Sew four blocks in a variety of favorite cool-tone solids, then set them on point with an additional cool-tone solid to make a 16"-square pillow. These fabrics are Kona cotton solids from Robert Kaufman Fabrics.
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Inspired by Pick-It Fences from designer Cherri House of Cherry House Quilts

Project tester: Kathleen Williams


  • 1/4 yard total assorted green, cream, and blue solids (blocks)
  • 7/8 yard solid sage green (setting squares, setting and corner triangles, border, pillow back)
  • 16"-square pillow form

Finished pillow: 16" square

Finished block: 4-1/2" square

Quantities are for 44/45"-wide, 100% cotton fabrics.

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

Cut Fabrics

Cut pieces in the following order.

From assorted green, cream, and blue solids, cut:

  • 8--2x5" strips (4 sets of 2 matching strips)
  • 4--2x5" strips

From solid sage green, cut:

  • 2--16-1/2x20-1/2" rectangles
  • 2--2-1/8x16-1/2" border strips
  • 2--2-1/8x13-1/4" border strips
  • 1--7-5/8" square, cutting it diagonally twice in an X for 4 setting triangles total
  • 1--5" setting square
  • 2--4-1/8" squares, cutting each in half diagonally for 4 corner triangles total

Assemble Pillow Top Center

1. Sew together two matching solid 2x5" strips and one 2x5" strip of a second solid to make a block (Block Assembly Diagram). Press seams away from center strip. The block should be 5" square including seam allowances. Repeat to make four blocks total.


2. Referring to Pillow Top Assembly Diagram, lay out blocks, solid sage green 5" setting square, and solid sage green setting triangles in three diagonal rows.

Rail Fence Pillow

3. Sew together pieces in each row. Press seams toward blocks. Join rows; press seams in one direction.

4. Add solid sage green corner triangles to make pillow top center. Press seams toward corner triangles. The pillow top center should be 13-1/4" square including seam allowances.

Add Border

1. Join sage green 2-1/8x13-1/4" border strips to opposite edges of pillow top center. Press seams toward border.

2. Add sage green 2-1/8x16-1/2" border strips to remaining edges to make pillow top. Press seams toward border. The pillow top should be 16-1/2" square including seam allowances.

Finish Pillow

1. With wrong sides inside, fold solid sage green 16-1/2x20-1/2" rectangles in half to form two double-thick 16-1/2x10-1/4" pieces. Overlap folded edges by about 4" to make a 16-1/2" square (Pillow Back Assembly Diagram). Stitch around entire square to make pillow back. (The double thickness makes the pillow back more stable.)

Rail Fence

2. Layer pillow top and pillow back with right sides together. Stitch around all edges. Turn right side out and press to make pillow cover. Insert pillow form through opening in back to complete pillow.