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February 2013

Fat Quarter Gang - Divided Organizer Bucket by The Busy Bean

I drive a minivan without any storage in between the seats. It drives me crazy. I've been using an old shipping box that was convenient to grab before a road trip, but I knew I had to class it up a little. Enter Jeni Baker's great new line, Color Me Retro.


Here's what you'll need:

  • 6 Fat Quarters (2) outside (2) lining (1) for the divider (1) for the garbage bin
  • 2.5 yards Shape Flex (SF-101) fusible interfacing
  • basic sewing tools - sewing machine, thread, scissors

A few notes before we start. All seams are 1/4" unless otherwise specified. Also, in some of the pictures I have used red lines to indicate where to sew, or where your stitching lines are, so that they are clear to you.

1. Start by cutting your fabric. From outside fabric cut (2) pieces 16" x 21" From lining fabric cut (2) pieces 16" x 21.5" From divider fabric cut (2) pieces 10" x 10" From garbage bin fabric cut (4) pieces 12" x 10" Cut a coordinating piece of interfacing for each piece of fabric

2. Fuse the coordinating interfacing piece to the wrong side of each fabric piece.

3. Sew the divider together. Line the two pieces up,right sides facing. Sew along two opposite edges (shown with red lines). Turn it right side out and topstitch along the edges you just sewed. Set aside.

4. Sew your outside pieces together along the two short sides and one long side (bottom). Set aside. Repeat with the lining piece.

5. Now we're going to cut the lining piece down the center to let us put the divider in.Take it to your cutting mat and make one vertical cut 11.5" from one side. (It's off center, I know, but I did this so a tissue box will fit snugly inside and not wobble around.) The red lines in the picture indicate the sides you've sewn together.


6. Grab one half of the lining you just cut. Open up the lining so the bottom seam is laying flat and make a mark 4.75" from the center seam, close to the cut edge. Make a mark 4.75" on the other side of center seam.

7. Now grab your divider and line up one of the finished edges with that mark, letting the raw edge overhang your lining piece by 1/2 inch. Sew the divider to the lining along the cut edge, 1/4" away from the cut edge of your lining.

Sew the other side of the divider to the opposite side of the lining piece in the same manner. When you're done it should look like this.

8. Grab the other half of your cut lining piece. Right sides facing, line up the bottom seam of both pieces, match the tops, and pin (or clip) in place. Sew the two halves together along the edge you cut, with your divider piece sandwiched between.

9. Now it's time to box the corners. Form a triangle with one corner of your lining piece by pinching the sides together and matching the side seam with the bottom seam. Grab a ruler and draw a line 9" long (this will be 4.5" up from the corner point). Keeping your corner lined up this way, sew over the line you just drew. Repeat for the other corner of the lining. Then grab the outside piece you set aside earlier and do the same thing with the bottom two corners. Cut away the excess fabric between the line you have just sewn and the corner, 1/4" away from the sewn line.

(Not pictured, but I used those scraps I cut off the corners to make two tabs for the top of my bucket. If you want tabs, just grab one of those corners, separate the two pieces, fold each piece in half, then fold the edges in to meet the center line, sew along the edge, and use it as a tab.)

10. Grab your seam ripper and remove about 4" from the bottom seam in your outside piece. (Some people prefer to leave this open at the beginning, but I think it's easier to box the corners when the seam is completely finished.) With your outside piece inside out, match the right sides of your outside and lining pieces, making sure the side seams line up. Pin or clip all around the top edge. Just shove as much of the outside piece into the lining piece as you can. It won't go all the way down because of your divider, but trust me, you've got plenty of room to sew it up. Sew all around the top using a 1/2" seam allowance.


11. Turn the bucket right side out through the hole in the bottom of the outside piece. Sew the hole closed by hand. (It'll look best sewn by hand, but I'm super lazy and I just did it with my machine, since it's the bottom of a bucket for my car, and nobody's ever going to see it. Just keeping it real.) Topstitch around the top of your bucket.

12. We're nearing the end now. We're going to add pin-tucks to the corners to square it up nicely and help it stand up on its own. Grab a ruler and measure 4.5" from the side seams along the top edge of your bucket. Using an erasable pen, make a mark on each side of both seams. Pinch the fabric together with that mark between your fingers. Grab the bottom corner of your bucket and make a crease along the line between these two points. Sew 1/8" from the edge, creating a pin-tuck and catching the lining fabric.

