No complicated equations are necessary to make this plus-sign pillow. Fabrics are from the Kona Cotton Solids collection by Robert Kaufman Fabrics.
It All Adds Up Project Option
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Inspired by It All Adds Up from designer Jennifer Fairchild-Flemmig

Project tester: Jan Ragaller


Yardages and cutting instructions are based on 42" of usable fabric width.

  • 5⁄8 yard solid white (block, border, backing)
  • 1⁄4 yard solid red (block)
  • 14"-square pillow form
  • Embroidery floss: white

Finished size: 14" square

Finished block: 12" square

Cut Fabrics

Cut pieces in the following order.

From solid white, cut:

  • 2--9-1⁄2×14-1⁄2" rectangles
  • 4--4-1⁄2" squares
  • 2--1-1⁄2×14-1⁄2" border strips
  • 2--1-1⁄2×12-1⁄2" border strips

From solid red, cut:

  • 5--4-1⁄2" squares

Assemble Pillow Front

Measurements include 1⁄4" seam allowances. Sew with right sides together unless otherwise stated.

Press seams in directions indicated by arrows on diagrams. If no direction is specified, press seam toward darker fabric.

1)    Referring to Diagram 1 for color placement, lay out solid red 4- 1⁄2" squares and solid white 4 -1⁄2" squares in three rows. Join the squares in rows. Press seams in opposite directions.


2)    Sew the rows together. Press seams in one direction, alternating direction with each row, to make a plus sign block. The block should be 12 -1⁄2" square including seam allowances.

3)    Sew solid white 1 -1⁄2×12 -1⁄2" border strips to the opposite edges of plus sign block (Diagram 2). Add solid white 1- 1⁄2×14 -1⁄2" border strips to remaining edges to make pillow front.


4)    Using two strands of white embroidery floss, on the plus sign block stitch running stitches 1⁄4" inside the outer edges of the red squares.

Assemble Pillow

1)    Turn one long edge of each solid white 9 -1⁄2×14- 1⁄2" rectangle under 1⁄4"; press. Turn same long edges under 1⁄4" again; press. Topstitch folded edges to hem rectangles.

2)    Overlap hemmed edges of rectangles 3 -1⁄2" to make a 14 -1⁄2" square (Pillow Back Assembly Diagram). Stitch across overlaps to make pillow back.


3)    Layer pillow front and pillow back with right sides together. Stitch around outer edges to make pillow cover. Turn right side out through opening in pillow back; press. Insert 14"-square pillow form in pillow cover to complete pillow.