Free Craft Project: Personalized Yoga Mat Carrier

Easy Craft Project to Use Up Your Fabric Leftovers!

By Leslie Jenison

For a long time I have been in the habit of saving my quilted “trimmings” – those hunks that are cut off a quilt construction for one reason or another.

I decided to make a new construction from these leftovers in the form of a yoga mat carrier. To make the carrier, I rolled up my yoga mat and measured the width of the mat as well as the circumference of the rolled mat. I decided I wanted the carrier to be 26″ long by 18″ wide, which will allow for the rolled mat plus a bit of room for something else to be rolled in with the mat, if desired.

I went digging through my scraps and began to randomly piece sections together with a zigzag stitch.

Yoga Mat Carrier by Leslie Jenison - Images 1-4
Once a large section of the pieces was joined together, I stopped to trim them. I eventually achieved the size I desired for the carrier.

Yoga Mat Carrier by Leslie Jenison - Images 5-8

To improve the inside appearance of the carrier, I fused a piece of cut to size Hoffman fabric to the inside of the carrier and trimmed the edges. This also helped increase the overall strength of the construction.

Yoga Mat Carrier by Leslie Jenison - Images 9-12

Cutting strips of the same cloth 1 /12″ wide, I joined them end-to-end, to create a binding for the carrier. I pressed both edges of the long strip toward the center. 

Beginning on the “right”, or outer side of the carrier, I stitched the binding down 1/2″ from the edge using a dark top thread and Superior Monopoly thread in the bobbin.

Once the binding was stitched all the way around the edges, I flipped the carrier – taking care to fold the binding over tightly. I then stitched the inside of the binding in place very close to the edge.

The clear monofilament thread is now what is showing on the outside of the carrier. Since the stitch line is so close to the edge of the binding, it is now virtually invisible. The result is a nicely finished edge that is sturdy!

Note: trimming the corner- both cloth & batting- at a 45 degree angle makes turning the corner binding  much easier!

Yoga Mat Carrier by Leslie Jenison - Images 13-14

I had already purchased a set of strapping designed to fit around a yoga mat. (This one has a handle between two sets of adjustable clips.) I positioned the handle along one side of my mat and pinned it into place. 

Yoga Mat Carrier by Leslie Jenison - Image 15

I then cut the male portion from the handle. Next I folded the cut end and stitched the strapping to ensure it wouldn’t fray.

I  positioned the clasps 4″ from the edges on the opposite side of the carrier, pinned into place, and carefully machine stitched them to the carrier.

Even though the strapping is thick, the sewing machine had no difficulty stitching them in place. 

Yoga Mat Carrier by Leslie Jenison - Images 16-17

Last, I created a pouch with a clear front that will be positioned inside the carrier with two large snaps, one on each end. This adds to the functionality of the mat carrier for me, as I do not wish to carry my purse into my yoga class, yet I often need a pocket for a few small items, such as my towel and cell phone (ringer off, of course!).

Yoga Mat Carrier by Leslie Jenison - Image 18

To create this zipper bag (the finished size for mine is 7″ by 14″), I cut a piece of thick clear plastic, sold by the yard in stores with home dec materials.

I stitched to the “right” side of a zipper. Using the same type of fabric that lines the inside of my yoga carrier, I cut a length of cloth one inch wider than the width of my plastic “window”, and 1 1/2″ longer. With the right side of the cloth facing the right side of the zipper, I stitched the cloth to the zipper. Turning the plastic and zipper so it was inside-out, I stitched the sides together, taking care to stitch closely to the zipper ends. The zipper ends were carefully trimmed, along with the plastic (and I trimmed the corners to a 45 degree edge to minimize the plastic poking a hole in the cloth.

Yoga Mat Carrier by Leslie Jenison - Image 19

The bag was turned right side out. Large snaps were positioned on each top end of the bag. The male portion was attached to the bag, and the female portion positioned on the inside of the carrier and stitched in place.

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I added a whimsical but functional clip to the handle strap as a quick way to clip my car keys to the carrier. I found this clip at a home improvement center.


Yoga Mat Carrier by Leslie Jenison - Image 22


The finished carrier from the inside out is not only functional, but it’s also absolutely unique!




 This carrier is absolutely perfect for carrying a quilt to and from a show, guild meeting, or anywhere else.

 This carrier isn’t just for yoga mats- Get Creative!

