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Archive for the ‘tutorials’ Category

Addicted to Two Inch Squares, originally uploaded by Make it Modern.

I’m loving the Tokyo Subway Map Quilt Along that I’m starting to look for other excuses to use these tiny two inch squares- they are addictively sweet. I’ve been planning to make one of these fabric baskets for quite a long time but had never gotten around to it.

This one was destined to be a gift basket for the spa themed Christmas present for my step mother but now I’m not sure. The basket is a lot smaller than I imagined. The two apples are each smaller than my fist! Now I think it will fit a couple things and I’ll have to make a bag or something else for the rest… Don’t get me wrong I love it, I’m just not sure how functional it is.

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Originally I’d planned on making one for myself to hold the fabric scraps that will end up in the trash during a project. I usually end up piling them on the counter until I make it over to the trash can and my cats LOVE pushing these piles over the edge and playing in them. But having made one I realize it’s not big enough for that unless I double the size and maybe use an additional stabilizer. Hmmm

I loosely followed this tutorial from Pink Penguin. She offers clear instructions and lots of pictures. Pink Penguin only used three different fabrics but for more interest I used six. I also had some issues with the fabric dimensions she gave. When I sewed my two inch squares together the base piece was two big so I cut it down to fit to the squares and subsequently had to cut the lining piece down to make it fit. I also used iron in fleece because that’s what I had lying around. In case you are wondering the fabrics are mostly from Joel Dewberry’s Modern Meadow but I also used Hope Valley and Arcadia. The lining fabric is from Michael Miller and the solid fabric is an organic cotton I found at Jo Ann’s.

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Binding Queen, originally uploaded by Indie House.

I can’t believe I got this done so fast! I actually finished it a couple days ago which was great timing since I got sick and spent the next couple days under it! I LOVE this quilt. I’m going to call it “Rainy Day Sunshine” because no matter how gloomy the day is this bright cheery quilt cheers me up.

This is the largest quilt I’ve ever made 65″ X 93″ so its about the same size as twin x-long comforter. This way its large enough for my husband, my cats, and I to share :). Because it’s so large I stuck with straight line quilting and I’m not in love with the overall look. I did alternating single lines and triple lines going diagonally across the quilt in two directions. I really like the triple lines but feel like the single lines get lost in the quilt… Oh well you live and learn.

Cream Flannel Back

The back is a plain cream flannel, perfect for curling up under on a cold winter day! The binding is Ash Gray Kona Cotton and I think they both complement the quilt without overwhelming it or making it all seem too busy.

And though most of the work was done on this in 2009 I’m calling this my first finish of 2010 :)

If you want to make your own you can find a tutorial here. Keep in mind while this is a simple design with only one pattern piece it’s a bit tedious because you have to keep trimming it to keep it square.

The first two pieces go together perfectly to make a square but then to make the four squares make a single “whirly gig” you have to trim them down.

Here is how the first to blocks look before you trim them-

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After you create two rectangle you have to trim them down to create a square-

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Only after all that trimming do you get a square-

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Like I said not hard but definitely time intensive!

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charging basket

Between my husband and I there are far too many little gadgets laying around. This simple basket is the perfect gift for the techie in your life.

They can consolidate their phone, IPOD, camera, wallet etc and charge things up without having cords running all over the place.

In the photo above the overall look is a little girly but done with solid blues, greens, or browns and it’s totally masculine. Check out the free tutorial by Oh Fransson here.

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free skirt pattern

I’ve made the Barcelona Skirt and a couple skirts from “Sew What Skirts” with great results but if you want a free and easy skirt tutorial check this one out.

The tutorial is free and is designed to be used with a twin sized flat sheet. You can find great deals on these at any big box store or you can check out local thrift stores for a cool vintage sheet like the one above.

Any woman in your life would be quite happy with this swinging skirt.

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Tado Owl Tattoo!, originally uploaded by Owl Movement.

Now I love owls but I don’t love them enough to tattoo one on my own arm. But you have to admit it’s a pretty cute owl and owls seem to be everywhere these days. Here are some of my favorites.



