Shoulder Bag Pattern – All Machine Sewn

Shoulder bag pattern

Shoulder bag pattern

I like my shoulder bag pattern – it’s going to be really useful when I’m travelling.  The only hand sewing I used was for the fastener.  The shoulder bag has two compartments and a long strap to go on the shoulder or across the body.  The body of the bag measures about 9″ wide by 8″ high and it is fully lined.

Cutting requirements for the shoulder bag pattern

Blue fabric:  one 9″ strip cut across the width of fabric, one 2″ strip cut across the width of fabric

Gold fabric:  one 9″ strip cut across the width of fabric

Wadding:  one rectangle 8″ by 9″, one rectangle 8″ by 20″

Fastener:  I used a pressed stud with a button for decoration.




Mark curves at one end

Mark curves at one end

Layer the fabrics

Lay the two strips of fabric with right sides together.  Make a mark at 8″ intervals along the length of the fabrics.  Mark curves in one end using a plate or something similar.  Cut along the curves.

You should now have one end straight and one end curved.

Lay wadding at the two ends

Lay wadding at the two ends

Lay the first (8″) rectangle of wadding on the straight end of the fabrics – to the right in the photo.  Place the second (20″) rectangle at the curved end.  One end of the larger wadding should be in line with the third 8″ marker while the other end should overlap the curved end.  You will have a 16″ gap with no wadding, only fabric.

Cut a curve in the wadding

Cut a curve in the wadding

Cut a curve on the wadding to match the curve in the fabrics.

Press strip in half along the length

Press strip in half along the length

Make the shoulder bag strap

Fold the 2″ blue strip of fabric along the middle lengthways.  Press.  Fold under a 1/4″ hem along one raw edge and press.

Top stitch on both sides

Top stitch on both sides

Usually I try and fold under the two raw edges at the same time, but I realised that it made much more sense to press one edge under first.  Then it’s much more easy to fold the other edge under to match the one that’s already pressed.

Top stitch 1/4″ in from the edge to hold the layers together.  Top stitch again 1/4″ from the other edge.  This gives extra strength to the strap and also looks neater.

Pin the strap to the gold fabric

Pin the strap to the gold fabric

Add the strap to the shoulder bag

Working at the curved end of the fabrics, fold back the wadding and the blue fabric.  Place one end of the strap on each side, making sure that the strap isn’t twisted.  Lay them so that they are on the fourth 8″ marker, making them about 8″ from the curved end.

Now tuck the rest of the strap down between the blue and gold fabrics (away from the edges) and fold the blue fabric and wadding back into place.

In the past I have always hand sewn the strap in place after I’ve finished the rest of the bag.  It was never very neat, so sewing the strap to the bag during the construction was one of the things that I wanted to achieve.  Luckily it worked!

Sew the layers together

Clip the curve

Clip the curve

Beginning somewhere in the middle, sew a seam about 1/4″ from the edge all round the fabrics.  This secures the three layers together.  Leave a gap of about 6″ so that you can turn the project right side out.  I usually leave this somewhere in the middle where there is no wadding – it makes it more easy to turn the project out.

Trim the seam allowance and clip in towards the stitching around the curve.  This gives a more even curve for the front of the shoulder bag.

Turn the shoulder bag right side out through the gap.  Pin the edges to make sure that the seam lies along the edge and press.  At this stage turn under small hems across the gap.  Top stitch all round the edge of the bag.  This closes the gap so there’s no hand sewing required there – another stage that I could never manage neatly.

Form the first pouch

Form the first pouch

Fold the sections of the shoulder bag pattern

Begin at the straight end of the bag.  Pull the end of the bag up to the second 8″ marker, so that the fold is at the first 8″ marker.  You may need to put pins in to re mark the sections if like me you had made your original marks on the wrong side of the fabric.  This forms the first compartment of the bag.

