60-Minute Gift: Christmas Overnighter Cinch Sack

18” X WOF for lining (2 fat quarters in same or coordinating print)
18” X WOF for outside (2 fat quarters in same or coordinating print)
8” X WOF for strap channel  {can be a coordinating fabric}
Ribbon:  8″ X 1/2″
Rope 2– 43″ or longer {you can adjust this length to fit child}
Pre-cut scrap strips in green for tree and brown for trunk

Cut 2 – 18” X  18″  outside fabric  
Cut 2– 18”  X  18″  lining fabric
Cut 2– 4″ X 18″ strap channel
Cut 2– 4″ X width of ribbon
Cut 1/2” X various lengths– green fabric for tree

Rag Christmas Tree:
1)  Cut 3 strips 1/2” X 9” out of green scraps
2)  Fold the front outside piece in half and iron, using this creased iron line to center the tree tip,  pin the 3 strips in the shape of the tree
3)  Cut a brown 2” X 2” square for the trunk of the tree.  Pin in place.
4)  Sew down the center of these strips, and outline stitch the tree trunk
5)  Using the rest of the 1/2” green scrap strips, place on tree and sew down the center – one strip at a time
6)  Overlap additional strips, change their angle, direction to make it interesting
7)  Take a rough toothbrush and dampen the strips and scrub, this will rag the edges just a bit- or scrub with your fingernails. You can snip the edges if you’d like too

Strap Channel:

1)  Cut 2 strips 4” X 17”
2)  Hem both sides (4”) of each strip

3)  Fold in half so they will measure 2”- wrong sides together.  These will be your channels for the ties

1)  Pin right sides together both the front and back linings
2)  Sew all the way around the sides and bottom of the bag, leaving a 2 1/2” opening on one side for turning later
1)  Fold ribbon in half and stay stitch at bottom of each side of the front outside piece { 1 1/2” from bottom}

2)  Pin right sides together and stitch all the way around the sides and bottom of the bag.
3)  Turn Right sides out and iron
4)  Pin the channels to the top of the bag and stay stitch in place {sew on using 1/8th inch seam allowance so the stitching won’t show} One channel will be sewn to each side

5)  Stuff the outside into the lining, right sides together
6)  Pin along the top edge, matching the side seams
7)  Sew all the way around the top edge
8)  Turn right sides out through opening
9)  Sew opening closed and iron

Rope Strapping

8)  Tie rope to ribbon loop at the bottom of the bag.
9)  Thread through the tube directly above the ribbon loop, going around the whole bag.  The tie will be coming out the same side as it entered

10)  Repeat with rope on the other side of the bag

11)  Pull the rope to cinch the bag at the top

1 super cute cinch sack to Stuff with goodies, games and Christmas jammies!
Finished size:
17″ wide x 20″ long

Have a Merry Christmas Everyone!  Hope your overnighters are full of wonderful surprises!

Becky Jorgensen

60-Minute Gift: Herringbone Hot Pads

Combine a herringbone pattern with the popular zig zag for a fun, unique pot holder and trivet that is self binding. Or use the blocks to make a quilt! Great for Christmas gifts, teacher gifts and using up extra charm packs!

  • 1 Simply Color charm pack or charm pack of your choice
  • 1 yard of fabric for backing or four 14×14 inch squares
  • 1/2 yard batting or eight 10×10 inch squares
  • 1/2 yard insul-bright Insulating material or four 10×10 inch squares

    I’m so excited to be here! I’ve been making these hot pads like crazy! You can hop over to my blog, Melanie Dramatic, to see several other examples in various Moda lines along with a few other ideas of what you can do with this design!

    You’ll start with one charm pack! (I cut down a layer cake to 5-inch squares since that’s what I had!)
    Charm squares

    Cut your charm pack into 1 1/2 inch strips.  From one charm pack you’ll get 3 ‘sets’ of strips.

    Cut 1.5 inch strips

    I prefer to use one set at a time while sewing.  Set two groups aside and sort the first stack by color.  Having them sorted into color groups helps me make sure I’m evenly distributing the colors and patterns throughout!

