Kathleen's Blog
Sunday, 17 November 2019 00:00

cheers bag finished

Christmas is just around the corner and that means Holiday parties and family gatherings too! And since my Momma taught me NEVER to show up to someone's home “empty handed”...we're gonna make something super nice for the Host and Hostess!

Today, I am making a pretty gift bag for a nice bottle of wine, spirits or even sparkling water...it's the PERFECT hostess gift!

Before I begin...I want to warn you...this Blog Post has what I call “picture overload”! I am hoping with more detailed step by step pictures...more of you faithful Quilted Story followers will try out this super fun project! Let me know what you all think!

Let's get started...

Cut out your pieces parts...

-2 pieces of cotton fabric (7” wide X 14.5” tall)...choose something that will allow your wording to show up nicely on.

-2 pieces of thin cotton batting (7” wide X 14.5” tall...I like Warm and Natural 100% Cotton Batting)

fabric and batting

Now let's PREP the panels BEFORE we load them onto the frame...

Layer the WRONG side of the fabric to the piece of cotton batting first...for both panels (one is for the front of the bag and one is for the back).  Pin well!

As shown in the picture below...cut a 1.25” square out of the bottom of both corners on BOTH front and back panels.

cut out corners

Sew a basting line on each of the long sides of the panels (to hold the two layers of the fabric and the batting together and in place)...be sure to do this for both the front and back panel..you will be GLAD you did!

My white "Digit Saver” is pointing directly where the baste stitching goes...

corners and sides prepped

NOW...let's find the center for the design!

I am using the Aaron Font in the 3” size for the word “Cheers” and I am going to place it on the ONE panel (which will be my FRONT panel) for my wine bag...going up the middle of it, starting from the bottom. For this particular wine bag, using all the same dimensions mentioned above...I have placed my center reference dot at 5.5 inches from the top of the notch that I cut out earlier.   I marked it with a water soluble pen.

on the frame

I have loaded my Full 8x12 Fast Frame with a piece of sticky stabilizer and then used my frame edge to line up the side panel edge evenly so that I am sure to be straight!  As you can see in the picture above...I have the notched out bottom of the front bag panel on the LEFT side...as I will be stitching the word “Cheers” from the bottom notched area up the front of the bag.  I used a few Flat Head Flower pins to help keep it secure along the top and bottom where I am unable to  use my little red clippies.  I added a few red clippies to the sides where the front panel hangs over a bit.  It is secure for SURE now! 

Design Stats...

3” tall X 9 5/8” wide

9,571 stitches

Here she goes...

cheers bag on the machine


to a piece of WSS! (on top)


TIP...The cotton batting is used in this project to serve TWO purposes...to stabilize the embroidery work permanently and also to give the bag some body and padding for your bottle of wine or spirits.  It's a WIN WIN situation!

When she is all done stitching her Beautiful Aaron Font from Baby Kay's...remove it from the frame...it is here that you will be glad that you basted the side edges FIRST! 

Let's put the bag together...


right sides together

Right sides together...the front and back panels, as shown in the picture above.  I have pinned the long sides and across the bottom well!

Now...using a ¼ inch seam allowance...stitch the two long sides first...be sure to back tack too!

sewing front to back

Then stitch across the bottom...using a 1/4” seam allowance once again.

 bottom seam




ONLY stitch along the sides and across the bottom!

You will thank me later!

Let's Box Pleat the bottom...

With your bag still right sides together pinch the two seams together...from the bottom of the bag and the side of the bag and match those seams.  Pin in place.

You will be doing this to BOTH sides...

box pleat bottom

As you can see in the above picture...I have already sewn across (using a 1/4” seam allowance...be sure to back tack at the beginning and at the end) on one side and have the other side pinned and ready to stitch!

The above stitching of the notched out bottom will give you a “Box Pleated” bottom to your wine bag and it will be flat on the bottom!

Turn your bag right sides out...

Now...simply turn down the top edge to form a hem...about a 1/2” and pin it in place.

