Tutorial: Making a Liberty key fob

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Looking for a really nice key fob (also known as a key ring) that you can make in minutes?  I have the answer for you.  It’s the Liberty key fob.


You will need:

  • 4.5 inch by 10 inch piece of Liberty fabric (Ok, you can use any kind of fabric, but isn’t everything better in Liberty?)
  • One set of 1 and 1/4 inch key fob hardware (I got mine on ebay, worked out to be about $0.20 a set.  Lots of people on Etsy sell them, too)
  • Sewing stuff (sewing machine, iron, thread, scissors, rotary cutter, ruler, cutting mat)
  • Pliers


Here’s how to make it:

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1.  Use a rotary cutter and ruler, cut out a piece of fabric that is 4.5 inch by 10 inch in size:

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2.  Use an iron to carefully (accurately) fold it in half lengthways and press in a crease.

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3.  Open up the fabric (ie, un-fold it) and observe the crease you have ironed down the centre of the fabric, lengthways.

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4.  Fold the fabric so that one edge lines up with the crease which you have pressed into the fabric.  Press into place.  Repeat on the other side, so that both raw edges of the fabric have been folded to touch one another at the crease which you have pressed into the centre of the fabric.

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5.  It should now look like this (above).

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6.  Now fold the fabric again, along the first crease you pressed into the fabric.  The result should be a long strip of fabric, where the raw edges are tucked into the centre of the folds.

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7.  Sew along each of the long edges of the fabric strip.  One edge will necessary to close the fabric folds permanently into a strip, the other side is just to make it look even.  I used a 1/8 inch seam.  Once this is complete, your strip of fabric should be neat, and comprised of 4 layers of fabric.  It should be 1 and 1/4 inches wide.

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8.  Use a rotary cutter and ruler to trim the short ends of the strip, so that they are square and neat with no scraggly bits.

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9.  Fold the strip in half lengthways and insert it into the hardware for the key fob.  Use your pliers to gently press the hardware closed around the fabric strip.

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10.  Add the “O” ring to the closed hardware.  Your key fob is complete!

Now you can make them en masse, give them as gifts or experiment with strap length to make other variations, like lanyards or clutch straps.

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They don’t take long at all, and I think they are really pretty.  I recommend using the quilter’s grade fabric.  If you decide to use Tana Lawn, consider inserting a strip of interfacing down the middle of the fabric strip to stiffen it up a little.



Bloomsbury Gardens quick quilt top

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Last night, I finally decided to use the fat eighth pack of Liberty Bloomsbury Gardens in the blue colourway to make a simple quilt.  It is only small – 40″ x 36″ approx. – a size I like to call telly rug size.  Perfect for a grandma to have over her knees as she watches TV in the chilly Queensland evenings (don’t laugh, this winter it has been cold by our standards!).

That’s precisely what I am making it for.  I’ll give it to my nana.

The picture shows only a part of the quilt top, but it is the same style all over.  It’s a simple jumble of 5″ squares.  It worked well for the fat eighths, because for most of them I could get 8 patches from an eighth, with almost no waste.  With fabric this expensive, no waste is important.

In fact, the picture doesn’t do it justice, because each patch of fabric is so beautiful, that it is easy to be drawn into it and look at that one patch for quite a long time.

I had hesitated about how to use this fabric, partly because it is so beautiful, but also because the coastal colours aren’t the kind I use a lot, and so I was hesitant about how to put so many busy patterns with lots of shades therein together.  But then, I saw the June 2014 issue of Homespun magazine, and it had a project that used Liberty Tana Lawns to make an even smaller quilt, and it gave me confidence that very busy could also be very good.  It also helped me to decide that these busy fabrics needed a simple pattern, so that their detail could be seen.  I think it was the right decision.

I’ll post another picture once it is quilted and bound. I’ve chosen spotty aqua yardage from the happy-go-lucky range by Bonnie and Camille for the backing.  I already had it at home, it was a good colour match, and I prefer patterned backings (it’s just easier to keep it looking clean).  I’ll bind it in the same, too.

Not bad for a very short sewing session last night!

Have a great day,


Fabulous Fabric Friday: Hello Kitty!

Liberty Art Fabrics are beautiful.  Japanese character Hello Kitty is cute.  What could be better than combining the two?

From what I can tell, these fabrics are only produced in Japan, and so ordering from Etsy is the way to go.


Try these sellers:  Par Rui, lilymeru and washimatta.


Such detailed, colourful, fun fabric.  It’s a lot of postage from Japan, but probably worth it for something one of a kind.

Happy Friday everyone!



Liberty quilted iPad mini cover

I’ve finished making the quilted iPad Mini cover for my friend’s birthday.  I’m really happy with how the finished product looks!



In the end, I downloaded a pattern from Etsy – the Schoolhouse Patterns e-clutch design.

I think it’s the Liberty fabric that really makes it.

Tips I learned for next time:  be very careful about the Velcro alignment.  Mine works, but either having a bigger piece, or making sure that the piece of Velcro on the flap was closer to the edge would make it seal up better.


The flap, assembled. Next time, I’ll move the Velcro down towards the bottom of the flap just a little more.

Also, the lining was a tiny bit bubbly.  I might try making it a little smaller next time, despite the measurements in the pattern.

Still, I think the recipient will be happy!


The sandwich of layers, all ready to sew the top!


The exterior, with pocket, ready to go into the final sandwich of layers.


The finished product, with the flap open.


Once the sandwich is sewn together, turning it the right way around.

It was much easier to make than I expected, and took far less time than I had thought it would.  Win!


Love for Liberty Lifestyle

I mentioned a while ago that I love Liberty fabrics.

Here’s some pictures of my recent acquisitions – I can’t wait to use them!


Here’s the Bloomsbury Gardens range.  It’s summery and cheerful.

It also comes in this colourway:


Oops, yes, I bought that one too.

My favourite, though, is the Stile collection.  It’s so wonderfully Deco!


I’ve been trying to decide what I should use them for.  A quilt, of course… but I haven’t decided on a design.  Perhaps because they are relatively new, or perhaps because such busy prints can be confronting, there aren’t many examples I can find on the interwebs of the exciting ways they could be used.

Your suggestions are welcome!

The weight of the Liberty Lifestyle collection is so much easier to quilt with than Tana Lawn.  While the Tana Lawn feels beautiful and silky, I find it is prone to small puckers in the sewing process simply because it is so fine.  I still use the Tana Lawn, particularly to make clothes for my little girl, but the Liberty Lifestyle is the way to go if you want to quilt it.

On an unrelated note, I adore the Liberty shirts that Sportscraft now produces.  They feel great to wear, and are like a little sign I can wear into my day that says “I love colour!” or “Yes, I am a sewing enthusiast, thanks for asking!”  After all, only another fabric nerd would know it’s a Liberty.  You’d be surprised how many people will come up to me on the street, comment on my shirt, and then strike up a conversation about fabrics, prints, design and sewing.  It’s almost like a little badge that only a like-minded person sees.  Anyway, I love them.

Have a great day.