13 October, 2015

New shopping bag

I made a new shopping bag, to match the bag I made some time ago for one of my sisters. 

I used my quick shopping bag pattern and now I am thinking to make a few in Christmas fabrics.

shopping bag

shopping bag

I like matching things!!
shopping bag
Have a wonderful sewing day!

09 October, 2015

Sew No Binding Quilted Placemats/Coasters

Do you hate binding quilts?

I know not all the quilters love binding quilts (do you need help to change this? this tip should help!).

Then let's sew some "no binding" quilted pieces!

No Binding Quilt tutorial

Quilted placemates and coasters are quick projects to sew. I bet you will love making them even more if there is a "no-binding" option.

No Binding Quilt tutorial
Fabric used is Robert Kaufman "Holiday Flourish" by Peggy Toole
(btw, Peggy's designs are so beautiful;
each of her line is most beautiful than the others!)
 No Binding Quilt tutorial

Here is what you need  to start:
  • a beautiful piece of fabric, in the size needed (a printed block like this cut out from a panel is great, but any piece of fabric works);
  • a piece of batting, the same size as the top fabric;
  • backing fabric, 1 1/2'' wider and 1 1/2'' longer than the front fabric.
    I used a solid fabric (to keep the directions clear), but a beautiful print fabric would be better.

Lay the top on the batting, matching all the edges. Keep the layers together with your favorite basting technique. On these small pieces I prefer to use an an adhesive spray.

No Binding Quilt tutorial

Quilt the piece as desired. I just love this grid quilting. When the quilting is done, check to see if the quilting distorted the piece and square it if necessary.

No Binding Quilt tutorial

Another option would be to just attach the batting to the front fabric; the quilting will be done later. Sew along all the edges with 1/8'' seam allowances (see the photo below).

Prepare the backing

Cut the backing in half. Put the two sections right sides together; sew the long edges with 1/2" seam allowance, leaving a few inches unstitched in the center (long enough for easy turning the piece to the other side).

No Binding Quilt tutorial
Press the seam allowances in one direction.

Here is the right side of the backing, with the gap in the center.
Center the quilted (or unquilted) piece over the backing, right sides together.
Sew along all the edges with 1/4'' seam allowances.

No Binding Quilt tutorial
Trim off the excess backing, using the top piece as a template.

Clip the corners.

Pull the quilt through the opening so that everything is right side out.

Flatten the piece, making sure you have nice edges and corners. Use pins to keep the layers together.

If your front fabric+batting is already quilted, all you have to do is to stitch along all edges 1/4'' or even 1/2'' away from the edge.

The stitching will look like this, this is a view from the back. The quilting is not visible.

Then hand stitch the opening in the center.

You could add a few more stitching lines, if you want to keep the backing in place better.

The back of the piece is not too appealing,
but imagine it with a beautiful print; 
it will  change the look dramatically.

If your front fabric+batting piece wasn't already quilted, you have to follow the same steps. The last step will be to quilt the whole piece through all the layers: front fabric+batting+backing.

As you see, there are two options, each one with its advantages and disadvantages.

Quilting done through front+batting+backing.

  • I made a few small pieces and my quilts ended up with slightly wavy edges (if the quilting distorted the piece, you can't square it up!). You have to fix it with pressing.
  • If you want to stitch a grid quilting like mine, you have to secure the start and stop of every quilting stitching or choose a way to stitch continuous lines (you can't hide the starts and stops in the seam allowances, like I did).
  • The piece is reversible; a beautiful quilting visible on the back is definitely an advantage.

Isn't easier to use a single piece of fabric as backing?

You could use only one piece of fabric for the backing (the same size as the front fabric). In this case, the gap needed to turn the piece right side out will be  on the edge of the piece and you will have to finish the edge stitching by hand.
(see the picture below).

No Binding Quilt tutorial
I prefer to have the gap on the back of the quilt, this ensuring PERFECT edges stitched by machine.

More pictures of my little pieces (each one measuring 12'').

No Binding Quilt tutorial
 No Binding Quilt tutorial

Some conclusions...

  • Quilting through fabric and batting or through the whole sandwich is your choice and it depends on the nature of projects you want to sew.
  • This technique works great for smaller quilted pieces (placemats, coasters, small wall hangings or table runners). Technically, it should work on quilts of any size, but the smaller sizes allow greatest results.
  • This technique not only helps you finish the piece faster, it comes to the rescue when you don't have the perfect fabric for binding (it could happen, right?).
  • This no binding technique works on any shape!  Actually, it is the best to use when you have quilts in unusual shapes (see the pictures below)!
  • You could use blocks made in any quilting technique (a patchwork or applique block).

And here are some of my old "no binding" quilts.

No Binding Quilt tutorial

No Binding Quilt tutorial
This piece was quilted in the ditch, through the complete sandwich.

Hexagonal and octagonal pieces

What do you think? Do you have some pretty fabric suitable for this? It doesn't have to be Christmas fabric.

This post is the first in the series
"5 Quick Gifts to sew for Christmas".
See all the posts here.


Happy sewing,

08 October, 2015

05 October, 2015

Free Pattern - Raw Edge Applique Quilted Pillows

Thanks to Sew Mama Sew, in the middle of the chaos I managed to sew something new!

Raw Edge Applique Quilted Pillow Tutorial

Do you remember the free Flamenco quilt pattern?


If you loved it, you will love this mini Flamenco pattern too. 

My nephew is getting married in a few weeks and I thought these pillows would be perfect as a wedding gift.

This one is for her-complicated and sophisticated!

Raw Edge Applique Quilted Pillow Tutorial

And this one is for him -  sweet and simple!

Raw Edge Applique Quilted Pillow Tutorial

This one is entirely quilted with the walking foot.

Raw Edge Applique Quilted Pillow Tutorial

Fun facts? I ADORE the blue one. But the pink one was easier to quilt!

Get the free tutorial on Sew Mama Sew.

Have a great week,


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