5 Little Monsters: Old Glory Patchwork Pillow

Old Glory Patchwork Pillow

  -This post may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon affiliate, I earn from qualifying purchases. I receive a small commission at no cost to you when you make a purchase using my link. Fabric used in this project provided by Missouri Star Quilt Company.-  

The 4th of July is just around the corner so I thought it would be fun to make a patriotic pillow to decorate my living room. I had a red, white, and blue charm pack, Old Glory, that I ordered a couple of months ago from Missouri Star Quilt Co. with this project in mind when I got it.

The whole pillow is made with the one charm pack plus a little bit of yardage for the lining. The front of the pillow is made with charm squares cut in half to make rectangles, arranged in red and white strips with  blue in the top corner. I also used charm squares to make the back panels, but there are a few different ways you can choose to finish the back. 

My favorite way to make pillows is with overlapping flaps in the back so that you can easily remove the inserts. I prefer this because then rather than having to store a bunch of different pillows I can just store the pillow covers and switch them out for different seasons or when I just want a different color of pillows. You could also do this with a zipper, but I don't love sewing invisible zippers so I find the flaps to be the easier way to go. I did accidentally sew my flaps wrong, I wanted the smaller flap on the top to overlap the bigger flap on the bottom but I laid them out wrong so the bottom flap overlaps the top. It isn't a big deal and still functions the same so I didn't worry about changing it, I just personally prefer the look of the top flap overlapping the bottom, especially because it was the smaller flap. I also include a few alternate options for the back if you prefer a different method for backing. 

The pieced front is quilted prior to sewing to the back. I just freehand quilted wavy lines going horizontally across the pillow. I thought they could kind of represent a waving flag, and also they were a lot more forgiving than straight lines since they were meant to be wavy and random. 

Once the whole thing is pieced, quilted, and sewn together all that is left is to put the insert inside and you have a cute, patchwork, patriotic pillow. The simple design works up really fast and easy. 

How to Make the Old Glory Patchwork Pillow

Finished Size 18" square

You will need:

  • Old Glory charm pack (or any charm pack with red, white, and blue fabrics with at least 8 red squares, 4 blue squares, and 6 white squares)
  • 5/8 yard fabric for lining (I used a solid white)
  • 20" square of thin batting
  • 18" pillow insert
  • rotary cutter
  • ruler
  • mat
  • sewing machine
  • thread 
  • pins or clips
  • basting spray


*Note- all seam allowances are 1/4"

From the charm pack pull the following squares:

For the pillow front- 
  • 8 red squares
  • 6 white squares
  • 4 blue squares 
For the pillow back -
  • 20 squares in any color (you will use 38 squares total so if your charm pack has 42 squares you will only have 4 left unused)

*There is one white square missing from this picture, you need a total of 6 white squares, not the 5 shown

Take all 18 squares you are using for the front (the 8 red, 6 white, and 4 blue) and cut them in half to make  36- 2.5"x 5" rectangles

Set the other 20 squares aside for the back (DO NOT CUT)

Layout the rectangles following the diagram below:

You will have 9 rows of 4 rectangles with the first 2 rectangles of the first 4 rows being blue and the rest of the rectangles alternating red and white stripes. 

Sew the rectangles together. I sewed mine in 9 rows of 4 because my brain likes to sew things in rows rather than columns, but you can obviously sew the rows or the columns and then sew them together. When it is all done you should have an 18.5" square. 

Cut out a 20" square from your lining fabric.

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

Use basting spray, or your preferred basting method, to baste the layers together 

Quilt as desired. I chose wavy freehanded horizontal lines to represent a waving flag.

Make the pillow back pieces by sewing the squares you set aside for the back together according to the diagram below, the top piece 2 rows of 4 squares, and the bottom pieces 3 rows of 4 squares (the colors in the picture do not mean anything, just meant to represent a scrappy patchwork)

Cut a piece of lining fabric the same size as each backing panel
  • 18.5" x 9.5" for the top panel
  • 18.5 x 14" for the bottom panel
Sew the lining pieces to the right side of each panel along one long edge (this will be the center edges of the panels)

Turn right side out and topstitch along that seamed edge. 

Place the two back pieces right side down on the pillow front lining up the three raw edges of the panels with the pillow front, and the finished edges in the center. (the panel you lay down first will be the one that overlaps the other when turned right side out)

Sew all the way around the pillow edge with a 1/4" seam allowance, then sew around the raw edge with a zigzag stitch for a nicer finish.

Clip the corners then turn the pillow cover right side out. 

Add the pillow insert into the pillow cover through the slit in the back. 

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. 

Alternate pillow back options: 

  • Instead of the pieced back panels you can just make 2 panels that are solid fabric cut 18.5" x 12". Narrowly hem one edge and assemble the pillow in the same way, right sides together, with the hemmed edges overlapping in the center and then sew around the outside. 
  • You could also make a pillow that is completely enclosed (non-removable insert) by cutting a piece 18.5" square, or piecing 4 charm squares x 4 charm squares for a finished 18.5" square, sew 3/4 of the way around, insert the pillow and sew the open end closed. (This is not my preferred way because I like to have a removable insert)
  • Another option is to add a zipper instead of the paneled flap opening that I used. I will be honest and say this is not my area of expertise but I am sure there are a lot of great tutorials out there that can help you if you choose to go this route. You would likely want to use an invisible zipper so it is, well, invisible, and I have never had great luck with invisible zippers so I generally avoid them, but that is just me. 

No comments :

Post a Comment