With Christmas just around the corner, I have been putting some thought into what little fabric gifts I can make for friends and family this year.
Every year, I make Christmas cookies for the girls at work and last year I made some wee fabric gift bags to put them in
Gift bag template can be found here
This Christmas I want to give the girls a little something to go with the usual cookies and I have been wondering what it might be. Every time I think of an idea, I have been jotting it down on a yellow sticky note and pinning it to the notice board in my sewing room.
Sticky notes are great when you need to jot something down real quick; I use them all the time! And I certainly wouldn’t be without them at work (along with the humble highlighter pen!)
Which got me thinkin’! Wouldn’t it be nice to have something pretty to keep them in?
Dangerous thing, thinkin’ … cos now my sewing room is all messed up again! There are fabric scraps everywhere, I’ve completely forgotten to leave anything out of the freezer for tea, the housework is untouched and I have no idea where the time has gone! But I don’t care … not really
… cos now I have a whole bunch of these wee cuties!
This little sticky note keeper fits two sizes of stickies – 7.5cm square and 9.5cm square
And the really cool part is that they happen to go great with the little twisted hexagon coasters that I made a couple of weeks ago!
I added in a little Sarubobo keyring and Bob’s your Uncle! … a cute little Zakka inspired gift set was born! Don’t you just love it when a plan comes together
These little Zakka style gift sets will be perfect to accompany the Christmas cookies this year! I just need to make another half a dozen sets and that’s Christmas 2013 all ‘sewn up’ … (pun intended folks )
If you would like to make a sticky note keeper of your own, here’s how:
In the main fabric cut:
- Four 5” x 1¼” strips (for the borders around the pinwheel centre)
- Two 4½” x 5½” rectangles (for the back and the inside pocket)
- One 4½” x 9½” rectangle (for the lining)
You will also need:
- Two 3” squares of fabric – one light, one dark – for the pinwheel
- 5½” x 10½” piece of cotton wadding
- One 3½” square and one 3¾” square of stiff card
First make the patchwork pinwheel …
*Use a ¼” seam throughout (unless otherwise stated)
Place the two 3” squares right sides together and sew a continuous ¼” seam all the way around the edge
Cut the sewn squares in half diagonally. Then cut again diagonally in the opposite direction
Press the patches open towards the darker fabric
Lay the four patches in the formation of a pinwheel. It’s easy to mix the patches up and sew the wrong edges together, so I lay the pinwheel out right next to my machine and that keeps me on the right track
Place patches 1 and 2 right sides together and sew together with 1/4″ seam. Join pieces 3 and 4 in the same way. Press the seams towards the dark side.
Now join section A and B with ¼” seam, making sure that the centre seams are nested together
Press the seam open to reduce bulk
Trim the pinwheel – it should measure 3” square
Stitch a 5” border strip to two opposite sides of the pinwheel patch and press the seams out towards the border
Trim the borders flush with the sides of the pinwheel patch
Stitch the other two border strips to the remaining sides of the pinwheel patch and press seams out towards the border
You now have a framed pinwheel block – yay!
Stitch a 4½” x 5½” rectangle to the framed pinwheel block and press the seam away from the block. Place the piece right side up on the wadding
Quilt the two layers together by stitching around the pinwheel square and inside the light coloured triangles, about ⅛” from the seam lines. I did a mixture of hand stitching and machine stitching on mine and I also added a little bead to the centre.
Trim the wadding flush with the sides of your work
Take another 4½” x 5½” rectangle and fold it in half, matching up the short sides. Press. This will form a pocket on the inside.
Lay the lining fabric on your work table right side up. Line up the raw edges of the folded pocket piece with the raw edges on one of the short sides of the lining fabric and pin in place
Next, lay the pinwheel panel right side down on top of the pocket panel, matching up all raw edges and pin. (The pinwheel should be at the opposite end to where you have pinned the pocket). Sew all the layers together, leaving the short edge nearest the pinwheel open
Trim away some of the wadding to reduce bulk and clip the corners
Turn right side out. *Tip – when turning things right side out, I use a Phillips (star head) screw driver to push out the corners, as I find the little ‘star head’ helps to grip the fabric and is less likely to pierce it than a knitting needle or scissors would. Try it yourself and see what you think!
Insert a 3¾” square of stiff card through the opening and push it to the bottom. It’s a fairly snug fit, so you may have to give it a wiggle. *I used card that was 1/8″ thick for the first couple that I made, but then I used two thicknesses of cereal packet stuck together and that worked just fine. I used a simple glue stick to stick the card together.
Starting from the seam line of the pinwheel block, sew two lines of stitching ¾” apart. These two lines create a sort of ‘spine’ and encase the cardboard at the same time
Place a 3½” square of stiff card into the opening up to the sewn line
Last bit! Fold in the raw edges of the opening by about ¼” and pin
Stitch the opening closed with a line of stitching very close to the edge. Continue to stitch all around the edge of the square very close to the edge, wiggling the cardboard out of the way as you go. I sewed along to the first corner and then, keeping the needle in the down position, I was able to wiggle the cardboard out of the way and pivot my work and sew to next corner and so on.
If you prefer not to sew a line all around the outside, you can just slip stitch the opening closed by hand.
That’s it, you’re done!
All you need to do now is insert the back few pages of a sticky note pad into the little pocket and you have a pretty little home for your stickies (oh the simple things that please us eh?)
You don’t have to have a pinwheel as your centre block. Depending on how you sew your half triangle patches together, you will get a different pattern. For example, I put the patches together as a ‘broken dishes’ block in the centre of this one
… and this one
Or you could perhaps keep the whole piece plain and embroider a little design on the front – I think some redwork on linen would look fab! A nine patch block would do the trick too – you do whatever takes your fancy.
I’m a wee bit fond of the little red set, so I might have to keep it for myself (maker’s perk an’ all:) )
I hope you have enjoyed this little project and feel inspired to make some of your own wee Zakka-style sitcky note keepers – if you do, I’d love to see some pics of your creations!
Happy stitching and creating everyone