Tag Archives: sewing

Catnip Lightsaber – Free Tutorial

Catnip Lightsaber Tutorial on sewhooked.com

In between Much More Important Things, I’ve been making kitty toys here and there for our cat family members.

Last weekend, I made something new, tubes of fabric filled with Poly-fil & catnip. They were easy to make and the cats love them.

Your kitten pic for the day. The Kitty Kickers have gone over extremely well!

While watching this little guy, 8 month old Iliad, and his brother Ramses, play with their catnip tubes, it occurred to me that they could be much, much more fun to watch!


Have I seen The Force Awakens recently?

Yes, twice. Why do you ask? ūüėČ

These aren’t much more complicated to make than the original single piece of fabric version. I made both shown here in¬†about an hour, and that includes stopping to take pictures. Easy peasy!

As usual, this tutorial is for your personal & non-profit use. I would LOVE for you to make these both for your own kitties and your local shelter!

Catnip Lightsaber Tutorial on sewhooked.com

You’ll need:

  • 2 – 5″ x 8 1/2″ pieces of fabric in blue, red, or the lightsaber color of your choice
  • 2 – 5″ x 1 1/2″ pieces of grey or silver fabric
  • 1 – 5″ x 6 1/2″ piece of black or black printed fabric
  • Poly-fil or batting scraps
  • catnip¬†(I used a leftover packet from a cardboard scratcher)
  • funnel
  • sewing machine
  • iron (not absolutely necessary, but helpful)

EDITED TO ADD: To make a solid cat kicking tube, use a 5″ x 23″ish piece of fabric and skip to the third instruction.

Catnip Lightsaber Tutorial on sewhooked.com

Using a 1/4″ seam allowance, sew together pieces as shown:


Backstitching is recommended for stability.

Catnip Lightsaber Tutorial on sewhooked.com

Press all seam allowance in one direction.

Catnip Lightsaber Tutorial on sewhooked.com

Fold in half, with the black fabric in the center.

Catnip Lightsaber Tutorial on sewhooked.com

Lock the seams in with the opposite-facing seam allowance. Press.

Catnip Lightsaber Tutorial on sewhooked.com

Fold in half lengthwise. You now have a right sides both inside and out, giving you a “lining” for your lightsaber.

Catnip Lightsaber Tutorial on sewhooked.com

Using a 1/2″ seam allowance, stitch around. Start on the “saber” end with raw edge to the end and nearest you.

Be sure to backstitch where the thread crosses in the corner.

Leave the folded end (black fabric) unstitched. This is where the stuffing will go.

Catnip Lightsaber Tutorial on sewhooked.com

Here’s what you should have now.

Catnip Lightsaber Tutorial on sewhooked.com

Trim seam allowance to a scant 1/4″ or so, cutting corners close. Here’s where that backstitching comes in!

Catnip Lightsaber Tutorial on sewhooked.com

Using the method of your choice, turn the tube so the seam allowance is inside.

I use a large crochet hook to help with the process.

Catnip Lightsaber Tutorial on sewhooked.com

Here it is, ready to stuff!

Catnip Lightsaber Tutorial on sewhooked.com

Alternate catnip and Poly-Fil, stuffing as needed. A funnel will make this much easier. A cat will not!

(This tutorial is Marie approved.)

Catnip Lightsaber Tutorial on sewhooked.com

The crochet hook I used earlier worked a treat for squishing everything in.

Catnip Lightsaber Tutorial on sewhooked.com

I used two or three tablespoons of catnip total, making sure there was plenty at each end.

Catnip Lightsaber Tutorial on sewhooked.com

To save yourself a little grief, make sure you end with stuffing or you’ll have catnip all over your sewing machine.

Don’t ask me how I know. ūüėČ

Catnip Lightsaber Tutorial on sewhooked.com

Keeping the seam to one side, flatten the end. Because this is a fold, you don’t have to worry about raw edges.

This can be hand stitched, but I chose machine stitching for durability.

Are you the happy owner of Wonder Clips? They are not necessary, but very helpful to hold the end closed.

Catnip Lightsaber Tutorial on sewhooked.com

Stitch across and back a few times.

Catnip Lightsaber Tutorial on sewhooked.com

A very secure closure and we’re done!

Jedi Iliad

Iliad is a Jedi, like his father before him.

Sith Ramses

Ramses is too cute to be a Sith Lord.

Ramses & Iliaid Catnip Lightsaber face off

Hours of entertainment for kitties and humans alike!

January 2016 Flickr Prize for sewhooked.com

Want a chance to win a fun, free prize each month during 2016? It’s easy! Make today’s tutorial  and share it with my flickr group. You’ll be entered to win for each photo you share! Winners to be announced on the first Friday of each month.

Want to sponsor a 2016 prize? Please drop me an email.

Join the Sewhooked Facebook Group for community, fun and support!

