Tag Archives: zakka

Zaka Style project #16 – Patchwork Ribbon

My favorite gift!

I didn’t plan on doing this week’s Zakka Style project but I’m glad that I did because I’m quite happy with how it turned out and will actually use it! There is a BIG incentive to complete this project and to link it up to the sew along – a nice collection of Cosmo Thread by Lecien.  I was intrigued by the post by The Patchsmith who said she has threads all over the place from making this.  After thinking about it for awhile and reading the directions again, I thought that starting with a large patchwork piece and cutting it into strips on the BIAS might be an answer to the loose threads.  So I tried it!

I sewed some strips together, cut them into smaller pieces and then sewed the pieces together in an arrangement that I thought would give me a long run of bias.

I cut bias strips 1 1/4 inch wide from this.  No frays on the edges and the front of the stripes looked great. The back, though, had all those seams.

Front of bias strips – beautiful

Back of strips – not so pretty











I joined the strips together using a bias join technique.  I thought about stopping here and using the “ribbon” this way.

Single layer

However, there was so much of it that I decided to go ahead and sew it all together with the wrong sides together using a simple running stitch down each edge.  After that, I had only half of the length but no raw edges showing at all!

Double layer

After looking around for something to be the gift to tie it onto for the photo,  a wine bottle seemed perfect.  My sewing space is incredibly well “stocked”! Don’t you agree?

Fabric to the right. Wine to the left.


Filed under Uncategorized, Zakka Style sew along

Zakka Style project #15 – Elephant Bookmark

This week’s project from the Zakka Style sew along is an Elephant bookmark.  It was designed by Kat Mew.  The guest blogger for the sew along is Angela from Cut to Pieces.

An Elephant Never Forgets Bookmark

I used a fabric strip set that was already sewn together.  It is hard to tell this in the picture because the batik fabrics are so similar. I put the strip set right side to another piece of batik fabric, put the pattern on top, and sewed around it.

Sewing around the paper pattern

I did not use any interfacing.  There were so many comments from others who made this about how hard it was to turn, I just decided not to interface it. Here is a picture of the back side right before turning. I trimmed very closely and clipped all the inside curves.

Trimmed with my beautiful Gingher scissors!

These scissors were a Christmas gift from my daughter, Lindsey.  I love them!  There is nothing in the word that cuts as smoothly as these. I didn’t have any trouble turning my elephant right side out but it was pretty flimsy without the interfacing so I did the next best thing – I spray starched the heck out of it – several times! This was actually quite effective and it is now pretty stiff.  I then sewed an ultra suede ear on.  I didn’t bother with an eye because somehow there is a star on the fabric right where the eye would be.  I couldn’t have fussy cut it any more perfectly.

Marking it’s place in my Zakka Style book.

Linking to LR Stitched Zakka sew along.


Filed under Zakka Style sew along

Zakka Style project #13 – Patchwork Pot Holder

Finished front

Finished Back

This week’s project from the Zakka Style sew along is a patchwork potholder. Kim from Retro Mama designed these potholders for the book. She has also updated the instructions for putting on the binding which can be found here. This was a pretty quick and easy project to put together. The great thing about these is that they are large and thick enough to make a nice trivet for the table as well as protecting your hands from a hot dish.

I started the project by making a strip set. I had some strips that were already sewn together. Adding a strip of linen to those gave the potholder the look I wanted. After all, linen is the fun element of the Zakka Style projects!

Strips sewn, layered with Insul-Brite, batting, and backing and then trimmed into an 8 ” circle.

I layered 10″ squares of the strip set, a piece of Insul-Brite, a piece of cotton batting and then a piece of linen for the backing. A walking foot made quilting these together very easy. Once they were together I cut an 8 inch circle.

Bound edge of partial circles

2 partial circles were cut out of linen and 2 out of a cotton print (which ended up unseen on the inside). The flat edge was bound and then these were placed onto the back of the round piece and basted around the edge. Now it was ready for the binding.  I have avoided binding in linen on other Zakka projects due to the fraying of the fabric. However, since this binding HAD to be cut on the bias, fraying would not be a problem so I went ahead and used it.

Binding turned to the back. Ready for hand stitching.

Unfortunately, I didn’t read the updated binding instructions and just overlapped and sewed the edge of the binding which did not give as clean a finish as doing it the other way would have. I look forward to trying it again and perfecting the binding.

I’m happy with how this turned out and will be making some more for gifts.  Any sort of quilted design could be put on the front and it would be fun to try some different things to make a useful and pretty gift.


Filed under Gifts, Tutorials, Zakka Style sew along

Zakka Style project #11 – The Zakka Pouch

The book Zakka Syle has a pouch pattern called the Orchard Path Tweed Pouch by Amanda Jennings.  I can’t call mine a tweed pouch because I opted to sew it using linen and ultra suede.

Zakka pouch

I’m really happy with how it turned out except that I was hoping it would fit my Kindle and it does not.

