Pattern for Quilted Throw Pillows

Author: Abigail Kelly

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Time to read: 3 min

Make Your Own Throw Pillows Using HSTs

Our new (and free!) pattern for quilted throw pillows makes use of the classic HST (Half Square Triangles). These pillows are a good project for the confident beginner.


And if you are new to HSTs, we've written a tutorial on our favourite method of creating HSTs. Click here to learn how to make HSTs two at a time.

Making the Quilted Top

These Instructions are to make (2) pillow covers to fit 18 in. pillows.

Fabric Requirements

  • 3 FQ for Accent Fabric
  • 3 FQ for Background Fabric
  • ½ yd for Pillow back
  • Batting
  • Extra yardage for quilting the Pillow top

Cutting Instructions

Accent Fabric:


1st and 2nd Fat Quarter

(3) 3 in. x WOF strips; sub-cut into (21) 3in x 3 in. squares

3rd Fat Quarter (see cutting diagram below)

(4) 3 in. x WOF strips; sub-cut into (22) 3in x 3 in. squares

4) 1½ in. x WOF strips; sub-cut into (2) 1½in x 16½ in. strips & (2) 1½in x 18½ in. strips

Cutting Diagram for 3rd Accent Fabric FQ
This diagram demonstrates how best to cut the 3rd Accent Fabric FQ

Background Fabric (3 FQs):


1st and 2nd Fat Quarter

(3) 3 in. x WOF strips; sub-cut into (21) 3in x 3 in. squares

3rd Fat Quarter

(4) 3 in. x WOF strips; sub-cut into (22) 3in x 3 in. squares


Pillow Back:


½ yard
(1) 14½ in. x WOF strip; sub-cut into (2) x 14½ in x 18½ in. pieces

To make a scrappy version, you will need a total of (128) 3 in. squares. (64) of the squares should be light in colour value and (64) should be dark in colour value. 


In order to achieve a striking design there needs to be contrast between the triangles. You will want to pair a light colour square with a dark coloured square.

Fabric key Pattern for Quilted Throw Pillow
Throughout this tutorial, faded swatches (the second of each pair) represent the wrong side of the fabric.

Sewing The HST Blocks

Pair each accent square with a background square. Make HSTs two at a time. Not sure how to make HSTs this way? You can find a tutorial here


Trim sewn HSTs to 2½ in.


Next is the fun part: laying out your finished HST blocks. There are endless possibilities! Below are just a few options that've come up with. I suggest laying out your HSTs and rotating them. Play with them until you are satisfied with the look.

Sewing The Blocks to Make Rows

Layout options for HST quilt blocks
These are a few of the layout options I've come up with. Be sure to have a little fun and experiment with your own layouts.

Sew HSTs into rows, pressing the seams of the odd-numbered rows to the right and the seams on the even-numbered rows to the left.


Sew rows together, nesting the seams. Press seams to one side.

Assembling rows for quilted throw pillow
Arrow shows direction to press seams for nested seams

Sew the borders to the sides, then the top and bottom. Press the seams towards the border.

Attaching Borders to Quilted Throw Pillow
Attach left and right borders
Attaching Borders to Quilted Throw Pillow
Attach top and bottom borders

Now that you have the pillowtop made, it's time to quilt it. Make a quilt sandwich by layering backing fabric, batting, and the pillowtop. The backing fabric does not have to match, as you will not see it in the final product. Pin or spray-base the layers together.


Quilt as desired. I used a walking foot on my Brother SE-600 and chose a wavy stitch following the pattern of the HSTs using matching thread on each area.


Once the quilting is complete, trim to 18½ in. x 18½ in.

Layers of Quilt sandwich
Quilt Sandwich
Plan for quilting HST throw pillows
Here's a visual of how I quilted my pillows.

Sewing The Pillow Back

Hem The Back Pieces

Along the longer side of the backing fabric, fold under the edge 1 in., and fold under once more. 

Sew hem in place. Repeat for the other backing fabric.

Hemming fabric for back of envelope throw pillow

Place the pillow backs on the pillowtop, right sides facing the pillowtop, with the hemmed edges in the middle overlapping. They should overlap by appox. 6½ in. Pin to secure.

Put back fabric pieces in place and pin to secure
Place your hemmed back pieces onto quilted front. Pin to secure.
Put back fabric pieces in place and pin to secure
The overlapping pieces create an 'envelope' that will hold your pillow inside of the case!

Sew a ½ in. seam on all four sides.


Trim the seam in half and clip the corners to reduce bulk.

Sewing front and back together on HST Throw Pillow
Sew front and back together.
Trimming seams on HST Throw Pillow
Trim seams to reduce bulk
Trimming seams on HST Throw Pillow
Trim corners to further reduce bulk

Turn the pillow cover right side out, and you are done!


We'd love to see your finished pillows, so be sure to tag us on Instagram @lindleyquiltshop


Enjoyed our pattern for quilted throw pillows? Let us know in the comments and be sure to share this with a quilty friend!

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