Sewing Pattern: Geometric Appliqué Tote

Geometric Machine Applique Tote, free sewing pattern by Underground Crafter - flatlay photo with tote bag with circular appliques, notebook, tablet, and pens on faux brick backdrop

I recently took a class to up my machine appliqué skills and I’m sharing a quick project you can make to learn how to machine appliqué. You can use machine appliqué for all types of sewing projects, including quilts and embellishment on clothing, gifts, and more.

This post contains affiliate links. I may receive compensation (at no added cost to you) if you make a purchase using these links. My sewing machine sponsor is Baby Lock and this post is part of our ongoing collaboration. Additional materials for this post were generously provided by Fairfield World and Fiskars. Camera and vinyl backdrop were generously provided by B&H Photo Video and Pro Audio.

One of the reasons I was so attracted to the Baby Lock Jubilant is because it is a very portable machine. (You can read my full review and watch my unboxing of the Jubilant here.) At under 15 pounds (under 7 kg), I can carry it around with me during my adventures around New York City. A few weeks ago, I had the day off and saw that my local quilt shop, Gotham Quilts, was offering a machine appliqué workshop taught by Justin from Keaton Quilts.

Geometric Machine Applique Tote, free sewing pattern by Underground Crafter - Gotham Quilts storefront sign

Though Gotham Quilts has its own machines, I prefer to bring my own machine to classes so I can focus on learning the technique, rather than on trying to figure out a new-to-me machine. Justin’s sample project was this pretty little heart quilt.

Geometric Machine Applique Tote, free sewing pattern by Underground Crafter - heart appliqued quilt

Although it’s pretty easy to carry around my Baby Lock Jubilant using just the handle, I brought it down to the shop with my Genuine Collection Machine Tote. It was actually raining fairly heavily on the day I took the class, so I stored all my class supplies in the Machine Tote and I didn’t have to carry an extra bag.

Geometric Machine Applique Tote, free sewing pattern by Underground Crafter - Baby Lock Jubilant in sewing machine tote

Since I have a history of not finishing class projects, I picked some bright fabrics to go with my background fabric to make a pillow instead.

Geometric Machine Applique Tote, free sewing pattern by Underground Crafter - fabric choices

With my fabric selected, I went upstairs to the classroom and unpacked my machine…

Geometric Machine Applique Tote, free sewing pattern by Underground Crafter - Baby Lock Jubilant in bag

…popped in the Invisible Thread

Geometric Machine Applique Tote, free sewing pattern by Underground Crafter - Baby Lock Jubilant

…and (fast-forward through the ironing and cutting), I was ready to machine applique!

Geometric Machine Applique Tote, free sewing pattern by Underground Crafter - sewing with Baby Lock Jubilant machine

And, in case you are wondering… no, the pillow top isn’t finished. But I do have all the appliques sewn on to one side, so that counts for something, right?

Geometric Machine Applique Tote, free sewing pattern by Underground Crafter - appliqued hearts on cat fabric against Baby Lock Jubilant sewing machine

This is the eleventh pattern in the Little Gifts Sew Along. Are you just hearing about the Little Gifts Sew Along? Get all the details here.

  • You can join in by sewing the projects as you have time.
  • Share your progress and post pictures of your finished projects. Tag your projects and posts #sewlittlegifts and #stockingstuffersal on all social media.
  • If you’d like to chat with other sewists, join the Underground Crafters Facebook group.
  • By the end of the SAL, you’ll have up to 25 handmade gifts.
  • Use the button below on social media. Right click (on desktop) or tap and hold (on mobile) to save.

Geometric Machine Appliqué Tote

Sewing Pattern by Underground Crafter

Geometric Machine Applique Tote, free sewing pattern by Underground Crafter - flatlay photo with tote bag with circular appliques, notebook, tablet, and pens on faux brick backdrop

The Geometric Machine Appliqué Tote is a great project for learning or practicing your machine appliqué skills. It folds up easily so it makes a great everyday market bag. You can also use appliqué to add letters or other customization to make it special for the recipient. It makes a great project bag for your favorite crafter, or a simple folding tote for any eco-friendly shopper avoiding plastic bags. You can also use it as gift wrap! This is the eleventh of 25 free sewing projects by 12 bloggers in the Little Gifts Sew Along.

Finished Size

  • Tote: 13.5” (34 cm) x 10” (25.5 cm).