Make the second compartment

Make the second compartment

Now take the top of that first compartment (both layers) and pull it up to the fourth 8″ marker – about 8″ from the curved end.  This forms the second compartment behind the first one.  The top of the compartments should now be level with the strap.

Sew the sides of the compartments

Embroidery for the sides

Embroidery for the sides

I have always found sewing the sides of the compartments together a pain because there was too much fabric for me to be able to use my machine.  That’s why I designed this shoulder bag pattern so that there is wadding at the front and the back of the bag, but none in the two layers between.  I bet you were wondering why there was that area with no wadding on the fabric!

Because of the reduced thickness, I was able to use my machine to sew the sides together and I used one of the embroidery stitches.  I used a stem stitch which turned out really well.

Button just for show

Button just for show

That’s pretty much it now.  For a fastening I used a pressed stud to secure the front flap of the bag.  Then I added a button on the front of the flap just for show.  I’m sure that you will be far more creative in your embellishments.

Modelling the bag

Modelling the bag

I am ridiculously pleased with my should bag pattern.  It took no time to make because it was all machine sewn.  It’s sturdy and practical.  I think that it will be great for when I’m travelling – I can keep my passport and tickets secure by my body.  Or I could make several and match them to outfits.

Here’s the video:

Sherlock Holmes statue

Sherlock Holmes statue

I was in London last week and I was reminded of how much history there is around every corner.  I needed to walk to Baker Street station and outside there was a lovely big statue of Sherlock Holmes.  All the shops and pubs in the area seemed to be named after him as well.

MCC

MCC

On the way there, just round the corner from Marylebone station, I happened upon a square which was the original home of the Marylebone cricket club – now known as the MCC.  There were various plaques around the square detailing the history.  Both my sons play cricket so it was fascinating to see this cricketing history.

Salem Quilt Block – Free Pattern

Salem quilt block

Salem quilt block

I love the Salem quilt block – such a pretty block and really very easy to make.  It’s classified as a nine patch block and I’ve made it here as an 18″ square finished size.  I was curious as to the history of the block but couldn’t find any information about it.

Cutting requirements for the Salem quilt block

3.7/8″ squares:  four each in blue and white, ten each in purple and white

3.1/2″ squares:  eight white




Make half square triangles

Make half square triangle

Make half square triangles

Use all the 3.7/8″ squares to make half square triangle units.  Place a white square right sides together with either  a blue or a purple square.  Mark a line 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.  Press the seam allowances away from the white and trim the two corners where fabric sticks out.

Corner four patch units

Corner four patch units

Make the Salem quilt block

This block is best constructed as a series of four patch units.

Make the unit for the corners with two white squares and two blue/white half square triangle units.  Sew the squares together in pairs and then sew the pairs together.  This is now a 6.1/2″ square and you need to make four of these.

Central block

Central block

Make the central unit with four purple/white half square triangles.  Place them so that the white triangles are all in the middle, forming a white diamond.

Once again sew the squares together in pairs and then sew the pairs to each other.  You need to make just one of this unit.

Remaining 4 patch unit

Remaining 4 patch unit

The remaining four patch units are also made with four purple/white half square triangles

This time place them so that the top two form a larger white triangle pointing down while the bottom two form a larger purple triangle pointing down.  Make four of this unit.

Salem quilt block layout

Salem quilt block layout

Assemble the Salem quilt block

Lay the units out in three rows of three.  Place blue/white units in each corner, the white diamond in the middle and the other purple/white units on each edge of the central unit.  Note that the purple V shape always points towards the middle.

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

Basic Salem quilt suggestion

Basic Salem quilt suggestion

Quilt suggestions

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

This makes an interesting quilt – I like the way the blue border blends with the blue triangles around the edge.

Alternative quilt suggestion

Alternative quilt suggestion

As an alternative, I reversed the colours in four of the blocks.  This gives a similar quilt but I felt that this was a more interesting design.

Thanks for visiting my blog.

