Happy appliquéd circles arranged in a flower shape fill a bright pillow. The ragged edges of the appliqués add to the project's breezy charm while orange piping frames the aqua background and echoes the center circle. Fabrics are from the Honey Honey collection by Kate Spain for Moda Fabrics.
Bubble Up Color Option
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Inspired by Bubble Up from designer Sachiko Aldous

Quilt tester: Jan Ragaller


  • 22" square solid aqua (appliqué foundation)
  • 1⁄3 yard total assorted prints (appliqués)
  • 18x22" piece (fat quarter) orange print (piping)
  • 1-1⁄2 yards backing fabric
  • 20" square pillow form
  • 2--1⁄3 yards 3⁄16"-wide cotton cording
  • Washable fabric glue (optional)

Finished pillow: 20-1⁄2" square

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

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

Cut Fabrics

Cut pieces in the following order.

Click on "Download this Project" above for the patterns.

From assorted prints, cut:

  • 1 of Pattern A
  • 9 of Pattern B
  • 8 of Pattern C

From orange print, cut:

  • Enough 2-1⁄4"-wide bias strips to make an 86"-long piece for piping

From backing fabric, cut:

  • 2--20-1⁄2x24-1⁄2" rectangles

Applique Pillow Front

1. Fold solid aqua square in half vertically and horizontally (Diagram 1). Lightly finger-press folds; unfold. Fold square diagonally in both directions and lightly finger-press again to make an appliqué foundation with placement lines; unfold.


2. Referring to Diagram 2, arrange assorted A, B, and C circles atop appliqué foundation. Pin or baste circles in place.


3. Machine-straight-stitch 1⁄4" from outer edge of each circle to make appliquéd pillow front. Machine-wash to ravel the appliqué edges. Press and trim appliquéd pillow front to 20-1⁄2" square including seam allowances.

Assemble Pillow

1. Sew together orange print 2-1⁄4"-wide bias strips to make one long bias strip.

2. Fold one short end of orange print piping strip under 1-1⁄2". With wrong side inside, fold strip in half lengthwise. Insert cording next to folded edge with cording end 1" from folded strip end. Using a zipper foot, baste through fabric layers right next to cording to make piping (Diagram 3). Trim seam allowances to 1⁄4" wide.


3. Aligning raw edges, baste piping to all edges of appliquéd pillow front, starting 1-1⁄2" from folded piping end. As you stitch each corner, clip seam allowance to within a few threads of stitching line (Diagram 4); gently ease piping in place. Cut end of cording to fit snugly inside folded opening, then stitch to beginning point.


4. With wrong side inside, fold each backing 20-1⁄2x24-1⁄2" rectangle in half to form two double-thick 20-1⁄2x12-1⁄4" rectangles. (The double thickness results in a more stable pillow back.) Overlap folded edges about 4" to make a 20-1⁄2" square (Pillow Back Assembly Diagram). Baste across edges where layers overlap to make pillow back.


5. Layer appliquéd pillow front and back with right sides together; pin. Sew together around outer edges just inside cording stitching line to make pillow cover. Turn right side out; press. Insert 20"-square pillow form through opening to complete pillow.