Dolly Book Tour

Hooray!

Today is my stop on Elea Lutz’s Dolly Book Tour and I’m feeling very honoured to be included in helping Elea celebrate her second book.  Elea was the inspiration behind me becoming a blogger (when she reached out for me to join her blog tour to celebrate her Strawberry Biscuit collection a few years ago).  And I am so glad Elea encouraged me to blog because I have had so many wonderful creative opportunities including sewing for this blog tour!

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Dolly BookElea’s first publication with Riley Blake Designs, is perfect if like me you want to recreate those memories of your childhood. Like Elea I had a rag doll that I absolutely loved growing up, and now thanks to her book, my 7 week old niece has one just like the one I had.

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This was actually only second time I had made a soft toy and it is definitely very beginner friendly thanks to Elea’s well written and simple instructions.   PS if you are concerned about stitching the dolly’s face Elea and Penny Rose have got you covered – with fusible felt eyelashes!! In fact you can also buy a Dolly Making Kit which would be the perfect Christmas gift for someone wanting to try doll making!

 

 

I am also incredibly blessed to have my niece due with her second baby so the second
project I choose is Dolly’s Own Mini Quilt.  However as I wanted to make a baby quilt and not a mini quilt I enlarged the measurements slightly.  I made 16 blocks, (increasing from the original 9) and then added a white solid border of 3 1/2 inches wide and then a second floral border also of 3 1/2 inches wide.

 

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I used Elea’s latest collection with Penny Rose Little Dolly for my fabric and hand quilted around each flower and block using Aurifil thread in 12 weight.  I absolutely adore the result and most importantly so does my niece!

 

 

 

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I love and admire Elea and her designs so much and I really encourage you to pop over to her blog to read the inspiration behind her book Dolly.  You can also see the full list of bloggers who have created gorgeous items from the book and although I will be sad to see this tour come to an end, I can not wait to see Nadra’s project!  Nadra will be closing the blog tour this Friday so make sure you visit her blog Ellis and Higgs to see what she has made!

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Happy Dolly Sewing!

Ange

 

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La Conner Blog Tour

I am so excited to launch the blog tour for Jera from Quilting in the Rain latest collection with Lecien Fabric, La Conner.  The 36 print collection was inspired by Jera’s visits to La Conner, Washington, a pretty little town known for its flowers and strawberry farms.

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I adore any opportunity to work with both Jera and Lecien as not only do they create super pretty collections together, they have both been so very supportive of me – including giving me the opportunity to make a La Conner mini quilt for Fall Market!

For the La Conner blog tour I made a strip quilt from a fat quarter bundle.  The pretty country colours and sweet flecks of gold inspired me to make a super soft vintage looking quilt, the kind that is used every day by my girls as they snuggle on the couch.

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To create a similar quilt, cut strips from your La Conner fabric bundle of varying lengths and all 4.5 inches wide. Take two pieces and sew them  wrong side together along the 4.5 inch width and using a 1/4 seam allowance.  Continue adding pieces until you have a strip that is at least 48 inches long and 4.5 inch wide.  Continue making 48 inch length strips until you have the length of the quilt you want (I made 16 x 48 inch length strips).

 

Sew your strips together by laying two strips wrong side together and using a 1/4 seam allowance sew along the 48 inch length.  Continue adding strips until you have sewn all the pieces together.  Straighten the edges of your quilt so it is 45 inches wide and the length you wanted (mine ended up being 60 inches)  Quilt as desired (I quilted using a straight lines using 50 wt Aurifil thread in 2410 along the length of the quilt) add your backing and then bind (I used the red colour way from Lecien Basic Color collection for my binding).  If you are unsure how to bind, Jera has lots of brilliant free tutorials on her blog all about binding.

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Thank you so much for stopping by on the blog tour.  For the next 6 weeks every Monday and Thursday a new project is going to be featured showcasing the versatility of the La Conner collection.  Drop by Jera’s blog to find out more and be inspired by all her beautiful photos and tutorials.

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Happy Stitching!

Ange

bike

 

 

 

 

Fat Quarter Shop Lady of the Lake Quilt Along

Today is the launch of the Fat Quarter Shop Lady of Lake Quilt Along!  The pattern is a part of the Classic and Vintage quilt series.

