Pink Castle Blog

Noodlehead Divided Basket in Cotton and Steel Menagerie Canvas

Posted by Katie Remski on Aug 7, 2017 11:06:00 AM

Cotton and Steel Menagerie Canvas by Rifle Paper Co You can never have enough storage bins-- it's a scientific fact. The Divided Basket pattern by Anna Graham's Noodlehead Patterns is a soft and flexible bin with a divider panel in the middle to help you organize small items. I knew as soon as I saw the Menagerie Jungle Canvas from Cotton and Steel's latest Rifle Paper Co. collection it had to be a children's book basket. After my success with the Poolside Tote, I couldn't wait to get started! 

For the lining, I used Essex Yarn Dyed Linen in the color Seafoam, which is a pale green. The stabilizer is By Annie's Soft and Stable, my go-to for all projects that need structure. I love the smooth, flawless look it gives when layered with canvas-- it's almost like it's one with the fabric. I used 1" cotton webbing for the handles, and Aurifil 50wt thread for all stitching. 

I opted for the pocketless version of the basket to best show off the large-scale print without interruption. 

Cotton and Steel Menagerie Canvas by Rifle Paper Co
Cotton and Steel Menagerie Canvas by Rifle Paper Co  I sewed the entire basket on the Janome Skyline S7, and I can't even begin to describe how much easier AccuFeed made the process-- at one point, I was sewing through canvas, 2 layers of linen, Soft and Stable, and webbing all at the same time, and the machine hummed along like it was nothing. If your machine doesn't have AccuFeed, definitely use a walking food to help keep all the layers smooth and feeding through the machine at the same rate. Wonder Clips instead of pins are also a big help for holding all layers in place. 
The Divided Basket is overall a real cinch to sew, the only complicated part being the divider-- even then, go slowly, read the directions throughly, and have a seam ripper nearby. Once you've sewn in the divider, you understand the construction and the second basket you make (trust me, you'll want dozens) will be even easier. All the instructions are clear and easy to follow, and the steps are very logical. The only part I had trouble with was keeping my topstitching straight, but changing to a 1/4" foot helped immensely. Cotton and Steel Menagerie Canvas by Rifle Paper Co
Cotton and Steel Menagerie Canvas by Rifle Paper Co

 If you're looking for a soft storage bin pattern, the Divided Basket is a great option. I'd rate the skill level for this pattern as confident beginner-- it's easy at the start and finish, and just challenging enough in the middle to build up your skills. It's really fun to get to work with some substrates like canvas and linen (the pattern works with regular quilting cotton too) and doesn't use a lot of fabric. Wouldn't this make the best gift for a child's birthday, pre-loaded with a few good books? 

Happy sewing! 

 Shop Menagerie by Cotton + Steel Now! 

Topics: Bags, Cotton+Steel, kids sewing, Noodlehead, skyline, For the Home, linen, kids, menagerie, divided basket, basket, tiger canvas, canvas, essex linen, Techniques, Home Decoration

Summer Sewing- Road Trip Case!

Posted by Brenda Ratliff on Jul 23, 2014 1:19:00 PM

I made my first Road Trip Case because I needed somewhere to tote around my English Paper Piecing supplies, and I'm a sucker for organization. (You can see it on my blog here).

Then I had to make another one because one of my family members was adamant that she needed  a pink one-- to be fair, it is one of the best bag patterns to sew. 

Road Trip Case

I chose a few prints to feature from Heather Bailey's new line Up Parasol, and backed them up with a number of pink blenders from my stash. And a few Tula Pink horses for my horse crazy girl.

Road Trip Case

It's a great pattern, very thoroughly written, with a vinyl pocket that's straightforward to install. It uses fat quarter amounts of fabric (four is suggested), making it a great place use fabrics you love but maybe don't have a lot of. And it's versatile! Although many people use it as a traveling sewing or craft kit, it would be also excellent for managing small toys for travel with kids. And those little pockets are not as little as they look! They can hold a lot of things.

Of course, having made a bag, I have to cruise around the internet and see how other people have made theirs! Here are a few I've especially admired:

One of my favorites is this one made by the pattern's designer, Anna Graham of Noodlehead, using fabrics from Rae Hoekstra's Lotus Pond collection:

It has a bright orange exterior:

Road Trip Case

That contrasts with its cool blue interior. And of course, those adorable snails!

