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Black & White Pillow Pile: Six-Cornered Tassel Treat

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You know what's cool about pillows? You can take one design, and by simply changing up the fabric, get a completely different look. That's what we've done with this stunning hexagonal pillow. We've used this style of pillow a couple times before, but you'd never know it. Our black and white version features a coordinating linen back and Extreme Fussy Cutting (similar to what those daring skateboarders do, but you're less likely to fall) to create a beautiful flower in the center of the pillow... complete with a contrasting linen covered button as the flower's center point. Pretty tassels finish the high-end designer look.

The Citrus Holiday: Elegant Hexagonal Pillow and the Pretty Prints Please: Star Pillow both use this same design. It's the chameleon of pillows.

Our thanks to Michael Miller Fabrics for providing us with an awesome selection of fabrics from their brand new Black and White Collection. Look for it in stores or online for your Spring sewing, including from our friends at Fat Quarter Shop.

Sewing Tools You Need

Fabric and Other Supplies

  • ¾ to 1 yard of 44-45" wide fabric for pillow front: we used Michael Miller's Tonal Doozie in Black
    NOTE: The yardage needed depends on the size of your print's repeat. You need an ample amount to fussy cut six identical pieces.
  • 2/3 yard of 54" fabric for pillow back: we used a lightweight linen in oatmeal
    NOTE: Depending on your experience with cutting, if you cut the wedge pieces in opposite directions, you can purchase less fabric.
  • 6 tassels to match pillow back fabric: we used a silvery white
    NOTE: You can also buy embroidery floss and make your own tassels using our tutorial: How to Make a Tassel.
  • Two 1½" covered buttons: we used a covered button kit
  • Small scraps of batting for buttons
  • All purpose thread to match fabrics
  • See-through ruler
  • Fabric pencil
  • Iron and ironing board
  • Scissors or rotary cutter and mat
  • Straight pins
  • Temporary spray adhesive
  • Regular hand sewing needle
  • Long upholstery hand sewing needle
  • Curved needle (optional)
  • Template plastic or pattern paper (found in the quilt section)
  • Fine tip marker
  • 1 large bag of polyester fiber fill

Getting Started

  1. We decided to re-invent a previous project by changing the way we cut the fabric. In the original tutorial on which this is based, Citrus Holiday Elegant Hexagonal Pillow, we alternated the fabric in each section. Here, we traced the pattern so we could fussy cut each piece to create a unique flower in the center of the pillow.
  2. Download and print the Hex Pillow Pattern.
    IMPORTANT: You must print this PDF file at 100%. DO NOT SCALE to fit the page.
  3. Trace the half pattern onto template plastic or transparent pattern paper.
    Click to Enlarge
  4. Flip over the pattern and trace the other half, matching up the center line.
    NOTE: If you have a light box, this is a great time to use it. Or, you could tape the pattern to a window and trace the other half.
  5. Cut out the full wedge pattern from your template plastic or pattern paper.
  6. Place the pattern on the fabric for the pillow front (Black Tonal Doozie in our sample) to capture the part of the design you want repeated around the center of the hexagon pillow.
    NOTE: Since we decided to create a flower effect with our fabric, we used the center line on the template to line up with the design so all our pieces were cut exactly the same. Again, if you are new to fussy cutting, take a read through our tutorial.
    Click to Enlarge
  7. Cut six pattern identical pieces for the front of the pillow. If you want to create the same type of center, focal-point design as we did, it is crucial all six pieces are identical!
  8. Using the same pattern, cut six pattern pieces from the fabric for the back (oatmeal linen in our sample).
    NOTE: The back sections can be cut with the fabric doubled since there is no need to fussy cut these.