This quilt pattern is ideal if you want a quick finish featuring classic blocks, as each block finishes at 12 1/2 inches.  And if like me you tend to makes smaller quilts you’ll be happy to know the pattern even comes in Lap size (as well as all the way up to a King size).

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For my first block I have used a combination of Tasha Noel Pixie Noel prints and Kona solids from my stash.  Fat Quarter shop are giving the opportunity to try before you buy as you can download the block pattern for free from their website here.  Then if you want, for only a few dollars more you can purchase the downloadable quilt pattern directly from the Fat Quarter shop.

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If you haven’t participated in a quilt along before I highly recommend it!  You essentially follow a schedule of when to complete your blocks and you can choose to post your pictures on social media so the Fat Quarter Shop and other participants can see all your wonderful work (the Instagram hashtags are #ladyofthelakequilt and #fqsquiltalong.

I find quilt alongs help me stay motivated to finish a project and whether you follow along via Instagram or Facebook you’ll love seeing how different all the blocks can look depending on the fabric that is used.

If you want even more information and/or see exactly how the block is pieced together pop over to the Fat Quarter Shop You Tube Channel!

Happy stitching!

 

 

 

Wonderful Things Blog Tour

Welcome to my stop on the Wonderful Things blog tour, a celebration of the latest fabric collection by Bonnie Christine for Art Gallery fabrics.  And a big welcome if you’ve come over from Jo Marie Design’s blog (oh my gosh her basket and matching hexie coaster were so pretty especially her delicate hand stitching!)

When Bonnie posted on Instagram that she was looking for volunteers for the blog tour I jumped at the chance.  I had already purchased a few prints from the collection and was excited to have the opportunity to help celebrate with Bonnie.

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The collection is a wonderful assortment of colours and prints, including both small and large florals and I especially love the the Words to Live By print that features a range of inspiring quotes framed with florals including the beautiful saying “You are capable of wonderful things”.

For my projects I chose two different styles, while both machined pieced I was inspired to machine quilt one block and hand quilt the other.

Large block

On the machine quilted block, I used a pattern developed by my friend Lisa of Lisa Anns Life blog.  I wanted to feature the Aquarelle Study Tint large florals and thought this pattern was the perfect way to showcase its super sized blooms.  The result ended up being my own personal ode to Summer and with the block measuring at over 16 inches I left the back open so I can use it as a cushion to relax on as I sip lemonade in the sun …just need to wait a few more months for the Australian summer to arrive!

 

 

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For the second block I used a pattern published by the Fat Quarter Shop a few years ago as part of their Snapshots Quilt Along.  I’ve actually had it sitting on my computer for a few years but was waiting for the perfect fabric collection.

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To me Wonderful Things was that collection, with its range of deep pinks featured in the Subtle Journey West print and the bright yet delicate yellow florals of Blooming Brook Sol, while the Words to Live By print was ideal for the cake stand.  I then hand quilted the entire cake using Aurifil 80wt, the thinnest thread I’ve ever seen and perfect for creating icing like ripples in my cake block.

This mini now hangs proudly in my lounge, as a reminder that if we look, we can always find wonderful things even if that thing is tiny wobbly but completely unique hand stitches.

Cake block

I absolutely adore all of Bonnie’s collections and in particular Ive been incredibly inspired by the Wonderful Things collection.  I have also loved seeing all the variations of projects being created as part of the blog tour.  Take a moment to pop over to see Bonnie’s blog for a full list of participants and I’m extremely excited to see the beautiful work of Judi from the Creative Women blog when she publishes her post tomorrow.

Below is Bonnie’s inspiration for the Wonderful Things fabric collection and I think its a perfect way to finish a post celebrating Bonnie and her latest release.  Happy stitching!

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Quilting on the Go Book Tour

Welcome to my stop on the Quilting on the Go book tour!

I was super excited when Sharon Burgess from Lilabelle Lane Creations announced on Instagram she was releasing an English Paper Piecing book with Tuva Publishing because her ability to fussy cut and paper piece is incredible.  So you can only imagine my excitement when she asked me to join the book tour celebrating her book, Quilting on the Go, English Paper Piecing!

