You know I love recycling and reusing. And you know I looove recycling and reusing fabric.
I roam through flea markets, garage sales, second hand and thrift stores and almost always find some pre-loved piece of fabric.
And I always buy old fashioned flat sheets, they're most often made of really thick cotton, or a cotton/linen mix, which is absolutely perfect for all sorts of sewing projects.
Especially dish cloths or napkins, but I also use them in quilts, key fobs, pouches and much more.
I wrote a whole blog on fabric recycling in case you want to know more.
Today I want to show you how to make the cutest dish towels with recycled cotton sheets and left over fabric scraps.
Materials/fabrics needed for 2 dish towels:
- 2 pieces of white fabric ( I use cotton table cloth or flat sheets for this, they're pre-washed so many times, that they work perfectly as dish cloths as they dry dishes very nicely) 20.5"x 27".
- 40 pieces of 2.5"x 2.5" fabric squares.
- 2 strips of fabric 2"x 5" for the hanging tab
Sewing the dish towels:
1. Cut your fabrics as mentioned above.
2. Sew your fabric squares into 4 strips of 10 squares each ( two strips per towel)
3. Press your seam allowances.
You can either seperate your seam allowances and press them each seperatly,
or press the seam allowances in opposite directions before joining your
fabric square strips. This is really easy and quick. (photo 1)
You press one strip in one direction and the other in the opposite direction,
this will help with nesting your seams and having accurate corners and matching points.
The seams sort of fit together automatically ( photo 2).
You end up with a perfectly flat fabric square panel. ( photo 3)
4. Fold over the long raw edges of your square panel 1/4" and press again
then pin or clip in place.
5. Place this panel on one of your white fabric pieces at 7", mesured from the bottom raw edge of your kitchen towel and pin in place.
6. Stich this panel in place with a small seam allowance. I also added some diagonal seams.
7. Sewing the hanging tab for the tea towel:
- Fold the 2"x 5" strip in half lengthwise and press. Fold in 1/2" seam allowance on each long raw edge and press again.
- Stitch with small seam allowance.
- Fold the tab in half and clip in place at the center of the back of your kitchen towel top edge.
8. Fold over the raw edges of your dish towel 3/8" twice and pin or clip in place.
I did just simple corners on these tea towels, but if you want to get really fancy you could do mitered corners as well.
9. To finish stitch all the way around your kitchen towel.
What do you think about these kitchen towels? Don't you agree they're ...... :-)?
Now I cant wait to see all of your tea towel versions...
use #dryinstyletowel on social media, so I can find your makes .... happy sewing.
Do you ever wonder what to do with all those super cute fabric scraps that are left over from your sewing projects?
Well, here are a couple of pincushion ideas for you to sew up with the smallest fabric pieces.
Now you might wonder how I get those fabric scraps color coordinated, and how I will find them when I need them. Here's a simple trick, I make it a habit to cut up the cutest scraps right away into 1.5" squares and sort them by color into a simple acrylic organizer box.
That way, I have them handy when I need them for fabric stamps, hang tags or smaller sewing projects like these pincushions. Plus that box is really pretty to look at, don't you think?
I also cut up some Dresden plate pieces every once in a while and keep them in another box sorted the same way. I like making these tiny Dresden plates, just because they're so super cute, and I can really make use of the smallest fabric pieces. For cutting Dresden plate pieces I use the Darlene Zimmerman Dresden Acrylic Ruler.
This awesome pincushion is also called Deluxe pincushion and is a super cute pattern from the book Sew organized for the Busy girl by Heidi Staples.
It's a great pattern and a quick and easy make.
This is an absolutely perfect pattern for all kinds of fabric scraps.
You can use them color coordinated or by theme, make a little fairytale pincushion, or one with just flowers, a Christmas themed one or use very modern little scraps.
I'm sure you will find tons of inspiration when you go through you fabric.
Mini Dresden plate pincushion:
finished size aprox 4"x 4"
Fabrics/ materials needed:
- 12 1.5" Dresden plate pieces
- 2 pieces of fabric 4.5"x 4.5"
- 1 basted 1" hexie, paper taken out.
- 1 piece 4.5"x 4.5" fusible interfacing
-a hand full of fiberfill, or your prefered pincushion stuffing material
Sewing the pincushion:
1. Cut all the fabrics as mentioned above. Cut 12 1.5" Dresden plate pieces. (photo 1)
2. Fold the Dresden plate pieces in half , lengwise , right sides together
and stitch along the top edge ( wider part of blade) with a 1/4" seam allowance. (photo 2)
Chain piecing these blades makes this step super easy.
