Maker Mat SAL: Pocket Panel Tips & Tutorials

Hello, Hello! If you are just joining the sew-a-long, please scroll down a few posts to find the kickoff and all the tips shared in previous posts or scroll to the bottom of this post for direct links.

So far we’ve worked on the main body of the mat and how to add a machine handle opening, and today I’m going to talk about the pocket panels. If you’re just getting started on your mat, don’t worry, there’s still plenty of time!

Before you begin your pocket panels remember that if you changed the size of your main body, you will need to also adjust the size of the pocket panels! You can do this by changing the size of one pocket or adjusting all the pockets equally. Don’t forget to think about seam allowances when calculating cutting sizes.

One thing to note about the pocket panels is that there are SO many ways you can customize this entire project, but especially this part. You can adjust the sizes, add more or less pockets, you can piece them all with any block you love or you can eve use one solid cut of fabric to make it really quick and easy. Be sure to check out the #undercovermakermat hashtag on social media to see tons of creative inspiration!

pockets

Above you can see just a few variations from mats that I’ve made in the past. The top left follows the pattern as written, which the bottom left follows the same sizing and layout, but uses full cuts of fabric (rather than piecing) with cute fussy cuts! On the right, there is a little mix of both. I substituted my Love Story pattern block for the butterfly and then used solid fabric cuts for the other pockets with some added lace trim details.

First I’m going to share some tutorials and tips on creating the accent pocket panels which are the paper pieced butterfly and the selvedge pockets, then I’ll cover a bit more details on piecing the panels and trim options.

All the information you need to create the accent pocket pieces is included in the pattern (including a link to a tutorial on making the butterfly for beginner paper piecers), but I will go into a bit more detail here and include some additional tips and photos, as well as design variation ideas.

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PAPER PIECING TIPS

You can find the pattern for my Butterfly Charm Blocks here. All three butterfly designs are the same size and any can be used. The foundation paper piecing tutorial link included in the pattern is from Cassandra Madge and you can find it here. It was so sweet of her to use my pattern as the example for her tutorial!

Our methods of paper piecing are very similar, with just a few differences. I like to use the Add-A-Quarter Ruler, rather than a standard quilting ruler. It does the same job, but is just one of those tools that takes away some room for error. Another paper piecing tutorial I often direct people to is this video from Connecting Threads. You can see the Add-A-Quarter ruler being used.

paper piecing tips | lillyella stitchery

When I paper piece, especially small blocks, I like to use Foundation Paper. You can buy one from Carol Doaks or you can use any thin newsprint. Someone recently mentioned they found this pack from Dick Blick, and you can’t beat the price! I also apologize that I don’t remember who tagged me on that, please let me know if it was you! It is essentially just a thinner paper that creates less bulk and allows for easier removal. You can use any paper for paper piecing, but the thinner you can find, the easier it will make the process.

Another thing I ALWAYS do is to trace the pattern onto the back of the sheet. It does not have to be perfect because you will only be using it for reference, but it helps in a multitude of ways. I use a lightbox, but you can also use a window. Since this is the side where you will place your fabric, you can use these lines as a guide for cutting your fabric pieces. You can still use the printed side, but you have to work with your fabric upside down at that point, and I like to see the prints and placement.

After tracing and selecting fabrics, I also note my fabric selections or color accordingly on this side. Then I always know I’m placing the correct piece. These lines also help you as you sew to make sure a fabric cut will cover a segment. Place the fabric where you would for your next seam, but before sewing, hold the fabric approximately where your seam will be and fold the fabric over as you would when pressing it after sewing. You can then see if your piece is large enough to cover everything it needs to. You can then sew your seam with confidence, because unpicking a paper pieced seam is NO FUN!

Lastly, I find having these lines helps prevent you from missing a segment, which is something I see a lot in paper piecing. When you have the pattern lines on the side where you are placing fabric, you will notice if you’ve missed a piece. You still have to pay attention, but it’s definitely better than flying blind!

paper piecing tips | lillyella stitchery

In Cassandra’s tutorial, you will see her talking about adding some basting stitches to you sections to help when piecing them together. This is important and something I always do as well, however, I put my stitches in the seam allowance as you can see above in the left photo.

