Tutorial Tuesday - How to Applique

The Crafty Nomad Tutorial Learn How to Machine Applique

Ok I know it's Wednesday! But shhh they might not notice!

I wanted to get some hints and tips on to here about applique.  Learning how to machine applique was one of my most popular classes when I was teaching.

The term applique simply describes the bonding of one fabric to another to form some sort of picture.

For it to be effective you will need to use some sort of fusible web.  Bondaweb is a common brand in the UK, but there are many brands out there.  Some are cut in A4 or Letter size sheet so you can run them through your printer.  Some are repositionable for a time.

If you are using Bondaweb you can see and feel the glue on one side.  You will want to draw or trace your shape onto the non-glue side.  Take care to trace the reverse of the image you actually want on your finished project, this is really important if you are tracing letters!  Do NOT cut on the lines at this stage, cut about a quarter inch / half a centimetre around the outside of your line.  You'll have to trace all the bits separately, notice the birds wing is separate to the body. 

Then iron them in place on the wrong side of the fabric you want to use for the shapes.  Follow the instructions for the brand you are using.  Normally though they say to make sure the steam function is switched off on the iron and press in place for about 5 seconds.  No more or you could burn the fabric.

Now carefully cut on the lines and cut your pieces out.  Use a pin to score the paper part of the bondaweb, this makes it easier to take off without damaging the edges.  You'll notice that the glue is left behind on the wrong side of the fabric when you peel the paper off.  It doesn't feel sticky, but you can see it.  If you find that the glue starts to peel off with the paper, then you need to lay the paper back down and re-apply the iron.  You might want to protect your ironing board and/or iron from the glue!

Once the paper is off you need to position your pieces onto the background fabric and iron it in place. Again follow the instructions for your brand.  Normally just press with iron for ten seconds.

Now it's time to stitch them in place.  Stitching them down gives a more secure finish, especially for items that are going to be washed.  But it also adds the character and detail.

I used to teach three main machine stitches, but really you could use any stitch you like.  

Straight Stitch

Applique 4.png
  1. By far the easiest is using a straight stitch.  You can use this in two ways: neat or messy.
  2. For the straight neat stitch you will want to aim to consistently follow the outline of the shape between ⅛ and1⁄16inch from the edge on the applique. 
  3. If your machine has a locking stitch button then use this.  If not then just pull the threads manually through to the back and tie in a knot.  Do NOT do reverse stitching as it looks unsightly.
  4. Don't be tempted to start at a corner!  Most people do, but actually you'll get a much better finish if you start on a straight-ish edge instead of at a corner, as it is far easier to match up along a straight edge than at a corner.
  5. When you reach a corner, stop a few stitches before the corner, manually crank the stitches through with the hand wheel and stop at the point you want to pivot around with the needle in the fabric, lift the presser foot and turn the fabric.  Put the presser foot back down and continue stitching.
  6. Reduce the stitch length if stitching curves or small pieces.
  7. If you want to try the messy stitch to get the 'sketch' look, then you start off doing the neat straight stitch as above but you don't need to be so precise with it.  When you reach the place where you started, you stitch a second line kind aiming for the first one but just missing, it's like you are stitching a wavy line over the first one.  A contrasting thread colour works well for the sketch look.

Blanket Stitch

Applique 5.png
  1. Not all machines have this stitch, but if you do have it it gives a finish akin to hand sewing
  2. You need to use a Satin Stitch foot for this stitch.  The satin stitch foot has a groove on the underneath of it that allows a chunkier stitch to glide right through.  Plus they are normally perspex so you can see your stitches more clearly.
  3. They vary between machines so practice to see how the stitch is formed.  This is particularly important to know for navigating corners and curves.  It's important to know where your needle will go next so that you don't stitch backwards into the background fabric at a corner.
  4. You can usually change the stitch length and width on this stitch
  5. You are aiming for the right hand part of the stitch (i.e. the line) to fall onto the background fabric and the left hand part of the stitch to fall on the appliquéd shape.
  6. This stitch has locking stitches at the beginning and the end.  The beginning is automatic, at the end you have to press a button.