3. Cut off the corners (as shown in photo 3) at a 45° angle, this gives you nice, sharp points.
4. Turn each blade's sewn end right sides out. It usually just takes a finger to create a sharp point as you make that turn, but if necessary use a pencil to push the point outward. Be careful not to push too hard or cut through the fabric. Then press these.
5. Sew the Dresden Plate blades together by aligning the side edges right sides together with a 1/4" seam allowance from top to bottom, then press seam allowance open.
After sewing the full circle, press the entire Dresden plate.
Note: Most Dresden Plates are made with a 18° wedge ruler ( like the one I used), this means technically to form a full circle it would require 20 blades ( 18 x 20 = 360), but I use only 12 for this pincushion. Otherwise the full Dresden Plate would be too big and wouldn't fit on a small 4.5" square. The Dresden plate is so small, that it works just fine after pressing the full circle with 12 blades . And there will be a hexie placed on top anyways.
Or you could us a 30° wedge ruler ( 30 x 12 = 360)
6. Stitch the Dresden plate onto one of the 4.5" x 4.5" pieces of fabric. Mark a cross in the center of the square to make placing the Dresden plate easier.
7. Place basted hexie ( paper taken out! ) on top and stitch in place.
8. Iron on fusible interfacing and place back 4.5"x 4.5" piece of fabric on top, right sides together and stitch around along the raw edges leaving a 2" opening for turning the pincushion.
Cut the corners at a 45° angle, this gives you nice and sharp corners after turning.
9. Turn your pincushion right side out, and fill the pincushion with fiberfill or your preferred pincushion stuffing material. Press the opening under 1/4" and stitch closed by hand.
The cutest little pincushions made entirely from fabric scraps, are all done .....
Aren't they just darling?
Have lots of fun sewing up all your fabric scraps.
Do you ever wonder where certain Christmas traditions come from?
Well if you do and want to know more about Christmas stockings here is the story:
The Christmas stocking tradition started in Europe, I have to add, a lot of Christmas traditions have, not sure why though, I have to get into that some other time.
Christmas stockings traditionally have the owners name written on them, makes sence, otherwise Santa wouldn't know where to put the presents, right?
" The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
in hopes that St.Nicholas soon would be there."
- a visit from St. Nicolas
The Christmas stocking tradition is said to have started with the good deeds of a king noble man named Nicholas, who was born 280 AD, in Patara a city on the Mediterranean coast of Turkey. ( If you ever visit Turkey , you have to visit that coast, it's beyond beautiful).
Nicholas became a priest and used all his money to help the poor, the needy, sick or suffering. He was very religious and was made Bishop of Myra at a young age.
He never married or had children. But he loved children and gave gifts often, this is why he also became known as the gift giver of Myra.
He was a rich man and traveled all over the country and gave his gifts generously.
He didn't want his identity to be known, so he gave his presents late at night.
Children were told to sleep early, otherwise Nicholas wouldn't come.
He became known as Saint Nicholas the patron saint of children and sailors.
The most popular legend about why stockings are hung on Christmas is this:
A very poor widowed father of three girls was worried his daughters weren't able to get married because of their impoverished status.
St. Nicholas heard the story of the man and wanted to help, but he knew the father wouldn't accept any charity. So he slid down the chimney of the family's house and filled the girls' recently washed stockings, which were drying by the fire, with gold coins.
When the girls woke up in the mornig, overjoyed with the generous gift, they were now eligible to marry and they all were happy ever after...
And there you have it, the Chrismas stocking tradition was born.
Now lets make some great Cristmas stockings ourselves:
Fabrics needed for a Hexie stocking:
- fabric scraps for about 42 - 1" hexies
- 2 pieces of fusible interfacicing 16"x 9"
- 2 pieces of fabric 16"x 9" for front and back lining
- 1 piece of fabric 16"x 9" for the back
- 1 strip of fabric 2"x 28" for binding
- optional: tassels, fabric hangtag
Sewing the hexie Christmas stocking:
1. Print the stocking template and glue the two pages together and cut out the template.
Find the PDF to the template here .
2. Baste about 42 - 1" sized hexies and place them on your stocking template. Depending on how you place them, you'll only need half hexies on the sides.
This is a perfect way to use up all your adorable Christmas fabric scaps and do some
3. Sew togther your hexies.
Add the fusible interfacing to your 'hexie fabric' piece and add the lining as well, wrong sides together and quilt as desired.
