Patchwork Pillow Love

Patchwork Pillow Love-2

Hello again fellow bakers! I’m Sterling LaBosky of Sterling Quilt Company back with a sweet little pillow project just in time for Valentine’s Day. All it takes is just one Moda Treat and a little coordinating yardage for backing and such. I will show you step by step how easy is it to finish off your pillow with a zippered back and flap. I prefer this method over an envelope closure because there is literally no measuring, and it’s so much easier to switch out your inserts. Let’s get baking!

This project finishes at 18″ x 18″.



1 Moda Treat in Poetry by 3 Sisters
2/3 yard background fabric {Bella solid 9900 97}
1/2 yard backing fabric
1/4 yard binding fabric

22″ zipper


Cut (1) 3 1/2″ x WOF strip from your background fabric. Subcut into (2) 3 1/2″ squares and (4) 2″ squares. The rest of your background fabric will be used to back the inside of your pillow when quilting.


Open up your treat and choose 4 squares for your heart block. Draw a line from corner to corner on all of your background squares.


Place your marked background squares RST with your 4 heart squares. Sew on the lines and trim away the excess 1/4″ from the sew line. Press out. Do NOT sew your heart block together yet.

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Lay out your treat squares around your heart into a 6 x 6 grid. You will have 6 extra treat squares.


Sew your squares together into rows, pressing in alternating directions. Sew all your rows together. Press the first two rows up and the rest of the rows down.

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Layer your pillow top with a batting square and the rest of your background fabric and quilt as desired. Trim your quilted top to 18 1/2″ x 18 1/2″ square.


Now for the easiest zippered pillow back ever. 🙂 Take your backing fabric and cut it in half on the natural fold of the fabric. I even use scissors for this part because we don’t need to worry about a precise measurement. You should have two pieces of fabric that measure approximately 18″ x 21″.


Now take your zipper and line it up RIGHT SIDE DOWN with the ~21″ side of your fabric and pin or clip in place. Your zipper will probably be longer than your fabric, and that is perfectly okay. I like to use at least a 22″ zipper for my pillows. Bigger zippers are always easier to work with, and I’m all about the quick and easy. 😉


I usually switch to a zipper foot and move my needle to the left, but it is not essential to do this. You could just use your regular 1/4″ seam allowance. Just line up your foot (zipper or 1/4″) with the edge of your zipper and sew it down.


Flip it open and press your fabric away from the zipper.


Now take your other backing piece and line it up RIGHT SIDE DOWN with your zipper facing RIGHT SIDE UP this time and pin or clip in place. I usually line up my selvedge edges of my fabric pieces so I know I have the correct length going along the zipper edge.


Line up your machine foot with the edge and sew it down.


Open it up and press your fabric away from the zipper. It’s okay to press right on top of the zipper. You could just top stitch along the zipper here and move on with finishing your pillow or keep going and make the flap to cover the zipper.


Use your hands and bring down the top piece to create a 1 1/2″ fold, just eyeball it. The goal is to cover the zipper. It can be as small or as big of a flap as you would like. Press your flap in place and pin along the folded edge.

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Flip your piece upside down and line up your foot with the edge of the zipper. Stitch the flap in place.

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Open the flap and topstitch along the other edge of your zipper.

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Pin your pillow back and top together.  Your backing is plenty big and you can line up your flap anywhere you would like with your pillow top. I usually go about 5-6″ from the bottom, and again, I just eyeball it. 🙂 Make sure to OPEN YOUR ZIPPER about halfway and have your pillow back RIGHT SIDE DOWN and your top RIGHT SIDE UP.


Sew around the entire edge of your pillow using a SCANT 1/4″ seam allowance (make sure that zipper is open). Trim away the excess. Because you have a bigger zipper and don’t have to worry about the little metal ends, you can sew and cut right through the zipper with ease.

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From your binding fabric cut (2) 2 1/2″ x WOF strips. Bind your pillow using your preferred method just like you would a quilt and enjoy!

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This pillow finishes at 18″ x 18″.

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Simple patchwork is always fun, and with a simple zippered pillow back, I hope this project is even more fun for you! I made another pillow with a treat of Handmade by Bonnie and Camille to show you an example of a zipper with no flap and no binding on the pillow. It’s just as cute I think! I did switch out the heart block for a simple sawtooth star block, which you could easily do with any 6″ finished block.

I would love to see all your pretty pillows! Just tag me on Instagram @sterlingquiltco using #PatchworkPillowLove.

Sterling LaBosky



43 comments on “Patchwork Pillow Love

  1. Guida says:

    Thank you for this great pattern and tutorial.

  2. martina says:

    So lovely! Thank you!

  3. Little Quiltsong says:

    Thank you Sterling – love how you can put different 6″ block inserts into this pillow top. Love your zipper tutorial!!

