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.

54-40 or Fight Batik Pillow Tutorial

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

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

This pillow tutorial has been converted to an optional PDF that’s optimized for printing.

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!

This pillow tutorial has been converted to an optional PDF that’s optimized for printing.

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. josephine says:

    You are indefatigable, and very inspirational. Now making the time……

  2. Love those colors you chose, they’d look AWESOME in our coastal FL home!! I like that block too…any thoughts on why it’s called that?? Those accuquilt dies sure do make piecing easy, don’t they? At least, they appear to do so. Hugs to you, Rusty and Builder Bob. What’s he up to these days??

  3. A variation of 54 40 or Fight pattern is the Judy in Arabia pattern. Instead of a four patch in the corners, it uses half square triangles. I made a quilt from remnants of my grandchildren’s pajamas. It’s one of my favorites. I had Tri Recs ruler set and that made it easy to cut out the star pieces.

  4. Karen Ambrecht says:

    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

  5. Chris Smith says:

    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.

  6. BillieBee (billiemick) says:

    Great tutorial Connie. Gorgeous fabrics as well.

  7. Lorna McMahon says:

    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!

  8. Joyce Carter says:

    The pillows are beautiful, Connie. I really love the quilting.

  9. Kim Sanderson says:

    Connie, I have made many of your projects, you inspire me everyday.

  10. Vicki in MN says:

    Super super gorgeous, and they are just my colors, LOL

  11. 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.

  12. Daryl @ Patchouli Moon Studio says:

    Gorgeous pillows Connie. Great quilting too!

  13. I appreciate the close-ups of the quilting. I am about to attempt quilting my modernized farmer's wife quilt.

  14. I just purchased the trirec rulers, and this looks like the perfect project to get acquainted with them! Your pillows are beautiful.

  15. Great tutorial on this block. And the quilting is just fabulous too! Super pillow color combos.

  16. Jen Backus says:

    Thanks so much for the tutorial!

  17. Love those pillows! They are definitely "my" colors but the back is gorgeous, too. You always do such neat quilting.

  18. Michele T says:

    Beautiful !!! Love those colours especially, my favourite!