Quilted Sketchbook Cover Tutorial

I love having small notebooks and sketchbooks all over the house for journaling and keeping track of my creative ideas. Moleskin notebooks and their copycats are my favorite. They are thin and portable, easy to throw into a bag, and the blank covers leave endless options for customization.

Triangle Quilted Sketchbook Cover Tutorial | Radiant Home Studio

I make this triangle quilted sketchbook cover with some Maker fabric that was sent to me as a Valentine’s gift from Art Gallery Fabrics. (That was a really happy surprise! Thank you!) The finished quilted sketchbook cover is just the right size for a large moleskin notebook (about 5″ x 8 1/4″). And if you sew or quilt regularly, you can probably use the same technique, but adjust the size of the cover to fit any notebook or sketchbook that you have.

Triangle Quilted Sketchbook Cover Tutorial | Radiant Home Studio

How to Make a Triangle Quilted Sketchbook Cover:

Materials:

• a fat eighth bundle of fabric (I used Maker from Art Gallery Fabrics. To get a similar look, choose 10 different fabrics. Make sure that five of the fabrics are light, low-volume fabrics, and the other five are darker contrasting fabrics. I used another fabric for the lining, but there will be enough leftover from the fat eighths to use if you prefer.)
• 10″ x 12″ piece of lightweight quilt batting
• rotary cutter and mat

Cutting:

• 100 half square triangles from 2 1/2″ squares (10 of each fabric)
• 1 rectangle 9 1/2″ x 11 1/2″ for lining
• 4 rectangles 9 1/2″ x 4″ for pocket flaps (I cut 2 from the lining fabric and 2 from a contrasting fabric.)

Instructions:

All seam allowances are 1/4″.

1. Cut out the triangles. These are half square triangles made from 2 1/2″ squares. You’ll need about 10 triangles from each of the 10 fabrics, for a total of 100 triangles. Skilled quilters probably have more efficient methods for cutting these quickly. I started by cutting 2 1/2″ strips, then cutting at 2 1/2″ intervals across the strips to form the squares. Then I cut the squares from corner to corner.

2. Arrange the triangles as you like them. I arranged mine so that each square had a colored fabric and a light fabric. And you can see that the colored fabrics alternate in a pattern along the diagonal lines.

Triangle Quilted Sketchbook Cover Tutorial | Radiant Home Studio

3. Sew each of the triangles to its pair, forming 50 squares. (After I took the photo below, I added another vertical column of squares.)

IMG_8612

4. Sew the squares together to form diagonal strips.

Triangle Quilted Sketchbook Cover Tutorial | Radiant Home Studio

5. Sew each of the strips together, matching the center square on each strip.

6. Layer the patchwork triangles over a piece of quilt batting that is roughly the same size. Quilt as desired. I stitched straight lines on either side of each  diagonal seam. (The photo below is “upside-down ” in reference to the others.)

Triangle Quilted Sketchbook Cover Tutorial | Radiant Home Studio

7. Center the lining piece (9 1/2″ x 11 1/2″) over the patchwork and trim the patchwork to the same size as the lining.

Triangle Quilted Sketchbook Cover Tutorial | Radiant Home Studio

Triangle Quilted Sketchbook Cover Tutorial | Radiant Home Studio

(optional) The maker fabric has some great creative words and phrases that you could stitch on to the cover. You could also cut out flowers or other motifs from your fabric and appliqué them on. I chose “make stuff” for the front of my cover.

maker fabric agf ideas quilting

8. Match two of the pocket flap pieces right sides together. Stitch along one of the long sides. Open and press. Fold them wrong sides together, and topstitch along the finished edge. Repeat for the other pocket flap pieces.

Triangle Quilted Sketchbook Cover Tutorial | Radiant Home Studio

(optional) Add another little message to the inside pocket flap.

Triangle Quilted Sketchbook Cover Tutorial | Radiant Home Studio

9. Place the pocket flaps on the lining, with the wrong sides of the pockets flaps to the right side of the lining. Baste the flaps at the top and bottom. Trim the extra of the edges if they don’t match exactly.

