Archive for the 'Tutorial' Category

Mini Tutorial – Monogramming Without an Embroidery Machine

I was a pastor’s kid and a missionary kid.  Us kids would often get gifts and presents from people we had never met and that always made me feel special.  I still remember a necklace with a dove flying down on it (for peace) that I loved and wore for many years when I was a girl.  To this day I don’t know who sent it to us in Taiwan all the way from the States.  I always thought that when I got older I would do the same for my pastor’s kids.  About 5 years ago, I started giving them gifts at Christmas time.  These two drawing cases are for 2 of my pastor’s daughters.


When it came time to monogram them with coordinating fabric like I’ve done in the past, I couldn’t find anything that would go with this blue toile.  So I “embroidered” them, without at embroidery machine.  You all may have figured this out WAY long ago, but it’s taken me until now to figure this out.  So here’s a mini-tutorial on how I did it.

You will need:

  • Fabric fused with fusible interfacing (I fuse all mine for the drawing cases)
  • A piece of heavier-weight interfacing
  • A letter stencil (I used the pop-out of the chipwood letters available at Michael’s)
  • A pen that matches the thread you will use


Make an outline of the letter.

tutorial2.JPG    tutorial3.JPG

Place the heavy-weight interfacing under the letter.  This keeps the fabric from scrunching under the pull of the stitches.  Using a zig zag stitch, sew over the lines to form the letter shape, stopping at corners and adjusting the fabric as necessary.  My zigzag stitch width was 3.3mm with a length of .4 mm.


I used a presser foot with an open toe so that I could see the lines more clearly.  Ta-da!  It takes more time and energy than an embroidery machine, but it sure is a lot cheaper.

Corkboard/Wall Pocket Tutorial

A diagram to help with the terms I’ll be using:

wallpocket diagram1.jpg

Materials Needed:

  • 12″x12″ piece of 1/4″ corkboard tile (available in office supplies at Target for around $4/4-pack, or art-supply stores for around $10/4-pack)
  • 11 3/4″ x 11″ cardboard piece (I cut mine from an old box)
  • 11 1/2″ x 11 1/2″ piece of iron-on adhesive (I use HeatNBond Lite), OR fusible webbing
  • 2 fat quarters of coordinating fabric for background, and pocket
  • Fabric for backing (I used some that I regretted buying)
  • 3+ ft of coordinating grosgrain ribbon
  • 6″x12″ piece of stabilizer (such as Peltex 70)

Step 1: Cut fabric and ribbon

  • Cut background fabric 13 1/2″ x 13 1/2″
  • Cut pocket fabric 13″ x 13 1/2″
  • Cut 2 strips from pocket fabric 2″ x 15″ for top binding
  • Cut backing fabric 13 1/2″ x 131/2″
  • Cut ribbon into 2 pieces – one 14″ piece, one 24″ piece

Step 2: Iron iron-on adhesive onto one side of corkboard

Iron adhesive to what will be the front of your wall pocket. You will later fuse your background fabric to the corkboard to keep the fabric from pulling off of the corkboard when you pull your thumbtacks out.


Step 3: Peel off the paper backing and set aside


Step 4: Prepare the pocket

Fold the pocket piece in half so that it is 13 1/2″ wide and 6 1/2″ deep. Center the stabilizer inside the pocket, flush with the fold and pin into place.

Edge stitch along the top of the pocket, securing the stabilizer as you stitch.


Determine placement of 14″ ribbon and pin into place. Using coordinating thread, edgestitch along long edges of ribbon.

Step 5: Assemble the fabric case

Lay the pocket on top of the background fabric, flush at the bottom and sides. Pin into place with pin head sticking out the side so you can see it when sewing later.


Lay the backing fabric right side down on top of the pocket and background, lining up on all sides. Pin into place


Starting at the top right side, using a 1/2″ seam allowance, sew down the side, across the bottom, and up the other side. DO NOT SEW ACROSS THE TOP. Clip the bottom 2 corners.

WP 10.jpg

Turn pocket right side out, pushing out corners with a narrow tool. Slip the corkboard into the pocket, with adhesive facing up, making sure the side and bottom seams are behind the corkboard. Slip the cardboard behind the corkboard so that it is 11″ tall and 11 3/4 inches wide.

