Category Archives: free pattern

Embroidered spare toilet roll holder tutorial

Materials

  • 2 fabric rectangles: 4 1/2 x 18 inches each for the roll basket
  • 2 strips of fabric: 8 1/2 x 1 1/4 each to hang the basket
  • Stranded cotton to match fabric colours

Marking the fabric before cutting

Get your outside fabric and draw the rectangle on it with a lead pencil.

Do not cut the fabric yet though you could cut the inside fabric as it won’t be embroidered.

Choose matching colours with high contrast.

Embroider some elements in a symmetrical manner or as you see it fit. Both ways work very well. You can see an example of random embroidery on a fabric print in my eye mask tutorial. This time I chose to embroider around the patterns in a systematic way.

I recommend you choose thread that has enough colour contrast or the embroidery will not show through like in this case. Both photos, above and below have some embroidery in light grey but it is hard to see because the colour is very similar to the fabric’s grey.

Once the embroidery is done, cut the rectangles along the marked lines.

You can cut the strips 2 strips of fabric, 8 1/2 x 1 1/4 each, which will be used to hang the basket. Fold the strips in half and then fold each side to the middle again and iron as per picture below.

Top stitch the strips very close to the edge.

Now pin the strips on the edge of one rectangle as per photo leaving 1/4 inch allowance on each side.

Place both rectangles together with the strips in the middle.

Sew around three sides of the rectangle, including the side where we pinned the strips.

Use the open side to turn piece inside out.

Iron well. Place the end of each strip and pin inside the open side of the rectangle. Fold each side in about 1/4 inch to make an internal seam.

Top stitch all around the rectangle.

Now pin the narrow sides together as per photo.

Sew together.

The sparte toilet roll is finished!

Frontal view.

Detail of holder.

Expandable tote bag tutorial

This bag was designed to accommodate quite a few items on the way back from the library.

Materials

  • 12 charm squares or 5 inch squares (6 for each side of the bag)
  • Scrap fabric for the top of the bag
  • Scrap fabric for  lace, sides and handle embellishments
  • Scrap fabric for  handles
  • Lining fabric
  • Medium weight one sided fusible interfacing
  • Batting

Instructions

Body of bag

Place the charm squares on 2 rows per panel.

Sew both panels as per picture below. You will end up with 2 rectangles measuring 9 1/2 x 14 inches each.

Cut a rectangle for the top of the bag measuring 14 x 5 1/2 inches.

The side panels measure about 14 1/2 x 14 inches after stitching.

Cut a piece of fusible interfacing 14 1/2 x 14 inches and fuse to the wrong side of the panel.

Expandable sides

Cut 2 pieces of fabric with the following measurements:

  • Top: 6 inches
  • Base: 2 inches
  • Side: 14 1/2 inches

The resulting shape is an isosceles trapezoid with the top 2 inches wide and the bottom 6 inches wide.

Pin and stitch each piece to one of the panels as per picture below. Then iron flat.

Tabs

Cut one 5 inch charm square in 4 strips like below.

Fold in half and iron, then fold each side in and iron again.

Top stitch each strip, make a tube with it and pin to the bag.

Centre the tabs as per picture.

Stitch to the bag at the top and bottom of the tab. Do 3 passes with the machine using a tight zigzag stitch.

Batting

Batting will only be added to the side panels.

Cut 2 14 x 14 1/2 inches rectangles and pin to the side panels.

Stitch along the seams of the charm squares to secure the batting.

Trim off excess batting when finished.

Stitch along the expandable sides seam as well.

Now place both sides of the bag right sides together and stitch along the sides.

Then fold the bag as per picture and stitch along the bottom.

When finished, fold the bag as per picture and stitch about one inch in the batting as per picture.

Cut the corner off.

For a better crisper finish, top stitch along the seams where the expandable side and the side panels meet.

This is what the expandable panel looks like after topstitching.

Lace/belt

The finished size of each belt is 2 in x 29 in.

Cut 2 strips of fabric  measuring 4 1/2 x 30 inches. Fold in half and stitch around leaving a 1/4 seam allowance. Leave a 2 to 3 inch opening on the side to turn belt inside out.  Stitch the endings at an angle as per picture.

Turn belt inside out after stitching and close the opening. Iron flat.

Put the belt through the tabs as per picture.

Tie the sides.

Lining

Use each side of the bag to cut the lining. Place the sides on the lining fabric and cut.

Then sew both sides together leaving an opening at the bottom of the lining to turn bag inside out. For the lining leave 1/2 inch allowance instead so that the lining is slightly smaller than the bag.

To make the corners do as you did with the bag earlier. Stitch along the corner.

Trim off.

Place the lining over the outside bag as in the photo and pin.

Stitch along the top of the bag. The opening at the bottom of the lining is where we will be turning the bag around.

