Twisted Sister Ribbon Blankie

Hmmm, what to do with all these scraps?

Matching ribbon blankie!

This is the first thing I’ve ever made “wonkily” – it’s very un-OCD! I sewed together four varying strips, twice (okay, in the same sequence on both blocks), then sliced them in half – ooh, but NOT in half! More like three-quarters and one-quarter! Daring! And then pieced as shown.

Published in: on April 14, 2010 at 8:20 am  Leave a Comment  
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Stash Project – Pennant Flags

A friend the best wedding photographer in Orlando asked me to make these for her to advertise her business, and I found (after drawing lines for an hour!) that they’re the PERFECT fat quarter project. Really! You can cut exactly six 8×10 flags from each, or ten smaller flags. (I don’t remember how small. 8×10 is perfect so stick with that.)

All the instructions I could find online were vague about the cutting and mostly no-sew. I wanted to back the flags in pink felt (um, because it was in the remnants) so the flags wouldn’t flap in the wind. After all, these need to be reuseable!

So I started by folding the FQ in half on the shorter side (you’ll have 9″ showing) and cutting that in half (at the 10.5″ mark.)

Next, mark each 10.5×18″ section at the 4.5″ and 13.5″ point on the top, and the 9″ and 18″ at the bottom. Slice and dice between the marks. (OK, so they’re more like 8.5×10″ flags. I’m allowing you a half inch for error.)

And there you have three flags! (I stacked here, which is why you can see the flowers under the stripes.) Rinse and repeat with as many FQs as you want. I used four for a total length of 27′ of flags. Don’t worry about the half-flags. We’ll get to them later.

Cut whatever backing you’re using, as well. Sew the front to the backing (make sure you keep front sides together if the backing has a front side!) Leave the top open. Trim tops/sides/the tip of the bottom.

Turn the flags right side out and iron them nice and flat. If you’re using felt, don’t iron the felt side. I’m just saying.

Get whatever binding you’re comfortable using – I bought half inch double fold. Since I had four FQs and we wanted at least 4″ in between each flag, we decided on three packages of 3-yard binding. Unfold it, pin it down, and sew across the first fold line on every flag. Just for added security in the Florida hurricanes.

Once all the flags are secured, fold the binding back over and top-stitch along the entire binding, even between flags, so everything stays where it should. If you’re being fancy, use a pretty stitch. I thought about doing rickrack, but it didn’t look right to me. Form your own opinions.

And there you have a cruddy picture of the finished flags! It was snowing and I wasn’t going outside to hang them up, and I have no where attractive indoors to hang 27′ of these things. I’m begging my friend to send a picture from her event.

BTW, she choose the fabric based on this wedding. Which is my favorite wedding ever. The next time I get married, I’m totally doing the carnival. It’s Michael Miller Plain Jane Aqua. So cheerful! I love the way the big flowers look on the flags, especially that red one in the middle right. Adorable!

Oh, and remember the half-flags? Put them back together and you have a FQ again!

OK, actually, I’m going to sew them together, sash them, border them, quilt them and bind them, and send them off to Project Linus in my friend’s name.

Published in: on February 3, 2010 at 9:24 pm  Comments (1)  
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Stash/Scrap Project – Coffee Cup Sleeve

I’ve been meaning to do this project forever, and finally got around to it when Sew Mama Sew announced Scrap Busting Month. And I’ll do just about anything for a gift certificate to the SMS shop!

This is a great scrap project because you can use such little bits and pieces for the sleeve. I tend to save anything bigger than 1×1″, so it’s nice to have a project to bust some little scraps.

I added some variations at the end, so read through before starting!

Step 1 – go to your favorite coffee shop and order your favorite drink. If you need a suggestion, I recommend a skinny latte, half pump caramel, half pump vanilla – if you’re being good. If you’re being bad, go for the peppermint white mocha. Make sure the drink comes with the cardboard sleeve. After finishing your coffee, carefully pull apart the sleeve.

Now you have a template!

Step 2 – put the template on your inside of choice. You can use Insul-Brite (I did), regular batting (especially if you’re using up scraps of batting!), or interfacing. If you’re using interfacing, though, I’d pick the heaviest weight available. Coffee is hot! Do not use the cardboard as batting unless you plan on never washing it.

Cut out the batting/interfacing in the shape of the template.

Step 3 – pull out those scraps! I used leftovers from the Butterfly Baby Quilt. I had a couple leftover squares that were begging to be pinwheeled, and lots of other little pieces to choose from.