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I have been practicing English Paper Piecing for the past two years, and I mean practicing.  There is still so much I have to learn but thanks to the fantastic step by step details written by Sharon I learnt quite a few more things within the first few pages.  I particularly liked the information on fussy cutting patterns to create your own new pattern.  I am now looking at fabric prints in a whole new fussy cut light.

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The hardest part of any blog tour is choosing which pattern to showcase.  Sharon’s book features so many gorgeous  blocks as well as projects to use them for.  I choose to make a mini quilt using the block from the Summer Star table runner.

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With a nod to Sharon’s ability to use and combine colours from all parts of the colour wheel, I decided to move away from my usual pink palette and instead used blues and greens as my main colours.

I hand stitched the paper pieces together using Aurifil thread in 80wt, it is such a fine thread your stitches practically disappear.  I then added hand quilting using various 12wt Aurifil threads including a Green Lana Wool.  It was the first time I had used the woollen Aurifil thread and I loved the texture it added to my block.

 

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I absolutely adore the final result and will definitely be making a few more Summer Star blocks to decorate my family room wall.

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Thank you so much for stopping by my blog and make sure you visit Sharon’s blog as she is doing a weekly recap of all the projects being completed.  Its a great way to see the various projects in the book while also having a look around Sharon’s inspiring blog.

Happy stitching
Ange

 

 

 

Made for Baby Blog Tour

Ayda Algin recently sent me a copy of her brilliant new book Made for Baby, Cute Sewn Gifts which she has published with Tuva Publishing. For a long time I have been a huge fan of the projects that Ayda features on her Instagram account and blog so I was so excited when she mentioned she was releasing her first book!

Ayda’s book features 22 projects from pouches in all shapes and sizes, an adorable wall organiser to gorgeous appliqued quilts. And while the book is designed for those wanting to make baby gifts, so many of the projects work for all ages and stages.  In fact one of the first items I made was a pretty drawstring bag  I made as a birthday gift for a little girl.

 

 

One of the first things I noticed about the book is the strong influence Ayda’s background as an engineer has had on the way she has prepared the patterns. Each project is paired with an intricate amount of measurement details, which means that even if you have never sewn fabric boxes or a stuffed toy  you will feel very confident cutting your pieces (and if you need any extra assistance the first chapter also features instructions on how to do a range of sewing techniques).

I also really appreciated the way each project is photographed from a variety of angles, Ayda’s styling is beautiful and the gorgeous photos also mean you can see all the details and exactly how the project will turn out.

I was so  inspired by Ayda’s book with Tuva I actually made a range of projects for the blog tour!

 

I used a combination of Liberty of London fabric and Japanese chambray to make a travel bag. The pouch is perfectly sized for taking a few toiletries into hospital or even to store a few items in the diaper bag .  Of course this pouch would also work perfectly  not just for a new parent but also as a gift for a friend, teacher or loved one

 

 

The Made for Baby book  also features a super cute
bib project.  I was so inspired by Ayda’s bib project I made three bbs using some of my favourite fabrics (because I wanted the bibs to be as cute as the baby outfits its covering).

 

 

It was the first time I added an applique to a project. But thanks to Ayda’s fantastic instructions I had no problems and am definitely going to add more appliques to my projects in the future!

 

 

Finally I made the super quick and sweet little star teething toy with a few pretty scraps and a cute ribbon tag. In the book Ayda used a wooden teething hoop (ideal for a teething baby) however I was unable to find any locally so instead I used a specially designed plastic teething ring which you can also use to hoop on to the pram or crib.

Made for Baby, Cute Sewn Gifts is as versatile as it is inspiring and sweet.  It’s the kind of book you will always have on your sewing table because of the range of projects and inspiration. The book is available to buy right now or you could also pop over to Ayda’s blog site and enter to win a copy plus a few crafty extras!

Tomorrow Lauren from Molly and Mama will be creating another project from Ayda’s book and I can’t wait to see what she makes! You’ll be able to see it on Lauren’s pretty blog (and while you are there definitely have a look some of the things Lauren has made in the past – you won’t be disappointed).

 

Happy Flower Quilts Blog Hop

Welcome to my turn on the Happy Flower Quilts blog hop!