Kindle doesn’t quite fit.

If I had done the zipper differently, it probably would have fit.  I followed the suggestions of this week’s Zakka Sew Along host(ess) Elizabeth from Don’t call me Betsy.  She suggested following this zippered pouch tutorial from Kelbysews.  I love the way that it went together and the finished look of the zipper.

Zipper detail

Zipper detail

This neat technique made the zippered opening a bit smaller.  I also cut my zipper smaller than I should have which caused me to sew the pouch with a 1/2 inch seam allowance instead of a 1/4 inch.  These two things  made just enough difference that my Kindle would not fit in there.  I may try again because this made up pretty quickly and would be even quicker after having already done one.  Using ultra suede on the bottom corners and the hexies (?hexes) meant that I didn’t have to do any turning under.

Pattern pieces – note the difference?

The book has you enlarge the pouch pattern 200%.  The corner pattern and the hexagons are printed real size.  I found that the corner pattern did not exactly match my enlarged pouch corners.  They were just a slightly different shape and size.  I opted to cut off a corner of my pouch pattern and use that to cut the ultra suede.  This way they were perfect!

Zakka pouch

Good luck to everyone who is sewing this project this week as part of the Zakka Style Sew Along. It’s a great one!


Filed under Gifts, Zakka Style sew along

Zakka Style project #10 – The Zip Organizer

I started this project yesterday when I was waiting for an air conditioning service guy to arrive.  I finished it today when a friend came over to sew with me.  My daughter looked at it this evening and asked how long the friend was here (all day) and was surprised this is all that I had made during that time.  I guess she doesn’t understand how long it takes us to chit chat and show each other what we’ve made since the last time we visited one another!  And we had to have coffee…and lunch!  We’re probably lucky we got anything done.

My air conditioner is now working but my internet is out.  I’m posting on my husband’s computer who has a special” thingy” to hook it to the web without an internet connection. This computer is unfamiliar to me and doing weird things like centering my writing and I can’t get it to align left so I give up!  Goodbye until I can use my own computer!  Good luck to everyone who is making this organizer this week.


Filed under Uncategorized, Zakka Style sew along

Zakka Style Project 8: Block Quilt

Zakka Block Quilt

Zakka Block Quilt    Finished size = 46 X 60 inches

Yippee!  I got the quilt done and I LOVE it!  I thought I had gotten a jump on this project by deciding the layout a few weeks ago.  However, all the sewing, quilting and binding was done this week – mostly in the past 3 days.  Luckily my husband was out of town and I didn’t have too many other responsibilities.

Blocks and stitching

Blocks and stitching

I used a charm pack of woven japanese fabrics which are 4″ square.  There were 70 squares in the package and I needed 72.  I supplemented by cutting some similar fat quarters that I had.  I used cream colored linen for the rest of the top and a cotton fabric for the binding and back.

serged quilt back

Serged quilt back

I put the quilt together with my serger.  The linen and the woven fabrics were a loose enough weave that they were fraying like crazy so I thought this would be a good idea.  Look at how neat the back is!  I’ve only used my serger for garment construction and edge finishing (150 cloth napkins for my daughter’s wedding) in the past.  This project was the PERFECT project to serge because of all the straight lines and it went together very quickly this way.

Finished corner

Close up of binding and hand stitching

I did stitch in the ditch with thread that matches the linen along the seams on the top and bottom of the blocks.  This did a good job of stabilizing the quilt.  This loosely woven linen really wanted to lose it’s shape.  Next I did the hand stitching with a thick pearl cotton thread.  The hand stitching was definitely the most time consuming part of this project, but I’m SO happy that I did it because I love how it looks and it reminds me of sashiko stitching which seems appropriate with my japanese fabrics.

Finished Quilt

I wonder how many other Zakka Sew Along sewers are scrambling to get their quilts done today in order to link up for this weeks “prize”.  Good luck everyone!


Filed under Uncategorized, Zakka Style sew along

Looking forward to the Zakka quilt project

Have you been sewing along with the projects from the book Zakka Style? It’s been fun to see all of the different versions of the projects starting from the beginning of the book.  The first project was a tote bag and it took some time to make up.  However, since then, the projects have been very quick and relatively simple.  The idea with the Zakka Sew Along is to read the guest blogger’s notes for that week’s project on Monday and make the item up and link it by the following Sunday.  I’m going to be traveling some over the next few weeks so I thought I had better look ahead.

Japanese fabric charm pack

There is only one quilt in the book and it is coming up in a few weeks.  I have a charm pack of Japanese woven fabrics that I’ve been saving for just the right project, and I think this is it!  My squares are 4″ and the pattern in the book calls for 6″ but that does not deter me.  I will just add more rows/columns to make the quilt the same size.

Zakka Quilt - book and pencil diagram

I made a sketch to help determine materials and sizes needed.

