A Puppy Tray- AKA Last Minute Christmas Gift Idea

Here’s another pretty quick Christmas gift idea that you don’t have to worry about shipping times! A foundation paper pieced tray!

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I like big noses and I can not lie! Apparently, between this project and the last, I seem to have a thing for animals with big noses! ha!

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The project was inspired by a fabric tray project in Love Quilting Magazine (Issue 65) by Susie Bellingham. She had two cute paper piecing patterns to go with it. I love them and want to make them for someone soon! But…. I made this last year for one of the kiddo’s teachers who loves dogs. The kiddo picked the pattern and the fabrics. And the pattern had to be a dog, not a bunny or mouse.

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Have you ever checked out Artisania patterns? They are so cute! I made her little fox years ago on a skirt for my niece. The kiddo loved the dog with the big nose! She also has a cute owl!

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The project is super easy. Basically, you place the top fabric (it can be foudnation paper pieced, traditionally pieced or not pieced at all) right sides together with the back fabric and a piece of batting on top. Sew it together leaving a hole to turn it right side out. Top stitch the edges. Then sew the corners. And you have a tray!

I did add a little extra step. I also quilted a rectangle the size I wanted the tray to be. Then folded up the corners at that line. Does that make sense? It helped the sides of the tray be a little more straight.

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And there you have it! A fabric tray! Perfect for gifting. Or keeping for yourself! 🙂

Crimbo the Red Nosed Reindeer

A little holiday sewing for me!

I have been loving this reindeer pattern from Unicornharts for a while, and decide I was going to make it for me!

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This little cutie is paper pieced and came together quite easily!

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I think my favorite part is this guys big red nose! His whole expression is priceless!

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I used a solid piece on the back and an invisible zipper at the bottom.

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Have you sewn anything for yourself this holiday season? I’m actually working on another little pillow for myself tonight between sewing gifts for the family!

Happy Holidays!

The Evolution of The Superhero Teacher Gifts!

If you’ve been following me for a while, you know I have a standard theme to the gifts I give my kids teachers.

I made this fabric YEARS ago! And after these gifts for Christmas, I have run out of fabric. I started this when my kiddo was in pre-school. He’s in 7th grade now. I made the design and had it printed via Spoonflower.

For 6 years I made tote bags, with the superhero label as a pocket. Then in 4th grade the kiddo had a male teacher and I thought he might want something different! And maybe I was just ready to make something different! I made a one hour basket for that teacher. Then I made some more totes. And last year I switched to quilted pouches.

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And to keep things exciting, this year I made Scrappy Make-up Pouches from the Noodlehead tutorial. (Don’t tell his male teachers they are make-up pouches!)

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The backs are just solid pieces of fabric. No quilting this year. They could be, but I didn’t.

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I lined them in fun fabrics and added a label. For both the outside and inside, I tried to use large scraps from my stash. And of course, I had plenty to choose from!

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Now, here’s where I have a problem! You’d think I would have figured this out by now. I never have the right size zipper, but I have a bunch of zippers that I can use. So, I always cut mine. But, I cut them at the end and then I end up with too much bulk at the corners and can’t pull it out and make a nice corner. Something I need to work on! Suggestions?

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Despite my issue with zipper ends, I think they turned out cute!

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I also used to make these as end of year gifts, not Christmas gifts. The last two years I started making them as Christmas gifts. I think I want to make something different for holiday gifts and keep these as summer gifts. I don’t know why! ha! What do you think? Do you think these feel more like holiday gifts or summer gifts? Do you make teacher gifts for the holidays? What is your favorite holiday teacher gift to make?

Undercover Maker’s Mat

I made this one a while back and never shared!

I made this for a swap that I did with the Seattle Modern Quilt Guild back pre-pandemic! I don’t honestly remember too many reasons behind my design choices, but I like it and I think it’s a great gift for your sewing friends and family! It’s a very easy sew! The tutorial is by Lillyella and it’s free on her website here.

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The Undercover Maker’s Mat is intended to do two things, the first being a way to keep your most needed item nearby. I could really use it. I’m always moving my scissors and then not having them when I’m actually sewing… And secondly, it’s a sewing machine cover.

