State Fair Winning Ribbon (free tutorial)

With all of the delicious fruit available, all I can think of is making pies and jam.  It reminds me of the Iowa State Fair of my youth.  Everyone went to the state fair and my family always had a few entries.  My Dad was a beekeeper and he always entered some honey or an observation hive of bees.  He won many ribbons and this cute and quick ribbon gives me fond memories of those days.  This ribbon would also be good to make for quilt shows, your own contests or to decorate for a party, wedding or shower. How about red, white and blue?  They feature raw edges and just a little bit of sewing so you can make several very quickly.


  • Scraps of coordinating cotton fabrics or use one color (1/4 yd is generous)
  • A 5 x 5 piece of wool felt
  • large button
  • coordinating thread


Print out my FREE State Fair Winning Ribbon Pattern.

fair ribbon


  • 1 – Small circle pattern A from the wool felt for the base of the ribbon
  • 2 – Side ribbons from pattern B (Be sure to flip the pattern so you have one going each way.)
  • 1 – Middle ribbon from Pattern C
  • 4 – Large circles with Pattern D
  • 4 – Small circles with Pattern E

Assemble and Sew



  1. Take one of the side ribbons B and take a small pleat or tuck to gather the top.P1080252
  2. Using a pin, pin the tuck to one side of the middle ribbon C at a slight angle.P1080253
  3. Take the other side ribbon B and make a tuck and pin to the other side of the middle ribbon C.P1080257
  4. Make two tucks in the center of the middle ribbon.  Start with one side and pin it and then tuck the other side.P1080260
  5. Place your streamer ribbons over the bottom of the felt circle base.  Stitch across all of the ribbon streamers and tucks, backstitching each side to hold it in place.P1080264
  6. Fold the centers of the ribbon.  Take a large circle D.
  7. Fold it in half, wrong sides together.  Next, you will need to make two pleats in the fabric but leave a point making it into a quarter pie shape.  I will talk you through it.
  8. Pleat and tuck one side.
  9. Fold the tuck to the back like the picture above and pin.
  10. Make another pleat and pin it too.  Pleat and fold each circle into a quarter triangle shape. You don’t have to be too accurate but you will need the center point.
  11. Places the circles together on the felt base.
  12. Continue until you have all four pleated circles in place.
  13. Starting about 1/2 inch from the center on one side of a triangle point, stitch across the end point of each folded circle.
  14.  You will stitch in a square, pivoting to stitch over each edge of the folded circles.
  15. Fold the small circles for the center of the ribbon using the small circle E.
  16. Fold the small circle in half, wrong sides together.
  17. Make one pleat to create a triangle that is about 1/4 size of the full circle and pin it.
  18. Begin laying the small pleated circles so that they cover the stitched seam from the large folded circles underneath.
  19. Slightly overlap the points on this layer of folded circles.
  20. Stitch a tiny triangle shape through the center of these points, catching all of them and stitching through the felt backing.
  21. Using a button large enough to hide your stitching, sew it in place in the center of your ribbon.  That completes the ribbon.


Make it scrappy style to create a multi-colored state fair style ribbon.


Make it modern in pink and grey.  I think the freshly picked zinnias from my garden make it special.

I hope you use your ribbons to celebrate in style!

Quick and Easy Kids Dishcloth Apron (free tutorial)

Here is a quick and easy project for that special little one in your life — a cute kid’s apron that assembles in a jiffy using only a dish towel and bias tape. My son always loved to help in the kitchen, and I made this little apron for him when he was a tot. He liked to feel grown up and wear his apron right along with mom while we made dinner or a yummy batch of cookies. The dish towel was thick and absorbent for any spills and he loved the little pockets too.

Materials Needed:

P1050036-001 apron

  •  Dish towel (preferably not a directional print or design)
  • 1 package of double-fold bias tape/quilt binding (7/8 inches wide) to coordinate
  • Coordinating thread

 Measure and Mark

  1. Open up and iron your dishtowel flat.
  2. Mark the center point of the top of the dish towel
  3. Measure and mark 4½ inches to the left and right of the center point.
  4. Measure down 7 inches from the top on each side of the towel and mark it.
  5. Measure up 7 inches from the bottom of the towel and mark it on each side and in the center.


apron b


Now you are ready to cut the towel. (see diagrams above). Cut the top corners off of the towel according to your markings. Cut the 7 inch strip off the bottom of the towel, this will become the pockets.