    Sort into Colors

    Now it’s time to start sewing strips together using a 1/4 inch seam.

    Sewing strips

    Alternating sides, continue to add strips.  (I finger press the seams down toward the bottom of the ‘V’ as I sew….although getting up to iron each seam during the process would be better exercise…)

    Add strips Until stack is gone

    Continue sewing until your first stack is gone!  You’ll have a really fun, colorful, long herringbone strip!

    Herringbone Strip

    Iron the seams down (toward the bottom of the ‘V’). 


    Square the top and cut two 11-inch sections.  (You will have left over.  Save that to start sewing your next strip set.)  Our hot pads will be 10 inches, but that little bit of extra length allows you to perfectly match seams.

    Square top

    Next you will trim off the extra on each side.  You want each rectangle to be 5 1/2 inches x 11 inches.  I match up the 2 1/2 inch mark on my ruler with the bottom/right ‘V’ for the first cut.  Then I rotate and cut the block to 5 1/2 inches width.


    Pin your rectangles together at each seam. Seams will all face down. Do not worry about lining up the top and bottom.  Getting the seams to mach is more important!  Sew together with a 3/8 inch seam allowance.

    Pin together

    Press center seam allowance open.

    Press seam open

    Trim your block to 10 inches x 10 inches.

    block will be 10x10

    You’ll need one 14x14inch piece of fabric for the back, two 10×10 inch squares of batting and one 10×10 inch square of Insul-bright insulation.  It is a lot of layers, but I really like the extra sturdy feel this gives the hot pad – plus with the Insul-bright and extra batting, I’m not afraid to pull something out of the oven! (If you’re going to use it solely for decoration, you could use one or two layers of batting only.)

    all layers

    Place the Insul-bright in between the two layers of batting and pin all layers together.  Spray basting also works well to hold everything in place.

    Pin all layers

    Quilt as desired.  I love the look of following the seams with my 1/4 inch foot.

    Carefully even batting and top layers ONLY if needed with scissors.  Next cut off the excess backing fabric so it is 1-inch larger than the top on each side.  The unit will measure 12×12.

    Trim to size

    Fold and iron the extra inch of backing fabric in half so that it meets up with the raw edge of your hot pad.  Then fold again to the top of the hot pad and secure in place.  (I was using bobby pins at this point but my new favorite method is using school glue to hold fabric in place. Simply set with a hot dry iron!)
    self bindingself binding
    Fold your corner diagonally so that it meets with the raw edge of the next side.  Then continue by folding that edge in half and then again up onto the hot pad, just as you did on the first side.  Continue working your way around the hot pad until all four sides are ready to sew.

    self bindingself binding

    Sew binding in place.  Get your stitching as close to the inside edge of the binding as you can.  And if you’re using bobby pins or other gadgets to hold the binding in place, please be sure to remove them as you sew!  (If you switch to glue, you won’t have to worry about that anymore!)

    self binding


    One charm pack will make four hot pads.  (Use your left over strip to start sewing another set for more hot pads!)  And don’t forget to come over to my blog to see them made in other Moda fabrics and a few other projects I’ve made with these fun blocks!  I have to say, I’m sorta in love with the quilt. 🙂


    60-Minute Gift: Bake ‘n’ Fry Dividers

    The holiday season is approaching and now is the time to start sewing and making gifts for friends and families. Today I will be sharing a quick project which can be made in under an hour to brighten up your kitchen drawers and protect your non stick cooking surfaces.

    1 x Summerville Layer Cake
    1 yd Bella solid snow 9900-11
    1 yd Flannel
    Light weight iron on pellon
    Fusible web

    Baking Tray Liners ( 30 mins )

    • Measure the baking tray. Record the measurement. For the purpose of this tutorial I will be making a liner to suit a 10″ x 15″ base. If you have have a smaller or larger tray, add 1/2″ to the measured length and width.

