Modern Plus Pillow Tutorial

Monday, September 9, 2013

Modern Plus Pillow Tutorial |
Happy Monday! I have a fun tutorial using Nordika to share with you today! I sketched up this design when I was planning booth projects early in the year.  I ran out of time to make it then, but knew it would still be a great project to show off the prints!

Modern Plus Pillow Tutorial |
I like to think of these as a companion project to my modern plus quilt pattern, Arithmetic! It looks awesome sewn up in Nordika, so continuing the plus theme made sense! A little solid helps break things up a bit. I used Pure Elements in Moonstone and Ash. They're quilted with two of my favorite Aurifil 50wt threads, #2600 and #2605. These pillows come together simply, but pack a big punch!

Modern Plus Pillow Tutorial |
Sewing Level: Intermediate

- 2" strip of 10 print fabrics
- 1/8 yard solid fabric
- 1/3 yard of pillow backing fabric
- 1/2 yard of muslin
- 20"x20" piece of cotton batting
- 16" pillow form
- Coordinating thread

Finished Size: 16" square
Width of Fabric (WOF) = 42" assumed

Note: Materials are for one pillow.

Modern Plus Pillow Tutorial |
From 7 print fabrics:
- Cut (1) 2"xWOF strip
- Subcut strip into (3) 2" squares and (1) 2"x5" rectangle

From 3 print fabrics:
- Cut (1) 2"xWOF strip
- Subcut strip into (4) 2" squares and (2) 2"x5" rectangle

From print fabric scraps:
- Cut (1) 2" square

From solid fabric:
- Cut (3) 2"xWOF strips
- Subcut 2 strips into (21) 2" squares
- Subcut remaining strip into (6) 2" squares

From muslin fabric:
- Cut (1) 20" square

From pillow backing fabric:
- Cut (1) 11.5"xWOF strip
- Subcut into (2) 16.5"x11.5" rectangles

Modern Plus Pillow Tutorial |
 *Use a 1/4" seam allowance unless otherwise noted.*

1. Arrange print squares and rectangles to form 13 plus shapes using the illustration as a guide. 

2. Fill in with solid squares and remaining print squares.  You'll have 11 rows: 6 rows of print squares and solid squares, and 5 rows of print rectangles and solid squares.

3. Sew pieces together in each row, press seams in one direction, alternating directions every other row.

4. Sew rows together, press seams in one direction.

5. Baste with batting and muslin.  Quilt as desired. Trim to 16.5" square.

Modern Plus Pillow Tutorial |
6. Create envelope backing using the two 11.5"x16.5" rectangles.  Take one rectangle and turn the long edge down 1/2" towards the wrong side, press.  Turn down again 1/2", press.  Topstitch closed. Repeat with remaining rectangle.

Modern Plus Pillow Tutorial |
7. Pin one backing piece right sides together with the front of the pillow top, lining up the raw edges with the sides and bottom of the pillow top.  Pin the remaining piece to the top of the pillow top, overlapping the first.

Modern Plus Pillow Tutorial |
8. Stitch around the pillow top, securing the backing in place. Finish seams with a zig-zag stitch or serger. Turn and press.

Modern Plus Pillow Tutorial |
Voila, you're done! Enjoy your pretty new pillow!

Modern Plus Pillow Tutorial |
I hope you've enjoyed this tutorial! I've loved seeing all the wonderful things you've been making with Nordika! As always, if you make something from my tutorials, patterns or with my fabric, I'd love for you to add it to the In Color Order Flickr Group! :)

Happy Sewing!


  1. Cute pillows! I'll have to make one or two!

  2. I love the pillows too. They show off your fabric nicely.

  3. Lovely design! The grey solids work fab with your fabric. :)

  4. Love the mix of prints and solids... great pattern! Thanks so much.

  5. great project, Jeni! Love the new line, and it looks so good in these pillows.

  6. so cute so cute!!!! I love me some pillows! great illustrations too. you rule.

  7. Love your pillow and this was a great tutorial!

  8. Thank you!! I so need to make pillows for my couch.

  9. These are beautiful! I especially love the light grey one!

  10. I just made this! I love the pattern and your fabric. I paired the Nordika with some black and white nubby chambray. I put a pic in your Flickr group. Thanks Jeni!


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