Broken Dishes Block | Sampler Sew Along

It’s time for the first block tutorial in the Whitney Sews Sampler Sew Along!  Haven’t heard about it yet?!?  Each month I’ll be sharing a step by step tutorial to make a traditional quilt block as well as how to sew the blocks together to create a sampler style quilt that finishes in a great lap quilt/baby quilt size.

This week I’m sharing a tutorial for the Broken Dishes Block.  This block has been around since the 1790s and is the earliest recorded and most commonly used historic quilt block.  It is a simple block made of only 4 half square triangle units.

I share the step-by-step instructions from cutting to sewing this block in the video HERE!

Don’t forget to share a pic of your finished block with #SamplerSewAlong so we all see it!

If you want more details on the supplies I use in my videos, you can find them all HERE!  I set up an Amazon storefront so all my most used items are in one place and if you use my link to purchase anything I get a small percentage for referring you and that goes to help create more quality content like this video tutorial.

Until next time, Happy Sewing!




Whitney Sews Sampler Sew Along

I am so excited to announce that the Whitney Sews Sampler Sew Along is starting and I would love for you to join in!  Each month I’ll be sharing a step by step tutorial to make a traditional quilt block as well as how to sew the blocks together to create a sampler style quilt that finishes in a great lap quilt/baby quilt size.

Not sure what a sampler quilt is??  Sampler quilts become popular in the mid 1800s when quilts were broken down into grid like units (or blocks) for piecing for the first time.  Each block in a sampler quilt is a unique design, but often all the same size.  This allowed the quilters to have variety in what they were sewing and practice precision piecing without sewing the same blocks over and over again.  Sampler quilts also allow the quilt maker the opportunity to test out several blocks before choosing one or two to use for their next quilt.

Each of the blocks I will be teaching measure 12 x 12 inches when finished.  I chose this larger size because it’s easier for beginners to work with larger pieces when learning how to piece quilts together.  The first block of the series will be posted next Wednesday, so make sure you have some fabrics picked out so you can start right in!

Find out the rest of the details, including how many fabrics you’ll need, in the video HERE!

I hope you will join me in the Sampler Sew Along!  If you do, make sure to share a pic of your blocks with #SamplerSewAlong so we can all see your wonderful blocks!  Until next week, Happy Sewing!


DIYs Used Daily at Our House

I started making youTube videos 9 years ago…that means there are currently 726 videos on my channel!  That means I have made lots and lots of DIYs.  So I get questions on occasion (understandably!) about what I do with all the things I make for tutorials.  For the first few years of youTube I sometimes made DIYs that I thought other people wanted to see, instead of things I was truly interested in making.  After a while I realized the only way I was going to stay excited and happy with my channel and my videos was to make things I’m interested in making and the right people will find my channel.  Surprise…that works!  I have been on youTube longer than any job, any relationship, or anything else in my life and I’m currently less than 8,000 subscribers away from 100,000 (more on that later)!

Lately instead of trying to do what I think will perform well or be popular I make what makes me happy, or I make things that are useable and fills a need.  This is why my tutorials tend to skip around in theme – quilts for a month or two, then memory bears for a month or so, then on to something else.  Anyway, my point is I try not to make things that don’t serve a purpose.  That purpose may be a literal purpose, such as a bib or cloth pads that get used all the time or to teach a new technique or skill, unlike THIS video that had no purpose and was only made because I thought people wanted more t-shirt recons and the finished item went in the trash a few days later.

So I guess that’s a long story to say the answer to what I do with the projects I make is use them!  We use a lot of my DIYs in everyday life at our house.  I actually went around the house recently and made a list of every handmade item I noticed and share that list with you all in this week’s video.  I’m sure the list doesn’t include everything, but it will give you an idea of DIYs we use EVERY single day at our house.

Check out the full video HERE!

Were there any tutorials on the list that you haven’t watched yet?!?  You can find all of them in a playlist right HERE!

There are even more things that we use regularly, but not every single day.  If you’re interested in seeing a video of all the DIY items we use on a weekly basis, let me know and I can do a part 2.

Want to see my favorite sewing supplies and other items I use on a regular basis?!?  You can find them HERE!

What DIY items do you use every day? Also, what are your favorite sewing supplies? I would love to know!

Until next time, Happy Sewing!


Cloth Pads DIY

This is a tutorial I’m so excited to share!  I started making my own cloth pads about a year ago to use some flannel scraps from my stash and to see if I liked the idea of reusable pads.  We already use cloth diaper for our two kiddos, so it made sense for me to ditch disposables too!

Over the course of a few weeks I made 6 or 7 different patterns to see what size, shape, etc I preferred.  I also tried out a few different materials and levels of absorbency in the pad’s soaker.

After I year of using cloth I can safely say I LOVE them!  They are more comfortable than disposable pads and cheaper because I only used fabrics from my stash.  Plus there are TONS of options for materials to fit your needs and budget!  You can obviously buy pad specific materials (like zorb), pull fabrics from your stash (such as flannel), or upcycle items you no longer need (like flannel receiving blankets, old towels, etc).

