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Spring Pillow

Designed by Allison Aller



Determine the desired size of the center unit. Cut a piece of fabric (or paper) slightly larger than the chosen center unit.

Using a rotary cutter, cut along the two bottom edges of the tool. Then, if needed, slide the tool down to the lines on the tool that match up with your desired center unit. Then, using the rotary cutter, cut along the remaining three edges.

For the remainder of the block pieces, cut uneven strips of fabric, measuring on any side from 1" up to the size of your starter block (or use leftover pieces of fabric you have from previous projects).

finished size 18" square

fabric requirements

  • 1 – 20" x 20" muslin or lightweight washable interfacing for pillow top foundation
  • 2 – 19" x 32" pieces of fabric for pillow back
  • 1 – 6" x 6" fabric for center patch of pillow
  • 20 – 3" x 15" strips fabric, (or wider if preferred)
  • 20-25 – 6"-15" pieces of different trims
  • 1 – pre-made 18" x 18" pillow form
  • Monofilament clear thread for topstitching trim
  • Sewing machine thread for bobbin and constructing pillow


constructing the pillow top

STEP 1 The first (floral) patch is cut out using the Simply Crazy template and placed in the center of the 20" x 20" pillow top foundation muslin. Then the first 3" strip of fabric is laid along one edge of the center patch, overlapping it by 1/4". Using a ruler, the strip is marked to align with the adjoining side of the central patch. Then that strip is cut along the marked line.

STEP 2 A piece of trim is laid over the overlapped edge of the two fabrics, and pinned into place. Using the clear monofilament thread in a narrow zig zag stitch, the trim is sewn into place along each side, thus securing both the trim and the fabrics into place on the muslin.

Option: If not using trim, layer the fabrics right sides together and sew a seam to join the two pieces of fabric, sewing through both fabrics and the foundation.

STEP 3 As in Step 2, moving around the central patch, fabrics are first laid into place, then marked and cut. Trim is then laid over the overlapped fabric edges, measured, cut, and zigzagged into place along the length of each side.

STEP 4 Where the trim is not "solid", as with the daisies in this picture, sew the two pieces together as in option under Step 2. The picture below shows the pillow top underway. Fabric strips and trims are added going "around the block" until the perimeter of the muslin foundation is reached. Excess is then trimmed away.

Here the pillow top is completely pieced:

winter pillow

This pillow uses the exact same construction sequence and techniques as the Spring Pillow, but you can see how different fabrics, trims, and colors change the look.

Note that in this pillow, a second piece of trim was inserted behind a first piece, pinned into place, and both sewn on together. You can vary the treatment of your trims in many ways.

plaid pillow

Instead of placing trim between the fabric strips, this pillow uses velvet bias "tape" made with Simplicity's Bias Maker (# 881925) using the 1-1/2" tip.

The bias strips are sewn on just as the trims were in the previous pillows, with a clear zig zag seam down each side. Simple hand embroidery adds interest and a crazy quilt look to the pillow.

A great description of how to do the herringbone stitch can be found here:

And the detached chain stitch is here:

The flowers in the center are made from craft store flowers and leaves that were disassembled and then sewn on with decorative beads and threads. Think how you can create a bouquet of your own!

finishing the pillow

STEP 1 Trim the pillow top to 19" x19". Zigzag stitch around the perimeter of the top.

STEP 2 Fold each piece of 19" x 32" fabric in half, right sides out, so that folded it measures 19" x 16". Pin each folded piece to the front of the pillow top, with the folded edges overlapping each other and the corners lined up.

STEP 3 Sew around the entire perimeter of the pillow using a 1/2" seam allowance, going through all layers.

STEP 4 Again zigzag around the perimeter of the pillow. This adds strength and prevents any fraying.

STEP 5 Turn pillow right side out and insert prefabricated pillow form.

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