placemat tutorial from guest Vanessa of Punkin Patterns


Well, it's about time I had my friend Vanessa of Punkin Patterns over for a visit!  She's one of only a handful of bloggers that I've actually met in person, and more than that, I've known her for quite a bit longer!  You see, my brother and her husband are childhood friends.  I even got to attend her beautiful wedding way back when.  So anyway, she's here today to show you how to make a really fun project!  And while you stop by and visit her blog be sure to check out all her cool tutorials and tell her I said hi! 

Thanks Anna for having me. I'm very excited to be here. Hi! I'm Vanessa and my blog is called Punkin Patterns. It's my little space to share my creative side.

I have two little "punkins" ages five and three which inspire me. This project I'm sharing with you today was inspired by my son. He always wants to help with dinner, and I try to let him help wherever he can with the prep work, but while I'm doing the cooking, he likes to help by setting the table. This placemat was designed to help little kids do just that, showing them where to put the plate, knife, fork and spoon. So I give you the . . .

These Table Setting Placemats are fun and functional. They bring together some of my favorite techniques: painting, sewing and quilting. The knife, fork and spoon are painted on using freezer paper and fabric paint.

And the top of the placemat is pieced together to allow a fun fabric in the middle. They can be bright and fun like mine or made to coordinate with your kitchen colors or patterns. It has very simple quilting to make it a quick project.
Your kids will have fun setting the table.  My three-year-old got in on the fun and set the table too. (I love those tiny fingers!) Then, of course, you must sit down for a little "snack" and some fun too.

So head on over to Punkin Patterns and find out how to make one!

Thanks for sharing today Vanessa, these would certainly spiff up any table!

early april showers...

3.29.2011 showers that is.  I had fun going to my friend's baby shower this past weekend.  It was fun to be able to hang out and have some quality girl talk and swap some funny stories. 

She's having a boy and although I have tons of girl fabric to use, I do manage to sneak in boys fabric here and there, especially since now I have my newest nephew to sew for.  (rocket fabric: Rocket Scientist by Keri Beyer 2009, purchased at Crafty Planet)

Anyway, I settled on some much needed baby items for her gift.  You know, diapers, soap, all that useable stuff that you go through like crazy.  So with that bathtime theme I set out to make a couple fabric buckets for organizing all those bathtime necessities and a few washcloths.  (Fabric bucket tutorial by Ric-Rac, I just adjusted the sizing to make the sizes I wanted)

Honestly, I don't even know why I haven't ever sewn a washcloth before.  I even had the terrycloth from over a year ago.  Somehow the stretchyness of it kind of intimidated me.  Well, I got over it, used my walking foot, and made some cute baby washcloths.  And don't worry, I'm determined to sew a whole bunch for my girls and throw away those dingy ones we have that are pretty much falling apart. 

I'd also like to add a few random notes about Japan.  I'm sure many of you have already donated money or purchase handmade items to benefit Japan and it's earthquake victims.  Here are a few links if you're still interested in helping out:
  • Ellie Inspired is donating 100% of her Ayano dress pattern sales to help Japan (through April 15th).  Click here for more info.
  • If you're interested in donating money, here's a great site where you can donate to a handful of great organizations.
  • visit For Japan with Love
  • or visit Tea Rose Home's page to read more about her story and how you can help:

thank you


I just want to say thank you to everyone for your support on my newest pattern, the 241 Tote.  Your support and encouragement means so much to me.

I also want to thank my pattern testers:  Vanessa, Jeannie, and Gret.  These three ladies are all amazing in their own right and I'm so glad they were able to help me out!  Here are their 241 totes if you're interested in getting some ideas on more fabric choices: 

from Vanessa at Punkin Patterns

from Jeannie

from Gret at A Little Red Ribbon

Beautiful, right?! 

And I also want to give a shout out to my friend Krista who made a 241 tote over the weekend, aren't her fabrics great?

241 Tote Pattern


It's here!  Hope you'll enjoy making a new spring tote!

In this pattern you’ll find:
  • step-by-step instructions with professional easy to understand illustrations for making two versions of the 241 Tote 
  • one version of the bag has two exterior side pockets (great for beginners), the other has two exterior zippered pockets (for those who might want a bit of a challenge).
  • full size print-at-home pattern pieces
  • interior pocket
  • magnetic snap closure
  • includes License to Sell!!!

