Free Quilt Project: Pineapple Wall Hanging

By Beth Novak

The pineapple is a symbol of friendship and hospitality, making this quilt a welcoming addition to your home.

pineapple-wall-hanging-beth-novakThis quilted wall hanging 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.

I’m also a big fan of Hawaiiana, so until I master Hawaiian appliqué, 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!


  • 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.


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.


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


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


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


7. Press your seams away from the white.


8. Now assemble your pineapple “body.” 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).


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.


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.


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.


16. Turn right side out to form a “point.” You may need to use Havel’s Laying Tool or your scissors to poke out the point, just be careful not to poke through the fabric if you use scissors!


17. Press flat, creating a petal.


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

place-two-wedges-right-side together

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


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!)


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


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


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


You will now have created one pineapple block!


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!

If you have any questions email me at

beth-novak-headshotBeth 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. Contact her at, or find her on FlickrTwitter, and Pinterest, too!





Posted in Beth Novak, Fabric, Free Quilt Patterns, Free Quilt Projects, Fun Stuff, Guest Writers, Quilting, Tutorials, Uncategorized, Wall Hangings | Tagged , , , , | 4 Comments

Free Project: How to Make a Memory Book

by Liz Kettle

Make a Marvelous Memory Book to celebrate that
special occasion or person in your life.


For those people for whom we would like to create something special rather than grab another gift card from the sea of choices, a fabric memory book is my favorite gift. Fabric memory books are a cross between a photo album and a scrapbook. But because they are made with fabric, they are soft, tactile, and ask to be handled and loved in a way that paper books do not.

I have made these little books to commemorate a special trip, event, or a special person in my life. Memory books can be made in any style and they can be embellished as much as you like. They are always a hit with the recipient and each one is a unique gift. Best of all, they can be made in a day!


*if you aren’t able to print photos on your printer you can use traditional photos printed on paper but they won’t be quite as durable. Attach them with double stick tape before stitching around the edge.


1. Decide on the size of your finished book. Mine is 6” high by 8” wide. Using your rotary cutter, ruler and mat, cut your canvas to the height of the page you want and double the final width. My canvas is 6” high by 16” long. I cut 3 pieces of canvas to give me 10 inside pages and a front and back cover.

 2. Print your photos on your inkjet printer using a prepared for printing fabric. I prefer Premium Cotton Lawn by The Electric Quilt Company because it has a very fine weave and the photos print clear and crisp but other prepared for printing fabrics work well in this sort of project. Refer to manufacturer’s directions for rinsing and heat setting. I printed my photos at 3 ½” x 5”. If you are making a smaller or larger book you can scale your photos accordingly. At the 3 ½” x 5” size 4 photos will print on one sheet of prepared for printing fabric.

memory book 2 edited-sm

3. Cut Misty Fuse or other fusible web 8 ½” x 11” and adhere to the back of your photo printed fabric. One of the reasons I prefer Misty Fuse is that it is very lightweight and doesn’t change the hand of the fabric as much as other fusible webs. It does present a challenge in photos though. If you look closely you can see the light web on the back of the photos. Use a Teflon craft sheet or parchment paper to protect the iron from the fusible web. Iron on top of the craft sheet. This step is called pre-fusing. The fusible is attached to the fabric back and will reactivate when you are ready to fuse it to another fabric.

memory book 3_edited-sm

4. Using your rotary cutter trim the photos as desired. I wanted to keep the snapshot feel of my photos so I left a 1/8” white border around each photo. You could trim the photos to the edge or cut out around figures and images.

