April 19, 2018

Mini Charm Pack Pillow- a free pattern

Hello again! Today I have a fun, fast project to share. To make this pillow you will need:

2 Mini Charm Packs, or (81) 2.5" squares
FQ for backing
(2) 1" x 5" coordinating fabric for zipper tabs
(2) 20" squares of batting
16" or longer zipper (can be cut shorter!)

About a week ago I got these two sweet little Ella and Ollie packs in the mail, and I very impulsively opened them right up, organized the prints into colors, and arranged them in this diagonal design. I love how it turned out! Fig Tree fabrics are soooo pretty, that Joanna is the master of warm colors.

I wasn't planning on making it a tutorial so I  didn't take any "in progress" shots, sorry about that! You'll have to read the words. So annoying, ha!

To achieve a similar look with any fabric line, open up your charm packs sort your pieces into color piles- all the red together, all the blues, etc. Most fabric lines have around 6 main colors. Figure out what order you want your color gradient to go. I followed a loose rainbow- red, peach, yellow, green, aqua, white. There is also a little row of tan in mine. And, I went backwards apparently.

Starting in the upper right hand corner with alternating color stripes, begin to arrange the squares into a 9 by 9 grid. (9 rows across and 9 rows down) This will take some rearranging as you go, but who doesn't love to arrange and rearrange pretty fabric!? Not this girl. You will have 3 left over that you don't need.

It doesn't have to be perfect. Just play around with the colors until you find "stripes" you like, according to what fits and the numbers you have of each. Then, sew the squares into 9 rows of nine using a 1/4" seam. Then press the rows in the directions of the arrows.
Now sew your rows together. The seams of the intersecting squares should "nest" nicely so you don't have to pin, just line them up and make sure they are snug against each other before you sew them. Press your rows all one direction.

Quilt the pillow front as desired. I used a wavy stitch on my Husqvarna and followed the color "stripes". I take shortcuts wherever possible in quilting, so instead of marking lines, I first quilted down the intersections of the squares. Then I added in between rows by eye balling it between the rows I had already done. When you're doing a wavy stitch no one can tell if it's perfect!

Now it's time to assemble the pillow. I have instructions for this in multiple places. For a very detailed video tutorial, visit my Instagram profile and watch the story highlights under "zipper tutorial". There's a little circle with a springy pillow on it, click there. I believe it only works on phones, not desktop computers. For a photo tutorial that will work anywhere, go here.

I usually always make pillow covers 18" square, and use the 20" down pillow forms from IKEA. They are great. Also, I used an older Fig Tree print for the backing.

I hope this makes pillows a little more approachable for some of you, they really are fun! I am fully addicted as I'm sure you've noticed :)

In a very happy color coordination accident, I had my solids out from my What Shade Are You quilt top for RJR fabrics. I chose these colors months ago! I had to take some out (purple), but look how happy they are together. You can find all the color names in that post. 


  1. Very cute! I always do the envelope backing on my pillows, but I think I am ready to try a zipper. Thank you for an adorable project!!

  2. Allison, every time I see a new pillow from you I keep saying I have GOT to try a pillow with a zipper. Yours looks so good! I really do like the clean finished look of them. Maybe this weekend?

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