Pouch and Tote Bag – Free Pattern

Pouch and tote bag

Pouch and tote bag

This pouch and tote bag is something that I have wanted to make for a long time.  It seemed such a simple idea – but it took me about three or four prototypes before I was happy with the measurements.  Anyway, the idea is that the tote bag is attached along the base to a zipped pouch.  The tote bag can be folded up and tucked inside the pouch so it takes up no room at all in your handbag, but is always there if you need it.

I have made the pouch in cotton canvas for extra strength and the tote bag in poplin to reduce bulk.  You can buy the kit for two of the bags at this week’s special offer.

Cutting requirements for the pouch and tote bag

Pouch:  two rectangles 4″ by 7″, one rectangle 12.1/2″ by 3.1/2″, one 18″ open ended zip (the sort where the two sides of the zip can be separated from each other.

Tote bag:  two 12″ squares and two 2.1/2″ strips cut across the width of fabric in blue.  In yellow you will need three 12″ by 4″ rectangles and one 2″ strip approximately 30″ long.




Curve the corners

Curve the corners

Make the pouch

Using a plate or something similar, mark a curve on each corner of the canvas rectangles and cut the corners along the curves.  Having curves rather than straight edged corners makes it more easy to attach the zip.

Pin the rectangle to the zip

Pin the rectangle to the zip

Start off with the zip intact just to make sure that you have everything the right way round.  Place the zip right side down and one of the rectangles on it also with right side down – so the right side of the fabric lies against the wrong side of the zip.

Pin the zip to the rectangle

Pin the zip to the rectangle

Pin the zip all round the rectangle.  After the first pin or two you can separate the parts of the zip to make the pinning easier.  You need to ease the zip around the curves in the fabric.

Repeat with the second side of the zip on the second rectangle.  Again you want the fabric and the zip both right side down.

Connect the two sides of the zip up again just to make sure that the two sides of the pouch match up.  Then baste all round each rectangle.

Zigzag with black thread

Zigzag with black thread

Finally sew the zip and fabric together.  I used a black thread and a small zigzag stitch – about 2 both for width and stitch length on my machine.

You can now put the two sections of pouch aside while you make the next section.

Make the tote bag straps

Make the tote bag straps

Make the tote bag straps

Sew together two 2.1/2″ strips of blue fabric along the length 1/4″ from each edge with right sides together.

Top stitch the straps

Top stitch the straps

Cut in half and then turn the individual straps right side out.  Press and then sew a seam 1/4″ from each edge to hold the straps in place.

Layout for tote bag body

Layout for tote bag body

Make the tote bag body

I’ve used yellow for the gussets on this bag in the hope that it will be easier for you to see what I’m doing.  I’ve used a slightly different technique to make the tote bag so that I can keep fabric bulk to a minimum.

Sew the sections together

Sew the sections together

Place a yellow strip to the right of one of the blue squares with a yellow strip across the bottom  Place a yellow strip to the left of the second blue square.  Sew the two side gussets to the blue squares.

The top section will be the front of the bag, the horizontal yellow strip will be the base of the bag and the bottom section will form the back of the bag.  Sew the two blue squares to the horizontal gusset.

The back panel will be folded up to make the bag.  I made the mistake here of placing both squares right way up.  In fact I should have placed the bottom square upside down so that it would be right side up on the finished bag.  Obviously this only applies if your fabric is directional.

Join the top to the base gusset

Join the top to the base gusset

Place the corners of the side gussets to the corners of the horizontal gusset as shown in the photo.

Join the bottom to the base gusset

Join the bottom to the base gusset

This joins the two side gussets to the base gusset.

If you are confident enough, you could then pivot and sew up the side seams but I am showing this as a separate step for clarity.

Sew the side seams

Sew the side seams

Fold the back section up so that it is right sides together with the front section.  Sew the two side seams, taking care at the bottom that you don’t include extra fabric in the stitching.

Pin the straps in place

Pin the straps in place

Complete the tote bag

Place a pin half way across the blue square.  You can then use this to make sure that your straps are the same distance from the middle.  Pin the straps in place.

Pin the facing in place

Pin the facing in place

Use the 2″ strip of yellow fabric for the facing.  With right sides together, pin it around the top of the tote bag, covering the straps.

Sew all round the top, securing the straps, facing and tote bag together.

Flip the facing to the inside

Flip the facing to the inside

Flip the facing to the inside.  Sew a line of top stitching around the bag to hold everything together.  Turn under a small hem on the bottom of the facing and sew it to the inside of the bag.

Pin the pouch lining to the tote bag

Pin the pouch lining to the tote bag

Join the pouch lining and tote bag

Pin the pouch lining to the base of the tote bag, right sides together.  I haven’t sewn them together across the entire length because I didn’t want to sew across the seam. Instead I have sewn these sections together by means of a square of stitching at each end.

Sew a square at each end

Sew a square at each end

The weight of your shopping will be on the base of the bag, not the pouch or its lining, so there’s no need to worry about the stitching not going the whole way across.  In the photo you can see roughly where I put a square of stitching.

