Zipper Pouch Tutorial



It seems the most unsatisfactory thing about zipper pouches is those pesky corners and ill-fitting linings. This method eliminates both!! The zipper is not actually sewn into the side seam – the tab encases the ends of the zipper. Then the sides are sewn with the lining in place – there’s no stuffing the lining inside the pouch. Seam binding covers the raw edges for a neat finish.

Before you start, you will need:

  • fabric for outside of pouch – one fat quarter or assorted scraps at least 10″ wide
  • fabric for lining – one fat quarter or scraps at least 10″ x 8″
  • interfacing – 10″ x 16″
  • nylon coil zipper 11″ or longer
  • basic sewing supplies



Cut all of the following 7 ¼” x 9½”:

  • (2) outer pouch fabric ∗
  • (2) lining fabric
  • (4) interfacing

Cut two squares 2″ x 2″ for the zipper tabs

For seam binding, cut from lining fabric a strip 1 1/8″ x 18″

Fuse interfacing to the outer pouch pieces and the lining pieces.


∗FOR THE PATCHWORK VERSION, cut the following and sew together with ¼” seam allowances. Then fuse the interfacing to the pieced section.

patchwork layout

Now you are ready to sew. I thought a picture-tutorial would be useful for this so that you can see every step:
















Cut the seam binding pieces from the 1 1/8″ x 18″ strip you cut from the lining fabric.




Turn the pouch right side out. Push the corners out with your fingers and gently roll seams to press. You are done!!




I hope you have enjoyed this tutorial, feel free to contact me with any questions!

Happy Sewing,


Tutorial :: Cat Weave Mini Quilt

This tutorial is for the mini sized quilt only. It measures 21″ square and has a total of nine cats. A basic knowledge of piecing and quilting is required.


cat weave mini quilt diagram 1



  • Background fabric – fat quarter or (2) 3 1/2″ strips x w.o.f.*
  • 9 different fabrics for cats – 3 1/2″ x 12″ strip of each
  • 3/4 yards for back
  • 24″ square of batting
  • binding fabric – about 5″ x w.o.f.*

*w.o.f. = width of fabric

CUT from background fabric:

  • (4) rectangles 3 1/2″ x 9 1/2″
  • (10) squares 3 1/2″
  • (18) rectangles 1 1/2″ x 3 1/2″

BEFORE cutting the pieces for the cats, consider the diagram below. Notice there are two cats whose heads and bodies are separate pieces. Sorry kitties, it was necessary to avoid partial seams and facilitate the assembly! Decide which fabrics those will be – I suggest using small, busy prints here so that the seams won’t be noticeable.



cat weave mini quilt break apart


CUT from those two fabrics:

  • (1) square 3 1/2″
  • (1) rectangle 2 1/2″ x 3 1/2″
  • (2) rectangles 1 1/2″ x 3 1/2″
  • (2) squares 1 1/2″

CUT from the remaining seven fabrics:

  • (1) rectangles 5 1/2″ x 3 1/2″
  • (2) rectangles 1 1/2″ x 3 1/2″
  • (2) squares 1 1/2″




  • All seams are 1/4″
  • Press seams towards the darker fabric.


cat weave units diagram


UNIT A: Make two of these

  • Make two “legs” squares by sewing together three 1 1/2″ x 3 1/2″ strips – two of the same print with a background in between.
  • Sew a 3 1/2″ background square to either side of the legs square, be sure the legs are parallel to the seams.

cat weave legs panel


  • Make the ears by sewing two 1 1/2″ print squares to either side of a 1 1/2″ x 3 1/2″ strip. Mark a diagonal line through the corners, stitch on the line and trim to 1/4″. I like to press the seams open here.

cat weave ears


  • Sew an “ears” and  a “legs” to either side of a 5 1/2″ x 3 1/2″ rectangle (using all the same fabrics) to create a complete cat section.
  • Sew a 3 1/2″ x 9 1/2″ background rectangle to the left side of the cat section and the legs section from steps 1 and 2 to the right side of the cat section.

cat weave unit A break apart



UNIT B – Make three of these

Repeat the first and second steps in Unit A to create three more cat sections.

