Category Archives: tutorial

Foot Pocket tutorial

Have you ever snuggled into your recliner, only to have your quilt slip off your feet?  Or get all tangled in the mechanism when you put the footrest back down?  Try making a long, skinny quilt with a pocket!  It works!  For REAL!

Making a pocket is easy.   For THIS quilt, I made 15″ blocks.   This is it after quilting, but before binding/pocket.IMG_7758

Bind the bottom edge ONLY.  I sew to the back, flip to the front, and sew it down.  IMG_7759


Now flip up your pocket and pin.  The depth of your pocket is up to you.   This one is about 15 inches.  IMG_7762

Open up your binding, fold under the end, and then refold.  This encases the raw edges.IMG_7763

Lay it on the edge of the underside of your quilt.  Let it hang over just a tiny bit……about 1/4 – 1/8th inch.  Sew all the way around, folding over the end on the other side of the pocket.  IMG_7764

Another view.IMG_7765

Flip the binding to the front.  Pin tightly.  See that little overhang?   You will sew across that FIRST.  IMG_7766


Then turn the corner, and keep going.   IMG_7769

Doesn’t that make a nice little end??IMG_7771

Do the same when you reach the opposite end, and you’re done!!  IMG_7779

WildChild demonstrates how simple the foot pocket is to use!!!!

If you have any questions, please either leave a comment, or email me at squeegeatc at aol dot com.

peace and pieces,

Glorious Autumn Block Party!

The Giveaway is closed.  But please enjoy the free pattern!!


The wonderful Michelle at Quilting Gallery has been giving us a walkthrough to these amazing blocks!  In her words…

“Over 15 weeks, 45 designers will create 12″ blocks for the Glorious Autumn Block Party. These blocks will be featured, three per week, on the Quilting Gallery site starting September 4th. In addition to the blocks, there will be Super Deals for Quilters from our favourite online retailers. Be sure to check each designer’s post, as many will be offering give-aways on their own site that everyone can participate in.”

My bio with some cute pics is on The Quilting Gallery‘s main page.

And now it is MY turn!!   Here in SW Louisiana, teal season has already opened.  Duck and goose seasons will open shortly.  The hunters around here get up before the sun, and sit in their blinds (usually freezing their patooties off) and wait for the sun to rise.  This is my representation of a goose in front of the sunrise.

The base of the block is easy, but tedious.  I used 1 inch squares to make a bargello-ish block.   Took me a WHILE, but they all came from the scrap bin.  Leftovers from strips sets, bits from squaring up quilts, etc.  I sat down and picked out 14 shades.   This was what I had the first time.There was WAY too much pattern.   Soooo, I flipped most of them over!!!!   Yes folks, you ARE allowed to use the backside!  Doesn’t this look MUCH better?

You will need 1.5 inch strips.  I could have used the bargello method-long skinny strips, sewn with strip piecing, etc but I had several pieces that weren’t going to work.   Sooooo, bunches of tiny, 1.5 inch squares!!!

I STRONGLY recommend some sort of labeling system.   I did not, and the cat decided it made a great resting place.   And when she skeddadled, the pieces went everywhere.  Thankfully, I had the above picture to reference!  Darn cat.

This will take concentration.   I recommend a glass of wine, and nobody to interrupt you.  LOL  I used the EQ mockup to keep my rows in order.  You can do one row at a time, or several, or all.   That part is up to you.  Once you have the 12 rows (sorry-forgot the picture) sew them into pairs.

Then put all the rows together and press VERY well!

The take the template plain duck and create your applique.   (Yes, I know it’s a goose.   Not sure why I named it duck)  I used raw edge with a blanket stitch to hold it down.  The pattern is already reversed.

In this picture, I have already added a 2inch border in the darkest blue.

Finish it whichever way you’d like!  I added 3 rows of Flying Geese, and a panel for a Welcome sign.

Next order of business, a GIVEAWAY!!   I hand picked, especially for YOU, 10 Fat 1/8s. 

I visited my local quilt shop, Quilts Bayou, so these are all good, quality quilter’s cottons.   Aren’t these yummy?  I see another wall hanging, or a bag.  Perfect colors for fall!!  To win this bundle, tell me what your favorite fall food is.  That’s it!   No hoops.   I’d LOVE if you’d subscribe to my blog, or visit me on FaceBook, or even Twitter.   I have Flicker too.  And Pinterest!  But the ONLY requirements are that you comment below, AND that I have a way to contact you.   (I have to re-give away a set of mugrugs from 2 weeks ago, because the person who won hasn’t gotten in touch with me.)  A name will be selected no earlier than Friday, October 6, 2012.   For those of you who are NOT quilters/sewers/crafters, I offer you this—if you win, I’ll make a table runner or small wall hanging with these fabrics instead.  Deal??

It would also be awesome if you’d at least check out the 2 other designers this week.  We all worked very hard on our blocks.   Sew Joy creations  and Harding Hill join me this week.  And for the entire list, head to the Glorious Autumn page!

