DIY.. Chalkboard Fabric Placemats

Can you imagine a dinner party with these fun placemats? How about a birthday party?

These placemats were inspired by my messy, marker wielding toddler.. They combine oilcloth for cleaning ease and chalkboard fabric for pre-dinner entertainment. However, the placemats would work for any age group.  Imagine the interesting comments after a few glasses of wine at an adults only dinner party? I have a few ideas on what people might write and do.. but I’ll leave it up to your imagination.

I love how you can just wipe the chalkboard fabric clean..

This is a super easy tutorial. Just a few straight cuts and a few stitches on your sewing machine and you are good to go. Have fun with this project – check out the assortment of patterns, prints and colors on Oilcloth By the Yard. Mix and match for fun placemats. I used a simple placemat for size reference and the finished size is 18″L x 13″W

Let get started on the tutorial.

Materials Needed:

  1. Oilcloth –  1 - 2 yards
  2. Chalkboard fabric – 1 yard
  3. Rotary cutter, cutting mat and ruler
  4. Sewing machine
  5. Sewing supplies
  6. Small cup to trace a corner
  7. Chalk

Cut the pieces for ONE placemat:

  1. Placemat front – Cut 1 rectangle measuring 14″L x 2″W [ top], cut 1 rectangle measuring 14″L x 10″W [ bottom]
  2. Placemat back -Cut 1 rectangle measuring 19″L x 14″W
  3. Chalkboard fabric – Cut 1 rectangle measuring 14″L x 4″W

Note: I cut my placemat back pieces out of the oilcloth fabric. While I love the mix and match feel, it was difficult to sew. Try cutting the placemat back pieces out of cotton. Trust me, it will be easier gliding the placemats through your sewing machine.

Let’s get sewing:

  1. Right sides together, lay the the placemat top rectangle onto the chalkboard rectangle. Place into sewing machine and stitch together with a 1/2″ seam allowance. If you need to pin the pieces together, make sure t0 pin in the seam allowance.
  2. Finger press the seam to lay flat. Place into sewing machine and edgstitch along the oilcloth.
  3. Right sides together, lay the the placemat bottom rectangle onto the chalkboard rectangle. Repeat as #1 and sew together. Repeat as #2 and finger press and edgstitch.
  4. Place 1 placemat onto working surface, right side facing down. Measure inwards 1/2″ at each edge and make an cross at each corner. Place the cup on the cross and trace to round the corner. Repeat for all corners – front and back placemat pieces. Be as precise as possible. This will help your corners be consistent and smooth.
  5. Place into sewing machine and stitch together with a 1/2″ seam allowance. Leave a large opening along the bottom edge. Trim and notch the corners.
  6. Turn right side out. Use your fingers to help round each corner into place.
  7. Finger press along the outside seam to lay flat. Turn the bottom opening seam allowance under 1/2″. Place into sewing machine and topstitch around the outside edge.

I’ll leave you with a few fun sayings..

That’s it! Happy sewing.

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Inspired By.. OilCloth!

Agh.. I’m always searching for new materials to sew with and found another website that sells awesome stuff.

Have you heard about Oilcloth By The Yard?  I was googling “oilcloth” and came upon their website. They sell oilcloth in all kinds of prints and patterns…Ginghams, plaids, dots, stripes.. How about toile?  Whatever suits your fancy, the’ve got you covered.

So.. They even sell chalkboard fabric. The chalkboard trend just keeps humming along. You can get a yard of fabric for around $8.00.  Think of all the fun stuff you can make. I bought a fat quarter from Purl Bee a year ago and shoved it under my bed for one of those “someday sewing projects”.. The fabric got ruined so it was perfect timing to buy more.

I ordered a couple of yards and have a few tutorials in the works. Come back Thursday, I’m combining the oilcloth and chalkboard fabric into placemats. Can’t wait to share the fun!

Posted in: Inspiration


Around The World Blog Hop

Today is my turn on the Around the World Blog Hop. I was tagged by Karin Jordan of Leigh Laurel Studios. Karin and I met a few years ago in blogland. She was my first blog friend and I love running into her on blog hops and other fun events we take part in. She comes up with awesome projects and the images she posts are always fantastic. Check out her Fruit Ninja quilt. A pattern is in the works and I can’t wait to get my hands on it!  She shares adorable pictures of day to day life with her kids. Her photos always bring a smile to my face.

1) What am I working on?