UNIT C – make two of these

  • Repeat the first and second steps in Unit A to create two more cat sections.
  • Sew the cat heads by sewing an ear section to a 2 1/2″ x 3 1/2″ rectangle of the same print.
  • Sew a 3 1/2″ background square to either side of the cat head square.
  • Sew a 3 1/2″ x 9 1/2″ background rectangle to the right side of a cat section.
  • Sew the head section to the left side of the cat section, the cat ears face towards the center.


Unit C break apart


And lastly, sew a 3 1/2″ background square to a 3 1/2″ square of each of the two fabrics that you used for the heads in Unit C.




Refer to the arrows in the diagram for the order to sew the sections together. Once the horizontal seams are sewn, sew the three columns together, lining up the seams where the legs and heads meet the bodies.







As with any quilting project, press well and trim excess threads. Cut a 27″ square of backing fabric and a 24″ square of batting. Layer the back, batting and top; baste together. Quilt any way that you like, I simply stitched vertical lines spaced about 1/2″ apart.

You will need to cut two strips for the binding, one was a smidgen short! Cut in the width you prefer, I used 2 1/4″ since I hand stitched the binding.

Once again, here is a photo of the actual mini quilt:

cat weave mini quilt in makower cats



I hope that you enjoyed the tutorial. Please contact me with any questions or comments!!



Jumbler Quilt – Tutorial

modern scrappy quilt by the sewing chick


This quilt looks like it was randomly pieced, but there is a method here that makes the sewing easy and fun! The trick is to have a variety of fabrics and a good balance of colors and values – I think it looks best with a majority of low volume or light values with the medium and dark values providing interesting contrast.

It is a great stash buster and fat quarter friendly quilt.

Choosing fabrics: 

I counted and these are approximations, but follow these guidelines for a similar looking quilt. I used about 30 different fabrics, some more than once. 50% of my pieces are light value, 30% medium value and 20% dark value.


Cut a 6″ x 21″ strip of six different fabrics. The length doesn’t have to be exact, just cut a piece off a fat quarter or cut a strip of yardage and cut in half at the fold line.



Stack them on top of each other with all sides even. The order doesn’t matter – they will be re-arranged. Using a ruler and a rotary cutter, trim the left edge to ensure all layers are straight. Then move ruler to the right 3″- 4″ and cut at an angle.


Move the ruler to the right a few inches and make another cut. Change the angle for variety. There is no right or wrong way here!!

Continue moving to the right and making cuts until you are at the end. IT IS IMPORTANT TO HAVE AT LEAST SIX PIECES CUT, more is ok but don’t do less. I like to cut off about 1/2″ from the end to ensure the edges are straight.



Now to re-arrange. Separate the piles a little so you have space to work. The first pile will stay as it is. Take the top piece of the second pile and put it on the bottom of the pile.



Take the top two pieces in the third pile and put them on the bottom of the pile.
Take the top three pieces in pile four and put them in the bottom of the pile.
Take the top four pieces in pile five and put them on the bottom of the pile.
Take the top five pieces in pile six and put them on the bottom of the pile.
If you have a 7th pile, leave it as is.
If you have an 8th pile, start the process over and put the top piece on the bottom.
Continue in the same manner for any remaining piles.



Now you have your piles with the pieces jumbled. The cuts are the same and your edges will line up perfectly when you sew the pieces together.



Moving from left to right, take the top piece from each pile, stack them with #1 on top. I like to take them to the machine and put the top piece on the left of my needle and the rest on the right. Sew them together by flipping the right piece on top of the left. This makes sure I don’t mess up the order!!



Stitch with a 1/4″ seam and offset the pieces a bit so that the seam hits at the point of the notch created. The more of an angle you have, the more they will need to be offset.



Sew each piece in succession until the row is complete. Don’t worry if your edge isn’t perfectly straight, because now you are going to trim it down to 5 1/2″. Trim the first edge at about 1/4″ and then the other edge. Be sure not to trim off too much with your first cut so that you have enough to get a straight edge with the second edge.