  4. Shauna says:

    Thank you…zippers have always scared me….not now. Love the pattern!

    • Sterling says:

      Yay! Don’t fear the zipper ;). I was totally scared the first time I sewed one in, but hopefully I took the scary out of it.

  5. That is the simplest flapped zipper I have seen. I off to do one today.

  6. Joy mods bake shop says:

    What size are moca treat squares?

    • Sterling says:

      A Moda treat is the newest precut. They are 3 1/2″ squares, a little cuteness in between the charm and the mini. 🙂

      • Rosemaryflower says:

        Yay, I am so glad I read all of the comments first.
        I was wondering about treats. I love treats now!

  7. dee says:

    what is a moda treat…..

    • Sterling says:

      A Moda treat is the newest precut. They are 3 1/2″ squares. They have been made in a couple of 3 Sisters lines and Bonnie and Camille lines.

  8. Pam says:

    What is a moda treat? Can’t find anything on this?

    • Sterling says:

      Moda treats are the latest precut and they measure 3 1/2″ square. You still get 42 in the pack, just like charms and minis. I have a few for sale in my Etsy shop. 😉

  9. Peggy says:

    Great tutorial! I want to try the zipper way now. I like the other way to save zipper cost, but this wld look so professional. Love the 6″ block idea for changing out! Thank you.

  10. Jeanne says:

    This just looks so fun!!

  11. cruisefan says:

    Thank you for that lovely idea!
    Your zipper tutorial is great , the version with the flap looks so elegant – I will definitely try this out!

  12. Marilyn Thomas says:

    Is there a printable version of this or did I just miss it?

  13. Rosemarie Forgione says:

    Oh I love the pillow and also the pin cushion in one of the pictures with the pillow! Is there a tutorial for the pin cushion as well ????

    • Sterling says:

      Thanks! That pin cushion is one of my favorites too. The pattern is called the Deluxe Pin Cushion by Fabric Mutt and the little heart is from the pattern called Open Heart by Lellaboutique just sized down to 3″. If you are on Instagram, the real inspiration for the pin cushion actually came from @thefeltedpear. She made two of them and even added some hand stitching, they are adorable!

  14. doreen says:

    So pretty! R your instructions available in pdf form for easy printing??

  15. Alli says:

    That flap trick!!! Brilliant! And how fun to use any 6″ block. Love it Sterling!

  16. Rosemaryflower says:

    Sterling, thank you for this adorable pattern. Great for Valentine’s day, but really so wonderful with ANY pillow cover. I am going to start this project next!
    Zippers do not scare me. I hope everyone gives your lovely zipper tutorial a try.

  17. Beth LaMotte says:

    I am trying to make 2 pillows for my two sweet granddaughters in time for Valentines Day. They are so cute now that I have the heart made. This pillow is quite addicting!

  18. Brandy says:

    The flap over the zipper is crazy clever, thank you for sharing the process!

  19. Pat says:

    My new go-to zippered pillow cover! Thanks for sharing!!

  20. Jackie Hale says:

    What a gorgeous pillow! I love the fabrics you used!

  21. Michele says:

    I just finished my first pillow. Your directions were fantastic and so easy to follow. I love the zippered back.

    • Sterling says:

      I’m so glad to hear this! Pillows can be pretty addicting to make because they are ok cute and can get finished fast.

  22. Beth LaMotte says:

    Thank you for such a sweet pattern and great tutorial. I will be finishing my second one tomorrow and mail both on Monday. My sweet granddaughters love their quilty gifts from me. I ended up using scraps and was so pleased. This pattern is a great scrap buster!

  23. Lisa Mey says:

    Do you have a queen size quilt pattern to match this heart pillow? I would love to have quilt to match with the pillow

    • Sterling says:

      I don’t have really have a pattern to match this pillow, but I think maybe using a couple of layer cakes could work. I would probably do a 9 x 9 block layout. Hope that helps.

  24. Beth LaMotte says:

    I did not get the pillow covers to the grands for Valentine’s Day, but they should arrive in Maryland tomorrow. I wound up using a zipper on one and the usual insert flap on the other, asking my daughter which one she prefers. Simply put, they are so lovely! Thank you for such a precious pattern. I have shared your pattern with many fellow quilters!

  25. […] time to insert the zipper. My friend Sterling just did a great zipper tutorial for the Bake Shop here that includes an awesome flap trick. I also have one on my blog if you want to put one in the […]

  26. Vivian says:

    fun pillow to make. Like then zipper flap in the back. Thanks!!!

  27. pcooksey1 says:

    I absolutely love this pillow. I’m thinking of making it into a lap quilt. It is beautiful and so MODA!

  28. Diana says:

    Newbie question, what is WOF?

    • Sterling LaBosky says:

      WOF stands for Width of Fabric and RST stands for Right Sides Together. Sorry about that.

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