I hope to see you again soon.

Rose

Here’s the video:

Disappearing Five Patch Quilt Pattern

Disappearing five patch quilt

Disappearing five patch quilt

This disappearing five patch quilt is my take on the better known disappearing nine or four patch quilts.  I don’t think that I’ve seen one using a five patch block and I’m quite pleased with the way it has turned out.  The quilt measures about 47″ square and I’ve used 1/2 yard each of dark blue, light blue and white with 3/4 yard of red fabric.

I’ve used nine very simple five patch blocks which are all 15″ square finished size.

Cutting requirements for the disappearing five patch quilt

3.1/2″ squares:  seventy two dark blue, seventy two white, seventy two light blue, nine red

For the border you will need to cut five 3.1/2″ red strips across the width of fabric.




Five patch block layout

Five patch block layout

Make the five patch block

Lay the squares out in five rows of five.  Place a red square in the middle.  Add a dark blue square in each corner and on each edge of the red square.  Place light blue squares to form a diamond shape around the dark blue/red area.  Lay two white squares in the remaining spaces on each edge.

Sew the squares together across each row and then sew the rows to each other.  The block measures 15.1/2″ square at this stage and you need to make nine of them.

Blocks cut along the middle lines

Blocks cut along the middle lines

Cut the blocks

Originally I had planned to cut the blocks along the horizontal and vertical, but the resulting blocks weren’t terribly interesting.

Cut the blocks along both diagonals

Cut the blocks along both diagonals

Instead I decided to cut each block along both diagonal lines to make four triangles from each block.  This gives a much more interesting block to work with.

Cut all the blocks along the diagonals so that you have thirty six triangles to work with.

Place 3 triangles side by side

Place 3 triangles side by side

Lay out the first row

I have used twelve triangles in each row, so there will be three rows altogether.

Begin by placing three triangles side by side with the red triangles at the bottom.

Add triangles beneath and at the ends

Add triangles beneath and at the ends

Now add two triangles beneath them with the red triangles at the top.  In addition, place one triangle at each end with the red triangles pointing towards the middle of the quilt.

Add two more triangles

Add two more triangles

For the next section add two more triangles with the red triangles pointing downwards.  You’ll see that these form squares with the triangles above them.

Complete layout for one row

Complete layout for one row

Finally lay three more triangles across the bottom with the red triangles pointing upwards.  This is the full layout for one row of the disappearing five patch quilt.

Begin sewing the triangles together

Begin sewing the triangles together

Sew the triangles together

The method of sewing these triangles together is not as complicated as it might look at first sight.  Begin by sewing together two triangles to form the bottom left corner.  Also sew together two triangles to form the top right corner of the row.  In the middle, sew together two pairs of triangles to make two diamonds (squares on point).

Sew triangles to the diamonds

Sew triangles to the diamonds

Now sew one triangle to the top left and bottom right of each of the diamonds.

Suddenly you just have four sections to sew together in easy straight lines!

The rectangle now measures approximately 41.1/2″ by 14″.  The reason that I say approximately is because on each triangle there are two edges which are cut on the bias (diagonal) so there is more give in those edges and your row might end up slightly larger or smaller than mine did.

Trim the seam allowances

Trim the seam allowances

The important thing is to match up the small red triangles when you are sewing the big triangles together.

You need to trim the seam allowances where they stick out to reduce bulk in the quilt.

Make three rows and sew them to each other.

Red for the border

Red for the border

Add the border

I’ve used 3.1/2″ strips of red for the border.  You’ll need two lengths of about 41″ for the top and bottom and two lengths of about 47″ for the sides – do measure the sides of your quilt before cutting the border strips.

That completes the disappearing five patch 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:

Barbarians vs New Zealand

Barbarians vs New Zealand

Last week I mentioned that I was going to Twickenham – what an amazing day that was.  If you live outside the UK, you may not know that Twickenham is considered to be the home of English rugby and the stadium has a very special feel to it.