Join the two pouch sections

Join the two pouch sections

Join the pouch lining and the pouch

Final steps now!  Zip up the pouch and mark a point where you can sew the two pouch sections together.  You need to have the zip done up to be sure that you get two points that lie next to each other.  Put a couple of stitches in to hold the two sections together.

Lay the pouch lining (with tote bag attached) on top of the pouch and pin in place.  Turn under a small hem and sew the lining to the pouch.  Here again I have not sewn right the way across because I didn’t want to get in the way of the zip.

Sew the lining to the pouch

Sew the lining to the pouch

I sewed around the short edges at either end and a short way along the length.  Then I just used a running stitch to hold the seam allowance in place across the middle. After that I resumed slipstitching around the other short edge.

The photo shows how the lining doesn’t reach to the edge of the pouch.  If I hadn’t been so short of time I would probably have made a new, larger lining.

You can now fold your tote bag up, tuck it into the pouch and do up the zip.  Ready to use.

Here’s the video:

Kenilworth Castle

Kenilworth Castle

Last week I visited Kenilworth Castle.  This began life as a medieval fortress and then became a castle that Queen Elizabeth I gave to her close friend Robert Dudley, the Earl of Leicester.  He made huge developments to it in his efforts to please the Queen.

Windows

Windows

Although it is mostly ruins now, it has a real presence and you can just imagine it full of Elizabethan figures.  It happened to be the day that here in the UK we had a red sun so that really added to the atmosphere of the place.

My camera is refusing to give up the photos that I took, so I have used the English Heritage images from their site.

Single Strip Cushion Cover – Easiest Cover Ever

Halloween cushion cover

Halloween cushion cover

The single strip cushion cover is easily the most simple and easy cushion/pillow cover you could hope to make.  It’s a great standby if you need to make something really quickly as a gift – or for charity sales.  It has an envelope closing at the back rather than a zip, which of course cuts the time enormously.  I’ve made it here to fit a 16″ cushion pad.

Cutting requirements for single strip cushion cover

One 16″ strip of fabric cut across the width of fabric




Mark the central panel

Mark the central panel

Make the single strip cushion cover

Finish the edges of your strip of fabric – I have used my serger, but you could zigzag or use pinking shears or whatever method you normally use.

Fold the fabric in half to find the midpoint and mark this with pins.  Measure up 8″ and down 8″ from the central line and mark these lines with pins as well.

Turn under a hem on each end

Turn under a hem on each end

Turn under a small hem on both the short edges.

Lay the fabric with right side up and fold the top edge down till the fold matches the top line that you marked with pins.

Fold the edges along the marked lines

Fold the edges along the marked lines

Repeat with the lower edge – fold it up until the fold matches the lowest line that you marked with pins.  Pin carefully down the sides, making sure that you catch all the layers of fabric.

Sew a seam down each side.  That completes the single strip cushion cover!  It really is the most simple method imaginable.

Single strip cushion cover

Single strip cushion cover

Remove the pins and pull the cushion cover right side out through the envelope opening.  Hindsight being a wonderful thing, I realise now that I should have cut the strip shorter before I began.  The trouble was that I was fixated on the idea of using one width of fabric.  In fact, I have ended up with more overlap than I would like, making it more difficult to insert the cushion pad.  If I was making this again, I think that I would cut about 6″ off the length of the fabric.  You can always make a small clutch bag with the bit that you cut off.

Just for fun, I made another single strip cushion cover using a see through Halloween fabric.  It’s a black organza type fabric with silver spiderwebs on it.  Because it’s see through the pink shows through and gives a very attractive cushion.  That’s the one in the photo at the top of the page.

Here’s the video:

Thanks for visiting my blog.

I hope to see you again soon.

Rose

Flamingo Quilt Pattern – Tropicana Fabrics

Flamingo quilt

Flamingo quilt

For the Flamingo quilt pattern I have used fabrics from a lovely new range called Tropicana by Fabric Freedom.  I have based the block on the golden gate quilt block, using twelve 18″ blocks sewn together in four rows of three.

The rectangular quilt measures 62″ by 80″.  I have used 1 yard of pink fabric, 1.1/2 yards of green, 1/2 yard of the flamingo fabric, 3/4 yard of the tropical leaves fabric, with 1 yard of the large leaves and 1.1/4 yards of the small leaves fabric.

All these fabrics are available at a 10″ discount in this week’s special offer, but in addition I am holding a 12% sale this week (details below) to celebrate the new look to my shop.




Completed quilt block

Completed quilt block

Cutting requirements for the flamingo quilt

6.7/8″ squares:  twenty four pink, twenty four large leaves fabric

6.1/2″ squares:  twelve flamingo

6,1.2″ by 2.1/2″ rectangles:  ninety six small leaves, forty eight green – cut sixteen and eight strips across the width of fabric for these

For the borders you will need fifteen 1.1/2″ green strips and eight 2.1/2″ tropical leaves strips, all cut across the width of fabric.

