a sewing kit for mom

August 30, 2011

I have a fabulous mom!!  She is the kind of person that makes friends everywhere she goes.  She has never left a party or gotten off a plane without at least a few business cards or phone numbers of people that want to get to know her.  She just sparkles and makes any place a better place to be!

We live far apart now and I miss her so much every day.  We talk on the phone at least twice a day but it just isn't the same as being able to hug her or laugh together in person.  She will always be my best friend!

I love to make things for her!  Yes, she can sew, but it's still fun to surprise her with a little something every once in a while!  :)

Mom enjoys doing sashiko embroidery.  She always has a little project going and I thought this would be a great little set for her.

 I modeled the sewing kit after an unbelievable one that Tamiko made for hexagons.  I loved it the minute I saw it and I have to admit that I was a little bummed when she said she wouldn't be doing a tutorial for it.  So, I made my own version that was more tailored for general sewing or embroidery.

It has a pocket to hold your project and a strap that can keep two spools of thread attached and handy.

The center panel has a needle book and a pocket that holds a small pair of embroidery scissors.

 Then there are two additional pockets to hold floss or other necessities.

I also made her a little project bag using Ayumi's awesome tutorial!  I love these little patchwork bags, they are so fun to make and a really great size!

As for the travel sewing kit, I have chatted with Tamiko and she has given me the go ahead to write up a tutorial so that all of you can make one of your very own!  Woo hoo!!!  I will be working on it this week and hope to have the tutorial posted sometime next week!!!

They would make great Christmas gifts!!  Yep, it's time to think about those things!!  :)

star pincushion tutorial

August 23, 2011


These pincushions are so fun to make!  You can make them simple, with one or two fabrics, or scrappy!  Embellish them with hand embroidery or machine quilt them!  They would make a great gift or swap item and are a great way to use up scraps.  Ok, let's get started!  :)

materials needed:

  • scraps of colored fabric for the star (pieces at least 2" square)
  • scraps of neutral fabric for sashing and rest of star (again at least 1 1/2"" wide and 5 1/2" long)  I used white, but linen, osnaburg or any solid would be great choices
  • 5 x 5" square for pincushion back
  • 6 x 6" piece of cotton batting
  • polyfil 
  • thread
  • pins
  • iron
  • rotary cutter and mat
  • embroidery floss and hand sewing needle 
The first thing we are going to do is cut all of our pieces to make the star.  You will need:
  • one (1)  2 x 2" square for the center of your star
  • four (4)  2 x 1 3/8" rectangles of white or neutral fabric
  • eight (8)  1 3/8 x 1 3/8" squares of patterned fabric for the points of the star
  • four (4)  1 3/8  x 1 3/8" squares of white or neutral fabric for the corners surrounding the star
  • four (4) strips of white or neutral fabric that measure 1 1/2" wide and at least 5 1/2" long for the sashing around the star
We will be using a 1/4" seam allowance throughout!!  A 1/4" foot is VERY useful here!

You should have a pile that looks like this!  The sashing is not pictured because I cut mine to length as I go. 

Next, we will start making the points of the star.

On the WRONG side of each of your 8 pattered,  1 3/8" x 1 3/8" squares, draw a line from one point to the opposite point.  This will dissect your square in two.

only 4 are shown but do this to all 8
  Organize your patterned squares into 4 sets of 2.  As you will be using 2 squares per rectangle you will want to arrange them in a pattern that you like.

Take your white rectangles and four of your patterned squares.  Place one square in the corner of each rectangle with right sides together.

Sew on the line that you drew above.  Then trim off the point 1/4" from the line you just sewed.  See below before you cut!!!

Now press your seams open or to the side, whatever you prefer.  

Repeat with the other 4 rectangle and square sets until you have this!

Take your other 4 patterned squares and pin them to the opposite sides of the rectangles.  Make sure that your pencil lines are facing the right way so that you will end up with flying geese (see pic below).  :)

Again sew on the pencil line, trim off the corner (1/4" from your sewn line) and press your seams.  You should now have 4 flying geese!!

you should have 4 of these
Now you are going to want to arrange these 4 geese around your center square in whatever order you like.

note that my block on the left is facing the wrong way.  DON"T do that!!  :)
Take your remaining white corner squares and sew one on each end of the top and bottom geese blocks so that you end up with this:

Now, sew the left and right geese on either side of the center square.

We are now going to sew the star together.  This is where you are really going to want to pay attention to matching up your seams and pinning very well!  When I am trying to match seams, I always pin on either side of the seam. It may seem like overkill but it really does make a big difference!!

Repeat this step with the bottom piece as well.  Your star is finished!!!

Now we need to add sashing.  Start on any side you like and sew on your first piece of sashing. Trim off the edge of the sashing flush with your star block.  Press your seam.

