We call this our "jewel box pillow" because it features three rows of diamonds. But in the world of patchwork, a diamond is really just a square turned on point. So the complex-looking front of this pretty pillow is actually just six simple rows stitched together on the diagonal. Fooled ya, didn't we?! We add piping and covered buttons to soften the angles of the diamonds and triangles.
If you're new to Sew4Home, you'll soon discover our focus: to create careful, step-by-step instructions that make beautiful projects accessible to everyone – even those new to the art of sewing. A big part of this is a dedication to providing step-by-step tutorials on the basic techniques we use.
For this project, you can refer to our tutorials on Piping, Tufing, and Covered Buttons, as well as our five-part series on Quilting Basics. On this, and all our other projects, you'll also find links throughout to everyday techniques, such as smooth curves, sharp corners, and hand stitching basics.
Note that we are using a ½" seam allowance for this tutorial rather than the more traditional ¼" quilting seam allowance.
We originally used fabric from the Butterscotch & Rose collection by Joanna Figueroa of Fig Tree Quilts for Moda Fabrics. This collection is no longer readily available, but if you love the look, we've created X wonderful new combinations, including X current collections from Fig Tree Quilts. Her colors are rich and creamy and the patterns elegant, but in true Joanna fashion, nothing ever feels stuffy or dated. This pillow uses one solid plus two main prints with a third print for the piping and covered buttons.
Sewing Tools You Need
Fabric and Other Supplies
- ¾ yard of solid 44"+ wide fabric for the pillow back and eight triangles
- ¼ yard of coordinating 44"+ wide print fabric for the four center diamonds
- ½ yard of coordinating 44"+ wide print fabric for the six outside diamonds
- ½ yard of one additional 44"+ wide coordinating fabric for the piping
- Small scrap of lightweight batting for the covered buttons
- 2¼ yards of ½" cotton cording for the piping
- THREE 1½" covered button kits; most kits come with at least 2 buttons and sometimes more
- Hand sewing needle
- Curved needle; optional, for sewing on buttons
- ONE 12" x 22" lumbar pillow form or ONE medium bag of polyester fiberfill
- All purpose thread to match fabrics
- Button or carpet thread or waxed thread; optional, for sewing on buttons and tufting
- See-through ruler
- Iron and ironing board
- Scissors or rotary cutter and mat
- Fabric pen or pencil
- Straight pins
- Tape measure
- See-through ruler
- Seam ripper
- Seam gauge
- Download and print our Pillow Diamond Pattern and Pillow Triangle Pattern
IMPORTANT: Each pattern is ONE 8½" x 11" sheet. You must print the PDF files at 100%. DO NOT SCALE to fit the page.
- Cut out the patterns along the solid lines.
- Using the diamond pattern as your guide, plan a fussy cut for each diamond so it has a nicely centered design.
- Cut out FOUR diamonds for the center row diamonds from one fabric (Fresh Tarragon Floral Holiday Bouquet in our sample). Then use the same diamond pattern to cut SIX diamonds for the outside rows from the second fabric (Buttercream Floral Natural in our sample).
- Also from the second fabric (Buttercream Floral Natural in our sample), use the triangle pattern to cut FOUR triangles.
- From the solid fabric (Buttercream Solid Natural in our sample), cut ONE 13" x 23" rectangle. Then, use the triangle pattern to cut EIGHT triangles.
- From the piping fabric (Ruby Floral Queen Anne's Lace in our sample), cut enough 2" wide strips on the bias to create a finished strip at least 78" long.
- Arrange all the cut pieces to match our pattern. This will allow you to pick up the pieces in the correct order as you sew together the rows.
At Your Sewing Machine & Ironing Board
- To create the front patchwork, you will start at one corner and stitch each row.
- Your first row is two triangles: one solid and one print. Pin the two pieces right sides together along their longest sides.
- Stitch together using a ½" seam allowance.
- Your next row is two diamonds with a triangle on each end. First pin the two diamonds together along one side to create the center seam. Stitch together using a ½" seam allowance.
- Then pin a triangle to each outside edge of the sewn diamonds.
- Stitch these in place, using a ½" seam allowance.
- Continue in this same manner to complete the remaining four rows. There will be two rows of three diamonds – each with outer-edge traingles. Another row with two diamonds and two outer-edge triangles (just like row number two above). And, a final two-triangle row (just like the row with which you began).
- Press each seam allowance together and towards the darkest colored fabric. In addition to pressing towards the darker color, it is important to alternate the direction of the seams row to row.
- In other words, if you press the seam of the first row to the right, the seam it matches up with in the next row should be pressed to the left.
- This will allow the seams to nest together and the seam lines to match perfectly from the right side.
- Pin each row in sequence, then stitch together with a ½" seam allowance.
- Here's what it should look like when all the rows are sewn.
- Press well from both the front and back. Here's a view of the back, showing all those seams pressed opposite one another to create our nice, flat patchwork.
- Using your own drawn pattern or a small household object, round the corners of your finished pillow front.
- Then, find the 13" x 23" back piece, and round all four corners of this piece as well, using the same pattern or object.
- Set both the front and back pieces aside.
- If this is your first time making piping, see our piping tutorial for tips on how to make it and attach it.
- Stitch together your 2" bias strips to create a finished length of at least 78".
- Wrap the fabric around the piping cord, right side facing out. Pin close to the cording to hold it in place.
- Using a Zipper foot, machine baste close to the cording to create your fabric covered piping.
NOTE: If your sewing machine allows, move the needle all the way to the left so you can get nice and tight against the cording.
- The flange (this is the fabric portion that is flat) on the cording should be a perfect ½" seam allowance.
- Machine or hand baste the piping onto the right side of the pillow front, aligning the raw edges and easing around the corners.
NOTE: Since you cut your strips on the bias, the piping should curve nicely around the corners, but you can also cut a few slits into the flange to help it to bend around. however, be sure not to cut into your stitching. For more information, check out our tutorial: Sewing Smooth Curves Every Time.
- To join, cut back the piping cord to match and overlap to join.
- Again, if you're new to attaching piping, check out our tutorial for extra tips on joining and finishing.
Sew front and back together
- Place the front and back panels right sides together, sandwiching the piping in between the layers. Pin well all around, leaving a 6-7" opening along one long side to insert the pillow form (the exact size depends on the "mashability" of your pillow form. If your form is hard to squeeze, leave a larger opening).
- Using a ½" seam allowance and still using a Zipper foot, sew around the pillow, remembering to lock the seam at either side of the 6-7" opening.
- Turn the pillow cover right side out.
- Insert the pillow form or stuff the pillow with fiber fill through the opening.
- Slip stitch the opening closed, hiding your stitches close to the piping.
- Cover buttons with coordinating fabric scraps; we used the leftover fabric from cutting out the piping, fussy cutting to center a pretty design. Also, we always add a small scrap of lightweight batting under our fabric for a smooth, curved shape to our covered buttons.
NOTE: If you are new to covering buttons, check out our tutorial.
- To mark your button positions, stick a pin through the three points along the center front where four sets of diamonds come together.
- Make a small mark on the pillow back where this pin pokes through.
- The front buttons are sewn right at the diamond intersection points, and you'll use the small marks as a guide for where to sew the back buttons.
- Thread a hand sewing needle with button or carpet thread. Hand sew one covered button to the pillow front and one to the back. For full details on tufting with covered buttons (as well as other tufting options) check out our full tufting tutorial.
Project Design: Alicia Thommas
Sample Creation and Instructional Outline: Debbie Guild