Showing posts with label Quilting Studio. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Quilting Studio. Show all posts

Make Your Own Fat Quarter Boxes

Make Your Own Fat Quarter Boxes

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Like most quilters, my fabric stash often fills up faster than I can store it, ending up with me not knowing what I have or what I don't have. Thankfully, I love organizing and having a place for everything and everything in its place.

I normally buy fat quarters and charm packs for my projects, so I needed a storage solution that would keep them nicely organized and in plain sight. After much experimenting, I came up with a box that's perfect for storing fat quarters and charm packs.


  • Download the Fat Quarter Storage Box template HERE
  • Printer
  • [1] 24"x 36" cardboard sheet, cut into two 24" x 18" sheets. (Cardboard sheets can be purchased at any art store).
  • tape (I used masking tape)
  • double-sided tape
  • spray glue or large glue stick
  • pencil
  • utility knife


1. Print the [4] four template pieces.
2. Cut along the inner edges of the template pieces.
3. Line up the pieces using the dots then tape together. Do not overlap. (Fig 1)

Make Your Own Fat Quarter Boxes-1

4. With spray glue or a glue stick, glue the assembled template to the first sheet of cardboard. (Fig 2)

Make Your Own Fat Quarter Boxes-2

5. With a utility knife, carefully cut out the template along the outer edges.

Make Your Own Fat Quarter Boxes-3


1. Pin the template to the second cardboard sheet; you maybe don't want to use your best pins for this. Trace the template and carefully cut out this piece with a utility knife.

Make Your Own Fat Quarter Boxes-4

2. Lightly score the cardboard on the dotted lines on the template.

3. Gently bend the box at the scored lines.

4. Using double-sided tape or glue, join the flaps to the outside of the box and add pressure to be sure the glue sticks. 

Make Your Own Fat Quarter Boxes-5 Make Your Own Fat Quarter Boxes-6 Make Your Own Fat Quarter Boxes-7

This isn't the prettiest box I admit, but it does the job. You could spray paint it, cover it with Mactac, or use nicer cardboard.

Merry Christmas!
I hope you have a wonderful holiday season!

How to Raise Your Cutting Table to Reduce Back Strain

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When I worked as a graphic designer, I sat for long hours at the computer. It was easy to get lost in my work and not pay attention to my body. I paid the price, however, because this caused me to suffer from back pain for years. So, when I started quilting more, it became clear that I needed an ergonomically friendly cutting table. There were several options available to me, but I opted to buy the Linnmon/Finvard table from Ikea. This Ikea table height can be adjusted to several heights with a "peg-in-the-hole system." This table was a great buy, but there are other ways to get a raised table without putting out a lot of cash.
Linnmon/Finvard adjustable worktable from Ikea (Discontinued).


Measure from the floor to about 6 inches below your elbow. This will give you the proper table height for your height.



You can make most any fold-away table ergonomically friendly using PVC pipe. You can buy PVC pipe in the plumbing section of any hardware store. This project uses 1.5 inch PVC pipe.

  1. Measure the original table height, e.g. 38 inches
  2. Now, measure the table leg from the joint to the floor, e.g. 20 inches
  3. Subtract the new table height needed from the original table height, e.g. 45" - 38" = 7 inches
  4. Add measurement B to measurement C, e.g. 20" + 7" = 27 inches
  5. Cut four PVC pipes 27 inches long. 
  6. Slip the PVC pipes over the table leg as shown in Diagrams 1 & 2.

Diagram 1

Diagram 1


The next option for raising your table is a bed riser. Bed risers can be purchased online or at a hardware or furniture store. Bed risers range in heights from approximately 3 inches to 8 inches.


Lastly, if your table legs are wood, you can attach wooden screw-in finals to the bottom of them. Drill a hole into the bottom of the table leg the length of the end screw on the finial. Screw the finial into the leg. You could secure the finial with a little bit of very strong glue for extra support. Finials come in a variety of shapes and lengths.

Three DIY Pin Cushion Ideas with Tutorials and Free pattern

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1. How to Make a Vintage Planter Pin Cushion

Pin cushions are an absolute necessity in any sewing studio. You usually don't realize this until you don't have one around when you need it. If you go online or on Pinterest, you'll see hundreds of different variations of a pin cushion. There was, however, one pin cushion I fell in love with. It's the vintage planter pin cushion.

I came across these little cuties at Lovely Little Handmaids and knew I had to make one. I picked up a vintage planter at the flower shop and, in no time, I made this adorable little pin cushion. See the instructions below to make your own. I think they would make great gifts for your sewing friends.


You can probably find one of these little planters at a thrift shop or rummage sale for a few cents. You may also want to check out your local florist shop to see if they have any kicking around from days gone by. That's where I found mine.

Step One 

To give the pin cushion extra weight, glue pebbles to the bottom of the container with a glue gun.

Step Two

Measure the diameter of the opening of the container and cut a circular piece of fabric two inches larger than this measurement.

Step Three

With a strong thread, stitch around the edge of the fabric. Pull the thread to gather the fabric leaving an opening large enough to insert the filler.

Step Four

Stuff the fabric with lots of filler then tighten the thread and secure it with a knot.

Step Five

With a glue gun, apply hot glue around the inner edge of the container. Place the "fabric ball" into the container making sure it adheres to the glue.

