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How to Make an Easy Throw Pillow Cover


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Design the Front of the Throw Pillow
Easy Throw Pillow Cover Pattern

Basket Pillow with Yo Yo Flowers

Janet Wickell
Fess up -- if you're like most of us, you have at least a few orphan blocks or UFOs tucked away in your sewing room. It may be time to drag a few of those quilt blocks out of the boxes and bins they're stored in and use this pattern to make easy throw pillow covers.

The pillow cover illustrated (along with my Auggie-Doggie cat) was made from a large basket quilt block. I filled the basket with Yo Yo 'flowers' (with button centers) and placed the block on point to increase its width, surrounding it with corner triangles.

If you're a new quilter you may not have a stash of unused blocks yet. Make one of the quilt blocks I used, shown on page 3 of this pattern, or browse designs in the quilt block pattern index. You can also search eBay for the term vintage quilt blocks -- that's an easy way find all sorts of inexpensive quilt blocks for your projects.

If you prefer, use a piece of fabric for the front of the pillow cover, rather than a quilt block.

Pillow forms are available in all shapes and sizes at discount and craft stores. Try to choose one that's the same size as your finished pillow front, or go just a bit smaller for a tight fit. If a quilt block you adore is too small to make a pillow, or if it's an odd size, simply add borders around the block to change its dimensions. I sewed together four blocks from a past quilt swap to make the large throw pillow cover on page 3.

Use any backing fabric that coordinates with the front of your throw pillow.

Seam Allowances

I like to use a 1/2" seam allowance if I'm assembling a pillow cover from a quilt block surrounded by a border. The four blocks on page 3 have a predetermined 1/4" seam allowance around their outer edges, so that's the seam width I used -- a larger width would have chopped off a portion of the block. Choose a seam allowance that suits your project.

Quilt the Pillow Front

Back the pillow front with a piece of flannel and quilt as desired. Or, sandwich it with a piece of thin batting and backing and quilt.

If you'd prefer not to quilt the pillow at all, that's okay too. Instead of quilting, I pressed fusible interfacing to the back side of my large block before continuing. Interfacing adds a bit of depth and protects the block's seams when it's time to wash the pillow cover.

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