By purchasing this pattern, I also give you (the purchaser of this pattern) the rights to sell 241 Totes made using this pattern (on a home based scale). Additional information regarding the license to sell is included in the 241 Tote Pattern.

Approx. Finished Dimensions: 15″ wide, 10″ tall, 24″ including the handle, 5″ across the base

Materials needed:
  • 1/2 yard exterior
  • 1/2 yard lining
  • 1/2 yard accent fabric
  • 1/2 yard strap, pockets
  • 14mm magnetic snap
  • Two 5” zippers (optional)
  • 1 1/2 yards fusible woven interfacing
  • thread
  • water soluble pen
This is a 9 page PDF pattern with full size print-at-home pattern pieces and includes detailed step-by-step instructions with color photographs and professional illustrations.

This pattern is a PDF file instant download.. Please be sure to check your email address listed in your Paypal profile, the instant download link will be sent to that email address (a screen with the download link will also pop up after you complete the transaction).  

NOTICE: It may not be possible to download this file directly to your iPad or Android tablet/mobile device without the help of a download app.

If you choose paypal's e-check option, the instant download will take 5-7 days for the e-check to clear and for the instant download link to be sent.  Please download the pattern to your computer for future use.


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kitchen remix


If you know me at all, you know I can't leave good enough alone.  So I've been wanting to re-paint the girls play kitchen and finally did it.  I just couldn't come up with much with the old green/purple combo. 

I needed bright and fresh!  Now I feel like I can make some fun accessories for them to play with, a couple aprons are first on the list. 

Here's the original post on how I made the kitchen (with help from my dad and husband).  It's really a great size and even though they don't play with it a ton, I still think it leads to some fun and creative play time.

And sorry for those who are waiting for the 241 Tote pattern, it's been a mix of monsoon season and snow here for the last however many days and I just need a few finished pictures and it'll be ready! I'll be back...

denim tote


I've been waiting and waiting to finally make this beautiful tote from //Between the Lines// tutorial.  Oh, and if you haven't stumbled on Pascale's blog yet, you're in for a treat, she has lots of great tutorials and absolutely stunning photography. 

I had gotten the denim a looong time ago and cranked it out the other night.  If you want to practice some different ways to sew seams, this is a great opportunity.  From a half french seam to french seams, you'll be able to get a good feel for them all! 

I wish I could have found some nice leather for the straps, but instead I used some Amy Butler Soul Blossoms. Just cut my two strap pieces 5" wide by 26" long and ironed/folded as you would bias tape.  I even have enough denim for another bag, so you might be seeing more of these. 

It was really quick to sew and I think it makes a great bag for lugging around all that mommy on the go stuff!

ps, thanks for your excitement for my new bag/tote pattern!

it's that time of year...


to make you, your friend, or someone special, a new bag to tote around!!!

I'm super excited to share a tiny peak of my new pattern that will hopefully be available for purchase the middle of next week or so. 

I'm calling it the 241 Tote because it's really two different looking totes in one pattern, gotta love that.  One version is with two exterior side pockets, and the other has two exterior zippered pockets!

Fabrics are from Cloud 9 Fabric's latest collection Cut Out & Keep by Heather Moore and they're just as fabulous in real life as they are in pictures (fabrics available in April I believe).

Have a great weekend!

his spring racing jacket


It's about time I introduce you to my ultra cute nephew, Grant. 

I can't believe he's almost 6 months old already!
Now that I've lured you in with some baby cuteness, on with the show...

Well, Grant was dedicated to his church a few weeks ago and of course I had to make him something.  I found this super cute race car fabric on Superbuzzy and knew it would be perfect for him since his dad (my brother) is a auto cross super star. 

I figured Grant would need to keep snug and warm when he's out cheering on the track this spring, so the Baby in the Hood Jacket from Anna Maria Horner's Handmade Beginnings was just too cute to pass up.  I'll be honest, I actually waited and waited to make this, it looks pretty complicated, doesn't it?  Well, the directions are just awesome from Anna Maria, and so it was lots fun to sew up!  I threw in a mix of polka dots, a solid yellow and some Greenfield Hill by Denise Schmidt.  I was so excited when I finished. 

