Monthly Archives: April 2013

New Patterns from Emmaline Bags + Giveaway!

Have you heard of Emmaline Bags? If not, you are in for a treat! Janelle is the very talented designer behind Emmaline Bags.

I first met Janelle when she entered and won a fabric giveaway right here at Craft Buds. She and I e-mailed back and forth because she was moving across the globe, so she told me I could either wait until after the move, or mail it to her relatives. I waited, which was a mistake, because I almost forgot to mail her fabric!

You can follow Janelle’s blog or connect with her on Facebook to get the latest news on her bag patterns. But I’m happy to share two of her newest sewing patterns with you here today:

The Boyd St. Bowling Bag

My friend Veronica recently pattern tested a version of Janelle’s new pattern, the Boyd St. Bowling Bag. Here’s her version–isn’t it gorgeous?

I love how roomy this bag is, and the look of the leather handles against a bright and summer print. Here’s another version that would be perfect for carrying all your belongings in style.

The Necessary Clutch Wallet Pattern

Another one of Janelle’s new patterns is The Necessary Clutch Wallet. I love the pretty lines and metal turn lock clasp on the wallet front! Inside, there’s plenty of room for your credit cards, cash and more. If you check out her blog, you’ll find some great step-by-step tutorials showing how to add a wrist or purse strap to the clutch, how to print PDF patterns, and more!


One lucky reader will win a generous prize package (a $42 value) from Emmaline Bags!

Boyd St. Bowling Bag ePattern + 1 Hardware Kit (pictured)
The Necessary Clutch Wallet ePattern + 1 Turn Lock Clasp
– a $10 Store credit to Emmaline Bags

Giveaway from Emmaline Bags!

To enter to win, just fill out the Rafflecopter form below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The PDF patterns giveaway is open worldwide, but the winner must have a U.S. and Canada mailing address to also win the hardware. Good luck!

Improv Quilt with Patchwork Half Square Triangles

I recently signed up for Leah Day’s Free Motion Fillers, Volume 1 on Craftsy (more on that below)! I figured that while I was practicing my free motion quilting I might as well use up fabric I had on hand (although the class does give instructions and a pattern for a practice quilt). About a decade ago, I made a bunch of pillow for my college dorm room with no concern for matching up seams or seam allowances or anything like that! After college I removed all the lumpy filling and threw it away, but kept the pillow exteriors that I had made with random strips and squares of fabric. I pulled them out of storage and cut apart the pillow fronts and backs, then cut all of them into the same size squares. I had 9 squares so I went ahead and made 3 more for a total of twelve 12.5″ squares.

If you’ve got practice blocks, extra blocks of the month or any extra quilt blocks laying around, this is a great way to use up those squares and get them into a quilt! It’s also a fun way to play around with scraps without using a defined pattern, just make 12 blocks in any pattern you like. After getting together my twelve 12.5″ squares, I cut each square on the diagonal. And since it’s not precise, this project would be good for a child or someone new to sewing.

Then I arranged the blocks in diamond shapes. In each row, the top and bottom triangle is cut from the same square.

I made a colored diagram so you can see a little easier the general arrangement I used.

I sewed together each square, then each vertical row, then sewed together the three vertical rows. In a short amount of time I had my 3′ x 5′ quilt top to practice free motion quilting on. I’ll probably add some borders to make it just a little larger.



Now back to Craftsy. If you haven’t heard of it or haven’t given it a try, head on over right now! It’s a fabulous resource for learning new skills. You can choose from a variety of classes and workshops on sewing, quilting, knitting, crochet, food and baking, jewelry, papercraft and more. The classes are presented as online video series. You can watch, start and stop at any time and at your own pace. You can contact the class instructor with any questions you might have.

Craftsy sign up is free and you can even take some of the mini classes for free. Free classes I’ve signed up for include Sewing Machine Feet from A to Z (finally learn what all those feet that came with your machine do!), Perfect Pizza at Home, and the QuiltCon Lecture Series 2013. There are often sales up to 75% off on classes. I purchased Leah Day’s Free Motion Fillers, Volume 1 for $14.99 when it was on sale, regularly $39.99. Even at full price it would have been worth it, and for just $14.99 it’s a steal! It’s been a great class for me to learn the basic supplies, techniques and 50 patterns of free motion quilting. If you’re wanting to learn and have never tried I’d definitely recommend the class.

Note: The link to Craftsy provided is our affiliate link. If you decide to create an account or buy a class, please use the links in this post or the ads to the left so we can be credited. Thanks!

Square in Square Quilt Block (Paper Piecing Tutorial)

I recently made a quilt block for my do. Good Stitches charity bee, and I had so much fun making this block. So, I decided to take photos and put together a square in square quilt block tutorial!

Tutorial for a Square in Square quilt block (paper pieced)

This is a paper-pieced (foundation pieced) quilt block pattern that works great with all kinds of fabrics. You can use these blocks to make a pretty paper-pieced pillow, a whole quilt or just make one block to practice your paper piecing.


This is a pillow made using the same square in square block pattern, made by Tamiko of Patchwork Notes! She has put together a free paper-piecing pattern for this block, which you can download here.