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I also love the little butterflies! Both of these are free patterns from the same Lillyella website, here. She also has awesome sets of hummingbirds and moths. Very cool!

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The pattern also includes a thread catcher that can stand on it’s own or hang from the makers mat itself. I meant to make myself even just one of these thread catchers!

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To make it the sewing machine cover, you just add some ribbons and it ties on the sides of the machine.

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As usual, my typical label picture! ha! I’m not sure why I always add a picture of the label, but I do and now it’s become a habit… As you can see from this label, it’s a slightly older project like I mentioned before.

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A couple of photos of it ‘in action’ under my sewing machine. Since it was a gift, I obviously didn’t use it. Ha! And doesn’t Lulu (the dog) look like she’s saying, ‘That’s not yours and you can’t keep it.’

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Have you ever made one of these? Do you have a sewing friend who would like one for Christmas? There’s still time. It’s really easy to make!

More Pillowcases!

Like I mentioned in my last post, I love making pillowcases as Christmas presents… And since Christmas is coming up soon, I thought I’d share some I made last year.

I can’t post the pictures of gifts before Christmas then I forget to post them after, so here they are!

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I just love this mix of fabrics! All Cotton and Steel. I even got to throw in some of my most favorite ‘sprinkles’!

I made these using the Burrito Method using The Seasoned Homemaker‘s tutorial. This is the same way I made the Harry Potter pillowcases a while back.

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As I mentioned in that post, the burrito pillowcase tutorials don’t make their pillowcases using directional prints. Yet, once again, I chose a directional print. The burrito method uses one long piece of fabric for the edge of the pillow, one long piece for the trim and another piece for the main pillowcase. To use a directional print, you have to piece two pieces together to make the main fabric piece.

The tutorial I used uses a 27″ by 40″ piece for the main fabric. For directional fabric you need to cut (2) 27″ by 20 3/4″ pieces. Then sew these together using a French seam tutorial. I made mine with a 1/4 inch seam and then a 1/2″ seam. Then I have a 40″ long piece of fabric for the main fabric.

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You can see that I now have penguins with their heads up on both sides of the pillow!

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And they blend great with the kiddo’s sheets! These are a great way to use up large pieces of your stash. I found some fabric last night in my stash that I bought for pillowcases ages ago. This Christmas, it’s being used and removed from my stash!

What’s your favorite pillow case tutorial?

Fresh Linens- A Pillowcase Tutorial

I wrote this tutorial back in 2015! Way back! It’s been hanging out on the Go To Sew website all this time and I decided to bring it back. (hence the old branding, etc…)

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I love making pillowcases for gifts! I’ve used two methods. One, my own method detailed below. And secondly, the burrito method by The Seasoned Homemaker. Both are good! Since I haven’t made this one in years, I kinda want to go back and try it again!

Have you ever made your own pillowcases? Did you know that it takes about a half hour for a new pair of fresh linens??? I was shocked! I had been thinking about making pillowcases for a week or so when I decided to give it a try. And I’m hooked!

I don’t have a serger, and I didn’t want any exposed seam allowances, so this pillowcase is chock full of French seams!

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To start, gather your fabric. For the pillowcase you’ll need 1.5 yards of the main fabric, 1/2 yard of the hem fabric and a little bit of the accent color.

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The first step is to cut your pieces. SO for the main fabric, you’ll need (2) 49×20.5 inch pieces. For the hem piece, you’ll need (2) 8.5×38.75 inch pieces. And for the little accent piece, you’ll need (2) 1.5×38.75 inch pieces.

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First, sew the main piece of the pillowcase. Fold the fabric wrong sides together, stich a 1/4 seam allowance along the long sides. Then trim this seam allowance, but only by a hair! Then pull the case inside out and sew another 1/4 inch seam allowance along the long sides, covering the seam allowance from the last hem! Done with the main piece.

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Now assemble the hem piece and the accent piece. Fold them both in half, the long way, and iron flat. Wrong sides to wrong sides. Then, at the ends open the fabric flat, right sides to right sides and  sew a 1/4 seam at the ends. Iron the seam open and then fold in half again and re-iron it flat. You will end up with two long circles that kinda look like the infinity scarves everyone loves!