I quilted diamonds.
Repeat the same for the back of the stocking. Add the fusible interfacing to the back fabric, add the lining fabric wrong sides together and quilt as desired.
4. Now cut your quilted pieces into stocking shapes , use the stocking template.
5. Place front and back of your Christmas stocking right sides together and stitch along the outside edge using a 1/4" seam allowance.
6. Turn your stocking inside out.
Attach the binding strip to the top edge of your stocking right sides together and raw edges aligned. Add a little hanging tab to the back of your stocking made out of the same binding strip. Clip or pin in place and stitch along the top edge with a 1/4" seam allowance.
Fold over to the inside and stitch in place by hand.
Add pompoms and/or tassels.
8. Make a little name tag.
I used white fabric and embroidered the name on it. I added some fusible interfacing, to give it a little volume and topped it off with another piece of white fabric.
I stitched the 'sandwhich' in place with a small piece of fussy cut motif and cut the outer edge of the white fabric with zig zag shears.
Add a metal eyelet, or just use a hole punch and thread a little ribbon.
Attach your name tag to your stocking.
Et Voila .... all done!
Now let your phantasie go wild and create stockings with all sorts of different patchwork techniques and styles. Whether you're using clamshells, triangles, hexies or just simple squares, these Christmas stockings will definitely make a lasting impression.
If you are celebrating Christmas, What's your choice of Christmas stocking?
Are you making one yourself? let me know in the comments.
A design collab with Riley Blake Designs - 'From the heart' fabric collection by Sandy Gervais
Everybody needs pot-holders in the kitchen, and if they're this cute, even better, right?
So how about pulling out some fabric and getting started.
These are super easy to make and will be a perfect gift for any passionate cook.
finished size 8"x 10"
Fabrics needed per pot-holder:
- finished cupcake quilt block 8"x 8"
- cut 2 pieces of fabric for backing 8 1/2"x 10 1/2"
- cut 1 piece of fabric 8 1/2"x 8 1/2" for pocket lining
- 1 piece of fusible interfacing 8 1/2"x 8 1/2" for pocket
- 1 piece of fusible interfacing 8 1/2"x 10 1/2" for backing
- 1 piece of insul-brite 8 1/2"x 10 1/2" for backing
- cut 1 strip of fabric 1 1/2"x 10" as binding for pocket
- cut 1 strip of fabric 2"x 6" or use ribbon for hanging tab
- bias tape 2"x 40" for pot-holder binding
Sewing the potholder:
1. Finish the cup cake quilt block ( shop pattern here ) in size 8"x 8"
2. Cut all of your fabric pieces as mentioned above.
3. Iron on fusible interfacing to your quilt block .
Then lay pocket lining piece of fabric face down on flat surface and lay quilt block face up on top of it. Clip or pin in place.
4. Quilt as desired, to hold these layers together.
I did 1" diagonal squares. I used my acrylic ruler and a fabric chalk pen to draw the lines.
5. Trim to 8"x 8" size.
6. Iron on the fusible interfacing to one of the backing fabrics.
Place the other backing fabric face down on a flat surface. Position the insul-brite on top of it and finish off with the backing/fusable interfacing piece, face up.
Pin or clip all three layers in place.
Quilt as desired, I did 1" diagonal squares again, as with the pocket piece.
Make the hanging tab: ( or use a strip of ribbon)
- Fold the 2"x 6" strip in half lengthwise and press. Fold in 1/4" seam allowance on each long raw edge and press again.
- Stitch with small seam allowance.
- Fold the tab in half and clip in place at the center of the back of your pot-holder.
7. Binding for the pocket:
Take the strip of fabric 1 1/2"x 10" and pin it to the top of the cupcake pocket with the raw edges aligned and stitch in place with 1/4" seam allowance. ( photo 1)
Fold the binding over to the back ( photo 2) and stitch in place ( photo 3)
Finished binding seen from the front ( photo 4)
Trim the ends.
8. Place the quilted pocket piece on top of the backing ,
aligning the side and the bottom raw edges. Clip or pin in place.
9. Round the corners of your pot-holder.
I drew a 1/4 circle at the corners first and then cut it.
here's a template for the corners, cut it along the black line.
10. Fold the bias tape over 1/4" at one end of the binding strip and clip or pin in place around the pot-holder with the end overlapping about 1/2" ( photo 1 ) .
Stitch in place. ( photo 2 ).
Fold the binding over to the backof the pot-holder and then hand stitch in place.