The flags of the Barbarians and of New Zealand were held aloft during the National Anthems.  I did take a video of this part of the proceedings but haven’t been able to work out how to transfer it from my phone to here.

Planes flying over the stadium

Planes flying over the stadium

Twickenham is on the flight path to Heathrow Airport and there were planes over flying us throughout the match – it made me realise just how busy an airport it is.

Try celebrations

Try celebrations

Every time a try was scored we were treated to this fiery display – and there were lots of tries!

Handmade Christmas Table Napkins

Handmade Christmas table napkins

Handmade Christmas table napkins

Handmade Christmas table napkins are lovely to use and they also make great gifts.  I’ve made these ones using 22″ squares of white linen and a star embroidery stitch from my domestic sewing machine.  You could make them using a different stitch for any time of year.  I also have some red linen and I think that I might try them with a white star embroidery round the edges.

Handmade Christmas table napkins – size

For the first napkins that I made I used 18″ squares of fabric but I’ve used 22″ squares this time and I think that I prefer these – a good lap sized napkin!




Clip the corners

Clip the corners

Basic preparation

First step is to clip the corners to reduce bulk.  Try to clip the same amount from each corner.  I use my ruler and cutting mat so that I can check that I’m taking off the same length from each side of the corner.  I’ve clipped a good 1/2″ from each side of the corner.

Pin the straight edges first

Pin the straight edges first

Next begin pinning the edges.   I begin by turning under a double hem on all the straight edges of the square.  I find it easier to turn under the corners when the edges either side are already pinned, but that’s just personal preference.

Fold across the corner

Fold across the corner

Making mitred corners

This is the step that I think makes handmade Christmas table napkins look more professional.  Fold down the clipped edge of the corner – about 1/2″.

Turn under the hem on one side

Turn under the hem on one side

Now continue the double hem from one of the edges, turning one side of the corner under twice.

Pin quickly!

Pin the other side

Pin the other side

Repeat with the hem on the other side of the corner.  You are aiming for a neat join of the two edges forming a diagonal line down the corner.

This may not go quite right the first time – well it doesn’t for me anyway.  It’s worth taking the time to do it a couple of times if necessary.

Embroider the edge

Embroider the edge

Add the embroidery

Now you can add the embroidery.  As these are handmade Christmas table napkins I have chosen the star stitch on my machine.  Obviously you could choose whatever stitch suited you.  You need to use the same thread in the bobbin as on the spool so that the stars will look the same on both sides of the napkin.  I always work on the wrong side both because that’s where the pins are and also it’s more easy to check that you’re catching the hem in your embroidery.

That’s really all there is to it – a lovely simple project either for your own Christmas table or to make as a gift.

Here’s the video:

Thanks for visiting my blog.

I hope to see you again soon.

Rose

Reversible Butchers Apron – Free Pattern

Reversible butchers apron

Reversible butchers apron

I’ve made the reversible buthers apron as two distinct aprons in different colour pairings.  Then I sewed the two sections together.  This meant that I had no hand sewing to do and the neck loop and waist ties were all sewn in at the same time.

I used a straight central section so that I wouldn’t have to worry about matching up the seams from the chevrons on either side.

The butchers apron is 24″ wide and 33″ long.  I have used 3/4 yard each of black and blue with 1/2 yard each of red and white.  You can buy these fabrics at a discount in this week’s special offer.

The reverse

The reverse

Cutting requirements for the butchers apron

Black and blue fabrics:  cut eight 2.1/2″ strips across the width of fabric, three 1.1/2″ strips cut across the width of fabric.

Red and white fabrics:  cut seven 2.1/2″ strips across the width of fabric.




Make panels of three strips

Make panels of three strips

Make the butchers apron front – right side

Sew together 2.1/2″ strips of black and red.  You need to make three panels of black, red, black and two panels of red, black, red.

