Project: Zipper Block Pillow Cover | OLFA - Craft OLFA – Craft

Project: Zipper Block Pillow Cover

What is black and white and quilted all over? This fun Zipper Block Pillow Cover from September Designer Spotlight, Amy Smart! Amy uses stark white and black fabrics to allow the graphic elements of the zipper block construction to really stand out. The zipper design keeps your eye moving back and forth, and is easier to assemble than you might imagine!


  • Finished pillow cover size is 17″ x 17″.
  • Consider your color choices. Do you want the look of a dark zipper over a light color, like in this tutorial? Or would you prefer a reverse image with a dark background and light zipper?
  • Sew all seams with a consistent ¼” seam allowance.
  • Share your completed pillow using #ZipperBlockPillow


Confident Beginner


18″ x 24″ Self-Healing Cutting Mat
45mm Splash Rotary Cutter
6″ x 24″ Acrylic Ruler (QR-6×24)
6-1/2″ x 6-1/2″ Acrylic Ruler (QR-6S)
Basic sewing supplies


3/4 yd. Gray fabric (Riley Blake Circle Dot in Charcoal used here)
1/4 yd. White fabric (Riley Blake White solid in Clean White used here)
20” x 20” piece of white batting
18” x 18” pillow form or sufficient pillow stuffing


  1. From gray fabric cut (5) strips 1-1/2” x 42” (width of fabric). Then sub-cut (4) strips 1-1/2” x 17-1/2” and (8) squares 1-1/2” x 1-1/2”. Set aside.
  2. From remaining gray fabric, cut the backing pieces: 17-1/2” x 14” and 17-1/2” x 12”.
  3. From white fabric cut (5) strips 1-1/2” x 42” (width of fabric). Sub-cut (5) strips 1-1/2” x 17-1/2”. Set these aside.
  4. Take (2) gray 42” strips and sew them alternating with (2) white 42” strips to make a four-strip set. Press seams toward the gray. Sew seams alternating directions to help prevent bowing (or arcing) of the strip-set.
  5. Sub-cut strip set into (28) units 1-1/2’’ x 4-1/2”. * Tip * To keep your units square, line up a straight line on the ruler with one of the inside seams (not top or bottom edge of the strip set). You will most-likely need to square off the end after cutting a number of units in order to keep seams straight.


  6. Sew remaining gray strip and white strip pieces together. Sub cut 8 gray and white units 1-1/2” x 2-1/2”.


  7. Sew (4) gray and white 1-1/2’’ x 4-1/2” square units plus one gray 1-1/2” x 1-1/2” square together end to end to create a long, alternating 1-1/2” x 17-1/2” gray and white strip. Press seams toward the gray. Repeat to make 7 total.


  8. Sew each 1-1/2” x 17-1/2” gray and white pieced strip to one side of (4) white 1-1/2” x 17-1/2” strips and (4) gray 1-1/2” x 17-1/2” strips.


  9. If your pieced strips are slightly longer or shorter than the solid strips, pin them together carefully. Find center of both and pin there first, then at both ends, and then evenly throughout. Place longer strip on the bottom when sewing them together as the feed dogs will help ease in the excess.


  10. Press seams toward the solid strip.
  11. Sew double rows into four sets of four strips, alternating white solid, pieced strip, gray solid, pieced strip. Pin carefully again if needed. Also, line-up the seams of the pieced strips when putting rows together.
  12. Continue to carefully combine rows as seen below and then add final white 1-1/2” x 17-1/2” strip at the end.
  13. Press all seams toward solid strips. Press from the front to make sure all seams are open and flat.


  14. Center 17-1/2” x 17-1/2” quilt block on top of 20” x 20” piece of batting. Baste in place using safety pins.
  15. Quilt layers together as you desire. I machine quilted straight lines down the solid strips using white thread on the white strips and gray thread on the gray strips.


  16. Trim batting to 17-1/2” x 17-1/2”.
  17. Fold long edge (17-1/2”) of each backing piece down 3/4” and press and fold 3/4” again and press. Topstitch folded edge in place to give that edge a finished appearance.


  18. Line-up raw edge of larger backing piece right sides together with one outside edge of the pillow front, with finished edge running down the pillow front.
  19. Line-up raw edge of smaller backing piece along the opposite edge of the pillow front, overlapping larger backing piece, with finished edge running down the middle.
  20. Pin backing pieces in place and sew around all edges using a 1/4” seam allowance.


  21. Trim corners and turn pillow right side out. Make sure pillow corners look neat and give everything a good press.
  22. Insert pillow form. (I generally like to use larger pillow forms to give my pillow a full, fat look.)


Project design by Amy Smart.
September, 2015
For personal, non-commercial use only.

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