Tools

Materials

Instructions

Prepare fabric and interfacing

  • Iron your fabric.
  • If using yardage, cut one 14″ (35.5 cm) piece across the length of the fabric.
Geometric Machine Applique Tote, free sewing pattern by Underground Crafter - cutting fabric on cutting board
  • Trim the selvedge and cut the fabric in half across the full length. Each piece should measure approximately 14″ (35.5 cm) by 21″ (53.5 cm). Fold each of these pieces in half along the long edge. One piece will be the front of the bag and the other will be the lining.
Geometric Machine Applique Tote, free sewing pattern by Underground Crafter - cutting fabric on cutting board
  • If you are using fat quarters, cut one 14″ (35.5 cm) by 21″ (53.5 cm) piece from each of two fat quarters. Fold each piece in half along the long edge. One piece will be the front of the bag and the other will be the lining.
  • Cut two strips of fabric for the handles. I cut mine to 2.5″ (6.5 cm) wide and trimmed them to about 26″ (66 cm) each. If using fat quarters, you may need to piece 2.5″ (6.5 cm) strips together to get the right length for your handles.
  • Cut your two scrap pieces for the appliqués so they are large enough for the circle shapes to fit inside.
  • Cut your pieces of Fairfield World Stick double-sided fusible interfacing to the same size as your fabric scrap pieces.
Geometric Machine Applique Tote, free sewing pattern by Underground Crafter - cut pieces of fabric and stick
  • Follow the instructions on your fusible interfacing to iron it to the wrong side of your fabric. I sandwiched the fabric and fusible interfacing between Goddess Pressing Sheet to keep my iron clean.
Geometric Machine Applique Tote, free sewing pattern by Underground Crafter - iroing on stick to back of fabric
  • If you’re using a Sizzix, follow instructions to cut your circles. If you’re using circular objects, trace an outline of each shape with a fabric marker and then cut out with fabric shears.
Geometric Machine Applique Tote, free sewing pattern by Underground Crafter - fabric reading for cutting with Sizzix Big Shot on faux brick backdrop

Machine appliqué the fabric

  • Position your appliqués as desired on the front side of the fabric for the front of your bag. Be sure to leave at least 1/2″ (1.5 cm) clearance on all sides for seams. The fusible interfacing side should be pressed against the right side of the fabric.
Geometric Machine Applique Tote, free sewing pattern by Underground Crafter - appliques being pressed
  • Follow the instructions on your fusible interfacing to iron it to the front side of your bag. I sandwiched the fabric and fusible interfacing between Goddess Pressing Sheet to keep my iron clean.
  • Using a neutral, 100% cotton thread in your bobbin and Dritz Invisible Thread, select a zig zag stitch on your machine and change your presser foot if necessary. (I used the J foot on my Baby Lock Jubilant with stitch #7 for the heart pillow and stitch #6 for the geometric tote.)
  • Tip: Try out different stitch widths and lengths on the zig zag stitch on a scrap piece of fabric to find what you like best.
  • Secure the first stitch on the line of the circle. Then, working slowly, zig zag around the circle. When turning, keep your needle down and lift your presser foot to make it easier to control the direction of your applique stitches.

Finish bag

  • With the right sides facing and using a 1/4″ seam, sew two sides closed on the front piece of your bag. Turn right side out.
  • With the right sides facing and using a 1/4″ seam, sew one side closed on the lining of your bag. Continue to sew on additional side, leaving a 4” (10 cm) opening on one of the side seams.
  • Fold the straps along the long edge with the right sides together and press down the length with your iron. With a 1/4″ seam, sew each strap closed.
  • Using the tweezers, turn each strap right side out. Press gently with iron to remove wrinkles. Trim straps to the same length.
  • Pin the short edges of the straps to the right side of the front piece of the bag as pictured below. With the first strap, pin one short edge to the top of the front and the second short edge to the top of the front of the bag. Repeat with the other strap on the back of the bag, being sure to line up the straps.
Geometric Machine Applique Tote, free sewing pattern by Underground Crafter - straps pinned to bag
  • Using your machine’s free arm and with the right side of the bag facing up, sew a 1/4″ seam allowance along the top edge of the bag, sewing the straps in place. Remove pins as you work.
  • Place the front of the bag with the right side out inside of the lining. The lining should still have the right sides together/wrong sides out. Pin in place.
Geometric Machine Applique Tote, free sewing pattern by Underground Crafter - front of bag inside lining
  • Using your machine’s free arm, sew a 1/2″ seam allowance along the top of the lining, sewing the front of the bag with the straps in place to the lining. Remove pins as you work.
  • Turn the bag right side out, pulling through the 4” (10 cm) opening in the lining.
Geometric Machine Applique Tote, free sewing pattern by Underground Crafter - pulling right side of bag out of lining
  • Sew the opening in the lining closed.
  • Put the lining back in the bag.
  • Working on the right side of the bag and using your machine’s free arm, sew a top stitch around the edge, working over front, lining, and straps.
  • Trim threads and enjoy your tote.

Sewing Pattern: Quilted Tote

Sewing Pattern: Quilted Tote by Underground Crafter

The Quilted Tote is a quick project for using up existing quilt blocks or for busting through your stash of fat quarters. You can gift it to another crafter (it makes a great project bag), pair it with a book or tablet (it’s also a cute, padded carrying case), or use it as gift wrap.

This post contains affiliate links. I may receive compensation (at no added cost to you) if you make a purchase using these links. My sewing machine sponsor is Baby Lock. Additional materials for this post were generously provided by Fairfield World and Fiskars.

