Easy Throw Pillow Cover Pattern

  • 01 of 03

    Design the Front of the Throw Pillow

    Make do and mend

    Looking for an easy throw pillow cover pattern? No problem. If you're like most of us, you have at least a few orphan quilt blocks or UFOs tucked away in your sewing room. It may be time to drag hem out of the boxes and bins they're stashed in and use this pattern to turn the blocks into easy throw pillow covers (no zippers required).

    If you're a new quilter you may not have a stash of unused blocks yet. Make the quilt block 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 to 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. If you're using blocks only, a wider seam would invade the design, so stick with 1/4".

    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 before using.

    If you'd prefer not to quilt the pillow at all, that's okay too. Instead of quilting, I pressed fusible interfacing to the backside 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.

    Continue to 2 of 3 below.
  • 02 of 03

    How to Assemble an Easy Throw Pillow Cover

    Make a Throw Pillow Cover
    Pin two backing pieces right-side-down along the top side of the pillow front. © Janet Wickell

    Make the Pillow Back

    This simple throw pillow cover pattern does not require zippers. The cover has an opening in its back that makes it easy to remove the pillow form when the cover needs to be washed.

    1. Cut a pillow backing the same height as your pillow front, but 6 inches longer. For instance, after sewing the blocks together, my pillow front measured 18-1/2" square, so I cut an 18-1/2" x 24-1/2" backing rectangle.
    2. Fold the backing fabric in half, matching its short edges. Finger crease along the folded edge. Cut the fabric in half along the crease.
    3. Insert a straight pin into each fabric along the edge you just cut to help you remember which sides to turn under in the next step.
    4. Remove a straight pin from one segment and turn under the cut edge by 1/2". Press. Turn under again by 1/2". Press. Using matching thread, the machine stitches a seam close to the folded edge.
    5. Repeat, folding under and stitching the edge of the second backing piece.

    Assemble the Throw Pillow Cover

    1. Place the pillow front right-side-up on your work surface.
    2. Place one section of the backing fabric right-side-down on top of the pillow front, raw edges aligned on one side, on the top and along the bottom. The seamed hem should flow vertically down the front of the pillow.
    3. Align the remaining pillow back segment along the other side of the pillow. Its seamed hem will flow vertically down the pillow as shown above.
    4. Sew a seam along the outer edges of the pinned cover using the seam allowance chosen earlier.
    Continue to 3 of 3 below.
  • 03 of 03

    Finish Sewing the Easy Throw Pillow Cover

    Throw Pillow Covers from Quilt Blocks
    Pillow cover stuffed with an 18" pillow form. © Janet Wickell

    Finish the Throw Pillow Cover

    Turn the pillow cover right-side-out and run a blunt object along the inside of seam lines to push out the corners and even up the edges of the pillow.

    Insert the pillow form and you're finished unless you'd like to add a little Velcro along the back opening to hold flaps together a bit tighter. Fill in corners with a little batting or fiberfill if you like corners that poof out a bit more.​

    Pillow Tip

    My pillow cover is made from swapped quilt blocks, so their seams don't all match exactly. I placed the best-matched seams on the interior of the pillow, where intersections are more visible. The seams around the outer perimeter don't all result in crisp points where triangles meet -- but the deviations aren't noticeable because we don't usually focus on the sides of the pillow.