Thank you to Lion Brand Yarn for providing the yarn for this sample!
Happy Independence Day Weekend to all my American friends! Between the fireworks and campfires, beach trips and barbecues, we definitely know how to celebrate freedom in style.
In honor of this special holiday, I’ve created this fun American flag throw pillow pattern. The front is a combination of 4 smaller squares sewn into the design of an American Flag, with assorted buttons in place of the stars. The back side has its own design:
Don’t worry if you don’t have time to get yours done for the 4th; Americana is in style all year round!
Before we get into the pattern, though, let me talk about this yarn. I used the brand new Vanna’s Style (from Lion Brand), which is a DK (that’s a #3 weight) yarn. When I first heard that Lion Brand was debuting a DK version of Vanna’s Choice, I couldn’t contain my excitement. And when my first skeins came in the mail, I was completely blown away. Seriously, guys — I have never, ever been this excited about a new yarn. It is so soft! And you get 254 yards in a skein, which for a DK weight especially is a great amount. The stitch definition is gorgeous and crocheting with it is easy peasy. All I can say is, get ready for fall and winter, because you’ll definitely be seeing lots of new Little Monkeys patterns with my new favorite yarn.
I haven’t found Vanna’s Style in any of my local stores yet (it really is brand new), but you can always purchase it direct from Lion Brand!
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Level: Easy but involved
Size: Fits a standard 12″ square pillow insert
Hook: E (3.50mm); use whatever hook you need to match gauge.
Gauge: 6 rows of 8 HRDC = 2″ square
Yarn: About 600 yards of Vanna’s Style yarn from Lion Brand. (Vanna’s Style is a #3 DK weight yarn.) I used Red, Ecru, and Navy (less than 1 skein of each).
You’ll also need: Yarn needle for weaving in ends, assorted small buttons in shades of cream/ivory, needle and thread for sewing on buttons, 12″ square throw pillow insert
SL ST (slip stitch)
SC (single crochet)
HbDC (herringbone double crochet; see “Special Stitch” below)
HbDC – Herringbone Double Crochet. (If the instructions below are unclear, Moogly has an excellent video tutorial here.)
HbDC: Yarn over, insert hook into stitch. Yarn over, pull loop through stitch AND through first loop on hook (this is similar to a slip stitch motion). Two loops remain on hook. Yarn over and pull through first loop on hook. Two loops remain on hook. Yarn over again and pull the loop through both loops on the hook.
(1) This pattern is written in American Standard Terms.
(2) CH1/CH2 at the beginning of rows do not count as stitches.
(3) Gauge is important in this pattern. It is not important to use the same hook size as I did; it is very important to choose a hook that allows you to match the gauge listed.
(4) Regarding the front side of the pillow, the red and white striped squares: instead of edging them in all red or all ecru (ivory), I chose to edge mine in both colors, alternating my yarn all the way around the square according to what color stripe I was edging. This may seem like overkill, but the difference in the finished look of the pillow was striking. When I first edged them in the ivory color all the way around, it looked significantly more sloppy. I highly recommend you alternate the colors, as I think you’ll be happier with the professionalism of the finished product.
FRONT SIDE, RED AND WHITE STRIPED SQUARES (MAKE 3)
Finished squares should measure 5.75″ across including edging.
With RED, CH24.
Row 1: HbDC in 3rd CH from hook and in each CH across. (22)
Row 2: CH2, turn. HbDC in each ST across. (22)
Row 3: CH2, turn. HbDC in each ST across. (22)
Row 4: CH2, turn. HbDC in each ST across. (22)
Switch to ECRU.
Row 5-8: CH2, turn. HbDC in each ST across. (22)
Switch to RED.
Rows 9-12: CH2, turn. HbDC in each ST across. (22)
Switch to ECRU.
Rows 13-16: CH2, turn. HbDC in each ST across. (22)
Fasten off. To weave in ends, let’s determine which side of the square will be the front. If you look at both sides of a square, you’ll notice they are slightly different at their color changes; one side will have a nice definitive color change (albeit slightly jagged), and the other side will show slight overlap at the color changes, where the Ecru may show through the Red stitches a bit or vice versa. Use the side with the nice clear color change as the front of your square, and weave your ends into the backside.
There are 2 important things to understand about edging these squares. This may sound a little confusing, but hang with me here and use the photo below to clarify what I’m saying. (1) We need to edge these squares nice and evenly, with 22SC around each side of the square. This is easy to do with the top and bottom of the square, but takes a little planning with the left and right edges since there are no evenly-placed stitches to work into. To get 22SC along those left and right edges, we’re going to put 6SC in each Red section, and 5SC in each Ecru section (6+5+6+5=22). (2) As mentioned in the Notes section above, we are edging these squares with alternating Red and Ecru, because the finished look will be much nicer. Yes, it means a few more ends to weave in, but trust me; it will look better. If you need help with switching colors in the middle of a row, Moogly has a great video tutorial here.
