The easy way to Sew a Wine Bag with Drawstrings

The easy way to Sew a Wine Bag with Drawstrings

how to sew a drawstring bag

🍇✨ DIY Wine Bag Tutorial: Sew a Stylish Wine Gift Bag with Drawstring Closure! ✂️🍷

Wine bags are great for gifting and I’m going to share the easy way to Sew a Wine Bag with Drawstrings! Whether you are going to a friend’s for dinner, a holiday party or planning a weekend away the added touch of a fabric wine bag that matches the occasion is always appreciated. I previously posted about how to make reversible wine bags where you add a separate bow or tie but in this post I’ll show you how to take it up a notch with a built in drawstring. (It’s easier than you think!)

This is the perfect pattern for beginners – no bias tape, no round bottoms. You can also get an ad-free, printer friendly PDF of these instructions in my Etsy shop.

JUMP TO THE WRITTEN DIRECTIONS | BUY THE PDF ON ETSY

🪺 In this tutorial I’m using my Happy at Home fabric from Riley Blake Designs.

I’ve made more than a few wine bags so I’ll share all my tips to get them done as quickly and efficiently as possible. I always keep a few on hand as these are great to have on hand for last minute dinner invitations, thank you bottles of wine and more.

Disclaimer: Some of the links this post may be affiliate and Amazon Associate links where I will earn a small commission at no extra cost to you.

🎯 video shortcuts

00:00 introduction
00:26 Supplies
01:27 Cut fabrics
01:48 Tips for using directional fabric
02:12 Cut box corner notches
04:52 Sew front & lining fabrics
05:31 Make the boxed bottoms

06:46 Assemble wine bag
07:45 Turn right side out & close opening
08:58 Sew drawstring channel
11:40 How to pull up your bobbin thread
13:00 Open drawstring channel
13:50 Add drawstring

Drawstring Wine Bag – written directions

sewing supplies to make a drawstring wine bag

SEWING SUPPLIES

FABRICS

For each bag to hold a standard size wine bottle:
(more details about fabric to follow)

  • Outer Fabric 1
    (2) 6½” x 16″
  • Lining Fabric 2
    (2) 6½” x 16″
  • Drawstring (cord, ribbon, twine, etc)
    (2) 19″

Do you want an ad-free, printable copy of this online tutorial? Find it in my Etsy shop for just a few dollars. You won’t need to access the internet every time you want to make it.

If you are using directional fabrics, be sure the print follows the grainline and that you align the print with the top as noted before cutting notches in the next step.

STEP 1: CUT YOUR FABRIC

Cut (2) Outside fabrics to 6½” x 16”.

Cut (2) Lining fabrics to 6½” x 16”.

Cut 1½” squares out of both bottom corners of all 4 fabrics. (figure 1)

Cut (2) 19” pieces of your preferred drawstring material. Set aside.

diagram to squares out of both bottom corners

figure 1

STEP 2: SEW EACH SET OF FABRIC TOGETHER

Red arrows in figure 2 denote where to sew.

OUTSIDE FABRICS

Place outside fabrics RST. Pin or Clip.

Sew down both long sides and across the

bottom.

Leave the top and the notched areas unsewn.

how to layout directional fabric to make a wine bag

figure 2

LINING FABRICS

  • Place lining fabrics RST. Pin or Clip.
  • OPTIONAL: If you have a tag you want to add to your bag, put it in between the lining fabrics on one side, lining up the unfinished edge with the raw edges of the fabric.
  • Sew down one long sides and across the bottom.
  • On one long side, sew but leave 3” open, about 1-2” above the notched area, open for turning.
  • Leave the top and the notched areas unsewn. Press seams open. (figure 3)

STEP 3: SEW BOXED BOTTOMS

  • The notches you cut out of the fabric pieces will form the box bottoms.
  • Take a notched corner (figure 4) and match the seams (A & B) then pull out points (C) to form a straight line. (Figure 5)
  • Pin or Clip.
  • Repeat for all 4 notched corners.
  • Sew with ¼” seam.
  • Turn the outer fabric right side out and leave the lining fabric inside out. (figure 6)
preparing outside and lining fabric with boxed bottoms

figure 3

match seams of notched corners for wine bag boxed bottoms

figure 4

line up seams and create boxed bottom

figure 5

sewn boxed bottoms for a DIY wine bag

figure 6

STEP 4: ASSEMBLE THE BAG

  • Place the outer bag inside the lining bag, RST, matching seams. (figure 7)
  • Line up top raw edges and pin or clip. (figure 8)
  • Sew with ¼” seam allowance. (figure 9)
put outer fabric inside lining, right sides together

figure 7

Line up top raw edges and pin or clip

figure 8

Sew with ¼” seam allowance.

