Tea Caddy

Hi there!  I am AnneMarie of Gen X Quilters and I’ve whipped up an adorable little Tea Caddy that is not only functional, but a great way to bring a little quilty decor to your kitchen or sun room.  This is my first Moda Bake Shop tutorial, and I’m so pleased to share it with you today.  Strawberry Fields was a natural selection for this project, the colors are beautiful and make me want to pour out a cup of tea to drink in the morning sun!  Won’t you join me?

1 charm pack – Strawberry Fields by Fig Tree for Moda
1/3 yard white/cream solid
1 fat quarter (18″ x 22″) linen in natural
approximately 15″ x 23″ batting
approximately 15″ x 23″ muslin
1/4 yard polka dot print for binding and handles
4 – 1/4″ eyelets

1.  Select 15 charms to be used in the half-square triangles (HSTs) for the front and the back of the caddy.  Since these charms will be paired with white in the HSTs, it is best to choose the colors and brights from the charm pack instead of the lights and neutrals.

2.  Each 5″ charm square should be cut into (4) 2 1/2″ squares.  Cut all 15 charms to yield (60) 2 1/2″ squares.

3.  Next cut (4) 2 1/2″ strips across the width of the fabric of the white solid.  Each 2 1/2″ strip will then be cut into 2 1/2″ squares.  You will need (60) 2 1/2″ squares of white solid.

4.  Mark a diagonal line across all 60 white solid squares on the wrong side of the fabric.  This is your sewing line.

5.  Place one 2 1/2″ white square, right sides together with one 2 1/2″  print square from your charms.  Sew along the diagonal line.  Chain-piecing works well here.  Sew 60 units.

6.  Cut 1/4″ away from your sewn line to create a seam allowance.  Repeat for all 60 units.  This will create one HST unit.  Press the seam allowance toward the print.

7.  Choose 30 HST units to be used for the front of the caddy.  Layout your HSTs in 5 rows, with 6 HSTs in each row.

8.  Sew HST units together one row at a time.

9.  Then join the rows together to complete the caddy front.  Repeat steps 7-9 for the back of the caddy with the remaining 30 HSTs.

10.  Sew the front and back pieces together, making sure to sew the bottom edge of the front to the bottom edge of the back.  This will ensure that when you fold the caddy in half, both sets of HSTs will be right side up when the caddy is closed for storage.

11.  Cut the batting and muslin slightly larger than the quilt top (caddy front and back sewn together) – approximately 15″ x 23″.  Layer the muslin on the bottom, then the batting, and then the quilt top to create your quilt sandwich and baste.

12.  Quilt as desired.  I used an all over stipple pattern because I didn’t want to detract from the beauty of the HSTs!  After you’ve completed the quilting, trim the excess batting and muslin, and square up the quilt sandwich to prepare for binding.
13.  But wait… Don’t forget we need to sew the inside lining of the caddy with the pockets for storing the tea bags!  Cut the linen to be the same size as your quilt sandwich (20 1/2″ x 12 1/2″).
14.  Choose 12 of the remaining charms for the inside pockets of the caddy.  Cut each of those squares into 3″ x 5″ rectangles.
15.  Fold each rectangle in half widthwise to make a rectangle 3″ x 2.5″ and press to make the pocket.
16.  Fold the linen in the half widthwise and press to create line dividing the top half of the caddy from the bottom half.  We will eventually sew along that line.  But now, it will help you place the tea bag pockets.
17.  Arrange the pockets on the linen into 4 rows.  Each row should have 3 pockets.  Pin the pockets in place with the fold at the top of the pocket.  We will sew around the 3 other sides to secure.  When arranging your pockets, take note of where your caddy will fold in half.  Make sure to place the pockets far enough away from the bottom fold so the tea bags inside will not interfere with folding.  Also leave space for the eyelets at the top and bottom of the caddy.
18.  Sew around the right, bottom, and left sides of each pocket, leaving the top (fold) open for the tea bags.  Use a top stitch 1/8″ from the edge.
19.  Pin the linen to the quilted layers – making a 4 layer quilt sandwich.  Stitch across the center of the quilt widthwise to secure the linen to the quilt.
20.  Now it is time to sew the polka dot binding onto the 4-layer quilt sandwich.  Cut (2) 2 1/2″ strips across the width of the fabric to use for double-fold continuous binding strips.  Here is a great tutorial if you are not familiar with making double-fold continuous binding and mitered corners.
21.  Almost there!  Use a pen to mark the holes for the eyelets at both the top and bottom of the caddy.  I spaced my holes about 3″ in from the left and right sides, and about a half inch down from the top binding.
22.  Use an eyelet plier kit or the punch tool that comes with some eyelets to install four eyelets at the locations you marked your holes.  Make sure to follow the manufacturers instructions for installing and if you can, practice on a scrap quilt sandwich first.  It is a little nerve wracking punching holes in a quilt you just spent so much time on making pretty – so make sure you know how to install the eyelets first!
Here is a close up of the eyelets from the front.  Classy!
23.  The last thing to do is make the straps.  Cut (2) 1 3/4″ x 20″ strips from the polka dot fabric used for the binding.  Finger press the short end 1/4″ under wrong sides together and sew a top stitch at both ends to secure.
24.  Fold lengthwise in half, right sides together.  Sew 1/4″ seam on both straps.  Turn right sides out using a safety pin if needed.  Press.
25.  Tie a knot in the ends of the straps as you thread them through the eyelets.  Done!

One adorable tea caddy to impress your guests!  The caddy measures approximately 21 1/2″ x 12 1/2″.  Each pocket fits 1-3 tea bags, so this would nicely display some of the sampler packs.  Hope you enjoy this project!

AnneMarie Chany

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