Tutorial: Make A Zippered Cosmetic Bag

Even if you have never sewn in a zipper before, you will be able to make this cute little bag in about an hour and a half. To make it, you’ll need two fat quarters of fabric (18″ X 22″), two pieces of batting that measure at least 8″ X 10″,  one zipper at least 10″ long, scissors, thread, pins and a sewing machine.

You need two fabrics, some batting, and a zipper.

To get started, cut two pieces from each of the fat quarters that measure 8″ X 10″. Decide which one will be the outside of the bag. In this tutorial, the outside will be the puppy print fabric, and the inside will be the yellow prints.

cut two pieces of each fabric and two pieces of batting

Make a “sandwich” using one piece of each fabric and one piece of batting. Make sure the right sides of each fabric are facing out, with the batting in between the wrong sides of the fabric.

The sandwich, with the batting in the middle and fabrics right sides out.

Sew some lines of stitching through all three layers to quilt them. I usually sew from corner to corner in both directions, then do a couple more lines. It is up to you how much you want to stitch.

Make some lines of stitches to quilt the bag

When you are finished quilting both sides of the bag, set one sandwich aside for later.

This is what the quilted pieces will look like

Lay the remaining piece right side up, and place the zipper face down along the edge of the piece.

place the zipper face down, the fabric piece right side up.

Pin the zipper in place with a couple of pins. Then, starting at one end, stitch along the length of the zipper. Open the zipper part of the way to begin. After you stitch a few inches, close the zipper back up so that the zipper pull doesn’t get in the way of the needle and presser foot.

Start stitching with the zipper open

After stitching the length of the zipper, fold the zipper to the inside. Press with an iron.

Fold zipper to the inside

Go back to the sewing machine with the piece, and top stitch 1/4″ from the edge of the fabric.

Top stitch 1/4" from the edge of the fabric

This is what it will look like when  you have finished top stitching:

Top stitching keeps the zipper in place on the inside.

Next, repeat all the steps for sewing the zipper with the other piece of sandwiched fabric. When you have finished sewing in and topstitching the other side of the zipper, the bag will look like this:

The bag will look like this when you have finished the other side of the zipper

Next, fold the two pieces so that the outside pieces of fabric are together, on the inside. Match up the edges, and pin. Make sure the zipper is open half way before you start to stitch.

Fold so that the outside of the bag are facing each other

Stitch along the three sides of the bag, starting at the zipper edge and ending at the zipper edge on the other side. Be careful not to stitch over the hard pieces of the zipper. Stitch the beginning and ending few stitches back and forth a couple of times to reinforce the stitches so they won’t come apart.

Trim the zipper ends, and the corners at the bottom of the bag at an angle.

Stitch around the entire seam again with a zigzag stitch to prevent ravelling of the seams inside the bag.

Stitch along the seam again with a zigzag stitch

Turn the bag inside out, and press with an iron to set the stitches.

The inside of the bag

This little bag can be used for so many things! I use one for manicure supplies, one for jewelry, one for holding toothbrush, toothpaste and floss, etc.

What a cute little bag!

What is your bag going to hold?



How To Recover Cornice Boards In An Rv

Way back on February 12, I said I was going to show you how to recover those cornice boards that are in RV’s everywhere.  I really did think I was going to do that project the next day, but…..one thing happened and then another, and I didn’t have the right screwdriver to get mine down off the wall with, so it took a very long time for tomorrow to get here.

The old cornice boards just don’t “go” with the new look.

Today I finally decided it was time to get that thing off the wall and finish my RV bedroom makeover. To start, I had to get the cornice board off the wall. It was held in place with two long phillips head screws. The shade was also attached to the cornice board, so I had to figure out how to get it off of the cornice without tearing it up. The shades also have the string mechanism attached to the wall down near the mattress.

This is the cornice off the wall, showing one of the screws holding the shade onto the cornice

I decided to take the cornice down by taking out the two screws. I then detached the two smaller screws that held the shade to the cornice. I left the shade laying on the bed in just the same position it was in when I removed it from the cornice, and left the strings attached to the wall. That way, I would know how it went back together.

recovering a cornice board on the tailgate of the truck

Once the cornice was off the wall, and the shade was off the cornice, I took the cornice outside to the tailgate of the truck. I knew it was going to be a messy job getting all the old fabric off, plus it was a very nice day outside.  The first thing I needed to do was figure out how to get the two pieces apart. I found out they were held together with staples, so I got a long flathead screwdriver and pushed in between the two pieces, slowly, so I could wiggle the staples out. Once the two pieces were apart, I had to take off the decorative “button” on the outside piece in the same way:

remove any decorative pieces carefully so they don’t break

After I had the pieces apart, I removed all the old fabric, and used it as a guide for how to cut the new fabric pieces. Once the new fabric was were cut, I stapled them onto the wood pieces. I don’t have a staple gun, so I used an ordinary office type stapler opened all the way out. It worked for the purpose, but I would suggest buying or borrowing a staple gun if you are going to do this project–it will certainly save your knuckles.

recovering the cornice boards in an rv

I used duct tape on part of this project

The first piece I covered was made of balsa wood, so the staples went in fairly easily. However, the second piece was laminated, and that made it very hard to staple with just that office stapler. So, I used 3M duct tape on the inside to hold the fabric in place. It isn’t going to show, and did the job very well.