figure 9

  • Find the opening in the lining (figure 10) and turn the wine bag right side out. (figure 11)
  • Sew the opening closed by hand or machine.
  • Push the lining inside the outer fabric, (figure 12) lining up the seams and box bottoms. Press the top edge.
opening in lining to turn right side out

figure 10

turn wine bag right side out

figure 11

Push the lining inside the outer fabric of the drawstring wine bag

figure 12

STEP 5: ADD THE DRAWSTRING

  • To form the drawstring channel, sew 2” from the top edge of the wine bag and then¾” from that stitch line. Match your top and bobbin threads to your fabrics if you want the channel stitching to blend in.
  • You can use guides on your machine but I find it easier to draw the lines on my fabric with a heat erasable pen.
  • Draw on whichever side of the bag will be up when you sew around the bag.
  • If your machine has a removable extension table and you can feed the bag around the machine to sew, draw your lines on the outside fabric. My machine doesn’t so I draw on the lining fabric (figure 13) then turn the bag right side out and sew with the outer fabric facing down and the lining fabric facing up.
  • Stitch all the way around on the lines, going back and forth over the seams to reinforce the seam stitching. (figure 14)
draw sewing lines on the lining

figure 13

sew on the lines

figure 14

  • Use a seam ripper to pick out the outside fabric side seam stitches between the two casing seams. (figure 15) Don’t remove the stitches from the inner bag.

  • Put a safety pin on one end of drawstring and feed it through the channel (figure 16) until it comes back out at the same spot. Make sure you keep the other end outside of the channel.

  • Repeat with the other drawstring, starting from the opposite side of the bag. (figure 17)

  • Knot the drawstring a few inches from the bag when the it is fully opened.

use a seam ripper to open the drawstring channel

figure 15

use safety pin to put drawstring through the wine bag channel

figure 16

putting drawstring into wine bag

figure 17

LOVE THIS IDEA?

If you post on Instagram be sure to tag me (@artisttarareed). Subscribe to my YouTube channel for new sewing projects and tips every week.

🍷 Cheers!  Tara Reed

P.S. Is there a sewing tutorial you’d love to see? Leave me a comment and I’ll add it to my idea list!

 

— YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE —

How to sew a reversible wine bag >

How to sew a mug rug >

More free sewing projects >

My favorite sewing supplies >

How to sew an Easy Table Runner to sew using PreCut Fabrics

How to sew an Easy Table Runner to sew using PreCut Fabrics

fabrics to make a table runner

Sewing with Precut Fabric Bundles – Embrace the Joy of Convenience

Have you ever asked yourself, “Should I buy yardage and cut my own fabric pieces or go with the convenience of precut fabric bundles?”

If so, you are not alone! Both options have their merits and will depend on the project you have in mind.  But if you are in love with a fabric collection but not sure what you want to make, there are compelling reasons to consider sewing with precut fabric bundles.

Precut bundles give you a lot of bang for your buck – you get a variety of prints without having to buy yardage of each. You know the colors will all coordinate, making them a great option for beginners, quick gift making and more.

I used my Happy at Home fabric and precuts for this tutorial but you can use any fabric of your choice and the directions will be the same.

Happy at Home Table Topper and runner

FINISHED TABLE RUNNER SIZE: 14″ x 72″

After sewing a table topper (you can see that tutorial here) I decided I wanted a table runner to go under it on my long dining room table.

JUMP TO THE VIDEO TUTORIAL

I also knew I wanted it to be a little simpler than all the inside and outside corners I bound on the topper! (It was totally worth it tho – I LOVE IT!!)

I grabbed my 10″ & 5″ stackers of precuts and went to town! Each stacker pack has 42 squares that includes a great variety prints. You will use eight 10″ pieces and sixteen 5″ pieces to make this quick and easy pathwork table runner. It looks great on it’s own or with the shaped table topper.

Happy at Home Table Runner supplies

SUPPLIES

  • 10″ precuts – choose 8
  • 5″ precuts – choose 16
  • Backing fabric
    – 1 yard if directional
    – ½ yard if non-directional
  • Batting
  • Rotary Cutter, Mat & Ruler
  • Iron & Ironing Board
  • Sewing Machine
  • Thread(s)
  • Quilting & Straight Pins

🎯 SHORTCUTS TO SPECIFIC TOPICS:

00:00 introduction
00:34 Supplies
01:37 Choosing precut pieces
02:47 Trim 10″ precuts
04:36 Sew 5″ blocks
04:47 Sew 10″ blocks to 5″ block sets
07:01 Prepare backing
09:05 How to join pieces of batting seamlessly
10:50 layer fabrics and pin

12:04 baste fabrics
12:13 quilt the table topper
12:31 Trim backing and batting
13:06 How to make quilt binding
15:07 How to sew binding to the quilt
15:37 How to bind quilt corners
16:50 How to match quilt binding
21:14 Press binding
22:07 Glue baste binding
23:49 Machine stitch binding

— LOVE THIS IDEA? —

If you make a table runner with precuts and post on Instagram be sure to tag me (@artisttarareed). Follow my YouTube channel for new sewing projects and tips every week.

