Free Pattern: Quick Pillowcases

Halloween is always a fun time of year for kids, eagerly anticipating dressing up and going out to collect all their candy loot. Well, these pillowcases are a great way to add to the excitement! They make up quickly and are a great beginner project.

2 yards of cotton prints will create two pillowcases – as you’ll see in my instructions you’ll reverse the use of prints, so make sure they are both interesting to look at as each print will be the ‘main’ fabric in one of the pillowcases.

I used to give my kids pillowcases to take with them for their trick-or-treating, because they were easier to hold on to than the store-made pumpkins and didn’t tear like a bag might. I wish I had come up with this idea sooner – the pillowcases I’ve made this year will be for my grandkids to sleep on when they visit grandma and grandpa, to dream of the treats they’ll gather on their trick-or-treating.


  • 1 yard – cotton fabric (45” cotton)
  • 1 yard – coordinating cotton fabric (45” cotton)
  • 4” strip of accent fabric (45” cotton)

Cut fabric as follows

  • Cut main fabric into two pieces, one ¾ yard and one ¼ yard
  • Cut coordinate fabric into two pieces, one ¾ yard and one ¼ yard
  • Cut accent fabric into two strips, each 1½” to 2” wide
  • Set aside the main fabric ¼ yard piece, the coordinate ¾ yard piece and one accent fabric strip.
  • Note – these instructions will allow you to make two pillow cases, one the inverse of the other.


  • Fold and iron a strip of accent fabric in half lengthwise, right side out. Make sure you create a good crease.
  • Build your ‘fabric sandwich’ as follows, with RIGHT sides up and top edges lined up along the 45” width.
    • Coordinate fabric (¼ yd pc) on bottom
    • Main fabric (¾ yd pc)
    • Folded accent fabric on top
Fabrics in sandwich
Fabrics in ‘sandwich’
  • Starting at the bottom, roll the main fabric loosely up toward the top of the fabric sandwich. When you reach the ¼ yard of coordinate fabric, leave it out of your fabric roll. Continue rolling until you reach the center (approximately) of the coordinate fabric.
  • Fold your main fabric over the roll, and line the edges up at the top. You will now have five raw edges at the top of your bundle, with the main fabric roll in the center. Note – one edge of the main fabric is trapped in the fabric roll

View One of Fabric Roll

  • Pin this fabric bundle together. Beginners may want to use quilter’s safety pins because sewing through this many layers of fabric without having them shift is not easy. Make sure you only catch the one edge of the main fabric in the seam you are about to stitch.

View 2 of Fabric Roll

  • Using a walking foot (due to the many layers of fabric), sew through the five layers of fabric as outlined above using a ¼” seam allowance. Beginners may use a ½” seam allowance, but be aware that this will make your accent fabric strip very small.
  • Turn right side out – magically that one seam has finished both the inside and the outside of the pillowcase cuff, and the accent fabric at the edge of the cuff.

  • Fold pillowcase with right sides together, use your rotary cutter to trim up the edge of the cuff and remove selvages. Pin the pillowcase together, so you don’t get any shifting of the cuff or accent fabric line while stitching, and finish pillow by sewing the side and end of the pillow.
  • Repeat construction steps using the fabric laid aside to create the inverse pillow.

Of course, pillowcases are a good project any time of year – I just made these with Halloween themed fabrics because it’s that time of year. But with a pattern this easy, you could have pillowcases for a child’s favorite cartoon character, or for a guest room you could change the cases on those ‘extra’ pillows to suit the season.  As I said above, this is a great project for beginners, so perhaps your child could help with sewing the pillowcase.  The possibilities are endless!
Sheila Reinke, Heart of Sewing

Fat Quarter Pumpkins!

Hello everyone!  This is Heather, Sheila’s assistant, again.  And I thought I’d drop you a quick project that even a non-sewer can do in no time.  Just in time for Halloween (and you even have time to still make several before Friday)!

First – , for those who want to know what a fat-quarter is, it’s a term used by quilters. It’s a ‘fat’ quarter of a yard. Which means that instead of the ¼ yard being cut only along the width of the fabric – it’s actually first cut as a ½ yard, which is then cut in half along the length. This gives you a piece of fabric 18” x 22”
Need a picture? Check out this link.

Now, what can you do with a fat quarter? Well, some quilts are made up entirely of fat quarter cuts of fabric – and in most fabric stores you can purchase fat quarters as single pieces or in color- or pattern-coordinated packs. But I’ll leave more on fat quarter quilts to Sheila and other experts in quilting.  (Trust me, you don’t need me to confuse you!)

Since I work around fabric, and I’m a crafter – I’m always on the hunt for little scraps of brightly colored things I can use in crafting, and fat quarters (which can occasionally be purchased for less than a dollar with a good sale) naturally attracted my attention. And when I first saw these pumpkins – well, I had to have a few.

The steps are simple. Here’s what you need:

  • An average roll of toilet paper (mine are the ‘jumbo’ size, and so my pumpkins came out a bit more squared looking at the top)
  • A few leaves cut out of green felt or fleece (or your leaves could be fall colors)
  • A coiled pipe-cleaner, brown or black makes a great stem – and holds the fat quarter in place
  • An orange colored fat quarter (red ones make good apples!)

Wrap the toilet paper in the fat quarter – start with it centered on the fabric as shown here, then pull one side of the fabric up and tuck into the top of the roll.

Match with the second side, and then tuck in the corners, be careful to pull the extra fabric so it will hide under the edges that are securely tucked in (unless your roll is VERY small, not all the edges of the fabric will reach to be tucked into the tube of fabric).

Press in your coiled chenille stick and one or more leaves.

Voila! A pumpkin! Okay, so a few of you are wondering what to do with a fat quarter pumpkin… Why not use this method to disguise that extra roll of toilet paper that you have out in the guest bathroom?

Sheila Reinke, Heart of Sewing