Click Here For Additional Tutorials From Our Sew Creative Blog

Posted in Free Craft Projects, Leslie Tucker Jenison, Quilting, Uncategorized | Tagged , , | 5 Comments

Fly Your Own Flag- Summer

by Jamie Fingal

Summer in the City – Make three Summer themed prayer flags using fused scraps.  Follow these quick and easy instructions:

three summer themed flags by j fingal


3 Pieces of wool

Start with 3 pieces of wool blended felt from National Nonwovens, that have been cut to be 6×8″ on your mat with a ruler and your Havel’s rotary cutter.


I had a lot of scraps from a project that I worked on for Quilt Market in Pittsburgh. All of the fabrics have been fused with Mistyfuse. Fun and bright colors. And the rings, that were made on a Sizzix Big Shot die cutting machine. They are quite fun too.

Scraps with MistyFuse

I am going to throw caution to the wind and make all three at the same time! I decided that I would do a collage background, using a variety of greens for this one. Once I had it the way that I wanted, you know with color, pattern and balance, I ironed it into place.

image 06

So, now you can see where I am going with this. The cool green of nature in Summer, the red and orange heat of the weather, and the soothing purple of a day on the porch sipping iced tea and putting your feet up.

Squares to make background

Yellow is also a happy color for Summer, so I cut small squares and placed them around each flag, and ironed them into place. I like the look and it adds a little spark to each one.

Cut from the back to use felt as guide.

In making art quilts, I fuse all of my quilts this way. The edges can be messy, but I would suggest that you cut with your sharp scissors from the back, using the felt as your guide. It is way easier this way.

Start with circles from scraps

In my scraps, there were these great circles, that were the insides of the rings, that were cut on the Sizzix Big Shot die cutting machine. I think they are so fun to use. Right now, I am trying out the colors on the backgrounds and asking myself, which colors pop out when they come in contact with each other? Which colors kinda blend into the background? I don’t want them to blend in.


Enter the 6” rings. Now you know where this is going. I am trying these out too. I want to see what works, not only with the backgrounds, but with the circles too.

Place the circles on the flags

Now I am thinking that yellow would look great inside those circles. I am going to place them at different points on the background, instead of being so matchymatchy. I am liking how this looks. I am not going to press them into place, until I get the rings done.

Cut out the circles

Using my really sharp Havel’s Scissors, I am cutting out a portion of the inside of the rings, so there is a space between the inside circle and the outer ring. More like a contemporary sun.

Place fabrics and press

I am pretty happy with how they all look. All of the fabrics have been pressed into place. I added the background wool blended felt – the same kind as the black, only in colors that complimented the quilt tops. You can see that they are rough cut, and I wanted them to be larger than the tops, because they will show on the sides at the end of this process.

Made a spiral using free motion

Next part – free motion machine quilting. First step, just using the needle to make a spiral in the middle and then around the circles.

Free motion sewing

I am turning the prayer flag with my and as the needle echoes the circle on the background.

Quilting lines are not perfect

Yes, I made the arrow thing in my quilting, because it was rather fun. And really I think it adds some interest. You can see that my quilting lines are not perfect. I want to have fun doing this.

Blazing sun

Here is the blazing sun one. I decided that I would change up the design in the yellow portion. This flag is the centerpiece of the three flags, and it was fun to make it different. I am gliding the needle around the circle.

Sew around the flags.

Sew around each flag with a straight stitch. You can do it with a straight stitch foot, but for me who doesn’t want to change the foot, I am staying with the free motion foot.

Sporatic free motion

Here’s the purple one, and you can see I am going with a totally different approach for free motion machine quilting around the circle. Sporatic, wacky and fun. Why not?

Loop-t-loop free motion

And then there is the loop-t-loop. This is really fun and a great way to practice free motion machine quilting.

Trim the felt

After all of the prayer flags have been free motion machine quilted, now is the time to trim the background felt. Using a cutting mat (Havel’s pink), ruler and rotary cutter, make sure you leave some of the felt showing through to the front. This is a nice close up shot to see how much to leave.

Purple prayer flag

Detail shot of the purple.

Orange prayer flag

Detail shot of the red/orange.

Green prayer flag Jamie Fingal

Detail shot of green.