Et voila .... all done.
Thank you so much to Riley Blake Designs for supplying the absolutely adorable
'From the Heart' fabric series designed by Sandy Gervais that I used
in this super cute project.
This pattern is perfect for any 8"x 8" quilt block.
I can't wait to see your makes. How do you like these pot-holders?
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Halloween is approaching and I want to show you how to sew a stunning little
Trick-or-Treat bag with one of my quilt blocks... and best of all its really easy.
Finished bag size : 8.5" wide, 9.5" high and 4" deep at the bottom
Fabric/ Materials needed: (all measurements are width x height)
> 1 FPP quilt block 8.5" x 8.5" (ghost pattern shop here)
> 2 strips of fabric on each side of the FPP block 2.5"x 8.5"
> 2 strips of fabric for bottom panel 12.5"x 3"
> 2 strips of fabric for top panel 12.5"x 2"
> 1 piece of fabric for back 12.5"x 8.5"
> 2 pieces of fabric for lining 12.5"x 12"
> Fusible interfacing 2 pieces 12.5"x 12"
> 2 strips of fabric for handles 2,5"x 12"
> 2 strips of fusible interfacing 2"x 12"
-Sew your Foundation paper pieced quilt block - I chose the little ghost .
( shop Halloween patterns here ) the block will measure 8.5"x 8.5" when sewn together
(unfinished- meaning not sewn into a project yet).
-Cut out all the fabric, lining and fusible interfacing pieces.
-Attach the side strips to the quilt block. Then attach the bottom and top panel to the quilt block and fabric for the back ( see picture above).
Interfacing gives your bag more structure and stand.
Iron on the fusible interfacing to your front and back exterior main pieces of your bag.
- Quilt your exterior pieces to your liking.
- I did some diagonal straight line machine quilting.
- I drew the lines with a washable fabric marker ( this one can actually just be dusted off,
it's a dressmaking chalk pen, that comes with several different color refills)
- Then I machine quilted the front and back exterior fabric pieces with diagonal 1" squares.
Sewing the handles:
- iron on fusible interfacing on fabric strips of handles, center to width of fabric,
leaving 1/4" seam allowance on both long sides of the fabric strips.
- Fold over 1/4" seam allowance on each side of the fabric strips and clip in place -
(I use only orange and purple clips, to stay in the Halloween spirit :-)
- Now fold the strip in half and clip in place again. Then sew along the clipped edge with a small seam allowance to finish off the handle strip.
- Repeat for second handle.
- Attach the handles at 3" from the outer edge to the top of exterior front and back fabric pieces. And clip in place.
- Lay lining fabric right sides together on top of outer bag pieces and clip in place at top edge. Handles are now sandwiched between lining and outer piece.
- stitch along top edge with 1/4" seam allowance.
- fold exterior and lining pieces open.
- lay both trick-or-treat bag pieces on top of each other, right sides together
- Clip or pin the raw edges in place, matching up each seam and clipping or
pinning the matched up seams.
- Leave a 4" space at the center of the bottom end of the lining, this is your opening
for turning the bag later.
- Then sew along the four open sides. Do not sew the 4" opening at the end of the lining pieces.
- For a flat bottom of your bag, you need to box all four corners.
Two corners of the lining and two corners of the exterior fabric.
Starting with flattening the corner, the seams, bottom seam and side seam should be on top of each other. Then measure 2" from the top corner with an acrylic ruler and draw a line across with your fabric marker or a water soluble pen.
Stitch along that line and trim off the corner, leaving a 1/4" seam allowance.
(Repeat this for all four corners)
- Turn your bag by turning the pieces right sides out, pulling through the opening in the
lining. Push out the corners nicely. Press the lining opening under 1/4" and
stitch closed with a small 1/8" seam allowance.
- Fold lining into bag and stitch along top edge of bag to secure handles and lining.
Et Voila.... your cutest ever quilted Halloween TRICK-OR-TREAT bag is all done.
How are you all celebrating Halloween this year? Let me know ....
Pillowcases are easy and fun, and the perfect way to redecorate your home without having to invest a lot of money.
Everybody that knows me personally, has seen, that I am a tiny bit of a color freak and also like to rearrange and redecorate things in my home. Especially seasonal changes, from spring to summer, fall and winter/ christmas.
My patio and garden get a makeover every year.
I love different 'looks' and love to play with fabrics and colors.
I designed my Chinese Lunar New Year pattern series back in January but I think
this series works all year around.
Especially the lantern patterns are perfect for any patio decor.