Using your FREE arm on your sewing machine...top stitch close to the edge...

 top stitch 1

Then...just for “pretty” sake...

Top stitch again about ¼” from the first stitching!

top stitch 2

Simply add a nice bottle of wine or spirits (this bag fits a 750ml sized bottle) and add a cute ribbon to tie it closed. 

So simple...


cheers bag finished

Merry Christmas...

Happy Holidays...

and all that JAZZ!



-Aaron Font (I used the 3” size) for the word “Cheers” (www.babykaysappliques.com)

-Fast Frame (I used the FULL 8x12 inch size)

-Perfect Stick Stabilizer (I used Floriani Brand)

-Thread (Exquisite Brand) RED#3015

-Fabric (Light Gray and White Stripe from Hobby Lobby...no name on it)

-Warm and Natural 100% cotton batting (Hobby Lobby, Joann's and Quilt Shops)

-Santa Ribbon (Hobby Lobby)

-Clover Red Clips (Hobby Lobby, Joann's and Quilt Shops)

-Flower Head Pins (Hobby Lobby, Joann's and Quilt Shops)

-Water Soluble Pen for Marking Center of design

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Thursday, 14 November 2019 00:00

finished 2

 Here we are...just two weeks before Thanksgiving Day and all I can think of is Christmas...Christmas...CHRISTMAS!

The simple truth about working in the world of Embroidery and Applique is that no matter what time of the year it is...it's totally acceptable to be working ahead of the actual Holiday!  We do this because all the FUN ideas we see in this platform are pulling us to squeeze in just ONE more fabulous project before that Holiday officially gets here!

This is WHY, at The Quilted Story, I plan to get these ideas out to you a little head of schedule...so you can do just that...


Today, I wanted to take a simple covered pillow and dress her up with a special Christmas Wrap...

You can make a pillow wrap for just about any size covered pillow.  Mine is an 18” square pillow cover I found at my local Hobby Lobby...be sure to check them out...they are located in the curtain supplies section, near the fabric and they have a lot of different colors to choose from! 

PS...I also like the fact that these particular pillow covers have zipper closures in them...and that makes it so EASY to add your pillow form and remove it later for washing.

I used a 20” square pillow form...so it would fill it just PERFECT!  I tend to use the rule of thumb of using pillow forms that are roughly 2” LARGER than the pillow cover itself.  I really like the presentation it makes!

PS...don't forget that at the bottom of all my tutorial type blog posts there will be a "Tools of the Trade" which will include the details of what I used to make the project!

Let's get started...

I am using the Aaron Font from Baby Kay's Appliques in the 3” size for the word “Believe” and added the Christmas Bells with Bow Applique (in the 4x4 inch size)...slightly tilted to the right.

I cut a piece of cotton linen blend fabric 8” wide (selvage to selvage) and a piece of 100% cotton batting 7” wide (and as long as the fabric is).  The batting will not only be used as a stabilizer...but it will also give the wrap “body” when you put it around the pillow.

prep for pillow wrap

      I prepped my 8x12 Full Fast Frame with sticky stabilizer and then put the

batting onto the sticky first, and then layered the fabric on top of the batting...

centering it, so that there would be “excess” fabric (top and bottom)

to make a hem out of over the batting...

when you finish your embroidery work.  

frame ready

 I also added a few of my flat head pins around the edge to secure the top fabric layer and the batting to the frame.  You will notice that I used the straight edge of the bottom of my fabric to match up with the straight edge of the frame itself...and this assures me that I am loading it evenly across the frame.  I also have my center marked with a water soluble pen for a reference point.

Here she goes, stitching away...

on the machine

 The red clips are only being used to hold the WSS to the frame, my flat head pins are the actual anchor to the frame. 

I just LOVE the way this Aaron Font stitches out...it is so pretty and just perfect for this project!

The Letter “B”...makes my Heart Sing!