Make half square triangle units

Make half square triangle units

Make the half square triangles

Use the 6.7/8″ squares to make half square triangle units.  Place a pink and a large leaves square with right sides together and mark a line along the diagonal.  Mark a seam along one diagonal and sew a 1/4″ seam either side of the marked line.  Cut along the line to produce two half square triangle units.  These are now 6.1/2″ squares.  Press the seam allowances towards the pink triangle and trim the two corners where fabric sticks out.

Make the stripey blocks

Make the stripey blocks

Make the stripey blocks

Sew together 2.1/2″ strips of green and small leaves fabric for this block.  Use a light fabric on either side with a dark fabric in the middle.

Cut these panels at 6.1/2″ intervals to make 6.1/2″ squares.  You need four of these for each block – forty eight in total.

Flamingo quilt block layout

Flamingo quilt block layout

Make the flamingo quilt block

The block itself is very easy to make – a simple nine patch block.

Place a flamingo block in the middle with a stripey block on each edge of the central square.  Place these so that in two of them the stripes are horizontal while in the other two they are vertical.  This way they form a frame around the central square.

Place a half square triangle unit in each corner of the block, always with the pink on the outside forming the corners of the block.  The pink was chosen to tie in with the flamingoes and has the lovely name of Hot Pink!

Sew the squares together across each row and then sew the rows together.  The blocks measure 18.1/2″ square at this stage and you need to make twelve of them.

Assemble the flamingo quilt

Sew the blocks together in four rows of three.  The blocks are symmetrical so it doesn’t matter which way you sew them unless like me you are using a directional fabric.  I made sure that I kept the flamingoes standing the right way up when I sewed the blocks together.

Three quilt borders

Three quilt borders

Add the quilt borders

I had intended to use one border only.  However I decided that the quilt deserved more of a frame so I ended up with three borders.

I made the first border using 1.1/2″ strips of green:  two lengths of 54.1/2″ for the top and bottom with two lengths of 74.1/2″ for the sides.

For the second border I used 2.1/2″ strips of a new fabric called Tropical Leaves.  I needed two lengths of 56.1/2″ for top and bottom with two lengths of 78.1/2″ for the sides.

Finally for the third border I returned to the 1.1/2″ strips of green – two lengths of 60.1/2″ for the top and bottom with two lengths of 80.1/2″ for the sides.

That completes the Flamingo quilt top.  It is now ready for layering, quilting and binding.  Full details of these steps can be found in the quilting for beginners section.

Here’s the video:

Stepping stones

Stepping stones

I was asked for an image of the stepping stones in my garden so here it is.  Apologies for the shadow of the friend with his spade who helped me – I didn’t notice it till this morning.

They mean that I should be able to walk to my workshop in the winter without my feet sinking in to soggy grass.

New shop design

Now the big news this week is that I have a new home page on my shop.  It was suggested to me by the people who run the shopping cart side of things.  It was terribly stressful when they began work because they were emphasising what I thought were all the wrong things and using photos from the internet rather than my own photos.  Luckily we managed to agree things eventually and I am thrilled with the results – much more professional looking than it used to be.

In order to celebrate the new look  I am holding an autumn sale – 12% off all purchases over £5 throughout the shop.  No coupon code needed – the discount will be applied automatically at the checkout.  You can browse the shop here.

Friendship Chain Quilt Block Pattern

Friendship chain quilt block

Friendship chain quilt block

I’ve made the Friendship Chain quilt block as a 12″ square finished size.  The block makes up easily – pretty in its own right and also useful as an autograph quilt block.  Use the diamonds in the middle of each block for signatures.

The block is made entirely with half square triangles.

Cutting requirements for the friendship chain quilt block

3.7/8″ squares:  eight blue, eight white




Make half square triangles

Make half square triangles

Make the half square triangle units

Use all the squares to make half square triangle units.  Place a blue and a white square right sides together and mark a line along the diagonal.  Sew a 1/4″ seam either side of the marked line and cut along the line.  This produces two half square triangle units which are now 3.1/2″ squares.  Trim the two corners where fabric sticks out.  This helps reduce bulk in the seams.

Outer frame

Outer frame

Make the friendship chain quilt block

I’m showing the outer frame first because I think it’s much clearer to see how this frame is laid out when there’s nothing else to distract your eye.

Place the squares with the blue triangles forming larger triangles.  Lay one pair on the top with the blue triangle pointing up, another at the bottom with the blue triangle pointing down.  Down each side place two pairs of squares with the larger blue triangles pointing in towards the middle.

Friendship chain quilt block layout

Friendship chain quilt block layout

Now add the four squares in the middle.  Place these so that the white triangles form a diamond.

Sew the squares across each row and then sew the rows to each other to complete the block.

Basic quilt

Basic quilt

Friendship Chain quilt ideas

The basic quilt shown here uses sixteen blocks laid out in four rows of four.

This makes a 48″ square quilt (without the borders).