    • From the solid cut 12 x 1 1/2″ strips
    • From the print cut 12 x 1 1/2″ strips

    • Alternate the solid and print and sew strips together
    • Finished block is 8 1/2″ x 10″
    • Make 3 blocks

    • Cut each block twice on the diagonal

    • Sew 2 triangles together to make a half square triangle (HST). Repeat with remaining triangles.
    • Square each HST to 5 1/2″

    • Arrange in 2 rows of 3 blocks each
    • Sew together
    • Finished top measures 10 1/2″ x 15 1/2″

    • From the solid cut 1 – 10 1/2″ x 15 1/2″ piece
    • From the iron on pellon cut 1 – 10 1/2″ x 15 1/2″ piece
    • Press the pellon to the wrong side of the solid piece
    • Place the solid and top piece right sides together. Pellon will be on the outside.
    • Sew 1/4″ from edge leaving a 4″ gap at the top for turning.
    • Trim the corners and turn out. Use a stiletto or pointed object to push out seams and corners.
    • Fold under opening 1/4″ and top stitch 1/8″ around edge of liner.

    • Trace the letters ‘BAKE’ (these can be found in the Printer Friendly file at the bottom of this post) onto the dull side of the fusible webbing
    • Cut 1/8″ away from the pencil line and press to back of selected print.
    • Cut on pencil line and peel of paper backing
    • Position and press onto front of liner
    • Using a straight stitch or blanket stitch machine stitch the appliqué.

    Hint: These liners are meant to be scrappy in nature. There are unlimited block designs and scrappy settings that could be used as long as the unfinished top is 1/2″ longer and wider than the base of the tray.

    Frying Pans ( 30 mins)

    •  Measure the diameter of the pan including the sides.  Record the measurement.
    • Cut strips from the Layer Cake and make a piece measuring 10″ x 48″
    • Using a 60 degree triangle ruler or the 60 degree marking on your ruler, cut 6 triangles from the strip
    • Sew 3 triangles together. Repeat.

    • Join the two rows together.

    • Cut a circle ( using a compass / pencil and string / large plate ) 1″ larger than the diameter, including sides, of your pan. For example, my pan measured 15 1/2″ from side to side. I would cut a circle with diameter of 16 1/2″
    N.B The hexagon made from the 6 triangles can accommodate a circle up to 17″ in diameter.

    •  From the flannel cut a circle the same size as the top

    • Place the flannel and top piece wrong sides together.
    • Sew 1/4″ from edge using a shorter stitch
    • Using pinking shears, cut around edge 1/8″ away from stitching.
    N.B these liners do not require pellon
    Two options for appliqué 

    • Cut a piece 6″ x 10″ from print
    • Stitch to centre of liner
    • Trace the letters ‘FRY’ ( these can be found in the PDF format for this project ) onto the dull side of the fusible webbing
    • Cut 1/8″ away from the pencil line and press to back of selected print.
    • Cut on pencil line and peel of paper backing
    • Position and press onto 6″ x 10″ piece
    • Using a straight stitch or blanket stitch machine stitch the appliqué.

    • Cut a 5 1/2″ circle from layer cake
    • Stitch to centre of liner
    • Trace the letters ‘FRY’ ( these can be found in the PDF format for this project ) onto the dull side of the fusible webbing
    • Cut 1/8″ away from the pencil line and press to back of selected print.
    • Cut on pencil line and peel of paper backing
    • Position and press onto liner centre
    • Using a straight stitch or blanket stitch machine stitch the appliqué.

    Two baking and fry pan liners to dress up your kitchen drawers and protect your non stick surfaces.

    Jane Davidson

    60-Minute Gift: Christmas Gift Bag

    Christmas Gift Bag designed by Cathie Richardson of Country Garden Stitchery

    ~One charm pack of Fa-La-La-La-La by French General
    ~Three different fat quarters, two red and one natural, by French General
    ~Low Loft Batting
    ~Sewing Thread – I used a coordinating variegated red sewing thread.

    For the embroidery:

    ~6″ x 9 1/2″ piece of coordinating quilting fabric for the embroidery design.
    ~Embroidery pattern (included in PDF print out)
    ~Three skeins of embroidery floss: one brown, one red, and one green.  I used hand dyed flosses by
    The Gentle Art in Sarsaparilla #7015, Raspberry Parfait #0380 and Forest Glade #0190
    ~#02 Micron black ink pen.
    ~Tracing method of your choice.