Once I removed the finished work from the frame...I press the top edge over the top and the bottom and hemmed it...as you see in this picture below...

hem work at the machine

 After I hemmed both the top and bottom with a nice top stitch, I put it on the pillow I planned to use and trimmed the length of it to fit with a slight overlap.  I secured it onto the pillow using velcro at the overlap. 

I just LOVE it when a plan comes together...

How about YOU?


finished 2


-Aaron Font (I used the 3” size...www.babykaysappliques.com)

-Christmas Bells with Bow Applique (I used the 4x4 inch size...www.babykaysappliques.com)

-Fast Frame (I used the Full 8x12 inch size)

-Perfect Stick Stabilizer (I used Floriani Brand)

-WSS (off Brand)

-Cotton Linen Blend Fabric in Stone color (Fabric.com)

-100% Cotton Warm and White Batting

-Flat Head Pins (Hobby Lobby)

-Clover Wonder Clips (Hobby Lobby, Joann's, Amazon and Quilt Shops)

-Red and White Geometric Pillow Cover (18”square-Hobby Lobby)

-20” square Pillow Form (Joann's)

-Velcro (to hold the wrap closed on the pillow)

-Fabric...Red and Silver Glitter Mirror Canvas (Mikriworld.com)

-Thread-Exquisite Brand...Red #3015-Light Gray #1707

-Water Soluble Pen for Marking Center of design

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Wednesday, 24 October 2018 09:06

paper pieced lotion bottle apron

Naked Lotion Bottles are seriously not all that attractive...

Can I get an AMEN?

What's a Quilter to do...

but whip up something super cute and extra SPECIAL too?

The center of this little Lotion Bottle Apron is a Teeny Tiny Paper Pieced Pineapple Block...

using some Fabulous Blue and White Scraps from my Spectrum of Color Quilt LIne. 

It measures at approximately 2" square...FINISHED.


I gotta use up all the SCRAPS...





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Thursday, 05 July 2018 22:01

cut corner to corner

Continuing on with my Hour Glass Blocks today...

First cutting on the line I had drawn and then again from the opposite corner to corner too...this yeilds 4 units.

I pressed each unit to the printed fabric and then RST two of the units together...pinning at the opposing seams.



Then it's back to the machine to chain piece these units together...I like to do at least 20 or so at a time.

Kind of like mindless sewing...you don't have to "think" too hard!


trimming blocks

After pressing the blocks open...I trim them down to an unfinished 4.5" and you can see the cute little pile of fabric slivers on my cutting board.

Before you ask...


I don't SAVE those tiny slivers...


Quilt on!


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Thursday, 05 July 2018 08:50

chain piecing blocks

Moving forward with my current Baby Quilt Project...I have decided on the Hour Glass Block...

Simply because I have not made one in a SCRAPPY version and why not make it a Baby Quilt...

You know...

just in case the whole thing bores me to death and I just want to get it done!

Does this happen to YOU...or am I the ONLY one who faces this delimna?

I digress.

Never mind the fact that Kathleen has a bazillion projects in various stages of progress in the Studio to date...

It's how I ROLL!

At this point I have a Bucket List of projects that I want to do and what better way to attack the list but by making them into smaller projects...

like Baby Quilts...

Now...there's a PLAN!

Here's the skinny of what I did today...

-Cut 5.5" squares from your Print Fabrics AND your Background Fabric...to make the quilt the same size I am (36" X 44" Finished) you will need a total of 50 print squares and 50 background squares.

-Draw a line Corner to Corner on the WRONG side of all your background squares.

-RST one background square with one printed square and pin to hold in place...do this with all 50.

-Using the line as you guide...sew a 1/4" seam allowance from BOTH sides of the line...this is what I am doing today (in the picture above...be sure to double click the picture to enlarge it for better visual abiltiy)

I like to chain piece...feeding one block in right after the other...it makes for a quicker turn around!

I also like to binge watch something on Netflix and sip on copious amounts of COFFEE...so I can escape reality and live vicariously through a fictional character!


Stay tuned...

Quilt on!


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