See more creations by Jamie Fingal @

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3 free projects by jamie fingal 480x640

Posted in art ideas, Fabric Art, Free Sewing Project, Fun Stuff, Jamie Fingal, Uncategorized, Wall Hangings | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Sewing Supplies: The Professionals Share their Secrets

Rotary Cutters – Which way do you roll?

There are so many sewing supplies available to us and it can be overwhelming to decide which is best and why.   Rotary Cutters are no exception, and they are even more difficult becasue they are available in two different sizes.  What size is best for you and for which projects or fabrics.   We asked the professionals to answer these questions for you, and here’s what they had to say.

Jamie FingalJamie Fingal

I use the 45mm size, because it is what I am used to, and it’s easy to use and it fits my hand.  I use my rotary cutter as much as possible, and then I use the 7″ precision cutting sewing scissors for everything else.  I can cut a large and very small polka dots and hands with these scissors, because they hug the fabric.

Leslie Tucker JenisonLeslie Tucker Jenison

I use both sizes, 45mm and the 60mm.  I really can’t tell you why I use one over the other. I like them both and it is nice to have a choice.  Obviously, the smaller one makes more sense when working with a smaller size project.  Other than that, they are both wonderful and get the job done!  I believe the 45mm rotary cutter is my preferred one, probably because it is easier to hold.


Liz KettleLiz Kettle

I love my 60mm Havel’s Rotary Cutter.  I like the 45mm too, but I always grab the 60mm first.  I like to cut through as many layers as I can at one time and am often cutting non-traditional fabrics.  The 60mm never hesitates and rolls right through whatever challenge I give it.

Ruth ChandlerRuth Chandler

It’s very simple when it comes to my sewing supply list for the rotary cutters.  I prefer to use the 45mm for thinner fabrics and the 60mm for thicker layers.


Terry WhiteTerry white

I love the 60mm because it feels good in my hand.  It’s one of my favorite sewing supplies.


  We hope this helps you to decide which rotary cutter size will be best for you.  Click below to view the artist’s favorites.


Posted in Fabric Rotary Cutters, Jamie Fingal, Leslie Tucker Jenison, Liz Kettle, Ruth Chandler, Sewing Supplies, Terry White, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Free and Easy Craft Project to Create This Spring:

Fly Your Own Flag this Spring

By Jamie Fingal

I am excited to tell all of you that I am a new fabric designer and my very first line is titled Home is Where Your Story Begins ,by Hoffman California Fabrics.  So naturally, when Jackie Marsal, the account executive for Havel’s Sewing, asked me to design a “Spring Fling” themed project incorporating my new fabric line (just for fun!) I was obviously more than willing to get to work making these fabric flags for you all to create!

Fly Your Own Flag- 3 Fabric Flags for Spring

Bloom, Spring and Grow! Vibrant & fun these fabric flags are certain to cheer up anyone that is stuck experiencing cold weather!

These festive and fun flags are not only great for a variety of fabric artists, but they are also easy enough to make just in time for the upcoming Spring season.

Sample of Jamie Fingal's New Fabric Line

To give everyone an idea of what Jamie’s new fabric line consists of, here is a visual of the sample card.

 The fabric pictured below is hands down one of my favorites. It is covered completely with words, and based on my watercolors. The best part is that you can use the words available or you can easily cut out individual letters in order to create your own words, which is what we will be doing for this project. It only comes in this colorway – bright and fun!

Jamie Fingal's Word Covered Fabric

One of Jamie’s favorite from her new fabric line- It is covered completely with words, and based on her watercolors.

  This project will break down how to create three fabric flags inspired by the Spring season. (Each flag will measure 6×8 inches, vertical format.)

Black Wool Blended Felt

Three pieces of black wool blended felt by National Nonwovens TOY 002.

We are going to start this project off with 3 pieces of black wool blended felt -cut 6” x 8”- as the foundation. This is made by National Nonwovens TOY 002.

I also fused all of my fabrics with Mistyfuse to prepare for this project.


House Patterned Fabric

This house covered fabric is a perfect focal point for the fabric flags.

The next fabric that we need is the house patterned fabric. This is a a colorful fabric which can be used in a variety of ways.

This particular fabric- covered in different styles of houses of various shapes, colors, sizes- is the perfect focus point for two of the flags we will create.

Next, simply cut out a house out from the fabric, which is near the size of the flag, or slightly larger.

House Covered Fabric

 Fuse this to the felt.

