Make your pillowcase the star of the bed with a band of tiny blocks. Fabrics are from the Modern Farmhouse collection by Simple Simon and Co. for Riley Blake Designs.
Pop Star CO
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Inspired by: Pop Star from designer Kelli Marshall of Simply Mackbeth Design Co.

Project tester: Martha Gamm

Finished size: 30-3/4 ×20-1/2" (fits a standard-size bed pillow)

Finished block: 6" square


  • 1/8 yard black print (blocks)
  • 1/3 yard white print (blocks, pillowcase band)
  • 10"-square green print (blocks)
  • 1/3 yard pink print (blocks, pillowcase band)
  • 7/8 yard green floral (blocks, pillowcase body)

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

Measurements include 1/4" seam allowances for piecing blocks and 1/2" seam allowances for pillowcase construction. 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.

Cut Fabrics

Cut pieces in the following order.

From black print, cut:

  • 4—1×20" strips
  • 1—1×14" strip

From white print, cut:

  • 1—6-1/2 ×21-1/2" rectangle
  • 1—1-1/2×6-1/2" rectangle
  • 7—1×20" strips
  • 1—1×14" strip
  • 2—1×6-1/2" rectangles
  • 6—1×3-1/2" rectangles
  • 6—1×2-1/2" rectangles
  • 12—1×2" rectangles

From green print, cut:

  • 16—2" squares

From pink print, cut:

  • 1—6-1/2×41-1/2" rectangle
  • 8—2" squares

From green floral, cut:

  • 1—26 ×42" rectangle
  • 3—2-1/2" squares

Assemble Blocks

1) Referring to Diagram 1, sew together a black print 1×14" strip and a white print 1×14" strip to make Strip Set A. Cut strip set into twelve 1"-wide A segments.

2) Referring to Diagram 2, sew together a black print 1×20" strip and a white print 1×20" strip to make Strip Set B. Cut strip set into twelve 1-1/2"-wide B segments.

Mini Star Pillowcase d2

3) Referring to Diagram 3, sew together an A segment and a B segment. Add a white print 1×2" rectangle to top edge to make a corner unit (Diagram 4). The unit should be 2" square including seam allowances. Repeat to make 12 corner units total.

4) Referring to Diagram 5, sew together two white print 1×20" strips and one black print 1×20" strip to make Strip Set C. Repeat to make three C strips sets total. Cut strip sets into twelve 3-1/2"-wide C segments.

5) Use a pencil to mark a diagonal line on wrong side of green print and pink print 2" squares. (To prevent fabric from stretching as you draw lines, place 220-grit sandpaper under each square.)

6) Align a marked green print square with one end of a C segment (Diagram 6; note direction of marked line). Sew on marked line. Trim seam allowance to 1/4"; press open attached triangle. Add a second marked green print square to opposite end of segment to make a green Flying Geese unit. The unit should be 2×3-1/2" including seam allowances. Repeat to make eight green Flying Geese units total.

Mini Star Pillowcase d6

7) Repeat Step 6 to make four pink Flying Geese units.

8) Sew white print 1×2-1/2" rectangles to opposite edges of a green floral 2-1/2" square (Diagram 7). Add white print 1×3-1/2" rectangles to remaining edges to make block center (Diagram 8). The block center should be 3-1/2" square including seam allowances. Repeat to make three block centers total.

Mini Star Pillowcase d7
Mini Star Pillowcase d8

9) Referring to Diagram 9, lay out four corner units, four matching Flying Geese units, and one block center in three rows. Sew together pieces in rows. Join rows to make a block. The block should be 6-1/2" square including seam allowances. Repeat to make three blocks total.

Mini Star Pillowcase d9

Assemble Band

1) Using 1/4" seam allowances and referring to Diagram 10, lay out blocks, white print 1-1/2×6-1/2" rectangle, white print 1×6-1/2" rectangles, and white print 6-1/2×21-1/2" rectangle. Sew pieces together, pressing seams toward white print rectangles, to make a pieced row. The row should be 6-1/2×41-1/2" including seam allowances.

Mini Star Pillowcase d10

2) Join pieced row to pink print 6-1/2×41-1/2" rectangle (Band Assembly Diagram).

Mini Star Pillowcase bad

3) Join short ends of Step 2 unit to make a loop. Press seam open. Fold loop in half with wrong side inside; press to make pillowcase band.

Assemble Pillowcase

1) Fold green floral 26×42" rectangle in half to form a 26×21" rectangle. Using a 1/2" seam allowance, sew together long edges and a set of short edges to make pillowcase body. Turn right side out; press flat.

2) Matching raw edges and seams, slide pillowcase band over pillowcase body with pieced side of band facing right side of pillowcase body (Diagram 11); pin. Sew together band and pillowcase body.

Mini Star Pillowcase d11

3) Press pillowcase band open, pressing seam allowances toward pillowcase body. Topstitch 1/8" from band edge to secure seam allowance and complete pillowcase (Diagram 12).

Mini Star Pillowcase d12