Continue with the remainder of the stacks of pieces, taking the top of each pile and sewing together in a row. There will be six “blocks” when you are finished.



The sample quilt is made of 36 blocks, so I repeated the whole process five more times. I used some of the fabrics more than once, but for the most part, I used different fabrics in each set.

You may notice that the blocks are not all the same length. The number of seams will affect this. Not to worry, just trim them to the same size or add narrow strips to the ends to lengthen. This is a free form quilt – no rules!!

Now lay out your blocks in a way that pleases you. The sample quilt is 3 blocks across and 12 blocks down. I used one block from each set to create two rows of the quilt, and did this six times. It gave me a balanced layout and ensured there wouldn’t be too many of the same fabrics next to each other.

Once you are satisfied with the layout, sew the blocks together into rows. Then sew the rows together – I like to sew them into pairs first, then sew the pairs into fours, and finally sew the fours into eight and twelve.


modern scrappy quilt navy and green by the sewing chick


I also like the arrangement done vertically. I used too many directional prints to make this work, but maybe next time!  I would also like to try wider cut strips and skinnier pieces. It is a very versatile method, limited only by your imagination.


modern scrappy quilt navy and green by the sewing chick


I hope you have enjoyed the tutorial and give it a try!!

Happy Sewing,

Tessa Marie

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ribbon divider

Windmill border and a mini tutorial

Today I am sharing the border I added to my friend Melissa’s Medallion quilt.

The hardest part with these travelling quilts is deciding what to add, especially as they grow and the borders get longer (best to do the more intricate borders in the first few rounds). I felt that this quilt has lots of pointy-ness going on already so it needed something with square corners.

These little windmills measure 4″ square when finished and are so quick and easy – here is a picture tutorial on how to make them.

Easy-peasy, right?

Sometimes, because these quilts are made up as they go along, the measurements don’t quite jive with each other. I had to piece in about 3/4″ on each end to make it all fit. It looks a little funky upclose, but from a distance, you can hardly see it – squint your eyes! Thankfully, Melissa is a super sweet and easy going and I doubt she will mind.

I will be handing this quilt over to the next stitcher this weekend as we all get together for a fun sewing retreat in the mountains – better bring my woolies!

Linking up at My Quilt Infatuation.

Needle and Thread Thursday

Happy Sewing,

Tessa Marie

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A Halloween{ish} Pillow

modern scrappy halloween patchwork pillow by the sewing chick

I had some orange and black strips left over from a jelly roll of Denyse Schmidt Florence that were just crying out to be made into a pillow.  I am not a big October 31st decorator, but for just a little touch of Halloween, they were perfect.

I added some black and white dots and a few other stash fabrics along with black yarn-dyed Essex linen for a fun pillow for this time of year that doesn’t scream Halloween!

I cut the strips into 2 1/2″ squares and then sewed three squares together. The original plan was for square patchwork, but I forgot how much trouble these strips had been in this quilt. The strips are not all 2 1/2″ – combine that with the wide pinked edges and getting a consistent quarter inch seam was a real challenge. So instead, I trimmed the sections of three squares to varying widths and then stitched them together to create the patchwork.

I actually like it better this way. The variation is more interesting and allows the eye to move around over the pillow. To echo the uneven patchwork, I quilted straight lines that are unevenly spaced. I love the texture it creates!

The binding is scrappy, made form more of the leftover strips. And to continue the waste-not-want-not theme, the back is a piece of gray canvas that was leftover from another project. The zipper is hidden behind a contrast orange flap. I used my favorite pillow zipper tutorial, see it here.

The finished size is 16″ x 26″ allowing me to re-use an existing pillow form.
Linking up today with Fabric Tuesday at Quilt Story.

