A step by step tutorial to assist in the making of the Toolbox Trumpery project – the pattern is available for sale here. For those of you who do better visually when making, follow this along with the instructions in...
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Toolbox Trumpery photo tutorial and more...

Toolbox Trumpery photo tutorial

A step by step tutorial to assist in the making of the Toolbox Trumpery project – the pattern is available for sale here.

For those of you who do better visually when making, follow this along with the instructions in your pattern for a perfect finish.


Complete all embroidery as per the iron on transfer, design sheet and instructions. Press well and trim to size as advised.


Press your completed hexie panel and using a long ruler and rotary cutter cut it apart directly down the centre.

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Place your trimmed stitchery panel in the centre – open out the top and bottom seam allowances on the hexies and attach to both sides using a 1/4” seam allowance. Press seams to centre panel

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Fold in half wrong sides together. Mark the centre. Place template at centre mark on the top edge. Use a marker to draw around the curved edge.


Flip the template and repeat on the other side.


Use a rotary cutter or scissors and slice off the edges carefully. Use a ruler to continue down the straight edges to the bottom fold.


Lay your panel on top of the lining fabric and fusible lightweight batting and trim both to size. (you can do both layers at once or one at a time)


Fuse batting to wrong side of outer panel. Place right sides together with your lining piece and sew around outside edge using a 1/4” foot and leaving a 3” opening in the centre of one long side.

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Clip the curved corners, turn through the opening and press out all seam well and smooth


Open zipper and mark the centre. Place the right side of zipper onto the lining side of your panel having the centres matched and the teeth close to the edge. Use pins, clips or glue to hold around the top edge of the panel on both directions until you get to the ends.


Use a zipper foot on your machine to attach sewing as close to the teeth as possible. I used glue and then stitched from the outside so that I could get an even stitch line showing on the outside of my bag. An awl also helps to move the zip through and keep it right in place near the teeth. Move the zipper pull out of the way as you go.



Repeat for the other side of the zip on the other end of the bag. This one is a bit trickier to sew when you get to the closed end, use the awl to assist.


Turn the bag wrong side out. Open the zip. Position the zipper in the centre and flatten down each end. Use clips or pins to hold it flat and centred. Stitch across each flat end using a 1/4” seam allowance and taking care not to hit any metal parts of the zip. Repeat for both ends. Trim any overhanging zipper.


Place a binding strip right side down on the end having 3/4” overhang at the beginning and end. Stitch with a 1/4” seam. (again be careful not to hit any metal zip parts)


Fold in both ends (use glue to hold) and then double fold the long side in until it meets the stitch line. Glue or clip and then edge stitch into place covering all raw seams.

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Turn your bag through the open zipper and push out all corners.

Fill with all of your tools of trade and show it off with pride!

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Sewpink 2022


It’s that time of year again – October - Breast  cancer month.  Now it’s not that we should only be aware in October but it is a great way to remind yourself that it is important to CHECK THOSE BOOBS!

I’m honoured to be a part of this years ByAnnies Sew Pink Initiative yet again. I think I have been involved every year and it is my pleasure to contribute to this great initiative.

Copy of SewPINK-donation-2022-100

I do normally have time to design and make something especially for it, but alas this year time has gotten away from us all and I need to remind myself also to stop and smell the roses I think.

However I did take a day out for myself and make a lovely set of Clam up pouches in the latest fabric line to arrive in our store – which I just love – Anne Sutton’s Flower farm for Moda fabrics - it has so many lovely pinks and pretties, it was just perfect for the job!

We’ll be donating $5 from every

Clamup pattern sold in October to Breast Cancer Australia on your behalf.


There are 5 sizes in the pattern – and I will admit I just watched the great add-on videos and then stitched them right up – I didn’t even need to read the pattern!

These are the small, medium and large versions (there is an extra small and an extra large version as well)

clamup-think-pink9 clamup-think-pink-5 clamup-think-pink-2

We can never have too many little zipper pouches but I was thinking that they would be very handy for medications, creams and oils and other little goodies when going in for treatment. Or of course your stitching supplies.

