Zippered Throw Pillows in 3 Sizes| A Tutorial

I’m obsessed with making throw pillows! I think once you start making them you’ll be obsessed too. They make great gifts and really can finish a room like nothing else can. A couple things to note before starting:

  1. My tutorial is for a pillow that’s quilted on BOTH sides, making it the most luxurious feeling pillow ever. Seriously, try it!
  2. No one should be afraid of zippers, they’re great, I promise! I’ll hold your hand and walk you through every step.
  3. Pattern and dimensions for 3 sizes! My favorite inserts ever (and literally the only ones I buy) are the Fjadrar Inner Cushions from Ikea. They’re affordable, durable, and come in 3 different sizes – 20″ x 20″, 16″ x 26″, and 26″ x 26″. Note, this tutorial fits the Ikea Fjadrar pillow inserts. Since the inserts are feathers, making a smaller cover helps make the pillow look “fuller”. Adjust dimensions to fit your specific inserts.

Okay, let’s get started!

For the 20″ x 20″ sawtooth star pillow:

Supply requirements:

  • Color 1: 1 yard
  • Color 2: 1/4 yard
  • Lining: 2/3 yard
  • Batting: 2/3 yard
  • 18″ zipper

Cutting instructions:

  • Color 1:
    • (1) 6.5″ square
    • (4) 4″ squares
  • Color 2:
    • (1) 22″ square (backing)
    • (2) 5.5″ x 22″
    • (2) 5.5″ x 12.5″
    • (4) 3.5″ squares
    • (1) 7.5″ square
  • Lining:
    • (2) 22″ x 22″
  • Batting:
    • (2) 22″ x 22″

Sewing instructions:

1. Make 4-at-a-time Flying Geese: Draw a line diagonally through the (4) color 2 4″ squares.

2. Line up 2 of the color 2 4″ squares on the color 1  7.5″ square and sew 1/4″ away on both sides of the drawn line. Solid line refers to drawn line, dashed line refers to sewn line.

3. Cut on the drawn line and press seams open.

4. Place (1) color 2 4″ square on one of the resulting flying geese halves, and sew 1/4″ away on both sides of the drawn line. Repeat for the remaining color 2 4″ square and flying geese half. Cut on the drawn line and press seams open.

5. Trim flying geese blocks to 3.5″ x 6.5″.

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6. Sew a flying geese block to the left and right sides of the color 2 6.5″ square and press seams towards the center.

7. Sew (2) color 1 3.5″ squares to each side of one of the remaining flying geese blocks. Press seams towards color 1 blocks. Repeat with second remaining flying geese block.

8. Sew one of the units from step 7 to the top of the unit from step 6 and press seams towards the center. Repeat with the remaining unit from step 7.

9. Add a 5.5″ x 12.5″ rectangle to the left and right sides of the star block and press seams towards the 5.5″ x 12.5″ rectangles.

10. Sew a 5.5″ x 22″ rectangle to the top and bottom sides of the star block and press seams towards the 5.5″ x 22″ rectangles. Top is complete!

11. Baste your top by layering one 22″ square lining (right side down), one 22″ square batting, and sawtooth star top (right side up) with your preferred basting method.

12. Repeat with your pillow back fabric by layering remaining 22″ square lining right side down, 22″ square batting, and color 2 22″ square right side up.

13. Quilt as desired.

14. Trim both pillow top and pillow back to 20″ square for a snug fit.

15. Serge or zig-zag around all the edges to encase raw seams.

16. Follow pillow assembly instructions below.

For the 16″ x 26″ Pillow

Supply requirements:

  • Color 1: 1/3 yard
  • Color 2: 1 yard
  • Lining: 1 yard
  • Batting: 1 yard
  • 22″ zipper

Cutting instructions:

  • Color 1:
    • (1) 10″ x 28″
  • Color 2:
    • (1) 10″ x 28″
    • (1) 18″ x 28″ (backing)
  • Lining:
    • (2) 18″ x 28″
  • Batting:
    • (2) 18″ x 28″

Sewing instructions:

1. Sew one long side of the color 1 10″ x 28″ rectangle to the color 2 10″ x 28″ rectangle. Press seam towards color 2.

2. Baste your top by layering one 18″ x 28″ lining (right side down), one 18″ x 28″ batting, and pillow top (right side up) with your preferred basting method.

3. Repeat with your pillow back fabric by layering remaining 18″ x 28″ lining (right side down), 18″ x 28″ batting, and color 2 18″ x 28″ right side up.

4. Quilt as desired.

5. Trim both pillow top and pillow back to 16″ x 26″.

6. Serge or zig-zag around all the edges to encase raw seams.

7. Follow Pillow assembly instructions below.

For the 26″ x 26″ Pillow:

Supply requirements:

  • wall hanging size quilt top
  • backing: 3/4 yard
  • Lining: 1.5 yards
  • Batting: 1.5 yards
  • 20″ zipper

Cutting instructions:

  • Backing: (1) 26″ square
  • Lining:
    • (2) 26″ square
  • Batting:
    • (2) 26″ square

Instructions:

  1. Create a quilt top using a square wall-hanging size quilt pattern. I used the Misty Mountains quilt top, Bear Path would be another fun candidate! Dimensions should be at least 25″ before quilting. Keep in mind that pillows are sewn together with 1/2″ seam allowance, if necessary add a border around the wall hanging so you don’t lose any points.
  2. Baste your top by layering one 26″ lining piece (right side down), one 26″ batting piece, and pillow top (right side up) with your preferred basting method.
  3. Repeat with your pillow back fabric by layering remaining 26″ lining right side down, 26″ batting, and backing fabric right side up. You will have 2 separate quilt sandwiches basted.
  4. Quilt as desired.
  5. Trim both pillow top and pillow back to 25″ square.
  6. Serge or zig-zag around all edges to encase raw seams.
  7. Follow Pillow Assembly instructions below.

Pillow Assembly (all sizes)

  1. Align the bottom edge of the pillow top to the bottom edge of the pillow back, right sides together.
  • For the 20″ pillow, measure 1″ from each corner and mark with a pin
  • For 16″ x 26″ pillow, measure 2″ from each corner and mark with a pin.
  • For 26″ pillow, measure 2.5″ from each corner and mark with a pin

2. Sew with a 1/2″ seam allowance to the pin on both sides, backstitching when starting and stopping. You will have a large gap in the center.

3. With a stitch length of 4 or larger, baste the center gap closed with 1/2″ seam allowance without backstitching and press seam open

4. Align zipper on basted seam, I usually stick the zipper pull through the basting stitches to have a smooth and even zipper to stitch on.

5. Sew all the way around, 1/4″ away from the zipper teeth. A zipper foot works well here, but I prefer to use my walking foot to get through all the layers.

6. Remove basting stitches and open zipper at least halfway.

7. Pin and sew the remaining 3 sides closed with a 1/2″ seam allowance.

8. Turn pillow right side out and stuff with cushion! Enjoy!