Thursday, 31 May 2012

Let's get acquainted!

Hi everyone! Lots of love to my current followers, but an even bigger hello to those of you stopping by from the "Let's get acquainted blog hop":

My name is Libby, I am 28, I'm a secondary school English teacher and I live in Lincolnshire in England. I have been sewing a couple of years now, I made my first quilt about two years ago, then I made a quilt for my friend's baby and a quilt for her little girl, then a quilt for my chair at work, and finally my New York Beauty quiltalong quilt. I also love making bags, travel sewing kits, a kindle cover for my mum...I just love to sew!

While I've still got your attention, I will just mention please go and check out Jodi's blog, she is the other stop for today on the blog hop. I know she would be thrilled to see you! Ooh and check out Heidi from Fabric Mutt and Amy from Amy's Crafty Shenanigans from earlier in the week!
Here's the Q&A section:
- How long have you been quilting about 3 years
- Favorite quilting tip(s) be liberated! Life is to short to unpick!
- Favorite blogging tip(s) check if you are a no-reply blogger
- Favorite fabric (or wish list fabric) I love Fig Tree and Co
- Favorite craft book All the Lintott's jelly roll books
- Favorite book I'm really into crime, both true crime and fiction. Love Ian Rankin
- Favorite children's book The velveteen rabbit
- Favorite quilting tool A brand new cutting blade, uhhh, I love how they cut like a hot knife through butter!
- Favorite music to listen to while quilting I only listen to music in my car, then it's Radio 1
- Favorite TV show while hand stitching How I met your mother
- Binding - by hand or by machine? On something important, hand-stitched. On wall hangings and mug rugs, machine.
- If I'd only known - what you wish you knew about blogging before you started your blog How amazing it is, how it's like being part of an enormous international family, how exciting it is to see your follower number or viewer count has gone up...
And last but not least, here is my tutorial!
 I make bags for an organisation called Beads of Courage:
The Beads of Courage programme is designed to provide an additional treatment and offers support for children and teenagers undergoing serious illness and treatments. The initial reaction to the Beads is “aren’t they pretty” but it is not until you see it in action and talk to children and care givers that you can see the impact that they have.
The childrens’ beads of courage collection helps others to understand what these children go through and shows their strength and courage. As their string of beads grows, it is something that they can use to remember and retell the story of their treatment. It is also about taking control of a tough situation.
With each procedure or milestone in their treatment, they get a special bead. Each bead is their way of saying “this isn’t easy, but I did it”. Another nurse said “I never would have expected for the beads to have such an effect on anxiety as well as compliance issues related to taking medications. I have also seen changes in patients coping skills and confidence with active involvement in this programme”.

Each child needs a bag to keep their beads in, so the organisation puts out pleas for quilters to make and donate bags following the instructions on their website. I found these instructions hard to follow. There is a photo guide as well, but the two don't run alongside, and I am rubbish with instructions at the best of times. It was a struggle to make my first bag, but they are actually really easy to make! So I contacted the organisers and asked if they would mind me doing a photo tutorial on my blog and they agreed, so here we go! I really hope that you will make and donate some bags, and I also hope these instructions are easy to follow, to encourage more people to get involved, as they are so easy to make and will make such a difference to the children involved, so if you spot any mistakes or have any suggestions for improvements, just let me know!

Bead bag tutorial

For one bag you will need 4 pieces of fabric, all 9" x 12", 2 for lining and 2 for the outer. You could use a couple of fat quarters, and you will have just under half left of each one*. You will also need a 26" length of cord or ribbon.

Place the two outer pieces RS together sew a 1/4” seam on both long sides making a tube. Do the same with the lining pieces:

Press seams open:

Turn lining right side out and place inside of outer fabric (RS together):

Line up seams and sew a 1/4″ seam around the top of the tube:

Turn right side out. Press seam towards lining:

Tuck the lining back inside and press the top seam flat. Sew a seam at 2″ from top. When you get to the two seams back tack about 1/4″ across the seam (This makes the seams stronger for the cording to be pulled through). Sew another seam 2-3/4″ from the top back tacking again at the seams:

Using a stitch unpicker, pop the seam between the two back tacks on outer fabric for cording to be pulled through. Put a safety pin through one end of the cording and pull through the casing:

Tie ends of cording together in a knot.

Turn project wrong side out. Line up the raw edges along the bottom (you may need to trim if the outer has ended up shorter than the lining) and sew along at 1/4", right through all 4 layers. Trim with pinking shears:

Turn right side out and press bottom seam. And then you're done!
Once your finished bags are ready, please forward to:-
Sarah Drummond
2, Park Close
Essex SS12 9EH

* Beads of Courage also accept smaller bags, so you could use the left over fabric to make another bag. Cut two pieces 7" x 10" from each fabric, and construct in the same way, except stitch the casing for the cord at 1.5" and 2.25" instead.