So, keeping in mind the explanations above, we’re going to put a nice edging on these squares. We’ve already determined which side of the squares will be the front, so lay a square in front of you with the front side facing you. Attach RED to the rightmost corner of the top Red stripe; CH1. Put 6SC along the short side of that stripe. CH2 (to turn the corner), and SC in each ST along the long side of the Red stripe (22SC). CH2 again, and put 6SC evenly along the remaining edge of that stripe. Switch to ECRU and put 5SC along the short edge of that stripe. Switch back to RED and put 6SC along the short edge of the next red stripe. Continue around the square, then join to the first SC with a SL ST.
Fasten off and weave in all ends.
FRONT SIDE, BLUE SQUARE (MAKE 1)
Finished square should measure 5.75″ across including edging.
With NAVY, CH24.
Row 1: HbDC in 3rd CH from hook and in each CH across. (22)
Rows 2-16: CH2, turn. HbDC in each ST across. (22)
1st side: SC evenly along the first edge (22SC); CH2 to round the corner.
2nd side: Notice the horizontal “lines” that were created naturally by the stitch we used; these lines divide the square up into 9 “strips”. To evenly crochet 22SC down this side of the square, place 2SC in the first strip, 3SC in the next, 2 in the next, 3 in the next, alternating all the way down the side for a total of 22SC (2+3+2+3+2+3+2+3+2=22). Use the photo below to guide you. CH2 to round the next corner.
3rd side: SC evenly along the first edge (22SC); CH2 to round the corner.
4th side: Follow instructions for 2nd side (22SC), and CH2 to round the final corner. Join with a SL ST to the first SC.
Fasten off and weave in ends.
Arrange your buttons on the front side of the blue square and sew them on with yarn and thread. I used a tiny dab of hot glue to affix each one to the square before I sewed any of them, so that they would stay in place during the sewing process. If you don’t have a glue gun handy, you could also snap a photo of the buttons in the layout you want so that you can refer to it as you sew.
BACK SIDE (MAKE 1)
Finished square should measure 11.75″ across including edging.
With RED, CH48.
Row 1: HbDC in 3rd CH from hook and in each CH across. (46)
Row 2: CH2, turn. HbDC in each ST across. (46)
Switch to ECRU.
Rows 3-4: CH2, turn. HbDC in each ST across. (46)
Switch to NAVY.
Rows 5-6: CH2, turn. HbDC in each ST across. (46)
Switch to RED.
Rows 7-32: Continue this pattern, switching colors every 2 rows in a RED, ECRU, and NAVY repetition. (You will end on RED.)
Switch to ECRU.
Row 33: CH2, turn. HbDC in each ST across. Note that this is only a single row of HbDC. (46)
Fasten off RED and NAVY. Leaving ECRU attached, weave all loose ends into the backside of the square, then continue on to Edging (next).
CH1, do not turn.
1st side: This pillow is divided into 17 stripes or color blocks (yes, we’re including that last row of HbDC in that final count, even though it’s smaller than the rest). We need to crochet 46SC evenly down this side, and we’ll do so by following a pattern of 2-3-3-3 (meaning 2SC in the first stripe, 3SC in the next, 3SC in the next, 3SC in the next, then repeat, all the way down the side). After repeating this sequence a total of 4 times, there will be 1 stripe remaining; we’ll put 2SC in that one. Use the photo below as a visual.
CH2 to round the corner.
2nd side: SC in each ST across (46). CH2 to round the corner.
3rd side: Follow the instructions for the 1st side (46). CH2 to round the corner.
4th side: SC in each ST across (46). CH2 to round the corner. Join to the first SC of Side 1 with a SL ST. Fasten off and weave in.
ASSEMBLING THE FRONT OF THE PILLOW
You should now have 5 squares:
It’s time to make them into a pillow cover!
We’ll start by assembling the front side of the pillow. Lay your squares out in front of you in the layout in which they’ll be sewn together:
We’ll begin with the top two squares. Line up the right edge of the blue square with the left edge of the striped square, and put the squares together, wrong sides touching, right sides facing outward. Attach Ecru in the top corner CH2 spaces (going through both squares) and CH1. SC in same space. SC in only the two inner loops (the ones that are touching each other) of the next ST, leaving the outer loop of each square unworked (see photo below). SC in only the two inner loops of each ST all the way across the edge of the squares. SC in last CH2 space. Do not remove your hook.
We’re going to muster up a little extra hand coordination now in order to attach the bottom two squares. Take the bottom two squares and line them up with each other in the same way you did for the top two squares. Holding the top two squares in your right hand and the bottom two in your left, SC in the top CH2 spaces of both bottom squares, essentially attaching the top two with the bottom two (see photo below).