I’ve included instructions for piecing the quilt blocks for the bag front and back, but you can substitute existing 8.5” square quilt blocks for the front or back of the bag instead. I made my Quilted Tote small enough for my tablet, but you can adjust the basic parts of the pattern to make it larger or smaller. If you’re resizing, cut the lining and batting to the size of your finished squares for the front and back, and cut the bag straps to 2.5” (6.5 cm) wide by about 2.5 to 3 times the length of the front of your bag. It’s always better to make the straps longer than necessary because you can tie a knot or use a decorative pin to shorten them, but if the straps are too short, there’s not much you can do to fix the bag!

This is the eighth pattern in the Little Gifts Sew Along. Are you just hearing about the Little Gifts Sew Along? Get all the details here.

  • You can join in by sewing the projects as you have time.
  • Share your progress and post pictures of your finished projects. Tag your projects and posts #sewlittlegifts and #stockingstuffersal on all social media.
  • If you’d like to chat with other sewists, join the Underground Crafters Facebook group.
  • By the end of the SAL, you’ll have up to 25 handmade gifts.
  • Use the button below on social media. Right click (on desktop) or tap and hold (on mobile) to save.

Quilted Tote

Sewing Pattern by Underground Crafter

Sewing Pattern: Quilted Tote by Underground Crafter

The Quilted Tote is a quick-to-sew project you can gift to your favorite crafter (as a project bag) or to a techie or reader (as a padded carrying case for a tablet or book). You can also use it as gift wrap! This is the eighth of 25 free sewing projects by 12 bloggers in the Little Gifts Sew Along.

Finished Size

  • Tote: 7.75” (19.5 cm) x 7.75” (19.5 cm).

Tools

Materials

  • 100% cotton fabric.
    • I used most of 2 batik fat quarters for my version, and some “ugly fabric” muslin for the backing. You could also use 3 fat quarters.
  • Cotton thread
  • Fairfield Poly-Fil Project Fleece Small or a small piece of batting (see measurements below).

Instructions

Prepare fabric and batting

  • Iron your fabric.
  • Layer 2 fat quarters on top of each other with the right sides facing. Trim the edges so both pieces are the same size.
Sewing Pattern: Quilted Tote by Underground Crafter | cutting fat quarters with Fiskars rotary cutter
  • Cut pieces for the quilt blocks, lining, and straps in the following sizes through both layers. With each cut, you will make 2 pieces, or 1 piece in each fabric.
    • Lining fabric: 8.5” (21.5 cm) square.
    • Strips for quilt blocks: Cut 2 strips to 3” (7.5 cm) x 18” (46 cm). You will have 4 strips since you are cutting through 2 layers of fabric.
    • Bag straps: Cut 2 straps to 2.5” (6.5 cm) x length of fabric (approximately 22”/56 cm). You will have 4 pieces since you are cutting through 2 layers of fabric.
Sewing Pattern: Quilted Tote by Underground Crafter | cut fabric
  • For the backing, cut 2 pieces of 8.5” (21.5 cm) square. This will not be seen so you can use an “ugly” fabric, muslin, or scraps.
  • Cut 2 pieces of 8.5” (21.5 cm) square from the batting.

Make quilt blocks for front and back of bag

  • Note: If you are using existing quilt blocks for your version, skip down to “Quilting the blocks.”
  • With the right sides together, sew the strips for the quilt blocks together along the long edge with a 1/4″ seam allowance.
  • Press the seams flat on the strips.
Sewing Pattern: Quilted Tote by Underground Crafter | fabric strips
  • Trim strips to 8 pieces, each measuring 4.5” (11.5 cm) long.
Sewing Pattern: Quilted Tote by Underground Crafter | cut fabric strips
  • Place a trimmed strip with right sides facing perpendicular to another trimmed strip and sew together with 1/4″ seam allowance. Repeat until you have 4 sets of blocks.
Sewing Pattern: Quilted Tote by Underground Crafter | piecing blocks
  • Trim each block to 4.5” (11.5 cm) square.
  • With a 1/4″ seam allowance and with right sides facing, sew 2 blocks together for the front and 2 blocks together for the back.
Sewing Pattern: Quilted Tote by Underground Crafter | assembling blocks
  • Trim your new blocks to 8.5” (21.5 cm) square (or, to the same size if they are smaller or larger).

Quilting the blocks

  • Make 2 “quilt sandwiches” for the front and the back of the bag.
  • Layer the quilt blocks right side up at the top, put the batting underneath the block, and put the backing fabric underneath the batting.
Sewing Pattern: Quilted Tote by Underground Crafter | quilt sandwich
  • Quilt the blocks. I used the “hand-look quilting stitch” (#17) on my Baby Lock Jubilant and the Stitch Guide Foot from the Quilting Foot Kit and started by working a diagonal line across the center of the blocks.
Sewing Pattern: Quilted Tote by Underground Crafter | quilting
  • I used the Stitch Guide Foot’s ruler to create lines that were the same distance from previous quilt line.
Sewing Pattern: Quilted Tote by Underground Crafter | quilting
  • Trim the quilted blocks if necessary.
Sewing Pattern: Quilted Tote by Underground Crafter | quilted block

Make bag straps

  • Position the strips for the bag straps right sides together and sew closed along each long edge with a 1/4″ seam allowance.
  • Turn right side out.
  • Press flat and trim straps to the same length.