Triangle Quilted Sketchbook Cover Tutorial | Radiant Home Studio

10. Place the quilted cover piece and the lining right sides together, with the pocket flaps in between. Stitch around the rectangle, leaving  3″ at the center of one side. Trim the corners and bulk at the seams. Turn the cover right side out and press.

Triangle Quilted Sketchbook Cover Tutorial | Radiant Home Studio

11. Use a ladder stitch to hand stitch the opening closed. Topstitch around the entire cover as close to the edge as possible. Slip your notebook or sketchbook inside to finish it up.

Triangle Quilted Sketchbook Cover Tutorial | Radiant Home Studio

Triangle Quilted Sketchbook Cover Tutorial | Radiant Home Studio

I think this would be a really pretty gift for a creative friend!

What fabric do you want to use for your quilted notebook cover?

This post is linked up with: The Makers

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Priory Square Hopscotch Dress

I made another Oliver + S Hopscotch Dress! I’ve used this pattern several times, and I always love the result. It’s quick and easy to sew, and the girls actually wear the tops and dresses I’ve made. In fact, some of the tops are worn out.

Priory Square Hopscotch Dress | Oliver + S |Radiant Home Studio

I’ve been reading great things about the Art Gallery knits for months, but this is the first chance I’ve had to try some. I have to say that the positive comments I read were not exaggerated. This really is the nicest cotton knit fabric I’ve bought. The weight is just right for kids clothes, the stretch and recovery are excellent, and it washes nicely without fading or pilling. Not to mention the colors in this Priory Square floral print are gorgeous—perfect for Spring!

Priory Square Hopscotch Dress | Oliver + S |Radiant Home Studio

The Hopscotch dress in a size 5 takes less than a yd. of fabric (at least the short-sleeved version does). Even with a quality knit fabric, the cost of making this dress was less than $15 and 2 hours. Similar play dresses at Hanna Andersson are $30-50, so I think it’s worth investing in fabric that will wash and wear as well as a ready-made dress.

Priory Square Hopscotch Dress | Oliver + S |Radiant Home Studio

I didn’t make any modifications to this version, but I did use knit interfacing on the neck band for the first time and it really makes a difference. It’s an optional addition, but for kids that pull at their necklines I think that the interfacing helps the fabric to keep it’s shape. It feels more like a store-bought top with the extra stability that the interfacing provides.

I would have loved to get some more pictures of my girl enjoying her dress, but we currently have snow on the ground and it’s too cold to get nice pictures outside without making her freeze! She did wear it to church this weekend (with leggings and a sweater!) and I’m sure she’ll be enjoying her dress all summer.

Is the cold weather making you wish for Spring or are you still enjoying time to sit by the fire and drink tea?

Adding this to the Sew & Show link-up at Straight Grain!

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Embroidered Fabric Envelopes

Today I’m participating in Free Pattern Friday with Mae&K. Every Friday, they share something they made using a free pattern and invite other bloggers to join them. There’s also a link-up so you can share any projects you’ve made from a free pattern – any pattern, not just this one!

Embroidered Fabric Envelope | Free Pattern Friday | Radiant Home Studio

This week’s pattern is the Envelope Clutch by See Kate Sew. I love the idea of fabric envelopes, but I knew a small clutch purse would be impractical for me and all of my mom gear. I decided to shrink the pattern down to make mini embroidered fabric envelopes that are just right for holding jewelry.

Embroidered Fabric Envelope | Free Pattern Friday | Radiant Home Studio

I printed the pattern at 50% of its original size. This doesn’t work with all patterns, but for simple one piece pattern like this, you can use the print scaling to adjust the size. You’ll also want to scale the seam allowance. Kate’s instructions are to use a 3/8″ seam allowance, so I used a scant 1/4″ seam allowance on my mini envelopes.