Turn bag inside out.

Top stick along the top of the bag.

Close the lining opening.

We are now ready to add the handles.

Handles

Cut 2 strips of fabric measuring 5 in x 22 1/2 in.

Cut 2 strips of interfacing measuring 4 1/2 in x 22 in.

Iron the interfacing to the wrong side of the fabric.

Fold strip in half as per picture and draw a half circle.

Stitch around the circle and the rest of the strip leaving a 1/4 inch seam allowance. Leave a 2 to 3 inch opening to turn handle inside out.

When turned, iron flat.

Top stitch for a crisper finish.

The handles are ready. They are quite wide because the bag is designed to carry a bit of weight.

Handle embellishment

Cut a rectangle 5 1/2 in x 1 3/4 in. Fold in half, then fold sides in and iron.

Using a needle, stitch at regular intervals making a frill as per picture.

Pull from both sides of the thread to obtain the desired length.

Pin to the end of each handle.

Baste in place.

Topstitch to secure frill to handle.

Then place the handle 2 inches in from the side of the bag.

Align the top of the bag with the end of the round part of the the handle as per picture below.

Sew handles in place.

The handle is sewn on the edge of the handles and then 1/4 inch in as well for strength.

The bag is finished.

Detail of bag

The bag is very roomy. The size can be adjusted by loosening or tightening the belts.

If you make this bag, please upload a photo to my Flickr group or Instagram and tag me with @teresadownunder.

www.flickr.com

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Putting the improv / free form quilt blocks together


Time to put all blocks together with some sashing and a border.

Block construction

Adding sashing

I made 4 strips of sashing, larger than required and then trimmed each strip as I added the sashing.

Making the sashing

Sashing is made of 2 inch cream strips with some touches of colour.

Place the cream strip below the colour strip and make a cut like below.

Pin well together and stitch.

Then place the cream strip on top of the colour strip and cut along the line.

Now put both coloured and cream strips together.

Pin well.

Stitch and iron flat.

Now do the same with another colour.

Cut together to make sure that cutting lines match.

The curvier the edge the more pins you will need to ensure the seam lies flat when stitched.

Iron the sashing well before sewing to the blocks.

Add sashing to blocks.

Pin one strip to the top of one block and stitch.

Trim excess off.

Stitch sashing to the next block.

Continue adding strips and trimming.

Border

The border is 3 1/2 inches wide. Cut 5 x 4 inch squares and make a cut across each of them.

Cut now a narrow strip in a coloured fabric by placing the piece of fabric as per picture below.

Cut along each line on the sides.

Do the same for all squares.

Pin and stitch together.

Iron flat.

Trim to 3 1/2 inches.

Place the squares around the border and sew to strips of fabric 3 1/2 wide.

Stitch the border to the assembled blocks.

Make a quilt sandwich. I used calico for the backing and cotton batting.

Pin all three layers together.

Quilt the sandwich. I stipple quilted it.

Mount on canvas

My canvas is 90 x 70 cm (about 35.4 in x 27.5 in) and as you can see in the photo, the quilt is quite a bit larger so it wraps really well around the frame. Unfortunately some of the border stripes can’t be seen. Too late for me but you could make sure that in your border you add the little stripes closer to the blocks so they show.

After carefully placing the quilt over the canvas making sure it is centred (my quilt wasn’t perfectly square so on some areas there is more border showing than in others), staple the quilt well all around the frame.

Start stapling on opposite sides first.

Then staple in between the existing staples.

And then each corner.

Done!

I was going to add some fabric border around the frame but I’m undecided.

And now that it is finished, I am not sure it will work well as a bed head.

Improv / free form quilt blocks series – block 6 – tutorial

This  is the sixth and last block. It is constructed in the same way as my first free form mini quilt.

See

The block is constructed like a log cabin block.

Cut the strips of fabric with a pair of scissors or with a rotary cutter without using a ruler. Start with a small rectangle for the centre. Use strips made of different colours to build the block around the centre. The strips can be one single colour or the strip can be made of different colours joined together.

Keep adding strips of fabric until your block can be squared to 10 inches.

The sides of the block may get very wavy as you keep sewing. To straighten a wavy strip, you need to place the side of the block on top of the new strip of fabric, pin it, and cut around the edge of the block on the fabric below (see picture).You will end up with a wavy strip of fabric as per picture below.

To add the wavy strip to the side of the block, pin it in place matching the inside and outside waves really well. It can be tricky to start.

When you’re done with the block, square it to 10 1/2 inches.

So we have now a set of 6 blocks. Next time we will add the sashing and a border ready to mount on canvas.

Make some St Valentin’s craft today!

3 easy projects to do in one day!

  1. Scrappy heart potholder tutorial
  2. Love is the answer… hot water bottle cozy tutorial
  3. Heart pincushion tutorial