Sew a Pillow from a Leftover Orphan Quilt Block Tutorial by Nancy Zieman
Along our quilting journey, we try new techniques and test interesting ideas. Sometimes these valuable lessons and attempts yield “orphan blocks” or leftover quilt blocks that don’t belong to a larger quilt. Take one or more of these treasured quilt blocks and sew them into throw pillows. It’s an easy idea that doesn’t require any additional quilting!

The block Nancy is featuring today was created from a leftover block from her 2016 Quilt Extravaganza. This Be My Valentine block—and soon to be pillow—was made with the Carefree Curves Template.

Trace 'n Create Quilt Template Carefree Curves by Nancy Zieman for Clover

All the quilt blocks in the 2016 Quilt Extravaganza, are created using contrasting strips of fabric strata. If you don’t have a leftover block of your own, sew this Be My Valentine block from Nancy’s February 2016 Block of the Month posting.

Be My Valentine Block Pillow

Be My Valentine Block by Nancy Zieman

Make your Quilt Block into a Pillow

Supplies

  • One quilt block 12-1/2″ x 12-1/2″
  • 3/8 yard fabric for pillow back
  • 7″ length of hook and loop tape
  • One 12″ pillow form insert 
This pillow tutorial will work with any 12-1/2″ quilt block. Nancy used the Be My Valentine block for her pillow.

Envelope Pillow Back

  • Create the pillow back using two fabric rectangles cut 12-1/2″ x 9-1/4″ along with a 7″ length of sew-on hook & loop tape.
  • Separate the hook & loop tape pieces.
How to Sew a Pillow from an Orphan Block by Nancy Zieman
  • Serge or zigzag one long edge of each of the pillow back rectangles.

How to Sew a Pillow from an Orphan Block by Nancy Zieman

  • Center the top edge of the sew-on hook & loop tape strips to each rectangle 1-1/2″ from the serged or zigzagged edge using the 5-in-1 Sliding Gauge.
How to Sew a Pillow from an Orphan Block by Nancy Zieman
  • Topstitch the hook & loop tape to the fabric.

How to Sew a Pillow from an Orphan Block by Nancy Zieman

  •  Fold under a 3″ hem along hook & loop tape edges.

How to Sew a Pillow from an Orphan Block by Nancy Zieman

  • Topstitch the hems.

How to Sew a Pillow from an Orphan Block by Nancy Zieman

  • Overlap the rectangles, matching the hook & loop tape strips. The pillow back is now the same size as the pillow front: 12-1/2″ x 12-1/2″.
How to Sew a Pillow from an Orphan Block by Nancy Zieman
  • With 1/4″ seam allowance, baste the overlap along right and left edges.
How to Sew a Pillow from an Orphan Block by Nancy Zieman
  • Stack the front and back pillow pieces, right sides together.
  • Shape the corners of the front and back pieces to prevent pokey corners.
  • Measure down and across 4″ and mark with non-permanent pen.
  • Measure in 1/2″ along both sides of the corners and mark.

How to Sew a Pillow from an Orphan Quilt Block by Nancy ZiemanHow to Sew a Pillow from an Orphan Quilt Block by Nancy Zieman

  • Connect the lines using a ruler. (Optional)
How to Sew a Pillow from an Orphan Quilt Block by Nancy Zieman
  • Place rulers at 4″ measurement along cut edge and taper to 1/2″ mark; trim.

How to Sew a Pillow from an Orphan Quilt Block by Nancy Zieman

  • Repeat on all four corners.
How to Sew a Pillow from an Orphan Quilt Block by Nancy Zieman

 

Consider making a template of the size of the shaped corners from card stock to quickly mark the pillow corners.

 

  • Stitch front and back pillow pieces, using 1/4″ seam allowance.

How to Sew a Pillow from an Orphan Quilt Block by Nancy Zieman

  • “Wrap” the corners: Fold the fabric along the stitch line at the bottom corner; pin.

How to Sew a Pillow from an Orphan Quilt Block by Nancy Zieman

 

  • Sew over the wrapped fold.
How to Sew a Pillow from an Orphan Quilt Block by Nancy Zieman
  •  Release hook & loop tape, turn right side out.
How to Sew a Pillow from an Orphan Quilt Block by Nancy Zieman
  • Gently push all four corners out with a Point2Point turning tool.
How to Sew a Pillow from an Orphan Quilt Block by Nancy Zieman
  • Insert a pillow form. Ta dah!
How to Sew a Pillow from an Orphan Quilt Block by Nancy Zieman

Do you have quilt blocks in other sizes?

Use this handy reference chart to create an envelope-style pillow back for any quilt block!

Watch Sewing With Nancy online at NancyZieman.com

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Happy Sewing,

Team Nancy Zieman

Nancy Zieman Productions, LLC.

Nancy Zieman Productions, LLC

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