around the edges or using smaller squares of fabric. Also, I used machine embroidery on a solid color fabric for the center panel, but if you don’t have machine embroidery just use another patterned fabric or consider doing some hand embroidery.

Patchwork Pillow Pattern and Tutorial
by Lindsay Wilkes from The Cottage Mama
40 (2.5″) squares of fabric in coordinating prints
1/2 yard fabric for sashing
Fat quarter or fabric scrap for center panel
3/4 yards fabric for pillow backing, cut 20″ x 20″
1 20″ x 20″ pillow form or fiberfill for stuffing


Step 1: Cut the pieces according to the graphic pictured above. If you are planning on using embroidery on your center panel, do that prior to cutting out your square so you have plenty of extra fabric to place in your hoop.

Center Panel (Cut 1): 6.5″ x 6.5″
Small squares (Cut 40): 2.5″ x 2.5″
Top and Bottom Sashing (Cut 2): 14″ x 3.25″
Side Sashing (Cut 2): 3.25″ x 20″
Pillow Back (Cut 1): 20″ x 20″

Step 2: Sew the pieces together. Look at the pattern graphic pictured above. I tried to color coordinate each step of sewing the pillow together. You will sew from the inside outward. The actual patchwork will not all be in the same color, but the colors above are for visual reference. Make sure you press as you go.

**All Seam Allowances 1/4″, unless otherwise noted**

-Sew the pink squares together, then attach them to the center panel.
-Sew the blue squares together, then attach them to the center panel.
-Sew the yellow squares together, then attach them to the center panel (which will already have the pink and blue squares attached).
-Sew the green squares together and attach them to the center panel.
-Attach the bottom and the top row of sashing to the center panel.
-Attach the two side sashing pieces to the center panel to finish piecing the pillow top.

The picture above is what your pillow front will look like once you have pieced the entire thing together.
Step 3: Topstitch the pillow front. Feel free to get creative with this part of your pillow. I simply ran a line of stitching on either side of each seam on the patchwork section using a 1/4″ seam allowance. And did one row of topstitching on the sashing around the border of the patches also using a 1/4″ seam allowance. You could definitely add batting to the back of the pillow top to give it a more quilted look; however, I did not use batting for this particular pillow.


Also, since this stitching was purely decorative, I used aqua embroidery thread that coordinated with the machine embroidery. Just remember, you don’t want to use embroidery thread in your seams, but it’s great for decorative stitching because of the lovely sheen!
Step 4: Attach the pillow front to the pillow back using a 1/2″ seam allowance. Place the pillow front and the pillow back with their right sides together and sew around three of the four sides. Clip the corners to remove the bulk, turn right side out and press. Make sure to press out the corners with a point turner or a chopstick.
Press the edge that you left open under by 1/2″ towards the wrong side of the fabric (this will make hand sewing the pillow close much easier in the following step).
Step 5: Insert the pillow form and close the pillow. My favorite closing stitch is a blind stitch because you don’t see any of the stitching, but you can use any stitch you like.
If you’ve never done a blind stitch before, you should give it a try! My Grandma Peggy taught me how to sew one quite some time ago and I love it. My blogging friend Amy from Positively Splendid has a great tutorial found here for exactly how to sew a blind stitch. Also, if you would prefer an envelope style back (so you can wash the pillow cover), you can check out my friend, Delia’s blog, for a 20″ Easy Envelope Pillow Tutorial.
Now look……your pillow is complete!
A few other notes:
The ‘M’ design was a built in embroidery design on my Baby Lock Unity Sewing and Embroidery Machine. The colors for embroidery were all Gutermann Embroidery Thread with the colors being 7165 (aqua), 8595 (green), and 5136 (light pink). I just started getting into machine embroidery so I don’t have a huge thread preference yet, but I think these turned out very nicely. I also used a tear-away stabilizer on the back of the fabric prior to embroidering.
The fabric I used was a 2.5″ square mini-charm pack of “Marmalade” by Bonnie & Camille for Moda Fabrics. The sashing and backing were both cut from yardage of the same line of fabric. Several blog sponsors here at The Cottage Home carry this line of fabric and you can find the fabric store sponsors in the right side bar of the blog.
Thanks for stopping by!
I hope you have a wonderful week!

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  1. precioso !!! sin duda va a mi lista para hacer 😉
    gracias por compartirlo :))

  2. This is beautiful! It would be a great way to use up some of my scraps. Thanks for the tutorial!

  3. Just beautiful! I’m sure your Mom absolutely loved it. Thanks, as always, for sharing your tutorial with us 🙂

  4. Thanks, it’s so pretty 🙂

  5. Linking up from Skip to My Lou. I love the look of patchwork and I’m working on teaching myself to do it. Thank you for sharing this tutorial!

  6. So cute! Thanks for the great tutorial!

  7. Very nice.

  8. It’s gorgeous, I’m sure she loved it!

  9. What a beautiful pillow!! I love the colors, and combining the patchwork plus a monogram is a fabulous idea. Pinning!!

    xo, Tanya

  10. I am in Love with this fabric from Bonnie and Camille! I made a quilt for my daughter, and plan to make some fun pillows too…thanks for inspiring me with the beautiful pillow you made!

  11. Beautiful! So colorful and fresh and such a pretty embroidery design.

  12. My goodness, this is pretty. I bet your mum loved it; and I am thinking it would make a great gift for anyone.

  13. Muy bonito.

  14. I love this pillow. Instead of blind stitching shut how would you add a zipper? I would love to make one for my daughter but being a toddler I’m sure it will need to be washed often 🙂

  15. How beautiful pillow! And with my monogram! My son found this and sent me just now. Congratulations! Tks for share.

  16. If you are using a 20 x 20 inch pillow form, shouldn’t the back fabric be larger than 20 x 20?