Satin Stitch (very close zig zag)

Applique 6.png
  1. This is by far the most professional looking stitch when done well! It's also the hardest to get a good finish on a domestic machine
  2. For this stitch you use a zig zag stitch and reduce the length so it is very close together. Length equal to 0.2-0.4.
  3. You must use a Satin Stitch foot with this stitch, if you don't then the bulk of the thread will cause the foot to get stuck, resulting in a big mess of thread.
  4. Ideally you would use the same colour thread as the fabric behind so that any gaps in thread aren't unsightly.
  5. On an electronic machine this stitch has locking stitches at the beginning and the end.  The beginning is automatic, at the end you have to press a button. Just pull the thread through to the back on a mechanical machine and manually tie a knot.
  6. If opting for this stitch it can be advisable to stabilise the fabric to avoid getting puckers.  You can use tearaway stabiliser on the back or if you haven't got any of that you could use interfacing.

Tutorial Tuesday - Single Fold Quilt Binding

Binding Tutorial Single fold The crafty Nomad.png

I've been meaning to add a binding tutorial to the website for a while now.  So today's post is for single fold binding.  I will be adding a post on double fold binding soon too! 

Single Fold binding is how I was first taught to bind a quilt by my friend Lorraine, on more recent quilts I have used double fold binding.  But for all my classes on patchwork and quilting I taught single fold binding.

First up measure all the edges of your project, add these numbers up and 10 inches.  This is the length of binding you need to make.  Cut strips that are 1 and 7/8 inches wide - I know it's a very specific figure!  Piece these strips together.  I like to do this on the bias to spread the bulk of the seam.  Lay the strips crossed over right sides together as shown. So lay one strip right side up and lay the next one right side down crossways at the corner.  Using an acrylic ruler with a 45º angle marked on it draw a line as shown.  Stitch directly on the line.  Trim to quarter inch seam allowance.  Press seams open.  Repeat until you have the necessary number of strips sewn together.  Using a bias tape maker (these gadgets are fab for preventing burnt fingers!) feed the strip of fabric in wrong side facing up.  Use a pin to help it through or if necessary cut the end into a point.  Gently pull it through and iron the folds into place, the raw edges should meet in the middle.  Now fold together so raw edges are inside and folded edges meet perfectly and iron in place.  Wrap around a piece of cardboard to help keep the folds in place and keep it clean and off the floor.

Open out all those folds.  Starting in the middle of an edge away from a corner, leave about 6 inches free, pin the binding right sides against the right side of the front, as shown, all around the table runner.  When you reach a corner, fold the binding as shown below and continue all the way around.

When you reach the place you started lay the left hand tail on top of the right hand tail.  Using your acrylic ruler mark a 45 degree line.  Fold back the top layer carefully and mark a corresponding line on the binding underneath.  Trim to a quarter inch past this line on both ends.  Pin together lay flat to check you've pinned it correctly.  Sew on the line.  Trim away the dog ears.  Lay flat, finger press the seam open and pin in place.  Using a walking foot stitch in place, along the first fold or just ever so slightly to the right of it.  When you reach a corner, stop when you can feel the extra layers of fabric beneath, you don't want to sew over those.  It should be about half an inch from the end.  Secure your stitches.  Fold the flap of fabric out of the way.  Insert the needle a half inch from the edge and continue.

Re-form the folds and flip the binding to the back.  Mitre the corners neatly.  Pin in place and hand stitch all the way around with an invisible ladder stitch.

I'll post a tutorial soon for the double fold binding.  The main benefit to single fold is that it uses less fabric.

Interested in the tools I used?  Here are some affiliate links.

Gifts Galore Christmas Table Runner

My latest make is this fun table runner.  I designed it months ago and never actually got around to making it until recently.  I was teaching a lady patchwork and quilting and we were discussing what she wanted to make.  'Something Christmassy...' Aha I thought I have just the thing! Not too big or complicated for a first time patchworker.  So I set to work!

