SMP Craft
30 Oct

SEW MAMA SEW! #HandmadeHolidays November 2015


Click for MORE #handmadeholidays

Get ready everyone! Grab your needles and spools of thread, plug in your sewing machines. Cross your fingers and throw some salt over your shoulder while you’re at it.

Starting November 1st, SEW MAMA SEW is running a month-long holiday sewing extravaganza with daily sewing books and swag to win, tutorials, recipes, and printables!

They’ve got a whole slew of our St. Martin’s Press books in the prize mix–books with easy to follow instructions, tips, and patterns that show novice and advanced sewers how to sew vintage lingerie pieces and corsets, bold and beautiful clothes, all kinds of hats, totally amazing bags, stylish window treatments, quilts, even how to upholster, and more!

Visit, share using #handmadeholidays, and get in on the action!

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7 Nov

FREEBIE FRIDAY: 130 Mini Quilt Blocks

Happy Friday! Saying that makes me feel a little better already with the weekend almost upon us. Today, our Freebie Friday is from an oldie but a goodie, 130 Mini Quilt Blocks by Susan Briscoe. In honor of the holiday season, here are two festive mini quilt blocks for your FREE PROJECT today!

Dresden Plate FanCupcakeimage

130 Mini Quilt Blocks: A Collection of Exquisite Patchwork Blocks Using Ready-Made Fabric Bundles contains a collection of beautiful patchwork and appliqué designs, including traditional favorites and brand new ideas, arranged into stylishly themed chapters.

The little quilt blocks have been specially designed to work at smaller sizes—perfect for making quilted projects like little bags, cushions, and potholders that will add plentyd of variety and interest to even the smallest space.
Each block comes with full cutting list and assembly instructions, plus mix and match suggestions to combine with other blocks, and ideas on how you might change or embellish the block design. Inspiring projects throughout the book offer plenty of ideas to get you started.

After graduating in art and design, Susan Briscoe designed hand knits, but it was in Japan, where she studied traditional textiles and kimono design and tailoring, that her interest in patchwork was sparked. She teaches creative textile workshops and demonstrates her work at quilt and textile shows in the UK and internationally. She is the author of several books on quilting, including 130 Mini Quilt Blocks, Japanese Quilt Inspirations, and 200 Quilting Tips, Techniques & Trade Secrets.

Check back on Sunday to find out how to win a copy via our Goodreads!

Can’t wait to get your hands on one? Buy one here:

Barnes & Noble

Check out our newest November title!

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4 Sep

Project of the Month: Pencil Case

Happy September!

It’s officially that time of the year again. It’s back-to-school week here in New York City and we’re reminiscing about all those ‘first days’ of school once again. A new year means all new supplies, clothes and accessories. For me, my pencil case was the highlight of all of the back to school supplies I badgered my mom into getting for me. So, our Project of the Month is in honor of those that want something different from their pencil cases. We pulled this Pencil Case pattern from Sweet & Simple Patchwork Gifts by Hisako Arai and Yoko Sanjo because it offers not one but two methods of making the case – one with a zipper and one with a spring clasp!


This charming collection of delightful, easy-to-make patchwork projects, originally published in Japan, is perfect for creating gifts for loved ones. Using five classic quilt patterns—simple squares, hexagons, log cabins, stars, and polygons—the projects range from pincushions, potholders, and pillows to handbags, coin purses, and a variety of zippered cases that are quick to make. This is the perfect book for beginner quilters or veterans looking for small projects and fun ways to use up their fabric stash. 

(Note: Instructions below are for the spring clasp pencil case but the pattern download includes both)

Materials (for spring clasp pencil case)

  • Fabric a, backing, and casings (plaid)
  • 9 3⁄4″ x 11 3⁄4″ (25 x 30 cm)
  • Fabric b (pink print)
  • 2 3⁄4″ x 3 1⁄2″ (7 x 9 cm)
  • Fabric c (yellow print)
  • 2 3⁄4″ x 3 1⁄2″ (7 x 9 cm)
  • Fabric d (floral print)
  • 4″ x 7 3⁄4″ (10 x 20 cm)
  • Fusible batting 6″ x 13 3⁄4″ (15 x 35 cm)
  • Lining 6″ x 13 3⁄4″ (15 x 35 cm)
  • Clasp
  • One 4″ (10 cm)–long spring clasp

pencil case1img_Page_1

Cut the fabric.
Trace and cut out templates A and B on page 17 (following template cutting instructions on page 107).

Cut fabric pieces adding a 1⁄4″ (0.7 cm) seam allowance:
• 2 A pieces of fabric d
• 2 B pieces of fabric a
• 2 B pieces of fabric b
• 2 B pieces of fabric c
• 2 casing pieces of fabric a: 1 1⁄4″ x 4 3⁄4″ (3 x 12 cm)
• 1 backing piece: 4 1⁄4″ x 6 3⁄4″ (12 x 16 cm) of fabric a
• 1 lining piece, cut without seam allowance: 4 1⁄4″ x 12 3⁄4″ (12 x 16 cm)

pencil case2

1. Make the pencil case top: Sew the pieces together as shown in the patchwork diagram on page 15. Sew the case top to the case backing along the short edge. Press the fusible batting to wrong side and quilt as shown in the above diagram.

2. Fold the pencil case in half with right sides together. Sew both sides and press the seams open. Miter corners by stitching across each corner at 3⁄4″ (2 cm).

pencil case3

3. Repeat step 2 for the pencil case lining.

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4. Make the clasp casing by folding each piece in half lengthwise with right sides together. Sew both short sides and turn right side out. Fold in half again and sew 1⁄4″ (0.7 cm) along the raw edges. Make second casing.

5. Position the raw edges of the casing on right side of the pencil case top. Sew the casing to the top of the pencil case, then repeat for second casing.

pencil case6

6. With wrong sides together, insert the lining into pencil case. Fold over the seam allowance on the lining and hemstitch to the case. Insert spring clasps through casings to finish.

Et voila! Your pencil case is ready to rock ‘n’ roll!

pencil case

Each project in Sweet & Simple Patchwork Gifts by Hisako Arai and Yoko Sanjo is accompanied by clear construction diagrams, with easy-to-follow step-by-step photos for how how to cut, arrange, and sew up the project, making this the perfect book for beginner quilters or veterans looking for fun ways to use up their fabric stash. Also included are complete instructions for inserting zippers, plus many other techniques to help you give all your gifts a professional-looking finishing touch.

Can’t wait to get your own copy?

Barnes & Noble

Check out our new September and October titles!




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CAUGHT CRAFTING: SMPCraft’s Spotlight on NYC Crafting

SMPCRAFT #CAUGHTCRAFTING Thursday morning, Astoria, Queens. Accessorizing with a lovely temporary floral tattoo she learned to make from DIY Temporary Tattoos: Draw It, Print It, Ink It by Pepper Baldwin!



Father's Day is less than three weeks away -- Sunday, June 19th in the U.S. -- just enough time to start prepping for what would make dear old pops feel loved....What dad, what MAN, wouldn't want to get a bright red tool box full of homemade BBQ, bacon, and chili flavored chocolate? Or a handmade Paracord hammock? Does he play golf?--hand dipped tees? Does he like to hike? Enjoy nature and the great outdoors? How about homemade beef jerky? Or does he enjoy watching sports--Remote Control Cookie? What about beer? One of the coolest new items coming out of Japan is a Frozen Beer Slushy Maker by Kirin Ichiban that perfectly pairs with the DIY black and tan soap! Scroll and click for more homemade DIY Father's Day gift ideas sure to make pappy happy! Hashtag #SMPCRAFT #DIYFATHERSDAY!

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