Happy Flower Quilts was originally written in Japanese by Atsuko Matsuyama over 5 years ago, and like many people I owned a copy of the original book. Of course I couldn’t understand the instructions however the photos and projects are so beautiful they provided me with lots of inspiration.

You can imagine my delight when Zakka Workshop contact me to say they were releasing an english version of the book AND would I like to join the blog hop!

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The book has stayed true to its original release – it still features over 30 projects and contains such beautiful colourful photos, however I can now actually create the projects from the book just as Atsuko intended thanks to the english instructions!

img_3643The first project I made from the book was a super cute patchwork placemat for my 6 month old great niece for her first Christmas. I paired it with a feeding set, so when she started learning to eat it would be in cute patchwork style. Like most projects in the book it is all about the sweet details, and although I didn’t add lace I did added a hand stitched hexie in one of my favourite Atsuko Matsuyama strawberry prints.

 

For the blog hop I decided to make to make the lunch tote, however instead of filling it with snacks I’m going to fill it with sewing supplies!

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Lecien Fabrics were gracious enough to supply me with their gorgeous Antique Flower in Pastel collection along with their sweet and soon to be released strawberry handles.

Seriously have you ever seen prettier handles, can’t you just imagine them being featured on makes for family, for friends, for yourself!

 

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The tote turned out slightly smaller than I originally thought however it is perfectly sized to carry all my sewing essentials.

 

 

 

 

 

 

I  paired the tote with the patchwork scissor caddy from the book. I used a img_4609combination of machine and hand stitching and made my own bias binding (making sure I cut it on the bias so it sat nicely on the curves). The caddy is ideal if like me you take your sewing on errands with you as it keeps your scissors safe and protected whilst in a pretty little package.

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The sewing tote is going to be perfect when I join along the Happy Flower Quilt Along (QAL) that commences on March 6. Keeping all my sewing supplies together along with the tiny pieces for the embroidery blocks.

 

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For further details about the QAL have a look at Kristyne from the Pretty By Hand website. Kristyne, aong with Melissa from Oh How Sweet Co, Wynn from Zakkaart and Zakka Workshop have got lots of super fun planned for the QAL.

And don’t forget to continue following along with the Happy Flower Quilts blog hop (details below)!  There are so many talented makers who will be making items featured in the book and quite a few that have already been featured.

January
25 Lisa from www.aspoonfulofsugardesigns.com
27 Sarah from www.alittlehappyplace.blogspot.co.uk
30 Minki from www.minkikim.com

February

1 Heidi from www.fabricmutt.blogspot.com
3 Clara @claralovestosew (Instagram Account Only)
8 Erin from www.whynotsew.blogspot.com
10 Lauren from www.transientart.com
13 Sedef from www.downgrapevinelane.com
15 Ayda from www.cafenohut.blogspot.com
17 Renee from www.sewnwithgrace.com
20 Heather from www.vintagegreyhandmade.blogspot.com
22 Melissa from www.ohhowsweet.com
24 Greg from www.greydogwoodstudio.com
27 Stacy from www.stacyolsondesign.com

March
1 Wynn from www.zakkaart.blogspot.com

Lovely Little Patchwork Blog Tour

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Hi! Welcome to my stop on the Lovely Little Patchwork blog tour!

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Lovely Little Patchwork is the brilliant first book published by Kerri Horsley of Lovely Little Handmades for Tuva Publishing. When Kerri  and Tuva Publishing sent me a copy of her book a few months ago I was so excited that within a few hours I had sewn up a cute heart pot holder (you can read all about it in my previous blog post).

 

Since that time I have made quite a few items from the book including these sweet Back to School Pencil IMG_9194pouches.  If you are nervous about creating with zippers you will love IMG_9526Kerri’s pattern. It is so easy to follow and you can easily hand stitch the zipper in place if you are concerned about using your machine to sew on a zipper. I also know a lot of people who love the look of lace zippers but struggle to find a pattern to use them with, so this is a perfect way to finally experiment with them.

To celebrate my turn on the Lovely Little Patchwork blog tour I made a new project from the book – the Ice Skating Girl cushion. I love making cushions, if you have seen my Instagram account this won’t come as any surprise. Because if like me you are new to sewing quilt blocks, a cushion is a happy medium between a small project like a pot holder and a large project like a quilt.