Gifts Galore Table Runner Pattern by The Crafty Nomad

It's actually a relatively quick make.  

The pattern will be available from the 15th October as a PDF or as a Paper Pattern.  But if you're in my VIP Club by 30th September then you'll get a copy sooner than that!

Gifts Galore Christmas Table Runner Patchwork Quilting Pattern The Crafty Nomad
By Lori Kennedy

I quilted it with a snowflake design that I found in Lori Kenning's book: Free Motion Quilting 1-2-3.  

I love Lori's style she makes it all look so easy lol!  The book is brilliant.  Easy to follow and gets you to step outside your comfort zone and give it a go.

[Disclaimer: this post contains affiliate links - this means that if you buy this book I get a tiny percentage for advertising it - you don't pay any extra, so it's win-win all around!  I only ever list products I think are fab!]

Under The Sea - Contemporary Fish Baby Quilt

So this is the second quilt I'm entering into Amy's Bloggers Quilt Festival.  

Bloggers Quilt Festival Amys Creative Side.jpg

So earlier in the summer I made this little quilt to go in the window of a shop where I used to teach classes.  The theme for the window was Under the Sea.  It was for the town carnival and all the shops are asked to decorate their windows along the same theme.  

I had an idea for a modern design with on point quilt construction. I played with the fish block construction quite a bit, ended up with quite a few rejects before I settled on this one!

Under the Sea Modern Contemporary Fish Patchwork Quilt The Crafty Nomad Jo Westfoot

I decided to quilt free motion wavy lines to represent waves.  And wanted to add bubbles coming up from their mouths.

Baby Quilt Pattern Fish The Crafty Nomad Under the Sea Patchwork

The only problem was that as usual I was quilting late at night (please tell me I'm not the only one that does this!) and to a deadline and given the nature of the block pattern I quilted the bubbles upside down!  I could have left it as it was, no one else would have known the quilt was upside down as the fish look no different one way to the other.  But I would know and I had wanted the Mamma fish to be uppermost....so lots of unpicking followed, lots of burying threads.  But now the bubbles are in the right place!

Baby Quilt Pattern Fish 2 The Crafty Nomad Jo Westfoot

This quilt is now available from my pattern shop, as a PDF or a Paper Pattern.

I'm currently working on a rainbow version of this quilt!

Rainbow Fish Under the Sea Quilt Patchwork The Crafty nomad Jo Westfoot Pattern

Bloggers Quilt Festival

Excited to see that Amy from Amy's Creative Side has decided to host the Bloggers Quilt Festival again this year!

It's a bit of fun where you can share a quilt or two that you have made recently.  And on the plus side there are heaps of cool prizes too!!

So I decided to share one of my recent makes! The Tumbling Spools Quilt.  I made this quilt for the Quilt Now Magazine.  It was always intended to go on my wall in my craft room!

The Crafty Nomad, Jo Westfoot Tumbling Spools Quilt

It's no secret that I love the rainbow palette, and therefore no surprise that I LOVE Alison Glass's fabrics, particularly the Sun Print ranges as they are sooooo vibrant!

The Crafty Nomad Jo Westfoot Tumbling Spools Quilt

I wanted to challenge myself with the quilting on this one.  So I did a spools design that was modified from one I did previously on a cat quilt.  Also until now I hadn't been a big fan of pebbling, but found it was perfect for filling in the words! I used Rayon thread so it would catch the light more and make the words stand out.

The Crafty Nomad Jo Westfoot Tumbling Spools Quilt

The pattern appeared in Issue 39 of Quilt Now.  Always so exciting to see my work in a magazine!  If you missed the magazine when it was out, you may be able to order back issues from them directly [I just checked and print copies are all sold out, but you can still get digital copies].  Alternatively you can wait until February 2018 when I'll be able to release the pattern ;-)

Thanks for stopping by!


