5 Little Monsters: Dove in the Window Patchwork Pillow

Dove in the Window Patchwork Pillow

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This is Day 2 of my week of book inspired crafts. Yesterday I started with a picture book I like when I was really little, so for today I am moving up to a few year later to a book, or rather a series, that was one of my favorites when I was elementary school age. The book/series I have chosen for today is the Little House on the Prairie series.

When I was a kid I loved books that were based on real people and events, historical fiction was my favorite genre. The Little House series was one that I loved and read many times. I used Little House in the Big Woods for the pictures, not for any other reason than that it is the first book in the series. 

When I was trying to think of a project to make that would be inspired by the Little House books the thing that immediately can to mind was something quilt related, specifically I remembered at some point in the book Laura mentioning a Dove in the Window quilt block. I wasn't  sure if that was actually true, or if I was remembering wrong. So I looked it up and it turned out that I had remembered correctly, Laura made a Dove in the Window quilt for her hope chest. 

I didn't know what that block looked like, so again I did a little research and what I found was not incredibly helpful. It turns out there are several different different blocks called dove in the window or something similar. One of them uses diamonds, one uses different odd shapes that you would need a template for (rather than just cutting out squares with a ruler and rotary cutter), and then there is one that uses a combination of squares and half square triangles. The last one is the one that I chose to make, and I even found a few different versions of that one. I made the most simplified version. 

Ultimately, this likely isn't the same Dove in the Window quilt block that Laura used for her wedding quilt. And I very much appreciate that I was able to use a sewing machine to make mine, rather than sewing by hand. So I guess it may not be the most accurate Little House on the Prairie project, but it has been a long time since I have made a patchwork/quilted project so I had fun making it. 

I wanted to turn my Dove in the Window block into a finished project, but I didn't want to make a whole quilt so I turned it into a pillow. The finished block was 14", with borders I ended up with an 18" square pillow. 

How to Make a Dove in the Window Patchwork Pillow

You will need:

  • fat quarter of 4 colors (3 color plus white, I used blue, yellow, and red)
  • 20" square of muslin or other fabric for backing of the quilted piece 
  • 20" square of thin batting
  • 1/3 yard fabric for pillow back
  • 18" pillow insert
  • rotary cutter
  • ruler
  • mat
  • sewing machine
  • thread 
  • pins


*Note- all seam allowances are 1/4"

Color A- Blue
Color B- Yellow
Color C- Red

Cut the following pieces:

From Color A cut-
4- 4 1/2" squares
4- 2 1/2" squares
8- 2 7/8" squares

From Color B cut-
4- 2 1/2" x 6 1/2" rectangles
4- 14 1/2" x 2 1/2" strips (for the border)

From Color C cut- 
5- 2 1/2" squares (1 for the block, 4 for the border

From White cut-
8- 2 7/8" squares

For pillow back cut:
2- 12" x 18 1/2"

Draw a line diagonally on one set of the 2 7/8" squares to make your half square triangles. 

Place the white and color a 2 7/8" squares together and sew 1/4" to each side of the diagonal line, then cut in half to make 16 half square triangle blocks.

Layout the blocks following the diagram below:

Assemble the square by sewing the small square and two half square triangles along the top of each corner together. Then sew the two half square triangles on the side of the larger squares together. Sew the two half square triangle to the side of the larger square, then sew that to the small square/2 half square triangle strip you first send together. Repeat this for each corner. 

Sew one corner block to the center strip, then sew the other corner block on the other side of the strip, repeat for the other set of corner blocks. 

To make the center sew the short side of one strip to the center square, then sew the other strip to the other side. 

Now sew the corner block sections to the center strip section. 

To add the borders sew one of the squares onto each end of 2 strips. 
Sew the other 2 strips to the top and bottom of the quilt block. 
Last, sew the 2 strips with the squares to each side of the quilt block

Layer the quilt block for quilting as follows:
20" square backing fabric
quilt block right side up

Pin in place, or use basting spray, then quilt as desired. I just stitched slightly inside each shape to quilt mine. 

Make the pillow back by hemming one long side of each of the two pillow back pieces.

Place the pillow front right side up, then place the 2 pillow back pieces right side down on top of the front with the hemmed edges overlapping in the center.

Sew all the way around the Pillow.

Flip right side out and put the pillow insert in pillow cover through the opening in the back. 

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