Use red for alternate blocks

Use red for alternate blocks

As an alternative I tried making alternate blocks with red instead of blue.  This definitely makes a more interesting quilt.

Thanks for visiting my blog.

I hope to see you again soon.

Rose

Here’s the video:

 

Wine Tote Bag Pattern – Tutorial

Wine tote bag

Wine tote bag

This wine tote bag has been made following a request, but it is something that I had thought about making before now.  I wanted to create a bag that would carry two bottles of wine without any risk of them clanking together and I think that I have achieved this.  I’ve put a padded ring around each bottle and used a gusset to help the bottles to stay upright.  What a great gift this would make.

The body of the wine tote bag is 14″ high by about 12″ wide.  You can buy the kit at wine bag tote kit.

The fabric required is 3/4 yard each of pink and white with 1/2 yard of green.  Obviously the choice of Love fabric for a wine tote bag is totally coincidental!  I chose to use green for the bottle rings and the facing mainly so that it would be clearer for you to see what I’m doing.




Cutting requirements for the wine tote bag

4.1/2″ by 14.1/2″ rectangles:  four pink, six white

2,1.2″ by 32.1/2″ strips:  two white

12,1.2″ by 14.1/2″ strips:  two pink

For the straps you need to cut a 2.1/2″ strip each of pink and white across the width of fabric.

For the bottle rings you need four 6″ by 13″ rectangles and two 4″ by 11″ wadding pieces.

Cut a strip 1.1/2″ wide by the width of fabric in green for the facing.

Sew the strips together

Sew the strips together

Make the outer section

Sew together four rectangles each of pink and white (4.1/2″ by 14.1/2″) to make a panel eight strips across by 14.1/2″ high.  Add a gusset strip of light fabric (2.1/2″ by 32.1/2″) across the bottom of the panel.

Sew the left and bottom seams

Sew the left and bottom seams

Fold the panel in half and sew down the right hand side and across the bottom to create a pouch.

Pull the fabrics apart

Pull the fabrics apart

In order to create a flat section across the bottom of the bag, pull the two fabrics apart at one bottom corner.

Fold the triangle down

Fold the triangle down

You’ll see a triangle forming in the corner.  Pin the sides of the triangle and fold the triangle down so that it lies flat across the bottom of the bag (the two 2.1/2″ white strips).  Sew the top of the triangle to the seam.

Sew the gusset seam in place

Sew the gusset seam in place

Turn the bag right side out and sew along the seam in the corner formed when you folded the triangle down.  You may find the video helps with this bit if you’ve not made gussets before now.

Outer bag

Outer bag

That completes the outer wine tote bag.

Make the bottle rings

Layer the bottle rings

Layer the bottle rings

I’ve made the rings to enclose the wine bottles in green for clarity.  Lay down two green rectangles with right sides together.  Add a wadding rectangle on top and pin.

Sew down the two 13″ edges to create a tube.  This stitching does not touch the wadding, so leave the pins in while you turn the tube right side out.

In order to hold the three layers together I have quilted a few squiggles just to stop the layers moving against each other.  You can just run a line of stitching along the middle if you prefer – it’ll achieve the same thing.

The wadding is cut smaller than the green rectangles to reduce the bulk in the seams.

Make the lining bag

Layout for the lining bag

Layout for the lining bag

Make the lining bag in a similar fashion, but using larger sections of fabric.  Place a 12.1/2″ pink rectangle and a 4.1/2″ white strip together twice.

Fold the green rectangles in half and pin one to the left hand edge of each pink rectangle.  The raw edges of the green rectangles are to the left with the folded edges to the right.  Sew the pieces together to create a panel 13.1/2″ by 32.1/2″.

Add a 2.1/2″ white strip across the bottom for the gusset.

Create triangles in the bottom corners

Create triangles in the bottom corners

Fold the panel in half and sew down the right hand side and across the bottom to form a pouch as for the outer bag.

Pull the fabrics apart in the bottom corners to make triangles, again as for the outer bag.  Sew these triangles in place.

Sew the strips together

Sew the strips together

Make the straps

With right sides together sew the 2.1/2″ strips of pink and white along the length.  Cut at the half way point to make two straps.  Turn these right side out and press.  Sew a seam 1/4″ in from each edge to strengthen the straps.

Pin the straps in place

Pin the straps in place

Assemble the wine tote bag

With the outer bag right side out and the lining bag wrong side out, push the lining bag inside the outer bag and pin the raw edges together all round the top.

Decide where the central point of the outer bag is and lay one strap so that the two ends are the same distance away from the middle point.  I’ve placed them so that the pink is against the outer bag.  Hold the straps up so that you can see that they aren’t twisted before you pin them in place.  The raw edges are at the top in line with the raw edges of the outer bag.  Repeat on the other side of the bag with the second strap.

Pin the facing

Pin the facing

Add the facing

Beginning at one side of the outer bag, pin the facing strip with right side down all round the top of the bag.  Turn back about 1/2″ at each end of the facing – shown on the left of the photo.  I prefer not to sew the two ends of the facing together at this stage – then I can adjust the end when I sew it.