Embroidered Fabric Envelope | Free Pattern Friday | Radiant Home Studio

I used linen fabric for the outer envelope and also applied some medium weight fusible interfacing to it. The inside fabrics are quilting cotton (2 are Juliana Horner prints from JoAnn Fabrics, and the other is one I’ve had for a couple of years). The pearl buttons were salvaged from a thrifted lace dress (the one that I upcycled to make a skirt for my daughter).

Embroidered Fabric Envelope | Free Pattern Friday | Radiant Home Studio

I thought these would make pretty Valentine’s Day gifts for my girls, so I decided to add some embroidery to personalize them. I didn’t really plan out the stitching at all. I had some ideas, but I wanted the embroidery to look organic and sketchy. The lines aren’t straight and the stitching isn’t even, and that’s the look I wanted.

Embroidered Fabric Envelope | Free Pattern Friday | Radiant Home Studio

I think the small size paired with a cute pair of earrings would make a really thoughtful gift for a friend! Without the embroidery, I would have finished all three envelopes in an hour. Overall the pattern is simple, the sewing time is short, and the smaller size is great for using up small bits of fabric. Besides embroidery, you could embellish the clutch with lace, pretty buttons, or textured fabric. It’s a fun pattern to use to try out some new ideas.

Visit Mae & K to see Maegen’s Envelope Clutch and see the details of her Envelope Clutch:

Free Pattern Friday Envelope Clutch | Mae & K | Radiant Home Studio

I’ve also linked to the gift wrapping ideas post at Threading My Way, Women with Intention, and the Raising Homemakers link-up.

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Reversible Tote Bag with Strong Straps {Tote Bag Upgrade}

Let’s do something about those plain tote bag straps! I really love my handmade grocery sacks, with the strong and wide straps. We take them to the library and fill them with books, pack them full of extra clothes for outings, and take them to the grocery store to fill with food. I leave some hanging by the door at all times for that last minute kid stuff that we decide to bring with us.

Sew a Reversible Tote Bag with Strong Straps | Radiant Home Studio

I’ll show you how to make pretty, reversible tote bag with strong straps. Not only are the handles sturdier, they also provide an opportunity to add some color and pattern. You can use matching fabric for a streamlined, two-tone bag or mix some coordinating prints to match your style. Just like the other tote bag upgrades, this update doesn’t require a lot of fabric. You can use up what you have, or grab a couple of fat quarters at the fabric shop.

Sew a Reversible Tote Bag with Strong Straps | Radiant Home Studio

Materials:

• 1 canvas tote bag
• 1/2 yd. or 2 fat quarters of quilting cotton
• 1/2 yd. mid-weight interfacing (I recommend Pellon 931.)
• 1/2 yd. lining fabric (optional)
• matching thread
tote bag handle template download (or draft your own pattern – instructions below…)

I drafted the template for a 15″ tote bag, but if your bag is larger or smaller you can lengthen or shorten the curves on my template or draw your own.

To make your own pattern, measure the width of your tote bag and add 1″ for seam allowance. 1. Draw a horizontal line that is 1/2 of the width+seam allowance. That is the base line. 2. Draw a 4″ vertical line on the left and a 3″ vertical line on the right side of the baseline. 3. Measure 11″ above the center of the baseline and make a mark. 4. Draw a 3″ horizontal line centered across that mark. 5. Draw curves to connect the lines. The curves do not need to be exactly the same as mine. Use french curves or a large bowl to get a smooth curve. 6. Mark the fold.

Sew a Reversible Tote Bag with Strong Straps | Radiant Home Studio

Reversible Tote Bag with Grocery Handles:

1. Cut out 2 exterior and 2 lining pieces from the template. Apply interfacing to the exterior for stronger straps. Place one exterior and one lining piece right sides together and stitch along the curved sections with 1/4″ seam allowance. Clip the seam allowance along the curve. Repeat for the other exterior and lining pieces. Turn the pieces right side out and press.

Sew a Reversible Tote Bag with Strong Straps | Radiant Home Studio

2. Turn one side of the handle inside out again. Insert the right side out handle into the inside out handle, being careful not to twist the fabric. I photographed this in several steps to help clarify the process.