I am in the mix of way too many things right now, with no real outcomes.. Most are kid related tutorials. I never thought I would want to sew “kid stuff”, but I’m really inspired by toddlers right now. My little one has decided to stop taking his naps, so my schedule has turned up side down! I’m working double time getting my projects completed and photographed.

2) How does my work differ from other in its genre?

That’s a tough one. I think everyone loves to sew for the simple love of sewing. I like to sew things that are unexpected and to also try out new materials. Right now I love sewing with vinyl and working it into projects in unique ways.

3) Why do I write/create what I do?

I studied fashion design at the Ryerson University in Toronto. After graduation I moved to New York and worked in the fashion industry.  A few years ago, my husband had a business opportunity that brought us to Florida. While I’m enjoying a quieter life, I miss NYC and the excitement and inspiration from living in that city. Having a blog is the perfect mesh of inspiration and creating results. It’s an awesome outlet for the ideas that run through my head.

Ok.. I’ve tagged 2 awesome people for next week.. Here they are:

Agnes Hsu  of Hello Wonderful. Agnes is an amazing photographer.  Check out the images of her kids and projects on her blog and you can see why she has been featured in print and online.. Better Homes and Garden, Buzzfeed and Babble to name a few. She is the curator of “wonderful” tutorials, but the ones featuring her kids are truly amazing.

Palak Shah of Sewistry. I love the motto behind Palak’s blog “Sew to Save Money and Save Money Sewing”. I find that sewing can be very expensive, so I love the inspiration and budget friendly projects shared on Palak’s blog.

Thanks Karin for the tag. Have a great week and happy sewing.

Posted in: Just for Fun


DIY.. A – Frame Organizer

September is National Sewing Month.  Today I’m hanging with Jo-Ann Fabrics, Pellon and #SewYourStyle..

I’m happy to be sharing my A-Frame Organizer. I made one a few months ago and have been itching to sew another and share the tutorial. It’s like a fabric binder, but folds into an “A” shaped frame and has 4 pockets. Perfect for storing your make-up, brushes, pens, pencils, markers and even your sewing tools..  Oh how the list goes on.

So #SewYourWhat.. ? This is an amazing contest put on by Jo-Ann Fabrics and is sponsored by Pellon, my favorite “Magic in the Middle people”.

The contest is all month long.  All you have to do is sew something non-quilted, non-traditional and out of quilting fabric. Then upload a photo of your project to the contest page. You could win a bunch of cool stuff.  It’s that easy.

Gift giving season is coming up. Have a special someone in college? Why not make this for their dorm room?  Sew it in their favorite colors.

Materials needed:

  1. Fabric – 1/2 yard each - 2 colors
  2. Scrap fabric – 2 colors
  3. 1 yard Pellon  Peltex 71F – Single Sided Fusible Ultra Firm Stabilizer
  4. Velcro –  Soft & Flexible Sew-On Fasteners or Sticky Back for Fabrics – 1 box
  5. Fabric glue
  6. Wonder Clips – Have you tried these from the Clover brand?
  7. Disappearing fabric ink pen
  8. Rotary cutter, quilting ruler and cutting mat
  9. Sewing supplies
  10. Sewing machine
  11. Iron and ironing board

Before we get started you will need to cut the following pieces:

  1. Pellon Peltex 71F  -  Cut 4 rectangles measuring 13″L x 9″W [ side], cut 2 rectangles measuring 13″L x 1 1/4″W [ top], cut 2 rectangles measuring 13″L x 6″W [base], Cut 2 rectangles measuring 13″L x 1 1/2″W [bottom flap]. Note: Depending on how sturdy you want your A-Frame, you may also want to cut and fuse 1 more set of rectangles out of Pellon Deco Fuse. Iron on below each piece of the Pellon Peltex 71F.
  2. Fabric 1 – Main and lining – Cut 2 rectangles measuring 29″L x 14″W
  3. Fabric 2 – Pocket – Cut 2 rectangles measuring 18″ L x 5 1/2″W
  4. Fabric 3 – Front tab – Cut 2 rectangles measuring 5 1/2″L x 4″ W
  5. Velcro – Cut 1 strip 13″ long, cut 1 strip 3″ long

Let’s get sewing:

Lay the Pellon Peltex pieces on the backside of the main fabric.  The fusible side should be facing the backside of the fabric.  There should be a 1/2″ seam allowance around the outside of the Pellon Peltex pieces. There should be a scant 1/8″ between the interior pieces of Pellon Peltex. Lay the Pellon Peltex pieces in the following order: bottom flap, base, side, top, side. Repeat and iron the Pellon Peltex pieces to the backside of the lining fabric.