You could be done here, but I wanted a separate garbage bin. This is so easy now that you've made a big bucket. You're going to follow all the steps for assembling the large bucket, without the fussy divider.

Grab your four pieces you cut and start with step 4 above, only this time sew the two long edges and only one short edge. Skip to step 9, and when you make the corner gussets, your line will be 4.5" long. Then you just finish with steps 10-12 as written.

There you have it! On one side of the divider you can keep the garbage bin and a tissue box nice and handy. The other side can contain all those little things that end up in the car and have nowhere to go. Or, this makes a nice size bucket for sitting on a bookshelf to hide away necessary but unsightly items (like all those controllers for video games).


Thanks for having me AGF! If you want to win your own stack of Color Me Retro fat quarters, head on over to my blog and leave a comment on the Color Me Retro post. Giveaway will be open until Friday, March 1st.

As always to be eligible to win you must follow us on your fav social media platform (Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter)and Subscribe to our blog to stay up to date on all things AGF & the Fat Quarter Gang!

And don't forget to add any projects you made from this (and the other fabulous Art Gallery Fat Quarter Gang tutes) to the flickr group!

Til next time.. Happy Sewing

Colleen & The Fat Quarter Gang

The Elle Skirt

Hi, it’s Lauv again, the last two times I posted here I showed you some quilting block ideas with The Striped Strips Block and The Hopscotch Block, both very graphic, clean and modern.


Now I want to show you this super simple and fun skirt that can be dressed-up or it can be worn casually to run every day errands. I majored in Fashion Design and since I've been working in the quilting industry for a while now I have started to incorporate quilt block designs and piecing into my garment creations. For this skirt there are no patterns required, just simple rectangles. This is not a “quilt” block tutorial, but I guess we can say it’s a block skirt tutorial with a paper-bag waist detail.

The fun part is that it’s a very easy and quick project you can create to gift to someone. If you have a special occasion you can pick glittery trims, apply fun beads, and make a modern and chic statement with your creation. Let your creativity be free!

This time I made a sample 6 size skirt because I was experimenting and whatnot, but if you need to add some width to it, simply measure around your hips, divide that by two, subtract THIS skirt’s width measurement (19”), divide what you got by four and add that measurement on each side of the back panel, and widthwise to pieces 1, 2, 4, 6, and 7. You can also decide the length that you prefer; this could be either a fun mini or maxi

Since the pattern is kind of like a puzzle, I will number the pieces to make it simpler as we go. So cut these (you can use a rotary cutter!):

  1. (1) 17 ½” x 7” rectangle of Ash (Pure Elements Collection)
  2. (1) 3 ¾” x 7” rectangle of Fashionable Rouge (Modernology Collection)
  3. (1) 21” x 3 ¾” rectangle of Fashionable Rouge (Modernology Collection)
  4. (1) 3 ¾” x 10 ½” rectangle of Ash (Pure Elements Collection)
  5. (1) 24 ½” x 3 ½” rectangle of Ash (Pure Elements Collection)
  6. (1) 4 ½” x 13 ¾” rectangle of Spiceberry (Pure Elements Collection)
  7. (1) 28 ¾” x 6 ½” rectangle of Spiceberry (Pure Elements Collection)
  8. (1) 28 ¾” x 19 ¾” rectangle of Spiceberry (Pure Elements Collection) (back

In addition you will need  22 ½” of ½” wide elastic and matching (or contrasting) thread.


Let’s start! Remember to sew all right sides together with a 1/4" of seam allowance.

Clean all the raw edges of each piece numbers 1-7 since they will be exposed on the wrong side of the fabric, you can do that with a serger or with a zig-zag stitch to prevent unraveling after washing.

I will write out all the steps but you can find a little diagram at the end to help you if you are more of a visual person (like I am).

Sew piece 1 to piece 2 on the width side, always put right sides together. Press seams open as you sew and proceed to attach that to piece 3 lengthwise. Press, press, press, and attach that whole new piece to piece 4, and then it’s simple, attach that whole piece to piece 5, then attach to piece 6 and finish by attaching that piece to the last piece of the front panel (piece 7). It’s just like playing Tetris except you sew as you go.


Now that you have the front and the back ready, you can close the side seams, again, place right side to right side and sew. You can clean those seams with the serger, or if you don’t have one, you can do a zig-zag stitch or even better you can do a French Seam finish on it. Once this let’s-call-it cylinder shape is done, fold and press inward ¼” on the top edge and from that new folded edge, measure 2 ¾” down, fold and press again. Now you
will do a top stitch all around 1/8” from the first folded edge (the ¼” one). When you are done, do another top stitch 1” from the one you just created, by doing this you create the space where the elastic will go. To introduce the elastic, carefully use a seam ripper to undo a couple of stitches on one of the side seams in between the 1” space, this will give you a cavity to insert the elastic.