At Your Sewing Machine & Ironing Board

  1. Lay all the pillow front pieces on a flat surface. You will sew one half of the pillow (or 3 wedge sections) and then the other half. To complete, you'll sew the two sections together down the middle.
    Click to Enlarge
    NOTE: In the photo above it looks like there's a hole in the middle. There won't be. You need that to accommodate your ½" seams. The ‘hole' will disappear when all the pieces are seamed together.
  2. Select and pin two pieces right sides together.
  3. Using a ½" seam allowance, sew along one side of the wedge piece. Press the seam open.
    NOTE: The shape of the wedges creates bias edges. Handle these pieces carefully so as not to stretch them out of shape, making it difficult to sew and maintain that beautiful center pattern you're trying to create!
    Click to Enlarge
  4. Sew a third wedge to the pair just sewn. Press the seam open on top of the previously sewn seam at the center point.
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  5. Repeat for the remaining three wedge pieces. Be sure to press in the same manner as above.
  6. Pin the two halves of the pillow front right sides together being VERY careful to match your center seams.
    Click to Enlarge
  7. Using a ½" seam allowance, sew the two halves together. Press the center seam open.
  8. Sew the six back fabric wedges together in the same manner.


  1. On the RIGHT side of the pillow back, place a mark at each point ½" in from the edge for the tassel position
  2. Baste a tassel at each mark.
    Click to Enlarge
  3. Pin the front and back right sides together, sandwiching the tassels in between.
  4. Using a ½" seam allowance, sew between each point. Start and stop at a point as far as your sewing machine will allow. Backstitch at the beginning and end. Pick one section where you'll partially sew the seam, leaving a hole for stuffing. Be sure your tassels do not get caught in the seam and that the hole is large enough for you to stick your hand inside.

    NOTE: By partially sewing the pillow front to the back between the points, you'll be able to go back and sew real close to the tassel with a zipper foot for a nice tight seam.
    Click to Enlarge
  5. Using a Narrow Base Zipper foot, go back and sew at each tassel point starting and stopping at your previous stitching, and pivoting at each point.
    NOTE: We like to use Janome's Narrow Base Zipper foot because, unlike the standard Zipper foot, it allows us to get in real tight against the top of each tassel.
  6. Trim the points that extend beyond the seam allowances. Turn right side out through the opening. The tassels will pop out at each point. You can also use a long, blunt tool, such as a large knitting needle or a chopstick, to help push out the points.
  7. Stuff with polyfil. Be sure to stuff each point as you stuff the pillow. You want it to be almost overstuffed!
  8. Slip stitch opening closed.
  9. ALTERNATE TASSLE APPLICATION: If you're concerned about trying the sewn-in tassel technique described above, you can simply stitch around the entire pillow with a ½" seam allowance - still leaving an opening for turning. Clip the points. Turn right side out. Stuff. Slip stitch closed. Attach the covered buttons. And then... hand stitch a tassel to each point. This is the way we did our Citrus Holiday: Elegant Hexagonal Pillow.

Fabric covered buttons

  1. Using the pattern from the covered button kit, cut two circles from the pillow back fabric (oatmeal linen in our sample) and the batting scraps.
    NOTE: If this is your first time using fabric covered buttons, check out our tutorial: Button Kit Covered Buttons .
  2. Lay the fabric circle, right side down, on a protected flat surface (we simply used a paper towel to protect our table). Lightly spray with adhesive.
  3. Lay the batting circle on top of the fabric circle. The light adhesive will help hold these layers together. Spray again with adhesive to help adhere to the button.
  4. Using the button holder that comes with the kit, cover the buttons with the prepared fabric circles.
  5. Hand sew the covered buttons to the front and back at the exact center.
  6. To make sewing all the way through the pillow easier, BEFORE you try to sew on your covered buttons, use a heavy-duty button or carpet thread and a long upholstery sewing needle, and stitch back and forth through the exact center of your pillow. This compresses the pillow and makes a nice little dent in the middle of your pillow where you can then stitch your buttons. Stitch on one button and then the other; don't try to stitch them both on at once. If you're still having challenges, try a curved sewing needle.
    Click to Enlarge

Hints and Tips

We recommend a standard polyester filler for the stuffing the pillow, which worked just great. However, there are a lot of fillers to choose from. Take a look at our this tutorial to learn more: Understanding Filler Materials: Polyfil, Pellets, Microbeads, Beanbag Filler, Foam & More.

Project Design: Alicia Thommas
Sample Creation: Jodi Kelly

Other machines suitable for this project include the Husqvarna/Viking Emerald 203 and the Brother CE-5000PW.



Comments (1)

AussieTraceyMcD said:
AussieTraceyMcD's picture
Very unusual, love it. Gorgoeus fabric too. Thank you for sharing.