An archive of sewing tutorials and inspiration


A Childrens Book Bag Tutorial and Let's Get Aquainted Blog Hop!

Today I am excited for two wonderful reasons! Number one, I am participating in Let's Get Acquainted Blog Hop, which was put together by Beth at Plum and June. And number two I am sharing my very first tutorial with you all!

Let's Get Acquainted Blog Hop is for new blogs whose primary focus is quilting. Just like the name it is so that us new guys can get acquainted with each other, older bloggers, and our readers. Thank you Beth for all your hard work!

This is the first week of the hop and we already got to visit two blogs on Tuesday…Kelsey from Kelsey Sews, who gave a Dress Shirt Dish Mat Tutorial and Erin from Billy Button Designs, who gave a Cup Hugger tutorial. Both ladies did a fabulous job and really set the standard high for the hop!

So I know with Blogger's Quilt Festival, SMS Giveaway, and this event, I have been introducing myself pretty much in every single post for a week. I have tried to add one more interesting fact about me each time, so that those of you who are my followers learn something new each time. But, this should be the last introduction for a while. :)

I am 24 years old, I married my high school sweetheart when I was 18. We have two children Gwenyth, is almost 3 and Everett is 2 months old. I have been blessed with the opportunity to work from home as a Freelance Graphic Designer, which always me to be with my kiddos, 24/7. About 6 months ago I fell in love with a Quilt from Pottery Barn Kids, but decided to make one myself, I have been sewing up a storm since. I started Pile O' Fabric in April, and my goal is to Conquer on Pile and Project at a time, and in doing so encourage and inspire you along the way. The other day I shared a mosaic of my latest projects. Today I decided to share a few quilts and quilt blocks I designed (and am still tweaking), that I hope to make one day.


1. Westminster Lap Quilt Design, 2. The Quartett King Size Quilt Design, 3. The Quartett Block, 4. The Mood Block, 5. The Retro Flower Quilt Design, 6. The Cool Percussion Quilt Design

Beth also setup some fun questions to answer about ourselves. So here they are…

  • How long have you been quilting? - 6 months
  • Favorite quilting tip(s) - Starch and Press all fabric before cutting, for more accurate cuts and piecing.
  • Favorite blogging tip(s) - When starting my blog the advice from successful blog friends was, blog because you wan't to not because you have to. Be involved in the community, try to take good photos, and enjoy yourself!
  • Favorite fabric (or wish list fabric) - Um, well based on the name of this blog, if I told you my favorites it would take like 2 pages. :) But, I have a serious love for Kona Solids.
  • Favorite craft book - The very first book I used when I stared was The Practical Guide to Patchwork by Elizabeth Hartman. So easy to follow, she is amazing.
  • Favorite book (or book you are currently reading) - I have a lot of books I'm reading, but I'm reading a book from the 1800's called Letter's to Young Mother's which so far I love.
  • Favorite children's book - Christopher Churchmouse
  • Favorite quilting tool - 1/4" Piecing foot with the edge, and Bias Tape Maker for Bindings
  • Favorite music to listen to while quilting - Pandora, with Piano Music, I used to play piano and love it.
  • Favorite TV show while hand stitching - We have a TV, but no cable so I don't watch much
  • Binding - by hand or by machine? - For quilts I plan to wash a lot I machine stitch, for wall hanging or heirloom quilts I hand stitch.
  • If I'd only known - what you wish you knew about blogging before you started your blog.  - How to spell and proper grammer! haha

Alright so thats me!! Now time to TUT! Today I am going to show you all how to make a Tree of Knowledge Children's Book Bag, for your trips to the Library.


  • 1/2 Yard Canvas or Home Decor Fabric
  • 1/2 Yard Quilting Cotton Print for Lining
  • fabric charms or scraps for Tree and Alphabet
  • 1/2 Yard HeatnBond Light iron-on adhesive
  • Freezer Paper (I use Reynolds from the Grocery Store)
  • Appliqué Templates (download here)
  • Threads -- contrast thread for appliqué stitching and thread to match your canvas


  • Sewing pins
  • Sharp scissors and/or a rotary cutter/mat set
  • Ruler
  • Marking Pen


Cut each of these pieces

  • 2 - 13" x 13" - Canvas for Front and Back
  • 2 - 15" x 13" - Cotton Print for Inner Lining
  • 1 - 9" x 13" - Canvas for Back Pocket
  • 1 - 10" x 13" - Cotton Print for Back Pocket Lining
  • 1 - 34" x 3.25" - Canvas for Strap
  • 1 - 35" x 3.25" - Cotton Print for Strap

*I suggest starching and pressing your fabric before you begin to cut, this will give you more accurate cutting and piecing.

Preparing Appliqué

*There are many different techniques to appliqué this is just the way I prefer to do it. If you already have your favorite technique, you can skip these steps.

1. Print your templates off your computer. Make sure you are printing at 100%, no scaling.

2. Trace the templates onto the paper side of your freezer paper. (if you use printer freezer paper than just print the templates directly onto your freezer paper)
3. Cut your templates from the freezer paper.
4. Cut a large piece of your HeatnBond. Layout your fabric scraps on the bumpy side of the HeatnBond. Once you have all your pieces laid out cut away any excess HeatnBond.