Assemble bag

  • Position the quilted blocks right sides together and sew closed around 3 sides with a 1/4″ seam allowance. Turn right side out.
Sewing Pattern: Quilted Tote by Underground Crafter | bag front
  • Place the lining fabric pieces with the right sides together. Sew closed around 3 sides with a 1/4″ seam allowance, leaving a 4” (10 cm) opening on one of the side seams.
  • Pin the short edges of the straps to the bag as pictured below. With the first strap, pin one short edge to the top of the front and the second short edge to the top of the front of the bag. Repeat with the other strap on the back of the bag, being sure to line up the straps.
Sewing Pattern: Quilted Tote by Underground Crafter | bag front with straps
  • Using your machine’s free arm and with the right side of the bag facing up, sew a 1/4″ seam allowance along the top edge of the bag, sewing the straps in place. Remove pins as you work.
Sewing Pattern: Quilted Tote by Underground Crafter | sewing on straps
  • Place the quilted part of the bag with the right side out inside of the lining. The lining should still have the right sides together/wrong sides out. Pin in place.
Sewing Pattern: Quilted Tote by Underground Crafter | bag liner with bag inside
  • Using your machine’s free arm, sew a 1/4″ seam allowance along the top of the lining, sewing the quilted part of the bag with the straps in place to the lining. Remove pins as you work.
  • Turn the bag right side out, pulling through the 4” (10 cm) opening in the lining.
Sewing Pattern: Quilted Tote by Underground Crafter | open seam in fabric liner
  • Sew the opening in the lining closed.
Sewing Pattern: Quilted Tote by Underground Crafter | sewing up fabric liner
  • Put the lining back in the bag. Leave some of the lining (about 1/4″/0.5 cm) visible at the top.
  • Working on the right side of the bag and using your machine’s free arm, make a seam using a decorative stitch. I used the “hand-look quilt stitch” and the J presser foot on my Baby Lock Jubilant.
  • Trim threads and enjoy your tote.
Sewing Pattern: Quilted Tote by Underground Crafter | finished tote

Maker Photo Month Instagram Challenge 2019

Maker Photo Month Instagram Challenge 2019 with Underground Crafter

Did you know that May is National Photography Month (and has been since 1987)? That’s ok, I didn’t know it either until just a few days ago! I’m going to take advantage of the timing of getting a new camera a few weeks ago and focus (pun intended) on building my craft photography skills during May. I’d love it if you’d join in with me!

This post contains affiliate links. I may receive compensation (at no added cost to you) if you make a purchase using these links. This post is part of an ongoing collaboration with B&H Photo Video and Pro Audio, but all opinions and thoughts are my own. Materials in this post were provided by Baby Lock, B&H Photo Video and Pro Audio, Fully Spun, and Pastiche Accessories.

If you’ve been following me on Instagram, you may have seen several Stories about a collaboration I’m doing with B&H Photo Video and Pro Audio. B&H is a business just about a mile and half away from my apartment, and they also happen to be one of the largest retailers of photography and video (and audio) equipment in the United States. Though they ship around the world, to me B&H is a local business that I’ve known about for all of my life.

Maker Photo Month Instagram Challenge 2019 with Underground Crafter - Marie with shipment from B&H Photo Video and Pro Audio

I’m super excited to be collaborating with them because I’m always trying to improve my photography so I can show even better pictures of my projects and make video tutorials that people can hear and enjoy. One of the highlights of this amazing pile of equipment B&H sent me is the Sony Alpha a6000, a mirrorless camera.

If you’ve never used a mirrorless camera before, don’t worry! None of the 99 people who responded to my Instagram Story quiz had ever used one before, either.

Maker Photo Month Instagram Challenge 2019 with Underground Crafter - Instagram Story Sony Alpha a6000 mirrorless camera question collage

This video by Sony is pretty helpful in explaining the difference between mirrorless cameras and DSLRs, if you’d like to nerd out on photography stuff along with me.

Since I have a new camera and I’ll need to take actual photos to test out all of its features and settings, I thought it might be a good time for another Instagram Challenge.

Maker Photo Month Instagram Challenge 2019 with Underground Crafter - Sony Alpha a6000 and pretty yarn stuff

What is the Maker Photo Month Instagram Challenge?

Every day in May, 2019, celebrate your love of making along with National Photography Month by following a photo prompt for Instagram. All crafts are welcome! You can see all 31 prompts in the image at the top of this post if you want to get a head start.

How Can I Join In?

