A patriotic color palette gives a pillow a summery vibe. Fabrics are from the Bandana Ballad collection by Michael Miller Fabrics.

March 18, 2020

INSPIRED BY: Color Wheels from designer Vicki Ruebel

PROJECT TESTER: Diane Tomlinson


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

  • 1/4 yard each red print, white print, and dark blue print (pillow top)
  • 1/2 yard each light blue print and solid navy (pillow top, pillow back)
  • 24"-square batting
  • 24"-square muslin
  • 20"-square pillow form
  • Lightweight tracing paper or other foundation material of your choice

Finished pillow: 20" square

Finished block: 15" square

Cut Fabrics

Cut pieces in the following order. Click on "Download this Project" for pattern pieces.

From red print, cut:

  • 8—3" squares
  • 8—2-1/4×6-1/2" rectangles

From white print, cut:

  • 8—3×5" rectangles
  • 4 of Large Triangle Pattern
  • 4 of Small Triangle Pattern

From light blue print, cut:

  • 2—12-1/4×20-1/2" rectangles
  • 8—4×5" rectangles

From dark blue print, cut:

  • 8—2-1/2×7-1/2" rectangles

From solid navy, cut:

  • 2—3×15-1/2" strips
  • 2—3×20-1/2" strips

Foundation-Piece Units

Click on "Download this Project" for foundation patterns.

To foundation-piece, stitch fabric pieces to a foundation paper with the marked side of the paper facing up and the fabric pieces layered underneath. The resulting pieced unit is a mirror image of the foundation paper.

1. Use a pencil to trace each foundation pattern onto lightweight tracing paper (or other foundation material of your choice) four times, tracing all lines and numbers. Cut out each traced foundation pattern roughly 1/4" outside dashed lines to make four of foundation paper A and four of foundation paper B.

2. Gather one foundation paper A, one red print 3" square (position A1), one white print 3×5" rectangle (position A2), one light blue print 4×5" rectangle (position A3), one red print 2-1/4×6-1/2" rectangle (position A4), and one dark blue print 2-1/2×7-1/2" rectangle (position A5). Working in numerical order, foundation-piece Unit A (Diagram 1). Repeat to make four A units total.

3. Gather one foundation paper B, one red print 3" square (position B1), one white print 3×5" rectangle (position B2), one light blue print 4×5" rectangle (position B3), one red print 2-1/4×6-1/2" rectangle (position B4), and one dark blue print 2-1/2×7-1/2" rectangle (position B5). Working in numerical order, foundation-piece Unit B (Diagram 2). Repeat to make four B units total.

Assemble Pillow Top

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 3, sew together a Unit A and a Unit B. Join a white print large triangle to upper left-hand corner and a white print small triangle to bottom right-hand corner to make block unit. The unit should be 8" square including seam allowances. Repeat to make four total block units.

2. Referring to Diagram 4, sew block units together in pairs. Join pairs to make pillow top center. The pillow top center should be 15-1/2" square including seam allowances.

3. Referring to Pillow Top Assembly Diagram, sew solid navy 3×15-1/2" strips to opposite edges of pillow top center. Join solid blue 3×20-1/2" strips to remaining edges to make the pillow top. The pillow top should be 20-1/2" square including seam allowances.

Finish Pillow

1. Layer pillow top, batting, and muslin squares; baste. Quilt as desired.

2. Trim batting and muslin even with pillow top edges.

3. Turn one long edge of each light blue print 12-1/4×20-1/2" rectangle under 1/4"; press. Turn under 1/4" again and stitch in place to make hemmed pillow back pieces. Each hemmed pillow back piece should be 11-3/4×20-1/2" including seam allowances.

4. Referring to Pillow Back Assembly Diagram, overlap hemmed edges of pillow back pieces by 3" to make a 20-1/2" square. Stitch across overlaps to make pillow back.

5. Layer pillow top and pillow back with right sides together. Stitch 1/4" from outer edges to make pillow cover. Turn right side out through opening in pillow back; press.

6. Insert pillow form in pillow cover to complete the pillow.