Scrappy Bento Box Block Pillow Tutorial

Let's make a pillow!

You will need one block made from my
 Scrappy Bento Box Block Tutorial (click here)

Cutting List:

Cut 4 corner stones - 2" x 2"
Cut 4 sashing piece 2" x 12.5"
Cut 1 piece of batting 17" x 17"
Cut 1 backing (used for quilting the pillow front) 17" x 17"
Cut 2 pieces 10" x 15" for pillow back
65" of double fold 1/2" binding (I used self made)
1 zipper - 16" (or longer, can trim later); to match pillow back

*seams are scant 1/4"

Here's the layout for the sashing and corner stones you will add to the Bento Box Block, to make it into a 15" pillow.

Step 1: Stitch corner stones to both ends of two sashing strips. Press seams towards sashing strips.

Step 2: Sew remaining two sashing strips to opposite sides of Bento Box block. Press seam towards sashing strips.

 Step 3: Sew sashing strips with attached corner stones to Bento Box block; top and bottom.  Press seams towards sashing strips.

Step 4:  Place fabric selected to be backing for quilting the pillow front, face down and layer quilt batting and then finished block on top (right side up).   Make sure there's no wrinkles and pin to secure.

Step 5:   Machine quilt the pillow front.

Here's a close-up of the gently curved lines I quilted onto my pillow front.

Step 6:  After quilting is complete, trim the finished pillow front to measure 15" x 15".

Step 7:  Take one of the pieces cut for the pillow back and press a 1.25" hem along one 15" side.

Step 8:  Lay zipper face down matching the right edge of zipper tape with the raw edge of the hem on piece 1 of pillow back.  Stitch 1/4" in from this raw edge to secure zipper to piece one.  This seam will also secure the hem.

Step 9:  Lay piece 1 of the pillow back right side up - the zipper will be right side up as well, but the hem will be covering it.  Push the hem out to the side so it will not get caught  in the seam you will stitch to secure piece 2 to the other half of the zipper tape.   Place piece 2 right side down, matching the 15" raw edge with the edge of the zipper tape.  Sew with a 1/4" seam.

Step 10:  Top stitch along the right edge of the zipper and then baste across the hem *top and bottom* (making sure the zipper pull is placed so that it won't be above the basting stitches)The hem actually laps over to cover the zipper .

Step 11:  Trim any of the zipper tape that extends past the length of the backing pieces (shown below).

Step 12: Lay the quilted pillow front wrong side to wrong side with the finished backing (zipper has been sewn in).   Pin, matching edges and corners.  Backing will be larger, that was intentional.  Time to trim the backing to match the front.  Both will be 15" square. Baste the pillow front to the pillow back (and at this point, make sure the zipper pull has been lowered a couple of inches from the top edge).

Step 13:  Adding the binding.  Unfold the binding and place right sides facing, with the pillow back.  Don't start sewing the binding down at a corner.   Start sewing about half way along one side of the pillow.  Leave the first 3" of the binding unsewn (to make joining easier once you have bound all around the pillow).

With the raw edge of the binding matched to the raw edge of the pillow, sew 1/8" to the right of the first fold of the binding (this will be a seam of just under 1/2").

Step 14:  Mark 1/2" from the corner with a pin.  Stitch right to the pin, back stitch and then cut threads.

Step 15: Turn the pillow, so the seam completed is parallel to front edge of sewing machine...

 fold the binding at a 45 degree angle and hold this folded angle in place while extending unsewn binding past the top edge (previously sewn along).

Now, make a fold in the binding at the top edge, matching this fold with the top edge and matching the binding with the raw edge on the right.  Start stitching at the top edge - back stitch to secure - and continue sewing this side of the pillow.

All corners are completed using this method.  Once the fourth corner has been bound, the two ends of binding need to be stitched together.  Stop stitching about 2" from the point where the binding should end.

 Step 16:  Lay the cut edge from the start of the binding over the uncut length left.  Mark the uncut length at the two angle points from the binding's start.  Add 1/2" to account for seam allowance.  Cut this angled line.

Step 17:  Stitch the binding ends together with a 1/4" seam.  Seam is on the bias, so no bulk will be added.  After the binding ends have been sewn, finish sewing the remaining unattached binding to the pillow.

Step 18:  Place pillow with quilted top facing up, and wrap the binding around to the front.  Cover the stitch line (used to secure binding to pillow) and pin in place.  Stitch close to the edge of the binding to secure.

Congratulations!  The pillow is finished.


  1. Thanks for sharing. I love your pillows with the bento blocks

  2. Another fabulous tutorial for a gorgeous project - thank you Katherine!

  3. Thanks for this tutorial. I wondered how you put the binding on your pillows. Plus I like pillow covers with zippers much better than the envelope style. Your pillows look gorgeous!

  4. Thanks for the tut. And thanks for refreshing my memory on how to put in a zipper-it's been years. Gonna try this.

  5. Thanks , this tutotial is so pretty , congratulation

  6. Thanks for the tutorial! I'm going to make some pillows to coordinate with my quilt! I just love the look of pretty pillows on a bed.


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