Five Charm Pinnie TUTORIAL


We are half way there!! I’m glad to have everyone from Bluprint Textiles. This week, we’re making a cute little stocking stuffer pincushion!

1. Fabric: You’ll need five charms! One each for the top, bottom, petals, flower center and binding.

2. Cutting the Hexies: You will need seven 1″ tall hexies. Here is a pdf template. I put extra hexies on the template, but you’ll only need to cut out seven.

Layout six hexies on the petal charm fabric.

Cut with a 1/4″ seam allowance. Also cut one for the center of the flower.

3. Sewing the Hexies: Begin by folding in one side. Place your needle along the next edge to the left. Fold this edge using your needle to get a clean edge.

Put two stitches at each intersection. Repeat this process working around the hexie; knot at the end.

This is what you should have. Times seven.

Sew the hexies together to be a flower. I use the whip stitch and silk thread. Place the hexies that you’re sewing right sides together. Sew from the top. Knot at the beginning and end of each side.

4. Appliqué the Flower: Now you will appliqué the flower onto your fabric for the top of the pinnie. I used silk thread.

You have two options to remove the template. You can either remove the templates prior to appliquéing OR appliqué with the templates in and cut them out from the back. I did the former. Because these hexies are so small, they keep their form well.
5. Cutting the Circle: Trace a circle onto your top fabric. I traced a roll of duct tape. Make sure to center the flower.

Pin the bottom fabric to the top fabric wrong sides together.

Cut out the circle. You are cutting both pieces at once.

6. Making the Binding: Cut 3/4″ wide BIAS strips from the binding charm.


Sew together the bias strips.

Press seams open.

Press the binding in half. I press the whole thing flat and while warm, finger press In half. Then press with the iron.

7. Attaching the Binding: Pin the binding around the edge of the pinnie top on the right side. At the end, fold over a short cuff and tuck in about 1/4″.

Attach with an 1/8″ seam.

This is what it should look like.

8. Sewing the Top & Bottom: Pin the top and bottom right sides together. Leave about 1 1/2″ for the opening.

Sew with a 1/4″ seam. Do not sew the opening.

Cut about every 1/4″ along the edge up to the seam.

9. Stuffing & Finishing: Turn the pinnie right side out. I stuffed with small scraps (dime to nickel size), but you can also use crushed walnut shells.

Hand sew closed. You’re done!!


These go pretty quick and make great gifts! So start sewing!!
xo LC

A Place of Pride

Yesterday was session two of Color Theory at Studio Stitch. I only had one student, but Rosie has the personality of ten people! She is hilarious…and I like hilarious!! Check out what she’s started.

My color theory students wanted to impress this week! I received an email from Joyce who finished her wheel; she took Color Theory at Sew Original over the summer. Joyce says she’s a newbie to quilting, but take a look at this!!

She’s done a lot of hand piecing and hand quilting, but had never paper pieced or machine quilted. Can you believe what an amazing job she did??

She loves muddy colors and decided to do a wheel with the colors she loves and uses the most. By rotating each fabric out a section in each row of the star, she got a swirling effect. Gorgeous!! And look at that quilting! I knew Joyce would do great, but this blew me away!!

It looks perfect in her home. Definitely a great choice for her to stick to the colors she loves!

I also received an email from Miss Debbie! She finished her wheel and it has quite the pride of place…over her sewing machine!!

Her colors are vibrant, heavily saturated colors. These are the colors she loves and uses the most. Me too! It is beautiful!!

I just love these! I am so thrilled with what they made:) The starburst block design was done by Anna of Six White Horses.
Yesterday was the introduction of Color Theory II to my teaching line-up; they just couldn’t get enough:) It was all about organizing your stash from the color perspective, with some sewing room tips thrown in. We had lots of fun and I think everyone left with some good ideas. Here’s are a few they were most excited about:
— Fold all your fabric the same. I use this method. Sort by color. I go light to dark within each color. But if your stash has lots of pure and muddy colors, it might make more sense to sort from most saturated to least saturated. You have to do what works for you. I fold on my cutting mat to measure the pieces instead of using other fabrics. (This will only make sense once you watch the video.)

