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Stash-Busting Facecloth Tutorial

2016 February 5

Here’s an easy way to un-stash some of your smaller scraps, and make something useful to gift, or use yourself. These faux-mitred-corner facecloths are quick and easy, and each uses up an 10″-14″ scrap of quilting cotton or flannel. Just grab a towel from your closet or your local store and start sewing!

After a few slower ones for practice, I was able to sew up a facecloth in only 10 minutes – cutting included! There are so many uses for these – baby shower gifts, part of a Spa basket, Spa/Pool party goodie bags, kids’ facecloths…


One 8″ – 12″square of towel  (8″ is baby size, 12″ is average size)
One square of scrap quilting cotton or flannel, 2″ larger than the towel
Removable fabric marker
Ruler/straight edge
Sewing machine and accessories


Exciting news today – the winner of the latest giveaway!

I’m happy to announce that Terri D has won a $40 gift certificate from Fabric Please! Hooray for Terri! So much fun to get to go fabric shopping for free :)

Even if you didn’t win, I hope you’ll head over to Fabric Please and show them some fabric love. Thanks so much for supporting my sponsors!

No Mistake about it… It’s a free Valentine Printable!

2016 February 3

Today I’m posting a free school-approved non-food/candy Valentine printable! (Spoiler alert for all of our neighbors!)

These supplies are easy to find, so this project comes together super-fast! The erasers were 60 pcs for $1 from Target, the clear bags were 72 for $1 from my local Dollar Store. Sewing (or stapling) them on was simple, since I needed to make more than 70 of them. And I decided to use up my almost-empty thread spools and the fancy stitches on my Janome Skyline S5. My kids happened to like the heart stitch best, so we used it a lot.

The cards are designed in 7 colour-ways. A rainbow of colours, because I have girls – and rainbows always make things amazing. #rainbowtizeeverything Plus I wasn’t sure what to do about the boys in their classes. I suppose they will live with the frilly border and girl-centered eraser choices in blue or teal green!

Make sure, when sewing paper with your sewing machine, to use an old needle and replace it right after sewing these. (You might also want to clean the inside of your machine too!)

Click here to download the free 7-page 4×6 “No Mistake about it” Valentine Printable

Click here to download the free 2-page Letter-Size “No Mistake about it” Valentine Printable

Supplies: Small clear bags, Sewing Machine or Stapler, Thread, Small Erasers, 4×6 Photo Paper or Cardstock

Instructions: Print as many cards as you need, cut them if necessary. Place the erasers in clear bags and attach them to the cards. Write names on them and DONE!

More Valentine Tutorials, Printables & Inspiration 

Tale of a Teddy Bear

2016 February 1

Meet Teddy! This very important bear has been through a lot. Up until the moment my daughter decided he was hers, Teddy’s life was pretty standard. He sat and watched life go by and was dusted every so often. While a bit boring perhaps, it was safe.

Then my daughter took over. Now he definitely shows all the love he’s been given in the past eight years! He has patchy fur, threadbare paws and worn ears. Somewhere in him there is a hole that keeps losing those clear weighted “bean things”, but for the life of me I cannot find it. We finally hit a tipping point right before the holidays and had to put him under to fix some major structural damage.

One (very early) morning, while I was (very much) asleep, my daughter showed up beside my bed and said “Mom, look!” Bleary eyed, I looked at her holding Teddy’s body in one hand and his head in the other. Yikes! What a way to wake up!

Needless to say, I made it a priority to fix the problem before she came home from school that day. It was a surprisingly time consuming process, mostly because his head is made so it can turn. I even had to unpick his shoulder seam, harder than I thought with 8 year old fur! More than a little hand sewing and some button thread later, Teddy was back, good as new.

Some things are so important that you should drop everything and take care of them. Even when it feels like your seams are coming un-sewn and your head is falling off! If you keep your priorities straight it will all work out in the end.


Faux Leather Marmalade Jacket {pattern review}

2016 January 27

I am so, so happy to be a guest on Indiesew again today. This time as part of Coat Month! This post allowed me to move the Marmalade Jacket straight to the top of my to-do list. Plus I got to work with some amazing stretch faux leather, a new-to-me fabric I’ve been wanting to try.