Lay out scraps next to the template-batting to make sure you have enough. I used flannel on the front sides, and they are toasty warm around a cup.

Sew your two sides. I used 1/4″ seams.

Step 4 – put the two sides together, right sides facing each other, with the template-batting on top.

Sew along the template edge.

Leave a small hole to turn the fabric. Not too small of a hole, Insul-Brite at least is rather thick and hard to turn! (I actually stuffed mine after turning, which was also a pain!)

Step 5 – trim away the excess fabric, especially at the corners.

Step 6 – turn the fabric. Insert batting if you forgot it. Sew the hole shut either by machine or by hand. (Or, see Step 7 before sewing hole.)

Step 7 – determine how you want to secure the cozy. I hand-sewed the edges together. It probably would have worked just as well to hold the edges together and whip-stitch it. I don’t think I’d recommend machine sewing the edges, just because it’d be a little bulky of a seam.

But there’s plenty of other ways to finish it. You could:

1) go plain with the fabrics and add a wide ribbon to wrap-tie it, like the crayon rolls.

2) make the left and right side longer and add velcro to the back side before sewing the front and back together.

3) leave a hole on each side and add ribbon to tie.

4) make the sides a little longer and add a cute button and buttonhole. Or a button and fabric or ribbon loop.

5) use hook and eyes to secure it. Or any fasteners or snaps!

Okay, that’s not really plenty. Any other suggestions, add in the comments! 🙂

Step 8 – go back to your favorite coffee shop and order another peppermint white mocha a skinny latte. Slide your new sleeve over the drink and watch everyone ooh and ahh. Feel smug about the number of cardboard sleeves that will no longer go to the landfill…as you sip from your disposable cup.

Published in: on October 22, 2009 at 8:45 pm  Comments (2)  
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Stash Project – Stroller Bag (Part 2)

Part 1

Today I worked on the bottom straps for the stroller bag. They came from the bottom hem of the jean shorts.

They were nice and wide and hence easy to slice right off.

I decided that I definitely need to sew them into the inside of the bag instead of the outside, because otherwise they detracted from the pockets. Yes, it’s the back, but whatever, I like seam ripping. So I ripped, placed, and measured.

I didn’t really need to pin it, but I was trying to figure out how to sew the strap into the seam and yet on both the inside and outside of the bag. Really makes a whole lot more sense to sew this BEFORE any of the bottom seams, but we’re learning as we go. If you sew it before all the seams, you can just stitch it in along the bottom and cross it on the way up the side.

Yeah, doing it before the seam would be MUCH easier. Next time! (Not that I’m planning another of these. And this strap wouldn’t exist on a purse made out of jeans. Oh well!)

After I sewed across the above seam to seal it on the inside and outside, I sewed it along in the inside to secure it. PAIN IN THE BUTT! (Have I mentioned this would have been a lot easier if, um, I had sewed the strap into the bottom seam?)

Way too much fabric, near impossible to keep everything flat and even, really impossible to get over the bunches at the corners and existing seams. My sewing machine can do a circle of fabric, but I don’t think the manufacturing thought someone would be shoving jeans through the little opening underneath!

So it came out looking a little, um, interesting in the back. But it’s the back, so it’s OK.

The front looks fine!

And strapped to the stroller.

I’ll add velcro to the ends of the straps so if the Wee One ever wants to nap, we can release it easily so the stroller can recline. Not that the Wee One naps anymore, but…

Now I just have to figure out what to use for the top straps. As support straps instead of mostly decorative, they need to be a lot stronger than this one!

Published in: on September 4, 2009 at 12:19 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Stash Project – Stroller Bag (Part 1)

This is the ultimate stash project – a pair of old jean shorts and no pattern. I couldn’t find anything on the internet to go by! So I dragged the stroller into the bedroom (good thing the husband is off doing some training) and started cutting.

BTW, credit goes to my little sister. I mentioned that I wanted to make a stroller bag for our water bottles in Disney World, and also that I wanted to try my hand at making a purse and an apron out of old jeans. We were debating what to do with my Lucky jeans (will probably be the purse – lucky them!) when suddenly we realized, duh, jeans, stroller bag!

So I started with a pair of old, ripped jean shorts. I can’t fit them and probably won’t ever again. Not that they can be used for anything but gardening.

Sliced off about 6-8″ to get above the rip in the side. I made sure to stay below the pockets, though, so they can still be used from the outside. And then stitched a seam along the bottom.