One length of 35"

One length of 35″

Cut one of the panels into a 35″ length.  This will form the middle of the apron front.

You should now have four panels left – two of each type.  Use one of each type for each side of the apron.  Cut these into 20″ lengths, making eight panels altogether.

Cut a triangle from each end

Cut a triangle from each end

For the right hand side of the butchers apron,  take the top right corner of one panel and fold it down to the bottom edge. Take the bottom left corner of the panel and fold it up to the top edge.

Cut these two triangles off along the fold lines.  Repeat to make four panels – two of each type.

Alternate the strips

Alternate the strips

Lay these down the right hand side of the central strip.  Begin with a black/red/black and alternate the panels down the length so that the black and red strips alternate all the way down.

Sew the panels together and sew the resulting panel to the right hand side of the central strip.

Make the butchers apron left side

Fold triangles for the left side

Fold triangles for the left side

The panels on the left hand side need to be cut to the same sort of shape, but the triangles are folded in a different way.

On the left hand side of the panel, fold the top left corner down to the bottom edge.  On the right hand side, fold the bottom right corner up to the top edge.

Cut along the fold lines as before and repeat with the remaining three panels.  Make up a panel of alternating strips and sew this to the left hand side of the central strip.

Straighten the hemline

Straighten the hemline

Trim the sides of the apron front to straight lines – unless you are a more careful sewer than I am and your apron sides are already straight!

You also need to cut across the bottom to make a straight hemline.  I know that this seems a little wasteful of fabric, but I feel that this is the most simple way to make this apron

Cut across the hemline

Cut across the hemline

I find that the easiest way to trim the hem is to fold the apron front in half along the length and then when you cut across the width you can be sure that the hemline on the two sides will be even.

Use black and blue for the ties

Use black and blue for the ties

Make the ties

For the ties I have used one 1.1/2″ strip each of black and blue so that the ties will look correct no matter which way you wear the apron.

Sew along the length

Sew along the length

Sew a blue and a black strip together down the length.  Fold in half along the seam line.  You now have a strip 1.1/4″ wide which is black one side and blue the other side.  Fold under a 1/4″ hem in both the black and the blue to hide the raw edges and pin.

Topstitch along both sides of the strip.  Repeat with all the strips so that you end up with one for the neck and two for the waist ties.

Decide on the neck loop length

Decide on the neck loop length

I held the black apron against me to judge how long to make the neck loop.  I’ve said 30″ in the video, but that was actually a bit long.  I would probably have obtained a better fit with about 25″.  Measure what size you need for your neck loop – it needs to be short enough to hold the apron in place but long enough to fit easily over your head when you put the apron on.

Make the second apron front

Repeat the entire process with a different pair of colours – I have used blue and white which are perhaps more appropriate for a butchers apron.

Pin the ties in place

Pin the ties in place

Assemble the butchers apron

Lay the black apron with right side up.  Pin the ties in place.

The neck loop is placed either side of the central strip and the waist ties are placed at the corner – where my hand shows in the photo.

Remember to pin the ties with black side down.

Place the blue apron on top

Place the blue apron on top

Place the blue and white apron on top with right side down, matching all the edges and corners.  Pin.

Sew all round the edge of the apron leaving a gap of about 6″ so that you can turn the project right side out.

Leave a gap in the side

Leave a gap in the side

Pull the apron right side out through the gap.  Push all the edges and corners out and pin.  Turn under a small seam and pin to close the gap.

Top stitch all the way round the perimeter of the apron.  Apart from holding all the edges in place, this also closes the gap so that you don’t need to hand sew it.

Me modelling the apron

Me modelling the apron

The only way that I could think of to model the apron for you was to wear it in front of the mirror.

That completes the butchers apron pattern.  I hope that you’ll find it a useful pattern either for yourself or to make as a gift.