That’s that, my friends! I hope you enjoyed today’s free tutorial!



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My Favorite Things 2016 Block of the Month sewhooked.com

I Want To Believe: An X-Files Quilt & Stitch Along coming 2016 on fandominstitches.com 

TTMT #323 – Making Things

Have a crafty day!


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Crafts of Halloween Past: TARDIS Treat Bag!

TARDIS treat bag tutorial

TARDIS Treat Bag Tutorial

Halloween Bats

I love October and everything the Halloween season has to offer and thought it would be fun to dust off some old favorite crafts and feature them during the course of this month.

Through Time and Space, or at least from October 2010, it’s the TARDIS Treat Bag Tutorial!

I made this fun bag for my daughter back in her freshman year of high school. This year? She’s a freshman in college and the proud owner of the Doctor Who Stitch Along quilt I completed in August of this year.

To make reliving the Crafts of Halloween Past even more fun for you, I’m offering a challenge with a prize!

Quilts from 100 Blocks, Fall 2013

Make any of my Halloween projects or patterns posted during the course of the month and post a photo to the Sewhooked flickr group¬†tagged “halloween.”

At the end of the month, I’ll draw a winner to receive a free copy of Quiltmaker’s Quilts from 100 Blocks, which includes my pattern Corn Maze! Heck, I’ll even sign it, if you like! ūüėČ

 photo tfioschallengebadge_zpsa5762687.jpg

Do you design paper pieced, embroidery, applique or other quilt patterns? Love John Green books? Join us for the #tfios Design Challenge, happening now on Fandom In Stitches!


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Featured Pattern: Fortune Teller, $2 on Craftsy
part of the Busy Bodies pattern set!

Love For Lily, A Thank You

Two weeks ago, I told you about Lily, the kitten my sister and her husband adopted after finding her abandoned near my parents’ home out in the country.

This is her story, and our thank you.

We now have all the money we need to pay for Lily’s medical expenses. We might even have a little left over to donate to our local Humane Society.

We quite literally can’t thank you enough.

Click here to learn more about Lily’s story.

Stocking for Lily
Here’s a little something I made for Lily. I was lucky enough to act as her post-surgery kitten sitter this week while my sister and brother-in-law were at work. She was a joy to be with every day and I will miss my mid-day kitten break!

Don’t miss my Blog Hop Party Giveaway! I have a free pattern and a fun giveaway, too!


Join me for my workshop:

Registration is open!

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Livin’ La Vida Linus

My Quilting Helper

Marie was my helper for the day!

Have you ever had one of those days where you just really, really needed to get things done? Not a “I have to get this done” day, but a “oh, no, I’m running out of time, I HAVE to get this done!” day?

I had one of those yesterday.

You see, The Linus Connection meets on Saturday, and until yesterday, I did not have one quilt completely finished.

Enter the next five quilts.

I free-motion quilted the two Stars For Linus quilts as well as the blendy floral quilt that I’ve dubbed “Oh no, not *that* quilt.”

I bound those three quilts as well as the other two shown below.

Today? I can barely raise my arms after all that free-motion quilting. Who says quilting isn’t exercise?

Stars For Linus

Stars For Linus Quilt #1

Stars For Linus

Stars For Linus Quilt #2

Stars For Linus

A close-up of my free-motion. I fought with my machine all day yesterday, changing needles, thread and changing my bobbin to get this done. I’m still not great at free-motion, but if I can find the right mix to make my sewing machine ¬†(and by default, me!)¬†enjoy it, I think I could get better.

Stars For Linus Tag

The label I put on each of the Stars For Linus quilts. After all, it was a group effort!


Stars For The Linus Connection 

a free 12″ pattern

for best results when printing, set scaling to ‚Äúnone‚ÄĚ

Remember, I’m also accepting Wonky Stars…if you’d rather! Please makes sure they are also 12″.

Oh No, Not That Quilt

Oh no, not that quilt! I still can’t decide if I like this one or not… Experimentation with fabric samples and the 10 Minute Block.

Zepellin Threads BOM Orphan Block quilt

Zeppelin Threads orphan block quilt. The two house blocks were donated by Cat and Pren. I pieced the rest and did the straight line quilting a couple of weeks ago.


Zepellin Threads BOM Orphan Block quilt

I love how the quilting worked out on this, though you can’t quite see all of it. There’s a lot of stitching in the ditch. I tend to do a lot more straight line quilting because my sewing machine behaves better when I do.

Quilt from JoAnn M.

Quilt top donated by JoAnn M. Quilted by my friend Marge, bound by me…yesterday. This was the last quilt I worked on last night before giving up for the day.


JoAnn M - quilting close-upClose up of Marge’s quilting, done on a Handi-Quilter.

Today, I am giving myself the morning off to spend with my bee. I’ve worked extra hard every day this week and am in need of a respite!

