Fun and Easy Quilt Project- Creating a Pineapple Wall Hanging

By Beth Novak

Hello! I’m Beth Novak from modernJax. I’ve been sewing for over 10 years and quilting for almost 10 years. I am so excited to have found my passion! Adding to my excitement is the opportunity to blog for Havel’s Sewing. Not only does Havel’s make quality products and have excellent customer service, but also they are a great group of genuinely nice people!

Today’s tutorial is for a pineapple wall hanging.

The pineapple is a symbol of friendship and hospitality, so this would look great in your foyer, adapted as a table runner for your dining room table, or even made into a pillow for a housewarming gift.

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I’m also a big fan of Hawaiiana, so until I master Hawaiian applique, this is my tribute to my favorite state! Also, check out my blog for a variation on this block – especially for those of you who prefer peacocks to pineapples!

Supplies:

  • Scraps at least 2.5″ square of tan, yellow, gold, or brown fabric
  • Scraps at least 2.5″ by 5.5″ of green fabric
  • Solid white fabric or the background fabric of your choice
  • Backing, binding, thread
  • Rotary cutter, ruler, cutting mat, and sewing machine

1. Cut enough yellow,brown,tan, and gold scraps to make sixteen (16) 2.5” squares.

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2. Let’s make quick half square triangles! This method will make enough corners for two (2) pineapples. Cut out one (1) white 5.5” square and also one (1) yellow, brown, tan or gold 5.5” square.

 3. Lay the white 5.5” square on top of the color 5.5” square, right sides together. Using a ruler, draw a line from corner to corner, making an X through the center.

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4. Sew 1/4” on either side of each line (4 seams per pair).

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5. Cut on the center point both horizontally and vertically.

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6. Now cut diagonally following the lines you drew earlier. Voila! Eight half square triangles!

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7. Press your seams away from the white.

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8. Now assemble your pineapple “body.”

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Using a 1/4” seam allowance, sew together five (5) 2.5” squares. Repeat, making two rows.

9. Sew together three (3) 2.5” squares. Sew one half square triangle unit to the top (so the color triangle is on the bottom right), and sew one half square triangle to the bottom (so the color triangle is on the top right).

Repeat.

10. Sew one complete row to the other complete row on the long edge, using 1/4” seam allowance. Add a half square triangle row to one side making sure the white portions of the half square triangles are on the outside.

Repeat, sewing a half square triangle row to the other side.

11. Cut two pieces of white 3.5” by 10.5”. Using 1/4″ seam allowance, sew a piece of white to either long side of your pineapple body.

12. Now for the stem. From your green scraps, cut nine (9) 2.5” by 5.5” rectangles.

13. Fold one scrap in half lengthwise and finger press. Line up your ruler so the 1/4” mark goes through the center point at the bottom, and aligns with the top edge forming a diagonal.

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14. Trim along this edge and then repeat for the other side. This should yield a wedge that is 1/2” at the bottom and 2.5” at top (and still 5.5” tall).

Repeat this with the rest of your green pieces.

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15. Fold one wedge in half lengthwise right side together. Sew a 1/4” seam along the wide edge of the wedge.

Repeat this with the rest of your green pieces.

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16. Turn right side out to form a “point.” You may need to use your scissors to poke out the point – be careful not to poke through the fabric!

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17. Press flat, creating a petal.

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18. Take two wedges and place right side together. Sew a 1/4” seam on one long edge. Press seam open.

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19. Repeat with all petals until you have a fan.

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20. Cut a piece of white 6.5” by 14.5”. Fold in half and finger press, then open and place the fan so the center petal aligns with the center crease.

Note: do not align the bottom of your fan to the bottom of the white fabric. Instead, align it so that the arch made by the bottoms of the petals will be completely hidden in your seam allowance.

Pin really well. (You’ll be happy you did later!)

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21. Applique the petals to the background fabric by stitching
between 1/4” and 1/8” from the edge of the petals.

