How to make Pillows from the Barn Quilts Placemat Panel

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Barn Quilts Fabric by Tara Reed for Riley Blake Designs
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How to make Accent Pillows from the Barn Quilts Placemat Panel

The Barn Quilts Placemat Panel is not just for placemats! They are quick and easy to cut apart and turn into rectangular accent pillows – perfect for farmhouse decor.

Each panel has 6 barn scenes that each measure 18″ x 11″. (figure 1)

  • CUT apart with ¼″ – ½″ border all the way around, depending on your preferred seam allowance.
  • CUT a backing fabric the same size as the placemat fabric. (I literally lay the placemat piece on top of backing fabric and use it as a pattern.) (figure 2)
How to make Accent Pillows from the Barn Quilts Placemat Panel
figure 2
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  • Right sides together, CLIP & SEW around all 4 sides, leaving a 3-4″ opening on the bottom to turn and stuff. (figure 3)
  • TURN right side out and use a tool to gently turn the corners. (figure 4) (I like the Flamingo Stiletto Turning Tool by Bev McCullough from Riley Blake Designs)
  • STUFF with polyester fiber to the firmness of your liking. (figure 5) (I used Fairfield PF16B Poly-Fil Premium Polyester Fiber)
  • HAND-STITCH closed.
How to make Accent Pillows from the Barn Quilts Placemat Panel
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How to make Accent Pillows from the Barn Quilts Placemat Panel
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I decided to take my pillow making a step further and made a large quilt block pillow with the block in the painting on the barn – in this case, the Martha Washington Star Quilt Block. (figure 6)

Make a 12″ Martha Washington Quilt Block. (Click here for Quilt Block sewing instructions)

Cut (4) 3¾″ wide strips WOF (width of fabric), out of the border fabric of your choice (I used brown).

You will need:

  • (1) 12½″ long
  • (2) 16″ long and
  • (1) 20″ long

SEW them to the block as shown in the diagram, trimming to square after each strip is added. (The strips are a little long so you can trim them to be perfect and they don’t end up too short – this gives you your most professional results and is worth a wasted ¼″ or so!) (figure 7)

TRIM to square to 19″. (I use a ½″ seam for pillows to make them a little more sturdy when taking them on and off!)

Turn the block into a pillow in the same way you turned the placemat into a pillow above.

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Martha Washington Block as pillow piecing diagram
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If you make this or other projects and post on Instagram, be sure to tag me (@artisttarareed). Follow my YouTube channel for new sewing projects and tips every week.

🧵 Tara Reed

P.S. Is there a sewing tutorial you’d love to see? Leave me a comment and I’ll add it to my idea list!

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