Bye Bye Summer

OK so when I finished up teaching back in early July I had every intention of starting up regularly blogging.  And then, well then, I decided to take the summer off!  It's been lovely to take a break.  I've still dipped my toe into social media.  But it was pretty obvious to me that I needed a good long break.

Quite a while ago I got to play with Sun Print 2017 fabric by Alison Glass.  I love a rainbow palette so I love all of Alison's fabric ranges!

Rainbow Tumbling Spools Quilt by Jo Westfoot Quilt Now Issue 39

I made this fun Rainbow Tumbling Spools Quilt.  It appeared in issue 39 of Quilt Now.  It features a column of thread spools that appear to be tumbling.  

The Crafty Nomad Tumbling Spools Quilt Jo Westfoot

The words are then free motion quilted with a pebbles design.

Rainbow Tumbling Spools Quilt by Jo Westfoot Quilt Now Issue 39

The background is quilted with a spool design.

Quilt Now Issue 39 The Crafty Nomad Tumbling Spools Quilt Jo Westfoot

Always so exciting to see my work in a magazine!  If you missed the magazine when it was out, you may be able to order back issues from them directly [I just checked and print copies are all sold out, but you can still get digital copies].  Alternatively you can wait until February 2018 when I'll be able to release the pattern :-)

Tutorial Tuesday - Wraparound Quilt Binding

Hi guys.  So as some of you will have seen over on my Facebook page last week, I made a quilt for my lovely aunt who turned 80 this year.  I'll share that with you on here soon.  Whilst making that quilt I was kind of up against it time-wise! So instead of doing traditional hand sewn binding like I normally do, I did wraparound binding instead.  So today I'm going to show you how to do that.  I know that those of you who groaned during classes when I mentioned hand sewing are going to LOVE this!

  • OK so first you'll want to make sure that your quilting stops about half an inch from the edge of your quilt top.  Any ends will need to be buried, as the back won't be covered by binding.

  • With scissors carefully trim away the excess batting / wadding.  Leaving the backing in place.

  • Trim the backing so there is an inch excess on all four edges.

  • At each corner fold the corner in at corner and finger press.  Open up and fold the corner into the fold line and finger press.  Open out and cut along the second fold line you made.  This reduces some of the bulk at the corners when a lovely mitred corner.
  • Using an iron, fold and press the backing fabric in half and inch along one edge so that the raw edge of the backing fabric meets the quilt top.  Press in place.  Now fold it over another half inch so that it has wrapped around and is now sitting on the front covered the raw edge of the quilt top.  Press in place along one edge.  Pin.
  • At the corner fold in at a 45 degree angle as shown.  Then repeat the process above: folding the backing in half and inch, pressing in place, then folding in again another half inch and pressing.  
  • Repeat this process until all four edges and corners are done and pinned in place.
  • Now edge stitch in place with your sewing machine.  Ideally using a walking foot.  Pivot at each corner.  Your stitching should be no more than an eighth of an inch from the quilt top.  I would not recommend reverse stitching, instead bury your ends inside the quilt.

Hope that all makes sense?!

Luggage Strap Tutorial

Off on holidays soon? Struggle to spot your plain black suitcase in the midst of hundreds just the same? Then make a colourful luggage strap to help you spot your case easily!  Download the PDF HERE.


  • 40cm fabric
  • 40cm interfacing
  • Buckle 50mm
  • Thread & Scissors
  • Sewing Machine
  • Pins and/or fold back clips
  • All materials available in Sew Busy!

Preparing the fabric

Measure around your suitcase and add 10 inches (mine was 52 inches plus the 10, gave 62).  Cut fabric - given that the length needed will be longer than the standard width of fabric, you will need to cut two pieces to stitch together.  These should measure 7 inches wide. When stitched together along the short edge they should measure the full length you calculated above. Mine were: 7x42 inches; & 7x20.5 inches.  I added half an inch for the seam. 