Continue to SC in only the two inner loops along the edge of the bottom two squares. SC in last CH2 space. All four of your squares should be attached now by a vertical seam, and they should look a little like a butterfly when laid out flat:
CH1, turn. Going back over the seam you just created, SC in the samestitches you did before. Note that you are not adding a new row; you are thickening the row you already did by going over it with a 2nd layer (see photo below).
Fasten off your yarn and weave in the ends.
Next, fold the piece in half at the unseamed center, wrong sides touching, right sides facing out. Reattach Ecru in the CH2 spaces on the right edge, and follow the same instructions to seam the edges together (making sure to SC in each CH2 space, and also to SC in only the two inner loops of the rest of the stitches). Don’t forget to CH1, turn, and SC in the same stitches you did before to give the seam a 2nd layer.
Fasten off and weave in ends.
Hold the front and back sides of the pillow cover together, wrong sides facing each other, right sides facing outward. Attach Ecru in the CH2 space of one of the corners, CH1, and SC in same space. SC around 3 sides of the squares, putting (SC, CH1, SC) in each CH2 corner space. Place pillow insert inside cover and continue to SC along the 4th side, closing the pillow inside. When you get to the corner in which you started, SC and CH1, then SL ST to the very first SC you completed. Fasten off and weave in ends.
I am already anticipating some of the questions I’ll get about this pattern, so I’m going to answer them here. I’ll add other questions and answers as they come.
Q. Did you carry your yarn on the striped sections, or fasten off and reattach each time?
A. I started out fastening off, but did switch to carrying. It really depends on what you’re most comfortable with. As long as you’re careful to not let the carried yarn pull on the edges, and you know how to hide it when you edge your squares and keep it concealed with you sew the pillow together, you’ll be fine if you carry it.
Q. Do I have to edge the red & white striped squares in both colors, or can I just edge them all in ecru (ivory)?
A. You don’t have to do what I did; I just highly recommend it for a nicer finished look. If it’s too overwhelming for you, then yes, feel free to just do a simple ivory edging.
Q. How can I make this for a larger pillow?
A. Unfortunately, due to the involved nature of the pattern, it’s quite a bit more complicated than simply starting with a longer chain. If you want to make the pattern for a larger pillow insert, you’ll need to figure out the changes on your own.
Q. Is there a video tutorial for this pattern?
A. No, sorry! 🙂
Can you explain what you mean by only two inner loops. I’ve read through instructions and looked at pictures, and stilll dint understand what you mean. Crocheting in Back loops only of each stitch?
You’re holding two pieces of fabric together, so you’ll have two sets of two loops; 4 loops total. The two in the middle, while you’re holding them together, is what I am referring to. So it would be the back loop of the stitches closest to you and the front loop of the stitches furthest from you.
how can I get the instructions for American Flag Pillow. I am a Greater Peoria Honor Flight volunteer and all I can make will be given to the Vets that are privilege to go on the Flight from Peoria Il. It is an honor for me to make these Veterans feel Blessed. So far this year there has been 2 flights and a 3rd one is scheduled to be in late Sept. Thank you for any help you can provide me.
Sorry for the delay. The pattern is written out in full on this blog post. You would have scrolled past it to get to the comment section. If you’d like the PDF, you can purchase it here: http://members.littlemonkeyscrochet.com/product/americana-pillow-12/
My girlfriend brought me an American flag afghan her mother started but never finished and asked me to finish it for her. I think I’ll make the pillow and give it back to her with the afghan.
On the diagram where you show the squares where you say ch1 then put 25 sc in first color then 3sc I’m so confused on that can you explain?
It’s possible there is a typo somewhere but I can’t find it. Can you be more specific about which square you’re working on?
I’m currently working on the squares for these pillows (I have orders for 4 of them) however, I’m finding myself disappointed in the yarn. I was really excited to try this yarn as I can’t use Vanna’s Choice (allergic reactions to the yarn or something that is on it) but I’m finding that Vanna’s Style splits awfully. It does look beautiful when it’s crocheted up but it is not very easy to crochet with.
Just wondering if this was something you’ve found as well?
It does split quite a bit, but it doesn’t really bother me. Splitty yarn doesn’t seem to slow me down, as long as it has good clear definition. And I love the way it looks worked up 🙂
Love this pattern, as always your patterns are lovely. Thank you for all your hard
work. Have a great 4th of July , best wishes from Ireland.
Thank you for your lovely July 4th pillow. I appreciate all your patterns. I make crochet items for gifts and charities.
This pillow is adorable! I can’t wait to make it!
Thank you for all you do to share patterns and new yarn!
Your pillow is beautiful ‼️ Thank you for the free pattern.
I really love the look of this yarn! Sometimes a Navy or a Red is just too boring in other yarn brands, but these are really pretty! I love the pattern, and what a fantastic idea to use buttons for stars! I love it.
Thanks for this very festive July 4th Throw pillow! Can’t wait to make it! And the FAQS you posted with the patterns are very helpful! Along with the visuals! Keep up the good work! Looking forward to more amazing patterns!