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.



Another soft play rattle ball

I keep getting great feedback on the soft play rattle ball I made from the pattern in Love Patchwork and Quilting magazine.  For more details, check out this older post of mine, where I made one from April Showers by Bonnie and Camille.  It turned out like this:

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Now, I’ve been hard at work using up Liberty scraps to make soft play rattle balls for the children of friends of mine as Christmas presents.  All little people I know have loved them so far!

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And let’s face it, everything is better in Liberty.

As far as is possible, I’m trying to make this a handmade Christmas.  So far so good!  I’ll share some extra projects with you in the coming days.

Have a great day!


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


Today I have something a bit different for fabulous fabric Friday.  Something cheap and simple, and then something expensive and special.

First things first.  Someone very special to me is a teacher.  She has a class of year one students, and because they are only just a little bit bigger than babies, she keeps some European pillows in a corner at the back of the classroom for those badly in need of a nap, or for those who aren’t feeling well.

Before this school year started, she said that she would like some new pillowcases for them.  The ones that came with the classroom were brown.  Where’s the fun in that?

So, I have made her some new pillowcases using this fabric that I picked up from Lincraft.

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What child doesn’t love puppies?  Particularly puppies wearing striped and polka-dot coats…

It’s the JoAnn brand that I seem to only see at Lincraft.  It was $9.99 from the furnishing fabrics section.  I wouldn’t use it for quilting, but for the heavy-duty work these pillowcases will be doing, furnishing fabric was perfect.

A week later it was even a further 30% off!

Because it is furnishing fabric, it is extra-wide too.  It meant I could do one whole pillowcase with just a 65cm wide cut.  Unlike most crafty projects, this is one that actually turns out to be cost effective when compared with the cost of just buying a ready-done pillowcase.  It’s a whole lot cuter, too.

If you have ever thought about making European pillowcases for a play room, or even for an adult’s bed, here’s the pattern I drew up and used.  I’ve tested it out, and it works really well.  Super easy.



Now here’s the special stuff.  Liberty Tana Lawn in the Susannah pattern.  I love the yellow and blue colourway, and have used it on so many pretty projects.

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Look at the detail in this.  From the centres of the sunflowers, filled with love hearts, to the delicate edges of each petal, it’s the perfect example of why Liberty are known as “art fabrics”.

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I just love it.

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Have a look here at the rainbow colourway.  I even have this Sportscraft dress made from the blue and white colourway.  Very soon, it will be released in a pink and white colourway, see here.  The purple and green is lovely too.  The Etsy store that I have linked to, Alice Caroline Supply, has the whole range.

At around $40 a metre, you had better have something special in mind for it before you buy, but everything that I make from Tana Lawn has a beautiful texture, silky and light.  It also washes beautifully.  Just remember to use a very fine needle, and even a finer thread, when you sew with it.  I tend to use Superior Threads’ Bottom Line with Tana Lawn.  It’s not designed for that purpose, but I have it already for quilting and it is fine enough to get a lovely finish.

Happy Friday everyone!