Friday, December 5, 2014

Sturdy Fabric Basket Tutorial

Goodness, I am just so excited to share this little project! I'm a storage and organization junkie, and of course I love fabric, so combining the two just puts me in a happy place. Making sure my surroundings are pretty and make me feel happy and inspired is on the top on my list (what list, no idea, but it's important). 

When I got my hands on this bundle of the new line Westwood by Monaluna, I knew I needed all these little critters hanging out with me everyday so I decided to make some storage baskets.

These baskets are really quick and easy to make and are fat quarter friendly (the largest piece you need is 17x15 so pull out those big scraps)! They are made sturdy with a layer of Peltex, but can also be made soft using fusible fleece or batting. You could even very easily sew this entire project by hand with no problem.

The handles shown here are made from a thrift shop leather belt I bought for 50¢ but you can also use scraps of leather (or pleather!). I love to deconstruct old bags, pouches, wallets and other various things I find for cheap to use on other projects. The handles can also be left off if you prefer.

I already have one hundred and one uses for these baskets in every room of my house, but right now I plan to make a bunch to fill with goodies and give as gifts! Aside from the holidays, you can fill one with food items and take to the host of a dinner party, baby items for a shower, fabric for ME… errr… I mean a friend. Shall I go on?

You can download a PDF of the pattern by clicking the image >

I hope you enjoy this pattern! If you have any questions, feel free to comment below or email me anytime. I'm on instagram as lillyellasworld - please tag me if you make one, I'd love to see it! You can also use the hashtag #sturdyfabricbasket.

And because I'm just curious I have to know, which do you like the better, the owls or the deer?!

Happy sewing, friends! ~nicole

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

EPP Table Topper Pattern

This pattern, or something like it, may very well exist somewhere in the world. But with my 25th & Pine charm pack in hand, I went searching for a small EPP pattern that would be relatively quick and had no luck, so I just drew one up. 

I am by no means an english paper piecing expert and everyone has their favorite methods, so I'm just sharing my pattern templates here rather than a full tutorial. I will, however, provide some links to other tutorials for anyone who is new to EPP and explain how I finished my piece. The great thing about it is that all you need is fabric, a needle and thread – no sewing machine or experience is necessary. 

This pattern creates a piece that is 9.5" wide and is designed to be charm square friendly (5" fabric squares). You can get two center kite pieces from one charm square and more of the smaller pieces, but I used 5 white, 5 red and 5 green charms to create my piece. This pattern is also great for scraps, the biggest piece you need is about 2.5 x 5, but the templates can also be printed larger or smaller to create a different sized finished piece.

I made mine into a little table topper (isn't it the perfect little mini tree skirt?!), but it would also be nice used on a pillow, as a trivet or on a bag. You can download a PDF of the templates by clicking the image below. You will need to print two sheets so you have ten of each shape. 

I thread basted my pieces because I just haven't gotten the swing of the whole glue basting thing yet, but that would certainly work, too. When sewing my pieces together, I followed the order shown below.

To finish my piece I removed the papers and cut a piece of batting to the exact size of my piece (you could also use insulbrite if you wanted to make a hot pad). I then unfolded the outer edges of the green pieces and pressed it well. I layered the piece and the batting and did some machine quilting on the center, but you could also do hand quilting or spray baste the batting in place and quilt after attaching the backing. I only wanted my quilting to show from the top.

I cut a piece of backing fabric slightly larger than my piece and placed the quilted top and back right sides together. I sewed around the outer edge, using the pieced top as a guide, with a 1/4 seam and left a couple inches open for turning. I trimmed the seam, turned the piece right side out and pressed. You could machine or hand quilt at this point if you wanted to see it from both sides. 

I decided to finish my piece with a blanket stitch around the edge using a DMC pearl cotton and I love the way it came out. This also closed up the area I left open for turning. And voila! All done.

Here are some tutorials on english paper piecing:
Craftsy - English Paper Piecing from Beginning to End
All People Quilt - English Paper Piecing
Flossie Tea Cakes - EPP, where to begin
YouTube video - How to Finish an EPP Project

And you can find a good tutorial on how to do a blanket stitch here.

I hope you enjoy the template! If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment below or send me an email anytime.