When you have both pieces covered with the new fabric, you’ll need to fasten them back together. I just put the outside piece on top of the inner piece, and felt with my fingers to find the large staples that held them together. I placed a scrap piece of fabric over the area where the staple was, and hammered it down with a hammer. The last thing was to re-attach the decorative piece to the center of the cornice board. I also covered this wooden piece with some scrap fabric when I hammered it into place to prevent making any marks on it with the hammer.

tutorial how to cover cornice boards in an rv

I think this finishes off the room quite well!

It took me about two hours to complete this project. The hardest part was getting all the screws back in and getting the cornice back on the wall, mostly because my arms aren’t long enough. The shade went back on very easily, though.

Don’t you think this just completes my bedroom? It looks sooo much nicer to me.

recovering an rv cornice board

Re doing an RV bedroom is quite easy!


Making a T-Shirt Quilt Tutorial, Part 7

Finally, this is the last in the series on the T-Shirt Tutorial. To see parts 1-6, here are the links:

Making a T-Shirt Quilt Tutorial, Part 1

Making a T-Shirt Quilt Tutorial, Part 2

Making a T-Shirt Quilt Tutorial, Part 3

Making a T-Shirt Quilt Tutorial, Part 4

Making a T-Shirt Quilt Tutorial, Part 5

Making a T-Shirt Quilt Tutorial, Part 6

The finished quilt

When you get your quilt back from the quilter (or when you finish quilting it if you are doing the quilting yourself), trim all the back and batting to the same size as the front of the quilt:

how to make a t-shirt quilt

Trim the quilt after it is quilted

Next, you are going to measure the quilt. When I sent this quilt top to the quilter, it measured 96″ X 96″. The process of quilting draws the fabric layers up a bit, and makes the piece smaller. So, to determine how much binding I need, I will have to measure the quilt again.

how to make a t-shirt quilt tutorial

Measure after quilting

The finished piece now measures 93.5″ X 95.5″, so I will need 378″ of binding strips. (93.5 +93.5 +95.5+95.5)  I always add at least 10″ to account for seams and turning the corners.  The next thing I did was cut strips 2.5″ X  width of fabric until I had enough to make a strip 388″ long.

t-shirt quilt tutorial

Cut binding strips 2 and a half inches wide X width of fabric.

Stitch these strips together end to end to make one long continuous length of binding.

t-shirt quilt tutorial

stitch the strips together end to end

Press under one half inch along the entire length of the binding strip.

how to make a t-shirt quilt

press under one half inch

Pin the binding strip to the front of the quilt, right sides together.  Start pinning in the middle of any edge.

how to make a t-shirt quilt

pin binding to the front of the quilt

At the corners, make miters by pinning the binding at an angle along both sides of the corner.

how to make a t-shirt quilt

pin the binding at an angle on both sides of the corner

When you get to the meet point of the binding, pin the edges together. Using a pen or marker, mark the edge where the ends meet on both sides:

how to make a t-shirt quilt

pin the ends together, then mark the meet point with a pen or marker.

Pull the ends of the binding away from the quilt, and pen together.  Stitch the ends together on the marked line.

t-shirt quilt tutorial

pin on marked line

Stitch on marked line:

Stitch on marked line

Trim seam to one fourth inch:

how to make a t-shirt quilt

trim seam

Continue to pin binding in place in quilt:

continue pinning binding to quilt

Stitch binding to quilt using a one half inch seam:

stitch using a one half inch seam

When you get to the corners, stitch to within one half inch of the edge. Stop, remove the fabric from the machine. Turn the corner, place the fabric back in the machine, begin stitching one half inch from the edge:

stitch to within one half inch of the edge. Turn, start stitching one half inch from edge

After you have stitched all the way around, remove all the pins, and turn the binding to the back of the quilt.

turn binding to the back of the quilt

Pin in place again:

I hate this part!

Thread a needle with matching thread,  hand stitch the binding to the back of the quilt using small stitches.

hand stitch binding to back of quilt

To make the mitered corners, fold the corner flat:

fold the corner flat

Turn the first edge over at an angle and pin in place:

how to make a mitered corner

fold the first  side over at an angle

Fold the second side over and pin in place:

Fold the second side over and pin in place

Continue to hand stitch the binding in place all the way around the quilt.

The front showing a mitered corner.

Now, I have to say here, that this makes making mitered corners look like a piece of cake. I have a hard time making mitered corners, and not all of them look this good. If anyone reading this has an easier way to make these mitered corners, please tell me.


Now that the binding is done, the quilt is finished. You may want to add a label, telling who made the quilt, and when. I put a label on this one. I’ll post pics of the finised quilt tomorrow.


Oh, Judy! You Are Going To LOOOVVVEEE This!

We went down to Kanab, Utah today to buy groceries and pick up Judy’s T-Shirt quilt from the quilter. Oh, MY! is it ever beautiful! Jorja did a fabulous job on the quilting. I couldn’t wait to get home with it so I could take some pictures.

jorja hernandez did a fabulous job quilting this quilt

Jorja did a fabulous job!