Stitch together along the short edge to get one long skinny piece (Fig 1).  Press seams open (Fig 2). Attach interfacing to the wrong side of your fabric to give more structure. I used medium weight iron on interfacing.  Again you will need to use two pieces. (Fig 3).

Pressing in place

Press the two short edges in, half inch wrong sides together (Fig 4).  Press wrong sides together along the long length (Fig 5). Open out & press outer long edges to the centre (Fig 6). Then fold and press along the centre line so that all raw edges are hidden inside.  Pin or clip together (Fig 7).

Sewing together

Stitch using an eighth inch top stitch along all four edges (Fig 8).  You may also like to add further lines of stitching along the length to add interest and structure (Fig 9). 


Attaching to the Buckle

Thread one end through the end of the buckle that only has one gap (the female end) (Fig 10).  Clip in place (Fig 11).  Stitch in place with two lines of stitching reinforced well Fig 12 & 13)

Thread the other end through the other side of the buckle (Fig 14) and secure onto the case (Fig 15).  All done.  Now all you need to do is pack and fly away somewhere warm!

If you would like to download a PDF of this tutorial then click HERE.  If you liked this tutorial then check out my other tutorials HERE.

A Spot of Dressmaking

I bought some funky comic strip fabric a while ago.  Mainly I bought it because it was aqua (I'm a sucker for aqua!) but also because of the funky comic print.

Wasn't really sure what I was going to do with it.  But then I realised what a fab beach slouchy dress is would make!  And seeing as I am off on holiday soon I got to work.

Last year I made a top with a cowl neckline. The pattern was from Lekala.co.  I love this website as you plug in your measurements and they email you a custom PDF pattern within minutes to your size!  It was pattern 4119.

I decided to use that pattern and instead of adding the waistband, I would just lengthen the top to a dress and hem the bottom edge.

I just love the way it turned out!


Easter Bunny Bunting and Easter Egg Decorations Tutorial

Are you starting to get ready for the Easter Holidays.  Some schools broke up today and some are later but either way we are on the count down now.  

So I've put together some fun little decorations you can make.

First up is this cute Bunny Bunting.

You Will Need: Hessian/Burlap; White Fleece or Felt; Giant white Bobble Trim; pretty Bias Binding; Fabric Glue; Thread, Template

  1. Use the template to cut your shapes out of hessian (burlap) - you could use fabric instead if you prefer.  
  2. Pin the hessian shape to the fleece/felt.  
  3. Sew in place about an eight inch in from the edge of the hessian.
  4. Use some fancy scallop fabric scissors or pinking shears to trim the fleece so you have a cute border.
  5. Cut a bobble off your bobble trim and apply some fabric glue to it
  6. Stick the bobble on to act as the bunny's tail!
  7. Stitch your bunnies' ears onto the bias or some fancy ribbon and string up somewhere!

Easter Egg Decorations

You Will Need: Fabric; White Fleece or Felt; Buttons; Pretty Ribbon; Thread, Template

  1. Use the small egg template to cut your shape out of fabric
  2. Pin to a double layer of  white felt or fleece, using decorative scissors cut around the edge allowing a small border.
  3. Cut a piece of ribbon for hanging about 6-8 inches
  4. Sandwich the ribbon between the two layers of fleece and stitch the fabric on, securing the ribbon as you stitch.
  5. Add some pretty buttons or ribbon to the front to decorate.

I have given a larger template for the eggs as well as the small one so you could use that to make bunting!

DOWNLOAD the Templates HERE.

Guide to Buying your First Sewing Machine

Lots of people ask me to recommend them a sewing machine to buy.  It's always a difficult question to answer as there are so many variables! Plus there are so many fab machines out there to buy it is very difficult to limit it to just one!  So I decided to put together a little list of things to consider when buying a new machine.