Sew all round the top of the bag – the lining bag, outer bag, facing and straps can all be sewn together in the one seam.

Sew the facing to the lining

Sew the facing to the lining

Flip the facing to the inside.  Turn under a small hem and sew the facing to the lining bag.

Add the wine

Add the wine

Fill the bag!

Place a bottle of wine within a green ring to protect it and hold it in place.  Add another.

I feel that I’ve achieved what I intended with this wine tote bag pattern and I hope you find it useful – to make as gifts or for charity stalls.

Here’s the video:

Tewkesbury Abbey

Tewkesbury Abbey

Recently I visited a friend in Tewkesbury and obviously had to take a trip to the Abbey.  What a stunning building it is, with a real atmosphere inside.  It’s a former Benedictine Monastery and is the second largest parish church in the country.  According to Wikipedia work was begun on the building in the 12th century.  I’m sure we can rely on Claire to find some facts about the Abbey that I didn’t know!

Tewkesbury Abbey chair challenge

Tewkesbury Abbey chair challenge

They are holding a Chair Challenge for charity at the moment and there were decorated chairs arranged all round the interior – absolutely fascinating.

Thrifty Quilt Block Pattern and Tutorial

Thrifty quilt block

Thrifty quilt block

The Thrifty quilt block is incredibly easy to make, but I rather like the three dimensional effect.  To me it looks as though there is a large pink square behind the brown squares.  It’s a traditional nine patch block that is attributed to the Kansas City Star company.  I’ve made it here as a 12″ square finished size.

Cutting requirements for the thrifty quilt block

2.1/2″ squares:  eight pink, eight white

4.1/2″ squares:  four brown, one pink




Thrifty quilt block layout

Thrifty quilt block layout

Make the thrifty quilt block

Lay the patchwork pieces out in a series of nine patch units and plain squares.

In each corner place a four patch unit made with two pink and two white 2.1/2″ squares.  Make sure that the pink squares always lie along the diagonals, with the white squares in the other positions.

Place a 4.1/2″ square in the middle with a brown square on each edge of the central square.

Sew the 4 patch units first

Sew the 4 patch units first

Sew the small squares together within each four patch unit.

This makes all the squares the same size, so that you now have three rows of three squares.  Sew the squares together across each row and then sew the rows to each other to complete the thrifty quilt block.

Basic quilt idea

Basic quilt idea

Thrifty quilt design suggestions

For the basic quilt idea I have shown sixteen blocks sewn together in four rows of four.  Interestingly, it now looks as though the pink and white squares are the main block, rather than the brown and pink squares.

Alternate quilt design

Alternate quilt design

In order to break the blocks up a bit, I then tried adding a large pinwheel as an alternate block.

I like this design far better – lots more to look at within the quilt.

Thanks for visiting my blog.

I hope to see you again soon.

Rose

Here’s the video:

Broken Star Quilt – Free Pattern

Broken star quilt

Broken star quilt

I’ve used the Broken Star quilt block together with trumpet cornerstones to make this pretty quilt.  It measures 42″ square and I’ve used 1.1/4 yards of white fabric, 1 yard each of yellow and brown together with 1/2 yard of orange.

I’ve used flying geese units within the block – don’t be worried if you haven’t made these before.  They really are very simple to make.

You can buy these fabrics at a discount in this week’s special offer.




Cutting requirements for the broken star quilt

6.7/8″ by 3.7/8″ rectangles:  four white, eight yellow, eight brown

6.1/2″ by 3.1/2″ rectangles:  four white

3.7/8″ squares:  thirty two white, eight orange

6.1/2″ squares:  five white

3.1/2″ squares:  four white

For the borders you will need four 3.1/2″ strips each of orange, yellow and brown together with sixteen 5″ squares each in brown and yellow.

Making flying geese units

Making flying geese units

Make the flying geese units

There are many ways of making flying geese units, but I have chosen the most straightforward way this time.  Place a 6.7/8″ by 3.7/8″ rectangle with right sides up.  Lay a 3.7/8″ square right sides together on one side of the rectangle.  Mark a line along the diagonal of the square and sew along the line.

Cut the fabric 1/4″ away from the seam (in the photo this step is middle left).  Discard the two triangles that you have cut off (brown and orange) and press the remaining part of the square open.

Completed flying geese units

Completed flying geese units

Place another square right sides together on the other side of the rectangle.  Repeat the above step, drawing a line along the diagonal, trimming off excess fabric and pressing the triangle open.  There is a different method of making flying geese here.

Trim the flying geese units

Trim the flying geese units

You need to make eight flying geese units in yellow and white, four in brown and orange, four in white and orange.  Trim them to 6.1/2″ by 3.1/2″, making sure to trim from all four edges.