🧵 Tara Reed

P.S. Is there a sewing tutorial you’d love to see? Leave me a comment and I’ll add it to my idea list!

 

—  YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE  —

Make the coordinating Table Topper >

More projects with Happy at Home fabric >

My favorite sewing supplies >

How to Sew a Stunning Table Topper from a Fabric Panel

How to Sew a Stunning Table Topper from a Fabric Panel

Disclaimer: Some of the links this post may be affiliate and Amazon Associate links where I will earn a small commission at no extra cost to you.
supplies, sewing and a finished table topper for fall

Happy at Home Quilted Table Topper

Finished Size: 27” x 27” | Use ¼” seam allowance unless otherwise stated Read all instructions before beginning | WOF = Width of Fabric

In this detailed quilting tutorial, I’m going to guide you through the process of creating a quilted table topper with this stunning offset square shape. While it does have a lot of corners to bind, I think it’s worth it and I’ll walk you through how to do it every step of the way.

This table topper tutorial features fabric and a panel square from my Happy at Home fabric collection manufactured and distributed by Riley Blake Designs. You can use any 18” square center – from a panel square, quilt block or square of fabric – and the directions will work for you as well! Whether you’re a seasoned quilter or an advanced beginner, you’ll find this project both enjoyable and rewarding

If you prefer to have a printable PDF pattern, you can find it in my Etsy Shop >

JUMP TO THE VIDEO TUTORIAL | JUMP TO WRITTEN DIRECTIONS | GET AN AD-FREE PRINTABLE PDF OF THE TUTORIAL ON ETSY

 

FABRIC CUTS:

  • (1) 18″ pillow panel square, fabric or quilt block
    Welcome to our happy place is from my Happy at Home Fabric Panel from Riley Blake Designs
  • (2) 7½” squares of fabric for the points
  • 30″ square of backing fabric
  • 30″ square of batting
  • (3) 2½” WOF (width of fabric) strips for binding

BASIC SUPPLIES:

 

Do you want an ad-free, printable copy of this online tutorial? Find it in my Etsy shop for just a few dollars. You won’t need to access the internet every time you want to make it.

🎯 SHORTCUTS TO SPECIFIC TOPICS:

00:00 introduction
00:30 Supplies
01:38 Cut topper fabrics
01:58 Pin triangles to center
02:21 Sew triangles to center
02:30 Prepare fabrics to quilt
04:10 Quilt your topper
04:20 How to pull up the bobbin thread
04:36 Why to use a walking foot
05:03 Baste fabrics together
05:43 Trim backing & batting to size

07:21 Clip inner points
08:32 Binding the table topper
09:30 Sew binding on a regular corner
10:06 How to Sew binding on an inside corner
12:07 Match the ends of the binding
16:01 Clip binding
16:21 Iron binding to front for machine binding
18:24 Troubleshooting mitered corners
18:57 How to glue baste binding
19:38 Sew on the binding
20:29 Finished table topper

HOW TO sew the Happy at Home Table Topper

Step 1: SEW THE TOPPER FABRIC TOGETHER

  • Square your center image, quilt block or fabric to 18″ square.
  • Cut each 7½” squares of fabric in half diagonally to make the (4) side triangles. (fig. 1)
  • Fold 18″ square in half and finger press. Open the square and lay it right side up on your workspace.
  • Place a triangle, right side down on top of the square, matching the raw edges and lining up the point with the fold you just finger pressed into the square. (fig. 2)
  • Pin or clip in place and add the second triangle to the opposite side.
  • Repeat the process of folding and pinning the triangles to the other two sides. (fig. 3)
  • Sew the triangles to the square with ¼” seams.
  • Press the triangles away from the square to create the topper top.
cut squares diagonally to make 4 triangles

figure 1

line up point of the triangle on the center fold of the square

figure 2

pin triangles to the square

figure 3

Step 2: LAYER AND QUILT THE TOPPER, BATTING & BACKING

You want the backing and batting to be at least 1″ larger than the topper on all sides just in case things shift when quilting. You will need a square of backing and batting that are at least 30″ but you can use bigger pieces and then trim.

  • Lay the backing fabric on your workspace, right side down.
  • Place the batting on top of the backing and make sure it’s laying flat with no air bubble or wrinkles.
  • Place the topper on top of the batting, right side up.
  • Pin together with quilting pins. (fig. 4)
pin the topper, backing and batting to quilt

figure 4

Step 3: QUILT THE TABLE TOPPER

Baste around the outside of your topper shape, about 1/8″ from the edge, with a long stitch. In the video I quilted some of the center square before basting around the outside of the shape – whoops! Normally it’s best practice to baste around the outside FIRST to help hold things in place. Because I had pinned it together well and it wasn’t a large quilt, it worked out fine but I’ll try to be a better quilting role model and baste first in the future. 🤣

Quilt as desired.