Another tip is that when trimming sections to the seam allowance after piecing, do not trim any sides that are on an outer edge (above right). This way you can trim your final block to size after it is completely pieced. It is not uncommon to lose a little bit in each seam, so this ensures you can have the correct sized block in the end, and also lets you trim the block to a slighty larger size, if desired.

After piecing sections, I always remove the paper from the seam allowance only before sewing sections together. This just helps with bulk and allows you to press a flatter seam before adding the next section. You can also see this in the above right photo.

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SELVEDGE POCKETS

For those who are new to sewing or do not know what a selvedge is, it is the finished edge on a bolt of fabric. There are finished edges on both sides along the width of the fabric, but only one will contain printing and this is the side I use on this project. I cut my selvedges off with about one half inch to one inch or so of the fabric print included, just to make sure I always have enough extra to work with them. The directions on how to work with the selvedges to create the pockets are included in the pattern.

selvedges

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VARIATIONS

Below are more variations from makes on Instagram to help inspire you!

examples5

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TRIM

This pattern uses trims or ribbons for securing the secondary pockets and hiding the raw edges, and also for creating the side ties when using it as a machine cover. Below are some trims from my collection that I’ve found at Joanns, Hobby Lobby and even Walmart. Anything between 1/4″ to 3/8″ width is best. If it is too small then you will have trouble enclosing the raw edge of the pocket, any thicker and you cut into your pocket space. Trims that are more solid are best to hide the raw edges, but some lacier style trims can work ok, too.

ribbons

If you don’t have any trims on hand, you can also use a thin bias binding strip instead. Start with a 1″ or 1.25″ cut strip, fold the raw edges into the center, then fold in half and press and use this as you would a piece of ribbon. You can also you another selvedge with the cut side pressed under. Lots of possibilities!

trims

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Undercover Maker Mat | lillyella stitchery

POCKET BINDING

I like the look of the binding on the pocket because I think it balances the piece nicely, but if you prefer, you can eliminate this step and instead attach the lining to the pocket panel just as you did on the small secondary pockets. Just lay your lining piece, RST, on top of your finished main pocket panel and sew across the top with a 1/4″ seam. Flip the lining to the back, press, and top stitch along the top edge. You can include the fusible fleece when you do this, add it after tucked up to the seam, or skip it all together and use some lightweight interfacing on one or both pieces instead.

pocket-binding

Above are a couple examples I saw on the #undercovermakermat hashtag on instagram that demonstrate this variation. If you have any questions about doing this instead of the binding, just let me know and I’m happy to help!

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Once your full pocket panel is complete, you will baste it to your mat body and bind the entire piece as covered in the pattern. BE SURE TO ADD YOUR SIDE TIES BEFORE BINDING! If you do not plan to use your mat as a cover, you can leave them off. I did forget to add them once and just had to unpick a little bit of my binding and tuck them in, which was not hard to do, so it’s not the end of the world if you forget, or even decide to add them later!

tie double

Just as with trim used to secure the secondary pockets, you can instead use a binding strip for your side ties, or even additional selvedges. If using a binding strip, simply top stitch along the folded edge to close it up. You can tie knots on the ends or stitch them closed.

cover

cover1

Stay tuned next week for one more post talking about the thread catcher before we wrap things up on October 28!

ADDITIONAL POSTS:

Undercover Maker Mat Sew-a-long: All the details

PART ONE: Kickoff! Sizing your mat and tutorials for beginners

Sponsors and Prizes!

PART TWO: Adding a machine handle opening

Reusable Bowl Cap Tutorial

Reusable Bowl Cap Tutorial | lillyella stitchery

Help save the environment and look cute doing it! 😉

These reusable bowl caps are easy to make and customizable to fit any dish. You can use cotton alone for a washable cap, or add iron on vinyl for a more waterproof cap that can be wiped clean.

Reusable Bowl Cap Tutorial | lillyella stitchery

This tutorial includes directions for determining what size to cut your pieces, how to make bias binding, and how to construct the bowl caps.