Silly Owl Fell out of Bed, originally uploaded by Two Cheese Please.



Amigurumi Mama Owl, originally uploaded by Pepika.



Owly pouches., originally uploaded by boxsquare..



what a HOOT!, originally uploaded by eyeluvquilts.

If you need a little owl action in your life you could make these

Using this pattern. It’s in Japanese but the photos are self explanatory.

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., originally uploaded by Rebecca….

Do you remember those plastic alphabet magnets? They adorned just about every fridge in the neighborhood when I grew up but I don’t see them around anymore.

I could probably find them on Ebay but I decided I’d rather make my own. Made from recycled felt they are technically still plastic but at least I’m helping keep some water bottles out of a landfill.

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You will need:

  • sheets of felt in a variety of colors
  • Poly-Fil
  • embroidery floss
  • tapestry needle
  • copy paper
  • scissors
  • pins
  • hot glue gun or fabric glue

Step 1: Print out letters. I used the font Calibri size 350 but you could freehand the letters for a less uniform look.

Step 2: Cut the paper letters out.

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Step 3: Pin the paper pieces to the felt and cut the letters out. You will need to cut two of each letter out.

Step 4: Using the blanket stitch sew the two pieces together stuffing as you go.

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Step 5: Using a hot glue gun or fabric glue attach the magnets to the back of the letters so the magnet won’t be seen from the front.

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Step 6: Wait for the glue to dry and set then have fun combining letters!

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These would be a great gift for a child learning their ABCs or to spell. The letters are too large to be swallowed but the magnets, if pried loose, could be. You could make the letters without magnets or find very small but strong magnets and stitch them inside. Otherwise just use them with your kids so you can make sure nothing happens.

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canonjuly09 202, originally uploaded by Indie House.

I’ve noticed more and more people bringing their own bags to the grocery store which is awesome except those same people can also be found in the produce section using a separate plastic bag for each fruit or vegetable they are purchasing. Tomatoes don’t have cooties I promise! And when you go through the check out line just take the various items out of the bag to weigh them. You are going to wash them later anyway so its okay if they touch the register scale.

An easy alternative is to whip up some of these produce bags and kick the plastic bag habit entirely. You can certainly use organic cotton but all I had on hand was unbleached muslin and while not quite as “green” it still works. I’ve also seen this done with mesh or tulle but I think the cotton is more durable, less likely to rip or tear and I can decorate it :)

You will need:

  1. Two pieces of fabric 14 inches wide by 17 inches long/high
  2. String, Ribbon, Twine, Fabric etc to use for the drawstring 32 inches long and less than an 1 inch wide. I used ribbon that I had already.
  3. Fabric scraps for applique. You could skip this but I think it adds character to the bag.
  4. Matching thread
  5. Safety Pin to thread the string through

Step 1- Cut out your fabric pieces

Step 2- Applique

I freehanded my design but you could find something online if you prefer.

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Cut the design out of your fabric.

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And my favorite part, play around with the placement of the applique.

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Once you’ve decided how you want them positioned pin in place and then sew in place. I used a zig zag stitch all the way around but you could fuse it as well.

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Step 3- Sew your bag together.

You are going to sew it almost all the way around three sides. You want to stop short 1 1/4 in on one long side.

This leaves an opeaning for your string to come out. (This will be clearer in the next step)

Step 4- Create the casing for your string.

With the bag inside out fold the raw edges down 1/4 inch and in 1/4 in on the two open ends like this

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Press and then fold down again this time 1 inch and press.

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Edge stitch along the fold to sew in place.

This edge won’t be raw but now is a good time to serge or zig zag over the raw edges on the inside of your bag so they don’t fray. The bag will last longer, annoy you less, and look more professional this way.

Step 5- Insert your drawstring.

Attach a saftey pin to one side of your string/ribbon/etc and feed it through the casing until it comes out the other end like so.

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Step 6- Place somewhere you will remember it when you go to the store.

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Honestly isn’t remembering to bring the bag the hardest part? I try to keep bags in all the cars so I never forget. The nice thing about this bag is folded up it could fit in a large purse and you could use it as a grocery bag in a pinch.

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