Find out more on the Indiesew blog! (+ why I should not have chosen this as my first coat in faux leather!)

To say I am pleased with how this coat turned out is a big understatement. I’m deliriously pleased with how “un-handmade” this jacket looks. Every time I see it hanging in my closet I smile crazily to myself. That’s not weird, right?!

Have you made a coat or worked with faux leather before? What are your best tips? We’re listening!

(P.S. Don’t forget – only one more day to sign up for the Fabric Please Giveaway! Enter for your chance to win until midnigh January 28, 2016)

Thank You Thursday with Fabric Please! {+ a giveaway!}

2016 January 21

I’m happy to have my sponsor Fabric Please! back again with news about their Thank You Thursday promotions, new arolyn Friedlander fabric and a gift certificate giveaway!

Carkai by Carolyn Friedlander

Five gorgeous prints from Carolyn Friedlander’s latest line, Carkai, are now in stock at Fabric Please! They are also going to have the Carkai fat quarter bundlesin stock later this winter. You know these are going to go fast – don’t wait or they might be gone!

Thank You Thursday!

Fabric Please has been running Thursday promotions for a while now and I wanted to let you know because they are such a great deal. Each Thank You Thursday features special discounts available for only 24 hours.  They are even nice enough to let you know what the sale is in advance – so you can be ready for it.

Make sure to sign up for their newsletter so you don’t miss out. Here are today’s sales, including 25% off Lotta Jansotter – Eeek! 

15% off Mon Ami by Basic Grey – Code: SAVE15

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MonAmiGreyCircles30415-11 MonAmiCreamText30412-11 MonAmiCreamBikes30413-11  MonAmi-apartments30416-21

20% off Pearl Essence by Maywood Studios – Code: SAVE20

Pearl dark grey daisy Pearl Teal Daisy Pearl Light grey quatrefoil Pearl black on black quatrefoil 

Pearl light grey dot Pearl black on black dots Pearl Essence med. grey filigree

25% off Lotta Jansdotter fabrics – Code: SAVE25

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 lotta_jansdotter_lucky_emes_in_midnight_navy LottaJansRedstripetn_40681-7 LottaJansGreystripetn_40681-4 LottaJansGreenStripetn_40681-8 Bella Lotta - 35210-2


You could be the winner of a $40 CDN gift certificate to use for anything you’d like from Fabric Please! Might I suggest some Carkai perhaps?!

This giveaway is open to International readers, from January 21-28, 2016 at midnight EST. Use the Rafflecopter widget below to enter – and if you don’t have Facebook to sign in with, just use your name and email address. There’s a “click to enter”, no social media login entry too!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

19 Helpful #Sewing #Hashtags You Should Know About

2016 January 19

We’re talking about hashtags today. Either you #loveem, #hateem or wonder #whatisahashtag anyway?!

A hashtag is added to many types of social media platforms as a categorizing tool. It can be written as anything you’d like, so long as it has no spaces and is prefaced with a “#”. When you click on a hashtag, your social platform will show a list of posts categorized with that tag.

I’ve been using them (mostly on Instagram) for inspiration, to find new project ideas, and to see what everyone has been trending toward in sewing-land. It also helps to tag your projects properly so others can find them. (This blog even has a hashtag! Search or tag #alongforthreadride to see Thread Riding Hood specific giveaways, tutorials and projects.)

Comment to tell us about your favorite hashtags, so we can check them out!

#isewThis general hashtag categorizes anything to do with sewing. It’s easy to get lost on this one – so many gorgeous pictures and great inspiration of all kinds.

#quilt, #patchwork, #patchworkquilt: Again, a general tag. And again, gorgeous work. This hashtag includes fully finished quilts, WIP’s (Work In Progress) and quilt blocks.

#quiltblock: These are so much fun to look through – piecing, paper piecing, english paper piecing! It’s not hard to find a new project to work on after searching this one.

#sewingforkids, #sewingforchildren#sewingforbaby, #sewingforgirls, #sewingforboys: These are self explanatory I think! Use this hashtag to find children’s clothing inspiration, tutorials and free patterns.