Sew a Reversible Tote Bag with Strong Straps | Radiant Home Studio Sew a Reversible Tote Bag with Strong Straps | Radiant Home Studio Sew a Reversible Tote Bag with Strong Straps | Radiant Home Studio

3. Stitch along the top of the handles with a 1/4″ seam allowance. Pull the handle inside handle to turn the piece right side out. Repeat steps 3-4 for the other side.

Sew a Reversible Tote Bag with Strong Straps | Radiant Home Studio

4. Place one strap piece right side up and open out the lining from underneath.

Sew a Reversible Tote Bag with Strong Straps | Radiant Home Studio

Place the other strap piece on top of the first with the right sides together and the lining opened up. Align the side edges or both the lining and exterior, matching the seams.

Sew a Reversible Tote Bag with Strong Straps | Radiant Home Studio

The finished seam should look like this.

Sew a Reversible Tote Bag with Strong Straps | Radiant Home Studio

Sew both sides, so that you have a complete circle. Topstitch around all of the curved edges.

Sew a Reversible Tote Bag with Strong Straps | Radiant Home Studio

5. Cut the straps off your tote bag. Match the lower edge of the exterior strap piece to the right side of the tote bag. You will be sewing below the hemmed edge of the bag (usually about 1″ below the top edge), so align the straps about 1/2″ below the top edge of the tote bag. Stitch on the inside of the tote bag, just next to the folded edge of the pre-made hem. Open and press.

Sew a Reversible Tote Bag with Strong Straps | Radiant Home Studio

6. To make the lining, measure the width of the bag and the height from the bottom of the bag to the strap fabric. Add 1″ to each dimension and cut 2 rectangles. Sew along 3 of the sides with a 1/2″ seam allowance, leaving a 3-4″ opening in the bottom. Turn it right side out.

Sew a Reversible Tote Bag with Strong Straps | Radiant Home Studio

7. Turn the tote bag inside out. Match the lower edge of the strap lining to the open side of the lining. Stitch with a 1/2″ seam allowance. Turn the bag right side out through the opening in the lining. Hand stitch the lining closed using a ladder stitch.

Sew a Reversible Tote Bag with Strong Straps | Radiant Home Studio

Another finishing option: If you don’t care about the bag being reversible, skip steps 6 & 7. Press the lower edge of the strap lining under 1/2″. Align the edge about 1/8″ below the fold of the tote bag hem. Topstitch in place.

Sew a Reversible Tote Bag with Strong Straps | Radiant Home Studio

And that’s it!

Sew a Reversible Tote Bag with Strong Straps | Radiant Home Studio

Sew a Reversible Tote Bag with Strong Straps |Bag Sewing Tutorial | Radiant Home Studio

If you missed the previous Tote Bag Upgrades, check out these posts:

Two Ways to Line a Tote Bag
Add a Cargo Pocket to a Tote Bag

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Patchwork Heart Zipper Pouch Tutorial

Use up your scraps, learn to make perfect zipper corners, and make a pretty patchwork heart zipper pouch for a friend! Today I wanted to share this fun zipper pouch project. It’s perfect for Valentine’s Day, but you can make it work year round by choosing fabric colors that aren’t so pink and red. I’ve used scraps from the quilt I made a few months ago.

Patchwork Heart Zipper Pouch Tutorial | Radiant Home Studio

I experimented with the zipper tabs and corners a lot while I was testing the Fairport Purse & Pouch. I’ve worked out my favorite method for installing zippers so that you end up with nice square corners and not a lot of bulk. You can use the patchwork heart zipper pouch tutorial to practice your zipper skills, or apply the same method to similar bags.

Patchwork Heart Zipper Pouch Tutorial | Radiant Home Studio

The heart shape is attached using reverse appliqué. The patchwork is attached under the front layer, then the front layer is cut away to reveal the patchwork underneath. If you prefer, you can also use the template to cut a heart from the patchwork and apply it using traditional appliqué methods.