Broken star quilt block top section

Broken star quilt block top section

Make the broken star quilt block

The top and bottom sections of this block are the same as each other.  These sections consist of two rows.  Make the first row with a 6.1/2″ white square at each end, then a yellow/white flying geese unit.  In the centre place a 6.1/2″ by 3.1/2″ rectangle with an orange/white flying geese unit beneath it.  For the second row place a yellow/white flying geese unit at each end, then a 3.1/2″ white square with a brown/orange flying geese in the middle.  Check the photo to make sure that you have the flying geese units correctly placed.

Sew the white rectangle and orange/white flying geese together first and then sew the patchwork pieces together across the rows.  Sew the two rows to each other.  Make two of these sections – one for the top of the block and the other to be placed upside down for the bottom section.

Middle row

Middle row

To make the middle row place a 6.1/2″ white square at each end and in the middle.  On either side of the central square place a brown/orange and a white/orange flying geese unit.

Sew the pieces together across the row.

Broken star quilt block layout

Broken star quilt block layout

Here you can see the full layout of the broken star quilt block when the three sections of the block have been sewn together.  Now you just need to sew the three sections to each other.

Top border

Top border

Add the quilt border

Sew together 3.1/2″ strips of brown, yellow and orange.  Make four of these and cut them to give strips 24.1/2″ long by 9.1/2″ wide.

Sew one to the top of the broken star block and one to the bottom.

Make the trumpet units

For the cornerstones I am indebted to Jennie Rayment.  She’s a star and if you ever have the chance to take one of her workshops then do grab the opportunity.  She always provides lots of information and lots of laughs.

Fold the square twice

Fold the square twice

I am using four trumpets for each corner unit.  Fold a yellow 5″ square along one diagonal with right sides together.  Then fold the resulting triangle in half to make a smaller triangle.  This has all the raw edges along one side, a fold on the second side and two folded layers on the third side.  This last is the open edge.

Sew the triangle between two squares

Sew the triangle between two squares

Place a yellow triangle along one edge of a brown 5″ square.  The side of the triangle with all raw edges lies along the edge of the square.

Place a second brown square right sides together on top of the first square.  Sew the edge that encloses the triangle to join the two squares with the yellow triangle appearing now between the two squares.

Press the triangle flat to make a pouch. and press.  Make eight of these units.

Lay two units to make a four patch

Lay two units to make a four patch

Complete the corner units

Lay two of the units with the open edges of the yellow triangles furthest from the middle.  Place two more yellow triangles to lie along the top of the bottom unit, meeting in the middle.  Make sure that the open edges of the triangles are at the ends away from the middle.

Completed corner unit

Completed corner unit

Flip the top unit down right sides together with the bottom unit and sew the two units together.

Flatten the triangles and press.

Sew the corner units in place

Sew the corner units in place

Sew one corner unit to each end of the two remaining border strips.  Add one strip to each side of the quilt.

Secure the trumpets

Secure the trumpets

There are several ways of securing the trumpets in place.  I have chosen to add a few stitches to either side of each trumpet just at the corners where my finger is pointing in the photo.

That completes the broken star quilt top.  It is now ready for layering, quilting and binding.  Full details of these steps can be found in the quilting for beginners section.

Here’s the video:

Flower display

Flower display

Last week I visited the Malvern Autumn Show.  The flowers on display were absolutely beautiful.  I was fired with enthusiasm and bought loads of spring bulbs although I could never hope to arrange my flowers as beautifully as the displays at the show.

Superb vegetables

Superb vegetables

They also had a section of giant vegetables which was fun to see.  These leeks must have been several feet long.

Giant marrows

Giant marrows

Although this isn’t a brilliant photo I thought that it would give you an idea of the size of these vegetables when seen beside people.

I had a problem on my way home which made it into a long day.  Birmingham was holding its first 100 mile bike race, Velo Birmingham.  It was a tremendous success (well done Birmingham!) but there were lots and lots of road closures.  My area seemed to be shut off completely and it took me ages to find a way home.

Porto Rico Quilt Block Pattern

Porto Rico quilt block

Porto Rico quilt block

I’ve changed the colours slightly to make my own version of the Porto Rico quilt block.  Red, white and blue blocks are always very cheerful looking and I think that this one is a particularly happy looking block.  The finished size is 16″ square.

Cutting requirements for the porto rico quilt block

2.1/2″ squares:  two white, eight red, ten blue

4.7/8″ squares:  three blue, three red, four white

5.1/4″ squares:  one white




Make four patch units

Make four patch units

Make the four patch units

If I was making several blocks I would use strip piecing for the four patch units, but as I’m only making one block I have just used individual squares.

Place the 2.1/2″ squares in fours with the blue squares diagonally opposite each other.  Sew the squares together in pairs and then sew the pairs to each other.  You need to make five units in blue/red and one unit in blue/white.

Add triangles to the square

Add triangles to the square

Make the central section

Cut the 5.1/4″ white square along both diagonals to make four triangles.  Place one triangle on each edge of the blue/white four patch unit.  Sew the triangles to the top and bottom.  Press these open and then sew the two side triangles in place.

Cut one blue and one red 4.7/8″ square along one diagonal to make two triangles from each square.