BTW these pads aren’t just for your menstrual cycle, they can also be used for any sort of bladder incontinence or as a basic panty liner.  You can tailor the pads to suit your needs.

Since we can’t help what Mother Nature sends our way I am offering two of my favorite patterns for FREE!  You can find them on my shop page.  The first is a great daytime pad, especially for heavier days, and the second is a fantastic panty liner size.   So head over to the shop, download your FREE pattern, and check out the video to get started!

In the video tutorial I cover everything from material suggestions, step-by-step sewing instructions, and washing tips.

I mentioned a lot of items and resources in the video, they are all linked below for your convenience.

Supplies Used –
Craft Clips –
Snap Setter –
Microfiber Towels –
Zorb –
Zorb 2 –
Aurifil Thread –

Resources Mentioned in Video –
How to make a wet bag –
How to add snaps –
How to wash your pads –
Tips for fabric layering for soaker absorbancy –
How to make cloth diaper inserts –
How to transfer a pattern to thin plastic for durability –

Whew!  That was a lot to cover!  If you have any questions please leave them in the comments and I will post a second video if needed.  Until next time, Happy Sewing!





Tablecloth to Skirt Transformation

I found this beautiful, vintage tablecloth at my local thrift store a while back.  I fell in love with it and knew I needed to take it home with me.  I didn’t want it for my table…I wanted to wear it!  I knew that I wanted to cut a waistband in it and transform it into a skirt.  But even though I had a plan from day 1, it still took me over a year (if not closer to two) to be brave enough to cut into the tablecloth.

This was been a trend in my life for so long!  I have several items stashed away that I love, but can’t use in their current state, but am fearful of cutting into them because I’m afraid I will mess them up and ruin them.  But at the same time I am getting zero joy from having them stashed away and in fact am causing myself to have more clutter. So I’m trying to challenge myself to be brave and take on these projects.  Last week I finally resized a skirt I had been hanging onto for almost 9 years!  You can check out that video HERE!

That skirt turned out so amazing and definitely encouraged and motivated me to work on this one!

Since my table cloth was an oval to start with I folded it twice to find the center point and treated it like I would any material I was using to create a circle style skirt.  The only difference is I’m not actually having to cut or hem the bottom edge.

The skirt was quick and easy to make and looks so amazing.  Watch the step-by-step tutorial HERE!

Let me know in the comments what item you have been hanging onto for a sewing project.  I hope this post encourages you to create something you’ve been wanting to work on.  Until next time, Happy Sewing!


Ruffled Skirt Refashion

I bought this beautiful ruffled skirt back in Fall 2009!  I fell in love with the different colors and how flowy the skirt is.  Unfortunately the skirt is a size 1X, so in the past 8 years I have worn the skirt zero times.  Even when I was pregnant and at my largest size I could not make the skirt fit.

Over the years I wanted to refashion the skirt.  My plan for a very long time was to make it a strapless dress.  But I don’t even like wearing strapless dresses! Then I thought of the idea of making it an adjustable wrap skirt.  But there really isn’t quite enough material to make the wrap over part look right.  So I waited and waited, doubting my ideas, doubting my skills to do the skirt justice, and afraid I would ruin this lovely skirt that I love so much!

I am SO GLAD I waited!

I finally realized the skirt didn’t need anything fancy at all.  It just needed the existing invisible zipper cut out (which involves cutting the entire side seam out) and an elastic waist added.  So simple!  I cut the side of the outer and lining open and cut the zipper out.  Then resewed them closed with a french seam to tuck the seam allowances away inside.  Then I made the elastic waistband the same way I showed HERE!

Simple as that, the skirt is done and now fits perfectly!  I can wear it was a shirt tucked in and a cute belt or with a shirt hanging loose over the top.

Watch my full step-by-step refashioning video HERE!

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial.  I can not wait to wear my fun “new” skirt!

Did you know I have a second channel where I post vlogs and other fun videos??  You can watch the behind-the-scenes vlog from this refashioning HERE!

Until next time, Happy Sewing!


Sew Your Stash Update…Finally!

It is finally here…a long overdue sew your stash update!  It starts off with a quick explanation of why I haven’t posted an update since last August then I go over my 2017 goals and if each was a success or fail.

Check out the full update HERE!

You should see more Sew Your Stash updates in the future. In the meantime, feel free to check out Sew Your Stash on facebook where 14,000+ people are sharing what they are making from their stashes! Until next time, Happy Sewing!


How to Sew a T-Shirt Quilt with Whitney Sews

We all have that pile of t-shirts that are so special to us, but we no longer wear them.  Today I’ll be showing how to transform those shirts into an amazing one of a kind quilt full of memories.

My husband had a pile of shirts, mostly from conventions he had worked at, that he wanted to make into a quilt.  He never got the time to make it so I offered to take over the project.