Guide to Buying a Sewing Machine
  • Budget: The first thing to consider is your budget of course.  When you have decided how much you would like to spend then make sure you get the most bang for your buck.  
  • Where to buy from?:  If you can buy from a local independent retailer then please do.  I know you can buy sewing machines from department stores, but how about thinking of supporting a local family business? If we don't use them we lose them!  Most independents will price match if you ask them to.  They'll appreciate you buying from them rather than just test driving it there and then going off and buying online!  They have a wealth of knowledge about sewing and sewing machines that can't be matched at department stores or supermarkets.  If you are local to me (Fleet, Hampshire) I'll put some links at the bottom to local dealers.  I would caution against buying from a budget Supermarket.
  • Test Drive it First: The benefit of buying from a local dealer means you can test drive the machine first.  They will sit with you and show you the features of the different machines you are interested in.  In my opinion this is vital before buying a machine as even a machine with the same features, but from different brands, will 'feel' different to use, much like one car to another.  So find one you like the feel of lol!  Plus, of course, if you buy from a dealer, they will be there for any after sales service.
  • Brand: This is a toughie, my personal preference would be Janome because they are so reliable and have machines to match all budgets.  If your budget is big then I would say Bernina.  I am basing these opinions on my experience of having all sorts of brands brought in to me for the Get to Know your Sewing Machine Class.
  • Mechanical versus Electronic?:  Generally the machines at the lower end of the price spectrum will be mechanical machines with dials on them.  As you go up through the price banding you will start to see electronic machines which have buttons instead of dials.  Electronic machines normally allow you to have more features and stitch patterns.  Either option is fine for your first machine, your budget will normally determine type.
  • Mini Machines:  I would caution against buying a mini sewing machine, even for a child.  I haven't seen a good one yet!  They are really noisy, very limited in what stitches they can do and you are unable to change the presser feet on most.
  • Features: OK so this list could be endless! But for your first machine, so you don't feel the need to upgrade immediately I would recommend the following.
    • The ability to vary the length of the stitches rather than having preset lengths
    • The ability to vary the width of the stitches rather than having preset widths
    • A buttonhole feature would be useful, 4 step is fine, 1 step would be fab
    • The ability to drop or cover the feed dogs - helpful if you want to stitch buttons on, do free motion embroidery or free motion quilting.
    • An automatic needle threader is a nice to have - especially helpful if your eyesight isn't great!
    • Snap on feet - so you can purchase the relavant ones you might need in future

Hope that helps you in some way.  If you are local Hampshire and looking for a local dealer I can recommend Sew Divine in Reading.  And also Sewmaster in Reading and Guildford.

Mini Easter Basket Tutorial

Thought it was time for another tutorial on here!  This time it's a Mini Easter Basket.

1. Adhere the interfacing to the handle fabric.  Fold the handle along it’s length, press.  Open out and fold the two raw edges into the centre fold, press.  Fold so the raw edges are now enclosed and you have a long skinny handle.  Stitch an ⅛ inchfrom the edge of each long edge and add decorative stitching if you want to.  Set aside.

2. Adhere the In R Foam to the outer fabric, quilt if desired.  Fold right sides together, so that it measures 11 x 4.5 inches.  Stitch the two short sides, using a ½ inch seam allowance.  Stitch the lining in the same way but without the foam.

NB. If you can't get hold of fusible In R Foam, you can stitch it around the edge instead.  Or using fusible fleece or wadding will give a similar result, just less structured.

Using fold back clips on the foam is easier than using pins!

3. Use a template to draw a 1½ square on the bottom corners of each fabric.  Measuring from the side stitch line and the bottom fold.  Cut these squares out.  Press the side seams open.  Open the basket and box the corners by stitching the two short sides with a ½ inch seam allowance.  You may wish to trim the foam seam allowance back to a ¼ inch.

4. Keeping the outer inside out, pin the handle in place with the raw edges sticking out.  Now insert the lining so that the two fabrics are right sides together.  Match up the side seams and pin all the way around.  Stitch with a ½ inch seam allowance all the way around leaving a 4-5 inch gap for turning at one side..  Turn right sides out, topstitch all the way around a ¼ inch from the top, closing the gap as you go.

