Ellen Luckett Baker is a wonderfully talented designer and sewist who blogs at the long thread. Her first collection with Moda, called quilt blocks, is due to arrive in stores in April, and it was definitely one of my personal favourites from Fall Quilt Market.

From the moment I saw it I knew we just had to have a designer challenge. Everything about Ellen’s fabrics screamed at me – the designs, the colours, the scale. It was unlike anything else I had seen at Market and anything else I had ever seen. I absolutely adore it, and think it’d be incredibly versatile. The large scale of some of the prints would be wonderful cut into small pieces, like I have done here with some english paper piecing. I added in a couple of solids and polka dots and let the colours shine rather than the patterns (for reference – the squares in this piece are 2″ finished).

ferris wheel

So, I put a call out for some volunteers who would all be sent the same 2 fat quarters from Ellen’s collection and let loose on creating something – anything. I thought it was quite a tricky challenge – just 2 FQs per person. Obviously I should have known better – when you guys are set a challenge you always come up trumps. I was totally blown away by the results, and over the next week or so as we share the different projects I think you will be too!

First up we have Kim with a tutorial for a bedside book pouch. Grab a cup of something hot , sit back and enjoy! I’ll hand over to Kim now….

Greetings from sunny Saskatchewan! (That’d be one of the flat provinces in the western half of Canada if you aren’t well acquainted with our lovely country.) I’m Kim from Milkybeer* and I am absolutely thrilled to be sharing this simple little tutorial with all you Fat Quarterly blog readers today.

When I saw Katy’s tweet about joining in on the Longthread Quilt Blocks Designer Challenge, I jumped at the chance to play along. I’m a huge fan of Ellen’s blog and her book, so I was pretty sure I’d love her new fabric too (and wouldn’t you know it? I was right! I love this fabric!)

I knew right away I wanted to make something that we would actually use around the house. One look into my daughter’s bedroom and I knew exactly what I was going to make – a bedside pouch to stash her pajamas and books.


My little girl is obsessed with books to the point where when I check on her at night, I’m almost sure to trip over any one of a dozen books she leaves laying on the floor! I’m
probably kidding myself that this pouch will solve the problem, but a crafty mother can hope – can’t she?

There are three components to this project: outer pocket (for pajamas), inner pocket (for books) and the anchor (to hold the pouch in place under the mattress). Here’s the cutting list for this project (length x width):

Anchor: cut one lining and one outer piece 40″ x 12.5″ (101 x 32 cm)

Inner pocket: cut one lining and one outer piece 12.5″ x 12.5″ (32 x 32 cm)

Outer pocket: cut one lining and one outer piece 11″ x 15″ (28 x 38 cm)

You’ll also need to prepare enough bias tape or binding strips to finish the two long edges and one of the short edges of the finished pouch.

A .25″ seam allowance is included in these measurements. Metric folk can probably get away with a scant 1 cm.

I went with an array of colours that I thought looked nice with the Quilt Block fabric and mixed them up so that each colour was only used once. Some of the fabrics can’t even be seen on the finished piece because they are lining the inside of the pockets, so keep that in mind when you’re deciding what fabrics to use.


Okay, now, have you chosen your fabrics? Are all your pieces cut? Yes? Let’s begin…

1.  With right sides together, stitch along the top edge (i.e. one of the short edges) of the anchor pieces. Turn the pieces right side out and press.

2.  Repeat the same process with the top edges of the inner pocket pieces.

3.  Stack the outer pocket pieces in front of you with wrong sides together and mark 1.5″ (approx 4 cm) squares on both bottom corners as pictured.


4.  Cut out the marked squares.


5.  Turn the outer pocket pieces right sides together and stitch around the squares and along the top edge.



6.  Snip a notch into the 90 degree corner of the squares so that fabric will lay flat when turned out.


7.  Turn the outer pocket right side out and press. The bottom corners should now look like this:


8.  Fold and press the three flaps of the outer pocket in toward the back/lining of the pocket as pictured.


9.  From the right side of the outer pocket, edge stitch along each fold.


10.  Neatly stack the three components (anchor, inner and outer pockets) aligning the bottom edges. Make sure the outer pocket is centred along the bottom edge!


11.  Baste the bottom edge.

12.  Align and pin the left and right flaps of the outer pocket making sure the bottom edge of the flaps are positioned just above the basted seam from the previous step.


13. Baste along the full length of the pieces on both sides.


Your bottom corners should look something like this once you’re done basting:


14. Prepare and attach binding strips or bias tape as you normally would around the unfinished edges of the nearly finished pouch. Hopefully you’ll be smarter than me and won’t position your binding so that a seam falls on the corner…can you say bulky?!


And…you’re done! Just tuck that anchor underneath your mattress and you’re good to go.

Thanks to Fat Quarterly and Ellen Luckett Baker for letting me play with such lovely fabrics. I hope you all enjoyed my little tutorial! Be sure to pop over to the ol’ Milkybeer blog and say “Hi!”

Thank YOU Kim, that tutorial totally rocks and was such a great idea from just 2 FQs. I told you we had some good stuff coming, make sure you stop by over the next week or so and see what all the other wonderfully talented designers have come up with!

*Want to know where the name comes from? I explain it here on my blog.