Learn how to make a Simple Patchwork Pencil case with this great sewing tutorial by Sarah Ashford! These cute little pencil pouches are quick to stitch up and make wonderful gifts!
Sometimes we want to stitch up a project or quick gift that’s not too complicated, and not too time consuming, but looks great, is practical and has that handmade touch.
I thought I’d design a simple patchwork pencil case, with the added touch of some appliqué, machine quilting, and hand quilting too…which can be included or not depending on how much time you have.
Sometimes I like simple, and sometimes I like all the techniques, and so I’ve used them all! But you can make it as quilted and adorned with appliqué as little or as much as you like.
My friend Karen Lewis has just released this stunning fabric collection, so I thought it a great opportunity to have a play. With the chic blacks and greys and a hint of metallic, it makes for a really sophisticated project, ideal for well, anyone really!
You’ll be able to whip one of these up in no time, you could always make 2 at once 🙂
How to Make a Simple Patchwork Pencil Case:
Supples for Patchwork Pencil Case:
- Sixteen (16) 2 ½” squares
- Lining 2 ( 8” x 4”)
- Batting 2 ( 10” x 6”)
- 10” zipper
- Spray baste (optional)
- Hand quilting thread – I like to use 12 weight Aurifil
- Usual sewing supplies (sewing machine, rotary cutter, mat, scissors, thread, binding clips, etc.)
Time needed: 2 hours.
Simple Patchwork Pencil Case Instructions:
- Design your Case
First of all, you need to have a plan. Work out the layout for the front and back of your pencil case. I spent ages getting the right balance of colors and designs! For each side of the pencil case, you will need 2 rows of 4 squares.
TOP TIP – take a photo of this layout to refer back to, as it’s very easy to get the squares in a muddle when you move to the sewing machine! This helps you keep all the fabrics in the correct layout.
- Assemble the Case Outside
Stitch the top row of each side together and press the seams to the right. Stitch the bottom rows together and press the rows to the left.
Now join the top row and bottom row together nesting the seams. Do this for each side to complete the outer panel of the pencil case.
- Add Batting
Now baste them to some batting. I like to use spray baste, but you could easily use fusible fleece or basting pins if you prefer.
- Add a bit of Selvage
I also decided to add a little selvage detail to my pencil case – I love a selvage in a project! I’ve just used spray basted it to adhere it but it will get ‘sewn in’ when it’s got quilting over it.
Next for the quilting. I decided to use matchstick quilting in a fairly organic way, varying the distance between the lines each time. I used a hera marker to mark the first line, then stitched at different intervals to create the organic effect. I made sure had quilted lines very close to the top and bottom of the selvage, to help ‘seal’ it in and prevent fraying.
- Quilting Tips:
I used a couple of different thread colors; a light grey and a charcoal for the matchstick quilting, and then I added some hand quilted stitches as well. Once your quilting is complete, trim the batting.
- Assemble the Case
Now we’re going to turn our panels into the pencil case. Take the quilted front panel and place right sides up. Place the zipper right side down, aligning along the top edge and with the zipper on the left. Place the lining piece right side down on top. Use binding clips to hold the layers together and stitch across the top edge close to the zip. A zipper foot is useful for this step.
- Top Stitch the Edge of the Zipper
Press and fold the lining so that it’s wrong sides facing the wrong side of the front panel. Topstitch in place.
- Stitch the Other Side of the Zipper
Next, layer up as follows: place the back quilted panel right side up. Place the quilted panel with the attached zip right side down, and place the second lining piece right side down on top.
- Top Stitch Again
Use binding clips to hold in place, and stitch across the top edge. Open out and topstitch in place as before.
- Final Assembly
Now for the final part. Undo the zip almost halfway. This is very important!
Take the lining sections and place right sides together, and the outer panels and place right sides together. Clip-in place all the way around, leaving a gap for turning in the lining.
Stitch all the way around, reinforcing the seams over the zip and at the beginning and end of the gap. Clip the corners and trim the zip on both sides. Turn out through the gap in the lining.
Stitch the gap in the lining closed by hand using a small ladder stitch, and you’re done! Fill your pencil case with stationery items, sewing supplies, makeup….or wrap it up and give it to someone special.
Sarah Ashford is a British Quilter and embroiderer and founder of the GreatBritishQuilter challenge on Instagram. Sarah regularly contributes projects to magazines and loves to spread the joy of quilting everywhere she goes. Follow her on Instagram at @sarahashfordstudio and be sure to check out her beautiful sewing room decals in her Etsy shop www.etsy.com/shop/