Memory book 4_edited-sm

5. Now, gather fabrics which relate to your theme. There are no rules here. You can use a wide variety of fabrics including quilting, home décor, clothing scraps, fancy fabrics etc. My theme is my grandson Zakary. I chose boy type fabrics in bright colors. I ended up not using a wide variety of colors in my book but you can have every page different in your book if you chose. I often choose fabrics that relate to the photo. Don’t get too caught up in finding the perfect fabric…sometimes matching is not as effective as slightly miss-matched.

memory book 5_edited-sm

6. Decide the order your photos will appear in the book and begin designing pages. I start with a background fabric and then choose a fabric to go directly under the photo. Often, I will add more than 2 or 3 fabrics to a page but it depends on the theme and how complex I want the final book to be.

memory book 6_edited-sm

7. Use your rotary cutter to cut your background fabric to size or you can take the more casual route and rip your fabrics. I chose to rip my fabrics because frayed edges seemed appropriate for a little boy theme. For a no math approach to design I simply layer my fabrics and images and eyeball how big I want my pieces of fabric to be. Then, I use my 8” sewing scissors to just snip a tiny bite into the fabric where I want to rip it. You don’t want to make a big cut into the fabric or you will have a section of fabric that is cut straight and not ripped. I love how sharp these scissors are all the way to the tip. I rip fabric a lot because I love the frayed edge and it is frustrating when your scissors don’t cut at the very tip.

memory book 7_edited-sm8. You can work on one page at a time but I usually do all of my designing at once. I lay out all the pages, in the order they will go in the book and cut or rip all of the fabrics to size. When you are happy with the page designs cut pieces of Misty Fuse for the layer of fabric that is under the photo and any other layers you have added. Build your design from the bottom page base up to your photo on top and iron to fuse both layers to the base fabric at the same time. For these additional layers of Misty Fuse and fabric I simply place the Misty Fuse between the layers of fabric. You could pre-fuse each one if you prefer. To clarify this layer approach: I have my base layer of fabric, a piece of Misty Fuse cut to the size of the second layer of fabric, the second fabric, the photo which is pre-fused goes on top and I iron them all at the same time.

9. Next, I add some machine stitching. I chose to simply machine stitch around each of the photos. I used a free motion foot with the feed dogs lowered because I wanted to have a more casual feel to the stitching. You could stitch with the feed dogs up and use a straight or decorative stitch for different effects. You could stitch around each layer of fabric as well as the photo.

memory book 7-5 ed sm

 10. Now we are at the fun embellishment stage. I wanted to keep my book simple this time so I opted for some hand embroidery. I love how much texture you add with simple running and cross stitches. There are many ways to embellish your book. I will often print quotes or descriptions on fabric to add to my pages. You can add beads, found objects, lace, trims and so much more. At this point keep any hard embellishments clear from the edges.

memory book 8_edited-sm

memory book 9_edited-sm

11. After you have added your embellishments we simply need to add our pages to the book base. Lay out your pages in order so you don’t get confused. Cut Misty Fuse to the size of your canvas page bases; 6” x 16” for my book. You need one piece of Misty Fuse for each side. Begin with the front/back cover piece. Layer the canvas with the Misty Fuse and layer your photo collages on top.

Memory book 10_edited-sm

12. Iron to fuse the layers together.

Memory book 11_edited- sm

13. Turn the canvas over and layer another piece of Misty Fuse and your 1st inside page collage and your last inside page collage side by side. Iron to fuse the layers together. Repeat with all the remaining canvas page bases taking care to keep your pages in order. When all the pages are finished they will be stacked on top of each other so you may want to make a note of the page order in relation to which side of the canvas they go on. It can be a little confusing your first time as you can see in the photo above the second set of pages should be flipped over before I sew them.

memory book 13 edited -sm

14. After all your pages are fused together you will stitch around the edge of the pages. I used a straight stitch but you could use a decorative stitch that goes with your theme. Don’t forget that your bobbin thread will be the thread that shows on the other side of the page.

Memory book 14 _edited-sm

15. The last step is to assemble your book. Layer the pages together in order with the cover first, then the second set of pages and finally the middle pages. Double check to make sure they are in the proper order. I confess in my excitement to finish, I stitched one page upside down…I should have looked closer at my photo in step 13! That gave me an excuse to use my awesome sharp Havel’s seam ripper. Fold the book in half and press to mark your stitch line. Stitch a straight stitch down the fold line through all 3 page sets of your book. Close the book and press again.