So the next step is to insert the elastic. You can attach a safety pin on the side that you are inserting first that way it’s easier to pull the elastic to the other side, also if you scrunch the fabric as you go it will make it easier. Make sure you hold tight to the other side of the elastic because if you let that end go, you will have to start over... so hold it
firmly and avoid that.

Once you have each end coming out from the opening, put one on top of the other and sew them together lengthwise to secure the elastic well. You might have to “fight” with the piece a little bit, but if you gather all the skirt fabric toward the middle it makes it easier and peaceful to work with the elastic.

You can now accommodate the elastic in place, moving the fabric evenly so that it looks symmetrical.

Close the opening by hand with a blind stitch making sure you don’t catch the elastic.

Now all you have to do is the hem. Press ¼” up and from there press 1” up. Do a top stitch all around 7/8” from the edge.

And you’re done! Style away, you can basically wear it anywhere, change the fabrics, add some accessories, and it’s a classic-with-a-twist way to make a statement.


I chose some other fabrics that you can use to change the look of the skirt, and Megan (From Megan With Love) helped me create the digital image of how you can take this style from day to night:


 For the skirt on the left I used:

-Crystal Pink (Pure Elements Collection)

-Quartz Pink (Pure Elements Collection)

-Festival Fuchsia (Pure Elements Collection)

-Serenade Moonlight (Poetica Collection)

These fabrics give the skirt a very casual look to wear during the day; feminine, flowery and fun!

For the skirt on the right I used:

-Caviar (Pure Elements Collection)

-Snow (Pure Elements Collection)

-Moonstone (Pure Elements Collection)

The darker tones used in this example make the skirt super sophisticated and modern; ideal for a night out. Wear it with a black top and pearls and it will be a chic statement (or throw on a spiked necklace if you're felling edgy).

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial and please share the photos of your creations so that I can share them with the world!

Rock 'n Sew,



Fat Quarter Gang - Color Me Retro Mini Quilt by Diary of a Quilter

Hello fellow Art Gallery Fabric lovers! I'm Amy Smart from Diary of a Quilter and today I am sharing a quick little table topper project using one of my new, favorite collections, Color Me Retro by Jeni Baker.

I have been collecting vintage pyrex and other dishes for a while now so when I heard Jeni was designing a vintage-dishware-inspired fabric collection, I knew I would love it! And I was right.

Playing with this fabric made me so in the mood for spring! I'm glad I have some cheerful color on my table to keep my hopes up. Here are the fabric requirements for this 24" x 24" square table topper. (The same yardage will work for a 12" x 48" table runner.)

  •  10 Fat Quarters from Color Me Retro collection (I used all 10 because I wanted to feature the entire collection, but you really only need 4 fat quarters worth of yardage for this project.)
  • 5/8 yard solid turquoise. (The coordinating Pure Element is Fresh Water)

This project consists of one simple 6" pinwheel-type block. Each block requires 2 strips 2" x 14.5". I used the same solid as one of the strips in each block, but you could use a variety of fabrics if you like.
Sew strips together and press toward the print fabric. Carefully sub-cut into 4 units 3 1/2" square. 
 Rotate the units as pictured.
Sew units into two rows as pictured, pressing seams toward the print. Then sew two rows together to create a 6 1/2" (unfinished) block.
After center seam is sewn, "pop" the seam in the center of the block (un-pick a couple of the stitches). 
Press each seam (from assembling the 4 units) toward the print strip in a counter-clockwise direction. This will help seams match up when you go to sew your block together.
Create 15 more blocks. 

I sewed my blocks 4 across by 4 down to create a 24" x 24" square. You could also sew them 8 across by 2 down to create a 12" x 48" table runner.

I then used my remaining fat quarter prints to piece together a quilt back 27" x 27". (You could also use 3/4 yard of fabric for this backing.) I like that I can have a reversible option for my table.

From there layer the top, batting and quilt back and quilt as desired. I used my walking foot to sew quilting lines 3/4" apart. When quilting is finished, trim excess batting and backing fabric so that edges are clean and square.

For the binding, cut 3 strips 2 1/2" wide from your remaining solid and sew them together end to end. Here is a binding tutorial if you need one.