These are extremly easy and quick to make.
And yes, the paper lantern pattern is easy to follow as well.
- a 8" x 8" quilt block , paper lantern or any other ( 8 1/2" unfinished)
- 48 2 1/2" squares ( the squares you cut will be 2 1/2" so they are 2" finished)
- two pieces of fabric for the back 13" x 17"
- low volume fusable batting 17" x 17"
- thread and needle for handquilting if you decide to do that.
Seam allowances are 1/4" unless mentioned otherwise.
This is the quilt block that I will use for this pillowcase it's the 8" x 8" version of the balloon paper lantern pattern.
1> Place your squares around your quilt block the way you feel they will look good
( photo 1)
This is a fab way to use up your fabric scraps and do some cute fussy cutting.
Then sew together those squares.
2> I usually sew them into strips first and then join the strips.( photo 2 )
3> Your can either seperate your seam allowances and press them each seperatly,
or press the seam allowances in opposite directions before joining your
fabric square strips. This is really easy and quick. (photo 3)
You press one strip in one direction and the other in the opposite direction,
this will help with nesting your seams and having accurate corners and matching points.
4> Nesting your seams is the easyest way to get accurate matching seams.
if you pressed your seam allowances into opposite directions, this is quite easy.
The seams sort of fit together automatically ( photo 4)
5> Sew the fabric strips together into four blocks .
16 x 2" squares sewn into two blocks to the left and to the right of the FPP quilt block.
And 8 x 2" squares sewn into two blocks to the top and bottom of the paper lantern quilt block.
6> Join the 2" squares blocks with the foundation paper piecing quilt block.
First attach the top and bottom 8 x 2" blocks to the paper lantern quilt block .
Then you add the side panels of 16 x 2" squares to either side of the FPP quilt block.
Press the seam allowances and iron on the fusable batting.
Now is the perfect time to do some hand quilting if you want.
You could also quilt some straight lines with your sewing machine, or machine quilt the entire pillowcase top.
This is how I hand quilted this top, some 'straightish' lines and just one line of stitching around the paper lantern.
7> To make the back of the pillow, place one of the 13"x 17" fabric rectangles wrong side up, fold over the long edge ½” twice, press, clip and stitch in place. Repeat this to make the second one. Align the backing pieces, right sides up and raw edges aligned.
The hemmed edges should overlap aprox 6". Trim to 16 1/2 " x 16 1/2" same size as pillowcase top. Clip the backing in place and machine baste ⅛″ from the edge on both sides.
Have I mentioned, I like to recycle fabric? There are soo many beautiful fabrics out there and they do not belong in the garbage. Especially cotton woven fabrics such as shirts, sheets, douvet covers etc.
My husband used to work in the fashion industry as well and still has tons of awesome shirts that are of great quality, so I use them as backings or linings for all sorts of sewing projects. ( here as well)
8> To finish the pillowcase place front and back right sides together and stitch these two together along the outer edges. Cut off the corners as shown in Photo 3 at a 45° angle.
this gives you nice and crisp corners for your pillow.
Turn inside out and VOILA.....
Here it is all done and pretty :-)
What do you think? Especially pretty with the quilted book cover right?
A quilted fabric book cover is not only extremly pretty on your coffe table,
it also comes in very handy if your reading is as 'deep' as mine.
Life is serious enough, so I sometimes enjoy 'easy' literature also called romance novels.
Especially on holidays, or to wind down after a long day.
But obviously not everyone needs to know what I'm reading, right?
Literally no one needs to judge my book by it's cover :-)
So why not sew yourself a fun and easy, adjustable, quilted fabric book cover
with the sunglasses quilt block pattern of mine?
Materials/ fabrics needed:
> the finished sunglasses quilt block ( or any other )
> fabric for the outer book cover (approx. 10"x 20" including quilt block depending on book size)
> fabric for the lining ( approx. 10"x 20" depending on book size)
> fusable light weight batting ( 10"x 20" depending on book size)
> 10" elastic band
> ruler, clips, scissors, thread and sewing machine
I use a 1/4" seam allowance unless noted otherwise.
The size of your fabric depends on the size of your book.
I made my book cover to fit most average size hard cover novels,
which is roughly 5 1/2 "x 8" with a 1" spine. The book cover is adjustable in length.
This is how you calculate the total size of your fabrics and batting needed:
> total length will be:
book front + spine + book back + 2 x 3 1/2" fold + 1/2" seam allowance
> total width (hight or top to bottom) will be:
hight of book + 1" .