— Keep all the directions/washing instructions for your fusible, batting and rulers in one notebook. Then label the edge of the fusible or batting. I’ve found when I try to pin the directions to it, they always end up lost or damaged. I write it about every 10″ like a selvage.


— Keep a basket near your sewing table for things that need to be put away. Scraps, tools, fabric and anything else! You never want to stop what your doing to put something away properly, so this keeps it from piling up on top of your work area. Full basket=time to put away! Mine is pretty close right now…

— Sort scraps and charms by color. I’ve done a few charm swaps so I’ve built up quite a collection. Fabric needs to breathe, so plastic baggies are not your friend. I made some little mesh bags to hold my charms and scraps. I did binding in the color of the fabric. I have a charm bag and a scrap bag for red, orange, yellow, lime, green, aqua, blue, violet, pink, neutral and multi-color. I use a lot of lime and aqua, so they needed their own bags. I don’t use red-violet, blue-violet, red-orange or yellow-orange as much. These colors will just go where they most belong; if it’s a more yellow version of yellow-orange, it goes in yellow, more orange will go in orange. They were REALLY easy to make. If you must use plastic baggies, leave them open at the top and chop off the corners of the bottom so air will circulate.

— I save nearly every scrap, no matter the size. I find that I’ll use even small pieces. I keep my tiny ones in glass jars. It’s organized AND it looks pretty!!

I love to have everything all organized! While I was researching this class, my friend Holly sent me this blog that she enjoys. It is wonderful!! Full of great ideas! This girl’s sewing room is ridiculous! Trust me, you’ll be jealous.
During class, we also discussed ideas for Color Theory III, so stay tuned for that!
Hope everyone had a colorful day!
xo LC

It’s a Colorful World

Today was part two of Color Theory at Sew Original! This is a really good bunch and we had a blast last week:) Susan, Jeannie & Ann couldn’t come this week and were missed! Ann is the guru!! That’s right, the guru is taking classes; it was so fun to have her:)
Karen, Marti & Kathleen are all well on their way to becoming color geniuses! They all selected pure, heavily saturated colors–which are my favorites! I snapped pictures of what they made in class; I’ll have to update when they finish these beauties.
Kathleen made this! She’s doing prints in the diamonds and solids in the outer rings. Her prints are delicious-Tula & Denyse are well represented.

Marti is doing all solids, but using tones (color + white) and shades (color + black) to give the effect of the star bursting!! It’s going to look very cool when it’s all finished.

And finally Ms. Karen! She’s doing prints with two different solids in the outer ring. It’s tough to find all the right solids, but we found them. Here’s what she made.

I love talking about color! They all really took what they learned and put it in the star. Love it!!
xo LC

What’s in a Name?

Lately, a lot of folks have asked me, “Why May Chappell?” So, if you’re one of these peeps who thought it, but didn’t ask, here you go! If you already know (or just don’t really care…), read on, I’ll give you some eye candy at the end!
In my first post (when my only true followers were my parents and big brother:)), I talked about this a bit. My name is Lee Chappell. The Chappell is pronounced like chapel (as in church). My great grandmother was May Chappell. Since I come from a long line of mothers teaching daughters to sew, I thought I’d choose a name with a nod to that heritage. The guru learned to sew from her mother and her mother learned from her mother.
There are lots of Chappells in the Carolinas; there’s even a book. If you’ve truly read everything else interesting in the world, you could read up on that!
I’ve always associated my Chappell name with my great aunt Nelle Chappell (my family is not great at names…). She was like a grandmother to me and I adored her. She was a math teacher who graduated Duke; a needle and thread were not her thing. But if she were alive, I know she’d be reading my blog like it was her job.
But I digress…back to the name. So I’m Lee Chappell, my great-grandmother was May Chappell and there are lots of sewers and quilters in between. A long line of knowing a thing or two about cloth!
My Dad has also voiced his opinions (whined) about the name. He comes from a family of sewers and quilters as well. And the guru also learned her mad skills from her paternal grandmother- it’s coming from all sides. It’s in my blood and I chose a name that would remind me of that.
And here’s some promised eye candy!
My favorite quilt from my grandmother’s house. I like to believe it was made by May Chappell; it definitely came from her house.

