Stitch Fall 2012

It’s here! Start planning fall projects with the fall 2012 issue of Stitch. I just love that the editors included a special section of upcycled projects! I’m constantly looking for ways to remake worn textiles into useful, interesting items. I contributed a recycled shirt blanket, using discarded clothing and worn sheets into a snuggly twin-size throw.

Recycle Shirt Blanket

Actual available yardage will vary, depending on the size and style of shirt that you use. Your finished blanket will be unique!

I started with a few woven cotton shirts that I hadn’t worn for years, then added several men’s flannel shirts reclaimed from my father-in-law’s closet. The best portions of an old flannel sheet were incorporated into the blanket backing. Piecing is simple–just join 7-1/2″ wide strips to make 6 vertical rows. Add extra interest by incorporating pockets and button plackets as desired.

Recycled Shirt Blanket back

Incorporate the remaining strips pieces into the blanket backing.

This is great way to re-purpose favorite clothes that have fallen out of fashion or no longer fit. You could also use it as a memory quilt, making a quick, cuddly blanket from a loved one’s clothing. Make one for a friend, and tuck an extra special snapshot or two into a pocket!

Recycled Blanket Pocket

Tuck photos or family momentos into patch pockets to make a memory quilt more special.

Stitch Summer 2012

Snappy Wallet The Stitch summer 2012 issue has quick-to-stitch projects that will leave you plenty of time for fun in the sun! I designed the Snappy Wallet on page 70 so that I’d be able to carry keys, cash, my library card, and other essentials when I don’t want to lug around a heavy handbag or backpack. The two-section version has plenty of pockets to corral coins, credit cards, and paper money. For lighter loads, make a single-section wallet. To carry, just slip a finger through the fabric loop or add a binder ring to quickly clip the wallet to your belt loop.

Two version of the Snappy WalletAlthough it’s an easy project, there are a lot of little steps, so please read the instructions carefully. There’s a lot going on, especially in Step 3. I’ve expanded that step and added some illustrations in this pdf.

Fabrics from Dear Stella’s Mimosa collection.


CIG Sewing

Hand sewn needlecase

Make this wool needlecase with just a few basic hand-sewing skills.

It’s hard to believe it’s been over a year since The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Sewing finally arrived on bookstore shelves. It’s quite a process to bring a book to print, and I have to admit that this project had me hopping to get text, illustrations, and photos out the door. When the final touches finally flew from my fingers, I had to sit back and say “Whew!”

Some days were a crunch, to say the least, but I’m glad that I had the experience. I learned so much from my co-author, Rebecca, about both sewing techniques and editing, and I’m surprised at how many times I refer to the finished book for information as I’m working on new sewing projects. Every time I pick it up, I think “Wow. There’s a lot of information in here!”

Handy Hip Bag

This Handy Hip Bag is easy enough for beginning sewists to make.

CIG Sewing starts with hand-sewing essentials–basic sewing tools and stitches–then moves on to machine sewing. There’s a fun, fast project in nearly every chapter, so you can immediately practice each new skill. We included tons of techniques, so you have plenty of opportunity to add your own individual touch to anything you make. You’ll learn to re-work ready-to-wear, play with patterns, and how to draft a few simple patterns of your own.

I’d love to hear what you think of the book. Take a look inside at, and view an extra project online.

Double-Bind Pillow

Find out how to use a trim technique to accent a pillow top with the Double-Bind Pillow project.