Fused Fabric House

If you turn it over, you can cut the excess from the back, which will make it easier to get it straight. Find the letters B-L-O-O-M and set them aside.

B-L-O-O-M Fabric

Place the letters on the side and iron into place.

Fussy Cut Flowers

Using your favorite fussy cut scissors, cut out some flowers from the house fabric.

Fabric Flower Arrangement

Place the flowers on the lower portion of the flag and iron into place. Trim any areas that overlap from the back. Set aside.

Sky and Flag Fabric Cut Outs

For the second flag, using the blue circle fabric, cover one of the felt foundations, to cover about 2/3 of the felt from the top down.This will be used to create a sky effect.

Turn the flag over and cut from the back.

It would be fun to use some of the bunting flags in this one.  So, from the landscape fabric, find a row that would work for your flag.

Fussy cut out.

SPRING Fabric Flag



Place the flags in the upper portion.

Find the letters for the word SPRING, and place them just below the bunting flags.

Iron into place, and cut the extras from the back.



Using lime green striped fabric, cut the top with pinking shears.

It makes a great little detail, and it’s fun!

Pinked Grass Fabric

Using Havel’s PInking Shears adds a fun & unique effect to your fabric.

Fussy cut out a row of houses, and the larger flowers, like this blue and pink one below.

Houses and Various Pictures

The text fabric also has little houses and artful drawings which are useful for various art.

Place the houses in place, just below the pinking line.

Ironed In Place Fabric

 Once the house is set, iron the fabric in place.

Next, cut out the flowers and place them on the flag.  DO NOT  iron this down yet.

Flower Your Flag

Using the landscape fabric, fussy cut out the stems and leaves. (So that basically you are cutting off the top of the flowers.)

Cutting Larger Flowers

The stem and leaf unit will be used for your larger flowers.

After you decide where you want everything – flower-wise, iron them to the background.

Spring Flag #2

Set this flag aside, and now we are onto Flag number 3.

This house is larger, so you need to allow for that.

Creating the house Flag

We will add the blue circles to the sky, to make up for the empty space.

You can see where I have a strip of blue on the top.

Floral Landscaping

Then you can see where I have added some floral landscaping to the bottom portion of the 3rd flag in order to fill in the green.

Next, find and cut out the letters for the word G-R-O-W.


Place the letters on the top and iron them into place.

Back each flag with a coordinating color of wool blended felt.

Now they are ready to be free motion machine quilted.

Backing the Fabric Flags

The backing for these flags is Fuschia WCF 001.

  After they are quilted, press with an iron, then trim the backing.

You want the backing to show just a tad- this helps to bring out the colors in the flag.

Havel's Rotary Cutter and Mat for Trimming

Using Havel’s 60mm Rotary Cutter and Cutting Mat to trim the backing.

Using the free motion foot,  zig zag the edges of each flag into place.

Zig Zag Stitching the Backing

Example of how the backs were easy to free motion machine quilt. You can see where Jamie went around the houses, objects and lettering with ease.

Here are the three finished flags:

All Three Fabric Flags

And individually:







I hope that you have enjoyed making this Spring Fling fabric flag project as much as I did!


Jamie Fingal

About Jamie Fingal:

Jamie is a an award winning artist & fabric designer from Orange, CA. You can contact her and order fabric at


For more of Jamie’s inspiring and creative projects, click here.


Posted in art ideas, Fabric, Fabric Art, Fiber Art, Free Quilt Projects, Fun Stuff, Guest Writers, Jamie Fingal, Mixed Media, Patterns, Quilting, Wall Hangings | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 35 Comments

Retro Applique Linen Scarf Sewing Project

Retro Applique Linen Scarf

By Terry White

Retro Applique Linen Scarf Project

This simple retro scarf is made of linen.

Linen is one of my favorite fabrics on which to stitch and to wear. I love that it is making a comeback in fashion, and I especially love the scarves. The natural way it looks and feels, and the variety of types available make this fabric very versatile. You can wash it and it is very strong and will last a long time.

Linen Fabric

Linen is made of flax and is characterized by its even weave.

Linen is made of flax and is characterized by its even weave. The weave is even, but the threads are uneven and natural slubs occur in the fabric.

The term linen is now used in a broader way to describe any type of fabric that is made to look and feel like linen.