Road Trip Case

Erin from House on Hill Road made her Road Trip Case with Lizzy House fabrics to hold embroidery supplies:

Road Trip Case
Road Trip Case

Laurel of Sing All You Want made her Road Trip Case sewing kit with some Moda favorites and Denyse Schmidt fabrics:

Road Trip Case

Krista of Spotted Stones made two Road Trip Cases:

Road Trip Case

 One features Anna Maria Horner fabric:

Road Trip Case

And the other with Lizzy House and Carolyn Friedlander fabrics using the long pocket version of the pattern:

Road Trip Case

I hope you're inspired to try something new! If you make a Road Trip Case, we'd love to see it, and all your other projects, in our Made With Pink Castle Fabrics Flickr group!

Topics: Bags, Noodlehead, Techniques

A finished Noodlehead Poolside Tote

Posted by Brenda Ratliff on Jul 16, 2014 4:27:00 PM
Poolside Tote

I'm back from an amazing beachy trip, and I have to say, my new Noodlehead Poolside Tote had quite the workout.

I used it as my carry-on bag for the trip, and everyday, I carried my towel, camera, sunscreen, and other essentials in it. I highly recommend this pattern, whether you are taking a trip of your own, or heading to the neighborhood pool. You might want to add an interior pocket, and I omitted the key loop.

It's a great pattern for showcasing your favorite large scale print, like maybe some Mustang horses or bees!
The bag is not difficult to sew, but I recommend cutting and prepping your pattern pieces and then breaking before sewing. I just feel that I do a better job with fresh eyes and mind.

To the beach!


Topics: Bags, Noodlehead, Techniques

English Paper Piecing: Hexies!

Posted by Brenda Ratliff on Jul 15, 2014 4:34:00 PM

When I was at Camp Stitchalot last month, Katy Jones gave us all a quick lesson in English Paper Piecing and a little project to do there or take along home. Now, I have seen hexies around, but never had the urge to try something I thought was a bit too labor and time intensive for a hobby (if you know me, you'd know if I can't get a machine to help me do it, it's quite possibly not worth doing). It's one thing to think, "oh, that's amazing, but I'll never try that!" upon seeing other people's work, but when someone places it into your hands, in Cotton + Steel fabrics no less, you've got to at least do one, right?

Then one turns into 14, because, um, you know how everyone says they're addictive? Well, it just so happens that they're addictive, and also easy:

EPP Hexies

And 14 turn into a mason jar pincushion:

EPP pincushion

Katy gave us directions at Camp, but Riley Blake has a fairly similar tutorial here.

And now I'm looking around for another English Paper Piecing project. And I'm going to make a Noodlehead's Road Trip Case to carry all my supplies.

Then maybe I'll attempt this amazing pincushion, made by my friend Melissa from a tutorial by Kristy of St Louis Folk Victorian:

EPP Ball

Or something like the patchwork on this Sew Together bag, made by my friend Vicky:

EPP pouch

I have a few blogger bundles collected in my stash that would be quite amazing as little bags and pouches like this!

Hopefully I have convinced you to adopt this yourself. It's a good little offshoot to machine quilting, it's great for travel, poolside, or just sitting on the couch, and the supplies you need are few.

All you need to English Paper Piece:
-hexagon papers
-a good handwork needle - I used Black Gold needles, and they are super thin and just the perfect length.
-thread and/or glue (though I just use thread)
-and something to secure the fabric to the paper - a pin, a wonder clip, a paper clip...

Many of these you probably already have, but we do have a paper piecing kit in the shop, which will get you everything but the scissors and fabric. Though, if you're reading this blog, it's likely you have both those things already.

If you're wondering how to get started with hexies, Lori Holt's hexie tutorial on her blog, Bee in my Bonnet is a good place to start.

And if you make any projects with hexies or without, we'd love to see them in our Made with Pink Castle Fabrics Flickr pool.

Topics: Cotton+Steel, English Paper Piecing, Noodlehead, sew together bag, Paper Piecing, Techniques

Noodlehead Poolside Tote - WIP

Posted by Brenda Ratliff on Jul 2, 2014 5:02:00 PM

Anna released her Poolside Tote pattern yesterday, and I've got my pieces cut and interfaced! I was so excited about the pattern that I just couldn't wait.

Poolside Tote
photo credit: Noodlehead

I especially love this version she made with Sarah Watson's upcoming Arcadia line!

I'm using some favorite prints, including this Jungle Ave print for the exterior pocket!

Poolside Tote

I'll be sure to share the bag once it's finished. I've got a trip coming up, and I think this will be the perfect carry on bag!

Topics: Bags, Noodlehead, Techniques

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