Hourglass Quilt Block Pillow by the Quilting Room with Mel

I’m excited to introduce Melissa also known as Mel from Quilting Room with Mel as a guest contributor to Underground Crafter! Mel is sharing the an hourglass quilt block pattern that will walk you through all the steps for making the beautiful Hourglass Pillow!

This post contains affiliate links. I may receive compensation (at no added cost to you) if you make a purchase using these links. Photos in this post are © Melissa Shields/Quilting Room with Mel and are used with permission.

About Quilting Room with Mel

Mel loves to quilt! She’s a third-generation quilter and has been sewing since she was four. Her cousin gave her her great-grandmother’s sewing machine a few years ago and it was used to make the quilt her grandson came home from the hospital in. It’s just one of many vintage sewing machines that Mel uses to create her designs. Mel thinks there is something so calming about watching fabric transform into art with just a few stitches.

Mel also enjoys reading, watching Marvel movies, live-tweeting HGTV shows like HomeTown (she can’t wait for their next season), and making crafts from vintage items like old dresses or embroidery hoops that have seen better days.

You can find Mel all over the Internet these days – Facebook | Facebook Group | Twitter I Instagram | Website

Fat Quarter Shop Quilting Fabrics and Supplies

Hourglass Pillow

Hourglass Quilt Block Sewing Pattern by Quilting Room with Mel

I’m so excited to be here with you today. I think one of the best ways to dip your toes into the quilting world is making home decor pieces. Today I am going to show you how to make this trendy pillow for your home. If you can draw a straight line and sew a fairly straight line you can make this pillow.


  • Fairfield Crafter’s Choice 14×14 Pillow Form – if you can’t find a pillow form you can always use a pillow you already have. We are making a cover for it. Once you get the hang of doing this you can make pillow covers for every season and every holiday.
  • 1 package of 5” fabric squares – these go by many different names like charm squares, nickels, stackers, etc. Make sure your pack has at least 40 squares. I’m using American Made Brand in Nocturne.
  • A marking pen – make sure it is either washes out or it erases when you press
  • 6×12 or 6×24 ruler
  • 5” square up ruler
  • Rotary cutter and mat
  • Sewing machine, thread, pins, iron, ironing board, seam ripper
  • Optional – ¼” ruler

Making Hourglass Quilt Blocks

The hourglass quilt block is a foundation block. It is used in a lot of different quilt blocks but it is popping up in home decor too. I have seen it on picture frames, pillows, towels, curtains and everything else imaginable. These blocks do look difficult to make but they are a breeze. I’m using black and white drawings to show the steps because it is easier to see the steps than using photos.

One note before we get started, I will not call for pinning your fabric in the steps below. Please pin as you need to hold the fabric in place. Just remember to remove the pins as you get close to them.

Step 1

  • Split your pack of fabric in half. On half of the squares draw a diagonal line on the back of the fabric (wrong side). This line will be your guide for sewing in a bit and will be your cut line when you are finished sewing.
  • If you have a ¼” ruler you can use it. There is a line down the middle of the ruler, line that with the tips of your square and draw a line on each side of the ruler. These lines become your stitch lines.
  • Pair a square with a line with a square without a line. Just make sure you aren’t using the same fabric.

Step 2

  • With your ¼” foot on your sewing machine, line the edge of the foot on the line you drew in step 1 (if you used the ¼” ruler line your needle up with the lines you drew). Sew down one side of the line and then down the other.

Step 3

  • With your rotary cutter, mat, and 6” ruler cut the squares in half on the diagonal line you drew in step 1.

Step 4

  • Press the blocks open, pressing seams to the darkest fabric. These units are known as half-square triangles.

Step 5

  • On the back of half of your half-square triangles draw a diagonal line, like in step 1, in the opposite direction of your seam. Pair each half-square triangle with a line with a half-square triangle without a line. Make sure your seams nest* (see Notes below pattern) in the middle.

Step 6

  • Sew the blocks together just as we did in step 2.

Step 7

  • Before cutting check to make sure your unit looks like the drawing. If your center points are off rip out the stitching and try again. Otherwise, cut on the line drawn in step 5 and press seams to one side. These are hourglass units.

Step 8

  • Square** (see Notes below the pattern) units to 4”.

Step 9

  • Pick the 36 best hourglass units you have. Sew them into rows of 4. Press half the seams to the left and the other half to the right.

Step 10

  • Sew your rows together, pairing a left row to a right row. Nest seams.

Step 11

  • On the top edge draw a line ¼” from the raw edge. Draw another line ½” from the first line. Fold along the first line and press, fold along the second, and press. Repeat with the bottom edge.

Step 12

  • Stitch along the top fold, being careful to catch the ¼” fold in your stitching.

Step 13

  • Fold your piece in half, lightly press a crease. Measure 7” from either side of the crease and mark a line. Fold the fabric along the lines, right sides together (seams should be facing you). Your fabric will overlap on the back, this will make the envelope that your pillow form will go in.

Step 14

  • Sew each side of your fabric envelope with a ¼” seam. Turn right side out and slip your pillow form in the opening in the back.

Notes and Tips

* Nesting

  • Nesting seams help keep everything in line. When you press your seam to one side there is a slight ridge that forms. If you put two units together with seams pressed in the opposite direction (just turn your square around) those ridges fit together, helping to keep your block aligned. Pinning helps to keep them nested together.

** Squaring up

  • Squaring up your block is a crucial step in quilting that can be overwhelming but is really simple if you know what to do. A square-up ruler will have a diagonal line on it as well as all of your measurements.
  • The first thing you need to do is figure what half of your block size is, in our case, it is 2” since our final block is 4”. Place the point where the 2” lines meet right on the part where all the points come together and keep the diagonal line on the diagonal seam line of your block.
  • Trim around two sides of your block. Turn your block so the two untrimmed sides are out and line the trimmed sides with the measurement of your final block, in our case the 4” line. Trim the other two sides.
© 2021 by Melissa Shields/Quilting Room with Mel and published with permission by Underground Crafter. This pattern is for personal use only. You may use the pattern to make unlimited items for yourself, for charity, or to give as gifts. You may sell items you personally make by hand from this pattern. Do not violate Mel’s copyright by distributing this pattern or the photos in any form, including but not limited to scanning, photocopying, emailing, or posting on a website or internet discussion group. if you want to share the pattern, point your friends to this link: https://undergroundcrafter.com/2021/10/06/hourglass-quilt-block-pillow-by-the-quilting-room-with-mel/. Thanks for supporting indie designers!

Leave a Comment

Subscribe to the newsletter to get my secrets and access to the subscriber vault!

5 Secrets for Improving Your Crochet Skills