I love the quilting on this quilt!

This quilting is just plain beautiful!

Judy, you are going to love this!

I can not wait for Judy to see this quilt in person

another square beautifully quilted

Oh, this is lovely!

Now all I have to do is trim the quilt up, and put on the binding. I will do that this week, and post pics showing the last part of the t-shirt quilt tutorial.

Making a T-Shirt Quilt Tutorial, Part 6

Making a T-Shirt Quilt Tutorial, Part 1

Making a T-Shirt Quilt Tutorial, Part 2

Making a T-Shirt Quilt Tutorial, Part 3

Making a T-Shirt Quilt Tutorial, Part 4

Making a T-Shirt Quilt Tutorial, Part 5

Making a T-Shirt Quilt Tutorial, Part 7

The last thing I needed to do before shipping the quilt to Utah to be quilted was to make the back. Now, I have always looked at the back of a quilt as a whole second project. You can make it as simple or as complicated as you want. It can be one solid color or you can piece the back and make it just as beautiful as the front. The only rule with making the back is that it needs to be 4″ larger on each side than the front. That means since I the front of this quilt measured 96″ X 96″, the back needs to be 104″ X 104″. This gives you enough room to secure the back in place when you make your quilt sandwich with the batting, the front, and the back. I send my quilts out to someone with a long arm quilting machine to be quilted, so I won’t be showing you that part of the process. This is just my preference, because I like the professional was the finished quilts look when they are quilted that way.

Judy had requested that I use the T-shirts that I wasn’t able to use on the front somehow on the back. She wanted to be able to see those shirts when she turned the bed down at night.  Here is how it turned out:

how to make a t-shirt quilt

The back of the quilt can be a whole new canvas.

Keep in mind that what you are looking at is the wrong side of the fabric except for the part at the top that is turned down as it would be when the bed is being readied for the night. This will make a lot more sense when we get the completed quilt back from the quilter.

how to make a t-shirt quilt

Another view of the back.

It really is going to look better when the quilting is completed. I’ll be mailing the quilt to Jorja in Utah in the morning. She does her artwork with a longarm quilting machine, and will have it ready for me to pick up after April 26. The next time you see this quilt, it will be ready for me to send to Judy, where ever she may be at that time.

how to make a t-shrt quilt

One last pic of the back before I ship it off to Utah

Making a T-Shirt Quilt Tutorial, Part 5

Making a T-Shirt Quilt Tutorial, Part 1

Making a T-Shirt Quilt Tutorial, Part 2

Making a T-Shirt Quilt Tutorial, Part 3

Making a T-Shirt Quilt Tutorial, Part 4

Making a T-Shirt Quilt Tutorial, Part 6

Making a T-Shirt Quilt Tutorial, Part 7

Tonight it was time to add the borders to the quilt. I needed to figure out how wide to make them, so I had to measure the quilt first.  To measure for the borders, you need to fold the quilt top in half, then measure from one side to the other at the center of the quilt where it is folded. When you measure at the center, your borders will be the same length as the center and will make a more “squared up” completed project. My normal measuring tape is not long enough to make this measurement on a large project, so I bought a Quilting Tape Measure that is 120″ long. I don’t think I will ever make anything that is too large to use this tape with.

Use a Quilter's Tape Measure for large projects

The pieced top measured 65″ square at this point, but Judy wants her finished quilt to be 96″ X 96″. To find out how wide to make the border pieces, I added 1 inch to desired finished measurement, because when you sew on each border, you will use a 1/4 inch seam. (1/4 X 4=1).  Subtract the existing measurement from the desired measurement: 97″ – 65″ =32″. Because you will have a piece of the border fabric on each side of the quilt, divide the total border measurement by 2: 32″/2=16″. So, I needed to make two border pieces that measured 65″ X 16″.

how to make a t-shirt quilt

Measure the desired lenght and mark it on the fabric

I measured and cut three 16″ wide X width of fabric pieces, then sewed them together end to end. Then I measured 66″ (just to make sure they were long enough. Sometimes I just don’t trust myself.) I used the sharpie marker to make a mark on the fabric, then used the rotary cutter to make the cut.

how to make a t-shirt quilt

Use your ruler and rotary cutter to make the cuts

Pin pin pin, to keep the seams straight. I can not stress enough how important it is to use pins. It makes your sewing projects come out so straight and nice.

how to make a t-shirt quilt

Pin pin pin. Seams come out straighter when you use those pins!

I sewed the borders on each side of the quilt first, right and left. After they were attached, I measured again before cutting the borders for the top and bottom. Although I was pretty sure the measurement would be 96″, it never hurts to make that last measurement to make sure before you cut. Sure enough, it was 96″. And look, I have to brag just a bit, because they came out just right! There is a lot to be said for accurate measuring in quilting!

how to make a t-shirt quilt

Look! a perfect fit!

And then, after all that work, it looks great! Now all I need to do is make the back, then send it out to be quilted.

how to make a t-shirt quilt

Ta Da! It looks great! It won't be long now until it is completed.