Step 4: PREPARE THE TOPPER FOR BINDING

TRIM

Trim the batting and backing to match the topper. (fig. 5) Because of the unique shape, trimming your topper is a little more time consuming than trimming a square or rectangle. Take your time and make sure you don’t cut into the side triangles in you use a rotary cutter.

Watch the video at 5 mins 43 seconds for more details about how I trimmed mine.

GET READY TO BIND THE TABLE TOPPER

I used a simple method for binding the inside corners of this topper that are more eased than mitered. I wanted to keep the project more advanced beginner friendly and not take all day! Here’s how I did it.

CLIP THE INSIDE ANGLES

You need to clip a very scant ¼” into the angle so you have some give to the fabric and will be able to pull it straight when you sew on the binding. To make sure you cut in the right spot and don’t cut too far, grab a small ruler and a heat erasable pen.

At each inside corner, draw lines ¼” from the raw edge on both sides of the corner, long enough that they intersect. Where the intersect is the point where you will pivot your fabric – more on that in a minute. Clip straight from the corner to just before the pivot point. (fig. 6)

Repeat on all 4 inside corners.

trim backing and batting to size of your table topper

figure 5

clip seam allowance

figure 6

Step 5: BIND THE TABLE TOPPER

Make your binding by sewing the three strips of fabric together and then pressing in half, matching the raw edges.

If you are new to making quilt binding, here is how to do it. I usually put my strips of fabric together at my machine as I sew.

  • Place one strip of fabric right side up.
  • Take the next piece of fabric and place it on top of the first strip, at a 90 degree angle, right side down, with the ends close to each other but not exact if you didn’t remove the selvages. (I never do, it’s just an extra step!) I always have my second strip coming towards me and not hanging down into my lap. It will be a square where the two strips overlap. (fig. 7)
  • Draw a diagonal line from one overlapping point to the other. (fig. 8)
  • If you are using directional fabric, place your hand or truler on the line and fold the top fabric down to make sure the direction of the fabric will be the same. (fig. 9)
  • Sew along the line and trim ¼” from the stitching to remove the triangles.
  • Repeat and add the third strip of fabric, moving your fabric down so the 2 pieces you just sewed together become the strip that starts right side up.
  • Press the seams open and trim and dog ears, or triangles, that go beyond the sides of the fabric strips. (fig. 10)
  • Press the full length of the fabric in half, matching raw edges.
layer right sides together to join quilt binding strips

figure 7

draw a line for sewing binding strips together

figure 8

checking direction of binding strips when you use directional fabric

figure 9

cut dog ears off quilt binding strips

figure 10

THERE ARE THREE BASIC WAYS TO BIND YOUR TABLE TOPPER:

Hand Binding:
Sew the binding on the front, press to the back and sew by hand. That is the most traditional way to sew on binding and leaves an invisible finish. It is also the most time consuming.

Machine Binding Method 1:
Sew the binding on the front, press to the back and sew the binding on with your machine. There are plusses and minuses to this method. The binding on the front will be smaller – ¼” – but when you sew the binding on the back you will have a stitch line on the front that is beyond the visible binding. If your binding is a consistent distance all the way around this can look like a decorative stitch but sometimes it’s not as even as you’d like.

Machine Binding Method 2:
Sew the binding on the back, press to the front and sew the binding on with your machine. This is the method I used on my table topper and in the video tutorial. The binding is a little bigger on the front this way but then you only have one stitch line on the front and it’s on the edge of the binding for a polished look.

Follow the directions placing the binding on the front or back, depending on which way you decide to bind your topper.

Do you want an ad-free, printable copy of this online tutorial? Find it in my Etsy shop for just a few dollars. You won’t need to access the internet every time you want to make it.

START YOUR BINDING

Start your binding on one of the bottom triangle sides. These are the longest areas on the topper and will be the least difficult to match and sew the two ends of the binding together. (I’m not going to lie – it’s a little tricky but it works!)

Leave an 8-10″ tail and begin sewing the binding to one of the triangle sides, about 1½” from the point. (fig. 11)

HOW TO SEW BINDING ON AN OUTSIDE CORNER

  • When you get ¼” from the end, leave your needle down, lift your presser foot, pivot 45 degrees and sew off the point. (fig. 12) Cut the thread and remove from your machine.
  • Fold the binding up and away from the next section of fabric you need to bind so that the raw edge is lined up with the raw edge of your topper fabric. (fig. 13)
  • Fold the binding back down towards the fabric, making sure the fold of the binding is lined up with the raw edge you just sewed. (fig. 14) If you don’t get that fold lined up well you won’t get a nice mitered corner when you flip and press the binding.
  • Sew the next section, starting off the binding, ¼” from the edge and continue until you get to your next inside or outside corner.
stitch off the outside corner when binding a quilt

figure 12

step 1 in folding quilt binding on an outside corner

figure 13

how to fold quilt binding to get a good outside mitered corner

figure 14

HOW TO SEW BINDING ON AN INSIDE CORNER

Inside corners are trickier than outside corners. I’m going to show you the easiest way to get them done. Grab your ruler and heat erasable pen because we are going to be drawing lines on the binding just like we did on the topper when making the small cuts in those inside angles.

