54-40 or Fight Batik Pillow Tutorial

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The 54-40 or Fight quilt block makes a beautiful pillow and I have an easy tutorial to share with you today.

This quilt block uses the triangle in a square block and I have a template you can download if needed.

54-40 quilted pillow tutorial

54-40 or Fight Batik Pillow Tutorial

16″ x 16″

This block can be made in several different ways including using the templates provided, the Tri Rec rulers, or AccuQuilt dies.

54-40 quilted pillow tutorial on quilt

54-40 or Fight Batik Pillow Tutorial

16″ x 16″

Today is my day on the Island Batik Sock Hop. The Sock Hop started on Monday at Island Batik and will end January 25th. Each day a designer or ambassador will share a block made with Island Batik fabrics, there will be tutorials, giveaways, and lots of fun!


I used the beautiful batiks called Running Water and the block I am showing is called 54-40 or Fight. This is one of my favorite blocks and I make it in many different sizes.

I love making pillows; they are a fast way to make up a project and also make a wonderful gift. This block is 12 inches with a 2-inch border giving me a 16-inch pillow.

54-40 or Fight is a type of 9 patch block and you can see how the sections go together.

54-40 quilted pillow tutorial block sections

Here is the block with the sections sewed together.

54-40 quilted pillow tutorial block sections sewed together

One pillow with 4″ square in the center:


  • ½ yard Dark Teal batik – fabric that will also be used for the borders and back of the pillow
  • ¼ yard Bright Teal batik
  • ¼ yard Cream batik
  • 16″ square pillow form


  • Dark Teal batik – cut (1) – 4½” square and (4) triangle in a square sections as shown below
  • Bright Teal batik – cut (8) – 2½” squares or use the strip method below
  • Cream batik – cut (8) – 2½” squares or use the strip method below

One pillow with 4 patch square in center:


  • Dark Teal batik – cut (2) – 2½” square and 4 – triangle in a square sections as shown below
  • Bright Teal batik – cut (8) – 2½” squares or use the strip method below
  • Cream batik – cut (10) – 2½” squares or use the strip method below

Strip cutting method:

  • Cut 2½ inch strips of two different fabrics for the 4 square sections.
  • Sew the two strips together with a ¼ inch seam allowance
  • Sub-cut into 2½ inch pieces
  • Sew two of the sections together as shown below
Batik Pillow Tutorial Island

Center Block – choose one:

  • (1) –  4 1/2 inch square
  • (2) – 2½” Dark Teal batik and 2 ½” Cream batik squares sewed into a 4 patch

Triangles in a square sections

For this block they will measure 4 1/2 inches unfinished. There are several ways you can make this.

Batik Pillow Tutorial Island

My favorite way to make this block is of course with my AccuQuilt Go! 4″ Triangle in a Square Die.

This die will even work in the GO! Baby!

If you have any of the AccuQuilt GO! Qube Companion Angle sets,  they all have the dies to make triangle in a square blocks.

In no time at all you can easily cut all of the pieces.

Batik Pillow Tutorial Island

The Tri-Rec templates are another great way to cut the shapes, just follow the directions that come with the templates.

Batik Pillow Tutorial Island

If you don’t have the die or templates you can download the full-size tempates for the triangles in a square.

Batik Pillow Tutorial Island

Sew the triangle in a square blocks together as shown below.

Batik Pillow Tutorial Island

Here is the finished block which is 12½” square. For some reason, I didn’t make this block into a pillow, wonder where it went.

Batik Pillow Tutorial Island

Now it is time to add the borders.


  • Cut (2) – 2½” x 12½” pieces and sew to the sides
  • Cut (2) – 2½” x 16½” pieces and sew to the top and bottom

Quilt as desired:

 I used my vintage 15-91 Singer sewing machine for all of my piecing and quilting. 

I like using Aurifil thread and chose a dark teal color, I also used a Schmetz Microtex 80/20 sewing machine needle. This needle works very well with batiks.

Batik Pillow Tutorial Island

This is also a great time to experiment with free-motion techniques.

Batik Pillow Tutorial Island

I think it is always fun to get a peek at the back so here you go!

Batik Pillow Tutorial Island

I put a zipper in the back of my pillows with a flap……next pillow….I’ll show you a easy way to do that!

Batik Pillow Tutorial Island

Remember my fabric basket tutorial …..well I made another one……I just can’t stop!

Batik Pillow Tutorial Island
54-40 quilted pillow tutorial shown three different ways using batiks

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Connie with her dogs

About Connie

Hi, I’m Connie Kresin Campbell, the quilter, writer, and photographer behind Freemotion By the River. I enjoy inspiring others with my quilt tutorials and patterns. You’ll also see my sweet adopted dogs from time to time.

