Mini Maker Station SAL Kick Off!


Good gravy, how is it February?! I still have a Christmas tree in my studio, but hopefully I can get it down this week :)! I’m SO SO excited to kick off the Mini Maker Station Sew Along (SAL) today! This pattern was in the works for SO long, because A) I’m slow, B) I’m busy, and C) it was a ton of computer work, which I loathe! However, it’s a pretty easy sew, even for beginners. If you haven’t downloaded the pattern, you can find it here.

This SAL will run for a bit over two weeks, ending on February 18. In today’s post I’m going to talk just a bit about selecting fabrics and go over some of the other materials you need. I’m also going to share some tutorial links on basic quilting and binding for those who may be new to quilting, and a couple tips about thread catcher placement. This week we’ll be working on the main body of the Maker Station and the thread catcher. Next Monday I’ll have a new blog post with some tips about creating the fabric basket and working with the magnets.

You are free to work at your own pace and in any order you’d like! Share your progress photos on social media with the hashtags #minimakerstationSAL and #minimakerstation to inspire and encourage others, and have a chance to win a couple fun prizes!

If you haven’t picked up a hardware or are waiting for yours to arrive, don’t worry! You can still begin your project as there is plenty you can do without it, especially during the first week. You can create the entire body and just wait to sew the last bit of binding down until you have the metal, and you can create the thread catcher. There is also quite a bit you can do on the pin cushion and basket next week before you need to add the magnets.

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I want to quickly touch on why I don’t often include “fabric requirement” sections in my patterns, including this one. There are endless ways to layout and customize this project. I never want to lock someone into fabric placements by specifying what you should use where. One person may use three fabrics for the whole project, while another may use thirteen! Also, the cuts on a project like this are all small, so a fabric requirement list would simply be the same as the cutting instructions. The specific sizes of all the pieces you need for each part of the pattern are included at the beginning of each labeled section.

Now, onto materials! If you have not already purchased a hardware kit or sourced your own materials, you can find more information about those materials needed here, including my sources.

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All fabrics used are standard quilting cotton. You could use some lightweight linens or blends, but thicker materials, such as canvas, may be too bulky for the pin cushion, basket and thread catcher, as they’re all pretty small. In addition to your fabrics, you also need a couple different interfacings. Sometimes these can be optional, as they are often used for added durability, but in this project they are required as they hold the magnets in place and create the basket.

The first is Pellon brand SF101, also known as ShapeFlex. You can find this at any fabric store or Walmart with a craft section. You can also order it online. This can be substituted with another featherweight or lightweight fusible interfacing if you wish, but the SF101 is my preference.


The second interfacing you need is Pellon brand Peltex 71F, ultra firm single sided fusible interfacing. I do not recommend substituting this with anything else as it creates the main structure of your fabric basket. Be sure that you get the 71F and not the 70 (sew in) or 72 (double sided fusible). This interfacing is very thick, it should look and feel similar to a piece of cardboard. It should not fold without “creasing” itself. You can also find this interfacing at fabric stores, Walmart (or the like), or online. Next week I’ll share some helpful tips for keeping the basket edges nice and crisp!


For filling the pincushion, I like to use ground walnut shells because I love the weight and feel, especially with the square shape. It’s like an adorable little bean bag! I purchase mine at a local quit shop, but Plum Easy (the brand I get) also sells online here. If you’re making this for a gift, just avoid the shells if someone has a nut allergy! I have also used polyester stuffing in the cushion, which works perfectly fine!

The last little “extras” you need are some thin ribbon or trim and buttons to hang your thread catcher (which is optional!).

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If you’re a sewist, but new to quilting, don’t fear! The body of the Maker Station is a great first project to dip your toes into the world of quilting!

To create the main body of the Maker Station, you will need basic knowledge of how to layer your top, batting and backing and how to do the quilting stitches. This tutorial from Suzy Quilts covers all the basics. It applies to a large quilt, so working with your main mat body will simply be a smaller and simpler version! Straight line quilting is a great design for beginners, or a crosshatch is a always a nice option, too. I’m not sure its mentioned in the tutorial, but I love using a Herra Marker (a bone folder or scoring tool also works similarly) to mark my quilting lines, especially for something like a crosshatch. Here is a video on using a Herra Marker.

