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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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canonjuly09 179, originally uploaded by Indie House.

Finally got around to helping Hettie fly! Pincushions are great but they take up valuable space on my sewing and cutting table and either seem to be constantly in my way or nowhere around. The perfect solution is my very own sewing buddy to hang out on wrist and carry my pincushions for me. This way I can skip between projects or rooms of the house without worrying where I left my pins and needles.

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If you want to make your own here’s how-

You will need:

Fabric scraps roughly 9 inches by 3 inches.
Interfacing or batting. (I used nonfusible fleece)
Coordinating Thread
Turning Tool
Velcro, snaps, buttons etc to keep the wrist band closed (I used velcro)

Step 1) Choose your fabric

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Step 2) Cut the fabric and interfacing/batting using your own wrist and preferred width of the band as a guide. Keep in mind you are going to lose 1/4 in on all sides for the seam allowance and you want the band to overlap to secure it. Mine measured 8 1/2 inches by 3 inches.

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Step 3) Sandwich the fabric together interfacing on the bottom, exterior fabric right side up on top of that, and exterior fabric right side down on top of that. Using a 1/4 in seam sew around 3 sides.

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Step 4) Cut off the edges of the sewn corners and turn your fabric right side out. Tuck the open edge in a little more than a 1/4 inch.

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Step 5) Topstitch a 1/4 inch around all four sides.

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Step 6) Optional add some quilting to add interest.

Step 7) Add velcro strips. You can purchase heat set velcro but I would recommend the sew on kind for added durability.

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Step 8 ) Pin your pincushion in place centered on the band.

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Step 9) Whipstitch or ladder stitch around the bottom edge of the pincushion to attach it to the wristband.

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Your done! I made my hedgehog into a pincushion but your kids may consider these great traveling buddies.

*** PERSONAL USE ONLY – do not sell items made using this tutorial. ***
Make them for as many people as you like, but please do not sell these.

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canonjuly09 149, originally uploaded by Indie House.

I think I’m in love with my pincushions..

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I made Hettie using the directions and template you can download here. If you are new to sewing felt I highly recommend Futuregirl’s post on just about everything you need to know about the blanket stitch.

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She’s cute but without something to stabilize her she tends to wobble. Perhaps she’s been sneaking cookies when I’m not looking? The other “issue” I have is that hedgehogs are two toned and the pattern is designed to use a single color for the entire body.

I easily rectified that by drawing a curved line on the template to separate the face and body.

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I cut them apart and used a tan felt for Harry’s face and dark brown for his body.

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Then I cut out a piece of cardboard slightly smaller than his bottom piece to help him stand up straight.

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Don’t tell Hettie but I like Harry a bit more. I’m not done with either of them yet so stay tuned to see what really sets these two apart from the other pincushions at the party. Update Hettie is done- see what completes her here.

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How insanely fabulous is this pouch? I can’t decide if I love it so much because a) it is made from glittery elephant fabric, b) of it’s small but perfectly proportioned size, c) it holds my on the go quilting supplies or d) all of the above.

If you’d like to make your own see how below.

You will need:

  • 2 pieces of exterior fabric measuring 8 inches by 6 inches. (The longer side will be the top of your pouch, keep this in mind when cutting directional fabric)
  • 2 pieces of interior fabric measuring 8 inches by 6 inches
  • 2 pieces of mid-weight woven non-fusible interfacing (This helps add body to your bag, because without it it wouldn’t be very “boxy””
  • 1 12 inch zipper
  • Coordinating thread (this will be visible on the outside of the bag)

Things that will come in handy:

  • rotary cutter
  • cutting mat
  • shears
  • craft scissors
  • clear ruler

Step 1:

Choose and cut your fabric- is it just me or is this oftentime the hardest part?

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I like to use a right angle ruler (“borrowed” from my husband) to make sure my fabric pieces are nice and square.

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Step 2: Layer your pieces. Interior fabric right side DOWN, interfacing, and finally exterior fabric right side UP.

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Step 3: Stitch the layers together 1/4 in from the edge. You can use a 1/4 in foot or the edge of your presser foot. These stitches will not be visible and are only done to hold the layers together for the next step. Fold the edges under 1/2 in and press.

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Step 4: Places both sets of fabric with the pressed under edges on top of the zipper and sew together.

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Step 5: Fold the two sides right sides of the exterior fabric together. The right side of your interior fabric will then be facing up. Stitch a quarter inch seam along the raw edge. I also suggest using shears to finish your seams so they don’t fray with use (I forgot to do this…)

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Step 6: Press the fabric tube you have created flat ensuring you have centered the bottom seam on the zipper.

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Step 7: Move your zipper pull to the center and stitch a quarter inch seam on both sides. Make sure you go over the zipper 2 or 3 times to secure it.

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Step 8: Cut off the excess ends of the zipper leaving about an inch from your seam.

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Step 9: Pinch the corners out to form triangles and draw a line one inch from the point and roughly two inches across. A clear ruler is key! Pin in place and sew across the two inch line on all four sides.

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Step 10: Use your shears to cut off the excess fabric. This reduces the bulk and finishes your seam in one step.

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Step 11: Turn your pouch and admire your handiwork!

You can fill it with on the go sewing essentials like I did.

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Or use it as a change purse, first aid kit, on the go toy “chest,” cosmetic case, candy bag, etc

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