And that's it! This is a quick pinwheel-type block if you want to make lots of blocks and create a bigger version of this look too.

Thanks for having me AGF! Don't forget! If you want to win your own stack of Color Me Retro fat quarters, visit my blog, Diary of a Quilter, and leave a comment on the Color Me Retro post. Giveaway will be open until Friday, February 22.

As always to be eligible to win you must follow us on your fav social media platform (Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter)and Subscribe to our blog to stay up to date on all things AGF & the Fat Quarter Gang!

And don't forget to add any projects you made from this (and the other fabulous Art Gallery Fat Quarter Gang tutes) to the flickr group!

Til next time.. Happy Sewing

Amy & The Fat Quarter Gang

All you need is love...

All over the blogosphere and world of social media Valentine's day is trending and beautiful images are upon your beck and call.  

We wanted to put together some of our favorites as well as some inspiration for those still looking for that last minute inspiration.


image at:

Now there are so many different cards for Valentine's day. You can go for a store bought beauty or create something original and cute. The card above is super easy (I am sure we all have a set of matches just laying around waiting to induce a love-smitten smile on that special someone)... just please remember not to give it to children :)

But fear not ...

For the kiddies we have this lovely activity. Kids love surprises and we think that when they get home from school to find this on the front steps their day will just be made!

I'll wait right here while you set this up..... go on... I'm not going anywhere.

Oh... include a healthy snack with a cute saying. Even if they don't eat the fruit it is still the thought that counts..


Now for dinner... want something cute to serve as a side dish ?

How cute are those little heart potatoes? For a romantic dinner or a dinner with the family these are sure to be a hit.

Now.. to finish the night, a little dessert.

How ever you spend your day just know that no matter what you are loved. So whether it is a special someone, your kids or family; enjoy today and tell them all how much you love them.

Oh and one more thing.... You are special to us :)

Happy Valentine's Day

Flower heart

Getting Groovy with Carnaby St. by Pat Bravo


Flower Power! Fashion! Peace and Love! This was the "Swinging London" movement of the 1960's. A movement that was a youth-oriented phenomenon that emphasized the new and modern. It was a period of optimism and hedonism, and a cultural revolution.

A time when the fashion and cultural scene flourished in London in the 1960s and Carnaby St. was the epicenter of it all. With bright colors and floral prints a movement that would shape the world began... and this collection embodies that era.

Groovy blooms and strong geometrics are the signature of this bright, colorful line, perfect for fashion, home decor, and apparel.

The video below is designer Pat Bravo's visual inspiration for Carnaby St.  and her view on what those "swinging" times were like.

CARNABY STREET Fabric Collection by Pat Bravo from Art Gallery Fabrics on Vimeo.

** Please note that no quilts where harmed in the making of this video (but I did fall into a cold cold pool)..  **

 We had sooo many looks and each one of us portrayed a different personality...




Megan_collage Anais_collage


And this quilt was just the most impressive thing flying off the back of this motor bike. We had many many takes and this was the best shot.

Want to make one for yourself? Here is the free pattern: go to and get you copy today!

We all had so much fun shooting this video. The fashion and the colors really had us feeling the 60's vibe where peace and love reined free.

For more on this collection keep an eye on Pat Bravo's blog, Soulful Eyes, for amazing projects and more beautiful pictures. She has a lot in store for Carnaby St. and we wouldn't want you to miss a thing! (spoiler... there may be a giveaway soon... shhh) 

Now for some coordinating Elements that you can use with Carnaby Street...

If you want to thrown in some solids to the mix, here is a list of Pure Elements that go great with Carnaby Street: PE-437 London Red, 405 Cherry Lipgloss, 439 Raspberry Rose, 411 Quartz Pink, 409 Light Citron, 416 Lemonade, 417 Emerald, 406 Burnt Orange, 407 Empire Yellow, 408 White Linen, 412 Tender Green, 424 Mirage Blue, 415 Parisian Blue, and 428 Nocturnal. 



And here is a list of Oval Elements that are just waiting to be combined with Carnaby: OE-913 Cranberry, 910 Sweet Pea, 928 Tangerine Tango, 901 Papaya Orange, 911 Golden, 900 Peacock. 918 Blue Lagoon, 932 Sapphire, 914 Emerald Coast, and 909 Key Lime.

We hope you have as much fun sewing with this collection as we have all had making, shooting and filming this far out video.


The AGF Team