More May Chappell quilts!


This is the quilt that Nelle gave the guru. Needless to say, she did not make it…

These quilts were made by my Dad’s grandmother- Nancy Minerva Georgia Elizabeth Richardson Culbertson (yep, that’s all one person; I warned you that we aren’t great at names). She was a rock star piecer; I’m kind of jealous!


This is the boy version of sunbonnet sue (overall boy/farmer Sam) that my Dad’s mother, Lulee, made for my brother. This was the last quilt she made.

And here’s some of the guru’s early work! She made my brother and I these cool quiet time books. I found them while I was hunting after all these quilts. This is Jay’s; it was a Vogue pattern.





This is mine! A. It’s laughable that I was ever quiet. B. I did a little decorating to the cover. This was unsolicited. Poor guru! I’m sure she wanted to cry. This pattern was from her local sewing shop. She said it was more of an “idea” and less of a pattern.



I also found this gem! I made this when I was 3 or 4. It’s an apron in case you were struggling to identify it! I like the “raw edge appliqué”!!


My great-grandmother Stewart made a wedding dress for her daughter Emmie. She washed it once a year (gasp!) and it survived the test of time.

When Nelle got married, she borrowed it.

Then Emmie’s daughter, Emmaline wore it.

And then the guru altered it for Emmaline’s daughter, Vinson.

At the wedding, Vinson displayed photos of her mother and grandmother. (Vinson’s wedding pictures were taken by Jack Deere of Three Oaks Photography in Wake Forest, NC.)

Hope y’all enjoyed a trip down memory lane! I know it gave me lots of ideas.
xo LC


Another quilt finished! I showed y’all the finished wonky star top awhile back. Well, last week I quilted it and ran over to Reynolda to get some shots. The lighting was terrible, but I wanted some shots before I put it up in Sew Original:)

I did wonky lines across for the quilting. I love the result! I used YLI in a bright green.

Here she is!

Off to finish some bee blocks!!

xo LC


Peppermint Pencil Pouch TUTORIAL

It’s time for the TWELVE WEEKS OF CHRISTMAS again. A huge welcome to the readers from Bluprint Textiles!! This week we are making a cute little pencil pouch. There’s a zipper, but don’t fear the zipper! Just follow along and I’ll get you through it!!

1. Fabric: You’ll need two 9 1/2″ x 5″ pieces of flannel. For the front panel, you need four 1 1/2″ x 8 1/2″ strips each of two fabrics (red & white). For the back panel, cut one 9 1/2″ x 5″ piece. And cut two 9 1/2″ x 5″ pieces for the lining. You will also need one zipper. I HIGHLY recommend Atkinson zippers! You can easily trim them to the size you need and they come in an awesome rainbow of colors. Once I started using them, I’ve never bought anything else! If you are buying another brand, you’ll need a 9″ zipper.

2. Marking the 45° Angle: Place one piece of flannel 1″ from the 45° mark on your cutting board.

Place your ruler on the 45° line.

Using a Frixion pen (or temporary marking pen of your choice), draw a line on the 45° angle.

3. Sewing the Strips: Place a white strip to the right of the marked line.

Place a red strip on the white strip. Put the red strip 1/2″ from the bottom of the white strip.

Sew a 1/4″ seam down the left side. (I turned the whole thing around so I still sewed on the right.)

Marry your seams.

Finger press while the fabric is still warm.