Another quilting technique you will need to know comes at the end of the body and thatt is binding. This is the little edge “wrap” that goes around the entire piece and seals everything up. Here is a helpful tutorial from Craftsy.

The body and thread catcher are fairly straight forward and the pattern includes detailed instructions and diagrams on creating these pieces, but if you have questions at any point, feel free to email me through my website or contact me on social media. I’m always happy to help!

When it’s time to sew the buttons for hanging your thread catcher, think about where you will be using your Maker Station. I prefer to hang my thread catcher on the side farthest away from me so my leg doesn’t hit it and it’s not in the way of my pockets, so this placement will vary if you place the station to your right or your left. Also keep in mind it’s “reversible” in a sense, you can place either set of pockets on the inside of your seat or the outside. I sew at least two buttons on my body, but you can sew four buttons (one on every outer edge) so you’re fully versatile!

As I mentioned, this little thread catcher is an optional piece, but I love it. If you don’t use it for scraps, you can use it for extra storage. It’s also a handy design to use elsewhere, like on your sewing machine!

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So those are all the basics for this week as we create our main body and thread catcher. I will be posting photos of my progress on Instagram through the week, so I hope you follow along! I’ll also be sharing the prizes.

Remember to use the tags #minimakerstationSAL and #minimakerstation, and share with a friend!


Sewlebrity Sewalong & Book Giveaway!


Hello there, friends! I’m so excited to be a part of the Just for You Sewlebrity Book Tour & Sewalong this month! I met Caroline of Sew Can She & Sarah of Blue Susan Makes at Quilt Market last fall when they were releasing their book, Just for You, and I instantly fell in love with it, and them!

The book features 24 selfish sewing projects for you to indulge in throughout the year. Garments, bags, aprons, scarves, belts, jewelry and more – all completely adorable. Though I’d say the projects range a bit in difficulty, there are amazing photographs and instructions that make every project doable for any sewist. Not only do you need a copy for yourself, but it’s perfect to give as a gift or a swap extra. AND I’m giving away a copy (giveaway closed, thanks to all who entered)! Read on, friends…

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I made the Top Stitched Belt from the August chapter of the book, which was such a perfect fit for me because I love accessories and I love wearing belts with dresses! This project was really quick and easy to sew up, and the versatility is endless. I had the D-rings and rectangle rings on hand but I’ve seen them available at craft stores, hardware stores and even Walmart. You can use a variety of hardware options from metal to plastic (shower curtain rings?! maybe!).

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I made two versions (and it was hard to stop myself there). The first I made out of Robert Kaufman Rustica Chambray which I’m totally obsessed with. Everything goes with denim, right? I have so many bold, patterned dresses that I knew it would be perfect with all of them (here I’m wearing a sleeveless version of the Washi Dress by Made By Rae).

I really love the top stitching on this belt. I hoard collect a million colors of thread just for projects like these! I had to go with yellow on the denim, because it’s my favorite color and it also goes with everything. Did you ever notice how stitching on jeans is usually yellow?

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The second belt I made out of the new line Lucky Strikes by Kim Kight for Cotton + Steel. This floral has been calling to me since I first saw. I used a purple top stitch on this one and I love how it can be worn with jeans or a dress.

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The pattern gives you directions to easily figure out measurements based on your hardware and the length you want your belt. When using O-rings, you add 1/4″ to the width, but since my rings had flat edges, I used the exact measurement of the opening and did not add any extra, which worked out perfectly.

I really hope you check out this book, I guarantee you’ll love it! You can check out more projects from the book tour and sewalong on Sew Can She and under the hashtag #justforyoubook.

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Now I get to give away a copy! US residents will receive a hard copy and international friends will receive an e-book. Simply leave a comment below and I’ll pick a winner next Monday morning. Now go do some selfish sewing just for you!

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