Here’s the video:

I seem to have spent another week working non stop – I really must try and get out more!  The photo that I would like to share with you is from when I went to the Safari Park with my daughter.  The baby rhino was absolutely gorgeous – running all over the place making mock charges at blades of grass.

 

Ducks Foot in the Mud Quilt Block Pattern

Ducks foot in the mud quilt block

Ducks foot in the mus quilt block

The name Ducks Foot in the Mud quilt block conjures up lovely images of a duck’s foot (or any foot) going splat in the mud.  I just had to make this one.  I’ve made it here as a rather large 21″ square.

It’s a traditional block, classified as a five patch.

Cutting requirements for the Ducks foot in the mud quilt block

6.1/2″ squares:  four turquoise

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

3.1/2″ squares:  nine white

3.7/8″ squares:  eight dark green, eight white




Make half square triangles

Make half square triangles

Make the half square triangles

Use the 3.7/8″ squares to make half square triangle units.  Place a dark green and a white square with 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 triangles.

Press the seam allowances towards the green and trim the two corners where fabric sticks out.

Make the Ducks foot in the mud quilt block

Ducks foot in the mud quilt block layout

Ducks foot in the mud quilt block layout

I had intended to show you this block in quarters but in fact it’s such a simple layout that I’ll just show the entire layout at once.

Across the top and bottom rows there are white squares in the middle and at each end.  Between these place a pair of half square triangle units.  In each pair the triangles are placed the same way as each other.  I found that the easiest way to get the placement right was to make a butterfly shape around each white corner square.  Then it was easy to check the placement of all the other triangles.

In the second and fourth rows place a pair of half square triangles at each end with a turquoise square inside them.  Place the blue rectangle in the middle vertically.

The middle row contains a white square at each end and in the middle.  Between these place two blue rectangles horizontally.

Rows one, three and five can be sewn together easily.  For rows two and four you’ll need to sew the half square triangles together in pairs first and then sew the patchwork together across the rows.  Finally sew all the rows to each other to complete the Ducks foot in the mud quilt block.

Basic quilt suggestion

Basic quilt suggestion

Ducks foot in the mud quilt suggestions

I’ve made the basic quilt using nine blocks sewn together in three rows of three.  This layout forms lots of lovely shapes that form a grid around the turquoise and blue squares.

Alternate quilt design

Alternate quilt design

As an alternate quilt idea, I have added an alternate block made with 3.1/2″ squares of blue, turquoise and dark green.

I’m rather taken with this design.  I like the diamonds formed by the dark green squares.

Here’s the video:

Thanks for visiting my blog.

I hope to see you again soon.

Rose

Rainbow Medallion Quilt Pattern

Rainbow medallion quilt

Rainbow medallion quilt

The Rainbow Medallion quilt is a big, bright and cheerful rectangular quilt suitable for a double or queen sized bed.  I have used all the colours of the rainbow – Richard Of York Gained Battles In Vain.  I’ve begun with red in the middle, working out to violet on the outside.  The width of the strips also increases from 3″ finished size in the middle to 6″ strips for the violet fabric.

It measures 72″ by 82″ and I have used 1/4 yard each of orange and yellow fabrics, 1/2 yard each of red and green, 3/4 yard of blue, 1 yard of indigo, 1.1/4 yards of violet and 1.3/4 yards of white fabric.  You can buy these fabrics at a discount in this week’s special offer.