Smooth the background fabric out with hands and fuse as much of the background fabric to the corkboard as you can reach with your iron.

WP 11.jpg

Trim the top of background and backing fabric so that it is flush with the top of the corkboard.

Step 6: Prepare the top binding and ribbon hanger

Iron a 1/2″ crease toward the back on the bottom side of each strip of pocket fabric.

WP 12.jpg

Lay the strips on top of eachother, right sides together, raw edges up. Place both ends of the 24″ ribbon between the strips about 11-12 inches apart. The raw edges of the ribbon will be poking out along the raw edge of the strips. Turn ribbon 45-degrees, aiming the end of the ribbon out and pin into place.

WP 13.jpg

Using a 1/2″ seam allowance, sew along raw edge of strips, securing ribbon into the top binding.

WP 14.jpg

Place inside out on top of wall pocket, centering the ribbon along the top of the wall pocket. Mark with a pins the outside edges of the binding, keeping in mind that there is ~1/2 of thickness the binding will have to go around.

WP 15.jpg

Sew a line where the pin was placed.

WP 16.jpg

Turn right side out for a test fit. Adjust as necessary. Cut off extra fabric.

WP 17.jpg

Step 7: Attach the Hanger to the Wall Pocket

Turn the binding right side out, pushing out corners. Place over top of wall pocket making sure the side seams are pushed to the back of the corkboard.

This is where it gets fun. If your machine can sew through corkboard, then use the zipper foot. My machine has moveable needle position so I move it over to the left as far as possible. Lengthen the stitch length to about 3 mm or more. Use blending thread if using this method because the stitches are not always so pretty when sewing through this thickness. You will be sewing through corkboard, NOT cardboard AND corkboard. Use ~5/8″ seam allowance sewing close to the cardboard, but not so close that the binding puckers.

WP 18.jpg

If your machine does NOT sew through corkboard, then handstitch the binding across the front and back of the corkboard. I’ve never done this before, but it should work. 🙂

Ta da! You’re done!

Step 9: Take a picture for your blog

wallpocket finished.jpg

In retrospect, I should have put the pretty dark blue fabric on the pocket because once the wall pocket is being used, all that pretty fabric is covered up and only the green peas are left. 😦

Step 10: Email me so I can come see!


I made my first wall pocket about a month ago. I am NOT an expert on wall-pocket making, but several people have asked me about the process of making them, so here I am – posting a tutorial like I’m some sort of expert or something! Ha ha.

I guess there are 2 things that make this wall pocket unique and challenging: 1. It is a bulletin board on top and a pocket on the bottom; 2. It hangs from a ribbon. Take either of these things out, and the process is MUCH easier.

Without a bulletin board, you could just fill the inside with 2 layers of cardboard and add more pockets. Take away the ribbon hanger so that it just leans against the wall, and the “closing up” process is much easier – no sewing through corkboard required!

I love how there are so many ways to make variations on this idea: extra pockets for pens/pencils or notepad, decorative buttons, etc. I’ve thought that a leather hanger for a cowboy-themed pocket would be really fun as well. Enjoy the tutorial!

© 2006 Craft Apple Creations

Patchwork Notebook Cover Tutorial



Materials Needed:


  • a thread-bound composition notebook
  • around 15 charm pack squares (or 5 x 5-inch fabric squares)
  • a piece of neutral lightweight fabric cut 11″ x 27″
  • fusible webbing/iron-on adhesive (I use Heat ‘N Bond Lite)
  • rotary cutter and mat OR scissors

Step 1:  Fuse iron-on adhesive to 11×27″ fabric.

Cut iron-on adhesive to cover 11×27″ fabric.  Several pieces might be needed to cover the entire area.  Follow manufacturer’s instructions to fuse.  After fabric cools, peel off paper backing.


Step 2:  Make patchwork cover fabric

Arrange charm pack squares with wrong side to fusible webbing on top of cover fabric.  Fuse a few squares at a time, being careful not to get glue on your iron.


Trim off excess and continue filling in until the entire piece of fabric is covered.  Trim off all excess fabric around the outside and iron final piece one more time, making sure edges are adequately fused.  From here on out, this will be referred to as your “cover fabric”.

