SMQG Lottery Block: Little Vines Tutorial

*** Elizabeth's tutorial for Little Vines is back up!  Go find it here! ***


July's lottery block for the Seacoast MQG is the Little Vines block by Elizabeth Hartman!  I was feeling very clever because we had a fun tutorial on bias tape applique at our June meeting and everyone would go home with a fun project to practice the skill!  Then I found out that the tutorial had been scrubbed from the internet.  :(

So, I've reverse engineered the block and written my own tutorial.  I don't want to step on toes, but desperate times and all...


At the meeting I gave out these templates.  If you didn't get any, don't worry, they're just a guide.  I'll show you after how to make the block without them.


Take the two pages with ends, use a ruler to draw a line across all the cut off lines.  This will be where you line up these pages with the first page.  Cut your paper a little past the drawn line.


Match the letters and tape your template pieces together.


Cut only along the curve on the larger piece, and cut all the way around the smaller piece.  


Lay your template down on a 12.5 inch square piece of fabric.  For this month, your background fabric should be white or "reads as white".  Trace your two arcs onto the fabric. 

(Savvy quilters may notice that I pulled out my trusty Frixion pen, which is silly, because we'll need to iron on the petals to fuse them which will erase that line.  Go for a water soluble pen or even just pencil.)


Here's where I explain how to not use the templates.  Duplicating the curve exactly isn't the most important part of this block, where the arcs end is.  So if you didn't get the templates, mark the edge of your fabric at 2.25 inches and 6.25 inches from the bottom left and top right corners, then freehand a curve.


Now on to the petals!  There were two petals on your template sheets, you can simply cut them out and trace, but it'll be much easier to trace all those petals if you fuse them to a couple pieces of freezer paper or trace it onto cardboard and use that to make your petals.  (If you didn't get the sheets, any petal shape will do.  The larger petal measures 2.5 inches from tip to tip, and the smaller is 1.75 inches tip to tip.)

Trace your petals onto the paper backing of your fusing material, I used Heat 'n' Bond Lite, fuse that to the wrong side of your scraps, then cut out your petal shapes.  You'll need 12 of the larger petals, and 10 of the smaller.


Lay out your petals along the curve.  You'll want to keep them just to the side of the curve, so touching the line, but not crossing it or touching the other petal.  Iron to fuse them.


To raw edge applique the petals, sew a zig zag stitch around the edges.  To keep all the thread ends hidden under the bias tape, start where the petal meets the line, sew along the first edge, pivot at the outer point, continue from the second edge to the third without cutting your thread, pivot at the second point, and sew down the fourth edge ending where you started.  

You'll want your zig zags to be mostly on the petal, with the outer stitch just barely going off the petal into your backing fabric.


When turning your work, always stop with your needle down on the outer edge of the petal, lift your presser foot, and adjust the fabric.  


For the vines, we'll need 1/4 inch bias tape in black or "reads as black".  Steph showed us all how to use the cool bias tape makers, and you can find 1/4 single fold bias tape in the store. 

Here's my big fat cheating part.  I could only find 1/2 single fold bias tape at the store, so I decided to just make it work.


Lay it out along your curve and cut it a little larger that you need.  

If you're cheating with 1/2 inch tape, place your bias tape flat side down on your ironing board, glue along one of the flaps with Elmer's or another sewing safe glue, fold in half, and iron.  I made sure that when I folded the tape, I was entirely covering the bottom edge with the top edge, so that when I sew it down, you'll only see the one fold.  


Lay down a line of glue on your drawn arc, finger press your bias tape along that line, then iron to dry the glue.  Sew along the two edges of the bias tape with black thread, as close to the edge as you can.  Trim off the ends of the bias tape.


When I was done, I was a little concerned with how lumpy my block was, but a quick starching flattens it out nicely.


Here's the finished block again!  Can't wait to see them all together at July's meeting!

Spoonflower Kitchen Linens Challenge with Sew Mama Sew and a Sandwich Wrapper Tutorial

A while back, Sew Mama Sew put out a call to see if anyone wanted to participate in a little kitchen sewing challenge.  We'd get to pick our own fabrics from Spoonflower and sew whatever we liked.  