16. As a last little optional embellishment I like to add a strip of fabric, ribbon or trim to tie around the book. This covers any exposed canvas. I stitched a piece of yellow fabric to a piece of plaid. Lay the fabric or ribbon along the middle page. Turn the book over and tie in a square knot or bow. The perfect gift!

how-to-make-memory-book-15-and-16-liz-kettle-800x313memory book 17_edited-sm

Liz Kettle

Liz Kettle is a textile and mixed-media artist who loves sewing and creating and sharing that joy with others. She is co-author of two best selling books: Fabric Embellishing: The Basics and Beyond and Threads: The Basics and Beyond.  Share Liz’s stitch journey on her website and blog


60mm rotary and liz kettle memory book_cta_400x282


Posted in For Beginners in Sewing, Holiday Projects, Liz Kettle, Make a Memory Book, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments

How To Make Basket Weave Pillows

By Beth Novak


Use colorful fabrics, and textured fabrics for your pillows. How about monochromatic pillows? Your only limit is your imagination!

*Editor’s Note: We are well into spring and summer is just around the corner. Getting an itch to freshen up your rooms or patio? Need to add a pop of color to a drab room? MAKE PILLOWS! You can create a multitude of pillows using various colors and fabrics, add texture and whimsy using your own unique embellishments. Pillows are an easy way to freshen up your rooms depending on the season or holiday. So while this article describes how to make a Halloween pillow, put your imagination to the test, the possibilities are endless!

After the heat we’ve had in the Midwest this summer, the lower temperatures we’re currently enjoying have me thinking of apple cider and hayrides. And, naturally, that makes me want to break out the Halloween decorations!

Of course, you don’t need to dig into your stash of Halloween fabrics if you’re not quite ready. These basket weave pillows would look great in your favorite coordinating line of fabrics! Or, if it’s more your thing, as scrappy as you want to make them!

Basket Weave Pillows



  • At least five coordinating fat quarters (The more fat quarters you use, the scrappier your finished pillow. By using six fat quarters you can make two complete pillows!)
  • Lightweight fusible interfacing
  • Thread
  • 16” x 16” pillow form
  • Rotary cutter, fabric ruler, cutting mat, sewing machine, & iron

1. Select four of your fat quarters (we will use the fifth for your sashing) and cut two 2.5” x (app) 22” strips from each. If you have more than five fat quarters, cut a total of
eight strips.

2. Take two strips and place right side together. Sew a 1/4” seam on the long edge.

3. Press your seams open or to the darker side, whichever your preference.

4. Repeat, adding a third and fourth strip.

5. Repeat steps 2 through 4 to complete a second set of four strips.

6. Each set of four strips should be 8.25” wide by approximately 22” long. From each set, cut two squares 8.25” x 8.25” for a total of four squares. If your seam allowance is slightly off, your strips might not be quite 8.25”. It’s not the end of the world. Simply cut your squares down so they are square (8” x 8” or whatever gets you a square). You can make up the difference in the sashing.

7. Arrange your four squares in a basket weave pattern, first row: one horizontal, one vertical; second row: one vertical, one horizontal.

8. Starting with the first row of two squares, stack squares right sides together. Using 1/4″ seam, sew together squares. Repeat with the bottom row of two squares. Press.

9. Rights sides together, place the top row on the bottom row. Pin well (or at least where they meet at the center seam). Sew together with a 1/4″ seam. Press.

10. Place your basket weave square on your cutting mat, with each point along the vertical
or horizontal 12” line on your mat.


11. Cut your basket weave into a smaller 12” square along the vertical 6” and 18” lines and the horizontal 6” and 18” lines. Save your triangle scraps for another purpose and set aside your square.


12. From your fifth (unused) fat quarter, cut four strips 2.5” x 22” (if your basket weave square is less than 12”, cut your strips 3” instead of 2.5”).

13. Place one strip along the top edge of your basket weave square right sides together. Sew together with a 1/4″ seam. Press and trim 2.5” strip to the length of the basket
weave square.

