Quilt-as-you-go and strip piecing go together like bread and butter. Once you learn these two quilting skills, it’s easy to combine them into all kinds of projects, including this strip-pieced pillow project!
These simple sewing techniques can apply to many strip quilt patterns, and by following the steps outlined below, you can apply quilt-as-you-go to a variety of strip piecing projects, even larger quilts. Let’s get started!
How to make a strip piecing quilt-as-you-go pillow
Materials for a 12″ x 16″ pillow cover:
- A dozen 2½” fabric strips, ranging from 6″ to 20″ long
- 12″ x 16″ scrap of batting (I’ve used wool batting for extra dimension when quilting)
- 12″ x 18″ pillow backing fabric (I’ve used leftover home decor scraps for a thicker weighted linen)
Place your batting on your work surface. This will be like a canvas for creating the quilted top.
Choose one of your longest strips for the center diagonal of the rectangle. Center it right side up on the diagonal. Place another long strip beside it, making sure both strips extend off the batting scrap.
Flip the second strip over onto the center strip, so that the right sides of the two strips are now facing. Pin in place.
Stitch the two strips (and the batting) together ¼” from the edge along one side.
Flip the top strips open, then quilt through the fabric and batting layers. Starting from the center seam, stitch even rows ¼” apart. You don’t need to stitch in the ditch (sew through the center seam) unless you prefer to. Continue until both strips are fully quilted with about ¼” of loose fabric on each side. This is where you’ll add your next fabric strips.
To continue strip piecing, add a new fabric strip on top of one your quilt-as-you-go strips. Place it right sides together with the quilted strips.
Make sure the right sides are facing, and stitch this piece to the previous strip, sewing with a ¼” seam allowance on the long edge.
Flip the new strip open, quilt as you go, lining up your presser foot with the seam. Continue stitching more straight lines 1¼” apart to tack this piece down to your batting.
Repeat Steps 5-7 until your entire batting panel is quilted with straight lines.
Notice that some of the corners are too small for an entire strip…
Just add a small scrap of fabric here, stitch¼” from the edge, flip it up, and quilt as you go in the same way.
Trim your pillow front to the same size as your pillow form. I like mine to fit a bit snug, so I trimmed it to 11½” x 16″ instead of 12″ across.
Cut your backing fabric in half, so that you have 2 pieces that each measure 12″ x 9″. Zig-zag stitch or serge one of the 12″ sides on each of the two pieces (these edges will be visible, so make sure they looks nice).
With your pillow top facing up, place the first backing piece on top with the zig-zag or serged edge in the center of the pillow and the other raw edges matching the pillow top.
Repeat Step 10 with the other piece of the pillow backing fabric. The serged or zig-zag edge should overlap the previous one. Use binding clips or pins to secure all the raw edges in place.
Stitch all the way around the pillow using a wide ¼” seam allowance. You can make it larger if you prefer, up to ½” all the way around, to make sure you encase all of the quilt-as-you-go seams.
Zig-zag stitch or serge around the raw edges to secure the pillow’s seam.
Turn the quilt-as-you-go pillow cover right side out, and use a turning tool to poke out the corners. Insert a pillow form, and enjoy your new strip-pieced throw pillow!