Thank you again for visiting.   I really hope you enjoy my block.

peace and pieces,

The Unbinding tutorial-aka pillowcase method

I love making place mats, table runners, and mug rugs.   Small stuff.  But that small stuff can be a pain to bind.  Enter the “pillowcase” method.  Honestly, I don’t know why it’s called that, but I DO know it works.  I like to call it “The Un Binding.”

This is a set of place mats that I just finished.  The client has a round dinette table and prefers a more streamline look.  (She has a table runner to match for her dining table, but more on that in another post.)  She sent a newspaper pattern.

I traced the pattern onto the back side of the block.  If you’re doing normal squares/rectangles, this step can be skipped.

Cut a piece of binding and a piece of batting the exact size of your top block.   Lay the batting down.   Then the backing goes down, RIGHT SIDE UP.   Last, the top goes RIGHT SIDE DOWN on top of the rest.   This is your quilt sandwich.

Stitch 1/4 inch around the edge.   I sewed on the markings.  If you’re doing normal squares/rectangles, sew 1/4 inch from the edge of the sandwich.  Leave open a 3-4 inch hole on one of the sides, so you can turn it inside out.

If necessary, trim the edges and snip the corners to reduce bulk.  Even on rectangles, sometimes the batting will shift.

Now reach in, between the 2 fabric layers, and pull the sandwich right side out.

Use a knitting needle or other Poker Thingy  (yes, that IS a technical term!   Why do you ask??) and make your corners nice and neat.  Wiggle the seams all around to get them neat as well.  Tuck in the edge on top.   I usually stick a pin in there, just to hold it together nicely.  Then press.  I use a LOT of steam on the corners and edges.  It makes everything lay nice and flat.

Next step is to top stitch.  I set my needle to the right 2 notches, and then I can still use the 1/4 inch marks on my walking foot.  You need the stitching to be about 1/8 an inch from the edge.   This way it catches the open area, without the need for hand sewing!!  It also makes the whole thing looks crisp and clean.

And you are done!  Well, mostly.  You COULD be done.  Place mats and mug rugs are small enough that they don’t need to be quilted.  I LIKE to quilt mine, though. So…….how about straight line quilting in the leaf?

You like even more quiting?   I do too!

Free motion “wind” seems to work really well! 

And that is Pillowcasing!   It can technically be used for any size quilt, although I prefer anything larger than this to be bound with traditional double fold binding.  If there are any questions, please let me know!


Please don’t forget to come back on September 27th, 2012!   My Autum Splendor block will go LIVE!   I’m so excited.   I’ll have a bio/profile on The Quilting Gallery‘s site, too.   There are LOADS of free block patterns and giveaways going on.   Take a peak at what everyone else has to offer.  I’ll have a goody to hand out as well!!!!

Batiks for kids-a tutorial

I wanted to do Batiks with the kids, but the traditional hot wax method was not exactly safe.  I found 2 different tutorials.  I like the ease of the Glue Method, but I only had flour.  So it was good ole fashioned paste for me!

Doesn’t THIS look yummy?   BrownEyed Boy of COURSE tasted it.  He is brainddead, I swear.

We loaded it into zip top bags and snipped the tip.  Put the unsnipped bag into a cup for easy loading.

Then, start designing!!!  I did mostly geometric kinds of things.  the kids all did their names.

They lost interest really quick. This will sit and dry overnight, and we add the paint next.   I’m sure that’ll perk them up!


Day 2

Day 2 is when we add the paint. I crumpled up my pieces to crack the glue.  I wanted the paint to seep into the cracks.  I put about this much paint in the bottom of a (wait for it….) Red Solo Cup  (giggle) and added water to the first set of lines.

And then, we just painted!!!!

I didn’t get pics of this step really, because I was too busy doing my OWN painting!!!!  This what we ended up with at the end of this phase….

Hmmm—don’t know where WildChild’s went from this stage.  Oh well.  Now the kids all stopped here.   I did another set!  Here are MY 3, with a 2nd set of paste on over the first painting.

I let mine dry overnight and then added another coat of paint.  THEN, we had to pick off all the paste!!

And HERE are the finished fabrics!!!!  **NOTE**  These have NOT yet been washed.  I will update when we do that!



The Apprentice did 2, but hasn’t taken off the paste yet.

And Red.

Here are MY three!

So in general, SO FAR this was a success.  The big question remains–WILL the paint stay, or run?  I have decided that I’ll cut my stuff and make something (any suggestions) and then wash it.  Wish me luck!!

peace and pieces,

How to fix a mistake!!! (a tutorial of sorts)

So today’s entire morning was spent trying to figure out HOW in the HECK I was going to reverse my pattern, after I’d done all the main work.  Well, the easiest way would have been to reprint the pattern in reverse, then retrace onto the wunderunder.  But computer ink is expensive.  And taping these darn pages together is a PAIN.  Soooooo….

First, trace the entire original pattern in sharpie and note all numbering.