You can find linen at most fabric stores- especially when the spring fabrics come into the stores. There are dress linens and drapery linens. A lot of times, you can find the perfect one in the drapery department. Linen sheers are wonderful fabrics with which to use for scarves.

Cotton threads for Applique details

Cotton threads for the applique details.

I am warning you: Wash and dry your linen as you will wash and dry the finished scarf. It will shrink. Was and dry the fabrics you will use for applique. You want to be sure that when the scarf is finished that appliques won’t shrink everything up.

So, besides using this great linen fabric, you will use some pretty cotton threads for details on the appliques.

I use Star cotton machine embroidery thread but you can use anything called cotton machine quilting thread.

These threads are most like embroidery floss for hand embroidery because of the cotton content and the colors available.

What You Will Need:

-2 pieces of linen that contrast -I used pink and green – cut at least 14″ wide and then as long as you want for your scarf.

-Small pieces of linen for the appliques. I used bright pink, blue and some of the green leftover from my scarf cut.

-1 yard of medium weight interfacing.

-Cotton threads as described above.

-Spray Starch.

-Spray adhesive, such as Sulky Temporary Spray Adhesive.

-Morgan No-Slip Hoop or a good hand embroidery hoop. My hoop is 9″ in diameter.



Cutting the Linen

Cut linen to size.

1. Press Your Two Linen Pieces:

Cut your linen to the size you want it to be.

How to cut the linen: Snip edge of linen and pull a thread. This will give you a guide so that you will  cut the linen straight.

Press your two linen pieces with spray starch.

Tip: I buy a pillowcase from the thrift store to use as a pressing cloth when using spray starch. I cut two pieces and use one to protect my ironing surface and one to protect the iron. I use these when making fusible applique as well.

Trace Applique Designs

Tracing Applique designs on the linen.

2. Make Appliques: 

Press your small linen pieces with spray starch.

Trace the designs onto the linen pieces. I like to use a Sharpie in a color close to the color of the thread I’ll be using. Press the tracing and will heat set the ink.

Stitch details on your appliques.

Use medium weight interfacing on the back of the applique.


Pic 6 linen scarf 496x480

Pansy Applique.

Pic 7 linen scarf 640x478

Center of the Pansy Applique Details.

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Free Motion Stitched details.

You can free motion stitch the details or use a straight stitch on your machine.

You can use your favorite applique stitches on your machine or stitch the details on by hand if you prefer.

You can find how-to’s on machine applique in Havel’s Sewing’s Guide to Quilting.

Cut out the appliques close to the stitching.

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Curved scissors will help with getting close to the stitching.

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The applique being used on the scarf.

3. Stitch Appliques to Each Side of the Scarf:

Position the appliques on each side of the scarf.

I suggest using spray adhesive to place the pieces.

Use interfacing away from the fabric. This prevents accidental snips into the linen.

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Using Interfacing.

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Duckbill scissors being used to cut out appliques.

4: Stitch Scarf Together: 

Stitch the two pieces together right sides facing in along the long sides.

Turn and press.

Pic 13 linen scarf 640x478

Applique on the scarf.

Topstitch about 1/2 inch to the two sides of the scarf.

Pic 14 linen scarf 640x480

Details of the blue pansy.

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Here are the two sides of the scarf.

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Opening edges to press.


Press the opening edges about 1/2 inch to the inside.

Place trim on the pressed side of the scarf.

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Trim for the scarf.


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Applying the scarf’s trim.

Fold and press.

Topstitch the ends.

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What the trim will look like on your scarf.

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Trim added to the other side.


The end result will look like this:

Retro Applique Linen Scarf Project

Retro Applique Linen Scarf.

Hopefully you enjoyed making your new retro appliqued linen scarf! This is the perfect scarf for spring and summer so be sure to make scarves for all of your friends and loved ones to add to their wardrobe this season.

Below are the applique patterns that you can print out and use for making your scarf:

Pansy Applique Pic

Leaf Applique Pic

Check out more of Terry’s fantastic projects here.



Posted in Applique, Applique Scissors, art ideas, craft, Craft to make, Crafting, Fabric, Fabric Art, For Beginners in Sewing, Free Craft Projects, Free Quilt Projects, Free Sewing Project, Guest Writers, How To, How to Make A Scarf, Terry White, Tutorials, Uncategorized | Tagged , , | Leave a comment