Monday, August 25, 2014


Here's my latest charm quilt, named Zippy, and it's available as a free pattern over at Moda Bake Shop!

I got to work with Sweetwater's newest line, Elementary. Great prints as usual, and the aqua color is really pretty.

I am working on a little something with the leftover charms. Uses the same block as Zippy :)

What's on your to-do list this week?

Friday, August 22, 2014

Fun Drawstring Pouch

Up next is another new friend of mine, this time through the KCMQG. I met Denise when I rode along with her and Jan up to see the Tula Pink/Luke Haynes exhibit in St. Joe. She is super fun and has a fabulous tutorial for you today!

Fun Drawstring Pouch
                            by: Denise K. Bane

When Tammie asked me to guest blog for her Sew Full of School week, I got so excited to share this tutorial with you.  I have been sewing in one form or another since I was 6 and I started quilting in 2003.  I really delved deeply into the quilting vein in 2012 when I joined the Kansas City Modern Quilt Guild. #kcmqg  It is filled with wonderful, inspiring, and encouraging people and I am so happy I found them.  Quilts are typically big projects and once in a while I need some instant gratification.  A small project that I can make quickly and have a finished product.  And sometimes I need something practical and I can't find what I'm looking for in the stores.  So, I figure out a way to make it.  And thus became the Easy Pouch of Holding.  It really is easy to make and it can hold all sorts of things, hence the name (plus I'm a bit of a scifi/fantasy nerd).

I came up with this pouch about a year ago when I needed something to hold dice in (did I mention that I'm a nerd?).  It is really easy to make.  The first one you make may take up to an hour, but I would doubt it, even for a beginning sewer.  I highlight 3 sizes in this tutorial, but you can easily change up the sizes for whatever you wish.  I use quilters cotton for both the body and lining, although you can use just about any fabric.  You can see in one of the pictures I have used upholstery fabric (red bag with yellow dragonfly) for one and faux suede with some sort of garment fabric that looks like snake skin for another. The beautiful thing is that you might have scraps of fabric big enough for this.  The thing to remember, is DON'T STRESS.  This is supposed to be fun!!  You cut the body fabric 1/4" too small?  So what, just trim down the lining fabric and there you go.  I specify a 3/8" seam allowance, but, seriously, 1/4" works too.  Or 1/2".  Finished sizes are approximate because of these things.  I tried to make the instructions easy to follow, but if you have questions, please ask.

If you like this tutorial, please visit my blog at  Have Fun!!

Easy Pouch of Holding
This drawstring pouch is so easy to make you will be amazed.  It takes less than an hour and very little fabric.  You can use it for anything.  There are 3 different sizes listed, but there is no limit to what sizes you can make with a little manipulation.  I hope you enjoy!!

Time to make:  less than 1 hour
Materials needed:
·         Fabric for the body
·         Fabric for the lining
·         Shoestring or cord for drawstring
·         Thread
·         Scissors and/or rotary cutter
·         Optional: Decorative beads for end of drawstring
·         Seam ripper

Step 1:  Cut fabrics for the body and the lining.
Crayon Pouch (approx finish 5 1/4" x 6 3/4")
·         Body - 6" x 11 1/4"
·         Lining - 7 3/8" x 11 1/4"
Colored Pencil Pouch (approx finish 8 1/2" x 4 1/2")
·         Body - 8 1/2" x 9 3/4"
·         Lining - 10 3/8" x 9 3/4"
Mechanical Pencil Pouch (approx finish 7 1/2" x 3")
·         Body - 7 1/2" x 6 3/4"
·         Lining - 9 3/8" x 6 3/4"

Step 2:  Layer the fabrics right sides together and stitch along the top with a 3/8" seam allowance.

Step 3:  Press the seam allowance toward the lining.

Step 4:  Align the bottom of the fabrics and press a crease in the top of the lining.  This is how your lining will wrap around to the front.