Step 3:  Sew decorative stitches over the “seams”


Step 4: Sew “seemingly useless but pretty border” straightstitch on top and bottom of cover fabric

Center the notebook on the cover fabric.  Measure the top and bottom until even.


Add 1/4 of an inch to this number.  In my case, the top and bottom measurements were 1/2 inch.  Adding a 1/4 inch brings it to 3/4 inch.  This is how far in you will sew your border straightstich.

Sew a line 3/4 inch (or your own calculated measurement) in across the top and bottom  of the cover.


The reason for this line of stitching will become apparent in step 10.

Step 5:  Sew under sides of cover.

Iron a 1/2-inch crease into both short sides of fabric.


Secure the raw edge under with a straight stich 1/4 inch in from the edge.


Step 6:  Prepare side flaps

Center the notebook on the RIGHT side of the cover.  Fold in flaps and measure both sides until they are even.  In my case, this measurement is 5 1/2 inches.  Pin the flap at the top and bottom and slide out the notebook.


Step 7: Sew down the side flaps.

Determine the top and bottom seam for the side flaps.  Lay the notebook back on the cover.  Measure the top and bottom, moving the notebook until it is centered and both measurements are the same.  Note this measurement and SUBTRACT 1/8 of an inch.  This is your seam allowance for sewing down the flaps.


My measurement was 1/2 inch.  Minus 1/8 and I have 3/8. Sew the flaps down with appropriate seam allowance, back stitching where the flap ends near the center.

Step 8:  Clip corners and turn cover right-side out.


Step 9:  Test fit the cover.

Gently ease your notebook into the sleeves, expecting to utilize some notebook contortionism.  Remove the notebook.  If it’s too tight of a squeeze, then I’m afraid there might be some seam ripping in your future.  😦

Step 10:  Press and sew in raw edges on top and bottom.

Iron crisp edges and folds into the cover.  Iron raw edges on top and bottom down and pin.


With raw side DOWN, sew at least 3 inches of raw edge down, lining up stitches on your previously “seemingly useless but pretty” border line of straightstiches.


Step 11:  Refit the Notebook in the cover and your finished!



Helpful hints:


  • Although I have included my measurements in this tutorial, in my experience, not all composition notebooks are the same!  Measurements and fabric size may need to be adapted slightly for your notebook.
  • If you would like to use your own fabric instead of making patchwork fabric, then start this tutorial at step #4.  I would recommend interfacing lightweight cotton for a more substantial cover.

© 2006 Craft Apple Creations

Patchwork Cards Tutorial


Materials Needed:

  • pencil
  • several prints from a charm pack (or scraps of fabric)
  • fusible webbing (I use Heat ‘n Bond Lite. There are other brands (Wonder Under, Stitch Witchery), but if the glue is too heavy, it can gum up your needle.  From several emails, there seems to be some confusion about fusible webbing.  It is NOT interfacing.  Fusible webbing turns your fabric into an iron-on.)
  • cardstock rectangles cut into 4 1/4-inch x 5 1/4-inch rectangles (this is the paper that you will sew the fabric to.  Then, this piece will be taped to the front of a card)
  • 4 1/2-inch x 5 1/2-inch cards (this is what you get when you cut an 8×11 sheet in half and fold it)
  • scissors for cutting paper
  • double-sided tape
  • rotary cutter (optional)
  • cutting mat (optional)


Step 1:  Cut out squares of fusible webbing.


Since fabric in charm packs come in 5-inch x 5-inch pieces, I measure and draw a grid on my fusible webbing just a bit smaller at 4 7/8 inches x 4 7/8 inches.


Cut out the fusible webbing squares with your paper-cutting scissors.  The paper will dull your good sewing scissors.

Step 2:  Iron fusible webbing to the back of fabric


Place the fabric right side DOWN on the ironing board.  Place the sticky side of the fusible webbing onto the back of the fabric with the paper side up.  Iron on according to fusible webbing instructions (just a few seconds on medium heat in my case).


Step 3:  Peel away the paper backing.