When you are sewing your binding onto your topper and you are a few inches from the inside corner, stop sewing but leave the needle and presser foot down so they won’t move.

    find the pivot point to bind an inside angle on a quilted project

    figure 15

    • Draw lines on the binding, ¼” from the raw edge on both sides of the corner, long enough that they intersect. The line that is on the side of the angle that you will pivot to should line up with the line you drew previously. (fig. 15) You now have the pivot point on the binding.
    • Continue sewing the binding, stopping with the needle down at the pivot point, or where the two lines you just drew intersect. Lift the presser foot.
    • Gently pull the edge of the topper in front of the needle so that it forms a straight line with the part of the topper you just sewed that is behind the needle and making sure it lines up with the edge of your ¼” presser foot. (Or if you aren’t using a ¼” presser foot, make sure the edge is lined up so you will continue sewing ¼” from the edge.) (fig. 16) You can make this adjustment because of the clip you made in the seam allowance in the angle before.
    • Continue sewing the binding all the way around your topper until you get back to the straight section where you started.

    You can watch this process on the video at 10 mins. 6 seconds.

    HOW TO MATCH YOUR BINDING

    As I mentioned before, matching the binding on such a small section is tricky but doable. You can watch this process in the video starting at 12 mins. 7 seconds.

    • Sew your binding just past the last inside angle, knot the thread and remove from the sewing machine.
    • To make explaining this process easier, I’m going to refer to “binding A” and “binding B”. (fig. 17)
    • Binding A is the beginning of the binding – the original tail you left when you started sewing the binding to your topper.
    • Binding B is the other end of the binding – the amount you still have after going all the way around and getting to this point of needing to match the ends.
    • Cut a 2″ piece of fabric off the longest end of binding B, you will use this as a guide (we will call it “fabric guide”) for how long to cut each tail of binding so they match up perfectly. (fig. 18)
    • Place the binding A tail flat on your topper, lining up the raw edges.
    • Open the 2″ piece of binding you just cut and place it flattened on top of the original binding tail with the fold going across the binding at 90 degree angle. Place the fabric guide so the 2 ends are in the middle of the space where the binding isn’t sewn down.
    • Cut binding A using the far side (the side that is on the opposite side of where the binding is sewn to your topper) of the fabric piece as your guide. (fig. 19)
    labeling binding parts A and B

    figure 17

    cut a piece of binding to use as a fabric guide to match quilt binding every time

    figure 18

    where to cut binding with fabric guide

    figure 19

    • Place binding A and the fabric guide back down on your project, keeping the raw edges and cut edge lined up.
    • Now place binding B on top of these pieces, lining up the raw edges. (fig. 20)
    • You will use the fabric guide again but you will cut binding B on the opposite side of the fabric piece. (fig. 21)

    The fabric guide lets you cut your binding so the length with be perfect when you sew the two sides together. When I learned this way of matching binding it felt like life-changing magic!

    Now that your two ends are cut it’s time to sew them together. First, grab your seam ripper (I love this one) and remove the stitches on each side, leaving only a few before each corner. You need as much freedom to move these binding pieces as possible to get a good match.

    Fold the topper in the area between the binding A & B and pin so you have more room to work on matching and sewing the binding together. (fig. 22)

    layer top binding piece

    figure 20 

    how to cut quilt binding to match

    figure 21

    matching quilt binding on a table topper

    figure 22

    • Place binding A, right side up, flat on your workspace or machine.
    • Place binding B, right side down, on top of binding A, lining up the edges as shown. (fig. 23)
    • Draw a diagonal line through the square formed where the 2 pieces overlap and sew. (fig. 24)
    • Because there isn’t a lot of extra space / give on this, I don’t pin the pieces together but just hold them and move right to sewing on the line so they won’t shift.
    • Once you sew on the diagonal line, remove the pin from the topper and make sure your binding is correct before trimming the excess triangle ¼” from the stitched line. Every so often you might flip binding B the wrong way and end up with a twist in your binding – if you cut the excess before checking it’s a lot harder to remove the stitching and fix the mistake.Press the seam open, line up the raw edges and re-press the binding so it has a nice fold (it usually gets a little loose after all the steps to match the ends).
    • Sew the rest of the way so your binding is attached all the way around your topper.
    how to layer quilt binding strips

    figure 23

    sewing quilt binding strips together

    figure 24

    PRESS THE BINDING TO THE OTHER SIDE

    • Take your topper back to the ironing board with the side you sewed the binding on facing up.
    • Press the binding away from the topper.
    • Turn the topper over, fold the binding over the edge and towards the opposite side of the topper and press. I press the outside mitered corners first and then press the eased inner angles.