To join in, share a picture on Instagram that was inspired by the prompt for that day using the hashtag #MakerPhotoMonth. So, for example, share an “About me” picture on May 1 and a “Close up” picture on May 4. This is a fun challenge where we can (virtually) meet other makers, get comfortable with our cameras (including phone and tablet cameras), and show off our crafty creations, so please don’t stress too much about getting everything “perfect” — I know my pictures won’t be perfect, either. Also, remember that you can always write in your note on Instagram to share how your picture relates to the prompt. You can participate for one day, a few days, or every day in the month.

It would be awesome if you could follow meon Instagram, too. You can also follow the #MakerPhotoMonth hashtag here to keep up with all the pictures everyone is posting.

What If I’m Not on Instagram?

I got a late start on Instagram, too. It’s fun and I’d love to see you there! But if Instagram’s not for you for whatever reason, you can still join along on your blog or social media platform of choice.

Baby Lock Jubilant review

Baby Lock Jubilant review by Underground Crafter - Whether you’re looking for a portable sewing machine to take to classes or craft nights, or a small but full-featured machine that doesn’t take up too much space at home, or a sturdy, yet affordable sewing machine, you’ll find something to love about the Baby Lock Jubilant.

Whether you’re looking for a portable sewing machine to take to classes or craft nights, or a small but full-featured machine that doesn’t take up too much space at home, or a sturdy, yet affordable sewing machine, you’ll find something to love about the Baby Lock Jubilant. In this post, I’m going to share my review based on using the machine regularly for four months.

This post contains affiliate links. I may receive compensation (at no added cost to you) if you make a purchase using these links. My sewing machine sponsor is Baby Lock and this post is part of our ongoing collaboration. Baby Lock provided me with a Jubilant sewing machine, accessories, and Madeira thread. Although I accept free products for review, I do not accept additional compensation, nor do I guarantee a positive review. My reviews are based entirely on my honest opinions.

Baby Lock Jubilant review by Underground Crafter - Whether you’re looking for a portable sewing machine to take to classes or craft nights, or a small but full-featured machine that doesn’t take up too much space at home, or a sturdy, yet affordable sewing machine, you’ll find something to love about the Baby Lock Jubilant.

Why Baby Lock?

If you came to this post hoping to find the perfect machine for you, I think I can help! Last summer, I started looking for a new sewing machine and I found myself searching for “best portable sewing machine” and “best light-weight sewing machine” online. I found a lot of really interesting posts, but I noticed right away that none of them were written by people who had actually USED the machines they were recommending! Instead, these posts were a bunch of affiliate links to sewing machines sold on Amazon or elsewhere online written by bloggers hoping to earn commission on each sale.

This was super disheartening to me because not every sewing machine is as good in reality as it sounds in its Amazon or big box store description! I started doing more and more research and I kept coming back to Baby Lock. I have been the proud owner of a Baby Lock Quilter’s Choice since the mid-2000s and I’ve used other Baby Lock models in sewing classes at the Snap conference.

How to Make a Fabric Basket class | Snap! conference 2016 wrap up on Underground Crafter
Some Baby Lock goodies from a class I took at Snap!

I love my Quilter’s Choice, but I bought it when I lived alone in a larger apartment and had a quilting table set up. Once I moved in with MC, the machine was used less and less because I just didn’t have the space to set it up. I do most of my sewing outside of my apartment now, and the Quilter’s Choice was far too heavy to be truly portable for someone like me who relies on public transportation. And, thus, I sewed less and less each year.

Baby Lock Jubilant review by Underground Crafter - Whether you’re looking for a portable sewing machine to take to classes or craft nights, or a small but full-featured machine that doesn’t take up too much space at home, or a sturdy, yet affordable sewing machine, you’ll find something to love about the Baby Lock Jubilant. - Jubilant with thread and presser feet

I reached out to Baby Lock in the fall and they agreed to provide me with the Jubilant, several quilting accessories, and plenty of Madeira thread if I would write an honest review and share several sewing posts during the year. You can see all my sewing posts where I used the Jubilant here. In case you’re wondering, my Quilter’s Choice has found a new home as my mom’s sewing machine. It still works great!

About the Jubilant

It turns out that the Jubilant is quite literally the “perfect” machine for me, according to Baby Lock’s Match Maker.

Baby Lock Jubilant review by Underground Crafter - Whether you’re looking for a portable sewing machine to take to classes or craft nights, or a small but full-featured machine that doesn’t take up too much space at home, or a sturdy, yet affordable sewing machine, you’ll find something to love about the Baby Lock Jubilant. - Match-Maker screen shot

You can take the quiz to find your perfect Baby Lock here. The Jubilant is one of seven machines in Baby Lock’s Genuine Collection. This collection includes affordable machines, portable machines, and beginner-friendly machines. You can see them in action in this short video from Baby Lock.

While all of Baby Lock’s machines are sold through local sewing machine dealers, most of the Genuine Collection machines (except for the Brilliant and the Accomplish) are also sold online through Nancy’s Notions and other retailers, like Sewing Machines Plus (and, yes, that is an affiliate link).