#sewingformen: Many sewing-related hashtags refer only to women’s patterns, this is great inspiration for men’s projects all in one place.

#thegreatfabricdestash, #fabricdestash, #thegreatcanadianfabricdestash: Watch out, this hashtag is truly dangerous. Anyone selling their fabric stash uses this tag, and you can buy it from them! Check back often to make sure your favorites don’t disappear. You can often find OOP (Out of Print) fabrics here.

#sewingpattern, #sewingtutorial, #freesewingpattern: Lots of great information here. Find patterns for almost anything, and information from others who have sewn them.

Last but not least – check any indie sewing patterns you have for their own specific hashtag. If the pattern maker has chosen a tag, it’s written somewhere in the pattern instructions, usually at the very beginning or end. This is an amazing resource, and allows you to see different fabric placement choices and get tips about the pattern itself from people who have made the pattern or are currently sewing it.

Hope you have fun searching, and be sure to leave yourself lots of time to check these out – they’re addictive!

Please note: These hashtag photos are live, directly connected to the hashtags they are related to in real time. I am not responsible for the content shown in any of these photos. Please click each photo to find information about the authors.

Coiled Rope Baskets

2016 January 15

I have given in and gone after the trend, copied the masses and followed the crowd. Yes…. I too made rope bowls this past Christmas! It seemed everywhere I turned on Instagram last month there was photo after photo of rope bowls being made. Gifts for teachers, parents and friends – and, in my case – my sister.

I am pretty sure I saw this idea a few years ago somewhere. But the tutorial I used to start me off was only written in September of last year. Flossie Teacakes has a great tutorial post with some good tips on how to make them work. Since my sister crochets, I found a pretty blue skein at my local quilting/yarn shop to add to the mix. Hopefully it’s a nice one. That’s what the employee told me anyhow!

I decided to wrap fabric around some of the coils, added handles to one basket – and in general tried to make three different “nesting” bowls without making them all the same. The fabric was a great scrap buster and I would have used up a lot more scraps had I not gotten tired of wrapping fabric. It’s a bit fiddly to make it lie straight along the rope – or maybe I’m just not patient enough!

A good tip for wrapping the rope? I used a 1″ strip, unfinished, and glued it to the rope with my glue stick. It worked wonderfully and I didn’t have to hold it in place, which was nice. I also have some photos of how I finished the ends with a fabric tab and wrapped the rope with fabric successfully, so if you want a mini tutorial on that just ask and I’ll post them.

As you can see from the myriad of photos, I really like how these turned out. These baskets sew up quick. They are pretty cost effective and really addictive to make.And they are uber-fun to photograph, looking lovely on my favorite white background!

Have you made any rope baskets yet? What was your favorite part?

Liberty Wall Clock

2016 January 11

Wow! It’s been a quiet few weeks around here! I’ve been grateful for the pause, when the girls are home from school it’s always busier. We are also in the middle of organizing and de-cluttering our home and doing a mini-renovation in the basement.

We are moving from the tiny upstairs 10×10 office/sewing area my husband and I share into a space almost twice as big by re-purposing the basement space we rarely use. But first, we need to move a closet, build a wall, add a door, move another door and paint – all while running our own businesses and being a family. So we should be finished sometime mid-summer?! Ha!

Today I get to start talking about the Christmas gifts I couldn’t share before the holidays. This year I had less time than usual and thankfully Pinterest came through with some quick and easy gifts – less involved than last year’s Cargo Duffles for sure! And I pinned some great gift ideas that I can use another time – Bonus!

Did you make any Christmas gifts this past year?

First up, my mom’s Liberty Clock. This idea came from Vicky Myers Creations and her super-cute DIY Embroidery Hoop Clock tutorial. Our clocks ended up looking very different, but the basic idea is the same. Here are a few things I did differently from Vicky’s tutorial.

  • 1 1/2″ squares of Liberty fabric to mark the clock quarters instead of buttons. The edges are finished using an applique stitch on my Skyline S5. Clearly I need to try to end the stitches in the same place next time instead of overlapping them!