Foundation Piecing Tips

Here are a few things to remember when sewing foundation-pieced blocks:

  1. Print out your foundation pattern once for each block you’d like to make. For the 8 blocks pictured, I printed off 8 sheets! I used regular computer paper.
  2. Shorten your stitch length to 1 or 1.3. This will allow you to tear off the paper easily when you’re done sewing.
  3. Place your fabric on the non-printed side of the paper. The pretty side of the fabric should face out toward you.
  4. When sewing a foundation pieced quilt block, always sew directly through the paper on the printed side of the paper. The fabric will be underneath the paper as you stitch, so use a glue stick and/or pins to hold it in place.
  5. For another little primer on how foundation piecing works, you can visit my New York Beauty block tutorial! Once you get used to placing fabric on one side of the paper and sewing the other, you should have no problem with this technique.

Square in Square Block Tutorial

Pattern makes a 6″ finished (6.5″ unfinished) block. Download the free template and print one copy for each block you’d like to make.

For each block, cut the following:
– 1 square 3.5″ x 3.5″ for center
– 2 squares 3.5″ x 3.5″ for center ring. Cut squares in half once diagonally to make 4 triangles total.
– 2 squares 4.5″ x 4.5″ for outer ring. Cut squares in half once diagonally to make 4 triangles total.

Here are two of my printed templates, side by side:

1. To make 1 block, take the 3.5″ x 3.5″ fabric for your center square. Place it on the wrong side of your paper, so the edges overlap the edges of the center box on your printout. You can hold up your paper to the window to see the lines. Use a glue stick to dab just a dot of glue to hold the fabric in place.

2. Next, take two of your triangles (cut diagonally from the smaller 3.5″ squares), and place them right side down on the fabric square as pictured. Align the long straight edges of your triangles with the top and bottom of the square. Center and pin in place. (The photo to the right shows what it will look like after stitching.)

3. Flip the paper and take it to your sewing machine so the printout is facing up at you. Peek under your paper to make sure the fabric has not shifted, and stitch the two lines where you’ve pinned the wide end of your triangles. Backstitch at end edge.

4. Open up the triangles you’ve just sewn and press. Repeat by pinning the long edge of two triangles to the opposite sides, taking the paper to your sewing machine, and stitching along the left and right sides of your center square.

5. Here’s what the triangles will look like stitched. Again, fold the triangles open and press with your iron.

6. Next, it’s time to trim! Take the block to your cutting mat. With the printed side of the paper facing up, fold along one of the diamond edges (diagonal lines) as pictured.

7. Fold the paper corner completely down, so you see the edges of fabric poking out. Lay your ruler on top of the paper, and measure out 1/4″ from the edge of the paper. Trim the fabric that pokes out past a 1/4″ seam.

8. Unfold the paper corner, and repeat with the other 3 corners to trim each of the edges.

9. Here is what the block looks like trimmed. So pretty!

10. Since I was making 8 blocks, I went ahead and assembled the centers and first row of triangles up to this point. You can see that I left the papers full-size, but you may wish to trim yours at this point or before getting started! Just be sure to leave on the outer printed border, which is the seam allowance.

11. To make the outer border, take two of the triangles cut diagonally from your 4.5″ squares. Pin the long edges of each triangle along the top and bottom of your patchwork square (pictured, left). Stitch in place along the printed lines. Press the triangles open.

12. Take your final two triangles, and pin the long edges along the left and right sides of your patchwork square (pictured, right).

13. Stitch in place. For this entire step, you will be stitching around the lines of the diamond (the second shape from the center), as pictured.

14. Press the entire block. Get excited, because you are almost done!

15. Flip the block over, so the paper side is facing you. Trim along the edges of the paper, again leaving the 1/4″ seam allowance all the way around the edge.

16. Flip over the paper and admire your pretty square in square quilt block!

17. When you are joining your blocks, it’s helpful to leave the paper on. I know… it seems funny. But it makes it very easy to get an accurate seam allowance and line up all the points.

18. All of your previous seams will naturally be pressed to the sides. For the seams between each block, I like to press the seams open.

do. Good Stitches {imagine} April for Toni

I can’t wait to see the quilt that Toni makes from these charity blocks! If you make any blocks based on this or any of our tutorials, we’d love to see them! Please add them to the Craft Buds Flickr group or share a link in the comments.

Have you tried foundation piecing or another type of paper piecing before? What’s your favorite method (or tools and tricks) of paper piecing?

Charity Quilters Needed: Sari Bari Quilt Auction

Have you heard of Sari Bari? It’s a wonderful organization that helps women in India find a safe employment to keep them protected from the very real threat of human trafficking. I was first introduced to Sari Bari when my roommate Sally gave me a beautiful jute tote bag, embellished with a recycled sari, the traditional clothing worn by women in India.

Sari Bari is preparing for their annual quilt auction fundraiser, and they need your help to raise $60,000 for this awesome organization! You can volunteer to make a quilt from saris (materials provided) to be auctioned off this November 2013.

“We are excited for the opportunity, through quilting, to connect both the materials and the stories of Sari Bari with your own stories and passions as quilt artisans,” says Sarah Lance, the auction organizer. “This year Sari Bari will produce 10 large quilts and we hope to have 10-20 more quilts from gifted quilters like you! In addition to the auction, we hope to hold a quilt raffle as well.”

You can see all of last year’s auctions quilts here.

If you’d like to make a quilt from new or recycled saris (materials provided to you) to donate for the auction 3rd annual Sari Bari Quilt Auction, e-mail Sarah at

You can also consider supporting this organization by shopping their home decor, baby items and accessories, all made from saris!

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