Cutting requirements for the rainbow medallion quilt

Red:  one 3.1/2″ square, eighteen 4.1/2″ squares

Orange rectangles:  two 3.1/2″ by 5.1/2″, two 3.1/2″ by 11.1/2″

Yellow rectangles:  two 4.1/2″ by 13.1/2″, two 4.1/2″ by 21.1/2″

Green rectangles:  two 4.1/2″ by 23.1/2″, two 4.1/2″ by 31.1/2″

Blue rectangles:  two 5.1/2″ by 33.1/2″, two 5.1/2″ by 43.1/2″

Indigo:  two 5.1/2″ by 45.1/2″, two 5.1/2″ by 55.1/2″

Violet:  two 6.1/2″ by 57.1/2″, two 6.1/2″ by 69.1/2″

White:  cut twenty three 1.1/2″ strips across the width of fabric, eight 2″ strips across the width of fabric, eighteen 4.1/2″ squares

Central area of the rainbow medallion quilt

Central area of the rainbow medallion quilt

Begin in the middle

Place the 3.1/2″ red square in the middle and sew 1.1/2″ white strips around it:  3.1/2″ above and below the square with 5.1/2″ strips down the sides.

Add the orange frame

Add the orange frame

Next add the orange frame.  Sew the 5.1/2″ rectangles to the top and bottom with the 11.1/2″ rectangles going down the sides.

Add a white frame using 11.1/2″ strips above and below the orange and 13.1/2″ strips down the sides.

Next add the yellow

Next add the yellow

For the yellow frame I have increased the width of strips to 4.1/2″.  Two lengths of 13.1/2″ for the top and bottom, two lengths of 21.1/2″ for the sides.  The white strips are 21.1/2″ and 23.1/2″ long.

The green frame

The green frame

Green comes next – I found a lovely William Morris print for this.  The width of rectangles has remained at 4.1/2″:  two lengths of 23.1/2″ and two lengths of 31.1/2″.   The white strips outside the green are 31.1/2″ and 33.1/2″ long.

Light blue for the next frame

Light blue for the next frame

Outer frames of the rainbow medallion quilt

Blue for battles – I have used a pretty light blue for this frame.  The width of the strips increases to 5.1/2″ for this frame.  You’ll need two lengths of 33.1/2″ for the top and bottom with two lengths of 43.1/2″ for the sides.

The white strips are 43.1/2″ and 45.1/2″ long.

Indigo frame

Indigo frame

Indigo covers quite a wide range of colours, but I have a colour from the same range as the light blue which I think looks like indigo.  The strips widths remain at 5.1/2″ and you need two lengths of 45.1/2″ and two lengths of 55.1/2″.  For the white strips you need two lengths of 55.1/2″ and two lengths of 57.1/2″.

Violet frame

Violet frame

Violet is the last colour of the rainbow.  I have increased the strip width to 6.1/2″ for this frame.  You’ll need two lengths of 57.1/2″ and two lengths of 69.1/2″ in violet.

For the white frame outside the violet I have increased the size slightly to 2″ strips.  You need two lengths of  69.1/2″ and two lengths of 72.1/2″.

I increased the white strip width because I wanted to add 4″  squares along the top and bottom of the quilt.  In order to do this I wanted to make the overall width 72.1/2″.  Then a strip of eighteen squares would fit exactly across the width.  I toyed with the idea of sewing strips of squares all round the quilt, but decided to add them on the top and bottom only so that my quilt would become rectangular rather than square.

Sew red and white strips together

Sew red and white strips together

Add the border

I used strip piecing to make the red and white squares.  Sew together 4.1/2″ strips of red and white and then cut this panel at 4.1/2″ intervals.  This gives you rectangles 8.1/2″ by 4.1/2″ containing one red square and one white square.

Add the border

Add the border

Sew these together side by side to make strips of alternating red and white squares.  You need to make two lengths of eighteen squares (nine pairs of squares).  Sew one strip to the top and one to the bottom of the quilt.

Finally add a 1.1/2″ white strip at the top and one to the bottom.  That completes the rainbow medallion 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:

Holly's dragon

Holly’s dragon

I’m afraid that I’ve been working all week and haven’t got any travels to show you, so instead I thought I’d show you the dragon that I made for my grand daughter’s birthday.  It’s far too big for her, but I hope she’ll like it one day!

I made him from a kit that I bought at the Festival of Quilts and I think he’s gorgeous.

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.

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