Click here to download the free pattern.

The fabrics I used here are from the Little House on the Prairie line by Kathy Hall for Andover Fabrics and they couldn’t be more perfect! Those little florals mixed with the scenic prints are absolutely adorable.

Reusable Bowl Cap Tutorial | lillyella stitchery

I just love making these covers and find them handy for some many things. I always use old Pyrex and Fire King bowls that did not have lids, so using these makes me much happier than using plastic wrap! They also make great gifts. Pick up a cute bowl (or set) at a thrift shop, make a matching cover and give it as a housewarming or shower gift.

I hope you enjoy this tutorial! Share your project photos on Instagram & Facebook with #reusablebowlcap!

Reusable Bowl Cap Tutorial | lillyella stitchery

Paperie Blog Tour + New Love Story Pattern

IMG_2667 edit 1

It’s funny how things work out. The way life’s puzzle pieces always end up fitting together. I first designed the Love Story Pattern for my class at the Swapaholics Retreat last September. Amy Sinibaldi was also teaching and her debut fabric line, Paperie, had not yet been announced when I was prepping for the retreat.

Flash forward a few months to 2016. I’m amping up my pattern in preparation for release and Amy invites me to join her Paperie Blog Tour. I think you’ll see that her fabric and this pattern go together like sprinkles and donuts. And not that pink hearts are ONLY for Valentine’s day, but what perfect timing, wouldn’t you say?

Undercover Maker Mat featuring Paperie Fabrics | lillyella stitchery

As usual, I had trouble wrangling in all my ideas. I did know for certain that first I wanted to make my Undercover Maker Mat (download the free pattern here) using the 5″ Love Story block in place of the butterfly charm block used on the original. This mat is such a fun and useful project that sews up quick and lets you showcase your favorite fabrics.

I decided to make the secondary pockets on this one in solid prints, rather than the selvedges, so I could really show off the line.

Undercover Maker Mat featuring Paperie Fabrics | lillyella stitchery

I was torn between using the texty print or the hearts for the main body of the mat, but now that it’s all finished, I don’t know how it was even a question. The text is just perfect and the strip of hearts pieced in just plain makes me happy!

Undercover Maker Mat featuring Paperie Fabrics | lillyella stitchery

I then carried the heart print over to the removable thread catcher by piecing a strip into the front and using it on the lining. I think it really just balances it all out perfectly.

I used a delicate pink chevron trim on the pocket panel and added a bit of crochet lace on the secondary pocket – in true Amy style!

Undercover Maker Mat featuring Paperie Fabrics | lillyella stitchery

Thanks to the expert advice my official quilter, Sari, I went with a large chevron pattern for the quilting on the mat body. It echos the seams of the heart block perfectly (thank you very much) and also ties in the trim. I used a pale pink Aurifil thread that gives it just the tiniest hint of color and I couldn’t love it more!

Undercover Maker Mat featuring Paperie Fabrics | lillyella stitchery

I kept trying to find a way to use this pretty aqua trim on the pocket panel, but it just felt overpowering. It did, however, work out perfectly for the side ties!

So, what do you think? Is this mat your style? I’ll be giving it away on Instagram next week (and a bundle of fabric!), so stay tuned for that!

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Love Story + Cross my Heart Pattern | lillyella stitchery

Another idea that I just knew I had to run with was designing an X block that coordinated with Love Story. Like Xs and Os, but with a cute heart instead! I’m calling it Cross my Heart and you can download it for free here.

I thought it would be an adorable mini quilt with 4 blocks in a large square, or as a set of pillows (or a two sided pillow!) or a table runner, which is what I decided to make for my sample project.

Love Story Pattern | lillyella stitchery

My Love Story pattern includes two block designs – Poetry (the pink block) and Prose (the navy and white block). I wanted to showcase them both, along with the X, so I thought a little asymmetry would be fun! I used the 10″ blocks here, and the X pattern also includes a 5″ block (how about a set of heart and X coasters?!).