Continue on around your block in a counterclockwise direction.  Carefully trim off your sashing flush with each edge before ironing your seams.

Woo hoo!!!  Your piecing is finished!  I ended up trimming the sashing to 1" past the seam but feel free to trim it to whatever you like.  It is time to add a little quilting.  Layer your batting square under your block and quilt as desired.  I hand quilted mine with simple embroidery floss.  Get creative with your quilting!  :)

Trim the batting to the same size as your pincushion top.

Get your backing piece and trim it to the same size as the top, if necessary.

Place the top and bottom pieces of the pincushion right sides together.  Pin all around the pieces.  I pin so that I can sew with the top facing up, just so that I am sure that the top will be the most accurate.  Make sure that you mark a section (about 2") to leave open so that you can turn your pincushion right side out.

Now sew around the entire piece (except the 2" that you marked to leave open!) with a 1/4" seam allowance.  Make sure that you backstitch at the beginning and end.

Clip your corners.

Now turn your pincushion right side out and gently push out the corners with a chop stick or turning tool.

Stuff your pincushion and slip stitch (great slip stitching tutorial by keyka lou) the opening closed.  Yea, you are all finished!!!!

I hope you have enjoyed this little tutorial and I would LOVE for you to add photos of your pincushions to the lots of pink here tutorials flickr group!!!

Please let me know if anything is unclear or you see a correction that needs to be made, thanks so much!

*** I am happy for you to sell pincushions that you have made in your shops!  Just please add the line "made using a tutorial by amy dunn from lotsofpinkhere.blogspot.com"!  A link to this post would be lovely too!  :)  Let me know if you list some in your shop so that I can check them out too!***

star pincushions

August 22, 2011


I made a couple of new pincushions.  I had so much fun making the first one (the little apples fabric again!) that I made a second!  While making the pink one, I took pics of the process!  Anyone up for a tutorial?

I will have the tutorial up on wednesday morning!  :)

more swoon blocks

August 17, 2011


Here are my next two swoon blocks!  I really love this pattern so much, yes, I know I have said that before but it really is just so fun!!  :)

Because I only had a fat quarter of each print, which is what the pattern calls for, the stripes are not all facing the same direction.  When I was cutting and initially piecing my squares it was driving me nuts!!  I even ordered a little more of this print because I just new it was going to bother me.  Since I already had everything cut, I just went ahead and made my pieces and laid them out.  The more I looked at it, I kinda liked that they were a little crazy.  Now I think it makes the block a little more interesting and adds a little movement to it!  Am I crazy?  :)

Now I will just use this stripe for the binding as well!  I LOVE stripes and polka dots for bindings!  :)

more pouches

August 16, 2011


I made a few more zipper pouches!  I am having so much fun with them!  :)  I used some scraps from my swoon blocks for this one.  The hexies are tiny at 1/2".  I added more hand stitches on the sides of the panel.

I made two more with little apples.  This is my favorite!

I love all of the characters in Aneela's prints.  She tells all of the sweet stories of the main characters on her blog but I wonder what the stories of the little critters are.  :)  These two, in my mind, are in love!  A snail and a turtle, an unlikely couple.  :)

I cut 2 1/2" squares and made patchwork for the lining of the last one.  A nice little surprise when the pouch is opened.

These will be going up in the shop today.

pencil pouches

August 11, 2011


I made a couple of little pencil pouches yesterday!  I LOVE a good zipper pouch!  :)  They are so fun and easy to make!

I have neglected my poor little shop since I opened the fabric shop.  I thought it would be fun to make these for back to school!  I always loved school supplies!  I remember how fun it was to go to the store and pick out all of the pens and pencils, deciding which notebooks you wanted to use that year, coordinating all the goodies to put in your new backpack!  :)

I hope some little munchkins will get to use these little pouches and be just as excited to put their pencils in them as I would have been.

I had gotten a couple of charm packs of Aneela's little apples and so I used the super cute images from one of the squares for these pouches!  I love this hoola hooping girl!  I added some hand stitches around the little block.  I have been really loving that hand embroidery is coming back and have been drooling over all of the fantastic examples on flickr lately.

The other pouch features a little apple tree.  It's so fallish!  I can't wait to go apple picking this year!

I made the pouches out of natural colored linen but osnaburg would be adorable as well and is a lot easier to work with.  I lined the tree one in seersucker and the hoola hoop girl in urban grid in turquoise.

If you want to make a zipper pouch but have never attempted one, or just need a refresher, here are my favorite tutorials!  They both make it super easy to learn how to put a zipper in a pouch.

Anna's gathered clutch tutorial

Vanessa's patchwork pencil pouch

I get my zippers here!!  I really love this shop, the customer service is fantastic, the shipping is fast and the selection and quality can't be beat!!

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