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  1. I have been following you for a while now but somehow never saw this pillow. I have been wanting to make this block for awhile now. My experience with templates wasn’t a great one but I have the trirex rulers so I will try that. I want to make one for my Aunt. She was born in 1040 and I was born in 1954. Thanks for your tutorials

  2. Hi Connie, I found this tutorial a few months ago and I made four of these pillows also. I recently invested in the 4 inch Triangle in a square cube and it was so fun and easy to make this block. Thank you for your inspirational tutorials.

  3. I follow you by email. Your grands are doing a great job. Do you let them sew yet? They could make the half square triangles!

  4. I enjoy your blog through Blogger, especially as you are so close to me – another Iowa quilter. Thanks for sharing your treats and talents. You keep me going to find the time to do what I love.

  5. I found your blog by clicking on your picture in WIP Wednesday. Your pillows are beautiful and the fabric colors perfect.

  6. Hi! I am new to your blog. I just found you today with this blog-hop, and I am enjoying the fabulous ideas you have all come up with. I needed some new pillow covers, and love your idea. I do believe I will be making a few batik pillow covers. Thanks for the draw.

  7. I follow you on Google. Those colors you used for your pillows were fanatic! I would have picked them in a heartbeat!

  8. Hi Connie! I'm following you with Google. I love these colors, thanks for the opportunity to have some to pet!


  9. Hi there Connie!
    I follow you via email AND via Bloglovin(in case my email conks out!). One day I hope to post on your Tuesday linky party!
    Thanks so much for the giveaway,
    Jacqueline in Pitt Meadows

  10. Hi Connie, I follow you by Facebook, Bloglovin' and Google. I think that is all!! You always have something going on that interests me..keep up the good work..

  11. The Running Waters name is spot on. Those colors are so cool and refreshing. Love them all!
    I'm a very happy e-mail follower and look forward to seeing your posts in my inbox.

  12. Hi Connie. I follow you through bloglovin and blogger. I love all your colors! I never thought to use the tri ruler like that,backwards so the sides stand out for the star. Thanks for the tip!

  13. So pretty. Love those colors! I am following you on Pintrest. Thanks for the chance…Jan 26 is my Birthday! Wonder if that is lucky

  14. I follow thru email which I found thru bjeweled. I am impressed with your detailed instructions and patterns if you don't have a cutter. I do but it is always nice to see that a blogger thinks of her whole audience. Thanks for the tutorial and a chance to win these beautiful fabrics.

  15. I follow on facebook!
    Love these batiks! cute basket too! It would look great on my desk holding my sewing essentials!

  16. I just discovered your blog and will be following it from now on. I love those shades of blue you used for your block.

  17. Beautiful fabrics; I love those watery blues and greens. I've downloaded the table runner pattern, thank you.
    I follow you on Google Friend Connect and on Facebook.

  18. I've followed your blog the last year or two. I am sure Pelly would have approved of your beautiful water-y color in those batiks!

  19. I love that block too, and I love the colours you used. They are currently my favourite colours. I follow you through Bloglovin.

  20. Hi, Connie

    I've been following you for about a year now via Bloglovin

    Love your tutorials and the colors you use.

  21. Love your pillows! The fabrics are yummy and 54-40 or Fight is a great block pattern!! Your quilting is marvelous 🙂 I get your blog posts in my email 🙂 I guess I just can't get enough of Pelly's mom LOL

  22. I follow you on Bloglovin, Craftsy, and Facebook!
    I love 54-40 or Fight. It sure looks easier to match with the corners trimmed!
    I love the aqua and blues, too.

  23. I follow you on email. First discovered you blog through Blog Lovin. Thank you for the tutorial. I love the block & I'm crazy for the colors!

  24. I follow your blog. Love to read all about your quilts and your life by the river. Thanks for the great giveaway.

  25. I follow your blog through Bloglovin and on Facebook! I made 2 of those cute little baskets. I gave 1 to my mother-in-law and the other 1 to my sister-in-law. They really liked them!

  26. Connie, I would be honored to take those lovely batiks off your hands! I follow you on Bloglovin' and I'm near you too, in Dubuque!

  27. I follow you via Facebook and Bloglovin. I LOVE all of your batik projects, including these gorgeous pillows. Thank you for the tutorial for these blocks. The design, the fabric, and the quilting are all beautful. And so is your fabric basket!

  28. I follow on bloglovin!
    Lovely fabrics and easy to follow tutorial!
    (wasn't able to use rafflecopter, wouldn't let me enter anything)

  29. Loooove your Block! Thank you for the Tutorial…and how to cut pieces without the Accuquilt too (I would LOVE one,,,is on Wish List! lol)

    I follow you thru Bloglovin & Email 🙂

  30. I get an email from you…it's nice to hear all your news and activities….best wishes and thanks.

  31. Beautiful Connie I Love all of your Batik creations, those colours especially. I follow your blog through Bloglovin and Digg Reader, I really don't want to miss anything.