Step 4:  Cut the fabric into quarters 


Cut the fabric into 2 1/2 inch squares


Step 5:  Fuse the fabric to the paper rectangles




Make sure when the piece goes off the edge that you don’t fuse the fabric to the ironing board cover.


Pretty soon, you’ll have something that looks like this:



Turn the paper over and trim the extra fabric off.


Don’t throw those little pieces away because most of them can be used.  For example, this little triangle…


…can go at the top left corner:



Continue to fuse and trim and iron down the edges until the front of the card is covered. Notice how my peicing isn’t perfect?  The decorative stitches will cover up some of these imperfections.

Step 6: Sew decorative stitches onto the “seams”.


I chose a gold thread to go with the fall colors. I like high-contrast threads as well that make the decorative stitches pop.

My favorite stitch these days is the sewn-out zig-zag.

Sewing through paper on a sewing machine will dull the needle.  I keep a needle specifically for this purpose and put a sharp one back in when I go back to sewing fabric.


Step 7:  Edgestitch the card with a straight stitch.wuthering-heights-card.JPG




Step 8 (optional):  Embelish with buttons, ribbon, etc.

Step 9: Stick “quilt” to the front of card using double-sided tape.

Here are some samples of other colors and styles:



Faded Memories with blue button.



Martha Negley’s Cupcake Fabric with little loop stitches.



April Cornell’s Poetry fabric.



Faded Memories fabric.

Copyright 2006 CraftApple

Chenille Backed Blanket Tutorial

This is a great first project for the begining sewer, and makes a great baby gift.

1. You need to start off with 1 piece of chenille cut 36″x36″ and 1 piece of cotton or flannel cut to 36″x36″.  For this tutorial, my chenille is actually 2 colors of chenille sewn together and cut to the correct size.


2. Line up the pieces, RIGHT sides together and pin to secure around the outside.  Sew with a 1/2″ seam around the entire outside of the square, leaving an 8″ hole in the middle of a side for turning.


The hole for turning:


3. Snip the corners.  Cut near, but not on the threads making up the corner.

step-4a.jpg step-4b.jpg

4. Turn the blanket right side out through the hole.  Iron a nice, crisp crease into the edges.


5. Fold over the raw edges of the open hole ~1/2″, iron and pin the openning closed.  Set aside.


6. Select a decorative stitch to stitch around the outside of the blanket (a zigzag stitch looks nice).  Get some scraps of similar fabric layers to practice the stitch, adjusting length and width until you are satisfied with how it looks.  This is my practice piece:


7. Sew with your decorative stitch all the way around the outside of the blanket, closing up the hole as you go.


8. Snip threads and YOU’RE DONE!


Close up of the decorative stitching:


9. Take a nice picture for your blog.


All rolled up and ready for gifting!


Other options:

Instead of chenille on one side, try flannel for both sides.

Try using pre-peiced cotton on one side for a blanket that looks like a quilt.


If using a sheet, you may need to anchor the sheet and chenille together in the center.  This would be the final step of the process.  Some sheets tend to be polished so that they don’t grip the chenille as well as regular cotton fabrics.

See previous post about using a walking foot when sewing with chenille.

The Lindie Bag (Free Purse Pattern)

To the home sewer:  I have been asked by several people if they may make this bag for sale.  The answer is YES, you may!  I maintain my copyright on the pattern (instructions and pictures), but please feel free to create this bag and sell it!

The Lindie Bag

 Finished size:  6½” tall (14½” if you include straps), 6″ wide, 3 ” deep

In all measurements, width is listed first, followed by length.

All seam allowances are ½” unless otherwise noted.

Fabric Requirements:

2 fat quarters, although more fabric will be needed for centering a design.

Materials Requirements:

½ yard medium-weight fusible interfacing

small piece (~6¼” x 2¼”) of stabilizer (Peltex 70 or Timtex)

1.  Prepare fabric.  Wash, dry and press all fabric.  Fuse interfacing to WRONG sides of all fabric.

 Lindie Bag 1In above picture, pink fabric is for the exterior fabric and green is the interior fabric.

