Sunday, December 30, 2018

Starty-Stoppy Scrappy Wallets

If you use starty-stoppies (leaders-enders, jumpers, or whatever you like to call them) to begin and end your machine stitching, you should save them and make stuff! If you don't use starty-stoppies when you are sewing, you can make these wallets using scraps instead. Fold the scraps double so that you'll have more raw edges for texture. 

I have one for folding money and a second one for business cards, credit cards, driver's license, etc. People often comment about my wallet, they make fun gifts, and they are good for using fabric leftovers. I also made a purse that was covered with starty-stoppies, but that's another story!

You'll need:

Base fabric, which is also the lining: 7” x 5”

Fabric for pockets:
Cut 2 small pockets, measuring 5” x 4.5” (fold to 5” x 2.25”, wrong sides together, and press)
Cut 2 large pockets, measuring 5” x 6” (fold to 5” x 3”, wrong sides together, and press)

Lightweight, fusible interfacing such as Pellon #931TD:
Cut one for base fabric, 7" x 5"
Cut 2 for small pockets, 5” x 2.25”
Cut 2 for large pockets, 5” x 3”

And, of course, a pile of starty-stoppies, or scraps that are folded double.


Fuse the 7" x 5" interfacing to the wrong side of the base fabric. Arrange the starty-stoppies on the interfaced side of the base fabric with at least 1/2" extending beyond the edge of the base fabric, as pictured in the first photo below. Overlap them a little to fully cover the interfacing and stitch them on, adding pieces as you go (the bobbin thread will show on the inside of your wallet, so choose a thread color that you like). I usually stitch in a grid pattern, which you can see in the second photo. Sometimes I have to add additional lines of stitching if I see that I didn't catch the edges of the starty-stoppies well enough. The stitching is pretty random and I don't plan it, I just start sewing and catch all the edges of the little pieces. After the interfaced side of the base fabric is fully covered, turn it over and trim the edges of the exposed starty-stoppies to 1/2" beyond the edge of the base fabric (see the third photo).

Overlap starty-stoppies and stitch until base piece is completely covered. 

Base fabric/lining completely covered (the aqua/blue/green one at the top).
The one I am holding shows the inside of the wallet with the grid of sewing lines.

Use a rotary ruler and cutter to trim the exposed starty-stoppies so that 1/2" remains
beyond the edge of the base fabric.

The wallet has four pockets--two large and two small. Place the pieces of interfacing inside the folded pocket pieces and press to fuse. Topstitch each pocket about 1/8" from the folded edge. Arrange the four pockets on the base fabric as pictured (large pockets go on first, with small pockets on top, raw edges are aligned with raw edges of the base fabric) and machine stitch the pockets in place. The bobbin thread will show on the outside of the wallet, so choose the thread color accordingly.

Enough pockets for two wallets (topstitched close to folded edge).
Layer two pockets (a large and a small) at both ends of wallet.

Large pockets go on first, small pockets on top of large, align raw edges, machine stitch close to edges.

Fold the extra 1/2" to the inside, covering the raw edges of the base fabric and pockets. Stitch in place, going around the wallet at least twice for durability. The bobbin thread will show on the outside of the wallet, so choose the thread color accordingly. The last photo is the first one I made, and it is looking pretty ratty these days. I guess I should throw it in the laundry.

First round of stitching.

Going around the corner.

Three finished wallets.

My old wallet. It has seen better days, but it has traveled many miles with me.

Sunday, April 06, 2014

Treasures From The Vault

You might have heard about the amazing collections of stuff my mother has saved over the years.  Her house is the Mary Poppins carpetbag of houses.  Where has she been keeping all of this?  Does she have a secret basement?  I've posted many photos on Facebook of things my mother has given away in recent years.  Here are this week's treasures, which will now go into MY collections.  I will actually use the needles, so that is how I justify accepting those.  The bone crochet hook just appeals to me, although I don't crochet.  The buttons on the cards, well, I remember when my mother and I went through a phase of buying discontinued buttons at Hancock's on Webb Chapel in Dallas during the sixties.  I think they were $.10 per card.  There are plenty of those still in my own stash, but many of them were used back in the day when I was actually sewing clothes (imagine!).

Wednesday, April 02, 2014


April 23 is the deadline for finishing my quilt that will be included in an exhibit at the International Radiation Protection Association conference in Geneva, Switzerland in June.  Several of my friends are as busy as I am, trying to start, I mean FINISH our quilts.  The best motivation is a looming deadline, and this one is hanging heavily over my head.  But I'm making progress!

Here are a few photos of my WIP (work in progress) as we quilters call it.  I painted a background with Pebeo Setacolors, heat set it and then ironed on hundreds (thousands?) of die-cut freezer paper circles.  Tomorrow or the next day I will spray on additional layers of color, and those circles will serve as a resist, leaving the color beneath untouched.  I hope.  Oh, please...

I'll be posting updates soon!

 I got a stiff neck while ironing those circles on when the board was standing up, so I finally wised up and put it on a table.  Still, after a few hundred circles last night, I was tired with a capital T!

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Yep, it's a new day, it's a new web site and it's all good!  My talented friend Robin Williamson just got my new web site up and running a couple of days ago and she did such a fabulous job!  Check it out:  And, by golly, I'm going to start posting again on my blog to celebrate!  I think I might, ahem, have said that a time or two before, but this time I mean it.

Tonight Mike and I drove to Weatherford so that we could go to the Quilters Guild of Parker County.  I wanted to see Bonnie Hunter's ( program and I also wanted to give her a set of my new Hexactagon templates since she loves hexies so much.  While I was listening to her, I pieced a block myself.
I can understand how quilters get hooked on these.


Monday, December 03, 2012

Is it just me?  I don't think so.  I hope not.  Some say that a short-term 
memory deficit is stress induced.  Hmmm, not in my case, 
I'm pretty sure.  Maybe if I start documenting my, ummm, lapses, 
then I'll become more aware and focused and, therefore, productive.  
Uh-huh, I'm going with that.

As for today, I am STILL looking for those little plastic discs (can't 
remember the name) that go inside my bobbin case on my 
longarm machine.  I know that Connie gave me some but they 
are hiding.  Also missing are the 20 or so wildflower postcards 
that I made in October--been looking for those for a week or so.  
However, today I DID find the missing seam ripper.  It was hiding on 
the floor under my longarm.

Why is it that when you are making a lot of something, and try to
keep count of how many you have made as you go, it's just not
possible to remember if you just said "89" to yourself or if it was
"90"?  I need to make 108 of something and I've counted the
pieces in progress about eight times (or was it nine?).

Friday, February 04, 2011

Hungry Birds

We've been putting lots of feed out for the birds this week.  The fountain in the tiny pond near the feeders was frozen, so I poured some hot water on it to get the water going and melt some of the ice so the birds could get a drink. 
There was heavy traffic at the feeders yesterday and quite a variety of birds.  They are very busy this morning looking for the seed, which is covered by last night's snow, so I'll go out and uncover it and fill the hanging feeder.  I don't know how many hours I spent standing at the window watching them yesterday.  It was impossible to walk by and not stop to look.


Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Quilters Guild of Dallas Meeting This Week

I'm so happy to be invited back to my hometown guild to give the program and workshop this week.  The guild meeting is Thursday night (January 6) and the two-day workshop is Friday and Saturday.  For information about the guild, go to .