The use of coordinating prints makes these pillows look more complicated than they are. Their neutral colors help them transition through decor changes. Fabrics are from the Curious Nature collection by Parson Gray for FreeSpirit.

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Materials for Square-in-a-Square Pillow

Inspired by Happy Haunts from designer Sue Marsh of Whistlepig Creek Productions
Project tester: Mary Pepper

5⁄8 yard brown print (pillow top, binding)
18x22" piece (fat quarter) gray print (pillow top)
1-5⁄8 yards cream print (border, pillow back)
2⁄3 yard iron-on fusible fleece
16"-square pillow form

Finished pillow: 221⁄2" square (including 3-1⁄4"-wide flange)

Quantities are for 44/45"-wide, 100% cotton fabrics unless otherwise specified.
Measurements include 1⁄4" seam allowances. Sew with right sides together unless otherwise stated.

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Cut Fabrics for Square-in-a-Square Pillow

Cut pieces in the following order. Cut cream print 3-1⁄2x16-1⁄2" border strips lengthwise (parallel to the selvages).

From brown print, cut:
3-2-1⁄2x42" binding strips
2-10" squares, cutting each in half diagonally for 4 triangles total

From gray print, cut:
1-11-7⁄8" square

From cream print, cut:
2-22-1⁄2x26-1⁄2" rectangles
2-3-1⁄2x22-1⁄2" border strips
2-3-1⁄2x16-1⁄2" border strips

From fusible fleece, cut:
1-22-1⁄2" square

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Assemble Square-in-a-Square Pillow Top

1. Sew brown print triangles to opposite edges of gray print 11-7⁄8" square (Diagram 1). Join remaining brown print triangles to remaining edges. Press all seams toward triangles. Trim to 16-1⁄2" square including seam allowances to make pillow center.

2. Sew cream print 3-1⁄2x16-1⁄2" border strips to opposite edges of pillow center. Add cream print 3-1⁄2x22-1⁄2" border strips to remaining edges to make pillow top (Diagram 2). Press all seams toward border. The pillow top should be 22-1⁄2" square including seam allowances.

3. Following manufacturer's instructions, press fusible fleece 22-1⁄2" square to wrong side of pillow top.

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Finish Square-in-a-Square Pillow

1. With wrong sides inside, fold cream print 22-1⁄2x26-1⁄2" rectangles in half to form two double-thick 13-1⁄4x22-1⁄2" rectangles. (The double thickness makes the pillow back more stable.) Overlap folded edges about 4" to make a 22-1⁄2" square (Pillow Back Assembly Diagram). Baste across top and bottom of overlapped layers to make pillow back.

2. With wrong sides together, layer pillow top and pillow back; baste. Stitch in the ditch along inside border seam through all layers to make a pillow cover with a 3-1⁄4"-wide flange.

3. Bind with brown print binding strips. Insert pillow form through opening in pillow cover back to complete Square-in-a-Square pillow.

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Materials for Square Pillow

1-5⁄8 yards solid black (inner border, binding, pillow back)
1⁄2 yard black chain print (pillow top)
1⁄3 yard black starburst print (outer border)
2⁄3 yard iron-on fusible fleece
16"-square pillow form

Finished pillow: 22-1⁄2" square (including 3-1⁄4"-wide flange)

Quantities are for 44/45"-wide, 100% cotton fabrics. Measurements include 1⁄4" seam allowances. Sew with right sides together unless otherwise stated.

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Cut Fabrics for Square Pillow

Cut pieces in the following order.

From solid black, cut:
3-2-1⁄2x42" binding strips
2-22-1⁄2x261⁄2" rectangles
2-1x17-1⁄2" inner border strips
2-1x16-1⁄2" inner border strips

From black chain print, cut:
1-16-1⁄2" square

From black starburst print, cut:
2-3x22-1⁄2" outer border strips
2-3x17-1⁄2" outer border strips

From fusible fleece, cut:
1-22-1⁄2" square

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Assemble Square Pillow Top

1. Sew solid black 1x16-1⁄2" inner border strips to opposite edges of black chain print 16-1⁄2" square (Diagram 3). Add solid black 1x17-1⁄2" inner border strips to remaining edges. Press all seams toward inner border.

2. Join black starburst print 3x17-1⁄2" outer border strips to opposite edges of pillow center (Diagram 3). Add black starburst print 3x22-1⁄2" outer border strips to remaining edges to make pillow top. Press all seams toward outer border.

3. Following manufacturer's instructions, press fusible fleece 22-1⁄2" square to wrong side of pillow top.

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Finish Square Pillow

1. With wrong sides inside, fold solid black print 22-1⁄2x26-1⁄2" rectangles in half to form two double-thick 13-1⁄4x22-1⁄2" rectangles. (The double thickness makes the pillow back more stable.) Overlap folded edges about 4" to make a 22-1⁄2" square (Pillow Back Assembly Diagram). Baste across top and bottom of overlapped layers to make pillow back.

2. With wrong sides together, layer pillow top and pillow back; baste. Stitch in the ditch along inside border seam through all layers to make a pillow cover with a 3-1⁄4"-wide flange.

3. Bind with solid black binding strips. Insert pillow form through opening in pillow cover back to complete square pillow.

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