You may like to add a bow or some pom pom trim around the top edge.  Now just fill with eggs!!

Rainbow Contrast Quilt

I'm excited to share with you a quilt I made last year for Love Patchwork & Quilting Magazine.  It's just been published in issue 44.  

Here are some close ups of the quilting.  That's A LOT of HSTs!!  But I do love the rainbow spectrum.  It was fun choosing the kona shades to make this with!

And the Winners ARE......Drum Roll Please.......

Wow weren't you guys busy with your Christmas gift making.  It really is wonderful to see what creativity the classes inspire.  I really LOVED seeing all your creations.

It was super hard choosing just one winner...SO INSTEAD I CHOSE TWO!!!  Both win a £10 class gift voucher!!

First up is Cath with her super fun appliqued t-shirts.  I just LOVED the use of ribbons to create the flamingo and the octopus.

Our next winner had to be Louise for making TWELVE (!!!) Oilcloth Wash Bags, now that has to show stamina and perseverance!

But I can't just leave it there as everything shared was really lovely! So to all the other people who entered, i'm sending you a 10% off voucher!  So watch your emails/messenger ladies.  Thanks so much for taking part!

A Bit of Christmas Fun - Join in....

Ok so during the year at many of my classes I've heard people saying how the item we've just made would be great as a Christmas gift.  So I know that many of you who have attended my classes have gone home and indeed made lots of the items to give as gifts.  So.... what I thought would be fun would be for you to share a picture of the gift recipient opening your handmade item with us, on this post so we can all see what you made and how much your hard work was appreciated!  It doesn't have to be the same item as made in the class.  Maybe you used the skills you learnt in the class and made something else similar, that's cool too!

So How Does It Work? You can email me a picture or place a picture in the comments section on the Facebook post.  Either way I'll upload it for you here in our Christmas Gift Gallery, which will be below this text.  And we will all admire your handy work and Ooh and Aah over how much it looks like the recipient loves the item!  Let us know what they said about it too!  Then to make it a bit more fun, on the 1st of January I'll announce a winner.  The winner will receive a Gift Voucher to use towards a sewing class with The Crafty Nomad.  Winner will be picked by me!

Christmas Gift Gallery

Hand Warmers Sewing Tutorial - Perfect Stocking Fillers!

We had a fun party in the shop where I teach my classes last night.  We had a couple of Make and Takes on the go and I promised to share the details of one of them here on the blog. So here it is.

These little hand warmers are so quick and easy to make.  They are the perfect size for popping in your pockets to warm your hands up on a cold day!  And the best thing is that they use such a tiny amount of fabric they are great scrap busters!

Just click the picture below and save it.  Or download the PDF here.

Got carried away and made a little wrapper so you can give these with usage instructions on too.  You can download these as a PDF here. Simply cut the strips and wrap them around a pair of hand warmers and tape in place. 

Introducing The Bobbin Brooch!

A few weeks ago I introduced a new product at Sew Busy that are now also available online.  The Bobbin Brooches are super cute pieces of wearable art perfect for anyone who LOVES sewing.  Wear them on your outfit, your coat, your bag or even use them to glam up a winter hat!

I absolutely LOVE these!  This super cute brooch was born out of my love for sewing, my hobby of applique and my need to jazz up my hats and coats with something fun and meaningful to me!

I got rather carried away and made A LOT! So they are now listed in my Etsy Shop! Enjoy!

Santa Gift Bag Tutorial

I ran this cute little gift bag as a class last year.  So this year I've decided to post the tutorial here as a pre-Christmas treat for you all!  Yay! Merry Christmas lol!

How to Christmas Gift bag.jpg

You Will Need:

  • Red Felt (approx 12 x 18 inches)
  • White bobble trim 1 metre
  • 2 silver buckles
  • 1.5 metres of black ribbon
  • White, Black & Red Thread
  • Sewing Machine
  • Satin Stitch presser foot
  • Scissors & Pins

Attaching the handles

Begin by threading your machine with red thread.  Cut two handles from black ribbon each measuring 11 inches long.  Pin centrally along the two short edges.  This should be about 3¾ inches from each side.  Stitch in place with two rows of stitching remembering to reverse stitch at the beginning and end to secure your stitches. (By the way if you click on the pictures you can see them up close!).