14. Repeat step 13 along the bottom of the basket weave, and then the left and the right. Now you have a basket weave block!


I like to change out my decorative pillow covers seasonally. Let’s reinforce the pillow’s seams and create an envelope back for easy in-and-out.

15. Cut your fusible interfacing to about 15” squares, and apply it to the center back of your pillow block. This will keep your seams stress free when you change your
pillow cover.

16. Choose two of your remaining fat quarter pieces. Each piece should now be about
13“ x 22”. Trim to 13” x 16”.


17. On each 13” x 16” piece, fold over one long edge about 3/8” and press, then fold over another 3/8” and press again.

18. Sew a 1/4” seam along the folded edge to finish it. Repeat with second piece. These will form your envelope back.

19. Lay your pillow block face up, then layer one envelope back piece on top, matching the unfinished sides and bottom. The finished edge should lie across the pillow block.

20. Repeat step 19 with your other envelope back piece, matching the unfinished sides and top. Again, the finished edge should lie across the pillow block. Pin in place.

21. Sew a 1/4″ seam along all four edges of your pillow cover. I like to go over the seam again for strength.

22. Turn pillow cover right side out, poking corners out. Insert your pillow, and enjoy!


Beth Novak headshot

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. Contact her at, or find her on FlickrTwitter, and Pinterest, too!





Posted in Basket Weave, Beth Novak, Embroidery, Fabric, For Beginners in Sewing, Free Quilt Patterns, Free Quilt Projects, Free Sewing Project, Fun Stuff, Guest Writers, Holiday Projects, Patterns, Pillows, Quilting, Tutorials, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | 3 Comments

Free Project: Duck Tape® Purse

by Sue Hausmann

Create Your Own Unique & Funky
Duck Tape® Purse or Cosmetic Bag

Create an easy and practical purse or cosmetic bag with Duck Tape® sheets. This is a fun project for any age and makes a great gift!

duck tape purse image 01_800x600




  1. Remove backing from Duck Tape sheets pulling from the short end about half way down the sheet first, place onto one side of the Soft and Stable. (Either side is fine as there is no right or wrong side to Soft and Stable.) Once half the sheet is in place, pull the rest of the paper off and continue sticking the sheet in place. (if you remove the entire paper backing at once, it is easy to get the sheet stuck to itself! (Ask me how I know this!) Cut the two stabilized sheets apart. These are the sides of the tape purse image 03_800x600
  2. Unroll 32+” of tape with the sticky side up on your cutting table. Place the ¾” x 32” strip of Soft and Stable on the center of the tape and stick in place. Wrap the tape around the stabilizer to create tape purse collage images 04-05_800x566


3. Insert a size 90 Stretch Needle, thread with sewing thread top and bobbin and set your sewing machine for straight stitch, stitch length 4-6 or zigzag width 4, length 4. Snap on non-stick (Teflon) presser foot. Stitch down the center of the strap for topstitched detail. Set handle aside.

**Note: this bag could also be made by hemming or finishing the top edge and eliminating the zipper.

4.  Select left needle position straight stitch, length 4-6. Open the zipper and place one side of the zipper tape right sides together with one long side of the stabilized sheet. Stitch from the top end and use the non-stick presser foot. Straight stitch the zipper to the stabilized Duck Tape tape purse image 06_800x585

duck tape purse image 07_800x5365.  Zip the zipper closed and place the other side of the tape right sides together with a long edge of the second stabilized sheet. Put one pin in place at the start of the zipper and unzip. Stitch the second side of the zipper.

6.  Optional: Topstitch both sides of the zipper along the fold next to the zipper from the right side catching the seam allowance on the underside as you tape purse image 08_800x600

7.  Open the zipper at the top of the purse (do not open beyond the side seam) before stitching the side seams on your purse so you can turn the purse right side out through this zipper opening.