All of us know someone close or dear to us who has fought the battle of Breast Cancer – particularly in our Quilting world where our demographic has such a high risk rate. But with so many advances and free breast screening for many we need to be vigilant and ‘check those bumps for lumps’


If you know someone who is fighting the battle or has won the fight we have this range of brooches/badges that may just have the right message.

cancer survivor badges

There are 16 to choose from and we’ll donate $1 from every sale to Breast Cancer Australia.

ByAnnies is also offering a $30 virtual voucher to one lucky person who reads this blog. I’d love you to post your pink bag makes on IG and tag me  @helen_stubbings  @patternsbyannie #sewpink  so I can choose a winner!

And remember to check those bumps for lumps!

hugs xxxxx



Here’s the full schedule for 2022 below. Be sure to drop by each bloggers post to see what they are sharing this year.




✂ Oct. 1 :ByAnnie.com Kick off

✂ Oct. 3 : Emmaline Bags

✂ Oct. 4: Hugs ‘N Kisses

✂ Oct. 5: Clover and Violet

✂ Oct. 6: Fat Quarter Shop and the Jolly Jabber

✂ Oct. 7: Sewfinity

✂ Oct. 10: Teresa Coates & Shannon Fabrics

✂ Oct. 11:Beyond the Reef

✂ Oct. 12: Sallie Tomato

✂ Oct. 13: Suzn Quilts

✂ Oct. 17: Snuggles Quilts

✂ Oct. 20: Pat Sloan

✂ Oct. 21: Knot and Thread Design

✂ Oct.23: Sookie Sews

✂ Oct. 24: Mister Domestic

✂ Oct. 26: A Bright Corner

✂ Oct. 27: Sew Cute and Quirky

✂ Oct. 1 : ByAnnie.com Final Wrap Up



The #SewPink Initiative was created by ByAnnie.com LLC to raise awareness for breast cancer throughout the year. Our efforts culminate in an annual blog hop during October’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month to promote self-care, awareness, early detection and support for those affected by breast cancer.

To learn more and see the calendar of events visit: https://www.ByAnnie.com/SewPINK

To find screenings available near you:

This year we are again joining forces with Fat Quarter Shop to promote a fundraiser. Their goal of raising $20,000 to donate to the National Breast Cancer Foundation.

ByAnnie.com will match every dollar raised on the #SewPINK fundraising page.





Sew Pink 2021


I'm proud to be a part of the third annual Sew Pink blog hop run by ByAnnie – to focus on Breast cancer for the month of October. Although its important every day of the year, I've taken part in each of these initiatives now as I believe in the importance of this raising of awareness – and funds to beat this thing!


This year when I went in for my bi-annual Boob check I ran into a friend coming in as I left. Not surprising – we’re all around the same age and demographic in a smallish town, so often you see someone you know. Little did I know that she was there for a dreaded callback – which resulted in a positive result and weeks of surgery, chemotherapy and years of anxiousness and checks to come.  What surprised me most when we next caught up and discussed it was that it was the first time she had had a breast check. (she is early/mid 50’s). This is despite having family history - and it being free to have Breast screens here in Australia from age 40.

Why wouldn't she do it? because, like me, she is a busy small business owner, a mum, a wife, a charity organiser and everything else she cannot say no to. She provides to, mentors and coaches hundreds of children a week in her business and she didn't have the time to think about herself – only others. She knows she should have, she knows its easy and free, she knows everything she could have done – but we, as working mums and business owners just tend to put ourselves last on that ever growing list.

You know I preach about the therapy of stitching, and I get so many messages of personal stories saying how stitching my patterns has helped people get through traumas, challenges and life events, including cancer journeys – I can’t stress enough the importance of taking that time out for ourselves, to smell the roses and – get the boob check! Before you have to go through the journey that so many of our friends and family have endured.

This year I have stitched the simple and of so useful ByAnnie Pocket Packer project using the wonderful Tula Pink linework fabrics we have instore at Quarter Inch.

think-pink-outside-styled-pocket-packer-byannieBut instead of a mesh on the outside pocket, I've used our EPP Iron-ons to make an English paper pieced ribbon in honour of the SewPink initiative. It’s quick and simple – but it sends a message – a reminder, to us all.

And I'm imagining that those are zebra unicorns there giving hope to all!

Here’s a quick little step by step of my ribbon process.

