Tag Archives: quilting

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Handmade Gifts are the Best!

Do you make gifts for your sewing friends? This collection of goodies might spark an idea or two for your Christmas list this year.

All of this handmade goodness was the result of a simple call out on Instagram about a birthday club.  Tara, aka @sewforshoes, wanted to share the gifting love and started collecting names for a birthday swap for Australian Instagramers who appreciate handmade. Within hours the lists were filling and by the end of the week four groups were formed – each with 12 members – one for each month.

Cyber stalking of Pinterest accounts, emailing and secret IG messages are all part of the fun as friendships are formed and talents are shared.  I was lucky enough to be the birthday girl for August – our kick off month – and here’s a look at what was delivered to my door. Prepare to be blown away by the creativity and generosity of the handmade community in Australia.

You need to check out these ladies on Instagram – so much talent!


From the lovely @spanzy I received a divided basket and matching zippered pouch as well as some fabric and chocolate.


@sippingteaquilts noticed my love of hexies and made a mini quilt. Paired with some fabric and chocolate – yum!


Hello Kitty liberty fabric (!!!), crochet coasters, a felted bowl and some lace trims from @bluebeehive.


Tara (the instigator/organiser) @sewsforshoes found some lovely Heather Bailey fabric I love and made a tote bag and matching purse. And the fudge was yummo!


Some good research by @belloquacity revealed my love of stationery. A covered journal, zippered pouch, coaster, drawstring pouch and a selection of paper goodies. And even a Hello Kitty figurine.


A sewing basket of my dreams – love it @clairebearquilts!


Did I mention I added some celebrities to my wish list? @scorpnac found a way to deliver. A purse, bee fabric, cake pincushion, piping and lace trims all in a HK gift box.


Chocolate, fabric, ribbon and a mini quilt – a perfect pressie from @onceuponadonkey


And the gorgeous mini quilt from @onceuponadonkey – love it!


A beautiful hand embroidered wall hanging and yoyo bunting from @coleandtaffy. She also discovered my love of washi tape.


More clever stalking from @rainbowkelf – Heather Bailey fabric made into a sew-together bag, a needle case and pincushion. Some quilting pens, HK fabric and chocolate.

thank you shequiltsalot

More Heather Bailey goodness from @shequiltsalot – four perfect placemats, a monogrammed coaster, tissue holder and pattern weights.

So have you been inspired to start that Christmas gift list yet? Or even start your own birthday swap with a group of friends.

I’ll share some more ideas and inspiration for you in a post next week so keep a look out for that. Maybe you’d like to subscribe and have the post delivered to your inbox. Just fill in the details in the box in the sidebar on the right.

work in progress button

WIP Update

So I’ve managed to piece the top together and now I’m deciding how to quilt it – any suggestions? So far I’m thinking straight diagonal lines, but then I like the idea of some outlines too.

Putting_those_squares_to_use.__vintagefabricIt’s going to be a slipcover for a cube footstool and I’m using vintage sheeting fabric with plain cotton for the top – don’t ask about the sides as I haven’t thought that for yet.


Intro to paper piecing - Mug Rug Tutorial

Introduction to Paper Piecing – Mug Rug Tutorial

Here’s a simple project you can make if you’ve ever wanted to try paper piecing. It consists of 18 paper pieced hexagons (hexies) sewn together and then quilted to make a mini quilt or “Mug Rug.”   If you’d like to download the PDF version of the tutorial you can do so here.

To make the Mug Rug you’ll need –
• 18 paper pieced hexagons
• Backing fabric
• Wading or felt
• Fabric for binding
• Needle and thread for assembly
• Embroidery thread (optional)

 To make the hexagons

Start by cutting out all the paper shapes and pinning them to your fabric. I’ve punched holes in the centre of the hexies to help with pinning.
Cut out the fabric leaving 1cm allowance all around the edges.

cutting outFold over one edge and hold with your thumb.

first foldThen working counter clockwise turn over the next edge creating a neat corner.

corner foldStitch this corner with 2 stitches then, without cutting off your thread….

first stitchfold and stitch the next corner.

second stitchContinue around till you’ve sewn all 6 corners. Finish off with an extra stitch.

Remove the pins and press firmly with a hot iron. You can choose to remove the paper template now or wait till after the pieces are joined – it’s up to you.

Now for the assembly – here’s what to do
1. Arrange your prepared hexagons in a pleasing pattern. There is going to be
some wastage so be sure to put your favourite ones in the middle.
2. Begin by stitching them in rows, and then join the 4 rows into one piece. I found a great tutorial here by Sarah at sarahquilts.com .
3. Trim to finished size – 21cm x 15.5cm template included
4. Cut wading/felt and backing piece the same size and make the “sandwich”
5. Sew close to the edge all around to hold pieces of sandwich together. This can
be done either by hand or on a sewing machine.
6. Cut binding strips 4.5cm wide (I prefer to cut on the bias, but on the straight of
grain will work as well)
7. Sew binding onto front side of mug rug and mitre corners. (Tutorial coming soon for that one)
8. Turn under raw edge of binding and hand stitch.
9. For the optional embroidery I hand sewed a simple running stitch along the
inside edges of each hexagon. This could also be done on a sewing machine
with either a matching or contrast thread.

There are so many variations available with this pattern so have fun and make it
your own. Share a photo on Instagram using the #paperpiecingeverywhere hashtag too if you want.  If you want some more inspiration (and who doesn’t??) I’ve pinned plenty of ideas on the quilting board and the hexie board over at Pinterest.

I’ve linked up to two websites this week – Sugar Bee Crafts and And Sew We Craft. Linky parties are a great way to discover new bloggers and share your ideas – why not give one a try.

And Sew We Craft