Archives for category: Sashiko

The idea got into my head last year that I wanted to make new stockings for the kids.  I just didn’t yet know what I wanted them to be, so last year it never happened.


Fast forward to last month, and I saw the cutest patchwork stockings ever on my meanderings in and around Instagram.   (My Instagram handle is @mamacatquilts in case you want to follow me.) Next thing I know, I am browsing through the blog at Sunny Day Supply, and reading the details of their stocking tutorial post here and part 2 here.  That was the inspiration I needed to get started. The project had simple patchwork, a little bit of handwork and adorable fabrics.  What’s not to love?!  The tutorial comes with (among other things) a stocking template, diamond template, guidance on piecing diamonds, a new-to-me quilting technique AND step-by-step instructions to get you through.


Whenever I see templates, I put the brakes on – I have to tell you, I do anything I can to avoid using templates.  I just don’t get the accuracy I want with them, and it feels like it takes so much longer to deal with them.  It never feels worth the trouble.  When I printed out the template, I realized if I placed two sides of the diamond parallel to the grain of the fabric, the height of the diamond was 2 1/2″ inches tall.  It’s brilliant, now all I need to do is cut 2 1/2″ strips of fabric with my rotary cutter and ruler.  If one doesn’t mind using templates as much as I, you could stop there.  Then, all you need to do is trace two remaining sides of your template onto the strip and cut it out.  But, I took it a step further.  When I measured the side of the diamond shape, I found that it measured out to 3.5 inches and the acute angle measured out at 45 degrees.  The entire shape can easily be cut by rotary cutter and ruler!

The height of the diamond is 2.5 inches.

The height of the diamond is 2.5 inches.

If you have it, it helps to use the section of the cutting mat that has half-inch grid markings, that 3.5 inch side of the the diamond will measure more easily and accurately there.  To speed things up even more, I stacked 2 or 3 strips together before cutting the diamonds.

Use the 45 degree mark on your ruler to get the angle you need.

Use the 45 degree mark on your ruler to get the angle you need. Put the 45 line even with your fabric strip as shown.

I added one other thing that the tutorial didn’t – it is a faux binding in the front of the stocking.  I cut a 1.5″ strip with the length trimmed to match the length of the top of the stocking. Then I folded it in half, and sandwiched it between the front piece and the lining piece. When I stitched that seam, it was sticking out on the right side and I just folded and pressed it down to look like binding.


I went to town selecting fabrics that were mostly Christmas colors, and mostly graphic shapes.  I was thrilled with how they turned out. Two stockings the same yet different, perfect for two  sisters. Next year I may make felt monograms to hand stitch onto the front.

With the kids’ stockings all done, I started to explore a different palette – soft and gentle with a hint of sparkle.  I like this one too!  Wishing you a safe and happy holiday season.  Thanks for stopping by!



It’s been a while, but that’s not because there is nothing going on…

Do you support local schools with auction items?  This year I decided to make and donate a bag to the auction for my daughter’s elementary school – I’m hoping it at least makes as much money as I spent making it!  This bag is made from the I’ll Have One of Everything Bag pattern from Anna Maria Horner’s book Seams To Me and includes upcycled denim and corduroy. I added some hand stitching for interest, and a couple of prints for color.  It turned out quite nice, if I do say so myself, fingers crossed it finds a good home.


Book and torn strips for the purse handle.

Book and torn strips for the purse handle.

During spring break around here Big Sis went away for a couple of days, so Li’l Sis helped me make these really fun jellybean bean bags.  It’s amazing how quick these came together with a little helper, she was the felt cutter and right side out turner and also bean filler!  (Didn’t leave much for me to do)  The girls and their cousin each got 3 – unfortunately their shape doesn’t lend themselves well to juggling.  I’m sure they can be used for mischief somehow.  We found the tutorial from Purl Bee, here. 

Jellybean bean bags!

Jellybean bean bags!

Also during spring break, I found myself stitching up these sashiko napkins at every idle moment for Mom’s birthday.  These unadorned spring colored napkins practically threw themselves at me at Target.  I thought they were the perfect canvas for some nice, simple hand stitching.  Since Mom’s birthday was right around the corner, I couldn’t pass them up.  Two of my favorite tools for sashiko are my Clover brand transfer paper (not pictured) – love that stuff – not cheap but it works great and can be used multiple times over before the sheet is done and my Clover brand adjustable thimble as you see in the picture.  If you are searching for a good thimble, I recommend it – highly.

IMG_4329 IMG_4327

Having been smitten with leather lately, and leather accents on bags and such, I’ve decided to give it a try.  Up next, a faux Midori Traveler notebook with leather cover – except I’m going to use notebook inserts from Field Notes.  The little journals are made in the USA with high quality papers, and are simple yet elegant AND I sourced them from a local paperie which I was excited about.  Will let you know how this all goes, onward! Apologies in advance for the horrible picture today – rain in the sky and my dark house do not make for nice photos.

IMG_4372PPS.  Just to let you in on my plans… I hope to start a series of posts about how to use Inkscape as it relates specifically to quilting – and for newbies like me who know nothing!  I’ve been really interested in the Quilt Design a Day blog, and want to give things a whirl but need to learn the computer program first – and who can afford Adobe’s Illustrator anymore?!

Little Bluebell

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the quilted fox

quilter + sewist + maker