Because the shirts are from all different places and events the graphics are all different sizes, so cutting the shirts to uniform sizes was not going to work.  If your shirts have similar sized graphics/logos check out my tips down below!

I made some notes with the sizes I wanted each shirt to be cut down to allowing about 1 to 1.5 inches outside the graphic on each side.  Then cut the shirts to a little larger than those measurements and cut a piece of fusible interfacing to the same size.

HERE is the interfacing I like to use!

Fuse them together from the back side.  You do NOT want to place your iron on any screen prints because the heat will damage them!  Once each piece has been fused use a couple of rulers and a rotary cutter to cut each block down to the correct size.  At this point you can start improve piecing them together…but I’m not brave enough to do that…so I planned mine out on graph paper.  If you improve piece (or plan ahead and your t-shirts just don’t all match up to make a rectangle shape you will need to add filler pieces.  Filler is leftover t-shirt pieces that have been interfaced).  I show my sketch in the video linked below.

I planned my quilt out so it had 5 different rectangular units that all fit together to form the entire quilt top.  It took a few tries to get all the numbers to line up and I had to adjust the pieces a half inch here and there to get them to all fit together right, but got it all to work out.  Below is a photo with the units circled so you can see how they all fit together.

Each unit was pieced using a 1/4 inch seam allowance like a typical quilt and because the pieces have been interfaced they can be treated like regular fabric.  After each unit is pieced, sew them all together to form the quilt top.

After the top is completed you can finish a t-shirt quilt in a few different ways.  I chose to sew mine like a blanket with the backing and top right sides together, sew around the outer edge, turn through an opening and top stitch.  We chose a sweatshirt type material for the backing, but you can interface the backs of the t-shirts, sew them together until it is larger than the quilt top and use that for the backing.  Another option is adding a batting and backing, quilt and bind like a traditional quilt.

You can watch my full step-by-step T-shirt quilt tutorial HERE!

As I mentioned earlier, if your t-shirts are all similar you can make your quilt a little differently.  Instead of needing to measure each shirt and cut to different sizes, you can decide on one size for them all.  Trim the shirts a little bigger than you want the finished square to be and fuse the interfacing, as shown in the video, then trim to the final size.  Then sew the pieces together to create rows.  So if you have 20 shirts you can sew them into 5 rows with 4 shirts in each row.  Then sew the rows together.  My favorite way is to sew the quilt into two big pieces and lastly sew those together to have the entire quilt top.

This style of quilt is better for beginners because you aren’t having to do a lot of math and figuring, you simply just sew squares together in any order until you have a full row.

If you are more advanced you can add other fabrics and create designs, add sashing, borders, etc to make your t-shirt quilt even more unique.

I hope you found this tutorial helpful!  Make sure to come back next Wednesday for another new tutorial.  Until then, Happy Sewing!


Repairing the Knee Pedal on a Vintage Sewing Machine Cabinet

This week I have a quick video to share about how I repaired the knee pedal on my vintage sewing machine cabinet.  Instead of using a regular foot pedal to control the machine, this one uses a knee lever that is attached to the cabinet.  I didn’t love the idea of a knee pedal when I first got it, but now I’m used to it and prefer it more than a foot pedal.  So when the lever started getting loose then broke off I was pretty sad about it.  I was right in the middle of filming a sewing tutorial and had a memory bear order to complete and zero time to waste!

I took the knee pedal off the side of the cabinet and headed to the nearest hardware store.  I found a nice man there who knew more about bolts, threading, and all that and explained what I needed and he set me up with the right supplies.  I came home with a bag of bolts and a bag of wingnuts for under $3 and had my machine back up and running in under 5 minutes!

Check out the video HERE to see exactly how I put it all back together!  Links for the needed supplies are in the video description box.

I hope you found this helpful, or at least interesting!  If you want to see my week in the life video when my knee pedal, belt, and more broke all in the same day click HERE!   I’ll be back next Wednesday for another new sewing tutorial.  Until then, Happy Sewing!


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Cheyenne Rope Bag How to with Pins + Needles Kits

This week I partnered back up with Pins + Needles Kits to bring you all a tutorial for the Cheyenne Rope Bag from Serendipity Studios.  Pins + Needles sent all the supplies needed to make the bag to all of their February Premium subscribers.  But even if you don’t have the kit or the pattern, you can still follow along to learn how to work with foam stabilizer, how to sew inset zippers, and installing magnetic snaps.


Follow along with my step-by-step video tutorial HERE to make your bag!

Want to try out your own Pins + Needles Kit??  Use the coupon code WHITNEYSEWS10 for $10 off your first Premium box!


Want to learn how to make another bag??  Check out my lined tote bag with outer pockets tutorial.  It also incorporates foam stabilizer and is a fun project to make.

I post a new tutorial every Wednesday, so don’t forget to check back next week.  Until then, Happy Sewing!