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22. Trim the bottom edge so the green fabric is even with the white.

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23. Placing the fabrics right sides together, align the bottom of the appliqued petals to the top of your pineapple body. Sew 1/4” seam. Press.

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You will now have created one pineapple block!

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To create the wall hanging: make a total of four of these units.

Stitch two pairs together along the long edge making two horizontal rows of pineapples.

Add a 2.5” by the width of the row (approximately 28”) piece of fabric to the bottom of each row.

Back, quilt, and bind.

You’re now done! Thank you for checking out my tutorial and I hope you enjoyed this fun and summery quilt project!

For more gorgeous projects by Beth, click here.

***

Beth Novak headshot

If you have any questions email me at modernJax@gmail.com.

Beth Novak is a mother, wife, sewist, blogger, and comedienne (in her own mind) living in southeast Ohio. She also finds time to work full time as a professor of digital media. Find her at Flickr, Twitter, and Pinterest, too!

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Retro Applique Linen Scarf Sewing Project

Retro Applique Linen Scarf

By Terry White

Retro Applique Linen Scarf Project

This simple retro scarf is made of linen.

Linen is one of my favorite fabrics on which to stitch and to wear. I love that it is making a comeback in fashion, and I especially love the scarves. The natural way it looks and feels, and the variety of types available make this fabric very versatile. You can wash it and it is very strong and will last a long time.

Linen Fabric

Linen is made of flax and is characterized by its even weave.

Linen is made of flax and is characterized by its even weave. The weave is even, but the threads are uneven and natural slubs occur in the fabric.

The term linen is now used in a broader way to describe any type of fabric that is made to look and feel like linen.

You can find linen at most fabric stores- especially when the spring fabrics come into the stores. There are dress linens and drapery linens. A lot of times, you can find the perfect one in the drapery department. Linen sheers are wonderful fabrics with which to use for scarves.

Cotton threads for Applique details

Cotton threads for the applique details.

I am warning you: Wash and dry your linen as you will wash and dry the finished scarf. It will shrink. Was and dry the fabrics you will use for applique. You want to be sure that when the scarf is finished that appliques won’t shrink everything up.

So, besides using this great linen fabric, you will use some pretty cotton threads for details on the appliques.

I use Star cotton machine embroidery thread but you can use anything called cotton machine quilting thread.

These threads are most like embroidery floss for hand embroidery because of the cotton content and the colors available.

What You Will Need:

-2 pieces of linen that contrast -I used pink and green – cut at least 14″ wide and then as long as you want for your scarf.

-Small pieces of linen for the appliques. I used bright pink, blue and some of the green leftover from my scarf cut.

-1 yard of medium weight interfacing.

-Cotton threads as described above.

-Spray Starch.

-Spray adhesive, such as Sulky Temporary Spray Adhesive.

-Morgan No-Slip Hoop or a good hand embroidery hoop. My hoop is 9″ in diameter.

Instructions:

 

Cutting the Linen

Cut linen to size.

1. Press Your Two Linen Pieces:

Cut your linen to the size you want it to be.

How to cut the linen: Snip edge of linen and pull a thread. This will give you a guide so that you will  cut the linen straight.

Press your two linen pieces with spray starch.

Tip: I buy a pillowcase from the thrift store to use as a pressing cloth when using spray starch. I cut two pieces and use one to protect my ironing surface and one to protect the iron. I use these when making fusible applique as well.

Trace Applique Designs

Tracing Applique designs on the linen.

2. Make Appliques: 

Press your small linen pieces with spray starch.

Trace the designs onto the linen pieces. I like to use a Sharpie in a color close to the color of the thread I’ll be using. Press the tracing and will heat set the ink.

Stitch details on your appliques.

Use medium weight interfacing on the back of the applique.

 

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Pansy Applique.

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Center of the Pansy Applique Details.

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Free Motion Stitched details.

