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 I’m featuring today was created from a leftover block from my 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 my 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
Nancy Zieman Notes This pillow tutorial will work with any 12-1/2″ quilt block. I’m using the Be My Valentine block for my 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

Nancy Zieman Notes 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!

Looking for more fun pillow sewing projects?

Check out the new Nancy Zieman’s How to Sew Pillows 101 reference page. It will be updated as new tutorials become available. Pin your favorite pillow images and plan your next sewing project.

How to Sew Pillows by Nancy Zieman | Sewing With Nancy

Watch Sewing With Nancy online at NancyZieman.com

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For your chance to win a Carefree Curves Template Set from Clover, please leave a comment sharing a guesstimate of how many orphan blocks are in your stash?

Trace 'n Create Quilt Template Carefree Curves by Nancy Zieman for CloverBye for now,

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