    For the embroidery trace the design onto the 6″ x 9 1/2″ piece of fabric using the method of your choice.  You can embroider the design in all one color for a redwork design or change the flosses to your favorite colors!  I will include here how I made the model.   Use two strands of floss except as noted.  Raspberry Parfait and stem stitch for the border lines, the snowman outlines and his hat.  For his face I used one strand of floss and stem stitch for his nose and mouth.  I used very small cross stitches for his eyes.  I alternated one and two strands for the stars in the sky.  For the dots use two-wrap French knots.  Sarsaparilla and back stitch for the lettering.  Stem stitch for the tree trunks.  Forest Glade and stem stitch for the outlines of the Christmas trees.  For the tree decorations Raspberry Parfait and back stitch.   When embroidery design is complete press lightly and trim the design down to 8 1/4″ x 4 3/4″ to where it has a 1″ border.
    Use 1/4″ seams throughout.  Select five charm squares and cut five 2″ wide pieces.  Alternate the pieces to red-green-red and sew.  Press. Cut the sewn piece in half.  Select five more and cut 2″ wide pieces.  Alternate pieces to green-red-green and sew.   Press.  Cut sewn piece in half. 
    From one of the red fat quarters cut a 2″ x 8 1/4″ strip.  Sew the embroidered design to a red-green-red patchwork strip, then add the solid strip, then a green-red-green patchwork strip.  Press.  From the same fat quarter you cut the strip cut a piece for the back measuring 6 1/2″ x 8 1/4″.  Sew a green-red-green patchwork strip then a red-green-red.  Press. 
    From the other red fat quarter cut two 1 1/2″ x 8 1/4″ strips for back and front pieces and sew to the top and the bottom.  Press.  Cut two 1 1/2″ x 12 1/2″ for each side of front and back and sew.  Press.     
    Cut two batting pieces the same size as the front and back and quilt as desired.  I used the variegated red sewing thread and a decorative machine stitch to sew around the edges of the embroidered piece and in between the strips on front and back continuing down the bottom of the back.   
    With the third fat quarter cut two pieces the same size as the front and back for the lining.  Sew the outer bag front and back together.  For the lining sew the front and back together leaving a 3″ opening in the middle of the seam on one of the sides for turning.  From one of the red fat quarters cut two handles measuring 3 1/2″ x 18″.  Press the fabric strips in half lengthwise and then press down 1/4″ along the long side.  Sew the pressed edges together with the variegated sewing thread.      
    To make the bottom edges turn the outer bag and the lining wrong side out.  Line up the bottom and the side seams on each side of both bag pieces.  Measure in two inches and put a pin in the spot until you have it lined up with the machine needle.  Sew a straight seam making a triangle.  Cut off the triangle pieces leaving 1/4″ of fabric before the seam.   
    Turn the outer bag right side out and tuck it inside the lining so the right sides are together and the lining is on the outside.   Place the handles about 1″ from the side seams matching front and back and making sure they aren’t twisted.  Put the handle edges a little bit above the edge of the top of the bag to ensure they are included in the seam.  Pin in place.
    Line up seams, edges of lining and outer bag and handles and pin in place.  Sew around the edge making sure to catch the handles.   
    Turn bag right side out through the opening.  I always like to check to make sure my handles are secure and all fabrics were included in the seam before I sew up the opening.  Hand sew or machine sew the opening closed after pressing.
    With the variegated sewing thread on the top and neutral color for the bobbin thread topstitch around the top of the bag.  Press.

    One Snowman Embroidered Christmas Bag
    9″  x  10″ x 3″ with 17 1/4″ handles.