You can free motion stitch the details or use a straight stitch on your machine.

You can use your favorite applique stitches on your machine or stitch the details on by hand if you prefer.

You can find how-to’s on machine applique in Havel’s Sewing’s Guide to Quilting.

Cut out the appliques close to the stitching.

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Curved scissors will help with getting close to the stitching.

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The applique being used on the scarf.

3. Stitch Appliques to Each Side of the Scarf:

Position the appliques on each side of the scarf.

I suggest using spray adhesive to place the pieces.

Use interfacing away from the fabric. This prevents accidental snips into the linen.

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Using Interfacing.

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Duckbill scissors being used to cut out appliques.

4: Stitch Scarf Together: 

Stitch the two pieces together right sides facing in along the long sides.

Turn and press.

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Applique on the scarf.

Topstitch about 1/2 inch to the two sides of the scarf.

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Details of the blue pansy.

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Here are the two sides of the scarf.

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Opening edges to press.

 

Press the opening edges about 1/2 inch to the inside.

Place trim on the pressed side of the scarf.

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Trim for the scarf.

Stitch.

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Applying the scarf’s trim.

Fold and press.

Topstitch the ends.

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What the trim will look like on your scarf.

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Trim added to the other side.

Press.

The end result will look like this:

Retro Applique Linen Scarf Project

Retro Applique Linen Scarf.

Hopefully you enjoyed making your new retro appliqued linen scarf! This is the perfect scarf for spring and summer so be sure to make scarves for all of your friends and loved ones to add to their wardrobe this season.

Below are the applique patterns that you can print out and use for making your scarf:

Pansy Applique Pic

Leaf Applique Pic

Check out more of Terry’s fantastic projects here.

***

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Rainy Day Tote Bag Sewing Craft Project

By: Liz Kettle

I have to confess that I have a pretty severe tote bag habit. I don’t dare count them or put them all in one place because I would surely have to have an intervention! As we head into rainy spring weather, I realized that I only have one that is waterproof. GASP! How could that be?

Rainy Day Tote BagFortunately I have been playing around with the new DIY vinyl laminates from Pellon and Therm-O-Web. And I love making tote bags as much as buying them so I thought I would share my process with you. I have designed an improvisational pieced bag and one that uses fabric strips with no piecing because if you are going to make one you may as well make two! They are so simple to make you may find yourself with a new addiction.

Supplies:

-17″ x 30″ of Multi-Purpose Cloth (MPC) from Roc-Lon *

-Fabric of your choice: use scraps of coordinating fabrics. Pre-wash your fabrics so the vinyl adheres properly.

-Vinyl iron on laminate from Pellon or Therm-O-Web

-Web handle strap: 60″ for each bag

-Havel’s rotary cutter, cutting mat and ruler

 Improvisational Pieced Tote Bag:

Improvisational piecing takes out the precise measuring of many quilting techniques. I free cut the main pieces and somewhat randomly piece them together. Once I have a fairly large section I trim them up and add them to other sections. Here’s how…

Step 1: Cut fabric using your Havel’s rotary cutter and mat. Cut straightish lines. We aren’t using a ruler so be careful to keep your free hand off the mat. Make a big pile of strips using all your chosen fabrics.

Step 1

Step 2: Take the strips to your sewing machine and begin piecing them randomly. Piece some along the long edges as shown and piece some along the short edges so you have long lengths.

Strip Piecing

Step 3: After you have stitched a few sections, press seams to one side…

Press the Seams

and trim sections straightish.

Trim Sections

Step 4: Lay out your sections to see what else you need to create to make a piece of fabric large enough for your bag. At this point I decided that I needed to add some white strips.

Lay Out Sections

Step 5: Continue piecing until you have a piece larger than the 17″ x 30″ Multi-Purpose Cloth. Following manufacturers’ directions, use Misty Fuse or other fusible web to adhere the pieced fabric to the MPC.