Used some ribbon to hold it to the stroller. Conveniently, there’s holes at the belt loops in just the right places! I decided I wanted a little more curve on the bottom sides, so pinned those up and stitched them across. Inside is my 32-ounce Rubbermaid bottle – see, it fits perfectly! And see, it matches the stroller! Which is completely unintentional – heck, I don’t even like the color of the stroller. No, I did not get lime green because of the DIS! I got the lime green because that was the one that could be shipped fastest!

OK, so I had the outside of the bag down.

Well, mostly – I’m still considering embellishment with a Mickey ribbon through the belt loop or something. (Hobby Lobby has Disney Princess ribbon. No Mickey ribbon. Princesses suck.)

Oh, and I saved the bottom of the shorts – I’ll attach the nice wide hem to the bottom of the bag and use velcro on the ends to attach it to the stroller. This probably should have been done BEFORE sewing the sides up, but eh, c’est la vie. It’s the backside, anyway.

Also, I need to figure out what I’m going to use to attach the top to the stroller, as well. Probably with velcro, so we can pull it off and take it in line if need be. Ooh, and maybe it needs a strap for when we take it in line, too! Wait, this is getting a little complicated for a little pouch to hold water bottles and baby wipes. OK, the most important thing is that the straps be strong enough to hold 60+ ounces of water.

So now that I’m totally undecided on the details of the outside, it’s time to think of the inside! Since the bag is primarily for Disney World (the Wee One walks everywhere else), I pretty quickly settled on this.

Bought it for bathroom curtains three houses and one apartment ago. (You’d think would be a long time ago, but yet it was…last summer…) Never made them for the house with a bathroom window, and the last two houses and apartment haven’t had a window in the Mickey bathroom. So the fabric was just begging to be used in a WDW stroller bag! And, when folded over and attached just under the hem of the pants, is the perfect size. With more than plenty left over for some dividing inside pockets, and trim (I think it need a Mickey patch on the outside, right?), and…

So now I’ve got to decide what I want in the inside, and cut and sew. Off to research purse linings! And hunt for Mickey ribbon! And…!

Published in: on August 27, 2009 at 2:33 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Stash Project – Camo Crayon Belt

OK, this doesn’t really count as a stash project, not for me at least. I saw it, loved it, and bought fabric for it. But the fabric came from the remnants bin, so that should count for something, right?

I came across Grace Violet when searching for a ribbon blankie idea. She has a super cute ribbon football that I’ll probably make.  And the drawstring bag, and the fabric bucket, and the bandanna stuff, and… OK, I just love everything. But I started with the camo crayon belt because the Wee One wanted a crayon thing that was more boy-ish.

The camouflage fabric is 43″, which seemed about right, so I laid out a crayon and decided on 6″ for the belt width. Cut 7″ for 1/2″ seams.

Can I just mention how much I love this sewing gauge thingie? Never used it before but I use it all the time now!

Did a decorative stitch on the hems, but I don’t love it. Too girly. Next one, I’ll use a straight stitch or something more triangle-ish.

I thought about making this more like a sash, with a curved shoulder and hip, but I didn’t have a sash to pattern off of, so I went with a single piece of fabric, simply straight seamed at the bottom. If the seam at the bottom doesn’t look like it will hold up to the Wee One’s use, I’ll reinforce it on the next one. With a decorative stitch of course!

I bought 1.5″ ribbon for the crayon holding. Cut 16.5″ – 16 1″ crayon slots and 0.5″ for the seams. Since the belt is 6″ across, I put the ribbon 1.75″ from each edge. I started placing pins for the 1″ slots, but got bored by about the fifth.

So then I started just putting the gauge on the sewing machine. Oh, and on this crayon thing, I had to start and stop and backstitch and such since the crayons slide through. I’m not sure if I like it any better than the ups and downs of the continuous line crayon roll. Both are a pain!

And then you have all these threads to snip at the end!

Now that he’s tried it on, I think definitely next time I’ll cut in at the hip to make it sit better. As you can see, it fits regular crayons, big crayons, and big markers. Skinny markers fall out – I assume they’re too long. And if you want all markers, you might want to make it wider.

But in the end, it’s an hour-long project and a happy Wee One!

Published in: on August 19, 2009 at 10:25 am  Leave a Comment  
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Stash Project – Ribbon Blankie

A year ago, my goddaughter, Roo, was born. I made her a quilt – seen here in an unfinished state. As you can see, yes, I was pretty bad at the quilting stuff back then, too. Plus, the symmetry is so completely off, but non-OCD people thought it was fine and I really didn’t want to be seam ripping.