Add the blue and red triangles

Add the blue and red triangles

Lay these triangles on the edges of the central section.  With the blue small squares running vertically, lay the two blue triangles on the sides and the two red triangles on the top and bottom.

Trim the middle of the edges

Trim the middle of the edges

As before, sew the top and bottom triangles on first, press open and then sew the side (blue) triangles in place.  This completes the central section of the Porto Rico quilt block.

In this section and in the previous stage where you added white triangles, you need to trim the middle of the edges where the triangle tips stick out.

 

Make half square triangle units

Make half square triangle units

Make half square triangle units

For the outer frame you need half square triangle units.  Use the remaining 4.7/8″ squares.  Place a white square with either a red or a blue square, right sides together.  Mark a line along the diagonal and sew a 1/4″ seam either side of the marked line.  Cut along the line to produce two half square triangle units.  These are now 4.1/2″ squares.  Press the seam allowances towards the red or blue fabric and trim the two corners where fabric sticks out.

Add the half square triangle units

Add the half square triangle units

Complete the layout for the Porto Rico quilt block

Place a red/white and a blue/white half square triangle on each edge of the central square.  Note that I have placed the central section so that the two small blue squares run from bottom left to top right.

On the top the half square triangles are placed red then blue.  On the right hand side they are placed blue then red.   Basically each red triangle on the outer frame should lie against a blue triangle in the inner section.

Add the corner units

Add the corner units

Add the remaining four patch units to form the corners of the block.  place these so that the blue squares always run from bottom left to top right.

Make three rows

Make three rows

Sew the patchwork pieces together across the top row and the bottom row.  For the middle section you will need to sew the half square triangles to each other first and then sew the pieces across the row.

You should end up with three rows.  Sew the rows to each other to complete the Porto Rico quilt block.

Basic quilt design

Basic quilt design

For the basic quilt suggestion I have used nine blocks sewn together in three rows of three.

This makes one of those quilts that look a lot more complicated than they really are.

Using alternate blocks

Using alternate blocks

I tried using an alternate block but didn’t feel that this was terribly interesting.

Using rotated blocks

Using rotated blocks

I know that it doesn’t look much different, but for my third effort I tried rotating alternate blocks.  For some reason that I can’t explain, this one seemed a brighter quilt and I liked it best of the three designs.

Here’s the video:

Thanks for visiting my blog.

I hope to see you again soon.

Rose

Peg Bag Pattern – Free Bag Tutorial

Peg bag pattern

Peg bag pattern

This peg bag pattern is easy to make and I feel that it is another project for those who wish to craft for charity or Christmas stalls.  Or to make for yourself, of course!  It can be used as a peg bag for hanging out your washing or it can be hung from a hanger to hold your socks or tights.  The bag is very approximately 11″ wide by 11″ long.

I’ve seen peg bags with applique washing lines and clothes on them, but I have gone for a much simpler strip of lace around the neckline.  It is intended to look like a small dress – but with a very large neckline so that you can easily pull out pegs or socks from within the bag.  Lace is also a great way of covering imperfections in the neckline!

To buy the kit click on peg bag kit.




Cutting requirements for the peg bag pattern

I have used a 13″ strip cut across the width of fabric for the outer fabric and the lining fabric.  In addition you will need about 28″ of lace.  Cut one of each template in outer fabric and one of each in the lining fabric.  You will also need two strips about 1″ by 9″ in the lining fabric for the tapes.

Click here for the peg bag front template

Click here for the peg bag back template

Pin the template to the fabric

Pin the template to the fabric

Cut the fabric

Lay your strip of fabric out across the length and fold back about 13″ at the end so that you have two layers of fabric for that 13″ stretch.  Pin one of the templates in place with the right hand edge of the template lined up with the fold in the fabric.

Cut one in the outer fabric (the sky fabric) and one in the lining fabric (Liberty Art fabric).

Make a new fold for the 2nd template

Make a new fold for the 2nd template

Fold the strip of fabric over by 13″ again to create a new fold and pin the other template to it, again matching the right hand edge of the template with the fold line.

From the scraps of the lining fabric cut two strips about 1″ by 9″ for the tapes.

Sew the outer front and back together

Sew the outer front and back together

Assemble the peg bag

Place the two sections of outer fabric (back and front of bag) with right sides together.  Sew from the edge of the neckline across the shoulder, down each side, across the bottom and up the other side.  This creates a pouch.

Repeat with the lining fabric but this time sew across the shoulders and down the sides only – do not sew across the bottom of the bag lining.  This creates a tube.

Clip into the seams

Clip into the seams

Clip the corners where the fabric sticks out and clip into the seam on the inward curve of the seams.

This will help to make the bag lie flat when you turn the sections right side out.

Turn the outer bag right side out but leave the lining bag wrong side out.

Make the tape

Make the tape

Sew the two tapes

Lay the strips for the tapes with right side down.  Fold the edges in to the middle along the length.  Then fold the strip in half along the length so that the raw edges are completely concealed.  Sew along the strip to hold in place.  One end of each tape will be concealed within the seams.  I usually tie a simple knot in the other end to prevent fraying.