Take 18 diecut EPP 1” diamond papers (60 degree) and fuse them onto the wrong side of your chosen fabrics – I used three different Kona solids I had in my stash.

1inch diamond pack

think-pink-epp-in-progress4Remember to leave a 1/2” of fabric between them for seam allowances.

Cut them out keeping that 1/4” seam allowance on each one.

Next we use a fabric glue pen, a small line of glue along the edge of the paper and fold over that seam allowance onto the glue.

think-pink-epp-in-progress2 I arranged them onto a printout to see how I wanted to spread my colours around. (you can download that pdf here if it helps you)

Then you simply whip stitch them together as you would for any EPP. The difference with our EPP Iron-ons is you leave them in – yes they iron on, and stay in – if washed they’ll semi dissolve and just stay in as nice soft fibres.

Next you’ll cut a piece of cotton fabric (we used the zebra print) the same size as the mesh measurement in the pattern. Glue baste (we use small dots of Roxanne’s basting glue) it into place and then hand or machine stitch it down tucking in those tails as you go. think-pink-ribbon-epp

Then you’ll just continue to make up your bag as per the pattern.

I made Style 3 – with three pockets, splitting the bottom one.  You get a voucher code with each pattern to watch the Add-on videos by Annie. They take you through step by step with so many tips to perfect her zippers, mesh, vinyl and more.

2021-10-01 04.36.20If you’ve never done EPP before and would like to try this checkout my YouTube channel for some help using our method.

If you’d like to make your own version, we’re including enough EPP Iron-on precuts to make your ribbon with each Pocket packer pattern ordered on any of our websites.   We can also put together kits in the same fabrics we used – or of course you may have our own favourites.

We have a Giveaway

As part of the blog hop I have a $30 digital coupon to give away to one lucky reader – you just need to pop over to my Instagram feed and find the Sewpink post and enter to win. And remember, we’re giving you the EPP Iron-on 1” diamond papers when you grab the Pocket packer pattern.

Don’t forget to checkout the other amazing sew-leb-rities participating and see what they have on offer during the month of October.SewingMachine-ribbon


Oct. 1 (Fri):Fat Quarter Shop - The Jolly Jabber

Oct. 2 (Sat):Sallie Tomato

Oct. 4 (Mon): Hugs ‘N Kisses

Oct. 6 (Wed): Sewfinity

Oct. 11 (Mon):Beyond the Reef

Oct. 13 (Wed): Great Heron Thread Co.

Oct. 15 (Fri): Love You Sew

Oct. 15 (Fri): Emmaline Bags

Oct. 16 (Sat): Meadow Mist Designs

Oct. 18 (Mon): OklaRoots

Oct. 20 (Wed): Suzn Quilts

Oct. 20 (Wed): Teresa Coates

Oct. 22 (Fri): Knot and Thread Design

Oct. 23 (Sat): Shannon’s Studio

Oct. 25 (Mon): The Littlest Thistle

Oct. 27 (Thur): Mister Domestic

Oct. 27 (Wed): Sookie Sews

And Don’t forget to go have that Boob check – no matter how busy you are.

happy stitching,



The #SewPink Initiative was created by ByAnnie.com LLC to raise awareness for breast cancer throughout the year. Our efforts culminate in an annual blog hop during October’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month to promote self-care, awareness, early detection, and support for those affected by breast cancer.

To learn more and see the calendar of events visit: https://www.ByAnnie.com/SewPINK

To find screenings available near you:

Breast Screen (Australia)

CDC.gov (US)

WebMD (free screenings)

In addition to participating in the #SewPINK Initiative, Fat Quarter Shop invites you to support the National Breast Cancer Foundation with the goal of raising $10,000.

To find the Fat Quarter Shop fundraiser visit: https://fundraise.nbcf.org/FatQuarterShop


To learn more about the Breast Cancer Research Foundation visit: https://www.bcrf.org/


Its all about Maths!

Time for a little maths lesson.  Do you love English paper piecing but ready to move on from just hexies..



We have lots of die cut EPP Iron-on shapes being added to our inventory with our next order coming soon. So I thought it was time to have a little lesson on how they work together.


English Paper piecing is basically using paper templates (we use our Applique paper for our unique easyepp method) and folding fabric pieces over the paper to make perfect shapes.