Continue Piecing

Step 6: Follow manufacturer’s directions to apply the Vinyl Iron-on to the surface of your pieced fabric.

Apply Vinyl

Step 7: Fold the fabric in half along the long sides with right sides together. Stitch up the side seams.

Step 8: To create the bag box bottom fold the bag along the side with the seam running up the middle as shown. Measure up 1 3/4″ from the point. You will have 1 3/4″ from the middle seam to each edge as well. Draw a line.

Create the Bag Box Bottom

Step 9: Stitch along the line.

Stitch the Line

Step 10: Trim the excess point ¼” away from the stitch line.

Trim the Excess

Step 11: Turn bag right side out. Press as needed using the protective sheet that comes with the laminate material. Cut each web strap 30″. Apply the edge of the strap 4″ in from the side seam on each side. I stitch a box with an interior X to make it strong.

X Box Stitch

 Now the rain won’t keep you inside and your stuff won’t get wet. You could even apply the vinyl to the inside of the bag to make it completely water resistant for a pool bag!

Rainy Day Tote

Low Sew Option:

If you want to stitch less and let the fabrics do all the work try this method.

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 Use bold prints and cut strips 30″ long. Create a pattern with the strips or simply use one piece of fabric.

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Fuse the fabric to the MPC base, add the Vinyl Iron-on and follow the rest of the steps to complete your bags.

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***

For more of Liz’s inspiring and fun projects click here.

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The Professionals Share Their Secrets- Part 3

Sewing and Quilting Basics- Q & A with Professional Artists

The past few weeks we have been asking professional artists in the sewing and quilting world to give us their tips and tricks/advice on a list of questions that will help to benefit all of the beginning and intermediate quilt artists out there.  Our goal is to post one question per week, so all artists reading can join in on the conversation and feel free to leave a comment.

Thread

We are now on Part 3 of our series on quilting basics, so let’s get right to it-

Part 3 of 10:

Question:

What is your opinion on the best type of thread to use if you are a beginner?

Leslie Tucker JenisonLeslie Tucker Jenison: Oh, I have a LOT of opinions about thread! Thread is the unsung hero of quilt making. More problems are related to using cheap, nasty thread than just about everything else combined. I use three types of thread and I purchase them from two companies- I have thrown everything else away.

I use mercerized cotton thread from Superior or Aurofil. Both companies make absolutely wonderful thread. Mercerized thread will not “shed” like cheaper thread. Forget all that stuff about long strand Egyptian cotton: the important thing is whether or not it has been mercerized. I also use trilobal polyester thread, all from Superior. I adore it. Finally, I use a huge amount of polyester monofilament thread, called Monopoly, which is sold by Superior. This is the only thread of its kind that behaves, does not stretch and tolerates heat from the iron. I use this in the bobbin and it works with every thread type.

Another important secret- I use a Topstitch needle for everything. Everything is better with a topstitch needle. Superior threads sells titanium-coated Topstitch needles, and they last about 8x longer than a non-coated needle. My old pre-coated rule was to change my sewing machine needle after about 8 hours of sewing, but the coated needles last much longer.

Ruth Chandler

Ruth Chandler:  Beginners will want to use cotton and blends. I think they are the easiest to start with. They have great colors and don’t ravel and break as easy. I think too much is made of what threads are best. I use just about anything to quilt with, but I do use cotton to piece. I would not recommend starting with a metallic thread, they can be frustrating without the right needle.

Jamie Fingal

Jamie Fingal: I started my journey as an art quilter using cotton thread, but found that I really liked polyester/rayon threads, so that is what I used exclusively.

Liz Kettle

 

Liz Kettle: Cotton or poly cotton blends are the best thread for beginners. Be sure to use the same thread top and bottom until you understand changing your tension settings. Learn about needles too! (To read Liz’s blog on deciphering needles click here.)