5. With a Hot, dry iron press the fabric just enough for it to stay in place. Then flip over and finish pressing on the paper side of the Heat and Bond, until your scraps are adhered properly.

6. Layout your template letters waxy side down on the appropriate scrap. (I purposely used large fabric scraps so I would have extra for other projects, I cut two letters from each color scrap)

7. Press the letters on with your iron.

8. Carefully cut all your letters out. (I use freezer paper for my templates because you can reuse them over and over. So be careful when cutting so that you don't ruin them.)

9. Carefully peel the freezer paper off all your templates and put in a ziploc bag to save for another project.

10. Once your freezer templates are all put away, start peeling the heatnbond paper off your templates and throw away.

11. On your 13" x 13" canvas piece layout your tree and letters glossy bonding side down.
12. With a hot dry iron press your tree and letters.

Sewing Appliqué

1. Thread your machine with your contrast thread of your choice, and set your settings per your machine instructions for Appliqué.

* You can do a straight stitch or zig zag stitch whichever you like better.

2. Sew an 1/8" inch inside the tree and each letter. Some tips…

  • Go Slow
  • Try and start on a straight edge
  • On curves keep your machine slow, but turn your fabric quickly, you may find quilting gloves to be handy for this
  • When your ready to turn a corner, make sure your needle is in the down position, lift the presser foot, rotate the fabric, let the presser foot back down and sew.
  • Trim your thread tails long (this is very important!)
  • Don't worry if it isn't perfect :)

3. To ensure that your stitching stays together we will pull all the threads to the back and knot. Use a quilters needle, and thread your tails then pull through to back of fabric. Once all your tails are on the back tie each set into a knot and trim.

Assembling the Bag

Switch your sewing machine setting to straight stitch piecing, with your matching thread.

Back Pocket & Outside

1. Take your 9"x 13" Canvas and 10" x 13" Cotton and line them up backs together and pin.

2. Your Print fabric will be 1" larger than your canvas. Fold that in half and press so that you have an even 1/2".

3. Fold the top 1/2"" over onto your canvas, press and pin in place.

4.Sew around all four edges of your pocket piece with a 1/4" seam.

5. Take your plain 13" x 13" canvas piece lay face up and line up your pocket piece face down and pin.

6. Take your appliquéd 13" x 13" piece and lay face down on your pinned back, line up and pin all three layers together. (make sure your appliqué piece is not upside down)

7. Sew a 1/4" seam around the sides and bottom.

8. Flip inside out and poke corners out with a pencil or pointy tool.

Lining and Inner Pocket

1. Either use a 5" Charm Square or cut a 5" square. Press the sides in 1/4" all the way around.
2. Stitch top with a straight stitch.
3. Lay pocket piece on to your cotton print in the position you would like and pin in place.

4. Sew the bottom and sides with either a straight or zig-zag stitch.

5. Take a pen or pencil and place it inside the pocket and pin in place.

6.Take pen out, and use a ruler and marking pen to mark a straight line. Take pins out and sew your line.

7. Pull all your threads to back, knot and trim.

8. Take both inner cotton pieces with right sides together line up and pin.
9. Sew the bottom. When sewing the sides leave 1" unsewn on the top. (This will be folded over)

10. Fold top piece 1/4" and press.

11. Fit your lining in to your outer canvas tightly and
pin the bottom corners in place.

12. Fold your extra 1/4" over the canvas on all sides and pin carefully.

13. If your machine has a free arm, this is a good time to use it. Sew your fold in place 1/4" around the top of the bag.


1. Take both your canvas and cotton strap pieces and line up right sides together, leaving a 1/2" of the cotton print hanging off each end. Pin and sew a 1/4" down the length of the strap on each side.

2. Flip the strap right side out, press and sew another 1/4" down the length of the strap on each side.

. Fold the ends of the strap in a 1/4"  and press. Fold again a 1/4", press, pin and sew in place.

4. With a ruler mark 2 1/2" in from the ends of the strap. You will line your mark up with the top of the bag, so that 2 1/2" will be inside the bag. Pin strap ends in place.

5.Sew a square block. With a ruler mark and x in your box, and sew. (This helps the strap when carrying lots of books)

And your done! Enjoy!

Since this is my first tutorial, I'd really like constructive feedback so that I can do better next time, so please don't feel like you will hurt my feelings! Also let me know what kind of tutorials you like. Finally I started a Pile O' Fabric Flickr Group for us all to share each other's Quilting and Sewing projects and be encouraged and inspired, I'd love it in your would join!

Now if you haven't already go ahead and stop by Nicole at Bold Goods, she is hopping today too and has a wonderful blog and even has an Etsy store!

Plum and June


p.s. Today is my last day for the SMS Giveaway you can enter my giveaway here. And Voting for Quilt Festival has begun, you can vote here.



Creator of Pile O' Fabric