Then trace onto what ever paper you choose.  I used computer paper and then the last of my freezer paper for the big pieces.

Flip and number on the WRONG side of the pattern.  The numbered side is now the RIGHT side of the pattern.  See how we reversed that????

Now, depending on your eyesight, the paper you used, and the marking pen you used (Sharpie for me), you may need to retrace THIS side of the pattern.  I didn’t have to.

Take your wunderunder and retrace the NEW, REVERSED pattern.

If you already marked your fusible, and don’t want to waste it, use another marking pen that is obviously different.  The first marking is pencil and the 2nd is red Sharpie.

And WHAT if you mess up this way too??  Then your name might be Amy!  Sure hope I can actually understand my markings when I start fusing.  UGH.

So now I need to figure out how to get to HobbyLobby and buy my fabric.  I have only a few here that work.  It’s too late today, and I have a ToDo with the Apprentice tomorrow.  I guess Friday will have to suffice.

Hmmmmm…….THAT means, I’m FREE???  RIGHT???!  WOOHOOO!!   Going to grab that bowtie quilt and get to sewing!!

right after I clean the kitchen floor!

peace and pieces,

FREE Placemat Tutorial

I was messing around with a layer cake, trying to throw together something as an Instant Gratification Project.  I managed to make 6 tops and 6 backs in about an hour.  It was AWESOME!!!  So I decided to make another set and show you all how I did it!!  Are ya’ll ready???

Materials list:
1 layer cake, or  24  pieces of fabric, a 10 inch square of each
Binding material
Rotary cutter, ruler, and mat
Batting of your choice

I started out with a GORGEOUS Layer cake from Moda.

I picked out the 12 pieces I want for the fronts-

Now pick out another 12 for the backs. (I know, they are JUST as pretty as the back!!  If you want, go find yardage of something more boring to use and save these for another set of fronts!) 

Now, it’s time for the cutting!!

Take your 12 fronts, and put them in stacks of 6.  I don’t care how you sort, just make 2 stacks.  Stack them NEATLY, and square off the front edge.  Cut a 4 inch, a 2.5 inch, a 2 inch, and a 1 inch.

Take the second stack and also square off the front edge.  Then cut a 3 inch, 2 inch, 1.5 inch, and another 3 inch.

Take a SINGLE fabric from each stack.  mix and match until you like the way it looks.  You can do this any way you want.  In this picture, I only have one piece of each fabric shown.

You can also do it a bit more organized.  In this picture, I picked 2 fabrics from each stack.  Doing it THIS way, you will have 3 sets of place mats that look very similar.

Just be sure you have one 4″ strip, two 3″ strips, two 2″ strips, a 2.5″, a 1.5″ and a 1″.  That is 8 strips in total.

Sew them puppies together!!!!  Iron all the seams in the same direction.

Now you should have 6 completed tops!!  Aren’t they AWESOME???  They finish at approx. 10″ x 15.5″.

Now for the backs.  Take 2 squares of fabric.  Cut ONE in half.

Sew to the sides of the other one.  Iron the seams.  The backs finish at approx 10″ x 19″. Do this 6 times.

There you go!!!  Now go find some scraps of batting.  I’m SURE you have as much laying around as I do!!

Sandwich the 3 layers.  Try to line up the top and bottom edge as best you can.  Baste anyway you prefer. For small projects like this, I love to use a basting spray.

Now, quilt however you want.  I thought a simple grid, or a tight stipple would hold it all down nicely.  Use your creativity and have FUN!

Now to trim up the rough edges.  Square it all up nice and pretty.  Mine ended up trimmed to 9.5 x 15.

You can bind the edges now.  Do that however you prefer.  For true newbies, there are MANY YouTube Videos telling you how to do that.  I’m a “lazy” quilter, and do it all on my Bernie.  In fact, for THIS set, I opted to just use the overlock stitch.  And I LOVE the way it turned out!!  A more casual look is what i prefer, and I think this is perfect.

Here are the fronts.

and here are the backs.

And there you go!!!  6 amazingly gorgeous placemats!!  With enough squares left over to make a matching table runner!!!!!!  Tutorial for that later.

peace and pieces,

Tutorial-marking a quilt with tulle

I’ve been brainstorm HOW to mark this butterfly quilt.  I’ve been stumped!!  Hop in the car and head to mom’s for the holiday, and I drag out my newest quilt magazine.  This one is American Patchwork and Quilting.  In the tips page was my answer!!  Many Many thanks to a Stephanie Ness from CA who submitted the tip!  But some people need to see things in action.  So here is my first pictorial tutorial.  Here we go!

First, hoop up a piece of tulle in an embroidery hoop.  Lay it on the pattern and trace with a permanent marker.

When you pick up the hoop, the pattern should be easily seen.

Once the ink has completely dried, lay it on your quilt.  Retrace the lines using a fabric marker.

Pick up the tulle and inspect your work.

Then just stitch it out!

I hope this helps anyone looking for a new marking method.  It’s working very very well for me!


Peace and Pieces, Amy