December 12, 2017

Readers Project: LisaMarie’s African Animals Tote Bag

tote bag, sewing,craft, quilting,alanda craft

Note from Alanda Craft: I love the African animals LisaMarie has featured on her tote bag, and the co-ordinating fabrics really suit the theme. Giraffes are Paula’s favourite animal. As you see in LisaMarie’s comment, she used 10″ squares instead of the 5″ that we used in the tutorial, and they look great. You have done a great job with your first tote bag LisaMarie, we look forward to seeing more projects in the future. 

LisaMarie says:

My first tote bag!!! I didn’t have any rope or wool to be able to do the couching but plan to do that on the next one. Also I used four 10×10 panels instead of 5 inch squares. This matched up perfect with your instructions. Besides, I had cut up my husbands favorite pillowcase and felt bad about it so I made home a tote to keep his magazines in!!! I’m so proud of this bag. Thank you so much for guiding me through this project. The boxing is slightly off but with practice I’m sure I’ll get better.

  • Photo showcasing the outside of the bag with the African animal print.

tote bag, sewing,craft, quilting,alanda craft

  • Photo showing the inside lining and the contrasting handles.

tote bag, sewing,craft, quilting,alanda craft

  • Photo showing the base of the tote bag with the boxed corners.

tote bag, sewing,craft, quilting,alanda craft

December 8, 2017

Let’s Get Quilting with My Adorable Grandaughter Ayla

quilting, sewing, craft

My grandaughter Ayla is visiting from Sunny Queensland for a bit of  ‘R ‘n’ R.  She just needs some time  to chill out. While she is here, she has decided she would like to learn how to quilt.

The first thing we made was the zippered pouch  just using some fabric from my scrap stash. I love having a scrap stash,  it certainly comes in handy for little projects like these zippered pouches.

zippered pouch, quilting, craft, sewing

Okay,  that was too easy, so now she has been smitten by the quilting bug and wants to move on to something a little more challenging.  One of her friends has 1 year old twin girls, so Ayla decides to make a quilt. She is only going to make one to start with to see how it goes.

So we headed off to Spotlight we went where she picked up some adorable fabric. We thought it would be best to start with the ‘Easiest Quilt Ever‘ pattern.

Ayla was amazed at just how easy it was to bring  all together and it only took about 3 hours to complete. Which meant that we needed to do another run to Spotlight to pick up some more material so that she can make another quilt. After all you can’t give to one twin without giving to the other.

She has done a great job and even handled the ditch stitching like a pro. There’s no stopping this girl now, she has joined the ranks of people who quilt, and she is having so much fun.

  • Here is Ayla in charge.

Quilt 1

  • The owls are so cute. My photography wasn’t the best and it looks like the stripes are running off but they are all the same size. We cut each strip 5″ wide. The overall quilt measures 49″ x 42″ once we had trimmed the excess fabric off and cut off the selvedges.

Quilt 1 Back

  • You can see the stitching on the back. Ayla ditch stitched the quilt layers together and she did an excellent job.


Quilt 2

  • She decided to use the excess fabric from the backing on the first quilt. So we cut 2  5″ strips and only one of the owls this time. This is so the girls will know which is their quilt. The strips are actually straight even though they look wonky in the photo.

quilting, sewing,craft

Quilt 2 – Back

  • The back on this quilt is a pretty floral design featuring sunflowers.

quilting,craft, sewing


Easy Christmas Table Runner Tutorial

easy christmas table runner tutorial

Don’t you just love how a table runner just dresses up a table, sideboard or even a coffee table.  I have a selection on hand that I use to change up the decor, and they are so easy to make, especially when you use this turn through design.

easy christmas table runner tutorial

I made these table runner using fat quarters but you can use fabric from your stash. There is such a great range of Christmas fabric available, in fact I found it hard to choose just one bundle of fat quarters.And of course you don’t have to just use this technique for Christmas table runners, it would look just a lovely in fall or summer colours, or in a nursery fabric for a child’s dressing table.


What You Need:

  • 9 strips of fabric 5″ x 22″
  • a piece of batting measuring 40″ x 17″
  • a piece of backing fabric measuring approx 40″ x 17″. We will cut this to size once our top piece has been put together.

Christmas table runner, quilting, craft, sewing


  • Lay your strips down and sort them into the order that you want them to be, and then stack them so that the middle strip is on the top.  This just makes it easy for when you pick up the strips to place them on the batting.
  • Take your piece of piece of batting and fold it in half.
  • Finger press along the centre fold. It doesn’t need to be a dramatic fold line, just visible enough to be a guide to place down your first strip of fabric.

  • Lay your first strip down making sure that it completely covers the batting on either side.Take your second piece of fabric and lay it down on the batting along side the first piece.

  • Make sure that it is going to cover the batting. Adjust the placement of the strip if you find that you have batting showing on one side.

  • Lay the second piece on top of the first piece, right sides together.
  • Sew the pieces together with a ¼” seam.
  • Press along the seam line on the wrong side.
  • Fold the second piece back and press in place.

  • Now add each of the other pieces until you have added all the strips to one side.

  • Turn the runner around and start adding more strips from the centre out.