The sunglasses quilt block I used is 8"x 8" finished, I added a strip of fabric 2 1/2"
to the right and a piece of fabric 9 1/2" to the left.
I also added a 1" strip of some very cute selvage to the bottom.
The finished piece of outer fabric is 9" x 19 1/2" , same size for lining and batting.
Iron on the fusable batting to the outer book cover fabric then clip the elastic band at about 2" from the back edge of the book (if your size is different then this one) or 6" from the outer edge ( the short side of the fabric).
I did some hand stitching around my glasses, you could also quilt the outer fabric with simple straight line quilting, or what ever quilting you prefer.
Now place outer fabric and lining, right sides together and clip or pin
( I prefer clips) in place.
Stitch all the way around and leave a 4" opening at the side (the one that will be folded into the book's back) for turning.
Cut off the edges for nicer corners.
Turn the book cover through the opening on the side, and close the opening,
by folding the seam allowance inside and stitching the opening close with a 1/8" seam from edge.
Fold in the front pocket 3" - 3 1/2" and stitch top and bottom with 1/8" seam.
Fold the back pocket under the elastic.
And well done your adjustable, quilted book cover is finished.
This quilted book cover will be a wonderful addition if you're gifting a book
or will work just as well for a diary or note book.
Any other ideas? Let me know.
I cant wait to see what you guys come up with. Share your creations on social media and use #joejuneandmae so I can cheer your makes.
What is fussy cutting patchwork and how to use it in Foundation Paper Piecing, English Paper Picing or quilting in general?
I have been quilting for a long time, and I remeber the days when I was cutting fabric for a quilt and was giddy with joy when the pattern of the fabric ended up centered in the shape I was cutting.
Little did I know back then, that this was actually 'a thing'.
It's not only a thing, it also has a name........
It's called FUSSY CUTTING.
As I went on, on my quilting journey I noticed that some people were really 'lucky' and got their print centered all the time.... really lucky indeed.
I have to confess till then, I was still trying to use up as little fabric as possible and it didn't even occur to me, that someone would deliberatly just cut an image out of a piece of fabric.
So there is was, FUSSY CUTTING .
A whole new world opened up to me.
Fussy cutting is when you cut your fabric to showcase a specific area of a print rather then cutting random pieces.
There are different reasons for fussy cutting depending on your project or quilting technique.
You use fussy cutting to:
1. Feature a particular part of a print
2. Use a specific part of a print in your quilt pattern to enhance the pattern.
These reasons also determine the techniques and tools you use.
So lets start with featuring a particular part of a print:
1. This method is usually used with English paper piecing, but also with squares, triangles or other geometrical shapes.
You can use acrylic templates to cut your shapes or make your own templates out of cardboard.
The advantage of acrylic templates is, they're easy, reusable, see through and include a 1/4" seam allowance.
If you make your own template, which is absolutly fine, draw your shape on cardbord and add 1/4" seam allowance, cut out the desired shape and you're left with the seam allowance 'frame' , which you then use to cut your fabric along the outside line.
Either way, place your template on your particular part of your print and cut along the outside lines with your rotary cutter or fabric scissors. I prefer a rotary cutter, so the fabric can stay put on my cutting mat and I don't move the template by accident.
For geometrical shapes its best to use an acrylic ruler, these can be easily placed on top of your print and your design can be centered accordingly.
Make sure you don't forget the seam allowance, trust me it happened to me more than once, that I cut a cute image only to notice afterwards that I had fogotten the seam allowance.
Fussy cutting to enhance your foundation paper piecing pattern:
2. This is a bit more tricky , as you're not only working with a mirrored image, but also with weird angles in the pattern sometimes.
Let's start with the easier part placing a particular part of a print on your foundation paper piecing segment.
This can be done to give an eye more life by using a dotted fabric, or by adding some print detail to an otherwise simpler background, as I did with the seals in the orca pattern.
This is fairly simple if the part of the segment that you wish to place the print on is part 1,
as shown in the photos below.
I always use a fabric glue pen, it just makes your life so much easier.
The dolphin and the orca pattern are featured in my new book. Which can be pre ordered here.
It becomes more challenging if it is any other number of a particular segment and has weird and pointed angles on top of it. But there are a few tricks.
1. First you place your segment wrong side (unprinted ) on wrong side of fabric.
Here I chose the pirates for part B1. I use a fabric glue pen, and glue the segment onto the fabric (glue only B1).
If you're planning on doing this a lot, a light box comes in very handy, but for starters just hold your segment and fabric against a light or your window.