Love Story Pattern | lillyella stitchery

I love how striking the bold pops of pink and navy in this line are mixed with all the beautiful, soft low volumes. By random chance, I had a piece of my favorite chambray denim on my cutting table when I was feverishly trying to decide what to bind my runner with. It was a match made in heaven! The denim pairs so amazingly with this line, it started my mind racing with quilt ideas using Paperie and the new Art Gallery denim line that is coming out soon. SO EXCITED!

Love Story Pattern | lillyella stitchery

Love Story Pattern | lillyella stitchery

I’ll be sharing some design ideas and other fun Love Story projects (including a lap quilt pattern) here and on my Instagram feed over the next couple weeks. You can also check the hashtags #lovestorypattern and #crossmyheartpattern for more inspiration. As always, I can’t wait to see what you all create!

Love Story + Cross My Heart Patterns | lillyella stitchery

Be sure to check out all the other stops on the Paperie Blog Tour for all sorts of swoon worthy projects! You can find links and photos in Amy’s instagram feed and on her blog.

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Love Story Pattern | lillyella stitchery

Now I am in desperate need of a nap! So I will leave you with some more eye candy inspiration! Above is the original Love Story block as it was designed to fit my flex frame pouch project for the retreat.

For the pattern release, I squared off the block and made a coordinating reverse design where the heart is solid and the background is faceted instead. I love the possibilities this opens up for color play and layout ideas!

Love Story Pattern | lillyella stitchery

Here are just a few blocks that my amazing testers sewed up. I’ll be sharing their finished projects soon! You can pick up a copy of the pattern on sale for $6.50 now thru Valentine’s Day in my Payhip, Etsy or Craftsy shops.

happy stitching! ~nicole

Avantgarde Blog Tour – The Neo Quilt Series

Avantgarde Blog Tour

When Sari and I were invited to join Katarina Rocella’s Avantgarde Blog Tour, we had just wrapped our Sariella Retreat, Western Edition, where we started working on our first collaborative patterns, so we knew this was a perfect opportunity to work on some more!

We were both in love with the bold, bright colors and textural patterns in the line and the Bauhaus Dissection print was our favorite, so we decided to use it as inspiration for designing the patterns.

Neo Quilt Series | sariella

The next question was what to make… lap quilt, minis, pillows? In the end, we decided on all, of course! I have come to adopt my husband’s motto, anything worth doing is worth overdoing. I mean, he has a point…

After days (literally) of sketching, texting, facetime and phone calls, we had our plan. We both love versatility, so that’s what won in the end. We created a collection of panels, or blocks, that would go together into a beautiful (and customizable) lap quilt, but could each also be used independently to create mini quilts and pillows. Think of it as a create your own adventure pattern! And because we are mild overachievers and can’t contain all our ideas, we created an additional separate mini quilt pattern, too. Together, we’re calling it the Neo Quilt Series (#NeoQuiltSeries).

I’m so excited to finally share these patterns that we’ve been feverishly working on for weeks! Sari will be sharing the full quilt design on her blog tomorrow, but today I’m showing you some of the mini quilt and pillow patterns. They will all be headed to testers shortly and will be available in March, but we also have a free one for you today! And it is where I will begin…

NeoVolheader

NeoVol pattern | Sariella

This is NeoVol. Simple appliqué lends itself to a beautiful 18×20 mini quilt that is quick to sew and allows you to showcase a fun print. It also makes a darling pillow (shown a couple photos down) and can be resized to create a variety of different designs (another of which you’ll see used in the quilt reveal tomorrow).

You can download the free pattern here. We hope you enjoy it!

NeoVol Pattern | sariella

I kept the quilting simple (but awesome!) on this mini with a little rainbow explosion coming from the top corner. I continued the lines through the butterfly, but switched to a dark purple, and then picked the rainbow color up again on the other side of the butterfly.

I also did some random angled lines horizontally across the bottom and the dots to help hold them in place. My favorite part, by far, is the striped binding!

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NeoBurstHeader

NeoBurst Pattern | sariella

Another panel from the quilt design is NeoBurst, which will be part of the quilt pattern and also available separately as an 18×20 mini quilt pattern. It will include an 18″ square variation, which is shown here made into a pillow.

