Make it Modern Pillows – June 2024 Tutorial

It’s Jamie again from Sew Brainy Designs! It’s year 3 of my Make it Modern Pillows series! I’m so excited and I have some fun designs in store for this year! In case you missed 2022 or 2023 pillow fun, you can click the link below. Last year we started a fun Facebook Group so we can all sew along together!

May’s block used alternating Half Square Triangles to create small arrows pointed in the same direction.

May’s block has some fun offset retro-looking rectangles.

Bright colors are always my favorite to work with!

Any colors would work here and of course you can always use scraps!

I love the retro vibe this pillow gives!

I did a 1/2″ grid quilting with Aurifil 50wt. white thread for this fantastic texture!

This month’s pillow features Blossom Fabric by Christopher Thompson. The colors I used were Raspberry, Medium Blue, Green Smoothie, Peacock, Pumpkin, and Honey.

These are such pretty colors!

Now let’s make a pillow!

JUNE 2024 Pillow Tutorial

Pattern Notes

  • Please read through all instructions before beginning.
  • Seam allowances are 1/4″ unless specified.
  • Press all seams open (or in preferred direction).

Material Requirements

For the block (pillow top):

This pattern uses (1) BACKGROUND fabric [FABRIC A] and (6) ACCENT fabrics [FABRICS B-G]. Below are the requirements to make ONE 18″ block.

For the pillow body:

  • (1) 22-24″ square piece of muslin or other fabric (for quilting the top)
  • (1) 22-24″ square piece of batting (for quilting the top)
  • (2) 13½” × 18½” pieces of backing fabric (for the pillow envelope)
  • (1) 20″ pillow form (my favorite one to use is the FJÄDRAR from IKEA!). I always use a pillow form that is one size larger than my pillow case to make sure it’s extra full.

Cutting Directions


(2) 2½× WOF strip, subcut:

  • (6) 2½× 5½” rectangles [A1]

(4) × WOF strips, subcut:

  • (1) ” × 18½” [A3]
  • (6) ” × 9″ [A2]

From each of the ACCENT FABRICS B, C, D, E, F, and G:

  • (1) 3″ × 5½” [B3/C3/D3/E3/F3/G3]
  • (1) 2½× 5½” [B2/C2/D2/E2/F2/G2]
  • (2) 1½× 5½” [B1/C1/D1/E1/F1/G1]

Piecing Directions

1. Lay out (1) A1, (1) B1, and the B2 as shown below. Sew all THREE pieces together. Press the seams.

2. Lay out (1) B1, the B3, and the unit from STEP 1. Sew the B1 piece on top of the unit. Press the seam.

3. Sew the B3 piece on the bottom of the unit. Press the seam and trim to 5½× 9″ if needed. This is the RECTANGLE UNIT.

4. Repeat STEPS 1-3 using the remaining A1 and FABRIC C-G pieces to create a total of (6) RECTANGLE UNITS.

5. Lay out (3) A2 strips along with the FABRIC B, C, and D RECTANGLE UNITS as shown below. Sew all SIX pieces together. Press the seams. This is the TOP HALF of the block.

6. Lay out (3) A2 strips along with the FABRIC E, F, and G RECTANGLE UNITS as shown below. Sew all SIX pieces together. Press the seams. This is the BOTTOM HALF of the block.

7. Lay out the TOP HALF and the BOTTOM HALF of the block, along with the A3 strip in between them as shown below. Sew all THREE pieces together and press the seams.

8. Your pillow top is now complete!

9. Layer the completed block on top of the 22-24″ batting and muslin squares and quilt the pillow top as desired. When you are done, trim the block to 18½”.

Note – if you add dense quilting, your top may shrink a bit in size. Just trim it to the largest square that you can. You can trim the width of envelope backing fabric a bit in the next step if needed in order to match your actual top size.

10. Create a finished edge on the long side of each of the (2) 13½″ × 18½” pieces of envelope backing by folding 1/2″ of fabric over the wrong side TWICE. Stitch a seam near the edge to secure it.

11. With the square top facing up, layer the envelope pieces RST on top of it as shown below and sew a 3/8″ seam around the edge of the pillow top.

12. Trim the edges of the corners a bit to reduce bulk. Turn the pillow case inside out and insert your pillow form. Your pillow is now done! Enjoy your fun modern make!

I can’t wait to see all the beautiful pillows everyone makes! They can be very addicting! Be sure to share them on social media! #makeitmodernpillows #iloverileyblake #sewbrainydesigns.

If you check out my blog, I have some more color mockups and some freebie coloring pages you can download. Plus a sneak peek of a companion quilt pattern for this block that’s coming soon!

I’ll see you in July with some rainbow strips! Don’t forget to join us in the Facebook Group!

Until later, happy quilting!


Jamie is the creative brain behind Sew Brainy Designs. This self-proclaimed science nerd loves bright colors, big blocks, Mid-century modern design, and using as few seams as possible. Find all of her Make It Modern Pillows on the Riley Blake Designs blog!

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