I’m considering sewing this together with my serger.  I have never sewn a quilt together this way before but all of these fabric are rather loosely woven (especially this linen) and I think it might be a good idea.

Quilt layout on design wall

I did not get last weeks project (mini magnets) done due to travel for my husband’s birthday.  However, I still  feel like I’m ahead instead of behind because I’ve got this quilt all cut and ready to sew.

Happy Birthday Dear!


Filed under Family, Uncategorized, Zakka Style sew along

Zakka Style Project 5: Patchwork Pencil Case

Zakka Pencil Case finished

This was a fun and easy project.  Thankfully, many of you have already posted about it so I was forewarned about following the directions exactly. The best suggestion that I have to add is that the directions want you to “turn” the project through a 1 1/2 inch opening.  I thought it was easier to leave the whole 3 inch end open to turn through (see pictures below).  There were not many pictures or diagrams for this project so I tried to take pictures of each step.  I hope this helps!

Pieces all cut and patchwork sewn together.

Sew the small linen piece to the top of the patchwork strip and the longer linen piece to the bottom of it. Baste the closing band 1" from the top of the small linen piece.

After fusing interfacing onto the wrong side of the lining piece, sew lining to linen piece across top with right sides together. Fold lining back at top and topstitch along the fold.

With lining side up, fold the lining right sides together by folding 5 1/2" from the topstitched edge.

Turn the piece over and fold the linen exterior in the same way - aligning raw and folded edges.

Sew along raw edges on both long sides. I left the 3rd raw edge open to give more room for turning right side out. Folded edge is not sewn.

Turn right side out.

Fold raw edges in.

Topstitch opening closed and it's done!

As others have posted, this case is smaller than it looks in the book or online.    It’s only about 2 1/2″ by 6″.  Here is how it compares to a pencil and a pen:

It has been suggested that it could be used for a small pair of eye glasses or to keep crochet hooks in.  I might use mine to keep my small rotary cutter in when I take it to a class.

Happy sewing everyone!


Filed under Tutorials, Zakka Style sew along

Stamping on fabric. What do you use?

I’m sewing my way through the book Zakka Style by Rashida Coleman-Hale.  This week’s project is a small sewing kit with pincushion.  This is a quick and easy project to make up and I used several stamps to personalize mine.

Zakka Sewing Kit

Project 4: Zakka Sewing Kit

Zakka Sewing Kit - Outside

Outside of kit

I would like to do more stamping but have had trouble finding the right supplies for fabric. I would love to know what other sewers have had success with.  In particular I would like to know which products give a detailed imprint and are also permanent and washable.  I’ve been using clear stamps mounted on an acrylic block.  These stamps are fairly shallow.  A rubber stamp would probably be easier to use, but I love the variety of these clear stamps.

Clear stamps

The large owls on the pockets of my sewing kit were done using a liquid acrylic called NEO OPAQUE by Jacguard that I bought at my local art supplies store.  I bought a glass artist’s palette to pour a bit of the ink on to and then a brayer to smooth it out.  I tried both touching the stamp to the ink and also using the brayer to ink the stamp.  Both ways worked “just okay” – especially on the textured fabric that I’m using.

Owl stamped on inside of kit

Neo opaque by Jacguard

NEO OPAQUE by Jacguard

After doing a bit of research on the web, I ordered some different products made by VersaCraft.  I bought an ink pad (which is smaller than I thought it would be when I mail ordered it – don’t you hate that?), some ink to reink the pad, and a dual tipped marker.  I used these to stamp my name on the kit and the small owl on the pincushion.  I was glad that I had bought the marker because I was able (with the small tip) to darken the areas that needed it – and they did need it.

My name on outside of kit

Small owl stamp on pincushion

Versa Craft products

Versa Craft products

I did heat set all of the images I stamped, but since this project will probably never be washed, I don’t really know if it is permanent.

What products do YOU recommend?


Filed under Zakka Style sew along

Zakka Style Zig Zag Tote

Here is my tote and I love it!  I wanted a large tote and I might have made it too large (18″ x 15″ x 8″).  Is that possible?  It can’t be too big, can it?  I guess I’ll find out when I take it on my next flight and try to fit it under the seat in front of me.

Those zig zags were tricky!  I decided to do something different on the other side.  I looked through the book Modern Blocks which is another stash book  by c & t publishing.  A lot of different blocks caught my eye, but I decided on BINARY  which is the 8th of 99 blocks in the book.

I did a few straight lines of quilting across the design which really show up in this picture but are not nearly so evident in “real life.”  I also quilted around each of those colored squares and rectangles which does not show at all.

I got this done in time to link it up with the other quilters who are sewing along and hoping to win some great fat quarters this week.  Tomorrow begins another project and it’s one of my favorites from the book Zakka Style.  Please come back and see my version of “The House Pouch”.  Amy from During Quiet Time is going to hostess this project this week.  Check her blog tomorrow morning.


Filed under Zakka Style sew along