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Assemble! Here you need your main case right side out. Next to that the hem piece and in the very middle the accent piece. Align all the stitched edges. Pin the rest with edges aligned.

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Sew another 1/4 inch seam. Trim the seam allowance, again, just a hair! Fold the pillowcase with the inside of the case out and the hem and accent inside the case. Iron the seam flat and sew another 1/4 inch seam. I’m all about the 1/4 inch seams here!

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And finish! Pull the pillowcase right side out and iron the seam flat. Then topstitch along the last seam.

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Lastly, insert pillow, snuggle up and take a nap! Did you know they are that easy? They are so quick and easy! I’m in love and thinking about some Christmas presents!

A Piebald Pouch for the Kiddo

I made the kiddo a toiletry bag years ago. Well, I actually made it for my husband, but the kiddo took it over. But it’s too big for what he needs.

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I’m a sucker for the Sew Sweetness Minikins patterns. When I saw the patterns in the Minikens Season 3 and saw the Piebald Pouch, I knew it was perfect for a smaller toiletry bag for the kiddo!

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The pattern comes in three sizes, but the only problem was that they weren’t tall enough to hold his toothbrush. I guess it wasn’t really a problem, necessarily! I just added a couple of inches to the bottom.

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For the inside I used the same cleanable fabric I used in the last toiletry. I honestly don’t remember what it is, but I do not recommend it for this pattern! Ha! It frays really easily and there were a few tricky spots with sewing this together that I didn’t know if I’d make it through without it completely fraying apart… I made it, but by the skin of my teeth and a few bad words!

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I love that it opens out! And look, tall enough for the toothbrush.

It is all made from my stash! I had been holding onto the great bunny fabric for YEARS! And he picked it out. Of course, I had the matching solid fabric. I had the interior fabric and the zipper. And I also just happened to have all the interfacing required by the pattern (even though it didn’t work great with my lining fabric….) Perfect! I love it when a project comes together like that!

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The detail of the hook on the back is really nice as well. If you do make the bag taller, don’t forget to make this piece taller too. I made the size M, but made it 2″ taller. This meant the hook needed to be 4″ inches longer than the pattern called for.

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I just happened to have this fun blue leather that matched perfectly for a little leather pull detail!

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And it works! We took it camping and it worked! He takes it on sleepovers. Perfect!

A Graduation Gift Set for a Drummer

I may have mentioned this, but I’m really bad about giving graduation gifts on time. It takes me a while to figure out just the right thing!

My cousin’s son graduated high school during the pandemic and started college at Troy University playing drums. I’m just a year late on this one!

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I had the bright idea to make him a drum stick bag. My original idea was much more simple than I ended up making! I mentioned it and was introduced to the world of drum stick bags on Amazon. No drawstring bags here… But I was up for the challenge. Pockets and straps and handles, oh my!

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I also took a while to figure out how I wanted to make it special. Then the idea of cork came to mind. I ended up ordering some black and grey cork from Sew Sweetness and it’s just perfect. The school colors are black, grey and burgundy, so I stitched the outline in burgundy thread.

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The biggest detail on the outside is the T. I love how it turned out. But I also added handles and a key fob and a little cork detail to finish off the double zipper.

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The inside has 4 pockets and a long adjustable strap. The strap can hook onto the side of a drum and hang there for easy access to the drum sticks.

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I also made a bucket. For the drum stick bag, I just made up the pattern as I went. But for the bucket, I used the free Faithwell Storage Bin pattern by Sew Sweetness. I’ve used this pattern before with my cross stitch koala and love it. I have never included the handle, though.

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The storage bin actually came out of a mistake I made on the drum stick bag. I originally sewed in the T in the wrong orientation. So then I was was like what do I do with this extra Troy T? I make a bucket! Perfect!

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I followed the directions, but changed it up some with the cork. The directions call to use fusible foam and fuse it to the exterior fabric. I was hesitant to add to the cork, so I flipped it and added the fusible foam to the lining. I was also concerned about the seams in the cork, but they turned out great!

