Fashion a large throw pillow by combining four center units for a dazzling diamond effect.
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Designers: Sarah Maxwell and Dolores Smith of Homestead Hearth

  • 1/3 yard orange floral (pillow top)
  • 1 yard green-and-white floral (pillow top, pillow back)
  • 3/4 yard green print (pillow top, piping)
  • 9x21" piece (fat eighth) orange print (pillow top)
  • 3 yards 3/8"-wide cording
  • Polyester fiberfill

Finished pillow: 24" square

Quantities are for 55/56"-wide, decorator-weight, 100% cotton fabrics. Sew with right sides together unless otherwise stated. Measurements include 1/4" seam allowances.

Cut Fabrics

Cut pieces in the following order.

From orange floral, cut:

  • 4--4-3/4x18-1/8" rectangles

From green-and-white floral, cut:

  • 1--24-1/2" square for pillow back
  • 4--4-3/4x18-1/8" rectangles

From green print, cut:

  • 2--6-7/8" squares, cutting each in half diagonally for 4 triangles total
  • Enough 2-1/2"-wide bias strips to total 106" for piping

From orange print, cut:

  • 2--6-7/8" squares, cutting each in half diagonally for 4 triangles total

Assemble Pillow Top

1. Referring to Diagram 1, align the 45-degree line on a quilter's ruler with one corner of an orange floral 4-3/4x18-1/8" rectangle. Trim excess fabric. Align ruler and trim fabric at opposite end of rectangle to form a trapezoid shape. Repeat with remaining orange floral and green-and-white floral 4-3/4x18-1/8" rectangles.


2. Referring to Diagram 2 for placement, sew together a green print triangle, orange floral trapezoid, green-and-white floral trapezoid, and orange print triangle to make a pillow top unit. Press seams in one direction. Repeat to make four pillow top units total.


3. Join pillow top units in pairs (Diagram 3). Press seams in opposite directions. Join pairs to make pillow top. Press seams in one direction. The pillow top should be 24-1/2" square including seam allowances.


Prepare and Add Piping

1. Sew together green print 2-1/2"-wide bias strips to make one long pieced strip. Use pieced strip and 3/8"-diameter cording to make piping (for details, see Custom Piping, below).

2. Beginning at midpoint of pillow edge and aligning raw edges, baste piping around edge of pillow top. When attaching the piping to the pillow top, begin stitching 1-1/2" from piping's folded end. When you reach the corner, clip seam allowance of piping to within a few threads of stitching line (Diagram 4). Gently ease piping into place along next edge, rounding corner slightly, and continue stitching. Turn each corner in same manner.


Cut end of cording so it will fit snugly into folded opening at beginning. The ends of the cording should abut inside covering.

Refold bias strip so it covers cording, lapping folded end over raw end. Finish stitching piping to pillow top.

Custom Piping

1. Piping is made by sewing a bias-cut fabric strip around a length of cording. The width of the bias strip will vary depending on the diameter of the cording. We used a 2-1/2"-wide bias strip and 3/8"-diameter cording for this pillow.

2. With the wrong side inside, fold under 1-1/2" at one end of the bias strip. Fold strip in half lengthwise with the wrong side inside.

3. Insert the cording next to the folded edge, placing a cording end 1" beyond the fabric folded end.

4. Using a zipper foot, sew through both fabric layers right next to the cording to make piping (Piping Diagram). Trim seam allowances to 1/2".


Finish Pillow

1. Using basting line as a guide for stitching, sew together pillow top and remaining green-and-white floral 24-1/2" square, leaving an opening for turning.

2. Turn right side out, stuff with fiberfill, and stitch opening closed to complete pillow.