So what makes the Jubilant special? It’s very light weight at under 15 pounds/7 kg. The Genuine Collection machine tote is what I use to carry my Jubilant around. Here’s I am on the bus with my Jubilant.

Baby Lock Jubilant review by Underground Crafter - Whether you’re looking for a portable sewing machine to take to classes or craft nights, or a small but full-featured machine that doesn’t take up too much space at home, or a sturdy, yet affordable sewing machine, you’ll find something to love about the Baby Lock Jubilant. - Jubilant in tote

I can fit the machine in the tote comfortably on my lap. Inside of the tote, there’s enough room for my fabric (which is in the canvas tote bag), the manual, and a project book. The tote also has a large front pocket where I can keep my fabric scissors, thread, and other supplies like fabric markers.

You can watch my unboxing video to see what’s included in the Jubilant box and the other accessories I have, like the extension table and Quilting Foot Kit. Even though I just posted the video last week, it was actually filmed about four months ago (#becauselife). If you can’t see the video below, click here to watch it on YouTube.

In spite of its light weight, the Jubilant has a lot of features. Here are some of my favorites.

  • 80 built in stitches. While I will probably never use all 80, it does have my favorites including straight stitches in 3 different positions, 4 types of zig zag stitches, and 4 types of overcasting stitches (like the one I used for the Simple Stamped Napkins). Some of the stitches that I haven’t used yet but plan to try out soon are the hand-look quilting stitch, some of the 8 buttonhole stitches, and the decorative cross stitches and satin stitches.
Simple Stamped Napkins, free sewing pattern with Ann Butler ColorBox Crafter's ink and Unity Stamp Company stamps by Underground Crafter
  • Free arm capability and retractable feed dogs. I like that I have the free arm if I want to work on sewing sleeve cuffs or hems (yes, I do aspire to one day sew garments!) and that I can lower the feed dogs if I want to do some free motion quilting. I can also add an extension table for quilting.
Baby Lock Jubilant review by Underground Crafter - Whether you’re looking for a portable sewing machine to take to classes or craft nights, or a small but full-featured machine that doesn’t take up too much space at home, or a sturdy, yet affordable sewing machine, you’ll find something to love about the Baby Lock Jubilant. - Jubilant with extension table
  • Built-in needle threader and lighting. My eyes are not what they were 20 or even 10 years ago. Having help threading the needle is the difference between sewing or not sewing for me. Having the light is great because even if the room I’m sewing in is dark, I can still get illumination around my stitching.
Baby Lock Jubilant review by Underground Crafter - Whether you’re looking for a portable sewing machine to take to classes or craft nights, or a small but full-featured machine that doesn’t take up too much space at home, or a sturdy, yet affordable sewing machine, you’ll find something to love about the Baby Lock Jubilant. - Jubilant with light
  • Start/Stop Button and Reverse Stitch Button: I’ve been so spoiled by Baby Lock machines for the past 10+ years that I didn’t realize all sewing machines don’t come with a Start/Stop Button until recently. If you’re new to a Start/Stop Button, it is amazing! Basically, you can use this button to control your machine instead of the foot pedal. It’s great if you having pets or young ones underfoot, or if your feet hurt, or if you want to make your Jubilant even lighter for your next trip. The Reverse Stitch Button is great for securing your stitches at the start and end of your project.
  • 7 included presser feet, plus many more available. The machine comes with 7 presser feet. I use the J zigzag foot the most. I also have the Baby Lock Quilting Foot Kit. You can see a complete list of compatible presser feet and accessories here.
  • Portability. It’s not just the light weight that makes the Jubilant portable. Other portability features are the handle; the measurements on the needle plate that help you see your seam allowance; the accessory compartment where you can store extra bobbins, seam ripper, presser feet, etc. when traveling; the built-in lighting that lets you sew even in lower light conditions; and the Start/Stop Button that lets you leave your foot pedal at home. The LCD screen also tells you which presser foot to use with a particular stitch so you don’t need to carry the manual with you.

Since every sewist is different, the Jubilant may have other features I haven’t mentioned that are perfect for you. You can read more about it on Baby Lock’s website.

So far, I haven’t come up against any problems with the Jubilant. I keep the manual in the tote and the troubleshooting section has covered every question I had. Baby Lock also has online classes that help you get to know your own machine and how to maintain it and understand its features.

Finding the Right Machine for You

I’ve been sewing for years, but when bought my first sewing machine back in 2005, I had no idea what I was looking for. I ordered several machines online and ended up having to return or resell them because they didn’t have the right features, were too hard to maintain, or were not in good shape. Now I know enough about my preferences to take a quiz, but how do you find out what’s right for you if you’re new to sewing?

One of the best ways to find your perfect machine is to talk with a sewing machine dealer. Dealers know A LOT about each machine they stock and they will ask you questions about how you plan to use the machine, your budget, and your preferences. Last week, I visited one of my local Baby Lock dealers, Pieceful Quilting.