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I also made a key chain with the scraps from the cork pieces. I used my own tutorial for that!

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Then I filled it with fun goodies. Seattle Chocolates, a WA state flag, a Troy pin, some Legos, and a stress ball thingy! I was super excited about how it turned out. and I’m pretty sure the kiddo liked it as well.

Do you have a favorite Graduation Gift you like to make?

Holiday Swaps with the Cotton Candy Pouches

Last December I participated in two swaps. Was was meant to be a handmade item the other wasn’t!

The first swap was with the Seattle Modern Quilt Guild. This one was a secret swap, but our partners gave us colors and ideas of what they would like to get. One of the items on my partners list was a pouch.

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I choose to make the Cotton Candy Pouch from Minikins, Season 1 by Sew Sweetness. It is a really simple pouch with a fun shape. I love the Sew Sweetness patterns because most of them also have a video included. Unfortunately, you can’t buy just this one pattern by itself, you have ot buy the whole Season 1 set. But FORTUNATELY, the whole set is full of great patterns!

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The colors. I don’t think I would have chosen them for myself, not because I don’t like them, just because I usually go to brighter colors. She said she liked navy and cream, grey and touch of green. So I pulled out my navy fabrics. One of them had a green in it, which was perfect. I also knew that the beige freckles fabric from Cotton and Steel had navy freckles. I love this!

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I started by making a ring of flying geese and realized they were way to big for the pouch. So guess what… I’m making myself a bag with the same color scheme! I really love it!

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For the back, I went with a solid panel rather a pieced panel in one of the fabrics I used on the front.

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On the inside, I also used another fabric from the front and added one of my little labels!

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From my secret swap partner, I also got a pouch! Yes, I got mine early and mailed mine late. On time, but later than I received mine so I got this fun shot of the two of them! Mine is made using Marcia Derse fabrics. Very cute!

And then my office had a Christmas Swap. It was also a secret, but no suggestions were given to the giver. My partner is a very creative designer sort, so I debated what to get her. I almost got her a craft kit. Then realized I couldn’t get what I wanted to get her in time for the party, so I decided that she would appreciate something handmade.

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So out came the Cotton Candy Pouch pattern again!

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For this one, I used one of the Mini Series patterns by Giucy Giuce. For this one I used the Courthouse Steps Pattern. She likes to wear earthy tones, so I went orange, yellow and a brownish orange yellow with a mix of creamy background fabrics.

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For the inside I used a golden stripe fabric and added my little label again!

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This pattern is an easy pattern to have as a quick go to pattern! I love how both of these turned out! what is your favorite go to pouch pattern?

Bama Banner

It’s Football Season!

So why not make a quilted banner? I made this one for my Dad, who is a super fan of SEC football and more specifically, Bama football…

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This was supposed to be a Christmas gift for last Christmas, but my To Do List was a little longer than I could possibly get through. It became a Father’s Day present. Which was also late! ha! But none of that matters because it made it there BEFORE football season. Yep!

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For the letters I used the paper piecing, Geometric Alphabet pattern from Quiet Play. The pattern I purchased is just capitol letters, but she has the lowercase letters as well. I made a mistake with my letters… Can you find it? I made each letter, looked at it over and over. Laid it all out. Pieced the letters together. Quilted and put on the binding. And I took pictures of it. But I didn’t notice it until I went to edit the pictures…

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Then for the elephant I altered another paper piecing pattern from Joe June and Mae. She has a ton of great animal patterns and a few elephants. This is the Standing Elephant Pattern. This one is actually has the rest of the elephant body, but I only wanted the head. And of course I had to make a few small changes. I narrowed up his trunk a little and also changed his ears a tiny bit. I think he turned out quite nice.

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For the back I used the rest of my elephant fabric stash! This was left over from the kiddo’s quilt. I also put on a little sleeve on the back using the tutorial from the Tallgrass Prairie Studio website.

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I’m loving the banner idea for mini quilts. It’s only adding a pointy end to a mini quilt, but I love it! Have you made a quilted banner?

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And how cute is this little cabin??? We stayed here this summer at Custer State Park and had an awesome time!