How to Make a Patchwork Heart Zipper Pouch:

Materials: 

• 1/4 yd. of exterior fabric
• 1/4 yd. of lining fabric
• 1/4 yd. of interfacing (I used Pellon 931)
• small scraps of quilting cotton (to make a 7″ square)
• 8″ zipper
heart template (PDF download)

Seam allowances are 1/2″.

Instructions:

1. Sew your scraps together. My scraps were mostly triangular pieces between 1-3″ wide. There is no wrong way to do this. Just start matching edges and stitching them together. You can trim the seams as you go. You’ll need a patchwork piece that measures roughly 7″ square.

Patchwork Heart Zipper Pouch Tutorial | Radiant Home Studio

2. Cut two 9″ squares from your exterior fabric, and two 9″ squares from your lining fabric. Cut two zipper tabs, 1 1/4″ x 4″.

Patchwork Heart Zipper Pouch Tutorial | Radiant Home Studio

3. Trace the heart template onto the right side of the exterior fabric, and cut a small slit in the middle.

Patchwork Heart Zipper Pouch Tutorial | Radiant Home Studio

4. Place the wrong side of the exterior fabric on the right side of the patchwork piece, making sure that the patchwork is under the entire heart area. Stitch on the exterior around the heart line through both layers. You can use decorative stitching here if you like.

Patchwork Heart Zipper Pouch Tutorial | Radiant Home Studio

5. Using the slit you cut in the exterior as a starting point, cut out the inside of the heart to reveal the layer of patchwork below. Leave about 1/4″ inside the seam line. Trim the excess patchwork from the back.

Patchwork Heart Zipper Pouch Tutorial | Radiant Home Studio

6. First, you need to make 2 zipper tabs. Trim your zipper tape to 8″. Make sure you trim excess from the bottom of the zipper if you need to shorten it. For each tab, fold the short ends of the zipper tab to the center, wrong sides together, and press. Fold in half again and press. Sandwich each end of the zipper into the center crease. Topstitch across the zipper tab on the open end to keep it in place.

Patchwork Heart Zipper Pouch Tutorial | Radiant Home Studio

7. Align the top edges of one lining piece and one exterior piece, right sides together. Place the zipper between the layers of fabric, with the zipper teeth facing the exterior and one side of the tape aligned with the top edges. When the zipper is centered there will be an extra 1/2” of fabric on each end of the zipper. Baste, if desired. Using a zipper foot, stitch along the top edge through all three layers and across the tabs. Fold the sides away from the zipper and press to one side.

 

Patchwork Heart Zipper Pouch Tutorial | Radiant Home Studio

Patchwork Heart Zipper Pouch Tutorial | Radiant Home Studio

8. Align the top edges of the remaining lining piece and exterior, right sides together. Place the zipper (with the attached pieces folded out of the way) between the layers of fabric, with the zipper teeth facing the exterior and the remaining side of the zipper tape aligned with the top edges. Stitch along the top edge through all three layers. Fold the fabric layers away from the zipper and press to the side. Topstitch along both sides of the zipper

Patchwork Heart Zipper Pouch Tutorial | Radiant Home Studio

Patchwork Heart Zipper Pouch Tutorial | Radiant Home Studio

9. Open up the assembled sides and place so that the exterior pieces are right sides together and the lining pieces are right sides together. Make sure the zipper is open at least halfway. Stitch along the long sides, matching the zipper seams. The zipper seam allowances should be folded and pinned toward the exterior. Sew right next to the zipper tabs, but do not sew through them.

Patchwork Heart Zipper Pouch Tutorial | Radiant Home Studio

10. Stitch along the exterior end. Stitch the lining end in 2 sections, leaving a 3-4″ opening in the center. Turn the bag right side out through the opening in the lining. Stitch the lining closed by hand using a ladder stitch. Tuck the lining in to the bag and you’re done!

Patchwork Heart Zipper Pouch Tutorial | Radiant Home Studio

Patchwork Heart Zipper Pouch Tutorial | Radiant Home Studio

Linking up with:

ChrisW DesignsSkip To My LouPersia Lou

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