Turn and fold the edges towards the back of the fabric and Pellon. Use fabric glue to hold the seam allowances in place. Repeat for the lining fabric.

Place the main and lining together, wrong sides facing. Use Wonder Clips to hold the edges in place. Find the 1/8″ gap between the Pellon pieces and mark a line with the disappearing fabric ink pen. Place into sewing machine and stitch the main and lining pieces together. Repeat and stitch together at each 1/8″ gap. Do not sew the perimeter together just yet.

Place the 2 rectangles for the pocket pieces right sides together. Pin along the ling edge. Place into your sewing machine and sew together with a 1/2″ seam allowance. Press the seams. Pull through itself and press seams again. Repeat  and sew the front tab together. Press. Topstitch along the edges.

Fold the pocket piece in half. Mark a dashed line at the top and bottom with the disappearing fabric pen.  Measure inwards 3/4″ from each side seam and mark again with a disappearing fabric ink pen. Fin the middle of each side and mark with the disappearing fabric in pen.

Lay the organizer on your work space, lining side facing up. Bottom flap is at the bottom.  Measure upwards  1″ from the side piece nearest the bottom flap. Place the pocket down. Center and Pin.  Stitch in place along the dashed line. Now find the mid way point between the center and the side seam. Mark with the pen and pin the pocket in place. Stitch in place along the dashed line.

Insert the pocket side seams between the organizer main and  lining pieces. Stop at the 3/4″ mark. Pin in place. Stitch down just along the pocket side. Repeat for the other side of the organizer.

Create inverted pleats at each stitch line. Roll and turn under the excess fabric. Pin in place at the stitched line. Repeat along the pocket. Place into your sewing machine and stitch along the bottom edge. Press.

Insert the flap between the organizer main and  lining pieces. Hold in place with the Wonder Clips. Place into sewing machine and stitch around the perimeter of the organizer.

Open velcro strips. Place the loop side of the 13″ strip on the bottom flap lining side. Stitch down. Place the hook side of the 13″ strip front side of the organizer. Stitch in place. open the 3″ Strip. Place the loop side of the 3″ strip on the flap and match placement for the hook side on the outside of the organizer. Stitch in place.

That’s it. Happy Sewing. Remember to head on over to the contest and upload your project.

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DIY.. Quilted Color Pop Zipper Pouch

Last week I finally had a few spare moments to sit down and think. I gathered all my bias tape and zippers and came up with this tutorial.  I love finding unique fabric, trim, a fun notion or doo-dad and combining them all in different ways.

There are a few great things about this pouch. #1. LOTS of color pop! #2. It is super easy to sew AND #3.. You don’t need to add lining! The fabric is already quilted. It is a double sided quilted cotton from Riley Blake Designs.  I was part of their blog hop this July and had extra in my stash. I love that you just bind the seams and are good to go.


  1. Double sided quilted cotton fabric – check out Riley Blake Designs
  2. Zipper
  3. Bias tape
  4. Sewing supplies
  5. Rotary cutter, mat and quilting ruler – check out Creative Grids 
  6. Disappearing fabric pen or chalk pen – check out the Clover Chaco Liner
  7. Sewing machine
  8. Iron and ironing board

Before we get started, you need to cut your fabric. Below are the dimensions for 2 sizes:

  1. Small pouch – cut 2 rectangles measuring 13″L x 6.5″W
  2. Large pouch – cut 2 rectangles measuring 14″L x 9″W

Let’s get sewing:

  1. Cut 2 pieces of bias tape the length of your fabric. Leave a little extra for wiggle room. Sew the bias tape to the long end of each rectangle.
  2. Cut your zipper to size. Cut the zipper 1 1/2″ shorter than the length of the rectangle [13"].
  3. Lay the zipper under the bias tape. Center the zipper. There should be 3/4″ at each end. Stitch in place.
  4. Lay the other rectangle on top of the zipper. Repeat as step above.
  5. Fold in half along the zipper. Right sides facing each other. Pin at side seams. Place into sewing machine and stitch the sides together with a 1/2″ seam allowance. Open the zipper and then sew the bottom edge together with the 1/2″ seam allowance.
  6. Cut the bias tape to the length of the side seam. Leave a little extra for wiggle room. Cover the raw edges. Repeat for the bottom edge.
  7. Pinch and wiggle the side and bottom seams to lay on top of each other.  Make sure there is a 45 degree angle at the side, place the ruler 1 1/2″ from the tip and draw a line with a disappearing fabric pen. Pin. Place into sewing machine and stitch following the line.
  8. Cut off the ends. Bind the edges with bias tape. Turn right side out. Wiggle all corners into place and you are complete.