**Note: If you do not put a zipper along the top edge of your bag, you can add a snap or hook and loop fastener later.

8.  Place the two stabilized sheets right sides together and stitch the side seams and bottom seam with a straight stitch, length 3-4. If your zipper has plastic teeth you can stitch right over them at each end then trim off the excess zipper. Turn the purse right side out.
duck tape purse image 09_800x548

9.  Box the lower corners if desired by folding a triangle at both bottom corners matching side and bottom edge seams and stitching across the triangle about ¾” from the point.
duck tape purse image 10_800x521 duck tape purse image 11_800x599

10.  Place the purse over the sewing machine free arm and place the end of the handle on the side seam right side about ½” below the top edge. Stitch across the handle end. Repeat for the other side by stitching the other handle end in place.

duck tape purse image 12_800x600

Now get funky, and add your own creative embellishments! Enjoy! 

© 2012 Sue Hausmann

Click here to see additional projects by Sue Hausmann.

sue hausmann head shotSue Hausmann says, “Growing up my dad was the sewer in our family. Daddy did our mending and created all the curtains, drapes, bed skirts, etc. for our home on a treadle sewing machine that he had converted into an electric machine by putting a motor on it. My mom always said that she did not sew much because it only went one speed – very fast, and scared her!”

In 1985 Sue joined Husqvarna Viking as a Marketing Specialist and traveled all over the country teaching how to set up class programs in stores. In 1990 the first Public Television Series, America Sews began. Today America Sews airs in over 90 million households in the US on PBS, the CREATE network, Family Net Cable, and, and airs in Japan. Years later her title changed to Executive Vice President Consumer Motivation.

In 2008 the second Public Broadcasting television series, America Quilts Creatively began, has been very well received and evolved into Quilting Arts, with new host Patricia Bolton, Editor of Quilting Arts Magazine. Then, in 2009 Sue “semi-retired” in that she no longer work full time for VSM Sewing but continues to present programs and events and share her enthusiasm for sewing on Husqvarna Viking as a free lance Educator.

CTA with 9 inch non-stick scissors_recommended by sue hausmann_400x325


Posted in Fabric Art, Free Craft Projects, Fun Stuff, Sue Hausmann, Tutorials, Uncategorized | Tagged , | 6 Comments

Let’s Go to Quilt Camp

Remember the long, lazy days of summer camp as a kid? How about all those folksy crafts you made during activities time? Well, camp isn’t just for kids, you know? For all you quilters out there, Havel’s Sewing has compiled a list of quilt camps that offer a variety of classes to inspire and energize your creativity. Most offer on-site lodging and meals, all offer the promise of quilts and camaraderie.

For the Midwestern explorer, Hen & Chicks Studio in Conrad, Iowa, offers a fully-equipped quilting and scrapbooking retreat center, known as The Nest, ready and waiting for you and your friends. The Nest can be rented seven days a week and can even be rented by one person. They also host retreats, such as the Come Create with Me day-only events. Check their retreats page for upcoming dates.


Or make the desert your destination at the Cee Bar Ranch Retreat, in Tatum, New Mexico, offering an all inclusive stay allowing you to just create, and rejuvenate.


Set around a 7 acre private lake with extensive walking paths and surrounded by stone walls, tall trees, abundant wildlife and comfortable accomodations, Selah Among the Hills in Arcadia, Missouri, will soothe your soul as well as inspire.


More than a quilt camp,  the John C. Campbell Folk School in Brasstown, North Carolina, has a class to inspire almost every type of artist, and offers 37 different quilt classes. You can stay for a week, or stay for a day.

john c campbell folk school image 800x651

Instead of the usual vacation in 2016, spend several days or a week at quilt camp, and take a friend or two along. You’ll find yourself relaxed, rejuvenated and inspired.

**These are just a few of the quilt camps and retreats that are available around the country. To find a camp closer to home, go to for a more complete list – including quilt cruises!

havels tools_quilt camp blog cta v1 800x599


Posted in Associations / Societies, craft, Fabric, Fabric Art, For Beginners in Sewing, Fun Stuff, Quilting, Quilting | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments