Category Archives: Tutorial

Back-to-Front Binding Tutorial


One alternative to making traditional binding is to make a quilt-back big enough to fold over to the front of the quilt and sew in place.  That’s right, you can use the backing for the binding!  I’ve had a tutorial for this process up on the blog – it was one of my very first posts back in 2010!  But that tutorial needed some updates – here we go!

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Filed under Quilting, Techniques, Tutorial

Trapezoids at Work – Quilt Top and Tutorial


After seeing THIS IMAGE float around pinterest ( “Trapezoid Love” by Melanie Mikecz), I knew I wanted to do a wonky tumbler quilt.  And, like the inspiration piece, I wanted my points to match.  Wow… how was I going to make a liberated trapezoid quilt (no meticulous calculating and template-making), and still get the points to match?


It took a couple of unsuccessful trial runs before coming up with this method.  It’s not for everyone – at the end, you’ve got the entire quilt-top in your lap and you’re completing seams and wrestling and it’s a bit gnarly.  But I LOVE the final product.  I see more of these in my future…


I’ll chat a bit more about this quilt when I finish quilting it and binding it, but for now – a full tutorial!  I have no idea if the below will make any sense, but I tried my best and… you know… it’s free for you to read.

traezoidsatwork copy

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Filed under Fabric, Inspiration, Pattern, Techniques, Tutorial

Archicoop! Quilt Top

Architextures by Carolyn Friedlander is the first line of fabric where I needed every.single.piece.  So wasn’t I a lucky duck to get a 1/2 yard bundle of the entire line for Christmas?! (Thanks, hubs!)


The colors shout “Spring!” and ever since I saw Rossie’s Pebble Quilt, I’ve been hankering to make an egg blanket.

The pattern on this fabric is so geometric and linear, could it work for this design?  I needed to do a Photoshop mock-up!  (Check out this STUPID EASY tutorial for how to make something like this – I was shocked at the ease!)


I looked good to me, so I went ahead and started making my egg blocks using Rossie’s Applique tutorial.  If you’ve seen the Famous Porthole Quilt by Lucie Summers I think this is the method!


I verged from Rossie’s tutorial in a couple of places.  For one, I didn’t trim the seam allowances before flipping the facing to the back.  I found that the facing would flip easier if I had more fabric to convince it to go with the flow.  And instead of top-stitching the layers together, I opted to pull out my fabric glue stick and do the Six Minute Circle method.    Just a couple dabs of water-soluble glue on the flipped fabric and stick it to your egg.  Then you sew along the same line from when you sewed your flipping fabric into place.  Essentially, you are sewing the seam allowance from the foreground piece to the egg background piece.  Go slow.  You can do it.


No top-stitching! No hand-sewing!

After I sewed my facing to the egg fabric, I clipped the seam allowances.


Pretty quilt top!  Ready for backing and batting and basting and quilting and binding.


Filed under Fabric, Inspiration, Techniques, Tutorial

Sew and Turn Applique


Do you love the look of needle-turn applique, but don’t have the skills or the patience to pull-off the technique? Then this style of applique is for YOU! No needle-turning, no raw-edges, no cutting of precise shapes; Yes gorgeous, and polished appliques in ANY SHAPE YOU CAN IMAGINE.

I’ve used this technique for a boat-load of projects, such as…
This red tree quilt and its leaves:


These clouds:


And this quilt top I’ve had in the works:


Read on for a full tutorial!

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Filed under Techniques, Tutorial

Quickish Tree Skirts

At our house we have two six-foot tall fake Christmas trees jammed into corners.  It’s a tight fit and I haven’t found tree-skirts in stores that I like that will also work with our size restrictions.  It was finally time to kick it into gear and crank some out.

However, with all of the other holiday festivities and sewing projects going on, I didn’t have infinite time – so I took one big short cut:  I bought pre-quilted fabric from JoAnn’s.  GASP. SHAME.  But it fits the look I was going for (Country Cottage Christmas) and with a coupon it was super cheap.


I cut a 40″ in diameter circle out of the pre-quilted fabric. I folded it into quarters for ease of getting the shape. Then I cut out a 4″ in diameter circle out of the center. Then a slit.


Around the circumference, I pleated some linen-like fabric. First I pinned the pleats into place and then I did a stay-stitch. Over that layer I pleated some transparent holiday glitter fabric. For this fabric, I folded over the raw-edge as I pinned the pleats into place.

I didn’t finish the quilted fabric’s circumference edge because I was covering it up with the other fabrics.  However, if you felt like you were going to be washing your tree skirt a lot, how about zig-zag stitching that edge to keep everything tidy?


I used the selvedge-edge of the homespun cotton (looks like linen) so it has that cute fray.


I bound the raw-edges of the slit and the center circle with twill-tape binding and attached some ribbons to secure the skirt once it was around the tree-base.


Pretty! And hello University of Michigan Stadium Ornament.


For my other tree-skirt I simply stay-stitched some lace around the circumference, and then I sewed some brown leather-like Ric-rak over the edge of the lace.


For the exposed edges along the slit and the inner circle, I sewed on some green binding. I also attached some ribbons so I could tie the tree skirt together once it was around the tree-base.


Looks nice! Cat photo-bomb


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Filed under Fabric, Holiday, Tutorial

Positive Space Quilt Along!

I’m so excited to announce that I’m hosting a quilt-along for the Positive Space pattern.   I would absolutely LOVE to have you join me!

And to make this even more exciting – Pink Castle Fabrics is offering a coupon code for all participants!  The code is POSITIVE15 – 15% off all purchases!  It’s good from now until the end of October, mmkey doke?

So if you’re interested in participating…

** Head on over to Craftsy to get your pattern and find out your fabric requirements.  The pattern has information for a throw – a King sized quilt!   Just $8 for a PDF download.  You can also get it from Etsy or Threadbias.

**Snag this coloring page to design your quilt and dream of fabrics.  (Click to enlarge, drag and drop to your desktop!) The pattern offers a guide for using Kona Solids, but do whatever you feel!

**Go to Pink Castle Fabrics and get your stash ready!  Don’t forget the coupon code – POSITIVE15

**Check back here starting Monday, October 1st to go through the whole quilting process.  BOOKMARK THIS PAGE to keep track of all upcoming blog posts regarding the quilt along! The schedule will look something like this:

  • OCTOBER 1 – Cutting fabrics
  • OCTOBER 5- Assembling Court House Steps Blocks
  • OCTOBER 10- Making Columns As
  • OCTOBER 15- Making Column Bs
  • OCTOBER 22- Making Column Cs and finishing the top
  • OCTOBER 26- Backing and basting
  • OCTOBER 29- Quilting and binding

Here’s the flickr group! Please upload so we can all enjoy your wonderful projects!

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Filed under Quilt Along, Quilting, Shop, Tutorial

Tutorial: Too Tight Shorts to Just Right Skirt

I had a pair of shorts that were fairly low-rise and were too tight on my hips.  I decided to turn them into a skirt!  As a skirt, I’d be able to wear the item a bit higher on my waist, and therefore it wouldn’t be too tight.

So here are the shorts, pinching my hips uncomfortably…

Now this is a bit confusing because these next two pictures are of a different pair of pants I was attempting to do this same transitions with… It didn’t work out (sometimes too tight just means too tight) but these images will help guide us through the next two steps.

First cut open the leg seams all the way through the crotch and down the other leg.  Turn your shorts or pants inside out and lay flat with “legs” together.

Draw a guide line smoothing out the curve of the rump and the little point on the… ahem… crotchal region.    Sew down the line and down the pant leg.

Try on your tube (it may be super snug) and find out where you’ll want the hem to be.   Cut the skirt to desired length.  Go back and reinforce seam stitches.

If you want, you can hem the skirt with a blind-stitch or top-stitching, but I chose to let mine fray.

And yes, this was too tight to be functional – as someone who is often running and chasing and wrestling little boys.   So I added some little “pleats” into the sides.  I slipped some scrap fabric behind a slit in the sides and top-stitched the triangles into place.  I didn’t turn the fabric under here, because I was cool with the frayed/raw look.

And then in the back, I cut a little slit and turned the edges under, top-stitching in place.

Now it is a very comfortable skirt!

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Filed under Clothes, Tutorial

Fancy Fabric T-Shirt “Pockets”

I – like many quilters – am a fabric lover.  I noticed I was avoiding wearing a couple of t-shirts because they had sad, saggy, pockets.  Finally it occurred to me to replace the pockets with some of my favorite fabrics.

Yup – my last scrap of mermaids : )

These are not actually pockets.  If you are really using the “pocket” function for these shirts, I don’t know what to tell ya.    Here’s how I make them:

Authentic 1950s fabric

I just got this fabric recently from an Ebay auction.  It’s said to be from the 50s and it certainly has that feel!  Spoiler alert – if you’re in my guild, you could land a half-yard of this at the next meeting’s swap!  Wouldn’t it look cute with Flea Market Fancy?

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Filed under A2MQG, Clothes, Fabric, Tutorial

Add Sleeves to a Tank!

This is a quasi-tutorial for adding sleeves to a tank-top.

Here’s an unloved tank-top I had that I never wore, because you couldn’t wear a real bra under the shirt.

For this refashion, I simply used t-shirt sleeves from an old t-shirt, so it’s a bit of a cheat  : )

Grab an old t-shirt

Cut off the sleeve. Cut the armpit seam open, leaving the shoulder in tact.

Tuck the raw edges of the sleeve under your tank top! Sew on the right-side of the tank-top, close to the edge.

I added a funny little pocket, too.

Enjoy wearing a real bra, everybody!

I’m going to try a different tank to tee refashion soon, so keep checking the blog!


Filed under Clothes, Tutorial

Lace Sided Shorts Tutorial

This is a simple refashion you can do to any pair of shorts or pants you’d like to make a little flirty.

Sorry – can’t find the original source for these…

I saw these shorts and liked the idea, but for my personal preference, I didn’t want the lace to be in such a stark contrast to the jeans.

This lace was about 3 inches wide and was found at JoAnn Fabrics. It was originally white, but I died it to this smokey blue.

I cut out a triangular shape and sewed it to the side of my jean cut-offs (centered on the side seam). I used a tight stitch, since I expect the lace will fray a bit with repeated washing.

Once I sewed the lace in place, I cut out the jean fabric from inside the triangle. It’s a flirty little peek-a-boo!


And here’s me sneezing during the photography session : )




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Filed under Clothes, Tutorial