  32. Love your Blog – I follow it real slowly and re-read it when necessary! Love the Running Waters fabric . . . makes a fabulous pillow. I'm going to look at the adorable fabric basket!

  33. Ahaaaa, NOW I know why you wanted that triangle in a square die. Looks great Connie. Those are pretty colors in the fabrics.

    And yea, I think maybe I might follow you. lol

  34. Hiya Connie!!! I follow you by email at playamom57 at yahoo dot com. I LOVE those pillows, and batiks are my favorite fabrics. Thanks for participating and having the giveaway. Blessed be, hugs!!! Pam
    pamspretties57 at gmail dot com

  35. I follow your blog, Connie… It is the first thing I look at in my email. You must sew night and day… so many beautiful things… How is your Pelican??? any news

  36. Beautiful pillows. The colours of Running Water make my heart sing. Each of your posts comes to my email inbox. I so enjoy reading them. Thanks for sharing and being part of the hop.

  37. Now you are making my heart sing with these Running Water Island Batik fabrics and your skills in making gorgeous pillows. Oh Yes, I would love to win your give. I follow the old fashioned way on Google. Creative Batik Bliss…

  38. Your cushions are beautiful! Love those cool toned fabrics and your quilting is such a complement to the design. Thanks so much for sharing the tutorial, Connie!

  39. I love your pillows and your tutorial. Thank you for sharing.
    I follow your blog on blogger and bloglovin (sometimes one or the other won't work on my computer) I also just started following you on facebook.

    Robin in Washington state
    assweetaspeaches hotmail

  40. I follow you by email, and I love your baskets/boxes so much. They are on my list of to-do's. Have a wonderful day!

  41. I visit each day. Love your blog! I follow you by e-mail Beautiful projects and I love seeing the back side of your beautiful quilting.

  42. The pillows are beautiful, Connie. I really love the quilting.
    Thank you for the giveaway. I follow you via GFC/Bloglovin, Facebook,Pinterest and I think a few more places.LOL

  43. Connie, I follow your blog by email from Canada. I have made many of your projects, you inspire me everyday.

  44. I love the colors and the fabric basket. These colors remind me of the tropics. I so need to be cruising.

    tushay3 (at) yahoo (dot) com

  45. Don't know if the gorgeous fabrics or the block designs you picked are the greatest! Love them both and have followed for a very long time.

  46. I follow you using Vienna. Thank you for sharing your lovely project and tutorial. This is going to be a fun blog hop!

  47. Cute fabric basket and those colors are beautiful. I still printed out your tutorial to make one too.

    I follow via Bloglovin and also by email delivered right to my in box.

  48. I follow (pretty recently) through Bloglovin. I appreciate the close-ups of the quilting. I am about to attempt quilting my modernized farmer's wife quilt.

  49. I follow your blog via email. I just purchased the trirec rulers, and this looks like the perfect project to get acquainted with them! Your pillows are beautiful.

  50. I have you on my blog roll and always check in to see what new things you are making. Love the colors in these batiks. Thanks for the chance to win.

  51. I follow you via email, bloglovin.
    Love your patterns always. Beautiful colors in this bundle and great tutorial, as always! Thanks!

  52. I get email and then go to your blog from Google, I think. Not real savvy on this. I love your pillow. Colors are so pretty.

  53. I follow by email AND through Bloglovin! There is NO WAY I want to miss your posts, lol. Thanks for the chance to win!

  54. I love your colors they are so soothing to look at. I follow your blog on Bloglovin. Thank you for being so inspiring.

  55. Beautiful fabric…gorgeous projects!! I love your blog…you are in my Bloglovin so you come to my house quite often:) thank you for all of your ideas and sharing!

  56. I follow by GFC and love your blog.. thanks for the chance to win this.. Love the colors and the basket! Kathi

  57. I love the colours you have used, so pretty. The tutorial is really easy to understand, thank you. I follow on Facebook. x

  58. Wow your pillows are fantastic. I love the colors together. And as always your FMQ is just wonderful. Thanks for sharing.

  59. Great tutorial on this block. And the quilting is just fabulous too! Super pillow color combos. I follow via bloglovin now.

  60. Love those pillows! They are definitely "my" colors but the back is gorgeous, too. You always do such neat quilting.
    I follow you on Bloglovin'.

  61. Hi Connie!
    I have your blog on my blog roll, so I never miss a post! It's one of my favorites, especially your weekly Linky Party!
    Pugs and kisses,

  62. I follow you on bloglovin, Connie. I love that bundle–so pretty..thanks for the tutorial and chance to win Hugs, Julierose

  63. I found your blog via Island Batik on FB. I am on WordPress blogging about our upcoming move from the mainland to Hawaii…we are so close to making our dream come true! Thanks for the giveaway!

  64. Connie, your batik pillows are stunning! I see a lot of work that went into them. You must have be so very pleased with the finished pillows. Of course I'm a follower!!

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