NeoVol Pillow | sariella

NeoBurst is another quick-sew block with simple paper piecing and the opportunity to really have fun with fabric placement. Together with the NeoVol pattern, shown above as a pillow, you have a perfect set.

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NeoSphereHeader

NeoSphere Pattern | sariella

Last, but certainly not least, from me for today is NeoSphere. My favorite piece from the Neo Series changes every few minutes, but this circle has a special place in my heart! How can you not love it?!

The pattern will include directions to make this 18″ circular mini, as well as a box edge pillow. It will also include an option to finish the block as a square to use in a quilt or simply as a square mini or pillow.

NeoSphere Pattern | sariella

NeoSphere Pattern | sariella

My favorite thing about this pattern is that it looks complex, but goes together quick and easy. Don’t fear the curves! The center is created using simple paper piecing and the curved border is cut with templates. the final piece goes together in six wedges.

You can also change the design of the center by placing the templates in a different order, or how about an appliqué NeoVol butterfly in the center of the triangle? So many possibilities!

Sari's Mini

Sari has informed me that she has an open spot on her wall reserved for this one, so it will be headed off to hang out with Hazel, Luminaria and the rest of the gang out in WV! But I’ll be there to visit it soon, for the Sariella Retreat, Appalachian Edition!

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Neo Quilt Series | sariella

Sari and I have had so much fun creating these patterns and working with this amazing line. You can see how these fabrics really add such a fun pop of color and life to a space. It’s impossible to not be drawn to them.

I really need a whole cloth quilt with those stripes!

NeoVol Pattern | sariella

I can’t wait to hear what you think of the designs and show you all the fun variations our testers create over the next few weeks.

Be sure to stop by Sari’s blog tomorrow for more about the Neo Series and the Neoteric Quilt reveal! And stay tuned to our personal Instagram feeds (@lillyellasworld and @sariditty), as well as our Sariella feed (@sariellastudios) for updates and giveaways, including the NeoVol mini and a few bundles of Avantgarde fabric!

NeoQuilt Series | sariella

You can also check out all the other projects from the tour on @KatarinaRoccella or under the hashtag #avantgardefabricsblogtour.

see ya soon!
~ nicole

Neo Quilt Series | sariella

Undercover Maker Mat Pattern

Undercover Maker Mat free pattern | lillyella stitchery

This dual purpose sewing space organizer has double pockets and a removable thread catcher to keep all your notions at hand and your workspace tidy. It goes from under to {machine} cover when not in use with side ties to keep it in place.

Click here  to download the PDF pattern.

If you have any questions about the pattern, feel free to contact me anytime. Tag your photos with #undercovermakermat so everyone can be inspired!

Undercover Maker Mat free pattern | lillyella stitchery

Dressed Up Hot Pad Tutorial

Dressed Up Hot Pad Tutorial | lillyella stitchery

This Dressed Up Hot Pad features my Forest Floor Paper Piecing pattern but you can use your favorite patchwork block or even a single piece of a fun fabric. It sews up quick and the accents make it extra special.

I purchased my grommet kit from Walmart in the craft section, but you can also find them at any craft store or online. If you don’t have any scrap leather on hand, try looking at a second hand store for an old bag or jacket which you can cut and repurpose.

Click here or the image below to download the PDF tutorial. I hope you enjoy it!

Dressed Up Hot Pad Tutorial | lillyella stitchery

Midnight Bite Treat Bag Tutorial

Midnight Bite Treat Bag Tutorial | lillyella stitchery

After falling in love with that hexie print, I found the matching purple fabric and there began my plan! When I pieced the 10″ Midnight Bite block, I just knew it had to become a treat bag. This project slowly came together as I found each new piece and it couldn’t have worked out better!

The handles are webbing I found in the trim section of Joanns, the silver is reflective so it’s perfect for night time candy hunting! Then there is the bat trim… I mean, come on! It’s even purple. No brainer. I also found this at Joanns. It’s made by Simplicity and was on an endcap of an aisle. There were spider pom poms too, which I also have big plans for.