    You can see that process in the video starting at 16 mins. 21 secs.

    FINISH YOUR BINDING

    If you will hand stitch your binding, pin the pressed binding, grab your needle and thread and sew the binding on.

    If you will machine stitch the binding, I recommend glue basting the binding in place. This helps the binding from shifting and puckering when you sew it onto your topper.

    • Using washable school glue, run a small line of glue under the edge of the binding. (fig. 25)
    • You can then press the binding down, clip in place and allow to dry before sewing OR you can press the binding with an iron (no steam) to dry the glue and get sewing right away.
    • Once the glue is dry, sew close to the edge, all the way around the binding. Choose your thread and bobbin colors based on your fabrics and whether you want the stitching to blend in or stand out.

    That’s it – you’re done! Enjoy your table topper!

    glue basting binding

    figure 25

    Happy at Home Table Topper and runner
    buy an ad-free, printer friendly Happy at Home Table Topper pattern on Etsy

    Love this idea?

    If you post on Instagram be sure to tag me (@artisttarareed). Follow my YouTube channel for new sewing projects and tips every week.

    🧵 Tara Reed

    P.S. Is there a sewing tutorial you’d love to see? Leave me a comment and I’ll add it to my idea list!

     

    —  YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE  —

    More Happy at Home fabric projects >

    My favorite sewing supplies >

    The Easy Way to Sew a Mug Rug – Sewing for Beginners

    The Easy Way to Sew a Mug Rug – Sewing for Beginners

    Disclaimer: Some of the links this post may be affiliate and Amazon Associate links where I will earn a small commission at no extra cost to you.
    oversized coasters featuring Happy at Home fabric by Tara Reed

    If you haven’t heard the term “mug rug” before it’s basically an oversized coaster that is shaped like a rug – hence the name!

    Mug rugs allow more space for creativity when sewing and more room for holding coffee, tea and a snack – who wouldn’t want that?

    In this mug rug sewing tutorial I’m using the small blocks from my Happy at Home fabric panel from Riley Blake Designs – they are the perfect size for this and other mini projects.

    ☕️ 🏷️ Get the free tag printable if you will be making mug rugs as gifts

    JUMP TO THE VIDEO TUTORIAL | JUMP TO WRITTEN DIRECTIONS 

    Mug Rug Design Ideas:

    • Use decorative fabrics and let the print do all of the work. Simply quilt, sew, flip and go.
    • Use a 6″ quilt block and border fabrics to take it up a level.
    • Use images from my Happy at Home Quilt panel if you want mug rugs similar to the ones in this tutorial.

    Mug Rug Size

    There is not specific size for a mug rug and there are no mug rug police (that I know of!) wandering around letting sewists know they got it wrong.

    My mug rug goal size is 6 1/2″ x 9 1/2″ – all but 1 worked out correctly. (See the video at the 2 min 21 seconds mark for more about that) To achieve that size I started with a Quilt-as-you-go base of 7 /2″ x 11″ but you can do any size. You always want the front to be a little larger than your goal size as things might shift a little as you quilt. So you do the front bigger then trim to the backing size. And if you need to trim both – that’s ok too!

     

    Mug rug supplies

    MATERIALS:

    • Fabric scraps for front
      • 7 /2″ x 11″ for this tutorial but you can do any size
    • Back fabric
      • 7″ x 10″
    • Quilt-as-you-go backing fabric
      • Quilt Batting and muslin or cotton
      • fusible fleece
      • Pellon flex-foam
      • and more. Get creative and use your scraps!
    • FREE tag printable

    BASIC SUPPLIES:

     

    🎯 SHORTCUTS TO SPECIFIC TOPICS:

    00:00 introduction
    00:17 Mug Rug Supplies
    00:24 Mug Rug Size
    00:37 Quilt-as-you-go explanation
    01:34 What NOT to use as a base fabric
    02:12 How I’d use flexi-foam differently next time
    02:33 How to sew a self-binding Mug Rug
    03:00 Using painter’s tape for quilting
    04:09 Adding 2nd piece of fabric – quilt-as-you-go
    05:50 Trim Mug Rug front
    06:41 Trim Mug Rug Back
    06:55 No-Binding method of sewing together
    06:59 How to clip the corners
    07:29 Using a turning tool
    08:02 Topstitch

    HOW TO MAKE Mug Rugs using the Quilt-as-you-go method

    What is Quilt As You Go (QAYG)?

    Quilt As You Go is a quilting technique where you sew and quilt individual blocks or sections of your quilt, and then assemble them into a larger quilt. This method offers several advantages, including easier handling of smaller pieces, the ability to mix and match different quilt block designs, and the option to quilt using your home sewing machine.

    Prepare your base fabric

    Quilt As You Go Mug Rugs are a great way to use those scraps of quilt batting, fusible fleece, flex-foam or other “quilt innards” you love to use.

