Category Archives: tutorial

Seven Quilty Tutorials

I love scrap quilts, not scrappy quilts, scrap quilts. There is a difference. Today’s tutorial projects all use real scraps. Of course, if you don’t have scraps. You can use charms, or strip sets. Really? No scraps? Can not imagine a house without fabric scraps.

Good thing I like scrap quilts since one of my goals this year is to organize my scraps, and the best way to do that is to simply use them, in a quilt, or other project.

Most of these tutorials are from last year, or older. After all this year just started, there hasn’t been time to post many tutorials. Isn’t it nice they don’t expire and we can go back and find them later?

Remember, these tutorials are shared for your personal use. If you use them please give the original blogger credit. If you wish to make, and sell, the projects using the instructions, please check with the blogger for permission.

This first one is from Michelle at City Houses Studio and is for a scrap asterisk block.

Amy at Badskirt made an even scrappier asterisk block, she called it the Japanese-x, although to me it looks like a scrappy asterisk. What do you think?

String quilts are a popular way to shrink the scrap pile. I’ve thought about making one, but always back out. Now, thanks to Kay, from Miss Print  I have instructions.

Not all tutorials are for quilts or quilt blocks. Sometimes we make quilty projects. Like Kay’s tutorial for making string coasters here. After all, making enough string blocks for a full-size quilt, even a small one takes time. A lot of time. Coasters can be made much quicker. How about a string mug rug even?

Another non-quilt quilty project is this cute patchwork basket from the Pink Penguin.

If you received an e-reader for Christmas (or you plan on making that purchase) a quilted cover would be perfect. Here are two tutorials for you. The first one is from the Sometimes Crafter. It’s a cute pouch you can slip your reader into. If you don’t have an e-reader it’d be a nice little pouch to hold other items.

Clover and Violet made a different type cover. Theirs holds the reader in place and you “open” it like a book.

For even more tutorials check out FaveQuilts. They are currently offering a free e-book with twelve quilt patterns and small projects.

Have fun trying out some of these tutorials. If you use any of them, please come back and leave a link or picture. The bloggers who posted the tutorial would love to see your work too.

What are you working on this week?

Quick Projects for fun and Gifts

It’s Thursday Tutorial here at Patchwork Lives. The blog may look a little different this month, in addition to actually posting on a regular basis, (we can always hope) most of the posts will be about quilts or quilting.

To begin the month I have three tutorials that other quilters have so generously shared. First up is The Moda Bakeshop with a tutorial for wash cloths that would make a great housewarming, or baby shower gift. My two cents? If you’re making them as a baby gift use flannel on one side, make it even softer.  I wonder how these would work with minke fabric? I’ll have to see if I have any and give it a try. 🙂 This cute, easy to follow tutorial is from AnneMarie Chany of Gen X Quilters.

Next, just in time for Valentine’s Day is this cute needle case from Marsha at On the Go Quilting. If you give Valentine gifts at your quilt guild, or have a guild door prize it would be a nice gift to give. Of course you don’t have to use valentine themed fabric, you could use any fabrics and change-up the applique once you’ve learned the method. I’m not a big fan of hearts, so I think I’ll put a butterfly on mine.

Finally, have you seen those commercials on television about giving the spare toilet roll dignity and a cover? Of course it’s for a particular brand of toilet paper and they offer a free cover. Except, it’s ugly. Ok, ugly might be too strong of a word, but I don’t like it. While I’m not a matchy – matchy kind of person, that particular cover clashes with my whole house. 🙂

Never fear, a quilter from Australia, QuiltJane has us covered. 🙂 She even has a contest going on now, Rules and instructions are here. So, go ahead and make your own cover and join in on the fun.

That’s it for today, three tutorials for you. They’re all small, and fun. Enjoy. If you make any of these projects please share them here.

A final note: I know I’ve been AWOL the last week or so, I was working fast and furious on entries for a writing contest. Made the deadline with 15 minutes to spare, whew! Wrote, and/or polished (a couple of entries were WIPs that needed tweaking) six manuscripts including two book entries. Now that the contest deadline is past, the blog will be receiving more of my attention.

And, it’s one month into the new year. Already? How are your resolutions/goals coming? Mine, not so well. It’s time to step back up to the sewing machine, computer (for blog updates) or out into the sunshine and get busy.

Goal Recap:I did a recap of my January sewing/quilting goals here. Did you do better? You had to do better, share your successes with us.