Generally (although not always) the shapes tessellate to make a solid piece. This means that the shapes fit together perfectly with no gaps in between.

For this to work however, they either need to be all the exact same shape with an equal amount of sides or shapes in the same angle and size group.

So if you can remember back to school here is the basics of maths:

We’ll start with the simple hexagon. It has six sides. A full circle is 360degrees = so divide that by 6 and it gives us 60 degrees.




anglesNew Picture

So shapes that will tessellate with a hexagon generally all need to be based on 60 degree angles (or could be 30, 90, 120 degrees).

These include:


And all of their derivates (as in you can chop a hexagon up into many smaller shapes.)

Just look at all the ways you can cut a hexie apart and put it back together again!

hexie cut options



Of course you need to choose the measurement to match also (we’ll talk more about how to measure epp shapes in another post)

You can always start with any shape, cut it apart and know that it should go back together again, but what if you want to use different starter shapes and design a new motif or block with them?




Well just look at those angles and see if they might work together.

For example a jewel shape will work with the 60 degree hexie shapes.


1inch-jewel image


But what about other angles you may ask? well back to maths and your 360 degree circle. What else can it be divided into?




An Octagon is a 45degree shape (8 sides 360/8=45)

and therefore works well with honeycombs and 90 degree squares.


and 45 degree diamonds



A pentagon is not so pretty to use – on its own it does not tessellate (ie: there are gaps)


but combine it with 72 or 36  degree diamonds and it can work.



See if you can work out the maths in these In The Round blocks below:



If you’d love to learn more about English Paper piecing and our unique Easy EPP method checkout our tutorials


Channel Art Template (Fireworks)

Hexies the Hugs 'n Kisses way


Or you may wish to take our Scrappity Doo Dah 26 part EPP program.



That's enough for one maths lesson – happy epp’ing

Hugs, Helen


Sew pinkStitch for Breast cancer month in October = blog hop


I'm again participating in the ByAnnie #sewpink campaign for the October Breast cancer awareness month. Although I have so far escaped the 1 in 7 statistic, many of my friends have not and I have watched them battle and fight with grace and courage… hopefully by their side with support along the way. So it was certainly my honour to once again support this activity and bring a little awareness and reminders to our day.


There are many great designers participating in the blog hop, and I've put the links at the bottom of the post.  We also may each have a prize to giveaway! yes, one every day if you visit each blog. To win mine, you just need to post a pic on IG and tag me @helen_stubbings using hashtag #sewpink.  telling your friends and family to ‘check their bumps for lumps’. Don’t forget to tag me or I won’t see your entry. It would be great to also tag @PatternsByAnnie  It can be a HNK or ByAnnie project you’ve made, some wise words or show your BC story, anything you like. Be creative and have fun..  You may win a $30 digital voucher from By Annie and another from Hugs ‘n Kisses.

Last year I had a bit of fun and made this little project – the Zip it up bag


and we held a wonderful and successful ‘Stitch for Sisters’ high tea event raising many funds for the cause.


IMG_8863 IMG_8850

Sadly that is not possible this year – so I have instead ‘interviewed’ three lovely friends who have all won the battle and have some tips to share. (note: photos and content provided & shared with their permission further down)

I have also made the lovely Day Tripper 2.0 Cross body bag from ByAnnie as I felt it was the perfect bag for day treatment visits.


I've used Anna Maria Horner fabrics which are just perfect for the task, and something that I thought you’d be proud to hang over your shoulder. daytripper-close-top

I used the wonderful bag zippers from ByAnnie, (in hot pink of course) and the Wild Lotus Prussian fabric by Anna Maria. We also just received the lovely new black hardware from Annie, so of course I had to try that..  stock is coming!day-tripper-full-outside

I asked my friends what 3 things would they put into a day treatment (tripper) bag?


What are three things you wished you knew before going to your first treatment to take in your bag?


IMG_1731 IMG_2192 

First and last treatments -

First treatment I was full of anxiety  - Last Herceptin treatment (had to do this every 3 weeks for 12months, started with chemo) feeling happy it was all over

1. I wished I had prepared a small bag packed with a simple project to work on just at treatments, or sitting in waiting rooms. I was always walking out the door and forgetting to take some handwork and a lot of time was wasted in my own head worrying about stuff I had no control over.