    Grab your favorite and cut it to 7 /2″ x 11″. Most will need a backing fabric so it’s stable enough to quilt and won’t just fill your sewing machine with fuzz. Muslin is a great option because it is so thin and won’t add much bulk to your project. You can also use fabric scraps, just make sure whatever you use won’t have a print that shows through the fabric you plan to have on the bottom of your mug rug.

    Quilt your Mug Rug Top

    Place your first piece of fabric onto your base fabric, right side up and quilt as desired. (fig. 1)

    Add the next fabric piece on top of the piece you just quilted, right sides together, making sure the raw edges overlap. (fig. 2)

    Sew in place and quilt as desired.

    Repeat until you have covered your base fabric. Don’t worry if some of your fabric goes off the edge, we will trim it to size in the next step.

     

    Let's Stay Home fabric by Tara Reed

    figure 1

    quilt as you go - adding fabric

    figure 2

    💡 Have you ever used painter’s tape as an easy guide for parallel lines? I love it! See it in action in the video at the 3 minute mark.

    I did simple designs with a few strips of fabric, a selvage edge, panel image and a few that were just a panel image quilted – super easy. Once you get the idea you can get as intricate as you want when it comes to number and size of fabric scraps, layout and more.

    Mug rug supplies

    figure 3

    Trim the Mug Rug Top

    Now it’s time to trim your mug rug top to size. (fig. 3) Place on your rotary mat and trim to 7″ x 10″ – the same size as your backing fabric. If they don’t completely match up don’t worry – just trim them to the same size, making sure they stay squared.

    Self-Binding your Mug Rug

    Self-Binding basically means you are going to sew the two pieces together, flip, press and topstitch instead of using traditional quilt binding. Self-binding is great for beginners, if you want a faster project or just like the more minimalist look. You can of course use traditional binding if you prefer!

    Place the top and back pieces on top of each other, right sides together.

    Sew around the 2 long sides and one short side with 1/4″ seam, leaving the 4th short side open for turning.

    Trim corners, turn right side out and press.

    Press the raw edges / open end under 1/4″.

    Topstitch around the entire mug rug 1/8″ from the edge to finish and close the open side.

    That’s it – you’re done! Just add coffee, tea, cookies & more.

    Love this idea?

    If you post on Instagram be sure to tag me (@artisttarareed). Follow my YouTube channel for new sewing projects and tips every week.

    👻  Tara Reed

    P.S. Is there a sewing tutorial you’d love to see? Leave me a comment and I’ll add it to my idea list!

     

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    Reading Pillow with Pocket Tutorial – A Great Gift Idea for Book Lovers

    Reading Pillow with Pocket Tutorial – A Great Gift Idea for Book Lovers

    Disclaimer: Some of the links this post may be affiliate and Amazon Associate links where I will earn a small commission at no extra cost to you.
    Crayola Colors of Kindness Fabric from Riley Blake Designs

    Make Your Own Book Pillow with a Handy Pocket and Handle!

    In today’s sewing tutorial, we’re going to show you how to make your very own Reading Pillow, also known as a Book Pillow. This charming and functional pillow is the perfect companion for bookworms and cozy reading sessions. 📚✨ I’m using my Happy at Home fabric from Riley Blake Designs.

    If you prefer to have a printable PDF pattern, you can find it in my Etsy Shop >

    JUMP TO THE VIDEO TUTORIAL | JUMP TO WRITTEN DIRECTIONS | GET AN AD-FREE PRINTABLE PDF OF THE TUTORIAL ON ETSY

     

    Reading Pillow fabric diagram

    Do you want an ad-free, printable copy of this online tutorial? Find it in my Etsy shop for just a few dollars. You won’t need to access the internet every time you want to make it.

    FABRIC CUTS:

    • Fabric 1: (Panel)
      ½ yard or Fat Quarter if not using the panel
      A – (1) 16½” square
    • Fabric 2: (Aqua Main)
      ½ yard or Fat Quarter
      B – (1) 16½” square
    • Fabric 3: (Lemon Vignettes)
      ½ yard or Fat Quarter
      C – (1) 10” x 16½”
    • Fabric 4: (Teal Dots)
      1/3 yard or Fat Quarter
      D – (1) 10” x 16½”
      E – (1) 2” x 16½”
      F – (1) 4” x 8”
    • Fusible Fleece
      ½ yard or Fat Quarter (I use Pellon® 987F)
      A – (1) 16½” square
      B – (1) 16½” square 16” Pillow Form or Stuffing

    BASIC SUPPLIES:

     

    🎯 SHORTCUTS TO SPECIFIC TOPICS:

    00:00 introduction
    00:15 cut fabrics
    02:45 using fusible fleece
    04:13 make reading pillow handle
    04:51 how to use a quilter’s clapper
    05:27 make pocket bias tape
    07:01 attach handle
    07:57 Sew pocket to pillow front
    08:48 Pin front to back
    09:43 Sew front to back
    09:48 Add pillow form
    11:26 How to ladder stitch pillow closed
    14:20 Finishing knot tip

    HOW TO sew a reading pillow

    APPLY THE FUSIBLE FLEECE

    Follow the manufacturer’s directions for your fusible fleece and apply it to the wrong side of the Pillow Front Piece and Pocket piece. I use Pellon® 987F.

