Easy Quilted Pillow Tutorial

Easy Quilted Pillow Tutorial by Melly Sews


Today as part of Project:Redecorate I’m going to share a pillow tutorial so you can see how easy it was to make these modern quilted pillows. And no, I’m not turning into a quilter since Sewvivor. However that challenge did give me an appreciation for quilting technique, and I’m happy to employ it here as I’ve decided that for the new pillows I want to focus on texture over prints. There will be more textured pillows coming up in future posts in this series. As soon as I get them made.

If you missed any of the Project:Redecorate posts, you can click the button above to see what my family room looked like before, our rearranged space, reupholstered recliner, and floor pillows. And I should note – I took the pictures of these pillows in my bedroom – better light at the time. I didn’t get new wall colors or new slipcovers. White chairs in the living room would scare me, even with bleach as my disposal. Even bleach is no match for two boys, you know.

Modern and easy quilted pillows by Melly Sews


I’m in the process of making new curtains for the family room, and I already have the fabric (it’s a print) so I pulled these two colors out of it for pillows.


Quilted pillows by Melly Sews


At first I was jut going to do straight line quilting, but then I remembered that little detail about pillows having 2 sides, and I decided to have fun with the other side. So for the green I freehand drew some vines, which are incidentally my favorite things to doodle.




Free hand vines quilted pillow by Melly Sews


But hey if I want to be clean and minimal, straight lines it is.

Straight line easy quilted pillow tutorial by Melly Sews


For the blue I offset some zig-zags on the reverse.

Irregular zig-zag quilted pillow Tutorial by Melly Sews


But then again, I’m in love with the clean straight lines.

Sky Blue straight line quilted pillow by Melly Sews


And the pillows in their proper environment – the family room (Psst – notice the table? Latest thrift shop find. I’m either going to re-stain or paint it. Anyone have an opinion on what I should do? Leaning toward white paint…)

Blue and Green quilted pillows by Melly Sews


So, to make our own, you’ll need:

  • Unwashed 100% cotton quilting fabric. I wanted to use Kona cotton, but the fabric store didn’t have the right colors, so I went with a thinner cotton. Unwashed is important because the fabric will shrink a tiny bit when you wash/dry it, and that is how you get that textured crinkled look. 
  • Quilt batting
  • Thread
  • Pillow insert. Or just put these over your old pillows like I did.


How to sew a quilted pillow tutorial

So here’s my blue pillow with the lines sketched out on it. In pencil. Told you I’m no quilter. Add a layer of batting, the same size as the fabric, underneath, and stitch through the fabric and batting on the lines.

Draw lines for quilting


Freehand vines. Sorry you can’t see them as well in the picture, but hopefully you can get the idea.



Freehand vines drawn for quilting


Quilted lines. I spaced my lines 1″ apart. See how it’s starting to crinkle even before I washed it?

Straight line quilting


For each pillow I sewed with a slightly darker thread so it the pattern would show up better.

And the pencil? Washing these on warm, the pencil marks came right off.

To finish, after inserting my old pillows, I hand blind stitched the covers on. If you don’t know how to do this so the stitching doesn’t show, check this tutorial.

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  1. Ivy Little says

    I make (as gifts for family/friends) and sell pillows and get mixed reactions with the pillow inserts. Melly, do you think it’s better to just stuff them with polyfiber fill?
    Curious about your opinion on it….
    Love your blog btw. I am an avid stalker!

  2. Joyce says

    I love the pillows and am going to try them soon. I would like a tutorial for making drapes and/or curtains. I need new drapes really bad but am afraid to tackle without some help on how much material I need and how to sew them.

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