Bobble Trim

Thread up with white thread and remember to use the satin stitch presser foot.  Now we will attach the bobble trim to the two short edges.  Pin a little bit of the trim in place and start sewing.  No point pinning it all in place as it will creep along as you sew.  So one pin will be enough.  Flick the bobbles out of the way of the foot as you sew and go very slowly.

The Belt and Buckle

Cut two pieces of black ribbon for the belt, each measuring 12 inches long,  Measure 3 inches down from the bobble trim and make a mark.  Do this from both ends.  Slide a buckle onto each piece of ribbon and position in the centre.  Using the mark you made pin the belts on, aligning the top edge of the belt with the marks you made.  Thread the machine with black thread and stitch the belts on place.

Now fold the bag in half right sides together with handles matching.  Pin the two sides together.  Now stitch together along the two sides.  Remember to reverse stitch at the top to secure your stitches.

Boxing the corners

Using an acrylic ruler measure 1½ inches from the bottom fold and 1½  inches from the side stitch line and draw a box.  (If you don't have an acrylic ruler just cut a 1½ inch cardboard square and use that to draw around instead.  Do this on both bottom corners.  Cut along the line and cut the squares out.  Put your hand inside the bag to box out the corners.  Pin, with seams open.

Sew along the two pinned corners, keeping it as straight as possible and ensuring the seams stay open as you sew over it.  It is very important to reverse stitch at the beginning and end.  Do to both corners.  Then turn it right side out.


They Say it Comes in Threes.....

Lots of fun stuff happening on the magazine front lately.  Here is the third fun thing! I worked on this quilt way back in March/April and had to keep it a secret all that time!!!!  It's been published in this month's issue of Love Patchwork & Quilting (Issue 37).  So excited to finally see it in print, and also to have the quilt back.  I literally finished it about 2 hours before it was packaged up and sent off with the courier! So, there was no time to enjoy all that hard work!!

The quilt was a follow on from my I Spy Snapshots Mini Quilt Pattern which you can buy HERE.

I thought I'd share a few more snaps with you of this big quilt.  Took these in my neighbours garden with her kids perched half way up the tree holding it! Oh lengths I go to for a good photo opportunity!  In this larger quilt I decided to vary the size of the snapshot blocks.  I love how it turned out!

The Crafty Nomad Picture It Quilt LP&Q 37

I looked carefully at the value of the fabric and decided to grade from dark to light going across the quilt.  I included a little 'how to' on that in the magazine.

I had so much rainbow fabric leftover I decided to make the back a bit more interesting too!  

The Crafty Nomad Picture It Quilt LP&Q 37 Back

As this is an I Spy quilt I used the alphabet font on my sewing machine to stitch out a fun label for the back.  The tricky bit was getting the label block on the back to line up with a corresponding block on the front so the quilting would not ruin it!

The Crafty Nomad Picture It Quilt LP&Q 37 Label Block

I kept the quilting pretty simple, straight lines.  I love how it turned out at the corners.

If you are local, and would like to see the quilt up close, it is currently hanging in the window of Sew Busy in Fleet.  They will also have copies of the magazine on sale in the next few days if you would like to get a copy and have a go at making one of these yourself!  It's a great scrap buster project and charm square friendly!

A Fun Little Teacher Gift

My daughter loses her fab tutor group teacher this year. Such a shame as she loves her!!  She happens to be the German teacher hence the language text!  She also lives on a farm and has chickens and runs the chicken club at school. Yes they really do have chickens at school that have to be looked after by the kids!! So it was a bit of a no brainer as to what image to appliqué.  

We decided to make her a notebook cover with notebook. Every teacher needs that right?! 

I used some Makower fabric with lovely chickens on!