Step 5:  Topstitch 1/8" on the lining portion of the fabric.  This is how you get the tube portion for the drawstring.  TIP: If you have a "stitch in the ditch" foot, this would be a good time to try it out.

 Step 6:  Fold the whole thing in half lengthwise right sides together matching the side and bottom. Tip: Pinning is helpful on this step.

 Step 7:  Stitch along the side and bottom using a zig-zag or serging stitch.  Tip: Start in the upper corner since that is where it matters most if things match up well.

Step 8:  Turn right side out.

Step 9:  Get your seam ripper and VERY CAREFULLY, slice 2 holes in the lining fabric that wraps around the front near the seam.  DO NOT cut through the inside.  (really though, if you do, no one is going to know) You want the hole to be only slightly larger than the shoestring you are using.  Tip: Don't be hasty.  Take your time on this one and be careful.

Step 10:  Thread the shoestring through one hole, around the bag, and out the other hole. Tip: Take a breath.  This part can be frustrating.  Check for twists.

Step 11:  Trim shoestring so that you have several inches on each end and tie a knot on each end.  Tip: I tied my knots before I trimmed. You could also put decorative beads at the ends.  Or you could use cording instead of a shoestring.

Step 12:  All done.  Fill with anything you like.  Enjoy your new pouch.

If you enjoyed this tutorial, please check out my blog at  Thank you!!

And thank you Denise!! Love the fabrics you used in your pouches! Be sure to head to her blog and check our her Anchors Away quilt pattern - it's a free download and so cool!

Laminate Pencil Cases

Today's guest is a new blog friend of mine! 
Here's Donna with a great pencil case tutorial!

Laminated Pencil Cases (In two sizes)
Finished Size 11.5 x 4.5 inches and 7.5 x 4.5 inches

This project takes about one hour each to complete.  Just before starting to sew, I changed zipper colors on the small case.  I decided I liked the yellow zipper better than the navy, and then decided I wanted to try a longer pencil case as well with the white zipper. 
 Materials needed:

One piece of laminate fabric for each case
One zipper 14 inches (at least) for each case
One laminate measure tape (you will cut approximately 6 inches of the tape for the pencil case handle)  I received this one free.  You can use ribbon instead if you prefer not to cut up you measure tape.
Time needed:
Approximately one hour sewing time for each.

Cut your laminate fabric 8 inches by 8 1/2 inches (for the small case) and 12" by 9 1/2" (for the longer case).  Other than size differences, the directions are the same.
On the right side of the laminate, lay your zipper down with right sides together along the longer length measurement.  Leave excess zipper on both sides, which will eventually be cut off.  Sew with a zipper foot fairly close to the zipper's plastic teeth. 
Fold back laminate and stitch down through laminate and zipper, be sure to sew through the zipper's tape.  Then repeat prior step above and this step for the other side of the zipper.  I used a Teflon sewing machine foot, and as my machine has a built in walking foot sewing over the laminate was very easy. 
Pull zipper down half-way, center bottom of case with zipper teeth the center line, stitch 1/4 inch across bottom of case.  Be sure to double up on stitching over the zipper. Trim off zipper even with seam edge.
Trim off 6 inches of the laminate measure tape for the case handle.  Fold tape in half ready to insert into top of pencil case.  
Center top of zipper and case and insert tape measure handle with folded edge inside the case, and raw ends that will be sewn into the seam.  Sew 1/4 inch seam, and be sure to sew top of zipper and ends of handle again about 1/8 inch from edge to secure.  Trim off excess zipper top even with seam allowance. 
Now all you have to do is turn your case right side out! Make sure corners are completely turned out. 

Thanks so much Donna for your post! I love the measuring tape tags - and I saw that they have a variety of colors like aqua, fuchsia, and lime green for 99 cents at JoAnns right now! 

Hope you've been enjoying this week of back to school posts. We have one more guest to finish up the week, so check back later today for another awesome tutorial!


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