That’s it. Finished sizes are: small pouch is 11 3/4″L x 3″W x  4 1/2″H and the large pouch is 13″ L x 3 5/8″ x  6 3/4″

So many options for this guy. Great for make-up and great for school stuff… And remember that gift giving season is coming up.

That’s it for today. Let me know how it goes. Come back on Thursday.. I’m sharing my Fabric A-Frame Organizer as part of the #SewYourStyle Jo-Ann and Pellon blog hop.

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Inspired By.. Pops of Color

A few weeks ago I was a part of the Riley Blake Quilted Cotton Blog Tour. Their new quilted cotton collection is glorious. It is a double sided quilted cotton -  fun prints on each side, super soft and very easy to sew with.

I asked for a little too much of the fabric.. Poor me, right? I’ve been planning on making zippered pouches out of the extra fabric. I love adding different details to my tutorials and find that even the most simple sewing project can be jazzed up with pops of color. Here are the color combinations I’ve been thinking about.

The end result. Pinks and purples aren’t my go-to colors.. But for some reason I was drawn to this combination.  Even my husband said.. “Wow, I like the colors you used”.

Fun, right? Come back on Tuesday, I will be sharing the tutorial for this little pouch and also one for a larger size. Happy Sewing.

Posted in: Inspiration


August Round Up

I’m happy that September is here. My summer was super busy and I’ll admit that the last few weeks were kinda lousy. However, I have great expectations for the fall and all the good stuff that cooler weather brings.

I didn’t have much time to sew this summer. While I just posted these projects last week, I had a blast creating them. I loved collaborating with the 2 brands and I look forward to a sewing schedule filled with many more. My sewing tutorials for August were:

Pillowcase with Pom Pom Trim - Collaboration with Tiny Prints

Velcro Kids Activity Bag - Collaboration with the Velcro Brand. You can see the blog post over at the VELCRO® blog as well :)

Let me know if you have any questions. Have a great week and happy sewing.

Posted in: Just for Fun


DIY.. Velcro Kids Activity Bag

My husband and I like to dine out and usually bring our 2 1/2 year old son Tanner with us. Over the last 12 months it has gone from an easy dinner to total chaos.

We always bring a bag stuffed full of goodies for his entertainment. It’s messy and irritates us everytime we use it. For quite some time I’ve envisioned sewing a special bag that keeps everything nice and neat. The sides would “open” and be secured with strips of VELCRO® Brand product.  Tanner could see everything inside because of clear pockets.

So with another family night looming on the horizon, I knew it was the perfect time to get my project rolling!


Materials needed:

  1. Cotton fabric – 2 colors, 1/2 yard of each
  2. Fusible interfacing - Pellon SF works great, 1/2 yard
  3. VELCRO® Brand Soft & Flexible Sew-On Fasteners - 1 box
  4. Clear vinyl – 8 gauge, 1/2 yard
  5. Webbing for straps – 1/2 yard
  6. Bias tape – store bought or home-made
  7. Sewing supplies
  8. Disappearing fabric ink pen
  9. Cutting mat, rotary cutter and quilting ruler
  10. Wonder clips – optional
  11. Sewing machine
  12. Iron and ironing board

Before we get started you will need to do the following:

Cut your pieces:

  1. Main and lining fabric - cut 2 rectangles measuring 29″ L x 13-1/2″W
  2. Fusible interfacing – cut 2 pieces measuring 29″ L x 13-1/2″W
  3. Clear vinyl - cut 1 piece measuring 22″L x 13-1/2″W
  4. VELCRO® Brand Soft & Flexible Sew-On Fasteners  - cut 2 pieces 12″ long
  5. Webbing – cut 2 pieces 16″ long
  6. Bias binding – cut 2 pieces 13-1/2″ long

Fuse the interfacing to the wrong sides of the main and lining fabrics.