2.I found taking comfy socks to wear during chemo kept my toes warm and me comfy.


3.Keep a diary/journal and write your story.



Look good, Feelgood workshops – celebrating end of first year of treatment

1.Ask how you’re having your treatment, mine was through a cannula in my hand and so I couldn’t really use one of my hands while I was having the chemo. So Music and an electronic book were better options than stitching for me, it was such a shame I had so much time I would have loved to have stitched. My days were a minimum of six hours long to an overnight stay on my first treatment.

2.I found everyone amazing and you are well informed about what to expect but when they suggested loose comfortable clothing I didn’t think about easy slip on shoes and socks! I liked to recline in the chair without my shoes, but I needed to put them on every time I went to the toilet which was often. You’re hooked up to a pump on a mobile pole and a cannula in one hand that they ask you not to use if possible so slip on shoes are invaluable. I took a pair of crocs in my bag. If you don’t wear socks take some. It may be hot outside, but hospitals are airconditioned and if you’re like me I didn’t like cold feet. It’s also not a fashion faux pas to wear socks with your slip on shoes, you also don’t have any hair remember.

3. A drink bottle that you only need one hand to open is handy and big enough you don’t have to get up too often but not too big that its heavy to lift. Your encouraged to drink lots of water and believe me it’s better to stick with that advice, dehydration, nausea, constipation are all much worse if you don’t drink regularly.




About to go into surgery – stitchery in hand to calm the nerves

Mandy due to her home location moved away from home to a residential facility to undergo her weeks of radiation treatment daily. The most valued things (packed in a bag by her good friend) to get through this period were:

1.A little new stitching project by Anni Downs,

2.MooGoo body cream & homemade sleeping and relaxation oils,

3. chocolate and magazines


What is one single piece of advice you would have as a survivor?


If you’re likely to lose your hair don’t panic and rush out and buy an expensive wig, you may never wear it, the head scarves I had were so much more comfy and pretty. The wig still sits in a box.


Try to be patient if you’re not that nature. Everything takes longer than you think it should. Tests to be done so you can start treatment, your treatment to be over, days to feel normal, your hair to grow back, your taste to return, to not need an afternoon sleep, to be able to concentrate and remember things, to like chocolate again Winking smile , but before you know it it’s all over and you survived.


Have that regular mammogram when it’s due! I like many before and after me was symptomless and my little cancer friend was hiding and didn’t want to be found by regular monthly checks. It was an insidious little monster just growing away and I thank Breast Screen Victoria for their vigilance.


Remember to win a $30 ByAnnie digital voucher OR a $30 HNK voucher you just need to post a pic on IG and tag me @helen_stubbings using hashtag #sewpink. Don’t forget to tag me or I won’t see your entry. It can be a HNK project you’ve made, some wise words or show your BC story, anything you like. If possible – make it pink!

and ladies and gents – don’t forget to check those bumps for lumps!

Hugs for today – and go check those bumps!



Oct. 1 (Thur): Mister Domestic

Oct. 5 (Mon): Sewfinity

Oct. 7 (Wed): Great Heron Thread

Oct. 9 (Friday): Knot and Thread

Oct. 12 (Mon): Snuggles Quilts

Oct. 14 (Wed): A Bright Corner

Oct. 16 (Fri): Susan Quilts

Oct. 19 (Mon): HUGS'N KISSES

Oct. 20 (Tues): Sallie Tomato

Oct. 22 (Thur): Nancy Scott

Oct. 23 (Fri): Meadow Mist

Oct. 26 (Mon): LoveYouSew

Oct. 27 (Tue): Teresa Coates

Oct. 31 (Sat): Sue O'Very/Sookie Sews

The #SewPink Initiative was created by ByAnnie.com LLC to raise awareness for breast cancer throughout the year. Our efforts culminate in an annual blog hop during October’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month to promote self-care, awareness, early detection and support for those affected by breast cancer.

To learn more and see the calendar of events visit: https://www.ByAnnie.com/SewPINK

To find screenings available near you:

· Breast Screen (Australia)

· CDC.gov (US)

· WebMD (free screenings)

To donate directly to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation visit: https://give.bcrf.org/give/31404/#!/donation/checkout


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