 2.  Cut fabric pieces.

Cut fabric for bag:  10″ x 17″

Cut 1 piece of exterior fabric

Cut 1 piece of liner fabric

Cut fabric for inside pocket

Cut 1 piece of liner fabric 6 ½” x 8 ½”

Cut fabric for handles

Cut 2 pieces of exterior fabric 3″ x 19″

Cut stabilizer

Cut 1 piece 6 ¼” x 2 ¼”

3. Make pocket.  Fold pocket piece in half with RIGHT sides together  so that it measures 6 ½” x 4 ¼” and secure with pins.  Starting at one side of the fold, sew up one side, stopping ½” from the edge.  Turn the pocket piece and sew across the top, leaving a 1 ½” opening at the top for turning.  Sew to the next corner, stopping ½” from the edge.  Turn the pocket piece and finish sewing the remaining side.  Clip corners and turn the pocket right side out, pushing corners out with a narrow tool.  Iron the pocket flat and select one side to be the top.  Edgestitch with a 1/8″ seam allowance across the top of the pocket.

4.  Attach pocket to the liner.  Position the pocket on the liner piece 2 ¼” from both side edges and 1 ¾” from a top short edge.  Secure pocket in place with pins.  Attach the pocket to the liner by edgestitch with a 1/8″ seam allowance around the 2 sides and bottom of the pocket, backstitching at beginning and end for a secure hold.

Lindie Bag 2

The pen is intended to show the position  of the pocket.

5. Assemble bag liner.  Fold liner in half RIGHT sides together and secure with pins.  Sew up the 2 sides, leaving the top open.  Snip open the corner seam as shown.

Lindie Bag 3

Box corners by laying the side seam against the bottom of the bag.

Lindie Bag 4

See this post for additional pictures and explanation on boxing corners.

Measure 1½” from the top of the snipped seam using a ruler as shown. Mark a line perpendicular to the side seam and pin in place.  Sew on this line, backstitching at the beginning and end.  Note that a triangle is formed when boxing the corner this way.  Trim this triangle off with pinking shears after sewing.  Set aside.

6. Assemble  bag exterior.  Sew exterior piece just as liner above (sewing up both sides and boxing corners but do not trim off the triangular pieces.  Lay the stabilizer piece across the bottom of the bag and pin to the triangular pieces on the bottom of the bag exterior.  Sew the interlining to the triangles.

Lindie Bag 5

7.  Make the straps.  Press in ½” on both long sides of the strap pieces.  Fold strap in half and press again.  Secure with pins.  Edgestich along long open edge of straps.

Lindie Bag 6

8. Attach straps to liner.  With the right side of the liner facing in, pin straps to inside of liner 1 ½” from the side seam as shown.  Make sure the straps are hanging inside the bag toward the bottom.  Turn the liner so that the right side of the fabric is facing out.  Baste the straps in place with a ¼” seam.


9.  Assemble the bag.  Place the liner inside the exterior of the bag so that the right sides of the fabrics are facing each other, making sure that the straps are hanging down in between the 2 layers.  Line up the side seams and pin in place.  Pin around the top of the bag.  Starting on the middle edge of a strap, sew across the strap and around the top of the bag, stopping just after the 4th strap, leaving an opening for turning between the straps.  Backstitch at the beginning and end so that the stitches won’t unravel during turning.

10. Turn the bag.  Carefully turn the bag right side out through the opening, pushing all the corners out.  Push the lining into the exterior of the bag.

11.  Finish the bag.  Press around the top of the bag for a crisp edge, pressing fabric in ½” at the opening.  Pin the opening closed.  Edgestich with a 1/8″ seam along the top of the bag.

12.  Press in the creases.  Iron in creases along the bottom edges of the bag and up all four corners (from the bottom corner to the top edge) of the bag.  You’re finished!

Care.  As with any fabric bag, you may periodically want to press creases back into the bag or press wrinkles out of the fabric.

Enjoy your new bag!

©  2007 Craft Apple Creations

Craft Apple

An apple a day keeps the doctor away, right? Well, crafting is my apple. It’s what I do to maintain my sanity while taking care of my family. I homeschool my three boys, ages 14, 15, and 16), am a quilter, a bagaholic, and pattern designer.  Oh – and I also like taking pictures.

© 2006-2018 Craft Apple Creations