Fresh Poppy Design

 and Happy Sewing,
Tessa Marie

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Christmas in July – Table Runner Tutorial

Today is my turn on the Christmas in July blog hop hosted by Chrissy at Sew Lux Fabric. I am delighted to be sharing a tutorial for a scrappy patchwork table runner featuring flying geese and stars — my two favorites!!

tutorial for christmas table runner flying geese stars the sewing chick

I am using this fat quarter bundle of fabric by Basic Grey for Moda called 25th & Pine and Moda Bella solid in bleached white. The binding is Moda Bella in cherry.

Christmas in July - 25th & Pine
Basic sewing skills and a knowledge of quilting are required for this project.
Finished size is 16 1/2″ x 52 1/2″, but the size can easily be adjusted by adding or taking away stars.


eight fat quarters of red and green print
1/4 yard  for star background – I recommend a solid or low volume fabric
1/2 to 1 yard for back (see section on Finishing)
1/3 yard for binding

1/2 yard quilt batting (18″ x 54″)

flying geese square up ruler (optional but helpful)

sewing machine, thread and basic sewing supplies

This tutorial uses the no-waste, makes four at a time method for the flying geese


Before cutting, consider how you want to place the prints. I wanted the geese in the sashing to have a red and a green print so cut an equal number of each.  I also wanted the stars to be all red or all green and cut accordingly.

from the red and green prints:
    13 – 5 1/4″ squares for sashing geese centers
    68 – 2 7/8″ squares for geese corners (ensuring there are 17 sets of four)
    14 – 4 1/2″ squares (10 for corners and 4 for star centers)
from solid
    16 – 2 1/2″ squares
      4 – 5 1/4″ squares for star geese background

    cut four 2 1/2″ strips x width of fabric


Each 5 1/4″ square plus four 2 7/8″ squares will create four flying geese that are all the same.

Place two of the 2 7/8″ squares on opposite corners of the 5 1/4″ square, right sides together. Draw a line from corner to corner.

Sew a scant 1/4″ seam on both sides of the line.

Cut on the line and press seams to the small triangles.

Place another 2 7/8″ square on the remaining corner. Draw a diagonal line and sew a scant 1/4″ on both sides of the line.

Cut on the line and press seams towards the print.

Trim off the “dog ears” or use a flying geese ruler to square up the unit to 2 1/2″ x 4 1/2″. There will be very little to trim off, if anything at all. I love my Bloc-loc ruler for this purpose – it has a groove on the underside that grips the seam allowance for no slip trimming.

Photo courtesy of Sew Lux Fabric

Repeat the process until you have 13 sets of flying geese (four per set) for the sashing and four sets for the star points.


Lay out four flying geese units, one 4 1/2″ square and four 2 1/2″ squares. With a 1/4″ seam allowance, sew the pieces into rows, press seams to the squares.

Sew the rows together, seam allowances will nest at the corners. Press seams to the side.


To make the sashing, sew the four flying geese in each set together along the long edge, press seams away from the points.

Lay out the stars and surround them with the sashing units, following the picture (scroll down a bit) for placement.  In each corner, place a 4 1/2″ square.

Sew the units together by first sewing a 4 1/2″ square to each side of a flying geese row. Sew a flying geese unit to each side of a star block. You may want to re-press some of the flying geese seams in the other direction to ensure nesting seams with the star block. Then sew these rows together, matching the seams where necessary.  Press well.


The half yard of fabric for the back is not quite long enough. To remedy this, cut a 6″ x  18″ strip from two of the leftover fat quarters and sew to each short end of the backing fabric. Alternatively, cut a one yard piece into two half yard pieces and seam along the short ends. Cut the length to 56″.

Layer the back with the top and batting. Quilt as you please – I chose to quilt in an all-over small stipple. The binding requires four strips x width of fabric, I like to use 2 1/2″ strips.

I hope you have enjoyed this tutorial! Check out the other stop on the blog hop today at traceyjay quilts, and see the rest of the schedule here. And remember, you can link up your Christmas in July creation on Chrissy’s blog here, now through August 4th, for the chance to win prizes!

christmas table runner patchwork stars flying geese
tutorial christmas table runner patchwork stars flying geese

Happy Sewing,

Tessa Marie

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