So anyway, I had leftover pink satin and leftover yellow backing, which Roo’s mom bought in Hawaii. (Nothing like someone handing you a yard of fabric and saying, “Here, make something with this!”) I always told her I’d make something out of the extra fabric, and so, just in time for a belated birthday present, here it is. (Get used to the belated stuff, Roo. Your godmother runs five minutes behind for everything.)

Like the crayon roll, there’s about a million blogs with descriptions on how to make  ribbon blankies. I adapted from Chica and Jo – mine is much smaller, only 6×6″ because that’s all the yellow I had left. My ribbon loops are also only 3″ long total (so 1.5″ looped) and of course, being a quasi-quilter, I used 1/4″ seams. Also, a handy tip – they pinned the ribbons with the pins on the inside once you start sewing. I pinned from the backside so I could remove the pins before turning it right-side-out, and avoided getting jabbed.


I bought two rolls of ribbon, the green with pink flowers and pink with green edges. Everything else came out of a remnants bag from Hobby Lobby.

The only time-consuming part is pinning everything together. It stitches together nicely in under five minutes. I think I’m going to go around the edge with a decorative stitch just to hold everything into place for good.


Personally, I like this size – it’s baby-hand-sized. Or maybe I’m just more used to the Wee One’s tiny, um, scrap of a blankie.

Published in: on August 9, 2009 at 9:09 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Stash Project – Crayon Roll

I have a lot of extra fabric. But unlike many other stashes, mine is from projects I started…and never finished. Mostly because, um, what the hell was I thinking when I started? (My husband says the same thing every time he looks at the one chair I painted. Stripping chairs takes a long time.)

This was my first, uh, um, “quilt.” I started it seven years ago when we were first married. I knew even less about quilting then. The burgundy is pre-quilted fabric. The green floral fabric is not. And look at those amazingly straight sashings! Er, right. The best I can say is the fabrics really match well. Go me!


I have approximately 1.5 yards of the burgundy uncut, and 20 10.5″ (hey, look, I knew about 1/4″ seams back then!) blocks. Er, that’s including the twelve I have to seam rip there.


I can only assume I was planning on using the green floral as backing as well as sashing, because there’s a buttload of it. 3.5 yards, not counting the already-cut sashing. Today’s project barely made a dent in it.

Oh, and topping off the pile is a cute sunflower fabric that I once used to cover a papasan chair. It didn’t really work. So now I have almost 2 yards of that. It goes well with this fabric, so it will probably be used.


And today’s project was…


I give credit to my older sister, who found the first link over a year ago. I don’t remember who’s site it was, but just about every sewing mom has one. Google says: Skip to My Lou, Chocolate on My Cranium, Nested – they all have a tutorial. Every sewing mom on Etsy has them in their shop. Crayon rolls are the hip thing to have in your diaper bag. Or the bag you toss whatever you can remember to take with you in the morning. Luckily, the Wee One packs his own stuff, and he was very excited about this project.

For the most part, I followed the online tutorials. 5″ for the outside and inner fabric, 6″ folded over for the crayon slots. Instead of interfacing, I used the pre-quilted fabric. Seems to work as well, but a bit bulkier.

I only did 12 crayon slots – which, each slot is 1″ except the first and last, which are 1.25″. So my fabric was 12.5″ long. If you want 13 crayons, you use 13.5″ – (11) 1″ + (2) 1.25″. Etc, etc.

I foloowed Nested’s suggestion of continuous line sewing, because I hate stopping and starting. And really, going up 5″, turning the corner, over 1″, turning the corner, down 5″ – 12 times! – is so much easier. I marked my 1″ with pins because I couldn’t find my fabric pen.


Sewn right sides together. I left the entire right side open for flipping, in case I royally screwed up and needed easier seam ripping. But for once I did it right, and even the top and bottom stitches from the continuous lines were hidden.


Sure, my lines aren’t straight. But every crayon fits and that’s what counts, right?


The Wee One is happy, for now, but he wants one in a “boy” fabric. Also, one in marker size. That requires buying interfacing and rifling through my stash. I should have the right amount of Air Force fabric for a crayon roll after trimming down the airplane block quilt I’m working on. Which really needs to be tomorrow’s project!

Oh, and the burgundy pre-quilted fabric should yield 33 of these suckers. At 30 minutes to sew, I think I will have a nice pile for the holiday sale in November. And then I will have a little bit less stash. But still a whole lot of that green floral…

Published in: on August 3, 2009 at 9:49 pm  Leave a Comment  
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