  1. With right sides up and raw edges even, layer the 7-inch pocket strip and the towel.
    Sew them together with a ½-inch seam. Flip the pocket strip to the top of the towel and iron it in place.
  2.  Measure 5 inches from each side and mark them to sew the pockets.apron-4a
  3. Sew each side close to the edge. Sew each of the pockets at the 5 inch measurement.  Double stitch the top of each pocket.
    apron ties
  4. Now sew the ties. Measure 68 inches of the bias tape.  Open up each end of the tape and stitch diagonally at a 45-degree angle from the open edge to the fold ending in a point. Trim and flip back around to form a neat point at the end of the tie.
  5. Find the center of the bias strip length and measure down 8 inches on each side. Mark with a pin. Using the pin as a guide, pin the bias tape along the slanted raw edges carefully covering them with both sides of the bias tape. Pin together.

apron 1

Starting with one end of the tie, top stitch close to the open edge of the bias tape. Stitch all around the tie, through the towel and back to the other side to the end. Trim threads.

apron 2

Now you have a very cute, quick apron for all your little helpers. It was so easy, I put together another one with this adorable blue daisy dish towel too. Wouldn’t this be a great holiday gift idea for your children or your grandchildren?  With so many dishtowel patterns, you could tailor them to every personality or to every holiday season!

Happy Stitching!

Sporty Cell Phone Case – Free tutorial

March Madness is over and the Championship game should be finishing up.  With all of that basketball talk, I pulled out some appropriate fabric from my stash to make this sporty cell phone case.  My son wanted an easy, protective pouch to throw his cell phone into and stash in his golf bag while he was at golf practice after school.  This clever, quilted pouch features a handy velcro opening and it is teenager approved to boot.  You could easily mix and match the sporty fabrics of your choice or just choose some solid school colors.  I even made one for myself to protect my phone in my tennis bag.

Materials Required:

  • 1/4 yd main fabric
  • 1/4 yd contrast fabric
  • 1/4 yd batting
  • coordinating thread
  • 4″  of  3/4″ wide velcro strip, coordinating color


Note: Use a 1/4″ seam allowance.


Cut out your fabric

  •  1 – 7″ x 8″ rectangle of main fabric
  •  1 – 4″ x 8″ rectangle of main fabric
  •  1 – 7″ x 8″ rectangle of lining fabric
  •  1 – 4″ x 8″ rectangle of lining fabric
  •  1 – 2″ x 8″ lining strip
  •  1 – 2″ x 20″ lining strip
  •  1 – 8″ x 10 1/2″ rectangle of batting

Stitch up the case


  1. Piece together the main fabric and the contrast fabric to make the outside and lining of the cell phone case.
  2. Join the small rectangle of the main fabric to the larger lining rectangle.  Join the smaller lining rectangle to the larger main fabric rectangle.  The smaller pieces will form a contrasting flap.
  3. Create a quilt sandwich, lining right side down, batting, outside right side up.  Line up the shorter flap pieces of both the lining and the outer cover at the top.
  4. Quilt the case.  You can quilt it however you like.  I used a decorative stitch #4 on my Bernina, it kind of looks like a squiggle.  I set the stitch length to 2 1/2 and then stitched rows straight down the case.
  5. Trim the case down to 7″ x 9 3/4″.  You may want to use your own phone as a guide to get the width that you want.
  6. Cut off the corner of the flap.  Mark 1 1/2″ from the point of each corner and cut the corner off.
  7. Take the smaller binding piece and iron it in half the long ways, wrong sides together.  Line up the raw edges with the bottom of the case and stitch it on.SONY DSC
  8. Flip the binding over to enclose the raw edges and sew to the case.
  9. Measure 1 1/4″ down from the edge of the binding on the outside of the case and center the soft half of the velcro.  Stitch it on.  Measure 1/2″ down from the flap edge of the case and center the sticky half of the velcro.  Stitch it on.  Make sure you have it on the inside of the case.
  10. Form the pouch by folding the case from the bottom up with the lining on the inside.  Fold it just past where you joined the fabrics.  Pin in place.
  11. Take the long binding.  Fold up the ends so there are no raw edges.  Carefully start at one end of the bag and stitch around the outside to add the binding.  When you get to the other end, you will want to stop to fold in that end as well so there are no raw edges.  Flip the binding over and sew closed to finish off.
  12. SONY DSC


This would make a quick gift for anyone who needs to tuck away their phone in style while they go to sports practice.

Happy Stitching!