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This is the first time I made half square triangles and quarter square triangles but thanks to the books glossy pictures and comprehensive IMG_1981instructions the only reason I needed to do any unpicking was when I changed my mind about a fabric choice. And the fact that the triangles are made from pieces no larger than a 5 1/2 inch square means its also a perfect project for using up your scraps.

I used fabric from a range of collections and love how the block can look so different depending on where you place your stronger colours and prints. In the book Kerri gives you details and a pattern for embroidering an image in the centre (hence the name Ice Skating Girl). However I had a small piece of  Hawthorne Threads fawn fabric that I wanted to use for a special project like this and it worked perfectly with my recent fabric purchase of Amy Sinibaldi’s  Playground collection. I also used my favourite blender from Dear Stella Tiny Hearts in Petal and an older collection by Bonnie Christine FireFly Whisper to complete the look. I quilted the block using a 1/4 inch seam around each triangle and as result I have a soft squishy pillow large enough for two family members to snuggle against.

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If you are looking for a book that teaches you a range of techniques to make both pretty and useful items for all ages then this book is ideal!  And the best part is the blog tour allows you to see lots of the items featured in Lovely Little Patchwork, so make sure you pop over to the other blogs to be inspired!

There is a fantastic table of all those featured in the blog tour but unfortunately I can’t publish tables, instead you can view the complete list of all the wonderful makers on the first blog featured – Amanda from Jedi Craft Girl.  You can also use the hashtag #lovelylittlepatchworkblogtour on Instagram to view the beautiful photos.

And tomorrow is Sedef’s from Down Grapevine Lane turn on the tour, and you can guarantee her make is going to be truly inspiring.  I can’t wait to see it!

Happy creating!

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English Paper Piecing – A few tips

 

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Most nights I enjoy relaxing with some simple hand sewing, and more often then not I’m working on a english paper pieced project.  So after 18 months of almost daily practice I have discovered a few tips that I thought I would share and hopefully help you with your next project.

 

 

 

Glue vs thread basting

I have tried both glueing and thread basting and for me IMG_0202
thread basting wins out for any paper piece over about 1/2 inch.  Thread basting helps maintain the shape (no more yanking at seams and fabric to become unstuck) and means I can get at least two or three uses out of my paper pieces as the papers aren’t torn when I remove them.  With 1/2 inch and smaller shapes it gets fairly tricky to work with the tiny pieces so I do find glueing easier.

 

Thread

For months I struggled with threading my needles but then I discovered Aurifil 50 weight thread – its thin enough to fit through the eye of any needle but has enough structure it doesn’t collapse when you are trying to thread with it.

Needles

I had no idea there was special quilting needles but once I discovered size 11 needles my stitches improved straight away.  Their small size means they slip through the fabric far easier than a longer length needle.  And as you sew your shapes together you can also get in between the edge of the paper piece and the edge of the fabric (see below image), which means your stitches won’t be visible at the front of your project.IMG_0205

 

Strawberry Biscuit Blog Hop

When Elea Lutz contacted me and asked if I wanted to join the Strawberry Biscuit blog hop I was so excited (and fairly nervous).  This collection was a firm favourite the moment I saw it on her Instagram feed.  IMG_9353

I knew that with such pretty and cheery fabric I wanted to make
something for my daughters. I then thought about why I adored this collection so much. It wasn’t just the fact it features sweet baking kitties, singing blue birds, tiny flowers and a divine cheater print perfect for making 1 inch hexies.

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It was Elea’s perfect eye for details and colours. Her beautiful illustrations are reminiscent of my favourite vintage prints and I find each and every piece of the collection sweet and inspiring. Suddenly the answer came to me – for this arts and craft obsessed family I would make a children’s travelling art case!

A ‘go anywhere’ art case would be a great way to display the sweet prints, as well help encourage my daughters to keep creating, no matter where they are (who knows, maybe one day they will be fabric designers!).

Open art case

 

I couldn’t find an art case pattern so instead I came up with a simple design that I then embellished with fabric stamps, hexies and a fussy cut quilt block. I even took the cheater print and turned it slightly so that the squares became diamonds! Such a simple twist and the result is so sweet

 

Below I have a little step by step tutorial on how I made the case. You can make the case as simple or as intricate as you like.  I have a place for pencils, a pouch for treasures and a section for an art pad.  I encourage you to make the case your own by adding the little touches you love creating and as a result it is sure to be a cherished piece that encourages the next generation of creators.