  • Fusible Fleece instead of thick interfacing. I wanted a more “quilted look”, which would have worked out better had I actually quilted the main fabric!
  • Liberal use of Fray Check! I used it on the centre hole for the clock mechanics and the thread ends of the applique

  • Extra interfacing around the centre hole. Just to make sure it didn’t fray and the clock mechanics would have plenty of support so the fabric doesn’t droop. (I hope?!)

  • Sticky non-sew Velcro to hold the clock mechanics upright.

  • All excess fabric behind the hoop. To do this I ran a basting stitch with button thread around the outside of the circle and knotted it to pull in the fabric. (And added more Fray Check!)

I was so excited to get to use my Liberty fabric for this project. Dorienne gifted me two Liberty fabrics that she bought in the Liberty of London store – in actual London! Eeeek! (I am so grateful, and still hoarding them!) I also love how the Liberty looks with the Essex Linen in Natural that I bought from my sponsor Mad about Patchwork.
This project is a great way to show off your precious fabrics without cutting a large chunk out of them! I think I might need one in my soon-to-be-finished sewing space. I’m sure there is another old clock somewhere in the things we need to de-clutter!

Year in Review – 3 Top 15′s from 2015!

2016 January 5

Happy New Year! Thank you so much for following along with me through 2015. I love analytics and it is especially fun to see which post you loved most last year. So… here are the 15 most popular blog, instagram and pinterest posts from 2015. Plus, a few numbers to start… because #chartsandgraphsaremyfavorite!

 Top 15 Blog Posts in 2015

And the thing that makes these posts similar? Turns out everyone loves a free tutorial! I love that these popular posts range from my first year blogging in 2012 (Handy Fridge Towel) to the most recent one!

  1. Sunny Glasses Case Pattern & Tutorial
  2. Cat-Eye Zipper Pouch Pattern & Tutorial
  3. Canadian Online Fabric Stores (Pinterest Board)
  4. the World’s Fastest Pencil Case Tutorial
  5. Stuffed Animal Chair Pattern & Tutorial
  6. Quiet Book – Construction Sew Along
  7. Super Hero Cape Pattern & Tutorial
  8. Pretty Floral Divided Tote Pattern & Tutorial
  9. Diaper Bag Tutorial
  10. Simple Kid’s Dress Tutorial
  11. Insulated Lunch Bag Pattern & Tutorial
  12. Handy Fridge Towel Pattern & Tutorial
  13. Fat Quarter Skirt Tutorial
  14. I Spy Bag Tutorial
  15. DIY Canvas Art Tutorial

 Top 15 Instagram Posts in 2015

Top 15 Pinterest Posts in 2015

  1. Skate Guard Tutorial
  2. Cat-Eye Zipper Pouch Pattern & Tutorial
  3. Simple Kid’s Dress Tutorial
  4. Glow Stick Printable Valentine Cards
  5. Canadian Online Fabric Stores Board: Pins from this board make up the rest of the top 15 
I hope you’ve had a wonderful start to 2016! What are you planning for this year?

Fabric Spark Big Deal Clearance and Giveaway!

2015 December 26

Merry Boxing Day for all you Canadians, and “the day after Christmas” to the Americans! Boxing Week is great for after Christmas sales and amazing deals. My sponsor Fabric Spark is having a great Boxing Week sale starting today. Plus she has a 12 fat quarter giveaway happening right here as well!

Boxing Week Big Deal Clearance! 

20% off already marked down Sale Fabric. Over 150 fabrics on sale. December 26-31, 2015, Promo Code: big deal.

My youngest helped me pick a few of our favorites to get you started….

One lucky reader will win this gray-blend bundle made up of 12 fat quarters pulled from the Big Deal Clearance fabrics! I have been eyeing this spoon fabric since it was listed at Fabric Spark and I’m loving how it mixes in with this print bundle.

This giveaway is open to US and Canadian readers, from December 26-31 at midnight EST. Use the Rafflecopter widget below to enter – and if you don’t have Facebook to sign in with, just use your name and email address. There’s a “click to enter”, no social media login entry too!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Make sure you head over to the Big Deal Clearance to get 20% off that already reduced fabric you’ve been needing!

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