    Back View
    A fun gift bag for the Christmas holiday!  You can adjust the size by adding strips and patchwork pieces.  Fill it with fun things for somone special then it’s useful after they’ve opened their gift! I’d love to see yours too ~ you can contact me with questions or comments through my website or facebook.  Thank you!  
    Cathie Richardson

    60-Minute Gift: Pet Mesh Bags

    Hello all…it’s Jo from Jo’s Country Junction.  Recently I made a couple totes for my son so he could store his jumper cables and keep his league softball goodies all in one place.  Then my teenage daughter wanted a set too.  Being she is a cheerleader and our school colors are red, white and black, Sweetwater’s new fabric line, “Mama Said Sew,” was perfect.  She is using hers a lunch bag and a cheerleading bag. I thought I would share these great versatile bag patterns with you. They make a great gift  for just about anyone on your list!

    Momma Said Sew Jelly Roll
    Scraps of Deco Bond or heavy interfacing
    Zippers  22″ red and 12″ red
    Pet Mesh Screen:  This may be hard to find locally.  Here is an Amazon link for it:
    New York Wire 70587 Pet D-Fence Screening, 36-Inch by 84-Inch

    Let’s start by making the square bag.  Of course you can use it for many different things…storing your  grocery bags, packing a few goodies to take to the park, anything you can think of.

    Start by unrolling your pet screening.  This is a plastic product.  Don’t worry about cutting it with a scissors or sewing with it.  It works wonderfully.

    2 ~ 12″ x 12″ pieces of pet screen
    4 ~ 12″ x 4″ pieces of pet screen

    Take your 12″ zipper.  Take your favorite black jelly roll strip and cut two pieces the length of the zipper.  Take a different jelly roll strip and cut two more pieces the length of the zipper.

    Take one of each of the two different pieces and sandwich the zipper between them as shown making sure the right sides of the fabric face the zipper.  Make sure your favorite fabric piece is on the top of the zipper as it is the only fabric that people will see.


    Pin in place as shown.

    Sew along the pinned edge.

    Press the fabric as shown.

    Top stitch along the zipper.

    Repeat for the other side of the zipper making sure the fabric that you want to be shown faces the top of the zipper.

    Take a jelly roll strip.  Cut four pieces of fabric that are the width of the newly made zipper unit.  Sandwich two the pieces as shown, pinning in place.

    Sew along the pinned edge using a 5/8″ seam.  Press and top stitch in place just as you did along the zipper.

    Trim the edge of the fabric by placing the ruler along the edge and lining the 1 1/4″ line along the seam as shown.

    Take a ruler and measure 10″ (the picture shows 11″ but use 10″).  Mark the line with a pen.

    Tack the zipper as shown; sewing on the line previously made.

    Trim the extra fabric away as shown cutting through the zipper.  Being the zipper is tacked, it is okay to cut it.

    Sandwich the remaining two pieces of red fabric on the end.  Sew using a 5/8″ seam, press and top stitch as you did with the first end.

    Trim the pieces so it is four inches wide.  It is easy to do this if you line the 2″ ruler marker along the zipper and trim.

    Set this piece aside.  Now onto the handle.

    Take a jelly roll strip.  Cut it 13″ long.  Cut a piece of Deco Bond  2 1/2″ x 13″.   Place the Deco Bond on the wrong side of the jelly roll piece and fold in half.  Pin.

    Sew along the edge as shown using a 1/4″ seam.

    Turn the piece right side out.  Press and top stitch.

    Align the handles between the top of the zipper area as shown.  Tack in place.


    Sew the 4″ x 12″ mesh pieces and zipper piece together as shown using a 5/8″ seam.

    Bring the remaining zipper edge and the mesh edge together keeping right sides together.  Pin.  Sew using a 5/8″ seam.


    Take the piece you just complete and one of the 12″ x 12″ mesh pieces.  Align it as shown pinning in place making sure the first and last pin is 5/8″ away from the edge.

    Sew BETWEEN THE PINS using a 5/8″ seam.

    Align the next edge.  Again pinning in place making sure the first and last pin is 5/8″ away from the edge. Sew BETWEEN THE PINS using a 5/8″ seam.

    Continue on each side. Unzip the zipper.

    Then repeat adding the other 12″ x 12″ piece.

    Trim the corners.  Turn the bag right side out and you’re finished.

    To make the long bag:
    Cut one piece of mesh 24″ x 26″.