I jumped in because it was perfect timing.  My daughter is going to need to bring lunch to school in the fall (thinking ahead!) and since I let my son pick out his snack bag fabric, it seemed like a great chance to let her pick out hers. 

I popped her on the computer, narrowed her search to "kawaii" and "food" (because you could be scrolling through fabric designs for days!) and she picked the Cluttered Fruits fabric from BerrySprite.  And I picked out the Gizmos Galore fabric from KatherineLenius.  I chose to have them printed in Kona cotton (instead of canvas, or linen, or one of their other many substrates) so that I could use it in a bunch of different ways.  

I was a little bummed at how the fabrics faded when I washed them, and I've heard that they'll fade faster than a traditionally made fabric, but I'm fairly certain that they'll be lost at school or too gross or worn out before that happens.  And I really love the variety of prints to choose from, so it's just something to consider.  

In addition to the sandwich wrappers, I made her a couple snack bags to go into her lunch box.  I love making these (here's a link to the last batch I made), and a link to the tutorial that I use here.  

spoonflower big reusable snack bags text.jpg

I also decided to make some that are super sized for when we go out as a family and I want to bring a larger portion of snacks for us all to share.  They're about 8" x 10", and I used the same tutorial, I just cut my original rectangles to be 8.5" x 10.5".  The lining does tend to stretch more when you sew a longer seam, but it doesn't really effect the end result.  

Now on to the tutorial!  


  • 1/2 yard of fabric, washed
  • 1/2 yard of iron on vinyl (I used Heat n' Bond)
  • 2 1/2 inches of sew-on velcro
  • 4 1/2 feet of skinny double fold bias tape

Cut your fabric and vinyl into 12 inch squares.  You'll be able to make at least two with a half yard of fabric.


Carefully peel the vinyl from the backing paper.  Don't discard it!  


Place your fabric wrong side up on your ironing board.  Place the sticky side of the vinyl to the wrong side of your fabric.  Don't worry if it's not perfect the first time, you can pull it up and try again.   And we'll be finishing the edges, so the vinyl doesn't have to line up perfectly with the edges.

Place the backing paper you saved onto the vinyl and press with an iron according to the manufacturer's directions.  To avoid bubbles, start from the center and press out towards the edges.  


You could fold the edges over to finish them: fold one side over a 1/4 inch, then fold over again, sew down.  Then repeat for the other sides, taking care to keep the raw edges folded under at the corners.

I chose to finish my edges with bias tape.  Open your tape up and sew the right side of the tape to the vinyl side of your wrapper with roughly a 1/8 inch seam.  You'll want to miter the corners and finish the ends similar to how you sew a binding on a quilt (here's a great tutorial from Crazy Mom Quilts, just do it in small scale).  

Once you've gone all the way around, fold your bias tape to the front and topstitch about an 1/8th of an inch from the edge of the tape.


Next, take your velcro, and line up the soft part with a corner on the vinyl side.  Use the 45 degree mark on your ruler to make sure that it's lined up with center line of the wrapper.  Pin in place and sew down.


Align the scratchy side of the velcro with the opposite corner on the right side of the fabric.   Make sure that it sits about 2 inches in from the corner and is lined up with the edge of the ruler when the 45 degree line is on the edge of your wrapper.  Pin and sew down.


And you're done!  One of the great things about these wrappers, is once you open it up, you can use it as a placemat for the rest of your lunch.  It's perfect for taking on a picnic when you aren't sure what's been crawling on those picnic tables or if you're just eating on the ground.  

To clean, just wipe down the vinyl side with a damp cloth.

Be sure to check out the other challengers to see their cool projects.  And head over to Spoonflower for all their awesome prints.  

Michelle from Falafel and the Bee:

Sherri from Rebecca Mae Designs:

Trina from Will Cook for Shoes:

Daisy from Ants to Sugar:

Alicia from Two Kids and a Blog:

Thanks Sew Mama Sew for the fun challenge!