Baby Lock Jubilant review by Underground Crafter - Whether you’re looking for a portable sewing machine to take to classes or craft nights, or a small but full-featured machine that doesn’t take up too much space at home, or a sturdy, yet affordable sewing machine, you’ll find something to love about the Baby Lock Jubilant. - Pieceful Quilting collage

Check out the Facebook Live I did in the shop and you can see what it’s like to speak with your local dealer. If you can’t see the video below, watch it here on Facebook.

Buying from a local dealer also connects you to the people who will help you maintain your machine. Most sewing machine dealers offer free classes or one-on-one lessons to help you get to know how to use your machine. And, many sewing machine dealers sell fabric, books, and notions, or offer sewing classes, or have fun events, or all three!

Baby Lock Jubilant review by Underground Crafter - Whether you’re looking for a portable sewing machine to take to classes or craft nights, or a small but full-featured machine that doesn’t take up too much space at home, or a sturdy, yet affordable sewing machine, you’ll find something to love about the Baby Lock Jubilant. - Pieceful Quilting collage
At Pieceful Quilting. Clockwise from top left: the Baby Lock demonstration area, cute notions, beautiful batik fabrics, books, quilt patterns that are local, and more fabric.

You can find your local dealer by clicking on the “Find a Retailer” button at the top of Baby Lock’s website.

What If I Don’t Have a Local Dealer?

Not everyone lives in a major metropolitan area with several local dealers to choose from like I do. As I mentioned before, five of the machines in Baby Lock’s Genuine Collection of affordable, portable, and beginner-friendly sewing machines (and a serger) are also sold online through Nancy’s Notions and other local sewing machine dealers, like Sewing Machines Plus. If you buy online from a dealer, be sure to email your questions or call and talk to them. They will give you plenty of recommendations and suggestions before you place your order online.

I hope this post has helped you to see why I think the Baby Lock Jubilant is the best portable sewing machine on the market today for sewists and quilters. If you have any questions about the Jubilant, ask me in the comments, via email, or on social media.

Sewing Project: Weighted Flaxseed Eye Pillow with Case

Weighted Flaxseed Eye Pillow with Case, free sewing tutorial by Underground Crafter

The Weighted Flaxseed Eye Pillow with Case is a quick sewing project that makes a great gift. You can pair it with essential oils or spa goodies to make a self-care gift for a hard-working friend, sister, or mom!

This post contains affiliate links. I may receive compensation (at no added cost to you) if you make a purchase using these links. My sewing machine sponsor is Baby Lock. Additional materials for this post were generously provided by Fiskars.

If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you may know that I was plagued by back problems for years after getting an injury. Back pain is never fun, but back pain combined with commuting on the New York City subways during rush hour is really an experience in endurance. I was miserable and depressed and in pain and that makes for a very crabby and unfun person. Eventually, someone referred me to Jenny Hall, a Licensed Massage Therapist who is also a practitioner of Rolfing® Structural Integration, SourcePoint Therapy and Visceral Manipulation. (By the way, if you are in New York City and are dealing with any health issues that massage or rolfing could help, I highly highly highly recommend Jenny!) During her massage therapy sessions, Jenny provides me with a weighted flaxseed eye pillow when I turn over on my back. It helps block out the light and the weight is relaxing. She often adds an essential oil for a bit of aromatherapy.

Weighted Flaxseed Eye Pillow with Case, free sewing tutorial by Underground Crafter - Marie smiling with eye pillow and resting

I got to thinking about making something similar as part of the Little Gifts Sew Along. A Weighted Flaxseed Eye Pillow is something you could use at home when you feel tired but restless to help you fall asleep. You can also heat or freeze flaxseeds if you would like to use the eye pillow as a tiny ice pack or hot pad. (An Oregon Cottage has a really helpful blog post about the benefits of using flaxseed for warming pillows here, including her own sewing pattern for a larger pillow with gift tags!)

Weighted Flaxseed Eye Pillow with Case, free sewing tutorial by Underground Crafter - case with eye pillow and flap

And, of course you could add some essential oils on the outside of the pillow for relaxation. But knowing me, and how I like different scents for different moods, I started to imagine a not very pleasant odor of a billion mixed essential oils coming off of my Weighted Flaxseed Eye Pillow. That wasn’t very appealing, so I added a little Case to the pattern. You can remove AND WASH the Case, without getting the flaxseeds wet. I thought that was a useful improvement on my first idea!

For a gift version of the Weighted Flaxseed Eye Pillow with Case, you might even include several different Cases so the recipient could still use the eye pillow while they have one of the Cases in the wash. Plus, you can show off more fabric from your stash that way!

This is the sixth pattern in the Little Gifts Sew Along. Are you just hearing about the Little Gifts Sew Along? Get all the details here.

