Posts Tagged ‘free tutorial’

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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2010270801 037, originally uploaded by Make it Modern.

I’m in love with my new pouch and broach set!

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The set is the “wrapping” for my sister in law’s Christmas present. She is a big Vera Bradley fan and while I found those bags too expensive for my Christmas budget I thought these twp prints by Timeless Treasures and Alexander Henry were very evocative of the Yellow Bird print from Vera. I considered using fleece interfacing to add some puff and quilting but I didn’t want to make it a Vera Bradley copycat. I wanted to make something useful that I know she would love and using her favorite purse as inspiration seemed like a smart move.

After making the pouch I thought it needed some adornment, the broach serves this purpose beautifully and was a breeze to make. And she can take it off and put pin it on a sweater or jacket.

My goal is to turn this into a free tutorial but it needs a little tweaking first to perfect it.

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IMG_3163, originally uploaded by http://badhuman.wordpress.com.

I wanted an easy, green gift for my mother’s day that would be used as much as it was loved and these cloth napkins seemed like the perfect solution. I made six napkins for my mother and six for my mother-in-law using similar patterned fabrics so that I could use the same solid fabric to coordinate with both.

I used:

  • 2 fat quarters of patterned fabric (I chose darker fabrics because stains happen and they’ll be less noticeable)
  • 1 yard of Navy Kona Cotton
  • 1 full spool of navy cotton thread


  • Pins
  • Rotary Cutter
  • Cutting Mat
  • Sewing Machine (although it’s a small project and could easily be done by hand)
  • Ruler

Step 1:

        I made two different sizes of napkins to see which I preferred. The larger napkins are 14 by 14 inches and the smaller are 12 by 12 inches. 


         I cut three napkins from each of the patterned fabrics and six napkins from the solid. (Each napkin set will ultimately have six napkins, three patterned and three solid)


Step 2:

          Sew a line 1/4 inch from the edge of your fabric all the way around the fabric. I prefer continuous lines so you don’t have a lot of thread tails to deal with.

Napkins for Mother's Day

Step 3:

          On the solid napkins I wanted to add an accent of the patterned to pull the two together. Using the remnants I cut strips 2 inches wide by 14 inches (or 12 inches) long. 

           I folded the raw edges under 1/4 inch on both sides and the sewed the strips a couple inches up from the bottom of the napkin. I used my 1/4 inch foot as a guide to ensure I got a nice straight line when I said the patterned strip to the solid fabric.


Step 4:

Now you want to iron the raw edge over using the thread as a guide (make the sure the thread is ironed over so it doesn’t show.


Then fold it over again and iron it down so the raw edge is completely turned under.

Step 5:

I went ahead and pinned it down all the way around although with ironing it you might be able to get away with skipping this step.


When you pin or iron make sure you create crisp corners when folding over the fabric so that you can sew all the way around the napkin at once.


Step 6:

Using your presser foot as a guide sew 1/4 inch from the edge of your napkin.


When you start and when you go around the corners your sewing machine may struggle a bit with all those layers. I pushed a bit harder on my foot but made sure that I was guiding the fabric through slowly.

In no time at all your napkin will look like this


Step 7:

I don’t have one of those fancy machines that knots and cuts the thread for you so I had to do that by hand. By going all the way around your napkins whenever you are stitching you end up with a lot less threads to deal with!

The napkins at the top are for my mother-in law and the ones below are for my mom. Now all I need to do is get these in the mail so I don’t forget!


Do you have any beginner sewing projects that would make good gifts? I’ve got a year of holidays left to plan for and could certainly use the ideas 🙂

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