Christmas gift ideas: 5 free sewing tutorials

French poetry napkins

This is a quick project that particularly French teachers will enjoy. To complete the project you will need 5 store bought napkins and some stranded cotton for the lettering and drawings.


Embroidered eye mask

A few fabric scraps are enough to make this quick project. Use fabric with a large print for best results.


Felt bookmark

This project is very easy and perfect for a teacher or anyone who enjoys reading. I used felt die cuts and stranded cotton in matching colours.


Folded star pot holder

This potholder is not difficult to make but it is time consuming so if you intend to make one set an afternoon aside to concentrate on it.


Quilted hot water bottle

Fabric scraps and some batting is all you need to make this quick project.

Pointy kitty softie

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I made a third Pointy Kitty. This is my favourite free softie pattern I’ve found online so far. It’s cute and it turns out great every time. Thank you Hillary Lang from Wee Wonderfuls.

This time Pointy Kitty turned out a bit small. I must have added 1/4 inch allowance to the pieces previously but I forgot this time. As warned in the tutorial, turning the cat inside out is difficult though I’d say it’s only the tail that it’s hard. I had no problem with the legs or the ears.

Download free pattern by Wee Wonderfuls.

Tiny foundation piecing pincushions with free template

I am not very experienced with foundation piecing but last time I made some foundation piecing blocks I quite enjoyed the process and discovered a handful of its benefits, one of them being that your blocks look perfect or almost. With that in mind I thought that foundation piecing would also be a good way to make rather small blocks with little fuss and have them look really good.

Having finished my Farmer’s wife quilt sampler recently I thought I would just reduce some nice blocks to about 5 inches square and try them out. So I went to the Yahoo! FWQS group where you can get all the foundation piecing templates for this quilt under Files, got the template for Windmill and Waste not, reduced them to about 5 inch squares and put them into a page for you to download.

For this project you need small fabric scraps big enough to cover each individual piece and have at least 1/4 in around each of them, including the outer edges. For the pincushion use polyfill or batting scraps.

Foundation piecing

I made a foundation piecing tutorial a while ago but I will go through the process again.

Cut your template leaving 1/4 inch around the edges.

Then fold along the printed lines. Use a piece of plastic or thin cardboard to help you.

Now cut the pieces. To waste as little fabric as possible measure each piece on the largest sides as well as the length. You will end up with squares or rectangles. Sometimes like in this case you can cut a square and then use it in both triangles. My squares, pink and orange, were around 3 1/2 inches square. Then I cut both squares on the diagonal.

The process is always the same. Start with your piece number 1.

Place it on the wrong side making sure that you have 1/4 inch seam allowance all around.

Pin the piece.

Now trim the piece. To do that, fold along the line you pressed earlier and then cut leaving 1/4 inch allowance.

Now the stitching starts between piece 1 and 2.

Align both pieces, right sides together, and pin together and to the paper.

Turn paper around and stitch between piece 1 and 2 along the line.

Time to trim piece 2.

Turn over and fold the paper between piece 2 and 3.

Trim leaving 1/4 inch allowance.

Add piece 3 aligning your piece with the previous trimmed piece.

And so on. The process is the same. Trim, add next piece, align, stitch, trim, and so on.

You place on the back of the paper and stitch following the lines on the front.

Once you have both pieces, stitch them together using a 1/4 inch allowance.

And there you have it, a 5 inch block.

Press well.

Pincushion

After making the block what to do with it. I always do something with my samples, be a potholder, a pincushion, even a quilt! At 5 inch square I chose a pincushion design I can donate for a good cause or give as a gift.

Cut the back of the pincushion using the block.

Stitch around all sides leaving a 1 inch opening to turn inside out.

Trim the corners.

Fill the pincushion with polyfill or some batting scraps.

Close the opening using a ladder stitch.

There you have it!

This is the second block on the pattern sheet.