I ended up making the 12 month size and I think it'll be just right for him through spring (hopefully, that is if he doesn't bust out a big growth spurt). 

I decided to pair the coat with some fun wooden race car toys I found from Green Bean Toys on Etsy.  I love finding local etsians, especially with cute toys like this.  I even bought some for our house. 

Glad we could help celebrate your special day Grant, we love you!  Oh and Happy Birthday to your mommy today.  yay!

once upon a thread: the tale of peter rabbit


I knew almost right away when Katy first contacted me about Once Upon a Thread which book I would pick.  The Tale of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter.  It's been a favorite of mine and my family's for a long time.  It has such beautiful illustrations and of course a little lesson to be learned.  (oh and I should add that there's a cute Peter Rabbit website with fun activities and games for the kids, check it out!)

I decided a child sized messenger bag would be just the right fit in peter rabbit's world.  Of course a messenger bag is nothing terribly new, but it was fun to put a peter rabbit classic spin on it.  I chose chambray, some pintucks, a tiny calico print, and some wooden buttons to give a hint toward peter's jacket that got caught in the gooseberry net.


  • 1/2 yard exterior fabric
  • 1/2 yard lining fabric
  • fusible fleece or other interfacing of your choice, such as canvas
  • 3 buttons

{1/2" Seam allowance used throughout)

Cutting the pieces:
cut 2 exterior body pieces 10" x 10", also 2 pieces fusible fleece
cut 2 lining body pieces 10" x 10"
cut one handle piece 4" wide x 21" long, also lightweight fusible interfacing
cut 1 exterior flap piece 9" wide by 8.5" tall
cut 1 lining flap piece 7.5" wide by 8.5" tall, also fusible fleece

Making the front flap:
To make the pintucks, I used my edgestitching foot on my machine, but you could also use a regular foot. 

Mark lines on the front flap piece.  Leave a gap 1" wide down the center and mark two lines on either side of the gap.  Mark two more lines on either side about 3/8" apart. 

Next you'll be folding the fabric WRONG sides facing on those lines and stitching close to the edge. 

Press pintucks outwards towards edges. 

Place the flap exterior piece RIGHT sides facing with the flap lining piece.  Use a water soluble pen to make rounded corners on either side, you can use a cup or a camera lens, whatever is round and nearby.  Pin and sew.  Clip corners. 

Fuse on fleece, cutting the fleece to fit within the seam allowances.

Turn right side out and topstitch along both side and bottom edges.  Set aside.

Sew the handle:

Fuse on the interfacing to the WRONG side of the fabric.  Take the handle piece and fold it as you would making bias tape: folding lengthwise in half, opening up and tucking raw edges to that fold line, and then pressing it in half again. Topstitch along both long edges of handle.

Making the body of the bag:

Take your exterior bag pieces, RIGHT sides together.  Sew together along both sides and bottom.  Here's where you can stop and fuse on your fleece to the WRONG sides of each of the exterior pieces. 

Next pinch the side seam to line up with the bottom seam on each corner.  Sew across this triangle 1" from the tip.  Clip corners, repeat for other corner. 

Sew the lining:
Take the lining pieces, RIGHT sides together.  Sew together along both sides and bottom, but this time leaving a 3" opening along the bottom edge for turning.  Next pinch the side seam to line up with the bottom seam on each corner. Sew across this triangle 1" from the tip. Clip corners, repeat for other corner.
Finishing the bag:
Pin the handle on each side seam of the bag exterior piece, making sure to not twist the strap, align raw edges.  Pin front flap in place placing the flap exterior facing the body exterior, aligning raw edges.  Next slip the lining over the exterior/flap/handle aligning raw edges.  Readjust pins and pin in place all around top.  Sew.  Pull bag right side out through opening in lining.  Sew the lining shut by tucking in the raw edges, pinning, and sewing shut using a small seam allowance.  Push the lining into the bag, press. 
Topstitch along the entire opening of the bag, it helps here to use a longer stitch length to get nice even stitches.  Sew on the buttons and you're done! 

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