  • There may be a small area that isn’t covered by fabric. You can either trim your runner back to remove that area or you can simply take a piece of your waste fabric and just attach it in the same manner that you attached the other strips. I generally add a piece of fabric so that the batting piece is completely cover, but you can trim the piece back if you wish, the option is yours as to what you do here.



  • Turn the runner so that the reverse side is facing up, and trim around the batting so that all the sticky out bits of fabric are removed.

  • Now let’s just do a final check to make sure our runner is in alignment.  Fold the runner in half, match up the two short ends and one side. If you are lucky all the sides will all match up. but sometimes one side will be out a little bit. This is something that happens when you sew bits of fabric together. if you find that you need to trim, just find the narrowest part of the runner and trim the rest to match.
  • My runner was out by about ¼” on the sides so instead of 17″ I trimmed it back to 16¾”.
  • I also trimmed along the edge where the fabric didn’t cover the corner. On the other end I added an extra piece of fabric to finish it off.
  • So after my runner was trimmed it turned out to be 16¾” x 39″.

  • Now it’s time to cut the backing.
  • I cut my piece 16¾” x 39″ as you want it to be the same measurement as your top piece.
  • Lay the backing on top of your top piece so that the edges all meet up nicely


  • Pin the backing in place.  Start and stop the pins so that there is approximately a 5″ opening at one end. I make sure that the opening is on a flat piece of fabric and not where there is a seam line. We will be turning the open ends in and we don’t want a lot of bulk when we do.
  • Starting  with a backstitch at the pin on one side of the opening, sew all the way around the runner, until you reach the pin on the other side of the opening,  with a ¼” seam. Finish with a backstitch.
  • Clip across the corners taking care not to cut your stitching and trim back a little of the bulk on either side of the corner.

  • Press your runner, making sure to neatly press in the seams of the opening.
  • Topstitch all the way around the edge of the runner with about an 1/8″ seam. This will give you a nice edge and also catch in the open seams where we turned through the runner.

  • Now it’s time to do some quilting. What I do on something like this is just sew a line ¼” on either side of the seam line.  If you do a lot of heavy quilting will pull your runner in and make it smaller and it may pucker, so it’s best to keep it simple.


November 20, 2017

Readers Project: Jamie’s Charm Square Tote Bag

Note from Alanda Craft: Oh wow, aren’t these fabrics  that Jamie has chosen for her Charm Square Tote Bag just beautiful.  I have to say Jamie that you  have done a great job on your first bag.  So happy you found the Charm Square Tote Bag tutorial easy to follow, it’s always lovely to receive nice feedback. I’m going to say it again, I love the fabric and the green lining and the cute inside pocket just finished the bag off nicely. Thank you for sharing your tote bag with us.

Jamie Says:

I made this adorable bag utilizing the lovely charm square YouTube tutorial. I picked up my pack of charm squares at Tuesday Morning. Really happy with how this turned out. Excellent tutorial! Thank you!

Check out Jamies photos of her gorgeous tote bag, below.

Envelope Cushion Cover from One Piece of Fabric – Easiest Cushion Cover Ever

This is the easiest cushion cover you will ever make, trust me.  I ran these three up in no time at all.

easy envelope cushion cover tutorial

***Scroll to the bottom of this post to watch the full video tutorial***

What You Need
This will fit a 14″ cushion insert

  • 1 piece of fabric measuring 14½” x 36″

envelope cushion cover tutorial


  • Lay the fabric down and draw a ¼” line from the edge of each of the short edges. Use a Frixion pen or water erasable pen. (DO NOT USE a BallPoint Pen). You can eyeball the ¼” if you wish, I personally prefer to draw a line so I know it’s straight.
  • Add a 1″ line from the ¼” line.

envelope cushion cover tutorial

  • Fold the fabric along the ¼” line that you have drawn and press.

envelope cushion cover tutorial

  • Then fold over the 1″ line and press.

envelope cushion cover tutorial

  • Sew about and 1/8th of an inch along the top edge and also along the edge of the  1″ fold.
  • Do this for both ends.
  • This gives a nice neat finish to our turn ups on the cushion back

envelope cushion cover tutorial

  • Fold the material in half.  Finger press or give the folded material a quick press just to give you a centre line crease to work with.

envelope cushion cover tutorial

  • The fabric should be facing right side up.
  • Lay the centre crease line along a line on your mat, any line will do. I used the 16″ mark.

envelope cushion cover tutorial

  • Bring up one of the ends and lay it, right side facing down, so that the folded edge overlaps the creased centre line by 4″.

envelope cushion cover tutorial

  • Since mine is lined up on the 16″ mark, I will bring my fabric edge over to the 12″ mark.

envelope cushion cover tutorial

  • Bring up the other end and lay it so that it overlaps the other end and the middle line by 4″ .
  • Watch the video below if this part seems a little confusing.

envelope cushion cover tutorial

  • Sew both sides together with a ¼” seam. Back stitch at the beginning and the end of each row.

envelope cushion cover tutorial

  • You are now ready to turn the cushion cover through.

envelope cushion cover tutorial

  • Just insert your 14″ cushion and you are done.

envelope cushion tutorial

See I told you it was the easiest cushion cover you were ever going to make.


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