    Make the handle using the directions above only this time make it 16 inches long.  Set aside.

    Prepare a zipper using the directions above.  Please note that when using a jelly roll to make these, the pieces along the zipper will be different prints.  The zipper for this bag will not need to be tacked and cut.  It is already the right length.

    Place the edge of the mesh along the edge of the zipper piece.  Pin and sew using a 1/4″ seam.


    Bring the opposite edge of the pet mesh around aligning the wrong side of the zipper. Pin and sew using a 1/4″ seam.

    Unzip the zipper half way.

    Fold the bag as shown.  It should be about 14″ wide when folded so the zipper should line up at the 7″ mark or half the distance.  Pin and sew using a 5/8″ seam allowance.

    Do the same for the opposite end.

    Now it is time to box the corners.  Start with the end of the bag that DOES NOT have the beginning of the zipper.

    Fold as shown,  Place your ruler and measure 2 1/2″ from the tip of the corner.

    Cut the corner off.

    Do the corner on the opposite side the same way.  The handle needs to be added first.

    Now it is time to add the handle.  The handle is added as you box the corner.  Fold the bag the same way you did on the previous end only this time, slide the handle end in place.  Pin and sew.  I back stitched over the handle to make it more secure.  Clip.

    If you look closely you can see the handle in between the mesh pieces under the seam.

    Do the same for the other side.

    Turn your bag right side out and you’re ready to go.

    Two bags that are sure to make organizing your goodies just a little easier.

    As soon as the bags were finished, our daughter put them right to use!

    Stop over to my blog, Jo’s Country Junction, and see what I’m up to now.

    Jo Kramer

    60-Minute Gift: Fold and Go Play Mat

    1 x fat quarter in colour of your choice for backing.
    1 x fat quarter for your binding
    1 x 1/4 yard pale green fabric for grass
    1 x 1/4 yard green/blue fabric for the ocean
    1 x 1/4 yard pale blue for ocean/seashore
    4 x Scraps of green/floral fabric measuring approximately 5 1/2″ by 6″ (I used four pieces in two designs) for paddocks
    1 x 1/4 yard of your choice of fabric for bag flap
    1 x 1/4 yard of your choice of fabric for bag straps
    1 x piece of your choice of fabric, measuring approximately 7″ by 10″ for pocket.
    4 x Basic snaps
    1 x button
    1 x Ribbon/elastic (just a small piece)
    Some scraps of felt

    Firstly you will piece together the play mat.  For this I used a soft green from the collection, and two shades of blue to create the ocean.   The measurements don’t need to be exact, but your entire mat will eventually measure that of a fat quarter (20″ x 22″) so let that be your guide.  For my version, I measured off the pieces as follows:
    Green – 20″ x 10″
    Pale blue – 20″ x 4″
    Darker blue – 20″ x 6″
    With a 1cm seam allowance, I stitched the three pieces together in the colour order pictured below.

    At the top of the play mat I wanted to create some little fields, so I took two different fat quarters and cut two pieces measuring 5 1/2″ x 6″ from each.
    I pieced them together with right sides facing, and stitched them together – alternating the fabrics, with 1cm seam allowances.
    It will look a little something like this, although perhaps a little less wonky if, unlike me, you are smart enough to use a cutting mat… (I’m an ‘imperfect is beautiful’ kinda girl).  Trim any excess fabric so that you have a fat quarter(ish) piece.  You can match it against another fat quarter to get a perfect sizing.
    The next step is down to your own creative impulses.  I added two ponds, one with a stream, but left the play mat mostly bare, because I love leaving space for a child’s imagination.  You might want to make a mud pit for a pig, or a larger river with a bridge crossing it, or a road weaving across the park.  Different coloured felt would work perfectly for any of these options.  Simply cut out the shape you want, pin it on your mat, and topstitch it.
    Next I took a purple fat quarter to use as backing.  It’s not necessary to use batting for this project, as a thinner mat will be easier for the animals to stand on.  I folded the FQ in half and ironed the crease, and then folded it in half again and did the same, dividing my piece into four equal parts (see picture).  Then I placed the mat to the side to make the handles.
    My bag straps measured 4 1/2″ x 13″, which I folded in half longways – right sides facing, and stitched using a 1/2cm allowance, along the length and across one end, leaving the other end open (to turn the straps).  I then made small incisions about 1/2cm apart (closer if you like) around the corner of the sewed end.  These small incisions will make your fabric sit nicely when you turn it it right way out.  
    Once you have turn your straps right side out (they should turn easily, but using a knitting needle if you’re having trouble), pin them to the top right-hand quarter of your backing piece.  You can leave the top edges raw at this stage, and be sure to leave an allowance of about 1/2 an inch on either side of the straps for the binding.