2. Cut out, with aprox 1/4" seam allowance, around the perimeter of B1. You can use a ruler to do this and a rotary cutter, I usually just use fabric scissors and eye ball it.
(I trim the seam allowance after sewing part 2 and 3.)
Then sew part 2 and 3 with your chosen fabric for those parts.
3. Trim the seam allowance. I am using here the add-a-quarter-ruler, since I want this particular seam allowance to be super accurate.
4. Now place the segment part B4 (wrong side of paper on wrong side of fabric) over your fabric folding back the seam allowance of B3 and glue in place. ( just glue B4, with just a little bit of glue, you'll remove it later)
5. Cut out roughly and mark with water soluble pen, where fabrics should align.
6. Then trim along the raw edge of B3. Use a ruler and rotary cutter you want this to be accurate.
7. Place your pattern segment printed side down and flip the clued(yes un-glue!) fabric backwards. Right sides together with the previous fabric. Align raw edges and he marked lines. Then sew along the line between B3 and B4.
8. Fold the fabric over, an its exactly where you want it to be .
Finish this segment and then all the other segments, assemble your quilt block and
voila your little happy boat isn't just a happy boat, it actually tells a story.
Fussy cutting in foundation paper piecing takes for some practice but it is extremly rewarding and turns a simple quilt block into a stunning make.
You find all the boat patterns including the little happy boat here.
Is this something you guys would want to try?
Or do you have other techniques for fussy cutting?
I'm really curious so cant wait to hear from you all.
Did this happen to you before?
A stunning and cute quilt block catches your attention, you read the description,
and it says it's paper pieced, so you're like......
OH NO, I cant do that!
But I can assure you ( Obama style ) YES YOU CAN!
I've been there, and trust me confusion took over me and I thought to myself :
What do they mean, it's done on the reverse side? And how do I place the paper?
And why this and what that?
BUT first things first:
You want to master paper piecing once and for all?
You dont want to miss out on all those stunning quilt blocks that are paper pieced?
Then read this blog post slowly, with you pattern at hand.
You can also download this free pattern here to start practicing.
Or if you like this star pattern , then grab it here.
First and foremost, take your time to practice now and you'll be good to go for ever.
1. The pattern
the pattern usually consists of
a numbered overview, with letters and numbers on it.
a colored overview ( so you have some inspiration)
a blank overview ( this is for you to color yourself)
and your pattern segments, again lettered and numbered,
Each segment features only one letter, but has several numbers, this is the sequence of your sewing.
Think of your pattern as a puzzle, each segment is one piece of your puzzle.
2. A few simple tips:
Place the numbered overview in front of you.
Cut out the pattern segments, along the dotted lines ( this is the seam allowance).
Place the segments beside your pattern acording to the numbered overview.
This is pretty obvious with the star pattern,
but it becomes really important and comes in super handy with more complex patterns.
3. Reverse side or mirrored image:
As I mentioned before, foundation paper piecing is done on the reverse side of your paper.
This means your pattern is your sewing aid only.
Not as with 'normal' patterns, where you cut the fabric according to the pattern.
I think this is the most important part about paper piecing, and can't be emphasised enough.
NOTE: The paper is just your sewing aid .
The paper is your base where you sew on, the lines of the pattern are your sewing lines. The block will emerge on the unprinted side of the pattern. And will therefore be a mirrored image of the numbered overview.
> numbered overview > finished block
4. Sart sewing
It doesn't matter which segment you sew first, you want to sew them all anyways,
so start wherever you want.
I will start with segment A here, just because I like starting from the right today :-)
> set your sewing machine to 1.5 stitches /cm or 16-18 stitches/inch this will make sure
the stitces perforate the paper nicely, but are not too close, so they don’t rip the paper.
This will also make it easyer to remove the paper after you finish sewing your block.
> Turn the first segment over so the wrong side (unprinted side) is facing you. Place the
piece of fabric for section 1 right side up, onto the paper, making sure there’s
¼ to ½ inch of fabric around the perimeter of section 1.
Be generous in the beginning; once you are familiar with foundation paper piecing,
you can cut your fabrics a bit smaller.
> Pin or glue this fabric in place. I prefer fabric glue. Everything stays nicely in place.
> Turn the pattern segment over so the printed side is facing you. Fold the pattern on
the line between section 1 and 2. ( I do this using a postcard, this gives you a
nice straight and crisp fold)
> Trim fabric 1 to a ¼” seam allowance using an acrylic ruler and rotary cutter.
