Friday 11 July 2014

A Friendship Quilt ~ The Leftovers {a tutorial}

So, you joined a Friendship Quilt square exchange. You bought way too many a few fat quarters and now that the project is almost three quarters of the way through, you realise that you have rather a lot of a little leftover fabric. What to do with it?


Enter the tissue holder. A very simple beginner sewing project. A great way to practise 1/4” seams. OK, it’s a bit late for that one, if you’re a Friendship Quilter. A last minute teacher gift or Summer Fayre fund raiser. A useful project from scraps.

I’d seen a few tutorials online, using the same fabric inside and out and then I saw these with a contrast binding at the opening. I pinned it for future reference, but when I looked at the instructions, it seemed like a lot of work for such a small project. I thought, ‘There must be an easier way.’ Do you know what? There is.


You’ll need a 5 1/2” x 7 1/2” rectangle of your inner (plain) fabric and 5 1/2” x 6 1/2” in the outer (printed) fabric. No need to cut a paper pattern. I just used my rotary cutter, but forgot to take a picture of the fabric pieces before I sewed them together.


Place the rectangles, right sides together, matching along one of the short edges. Sew a 1/4” seam. It doesn’t really show up here, but I’ve turned it over for the next picture. I matched my thread to the lighter fabric.


Now line up the other short edges and stitch another 1/4” seam.  As you can see the lining will bulge. Don’t worry, that’s how it’s supposed to look. The plain fabric is longer so that it shows on the outside to give a contrast trim. Turn right side out.


Centre the outer (print) fabric to give yourself a narrow border (approx. 1/4”) of the lining (plain) fabric on each side, as shown in the top example. Turn over. Press with the iron on the reverse so that it’s nice and smooth, as pictured at the bottom.


Fold in half by bringing the two borders together. Finger press at the top and bottom of the fold to mark the centre point. Unfold. No matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t get those little creases in the centre to show up, but trust me they *are* there.


Bring the right hand side in to the centre mark and the left hand side to meet it. I didn’t actually pin my own, but this is the best place to put them so you can sew both ends, without having to remove the pins. Sew a 1/4” seam across each end.


Turn right side out. Push the corners out with a chopstick, or similar pointy stick. I like to take the tissues out of the cellophane before putting inside, but if you’re making these as a fund raiser you might prefer to leave them sealed. Try not to get too carried away, once you realise how easy they are to make!


I made these from my leftover floral skirt fabric and some plain blue cotton I had in my stash. If you’re cutting from a fat quarter and the long edge (22”) is intact you can get four out by cutting a 6 1/2” strip (outer) or 7 1/2” strip (inner) and then chopping into four 5 1/2” pieces.

I’ve never written a sewing tutorial before so if anything is unclear please shout and I’ll be glad to help, if I can. Happy sewing.

ETA Some of the photos show both sides of the project, or two stages, at once. I did this to avoid the post being too photo heavy. I had two sets of fabric pieces, to illustrate the different steps, which you won’t necessarily. Apologies for the confusion caused.


Amy said...

Ahem ... I have a LOT of left over fabric for most of the squares .....

Great idea:)

scrappyjacky said...

Great idea and great tutorial,Fiona.
Some of the leftover fabric I've sent with my squares in case the recipient can use it.

Squirrel said...

I love this, and yes it's very simple, once I worked out that you've got two on the go at once in your photos! I was thinking "where does the second piece of fabric come from?" - duh!
Rosey x

Sheena said...

These are great aren't they x
I make & sell them to raise funds for our scout group.

Twiglet said...

I think I will be making a few of these - great way of doing it. Thanks for the fab tutorial. x Jo

KraftyKaren said...

These are lovely and would make a nice little dent in my fabric stash - wonder if I can get some made for my next fundraiser - anyone know where I can buy extra time from????

Great tutorial x

debs14 said...

How clever! I think I might have (more than )a bit of fabric left that I can use!

Carin McDonough said...

Oooh these are really cute Fiona, you have me itching to sew and I hate sewing lol! I might have to make some for gifts ;)

Lou said...

These are lovely x

fairy thoughts said...

Great way to do these much better than with bias binding. Just got back from By Hand London..... It was 'interesting ' not quite what we were expecting!

The Scrapbook Lady UK said...

oh that is nice :) jx

Claire said...

This is very lovely.
C xx

Lisa said...

Excellent tute Mrs C and love the idea of it too! shame i've already done the present for this years teacher lol


Sandra said...

More, more, more tutorials from you :) this is great Fi, thank you

My not so simple life said...

great tutorial and lovely little holder

Beverly said...

Thank you so much, Fi. I am planning to make a lot of these for this year's Fall Bazaar. The tutorial is perfect even for beginners like me ;)

Sian said...

Very neat idea!

Cheri said...

What a great tutorial Fiona! I've bookmarked this to come back to!

Susie A said...

Lovely idea Fiona - I make tissue holders to sell and this pattern will be a variation! Look forward to seeing you at the next sewing meet-up in Exeter.

Sister Sandie said...

Thanks Fiona - I've made 100 for our village fete in 2 weeks time! Great idea!

Dee said...

Thanks for the simplified version of these Fiona, I have loads of scraps so perfect little project for that.

Kyla said...

How did I miss this posting!!! Yep yours is much easier, thanks