Midnight Bite Treat Bag Tutorial | lillyella stitchery

This bag was quick and easy to make and can be customized in a variety of ways. You can use any fabrics, a variety of trims or fabric for the handles, and you can even adjust the measurements to modify the size for your preferences. It doesn’t even have to be just for halloween, it would make a perfect holiday gift bag!

This tutorial is really basic (because I have more bats to make!), but if you have any questions, just leave a comment below or shoot me an email. Please read thru the entire tutorial before beginning.

PREPARING YOUR BAG PANELS:

The finished size of this bag is 10″ wide x 12″ high x 2.5″ deep at the bottom with a 4.5″ drop. Below are the trim sizes for the outer pieced panels, the bag lining and the handles. You will need two of each piece. My handles are about 1.25″ thick but you can make them any size you wish.

My bag has a small boxy bottom. Simply eliminate the corner cuts if you don’t want a boxy bottom. You may also want to shorten your bag if you do this. I wanted my bag handles to be just long enough to slide over my hand easily and hang from my forearm, but not so long that the bag would drag on the ground if a little one was carrying it. You can adjust this measurement to be comfortable for you.

Midnight Bite Treat Bag Tutorial | lillyella stitchery

Begin by piecing the three bottom outer panel pieces with a 1/4″ seam. In my bag, this is the bottom spiderweb print, the strip of dots and the focal bat (*see ‘Adding Decorative Trim’ section below for options on how to add trim accents).

Midnight Bite Treat Bag Tutorial | lillyella stitchery

The focal bat panel is the 10″ block from my Midnight Bite pattern, the finished width is 10.5″ and I trimmed the height of the block to 4.375″. This odd measurement was simply based on how I visually liked the bat to be framed, you can make this focal panel any size, just be sure to adjust the lining measurement equally. The same applies to the top band of my bag (the hexie print), the measurement was based on the size of the hexies.

Next you will add the handle before piecing on the top band of fabric.

Midnight Bite Treat Bag Tutorial | lillyella stitchery

Lay your top fabric right side up, right reading. Lay your handle on top spacing the two ends equally from the center. You can line up your handles with the bottom edge of your fabric or drop the ends down about 1/4″ below your fabric to give a little extra grip in there. My finished bag has about 2.5″ between the handles (it’s shown a little wider in this photo which I took after the fact). Pin in place.

Next you will lay the pieced section of your outer panel right side down, upside down, on top of your handle piece, lining up the bottom edges. Sew along the bottom edge with a 1/4″ seam. I recommend going back over the handle areas a couple times and backstitching well on either side of them.

Press the larger piece down. NOTE: My handles could not be ironed, so be sure to test your material if you aren’t sure.

Midnight Bite Treat Bag Tutorial | lillyella stitchery

Repeat these steps for the other side of your bag. After my two outer panels were assembled, I used fusible fleece  on them to stabilize my bag and I love the feel of it. You can also use batting and then quilt your panels or do some edge topstitching to hold it in place. If you’d like a lighter bag, you can use a medium weight interfacing, but I do recommend using some type of interfacing on the back of your outer panels. I did not use any interfacing on my lining.

CONSTRUCTING THE BAG:

Next you will take your two outer panels and place them right sides together. Sew with a 1/4″ seam down the left and right sides and across the bottom. You corner cut outs will be open. Repeat these steps for the two lining pieces, but leave a large gap in the bottom seam for turning. Just sew about 1/2″ in from either end.

To sew the boxed corners, keep your pieces wrong sides out. Open up the piece a bit and fold one inner side seam down to the inner bottom seam, lining them up and lining up both cut edges of your corner cut out. Sew along the edge with a 1/4″ seam. Repeat for the other side of your bag outside and your lining.

To sew in your lining, turn the outside of your bag right side out. Keep your lining wrong side out. Slide the outside of your bag into the lining, the two pieces will be right sides together. Line up the top edges making sure to match the side seams and sew around using a 1/2″ seam.

Turn your bag right side out through the gap in the bottom of your lining. Stitch the gap closed and turn your lining inside your bag. Press around the top and top stitch if desired.

