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fabric tray tutorial

[Just re-posting this here, I shared this as part of Skip to My Lou‘s Holiday Bake, Craft and Sew Along!]

This project is really fun because you can make it as simple or complex as you’d like and there’s really no rules, love that.  So for making a really fun customizable fabric tray read on…

I had made a tray earlier this year for my dad and I figured this would be a simple project to share!
This is a great project to make to combine with a few other goodies for a hostess gift, a gift for your not-so-organized husband as a place for him to set his glasses and wallet and spare change, or for a special friend.  Fill it with treats, magazines, recipes, anything works!  I’ve included dimensions to make three different sized fabric trays: pencil size (small), spare change size (medium), and magazine size (large).  This is also a great scrap busting project, so dig into your scrap bin and pull out your favs.  Enjoy!

For small fabric pencil tray:

  • 2 pieces of fabric 10″Wx6″T (this is where you can get as fancy or simple as you’d like, think of patchwork, quilt blocks, anything goes – just trim it down to this size)
  • one piece cotton batting or fusible fleece 10″Wx6″T
  • one piece peltex 7″Wx3″T stiff double side fusible interfacing (I used Peltex 72F, found at Walmart/joanns, etc.)

For medium fabric spare change tray:

  • 2 pieces of fabric 12″Wx10″T
  • one piece cotton batting or fusible fleece 12″Wx10″T
  • one piece peltex 9″Wx7″T stiff double side fusible interfacing (I used Peltex 72F, found at Walmart/joanns, etc.)

For large fabric magazine tray:

  • 2 pieces of fabric 16×15
  • one piece cotton batting or fusible fleece 16×15
  • one piece peltex 12×11 stiff double side fusible interfacing (I used Peltex 72F, found at Walmart/joanns, etc.)

Fuse fleece to one of the main fabric piece (if using fusible fleece), fuse peltex centered onto the fabric you’ve selected for the bottom of your tray.

Layer batting (no need if you’ve already used fusible fleece), fabric for inside of tray RIGHT side up, fabric for bottom of tray RIGHT side down (see picture, the peltex is fused center, leaving the plastic layer on for now).

Pin.  Sew along all four edges using a 1/4″ seam allowance, but leaving a 3-4″ opening for turning (5″ opening for the large tray).  Clip corners.  Remove plastic film from peltex. Turn right side out, push out corners with a chopstick or other dull instrument.  Press, tucking the raw edges of the opening inside. Also press the peltex rectangle to fuse it to the tray interior.

Topstitch along all edges, thus closing the opening you left for turning.

Sew a rectangle along the edges of the peltex rectangle.  You’ll be able to feel the edge of it through the fabric, if not, sewing through it isn’t a big deal.  A water soluble pen might come in handy to keep your rectangle looking like a rectangle! You can even do more quilting at this point if you wish.

Pinch each corner at the edge of the peltex, bending the fabric up to meet at the edges.

Here you can either use floss (or even thread) and sew a few stitches through the two edges to hold them together.

Or you can pin them together and stitch straight up the corner you pinched (remembering to backstitch).  Repeat for the remaining 3 corners and you’re set!

Fill with whatever your heart desires and give that gift!!

I’d also like to note that there are a lot of similar projects out there, so if this isn’t your cup of tea, try one of these fab tutorials:

Or better yet, stop by my blog and check out all my tutorials and patterns, maybe you’ll find something else you just HAVE to make!  Thanks for having me Cindy!

[fabrics: linen, lizzy house 1001 peeps (blue), tula pink parisville (yellow), greenfield hill denyse schmidt (green)]

Home, patchwork, sewing, tutorial

patchwork bolster pillow tutorial – anthro inspired

So glad Ellen from The Long Thread asked me to join in her HandMAYde series this week.  I haven’t done an anthropoligie ‘knock off’ before, so I thought it might be fun.  Why not make something almost the same for a whole lot less? Although I just looked now and the once 60 some dollar pillow is now on sale for a lot less.  Darn.

Anyway, on with the show…


5″ blocks (a charm pack came in handy)
fat quarter
piping (store bought or make it yourself)

Getting started:
Arrange your blocks in this configuration: sew together using a 1/4″ seam allowance.

Trim a 19.5″ tall by 14″ wide rectangle from that patchwork.  Cut two 6.25″ diameter circles.  Apply a light weight fusible interfacing to all pieces, not necessary but it helps the pillow keep it’s shape a little better.

Sew body of pillow together using a 1/4″ seam allowance, but leave a 4-5″ opening for stuffing later.

Mark the quarter points on both circles as well as both ends of pillow body with pins or a water soluble marker.

Align pins, slipping the piping in between (all raw edges aligned, so that means the piping facing inward) with RIGHT sides together.  Overlap piping and leave tails hanging outward.  Use additional pins as necessary.  Sew using a 1/4″ seam allowance. And try not to curse and tear your hair out at this point.  A few wobbles at this point isn’t really going to be that noticeable.  Using a zipper foot and moving your needle position as close to the piping helps for a better fit.  Unlike what I show here, you might want to place the body fabric piece up and circle down while sewing so you can make sure there’s not a lot of bunching or wrinkles. Repeat for other end. Turn right side out and stuff.

Sew shut by hand using a ladder stitch.

Larger version note: I also made a larger version and used these measurements:  28.5″ tall by 22″ wide rectangle for body (aligning the 28.5″ side for sewing) 9″ diameter circles.  I used a cheater patchwork by Echino for that particular version.

Some hand quilting on this pillow would look fabulous (like the anthro pillow), but I gave up on that after the kids destroyed the play area our house.