    MAKE THE POCKET

    Right sides together, pin or clip the pocket front (C) and pocket lining (D). (fig. 1) Stitch along the top edge of the pocket using a ¼” seam allowance.

    Turn and press. Topstitch 1/4″ from the sewn edge or add an optional bias tape. (fig. 2)

    pin or clip book pillow pocket together

    figure 1

    sew bias tape to top of the pocket

    figure 2

    ADD A HANDLE (Optional)

    FABRIC HANDLE

    Fold the handle fabric (F) on your ironing board, wrong side up. (fig. 3) Fold in half lengthwise and press. (fig. 4)

    Open the fabric (fig. 5) and press both raw edges into the center fold you just pressed. (fig. 6)

    Press in half again (fig. 7) and sew to make a fabric handle. (fig. 8)

    sewing a handle - step 1

    figure 3

    sewing a handle - step 3

    figure 5

    sewing a handle - step 5

    figure 7

    sewing a handle - step 2

    figure 4

    sewing a handle - step 4

    figure 6

    how to layer pillow pocket fabric and batting

    figure 8

    RIBBON HANDLE

    Cut a piece of 8″ long ribbon & finish off the ends with a bit of fray check or clear nail polish.

    SEW THE HANDLE ONTO THE PILLOW

    Pin the ribbon or fabric handle to the top of the pillow front (B) so that it’s facing down and centered on the pillow.

    The farther you move the handle from the center, the wider and shorter the handle will be. The closer to the center, the skinnier & taller the handle will be. I placed the inside edge of the handles 1″ from the center point. (fig. 9)

    Stitch the handle in place 1/4” from the edge of the pillow top.

    sewing a handle - step 5

    figure 9

    SEW THE PILLOW TOGETHER

    Pin the pillow pocket to the pillow front so that the bottom of the pillow and the pocket are lined up. Baste the pocket in place along the side seams and bottom. (fig. 10)

    Pin the front / pocket to the back fabric and stitch around the square with 1/2″ seam allowance, leaving about 8-10 inches open to insert the pillow. (Fig. 11)

    Backstitch where the top of the book pocket meets the pillow back for more stability as books are put in and out of the pocket.

    Clip the corners and turn the pillow cover right side out. Insert a pillow form. (fig. 12)

    Fold the seam allowance in on the open section of the case and pin or clip. (fig. 13)

    sew pocket to pillow front

    figure 10

    how to layer pillow pocket fabric and batting

    figure 12

    how to layer pillow pocket fabric and batting

    figure 11

    how to layer pillow pocket fabric and batting

    figure 13

    Do you want an ad-free, printable copy of this online tutorial? Find it in my Etsy shop for just a few dollars. You won’t need to access the internet every time you want to make it.

    SEW THE PILLOW CLOSED USING A LADDER STITCH

    Use an invisible stitch (also called a ladder stitch or blind stitch) to sew the opening closed. It’s called a “ladder stitch” because if you pull it open a little you will see straight lines of thread going across between the two fabrics – resembling a ladder. (fig. 14)

    Thread your needle, and tie the two thread tail ends together in a knot. Using two strands of thread will give extra strength to your finished seam. Pinch both sides of the fabric together as you sew to pull things nice and taut.

    Push your threaded needle up and through one of the folded seams, from back to front, and pull the thread tail completely through. The knotted end of your thread will now be concealed on the inside of the project. Directly across from the point at which your thread emerges at your starting point, push the needle down and then back up through the opposite seam crease to create a stitch that is between 1/8- 1/4” long. (fig. 15)

    Directly across from the point at which the thread emerges from the seam crease, make another 1/8-1/4” stitch through the opposite seam crease: down, through, and up. (fig. 16)

    Repeat until you have closed the pillow.

    To finish, use your needle to pick up a tiny section of the opposite seam leaving a small loop of thread, put the needle and thread through the loop and tighten to make a knot. (fig. 17)

    Push the needle into your project and out a few inches away. Press to mush the pillow and cut the thread. When you release the pressure the tail of your thread will be safely inside the pillow.

    ladder stitch sample

    figure 14

    how to layer pillow pocket fabric and batting

    figure 16

    how to layer pillow pocket fabric and batting

    figure 15

    how to layer pillow pocket fabric and batting

    figure 17

    buy the reading pillow pattern on etsy

    Love this idea?

    If you post on Instagram be sure to tag me (@artisttarareed). Follow my YouTube channel for new sewing projects and tips every week.

    🧵 Tara Reed

    P.S. Is there a sewing tutorial you’d love to see? Leave me a comment and I’ll add it to my idea list!

     

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