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There have been so many amazing bloggers featured in this blog hop and tomorrow is no exception.  Make sure you have a look at the projects by Megan from Dolly Henry and Stacy from Farm Road Quilts you are guaranteed to be inspired by what they have made with Strawberry
Biscuit!

Art Case

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Travelling Art Case Tutorial

Fabric requirements

Inner Cover
Cover – 12 1/2 inches by 21 1/2 inchesIMG_9355


Pencil Section

Outer Fabric – 7 1/2 inch by 5 1/4 inch
Lining – 7 1/2 inch by 5 1/4 inch

Pouch with Flap
Outer Fabric – 7 1/2 inch by 3 1/2 inch
Lining – 7 1/2 inch by 3 1/2 inch

Flap 7 1/2 inch by 3 1/4 inch
Flap Lining 7 1/2 inch by 3 1/4 inch

Notebook Section
Outer Fabric – 9 1/4 inch 9 1/4 inch
Lining – 9 1/4 inch 9 1/4 inch

Outer Cover
Cover – 12 1/2 inches by 21 1/2 inches
Batting (I used a stiff bag batting) – 12 inches by 21 inches
Handles – 2 x (2 inch by 8 inch)

Instructions

Please note these are the basics for preparing the case. Remember to personalise it!

Inner Cover

  1.  Sew each of the section and pouch pieces to its corresponding lining by placing the two pieces right side together. Sew around each piece using a 1/4 seam and leaving a 1 inch gap to allow you to turn the pieces out. Turn them out and then press.
  2.  Lay out your inner cover right side facing up. On the upper left side of the cover lay your pouch section and then the flap piece slightly above the pouch section. Below the pouch, position the pencil section (Hint: remember the pencils will stick out the top so you need to make sure there is enough space between the bottom of the pouch and the top of the pencil section).
  3. Place the notebook section on the right side of the cover making sure you place it low enough that your notebook won’t stick out of the top of the case.
  4. Check that you are happy with the layout of each of your sections, and that they are far enough away from the outer edge that they won’t be caught up in the hem when you sew the outer and inside cover together.
  5. You will now sew each section in place to the inner cover. For all pieces (except the pouch flap) top stitch along the two short sides and along the bottom. You will then top stitch just along the top of the pouch flap.
  6. You are now going to make the slots for the pencils to go into. We are using quite IMG_9098thick pencils so I measured 1 inch intervals along the length of pencil section. (Hint: if you are using thinner pencils you might be able to fit in extra pencils). I then top stitched a straight line down each inch interval (from the top to the bottom).
  7. Depending on what you are putting in your pouch with a flap you can either add snaps or just leave it as is.

Outer Cover

  1. Quilt the Outer cover to the batting however way you wish. if you want to keep it really simple you could just sew 1/4 inch around the edge of the batting so that it is secure to the front cover.
  2. Take the two strips of fabric for the handles. Take the fabric and fold in in half length ways so it measures 1 inch by 8 and then press. Open up the strip and then fold each 8 edge so that they meet at the centre fold. Now fold the entire thing at the original fold so you end up with a 1 inch by 8 inch strip with concealed edges. Repeat for the other strip. Then top stitch 1/8 inch in down the length of of each strip along both sides.
  3. Now we are going to attach the handles to the outside cover. Measure 3 inches down and attach the handle shorter (1 inch) edge to the cover. Measure 7 1/12 inches down from the top and attach the other shorter edge. You should now have a handle! (Hint: make sure the handle is laying against the cover so that it is out of the way when you sew the front and back cover together). Repeat on the other side for the other handle.

Final Construction

  1. You are now going to sew the outer cover to the inside cover. Lay the two cover right side together and pin. Sew around using a 1/4 inch seam and leaving a 4 inch gap at the bottom to turn the case out.
  2. Turn out the case and press, making sure you push out each corner.
  3. Hand sew or machine stitch the opening closed
  4. Fill up your case with lots of fun bits and pieces! And in our case remove all those art pieces and replace them with your tiny vintage dolls and their pet dinosaur. Enjoy!IMG_9343