Terry white

 

Terry White: Specifically for beginners, natural fiber threads are the best because they work so easily with the machine and cotton fabric. Use regular sewing thread and 100% cotton thread for piecing, cotton and rayons for surface design work, and cotton for quilting.

 

We hope that this helps making the decision process a little bit easier for all of the beginners out there. Do you have an opinion on which thread you think is best? Let us know below! Check back next week for the next topic the professionals will spill their secrets on!

***

Read Part 1 and Part 2 of Professional Secrets here.

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The Professionals Share Their Secrets – Part 2

Sewing and Quilting Basics- Q & A Professional Artists

We wanted to ask some professional artists in the sewing and quilting world to give us their tips and tricks/advice on a list of questions that will help to benefit all of the beginning and intermediate quilt artists out there.  Our goal is to post one question per week, so all artists reading can join in on the conversation and feel free to leave a comment.

Fabric Pre-Washing

We are now on Part 2 of our series on quilting basics. You won’t want to miss any parts of this series- it’s going to be stuffed with great advice from some of our favorite professional artists and will help anyone wanting to improve their artwork.

Part 2 of 10:

Question:

Now that you have read Part 1 and know which fabric you want to use the question is:  To Wash or Not to Wash? Will the reds, blues and other colors bleed? What is your take on pre-washing your fabrics?

Terry white

Terry White: I pre-wash EVERYTHING! If the reds and purples, blues, blacks or browns bleed you want them doing it before you put them into a quilt. My reasons:
1. Fabrics have chemicals including sizing, finishing and dyes which can result in skin allergies appearing over time.
2.The finishing can mask a poor quality fabric. If after washing your fabric it comes out without having much body or color left then it might not have been as nicely woven as you had originally thought. Also, it may shrink a little and you want this to happen before you put your lovely work into it. 3. Various weights and thread counts of different fabrics will stitch better together.

Leslie Tucker JenisonLeslie Tucker Jenison: When I began quilting a million years ago I always pre-washed my fabric. I was warned against colors running, shrinkage and more.
These days, I use both commercial and hand-dyed (by me) cloth. By the time I have finished the process on my hand-dyed cloth it has been pre-washed multiple times to remove the excess dye and/or print paste. I know beyond a that my cloth is not going to bleed or shrink because my final wash is always in hot water!
I do not make many bed quilts so I rarely pre-wash my fabrics. However, if I plan to make a quilt that I know will be laundered, such as a baby quilt, and I am concerned about the dye stability in the cloth, I pre-wash.

Ruth Chandler Ruth Chandler: I always wash my fabrics. I wash them in detergent with no color or scent and I always use Synthrapol. This keeps the dyes from attaching to the fabrics being washed, plus it can be found in many fabric stores for a reasonable cost. Since reds and blues are especially bad for bleeding, even after pre-washing, so I’ve made it my practice when washing my quilts to use the Synthrapol every time. Lastly, I prefer cutting the edges of my fabric with a wave blade rotary cutter or a pair of pinking shears to help lessen raveling in the washer.

Jamie Fingal

Jamie Fingal: I almost had to laugh as I was reading this question- I don’t pre-wash anything!

This is because my quilts, which are mainly made for hanging up on a wall, are never going to be washed.

On the back label, I typically will ass the words, “DO NOT WASH.”

Liz KettleLiz Kettle: I used to pre-wash everything. Now since my work has changed my need to pre-wash has also changed. Besides that, who can stand waiting to have to wash, dry and iron that fabric? I always want to get right to it.
The majority of my work is for the wall and will never be washed, so I don’t worry about pre-washing. Even for the quilts I make that will be washed I still don’t pre-wash.
I am willing to take the risk rather than take the time to pre-wash.

 ***

For more information on our featured artists click here.

Now that the pros have spilled their best advice on fabric selection, we want to know what you think! What’s your opinion? They seem to be almost split down the middle on their preferences. Do you have any helpful advice or tips that we could all benefit from? Check back next Thursday for the next part in our series with the pros!

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