  • You can join in by sewing the projects as you have time.
  • Share your progress and post pictures of your finished projects. Tag your projects and posts #sewlittlegifts and #stockingstuffersal on all social media.
  • If you’d like to chat with other sewists, join the Underground Crafters Facebook group.
  • By the end of the SAL, you’ll have up to 25 handmade gifts.
  • Use the button below on social media. Right click (on desktop) or tap and hold (on mobile) to save.
Little Gifts Sew Along 2019 with Underground Crafter

Weighted Flaxseed Eye Pillow with Case

Sewing Project by Underground Crafter

Weighted Flaxseed Eye Pillow with Case, free sewing tutorial by Underground Crafter

The Weighted Flaxseed Eye Pillow with Case is a quick-to-sew project that can be gifted to a hard-working friend, mom, or sister, along with some essential oils or spa goodies. This is the sixth of 25 free sewing projects by 12 bloggers in the Little Gifts Sew Along.

Finished Size

  • Eye Pillow: 7.5” (19 cm) x 3.5” (9 cm).
  • Case: 8” (20.5 cm) x 4” (10 cm) when folded closed.

Tools

Materials

Fat Quarter Shop Quilting Fabrics and Supplies
  • 100% cotton fabric.
    • You can make a pillow and a case from one fat quarter, or mix and match. I used pieces from two batik fat quarters for my version. Tip: If using two fabrics, use the darker fabric for the Case.
    • You will need one 8.5” x 8” (21.5 cm x 20.5 cm) piece of fabric for each Eye Pillow and one 20” x 5” (51 cm x 13 cm) piece of fabric for each Case.
  • Cotton thread.
  • Whole flaxseeds (not ground!). I used about half of a 16 oz (454 g) bag for one Eye Pillow.
Weighted Flaxseed Eye Pillow with Case, free sewing tutorial by Underground Crafter - supplies

Instructions

Prepare fabric

  • Iron your fabric.
  • Measure and cut fabric pieces for Eye Pillow and Case (see measurements above in Materials).

Make Eye Pillow

  • Fold the 8.5” x 8” (21.5 cm x 20.5 cm) piece of fabric in half along the long edge so that the right sides of the fabric are facing.
Weighted Flaxseed Eye Pillow with Case, free sewing tutorial by Underground Crafter - eye pillow tutorial 1
  • Sew a 1/2″ seam along the short side, then along the long side. Sew approximately 0.5” (1.5 cm) past the seam on the next short side, leaving about 2.5” (6.5 cm) unseamed.
Weighted Flaxseed Eye Pillow with Case, free sewing tutorial by Underground Crafter - eye pillow tutorial 2
  • Turn Eye Pillow right side out.
Weighted Flaxseed Eye Pillow with Case, free sewing tutorial by Underground Crafter - eye pillow tutorial 3
  • Pour the flaxseeds into the Eye Pillow. My flaxseeds came in a resealable pouch, and I sealed it most of the way so I could use the pouch like a funnel. Then, I leaned the Eye Pillow against a glass while I poured to keep it from tipping over.
Weighted Flaxseed Eye Pillow with Case, free sewing tutorial by Underground Crafter - pouring flaxseeds into eye pillow
  • Do not stuff the Eye Pillow completely with flaxseeds. You want the Eye Pillow to have some give, not to be rock hard.
Weighted Flaxseed Eye Pillow with Case, free sewing tutorial by Underground Crafter - eye pillow tutorial 4
  • Your unseamed edge should be folding inwards with an approximately 1/2″ fold on each side. Pin it into position, and then sew along that last edge with a 1/4″ seam. I actually did two seams side by side because no one really wants flaxseeds to start falling out of this Eye Pillow! Also, it was pretty.
Weighted Flaxseed Eye Pillow with Case, free sewing tutorial by Underground Crafter - eye pillow tutorial 5

Make Case

  • Set aside your Eye Pillow and pick up the larger piece of fabric.
  • With your fabric marker or pen, draw a line on the wrong side of the fabric across the short side approximately 4” (10 cm) from one end.
  • Fold over both short edges on the larger piece of fabric from the right side to the wrong side to make 0.5” (1.5 cm) hems. Sew each edge hem with a 1/4″ seam.
Weighted Flaxseed Eye Pillow with Case, free sewing tutorial by Underground Crafter - case tutorial 1
  • Fold one seamed edge over on the wrong side (with the right sides facing) so that it reaches the marked line.
Weighted Flaxseed Eye Pillow with Case, free sewing tutorial by Underground Crafter - case tutorial 2
  • Sew a 1/2″ seam from hemmed edge to fold on one long side. Repeat on the other side.
Weighted Flaxseed Eye Pillow with Case, free sewing tutorial by Underground Crafter - case tutorial 3
  • Turn the Case right side out.
Weighted Flaxseed Eye Pillow with Case, free sewing tutorial by Underground Crafter - case tutorial 4
  • Sew a 1/4″ seam from the fold to the hemmed edge.
Weighted Flaxseed Eye Pillow with Case, free sewing tutorial by Underground Crafter - eye pillow with case against wood background
  • Insert the Eye Pillow (with the seam side first) into the Case. Eye Pillow should fit snugly inside of Case. Enjoy!