Linking up with:


  1. Great post and tutorial Libby. That sounds like a very special organization you are helping out. It was nice getting to know you better and I think you tutorial seems very clear. Oh, and good tip about checking to see if you are a no-reply blogger!

  2. Bag making is so much fun! Great tutorial!

  3. Pleased to learn a bit about you :) This is a great tutorial and it sonds like a wonderful organisation.

  4. Good to meet you! Thanks for the tutorial and info about this charity - sounds like a great use of spare time and fabric!

  5. Hi Libby,
    Great post and well written tutorial! Great to get to know you better!

  6. What a great tutorial & they're for such a great cause! So nice to learn a bit about you too!

  7. Thank you for your fab tutorial - and nice to 'meet you' again!! I had always wondered how I would add a drawstring in and this makes perfect sense!!

  8. So nice to meet you! What a lovely bag for a wonderful cause! Thanks for the tutorial.

  9. Hi Libby, cute idea for the little bags! I just have one question... maybe I didn't read the instructions through, but do you have to leave an opening for turning on the lining piece? At least that's how I sew my lined bags. Thanks for the great tutorial!

  10. That's a great (and fast) idea for a donation. Thanks for bringing it to my attention.

  11. Thanks for sharing a bit about yourself and for the tutorial. :)

  12. Very nice. And nice to 'meet' you!

  13. That's a great project to sew for ..

  14. I love a good bag tutorial! Thanks!

  15. Nice to meet you. Always like hearing about worthy sewing causes. They're lucky to have a person like you sewing for them. I'm with Kati on the directions. Not sure when you sew the bottom and how it's turned.

    1. I think maybe you're thinking if it was reversible. The last step is you turn the whole thing inside out, the bottom will be raw edges. Just sew along this bottom edge at 1/4 seam allowange then trim with pinking shears. Is that any clearer?

  16. Your tutorial is really easy to follow, and you are making them for a great cause, I love it!

  17. What a great way to support young patients as they work to get better!

  18. Fab tutorial, thank you! I'll have to try to find the time to make one.
    PS - don't forget new How I Met Your Mother on E4 tonight!

  19. Libby, this is fantastic! What a fantastic charity to sew for, and what a great little tutorial. I'll have to make one of these bags soon...beautiful job!

  20. This is a really awesome charity! Very easy tutorial too! Thanks for sharing :)

  21. Libby, you did a great job with the tutorial (very clear and easy to understand!) I also love that you have given us a wonderful cause to share all of our talents. I hope many take advantage of this tutorial and create lots of cute bags for Beads of Courage. Thanks!

  22. Hi Libby, it's lovely to learn more about you and thanks for the lovely tutorial for such a great cause. x

  23. So nice to find out more about you. Great tutorial for a fantastic cause =D

  24. You've done a very good thing, both with the tutorial as with choosing of this theme for the Blog Hop. I'm happy to be here and am certainly going to make some of the bags.

  25. Great tutorial for a fab cause! I will be making some bags in June to send :)

  26. Super easy project. Fun, and with a quick reward of a lovely finish! Great cause, too. I'm sure the organization appreciated your updated instructions!

  27. Great cause Libby. Have fun!

  28. Nice to meet you and what a lovely thing to make!

  29. Good tutorial Libby. Di x

  30. Great tutorial and such an awesome cause! I love How I Met Your Mother Too, I can't wait for the next season to show up on Netflix!

  31. Hello. Thanks for the tutorial on the bead bags. I checked and we have the same program here in the US and our local Children's Hospital participates. This sounds like a great program.

  32. Great tutorial and such a great cause! What a lovely idea!

  33. Your bags look fabulous, Libby!!! Such a great cause you are supporting. I wonder if there's anything like that over here in Australia. Thanks for sharing such a detailed and easy to follow tutorial. I look forward to seeing more of your creativity.

  34. Great tutorial, and a great cause to sew for! And congrats on your win and your new sewing machine! :)

  35. Congrats on a wonderful tutorial and a great cause.Love to visit your blog,

  36. You caught my attention on a couple of counts - the bags are fab, I've never heard of them even though I only England 10 months ago, brilliant cause to support. I also had a giggle about how much pleasure there is when your follower or viewer count increases. My daughter started a blog about One Direction only last weekend and is already 'beating' me hands down on the follower count and she's not backward in letting me know. Now who'd have thought young girls would find an internationally known British boy band more interesting than quilting? ... I think she's got an unfair advantage myself! ChrissieD (the Blog Hop Late Starter!)

  37. Hi Libby,
    Your comment on the end of the contributor application for my site made me smile. Your blog is great and your personality is very sweet and quite funny! :) Thanks for the good laugh, it is so nice to "meet" you!