Midnight Bite Treat Bag Tutorial | lillyella stitchery

ADDING DECORATIVE TRIM:

Once all the elements of this bag came together and I was planning the design (see a couple options I was tossing around below), I was going to stitch the bat trim onto the bag panels after they were pieced and then use a piece of woven striped ribbon on top. I liked the added design element but I also wanted to cover the satin ribbon the bats were on because it looked a little generic to me.

Midnight Bite Treat Bag Tutorial | lillyella stitchery

After texting about seven people for their opinions (ya, Im a high maintenance friend), I decided to keep it a little cleaner and just use the bat trim, but I did not want to throw off the balance of the black dotted fabric strip by having the black ribbon of the bats showing. Typically I would sew the trim into the seam, much like piping, but I was concerned about keeping it in place and hitting the beads with my machine foot. I also wanted the bats to fall evenly in line with my dots (OCD, I know). So I clipped the bats off the ribbon and restrung each one then sewed it in place on my bag panels. I did this after adding my fusible fleece to my pieced panels. Since there’s only five bats on each side, it went really quick.

FEATURED FABRICS:

The top hexie print is from the line Happy Haunting by Deena Rutter for Riley Blake (it also comes in orange and black!). I unfortunately have no idea what the purple background of my bat is. I grabbed it last minute at my LQS, but I’ll see if I can find it next time I’m up there. The Happy Haunting line has a purple print with tiny black spiders on it that would match and make a cute background, too. The black strip with the dots is Spellbound from Cotton + Steel and the bottom web print is from Spooktacular, Too (also in the newer Spooktacular Eve) by Maude Ashbury for Blend.

I hope you enjoy this tutorial, happy haunting, friends!

Midnight Bite Treat Bag Tutorial | lillyella stitchery

Disappearing nine-patch with sashing: a quick tutorial

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When I first started quilting, I thought the disappearing nine-patch block was like magic! Before I knew anything about modern fabric or designers, I found a Flea Market Fancy 6″ charm pack at my very traditional LQS and got to work.

The traditional nine-patch was a little busy for me, but add some sashing and boom! I was in love. Quick, easy, and a perfect, fun block for charm packs or squares of any size.

Disappearing nine-patch with sashing: a quick tutorial by lillyella stitchery

So here’s a quick breakdown on how this goes together (and finishing this is high on my WIP list, so I’ll hopefully post a completed pic soon!)…

The charm pack I had was 6″ squares, but you can use any size squares, as well as any size sashing. My strips are 1.5″ cut for a 1″ finished sashing.

Disappearing nine-patch with sashing: a quick tutorial by lillyella stitchery

Start by sewing three rows of three squares each with sashing strips between.

Disappearing nine-patch with sashing: a quick tutorial by lillyella stitchery

Next you will piece the three rows together with sashing strips to create your starting block and then cut it in half both ways to create four blocks.

Disappearing nine-patch with sashing: a quick tutorial by lillyella stitchery

You can now piece these blocks together, with or without more sashing, in any arrangement you like. They can all go in the same orientation for a symmetrical look or you can vary them. (The above pic is just a mock up if you’re wondering why my seams look funny!)

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So there you have it! This simple block has so many possibilities. Use bold colors and black sashing for a stained glass window effect or try using big prints in just the squares that don’t get cut and use solids for the rest of the blocks and the sashing.

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 17×15 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?
The pattern has been updated to include this super fun patchwork variation, too, AND instructions on how to make ANY SIZE basket you wish, from one inch to 1000 inches!
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You can download a PDF of the pattern by clicking HERE or the image below >
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

EPP Table Topper Pattern

Free EPP Table Topper Template | lillyella stitchery
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.
Free EPP Table Topper Template | lillyella stitchery
Free EPP Table Topper Template | lillyella stitchery
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.
Free EPP Table Topper Template | lillyella stitchery
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.
Free EPP Table Topper Template | lillyella stitchery
I hope you enjoy the template! If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment below or send me an email anytime.
Free EPP Table Topper Template | lillyella stitchery