Sunday, July 17, 2011

Fruit Slivers Wallet Tutorial

Yesterday morning I found a project that I had forgotten about. I could not believe how much I had finished on it and have no idea why I put it away. It's a bright, fun, and fast quilt to cut out and sew from a free pattern by Fresh Lemon Quilts at

I finished up the blocks then squared them to 9.5" as the pattern directed. What I ended up with was this:

Now I can be a bit anal about throwing out fabric. After all, a wise woman once said that even those little bits and pieces of fabric still cost you X amount of $'s per yard. (You fill in the X). But these were just slivers. Some 1/4", some a hair bigger. But! an idea popped into my head, so, getting totally side tracked from what I started out to do, I went with the flow.

Here's what I came up with.

Cut a piece of Pellon 4.5"x8.5" (longer if you want a flap that is longer than 1 1/2"). Lay out strips along the length. I put a wider one on the edges. Stitch across one short edge to hold the strips in place. Pin the top and bottom to an ironing surface.

Use short strips of your choice to weave through the longer strips. I used a pair of forceps to grasp each piece and pull it through. I kept it clamped and using my other hand I snuggled each strip up to the top. The idea is to cover the white Pellon. 

The strips do not need to be perfectly aligned. If they are slightly angled, no biggie. Don't you like projects that are so laid back?

This will be a tri-fold wallet so I estimated where the folds would be. My folds are at approximately 3 1/4" and 7".  I used a wider strip of fabric on the folds to support opening and closing a little better.

After weaving, carefully move the piece to your machine and stitch around the edges. I actually did mine from the top by just feeling where the edges were as I stitched.

This is the other side after stitching around the edges. Trim an 1/8" to 1/4" outside the white pellon piece to leave fabric for raveling.

Top stitch using threads to match or contrast. Use zigzag, straight, or the fun stitches on your machine you rarely use. I went down and across most strips of fabric. Dont' worry, it's really fast.

In order to have 1/4" or so of my card peeking out at the top the pockets were made at 1 3/4" deep. Measure about 2 1/2" up and fold fabric right sides together. Press edge. Accordian fold the fabric (just like the fans we did in kindergarten) to make 2 or 3 pockets. Loosely place it on top of the pellon piece and eyeball where to fold two pockets to fit inside the center area. (I will add measurements for this soon).

Two pockets (rejected fish fabric lining):

Three pockets but hard to see in this fabric. I tore the strip of orange fabric to encourage fraying. The pocket edges were not easy to distinguish so after pressing each pocket I used a sliver and stitched along the edge of each pocket. Just a bit more of cute.

Then place the lining with pockets on the pellon and stitch around the outer edges. Stitch along the fold lines

Having not thought of how I wanted to fasten the wallet before reaching this point I decided to use a button and wrap strip. I zigzaged down a piece of fabric and tore it off which made it curl and ravel. I stitched on a button and hand stitched the frayed strip below. 

Completed wallet. I so love the colors and frayed edges.

I think there will be more wallets to come. Some options could be to cut the fabric outside the pellon about 3/8" and do a seam around the wallet and turn it so the edges are smooth. Or leave more of the strips hanging outside of the wallet and add beads or charms or knot. Closures could be changed to a snap which would need to be put on before the lining is attached. Or, gasp, Velcro. It could have a tab and snap or tab and button or wrap all the way around the wallet. Maybe tie?

Either way, I enjoyed the process and would love to hear your thoughts on this project.



maria said...

love love the citrusy colors and the weaving and the unfinished edges! It's beautiful.

inge Waleson said...

hi Melody,

I really like your weaving-idea with the slivers of material and your quilt pics. it does inspire me to make more pics about my own projects. I've started my 2nd quilt few days ago, it'll be for our aid who's due end of october, so i'll have to hurry to get it done in time.... hopefully the little one'll wait to come out till i'm finished!!

love, Inge
(by the way, you 'know' me through postcrossing)