There is a specilty ruler for this, it's called ADD-A-Quarter-Ruler , which has a 1/4" lip and
gives you a perfect 1/4" seam allowance. But any other ruler will work just as fine.
> Choose the fabric for section 2 the same way you did for section 1, making sure the
fabric covers the whole of section 2 and aprox ¼ - ½ ” around the perimeter of
> Place fabric for section 2, right sides together with fabric 1.
Aligning the raw edges of the two fabrics along the fold between section1 and 2.
> Now, stitch along the fold between sections 1 and 2, right on the line. The more precisely
you sew, the easier it will be to align your segments! If the line that’s being sewn starts
or finishes at the ¼-inch seam allowance, extend that line right through the
seam allowance by sewing all the way through it!
> Flip open fabric 2 so the right sides of the fabrics are showing and press with a hot iron
(no steam, as this can distort your fabric and paper ).
Now you choose the fabric for section 3 the same way you did for the other two.
Folding now the pattern at the line between section 2 and 3 and so on.
You then sew each section the same way. Adding the fabrics in numerical order, as they appear on each segment.
> When you're done sewing the segments, cut excess fabric along the dotted line.
> Place the trimmed segments as they are on the numbered overview. This just
makes your life so much easier when sewing the segments together.
> Now sew the segments together according to the assembly instructions in the pattern.
> After sewing two segments together, remove the paper only from the seam allowance
and press the seams open with hot iron (no steam) as flat as possible. (This is where
the tailors clapper comes in very handy , see blog post about clapper here. ) This helps
reduce bulk, especially when there are several layers of fabric. It also helps keep
your overall size accurate.
before tailors clapper after tailors clapper
> After piecing all the segments, remove the remaining paper and use the iron to press
your finished block.
And that's it .................. ALL DONE.
You can also watch a tutorial video here.
What do you think? Doable, right?
You will be a paper piecing STAR in no time.
How to quickly sew a zippered pouch with flat bottom?
And a beautiful way to use the lips and/ or moustache quilt block pattern
from my face mask ....... once you're masked out, like me :-)
One can NOT have to many zippered pouches, it's like shoes... you can never ever have too many, right?
Zippered pouches are super easy to make and you can use them for anything and everything literally all the time.
I'll show you how quick and easy it is, to make one of these beauties using my lips quilt block pattern from the lips mask pattern. This pattern is kind of made for a pouch, because it has the perfect size.
Fabric requirements and materials needed:
- lips quilt block finished 9.5" x 7.5"
- fabric for the back 9.5" x 7.5"
- 2x strips of solid fabric 2.5" x 9.5"
- lining fabric 2 x 9.5" x 9.5"
- medium weight fusable interfacing 2 x 9.5"x 9.5"
- 9 " zipper ( if your zipper is too long, check ou this post on how to quickly shorten a zipper )
- clips or pins
- scissors or rotay cutter
- ruler, thread and sewing machine.
DIY ZIPPER POUCH with foundation paper piecing detail:
This completed zipper pouch measures approx. 8" at the top, 7" at the bottom and is about 3" wide at the bottom. This is a perfect size bag for make up, or sewing notions and would easily fit in you handbag .
1. Sew the lips quilt block according to the pattern. It should mesure 9.5" x 7.5" when finished.
2. Cut your back fabric , lining fabric and fabric strips according to the mesurements given.
3. Stich the solid fabric strips to the bottom of the quilt block and to the bottom of your back fabric.
4. Iron on the fusable interfacing to your front and back panel.
5. Cut out 1.5"x 1.5" corners at the bottom of your outside panels and your lining.
This will give you your bottom corners of the pouch.
6. Fold the corners so the edges are facing each other and stitch along the 1.5" edge.
This creates a boxed corner. Sew all 8 corners like that.
7. Attach the zipper to the front panel right side of front panel facing you and right side of zipper facing down.
Sew the zipper first to the front panel and then to the back, again right side of zipper against the right side of the fabric.
8. Place the lining right sides together on top of outside panel and sew along top edge.
Repeat for the back.
9. Optional: Stitch a top seam along the zipper from the outside,
10. UNDO THE ZIPPER ! This is important for turning the pouch later :-)
And stitch all the way around the pouch , except a 6" turning gap along the bottom of the lining using a 1/4" seam allowance.
11. Turn the bag right side out. Fold the edges of your turning gap in and stitch to close.
12. Fold lining inside and..... TADAHHH :-)
What do you think?
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