2. How to Make a Juki 2010Q Wrap-Around Pin Cushion

I recently made this pin cushion for my new Juki 2010Q. I can't work unless this is wrapped around my machine. Don't you love the thread spools fabric? It's from the Cute As a Button fabric line by Delphine Cubitt. NOTE: This pattern can be customized to fit any sewing machine by adjusting the length of the end straps.


  • [2] 4" x 24" strips of fabric of your choice.
  • [2] 1" pieces of hook and loop tape (Velcro®).
  • Toy stuffing or leftover quilt batting.

Download pin cushion pattern HERE


1. Layer the two fabrics and fold in half at the center.

2. Pin the pattern on the fold and cut out the pieces.

3. With right sides facing, stitch a 1/4 inch seam from end to end as seen below. Leave the ends open, and leave a 3 inch opening on one side.

4. Turn stitched piece right side out and press.

5. Fold the piece in half vertically and place the template on it.

6. With a fabric marker or pencil, mark on the fabric the vertical lines on the template.

7. Stitch both vertical lines.

8. Stuff the pin cushion tightly with filler then hand or machine stitch closed. 

9. Fold in both ends 1/4 inch and stitch closed.

10. Stitch on the hook and loop tape at each end.

3. The Classic Mason Jar Pin Cushion

This is my go-to pin cushion for small mending jobs. The Mason jar (mine is a Gem jar) pin cushion is an all-time classic. You can find hundreds of these on Pinterest. There's that cute thread spool fabric again. Here's a great tutorial from The Seasoned Homemaker.


4. How to Make a Picture Frame Pin Cushion

Here is another pin cushion idea I used for my Pfaff machine. If you don't have any buttons on the front of your sewing machine, this pin cushion works great and looks ultra stylish.


  1. Get a small pretty frame and remove the backing and glass.
  2. Cut a piece of thin cardboard the size of the backing.
  3. Cut a piece of fabric one inch larger than the cardboard piece.
  4. Glue some stuffing to the cardboard.
  5. Wrap and glue the fabric edges 3/4 of the way around the stuffing and the cardboard and let dry.
  6. Add more stuffing as needed and finish gluing fabric edges to the cardboard.
  7. Put the stuffed cardboard through the frame.
  8. Re-attach the frame backing to hold cushion in place.
  9. Use sticky-back Velcro® to adhere the finished pin cushion to the front of the sewing machine.

Wooden Scissors Pattern Now Available!

About a year ago I posted my wooden scissors project that my husband and I worked on (see post HERE). This was such a popular post, I decided to make the pattern available for sale in my Etsy Store.

These would be a great gift for the sewist or quilter in your life. They would be a wonderful addition to any sewing studio. I think it would also be a great project for a woodworking student learning the basics of using a scroll saw.

Wooden scissors intarsia project

My husband is an intarsia artist, and I asked him if he could make some wooden scissors for my studio wall. I made the design and he did all the hard work putting them together. This is what we made together. Aren't they cool? They're hanging over my sewing machine table and I love them.

Pattern Now Available!
Wooden Scissors Wall Art

wooden scissors woodworking pattern

Wooden Scissors Wall Art

I love the real looking screw in the middle.

Wooden Scissors Wall Art - detail

How to Make Your Own Quilt Ruler Grips

How to Make Your Own Quilt Ruler Grips

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You can easily make your own quilt ruler grips in a few easy steps. I recently bought a couple of new quilt rulers, but I didn't think to get any quilt ruler grips. Also, the ones on my other rulers are starting to wear out a bit. So, wanting to pinch a penny, I decided to make my own ruler grips. They're really simple to make and you most likely have everything you need at home to get started.

  • 1/2 inch double-sided tape 
  • *220 fine-grit sandpaper. 
  • an old pair of scissors (or utility knife)
*Don't use anything higher than 220 grit because it won't grab, and don't use anything lower than 180 grit because it could damage delicate fabrics.

      Supplies Needed to make Quilt Ruler Grips


      1. Stick a strip of the tape on the paper side edge of the sandpaper.

      Quilt Ruler Grips - Step 1

      2. With scissors or utility knife, cut along the side of the tape to make a strip of sandpaper. Do this over some old newsprint to catch any loose sand. I made a couple strips for future use.

      Quilt Ruler Grips - Step 2

      3. Cut 1/2 inch squares from the strip.

      Quilt Ruler Grips - Step 3

      4. Peel the tape paper off to expose the sticky side and stick your grips to the back of your quilt ruler.

      Quilt Ruler Grips - Step 4

      Sewing machine cover from an old art quilt

      I made a sewing machine cover with an old art quilt that hung in our office. I had been trying out improv aka free form quilting for the first time and created this mini quilt Summer Aspen. I love the colours but grew tired of it on the wall.

      "Summer Aspen" improv quilt by Monica Curry

      I used Rayna Gillman's book Create Your Own Free-Form Quilts to make this quilt art. This book guides you along very well and has beautiful examples of some of Ryana's pieces.

      At first, I thought it might look nice as a bag, but I changed my mind about that and decided to turn it into a sewing machine cover. I love how it turned out.

      sewing machine cover art quilt

      My new studio desk

      I'm very proud of this little desk I created from a vintage sewing machine. I think the machine is circa 20s or 30s. I got it free from a friend of a friend, and it sat in my studio gathering dust for over a year until I finally had the time to make it useful. Some may think it's sacrilegious to hack a vintage machine like this, but it makes a great desk. I'm amazed at how much I could fit into those four little drawers.

      Sewing Room Storage Tips

      You can fit seven bobbins in a lipstick case.

      Lipstick Case Bobbin Storage