Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Tutorial -- Quilt-as-you-go Thread Catcher

tutorial quilt as you go thread catcher header

At just 4 1/2" square and 5" high, this basket is small but mighty! It is the perfect size for catching your loose threads as you sew, and the duck canvas underlining makes it super sturdy for all kinds of uses - store small supplies, notions or my favorite, chocolate!!

In my sample, I have used Robert Kaufman Essex linen in steel, an assortment of Anna Maria Horner Dowry and True Colors scraps and a Michele D'Amore for Benartex lining.


main fabric, 10" x 13"
lining fabric 10" x 14 3/4"
scraps for patchwork
binding fabric, 2.5" x 19"
duck canvas 10" x 16"
quilt batting 9" x 15"

basic sewing supplies, helpful to have basting spray and wonder clips



Cut the duck canvas in half so that you have two rectangles that are 10" x 8"
Cut the batting in half so that you have two rectangles that are 9" x 7 3/8"

Cut the scraps into 14 rectangles that are 1 1/2" x 2 1/2" and 4 that are 1 3/4" x 2 1/2"


Place the batting on top of the canvas so that the top edges are flush and the other three edges have a 1/2" margin. Spray baste in place.

Draw a line on the batting 1 1/2" from the top edge. Draw a second line 2 1/2" below the first.

Beginning with a 1 3/4" wide scrap, place it right side up between the lines and flush with the left side of the canvas.

Place a 1 1/2" scrap, right sides together, so that the right edges are flush. Stitch through all thicknesses with a 1/4" seam.

Open up and finger press to the right.

Continue with another 1 1/2" scrap until you have used seven. Be sure to stay between the drawn lines. The last scrap will be 1 3/4". There is a total of nine scraps - seven 1 1/2" with a 1 3/4" at each end.

Give the patchwork a light press and re-draw your lines if needed.

Cut the main fabric into four strips that are 10" wide: 2 - 2" and 2 - 4 1/2".

Place a 2" x 10" strip of the main fabric right sides together and raw edge flush with the top drawn line and sew a 1/4" seam allowance.

Press up and away from the patchwork.

Place a 4.5" x 10" piece of the main fabric right sides together and raw edge flush with the bottom drawn line and sew a 1/4" seam allowance.

Press down and away from the patchwork.

Mark 2 1/4" squares in the lower corners. Don't cut yet.

Quilt as desired. I have stitched straight lines the width of my presser foot apart (about 3/8"). There is no need to quilt below the marked squares as that will be on the bottom.

TIP: After quilting the first piece, mark the start point of the lines on the second piece so that they will appear continuous when the side seam is sewn.

With sharp scissors, cut out the corner squares.

With right sides together, sew the bottom edges together with a 1/2" seam. Press open and top stitch 1/4" away from the seam.

With right sides together, sew the sides together with a 1/2" seam. Press open. A sleeve board is helpful here if you have one.

To create the bottom, fold the bottom seam and side seam in towards each other. Match the side seams and pin. Sew through all thicknesses with a 1/2" seam. Repeat for other corner.

Trim the seams to 1/4" and turn basket right side out. Push the corners out and finger press the bottom seam by rolling back and forth between your fingers.

Here's what you should have so far:


Fold the lining piece of fabric in half, right sides together and crease the fold.

Mark the corner cut-outs. THESE ARE DIFFERENT FROM THE BASKET AS THERE IS NO BOTTOM SEAM. 2 1/4" from side edge and 1 3/4" from folded edge.

Sew the side seams with a 1/2" seam starting at the corner mark. Then cut out the corner squares. Press seams open.

Create the bottom by sewing the corners in the same manner as you did for the basket, but line up the side seam with the bottom crease. Sew with a 1/2" seam allowance.

Place the lining inside the basket, wrong sides together. The basket is square so you can line up the seams or place the lining seams opposite the basket seams to decrease bulk. Trim the top edge if needed so that it is flush with the basket top edge. Pin or use Wonder Clips to hold layers together and stitch 1/4" from the top edge.


Fold the binding strip, matching the short ends and stitch a 1/2" seam allowance.

Press the seam open and fold the binding in half, wrong sides together and press.

Place the binding "loop" right sides together on the outside of the basket and pin or use Wonder Clips to old in place. It will be a snug fit. Sew this seam with a scant 3/8" seam.

Turn the binding to the inside and hand-stitch in place or machine stitch in the ditch on the outside.

tutorial quilt as you go mini basket thread catcher the sewing chick


I hope you have enjoyed this tutorial - it was my pleasure to write it for you! Please contact me via e-mail with any questions or comments!!

Happy Sewing,

Tessa Marie

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  1. Love these cute little bins. Thanks for sharing the tutorial with us! I'm already thinking of the multiple uses for these!!

  2. Great tutorial!!! Definitely going to add these to the "to-do" list :-) Thanks!!

    ~ Jess ~
    Everything Is Coming Up Rosie

  3. Great easy to follow instructions!! Thank you!!

  4. I love this and can't wait to make it! Thank you so much for this tutorial.

  5. Super cute! I need to make one of these.

  6. Great pics and tutorial! Thanks for sharing.

  7. Thanks - love how this looks. Tutorial pinned already to my patterns board.

  8. such a clear tutorial, will add this to my to do list. Will be useful too for putting scraps in as I cut out my blocks, my cutting table will then be tidy!

  9. Great Tutorial!! Love the scrappy look. Thank you!

  10. I can't wait to make one of these! Great easy to follow tute! Thank you!!

  11. PRECIOSO. Me ha encantado y muchas gracias por el tutorial Felicidades. Besos

  12. I love the tutorial! I'm going to make one right away. Thanks so much.

  13. Fabulous! I just love the bright scraps against the linen.

  14. Can I get this as a pdf???? love the pattern.

  15. This is adorable!! Will have to make one soon. Thanks!

  16. I really love this one...thank you. crystalbluern at onlineok dot com

  17. I think I might be able to do this. :o) Great tutorial

  18. On my LONG to do list! Thanks for the tutorial!

  19. Thank you for this tutorial. I love the look of the finished basket. As I was looking at it, a thought came to mind (from a pocketbook pattern I made years ago). If you made your lining pieces 3/4" taller, and left an opening for turning in the lining when sewing it, you could add the lining to the outside with the same 3/8" seam, (by putting the rst for the outside and the lining), turn it inside out, close the lining seam and push it into the basket. You could then stitch in the ditch where the lining/top binding is to secure the lining in place. Just a thought for a different look or for when time is of the essence and you don't have time to bind it by hand. I am going to try one of these basket very soon. Thank you for the really well written tutorial.

  20. Thank you so very much for ALL of your wonderful tutorials. You are so generous with your knowledge.

  21. Great instructions. Just made one - less than an hour and looks fabulous. I will make some more to share with friends. Thanks for sharing

  22. Thanks for this tutorial. I can't wait to make one, yours is so cute.

  23. A great tutorial, many thanks : )


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