Alright, let’s get started:

Step 1-  Turn and fold 1/2″  the short ends of both the main and lining pieces. Press in place with an iron.

Step 2 – Place the clear vinyl onto your working surface. Along the longer edge, measure inwards 5/8″ and make a small mark. Continue along the entire length and mark a very light dashed line. Open up the VELCRO® tape. At the 5/8″ dashed line, place one side of the VELCRO® tape. Continue on the same side and now place the other side of the VELCRO® tape. Secure with a pin. Place into your sewing machine and stitch the VELCRO® down. Repeat for the other side.

Step 3 – Now place the bias tape along each short side. Cover the VELCRO® ends. Place into your sewing machine and sew down. Cut off any extra bias tape off each end.

Step 4- Sandwich your materials. Lay the lining fabric down on your working surface, right side facing up. Next lay the vinyl rectangle down.  The right sides of the VELCRO® tape should be facing the lining fabric. Lastly, lay the main fabric on top of the vinyl. Main fabric should be facing right side down. Use wonder clips or pin in place. Remember that pins will leave holes in the vinyl, so pin carefully.

Step 5 – Place into your sewing machine and stitch the long sides together with a 1/2″ seam allowance. Backstitch at each end. Gently pull the fabric right side out. Smooth in place.


Step 6 – Decide on strap length. Make sure each short end is still folded under 1/2″. Measure inwards 3″ from each side and insert the webbing strap. Pin in place. Stitch along the end to secure the straps. Repeat for the other side.

Step 7 – Fold and find the centre of the bag. It should be where the VELCRO® tape ends and begins. Place a ruler down along the center and mark a dashed line. Place into your sewing machine and stitch following the line. This completes the bottom of the bag and the stitch line will hold all your goodies securely in each side.

That’s it.  A super easy project and a perfect bag for a family on the go! VELCRO® Brand provided me with the materials for this post, but all opinions are my own. If you remember from many previous blog posts.. I use their products quite often and love sewing with them.

Fabric – I LOVE this fabric, so I thought I would share the info.. It’s from Dear Stella Designs and the fabric collection is called “Seaworthy”.

Happy Sewing!

Inspired By.. Dear Stella Designs

I had to share this cute photo..

I was outside taking pictures for a future project and my 2 1/2 year old son photo-bombed the shoot!! He was so excited about the “boats” on the fabric that he got down to get a closer look. Perfect opportunity for a fun and unique picture, right!? The best part is that it wasn’t staged..

The fabric is from Dear Stella and the collection is called “Sea Worthy”. I bought the fabric with Tanner in mind, so it makes me happy that he actually likes it! I’m sharing an easy kids activity bag tutorial with the stars and stripes on it tomorrow. A post is in the works with the boats and fishies… Come on over tomorrow and check it out.

DIY.. Pillowcase With Pom Pom Trim

A few months ago, Tiny Prints reached out wanting to discuss the possibility of a DIY collaboration.

I was floored and ecstatic.. After a few emails back and forth, we decided on a tutorial featuring their photo pillows and adding a pom pom trim. If you have visited my blog over the last few months, you’ll remember that I am addicted to sewing with pom poms.

I’m happy to be sharing the full tutorial over at the Tiny Prints blog today. Head on over and check it out… It’s only 10 steps and in a few hours you can make this a one of a kind printed pillow!

Only a few materials and you are good to go…

I know, I know.. I’ve said this a few times before.. But I LOVE sewing with pom poms. This tutorial is a little different, so there are a few things to consider before you get started in adding pom poms to your Tiny Prints pillow:

  1. The pillow comes with an invisible zipper.. Depending on how comfortable you are with zippers, this DIY can be super easy or on the more difficult side..
  2. For the easy DIY route, chose a rectangular pillow and add trim only to the short sides. The invisible zipper is at the bottom, so you won’t have to fuss too much with it.
  3. Did you know there are many sizes of pom pom trim?  Try Googling “pom pom trim” and “ball fringe” and see all the options that pop up. I bought a large 5/8″ diameter pom pom because I wanted the pom poms to jump out at each end..

I couldn’t decide on my trim color, so I bought both black and white. I went back and forth on what color, but in the end chose the black. The white trim felt like it was a little too safe.

Head on over and check out my tutorial. They have incredible posts full of inspiration on their blog..

Happy Sewing!

Photo credit – Family image on pillowcase by Margot Thornton Photography

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