Pin the tapes in place

Pin the tapes in place

Lay the tapes on the neckline of the lining fabric about 2″ either side of the central point.  One end of each tape will lie on the neckline while the other end lies down the back of the section.

Pull the lining over the outer bag

Pull the lining over the outer bag

Join the two sections of the peg bag pattern

Pull the bag lining down over the top of the outer section, matching the neckline particularly.  The tapes are now lying between the two bag sections.

Sew around the complete neckline so that the two bag sections are joined together.  I found the two shoulder sections a bit fiddly to sew – just where the back and front pieces are joined.  You need to sew these bits slowly so that you can ease the fabric as you go.  Don’t forget that the lace will cover the occasional bump in the fabric – although I’m sure that you are a more careful sewer than I am so you won’t have any bumps!

Pull the lining up

Pull the lining up

Pull the lining bag up over the top of the bag sections so that you can sew the hemline of this section.

Sew the hemline

Sew the hemline

Turn under the two edges to make a small seam along the hemline and sew this in place.

Push the lining back inside the outer bag, pushing into the corners of the sleeves and hemlines to make a good fit.

Topstitch the neckline

Topstitch the neckline

Pin around the neckline and sew a line of topstitching to keep the two layers in place.

Sew lace around the neckline

Sew lace around the neckline

Add the lace

That’s the peg bag pattern complete apart from the embellishment.  For this I have used lace for three reasons:  it looks like clouds on the sky fabric, looks like a pretty collar on the dress shape and hides any imperfections in the neckline.

The lace is sewn on by hand.  I began at the back of the neckline to hide the join of the two ends, although in fact the lace is easy enough to join so the join doesn’t really show up anyway.

Peg bag on the line

Peg bag on the line

You can see the peg bag pattern in action here with the tapes used to tie it to the washing line.

I hope that you’ll find this a useful pattern whether you make it for yourself or for your charity sewing.

Here’s the video:

Portmeirion village

Portmeirion village

Last week I promised you a little more on my Welsh trip.  One of the highlights of the trip was a look around Portmeirion.  This is an extraordinary village built on a peninsular in North Wales.

The architect, Sir Clough Williams-Ellis, wanted to show that beautiful buildings could be built to highlight the natural landscape.  He was heavily influenced by Italian architecture and the result is a gorgeous village – although I wouldn’t want to live there and have to cope with all the hordes of tourists!

The Prisoner

The Prisoner

The village has been used in countless films and TV programmes.  Perhaps the most famous of these was The Prisoner, filmed in the 1960’s.  You can get the feeling of this looking through the bars on to the river.

 

Making Pillowcases – Sewing Projects

Making pillowcases

Making pillowcases

Making pillowcases is incredibly quick and simple to do.  I don’t suppose that this project took me more than an hour.  It’s a great way to make pillowcases to tone in with your bedroom or to give as a gift.  Made in a plain fabric with some embroidery , they make lovely personalised gifts.

Cutting requirements for making pillowcases

I based my measurements on an existing pillowcase and cut two lengths of fabric – one 19″ by 30″ and one 19″ by 36″.  I used two different fabrics so that you could see more clearly what I did.  The pillowcase also now matches the duvet cover that I made a few weeks ago.




Overlocking on the edges

Overlocking on the edges

Making pillowcases

I began by serging round all four edges of each rectangle to seal the edges.  Hindsight being a wonderful thing, I realised afterwards that I should have left this to the end and then I could have serged two edges together.  Basically I’m so thrilled to have my serger working that I serge anything that sits still for long enough.

The story behind this is that I bought my serger machine a few years ago for £100 at Aldi.  I was busy at the time but just felt that it was a really good buy, so I didn’t actually try to use it for some months.  Then I went to a workshop to find out what I could do with the machine.  I found that there was a screw missing on the plate so the feed didn’t work and I basically couldn’t do any sewing with it.  All I really learned was how to thread all the different threads.

Fast forward some considerable time and I managed to find a small screw that would work, fired up the machine and am absolutely thrilled with it.  I wish that I had sorted it out ages ago.

One panel longer than the other

One panel longer than the other

Anyway, back to making pillowcases …  I turned under a small double hem on one short edge of each panel of fabric and sewed the hem in place.  Then I lined up the two rectangles, right sides together, so that the bottom edges of the two were in line with each other.  At the other end, where I had hemmed the edges, the blue rectangle was about 6″ longer than the red one.

Fold the blue rectangle

Fold the blue rectangle

I folded the blue rectangle down so that the fold was in line with the edge of the red rectangle.

Then I sewed the two long edges and the bottom short edge.  This creates a pouch.  Turn the pillowcase right side out and insert a pillow.  The folded blue fabric acts as an envelope so that you can tuck the pillow in to keep it in the pillowcase.

Here’s the video:

Thanks for visiting my blog.

I hope to see you again soon.

Rose

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