Quilted Christmas Cards Tutorial


If you want a special unique card, and you’re not crafty with paper and glue, consider making your own quilted Christmas card for friends and family. They’re simple to make, don’t take much time, and will truly be unique.  Here’s my super-simple way to make them.

  1. Start with a novelty Christmas print of your choice. I chose this one, printed in rows, it saved cutting time. Any novelty fabric works.
  • The Fabric

2.  Cut your fabric. Since this one was printed in handy-dandy rows, I simply cut two rows off.

3.  Layer your fabric with batting and a backing fabric. I used an old clean sheet, muslin works well too. Don’t use a fancy, expensive fabric here, it won’t be seen, it’s just to help with the quilting.

You can see the three layers here better.

4.  Quilt the three layers together. For me, it’s easier to quilt several “cards” at once and then cut them apart, rather than cutting them to size and quilting each card separately. Either way works, I’ve done both.

5.  Cut your fabric into card size. I started with two images per card, making a long skinny card but decided I didn’t like that look,  I cut the rest of the strip into three images per ‘card’.

I still didn’t like the proportions, and cut them in half again (more or less) across the candy canes and greenery.  Perfect. Some of them are now the right size, 4 X 6 which can be sent without an envelope and mailed as is.  Some of the cards are now too small to be Christmas cards. No problem, they become the gift tags, which can be any size you want.

5. At this point I added Fray Block © because I can’t seem to keep the little snippets of thread from peeking out, and I don’t like them. It’s a totally optional step. See the little threads?

6.  Now we’re ready to add the backing.  If you have card stock, great, if not, an old file folder  works well to give strength and weight to the card. If using card stock you’ll want to also add a clean sheet of white paper. The choice is yours. The white paper is optional, I like the look of it rather than the vanilla color of the file folder. If using card stock you can omit the extra paper.

7.  Cut the folder (card stock) and paper to size.  I attached the folder backing to the fabric with the Wonder Tape © . You can also use the two-sided fusible that comes in a roll. Place a strip across the center of the card stock and fuse it to the back of the fabric card, following the directions on your product.

You can sew the cardboard backing to the quilted top at this point. If you’re using a good quality card stock I would. However, since I was adding a cleaner paper to write on I waited until I had all the layers together.

I placed the ‘cards’ on a sheet of paper, rather than cutting it to size first, I usually make a mistake when cutting to size. Also, by placing the cards on the paper, I was able to get the best lay out. I zigzagged with a long stitch .around the cards to attach the white paper..Here’s the back of the paper with the ‘cards’ on the other side. Now I just cut them apart so they are easier to turn while satin stitch around the edges with a closer stitch.

8. For your gift tags, insert your ribbon between your fabric and the batting before stitching. A small dab of glue will hold it in place until you’ve done the first, bonding stitching.

9. Cut the cards apart, to make it easier to stitch around each one.  I go around each card two times changing the length and width of my stitches, this helps get better coverage around the card.

TaDa your very own original Quilted Christmas cards.  Add a sentiment on the back, sign, slip in an envelope. If you’re mailing them as Christmas Postcards the post office requires the word Postcard across the top middle of the back. Address, add your sentiment, a stamp, and mail. You’re done.

Additional Notes

  1.  If you choose an all-over print you can use it as is, for an eclectic look, or fussy-cut the design you like best. You can also sew two or three fabrics together to create your own look.
  2. If you’re adding ribbon for a tie, check that you place it at the “top” of your directional fabric. You’ll notice I didn’t, and the tag will be upside down. That’s okay for me, you might want yours to be right.
  3. You can also use a grommet  instead of a ribbon.
  4. Use an older needle, preferably one for heavier fabric, for your final zigzagging. You’ll be going through several layers and paper.
  5. If you use them as postcards remember they can be no smaller than 3 X 5, no larger than 4 X 6, and no thicker than 1/4 inch. You’ll also  want to ask that they be hand canceled.
  6. If you’re using an envelope to mail your cards you can embellish with beads, buttons, bows, lace,  embroidery, anything you like. I’m not an embellish kind of person, but these are your cards, make them reflect you and your family.
  7. Additionally, if you don’t want to do the zigzag, you can sew interfacing around the edge of the card, cut a slit in it and turn it (The Eleanor Burns method of applique).  The slit won’t show, because you’ll be attaching that backing to the card stock of your choice.

Have fun. I hope you enjoy making these cards. They don’t take much time, and are fun for your friends and family to receive. If you make your own fabric cards, I’d love to see them. You can post a link or picture here to share.

Merry Christmas.