    Now it’s time to cut out the bag flap.  Take a larger piece of fabric – I used a piece that measured 9″ x 10″ – and cut it in half so that you have two pieces that measure around 9″ x 5″.  Round the corners as pictured below.

    Place the two pieces together, right sides facing, and sew them with a 1/2cm seam allowance, leaving the top open.  Make the same incisions around the corners that you did on your bag straps – as pictured below.

    Pin the flap onto your backing so that it covers both straps.  Sew along the edge with a 1/2cm allowance, leaving the edges raw.

    Place this to the side, as you will now be making your binding.  I cut four 2″ strips from a fat quarter, so they were around 2″ x 22″.  If you have never made binding before (this is not bias binding, which is cut on a diagonal across your fabric), it takes just a few simple steps.  Firstly, iron your pieces in half, longways.  Then open your fabric out, pull the edges back in so that they meet the middle (as pictured below), and iron again.

    Now fold the two sides together, and iron it again. 

    I was recently shown a neat trick for using binding, which help me immensely (I’m notoriously untidy when using binding).  It does make for a little extra sewing, but well worth it (and saves you from unpicking later).  Open out your binding again, and place the right side edge to edge against your backing.  You will be pinning three pieces of fabric together now.  The front of your playmat will be placed wrong side to wrong side against your backing.

    Pin your binding, opened out, all the way down along the edge of your two pieces, as pictured below.  Sew close to the edge, ensuring that you are collecting all three pieces of fabric in your seam.

    Now flip your mat over and fold your binding so that it encloses the edges of your mat (there’s a little yellow arrow showing you where to fold, in case this is not completely obvious already).  Now you can topstitch your binding, resting assured that you have collected all your pieces together!

    When it comes to corners, I’m no expert, but this is what I do.  I tuck one corner of the first piece of binding (already sewn on) into the second piece of binding before I have sewn that piece.  When I sew the second piece of binding on, I make sure I only sew as far as the seam on the first side – around about where that blue pin is in the photo below.

    I then fold the corners of the binding, tucking excess fabric underneath the binding, and creating a diagonal line reaching from the outside corner to the inside corner of the quilt.

    Pin into place, and then topstitch.

    When it comes to the pocket, it’s really up to you how large you want it.  My piece of pocket fabric measured 10″ x 7″.  First do a single fold hem on the top edge of the pocket.

    Next pin your pocket to the top left hand quarter of your mat (as pictured below), making sure to leave room for the top flap and the button. Top stitch the sides and the base.

    On the underside of the bag flap (where it won’t be visible from the outside), pin a looped piece of ribbon.  Tuck the edges under and stitch it where you’ve pinned it (a couple of times, so it’s nice and strong).

    Add a matching button.

    For the next (and final stage) you will need to fold your bag in half and in half again – so that it looks like this:

    Making sure the button is undone, you will then take the top left hand corner, and add basic snaps to attach all four corners.  You will use three sets of snaps to attach the four corners of fabric.

    The final set of snaps will be used to attach the bottom left hand corners, as pictured.

    And then you’re done!

    One fold and go child’s play mat.  Perfect for playing with farm or zoo animals, or you could create roads and parking lots for playing with toy cars.  This sweet little mat can then be folded into a backpack, with the toys stored in their own little pocket, and your little one can carry their own entertainment system to your next destination.  These would make perfect Christmas or birthday gifts for a little one.

    Stella Rutherford