Add your Sewhooked-related photos to my flickr group and you might be featured in a future post!




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Hot Dog, A Pillowcase!

Isn’t it a beauty?

Printable PDF Tutorial!

Now available as a free video tutorial!

Honey Bee¬†is participating in American Patchwork & Quilting’s 1 Million Pillowcase Challenge. The first batch of gorgeous handmade pillowcases that Honey Bee has collected is going to the Texas Baptist Children’s Home, located in Round Rock, Texas.

I knew as soon as I heard about it that I wanted to participate.

Early on in the pillowcase drive, Honey Bee had a demo for the “Hot Dog” pillowcase method, which rumor has it is super-duper easy.

Only, I missed the demo.  Oops.  You see, it was on a Friday at lunch time.  Every Friday, I have a date lunch with my awesome hubby, so obviously going to a free pillowcase how-to demo was not going to win out over date lunch!

Well, I’ve made pillowcases before, so I wasn’t too fussed about it.¬† Then, a couple of weeks later, my sewing friends and I had a sewing day at our friend Linda’s house.¬† Osie, who happens to be one of the Goddesses of Honey Bee, was working on pillowcases for the drive and took a few minutes to show us how the mystical “Hot Dog” works.

Hot dog!¬† Seriously, hot dog!¬† This is the easiest, fastest and cleanest-looking pillowcase method I’ve seen.¬† Including the pillowcase used in this tutorial, I’ve now made 11 of these bad boys.¬† So easy, so fun…and excellent for stash busting!

Pillowcase 1 – 10, on their way to Honey Bee, all made from fabrics I had in my stash.

This was not my invention and there are a couple of tutorials floating around out there, but this is too good not to post again.  This is my take on the instructions.  I hope you enjoy, make lots of pillowcases and donate them to charity!  (Oh, okay, you can keep one or two for yourself!)

Pillowcases donated through Honey Bee!  The last I heard there were over 200!

Read more on the Honey Bee Blog.

They’ve even made it easy by offering pre-cut kits with

free how-to sheets for the Hot Dog method!

You’ll need:

Three lengths of fabric in three coordinating colors.  Makes one standard size pillowcase.

  • BUN (cuff) – 12″ x WOF (width of fabric ~ 44″)
  • MUSTARD (flange) – 2″ – 3″ x WOF (you can also use leftover quilt binding for this)
  • HOT DOG (body) 24″ – 26″ x WOF

You can vary the bun/hot dog size up or down, just make sure that the total yardage between those two is 36″ – 38″. 9 – 12″ for the bun is ideal.

If you use two yards of coordinating fabric, plus 6″ of a third, you can make two coordinating pillowcases with opposite colors!

My colors for this tutorial – a pre-cut kit from Honey Bee.¬† Isn’t the fabric just delicious?

Hot Dog, Bun & Mustard!¬†¬† Once your fabric is cut and pressed and you’re ready to go!

Roll out your BUN, right side up.

Press the MUSTARD in half

Place MUSTARD with raw edges matching along one side of the BUN.

Place HOT DOG on top of MUSTARD, face down.  Align raw seams.  Add a few pins to hold in place.

Roll the HOT DOG (hey, now it looks like a hot dog!) to within a few inches of the pinned edge.

Fold the BUN over the HOT DOG and pin along the raw edge, making sure to catch all layers of fabric.

Stitch along raw edge using a 3/8″ seam allowance.

Remove any pins and birth your HOT DOG!  Roll BUN back, gently tugging the HOT DOG out of the center.

Continue tugging and rolling until the HOT DOG is all the way out.

Your pillowcase should now look something like this.

Smooth out the fabric, then press the BUN and MUSTARD, tugging gently so it’ll lie flat.¬† I like to press on both sides.

Square up your pillowcase by removing the selvage.

With WRONG SIDES together (yes, I said wrong sides!), align the MUSTARD and corners of the pillowcase.

Pin in several places.

Stitch around raw edges using a 1/4″ seam allowance (yes, yes,¬† really, right sides out, wrong sides together!).

Turn the corner and sew across the bottom.

Trim corners (raw edges only, please!).

Turn the pillowcase wrong-side out.  Look how nice the BUN looks next to the HOT DOG!

Press the side and bottom seams flat.

Stitch using a 1/2″ seam allowance.

Look at that, you made French Seams…no raw edges!

Turn right side out and press.

See how nicely the MUSTARD lines up?   Did you notice that your condiment made a lovely little flap, too?

It looks good outside and in!

hot dog pillowcase tutorial
And hey, action shot!

Now, let me know if you’re as addicted to these as I am!¬† This beauty is number 11 and I know I’ll make more.¬† In addition to donating to the 1 Million Pillowcase Challenge, they also make great gift bags for quilts!

Need a hardcopy? Printable PDF Tutorial!

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vlog: TTMT A Whole Lot of Harry

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