Place another red strip on the white strip 1/2″ from the top. Sew on the right side.

Continue piecing in the same manner. You will need to cut the last piece of white in half.

You will cut the excess off the last piece of red.

Then cut the red piece in half for the two corners.

You will end up with this.

Run a few stitches across the corner to tack down the corner. This is easier if you sew with the flannel side up.

Trim using the flannel as a guide.

4. Sewing the Back Panel: Place your back panel fabric on the flannel.

Mark a 45° angle using a Frixion pen. Place your front panel below your back panel. Align your ruler on a strip to mark the angle.

Mark lines 1″ wide across the whole panel.

Stitch along these lines. I used a longer stitch length.

5. Putting in the Zipper: On the front panel, pin the zipper, right sides together. If you’re using an Atkinson zipper, you can leave excess on both ends. If you are using a 9″ zipper, you’ll align each end.

Sew using your zipper foot. Remember to move your needle all the way to the left.

Attach the zipper right sides together to the back panel.

Both panels should be right sides together and the zipper will be attached right sides together to each panel.

Press. This is what you should end up with.


Open the zipper.

6. Putting in the Lining: Pin the first piece of lining right side to zipper wrong side. Stitch. Repeat for the other side.

This is what you should have.

Press both sides.

Top stitch along each side of the zipper. I used a longer stitch length.

7. Sewing up the Pouch: UNZIP THE ZIPPER HALFWAY. Very important! Fold up the two outer panels.

Pin all sides except the bottom of the lining.

The zipper should not lean to either side.

Sew across the bottom of the pouch first. Then sew each side starting with the outer panels and sewing towards the lining. Use 3/8″ seam allowances.

Sew VERY slowly over the zipper. VERY SLOWLY.

This is what you should have.

Trim the corners of the outer panels.

Trim off the excess zipper. I use old scissors.

8. Finishing: Unzip the zipper as far as you can.

Turn the pouch right side out.

This is what you should have.

Fold in about 1/2″ on both sides of the lining. Pin.


Top stitch 1/8″ seam across the bottom.

This is what it will look like.


You’re done! Fill your pouch with all your favorite things!!


xo LC

Meet Lakan!

I’ve told y’all about Sarah and Anthony a few times before. They were going to have their first baby and wanted to make him a quilt! Armed with a can-do attitude and knowledge of hand sewing, Sarah signed up for my wonky star class. In addition to class, we met quite a few times for lessons in rotary cutting, pressing, chain piecing, machine quilting…and finished in under a month! Anthony mastered the rotary; Sarah mastered machine sewing. Considering her due date was just days after we finished, I was thrilled. That’s all just back story.
Lakan arrived!! He actually arrived six weeks ago, but we just got together so I could meet him:) He’s beautiful and perfect. He barely fusses or cries:) And if I do say so myself, he likes me! The feeling is mutual, I’m in love with the little guy! Here’s Sarah and Lakan!

And here’s a few shots of Lakan on his quilt!!


He was not really feeling the photoshoot on the quilt. But Sarah sent me this adorableness!!

I’m so happy for them! Every baby needs a quilt made with love:)
xo LC

Samples. Samples. Samples.

There’s a lot going on! With Sew Sew Modern filling up quickly and the Twelve Days of Christmas starting, I still needed to finish up my samples for my Fall classes. Drumroll please…
The BABY voile quilt for Sew Original Boone! Made with lots of Tula, a little Anna Marie Horner and some Free Spirit solids. Free Spirit voile solids are pretty impressive. They feel wonderful and come in a gorgeous rainbow. Voile will be so soft for a baby!

The Wonky Star for Sew Original Winston!! The guru has already requested this come live with her once it is done “touring”. These colors are very much “her colors”:) I’m just glad my family wants my work! I used Amy Butler Soul Blossom for the centers and every blue, teal, aqua, lime and yellow charm I could find for the star points. Most of the pieces were from swaps, so I had only one 5×5 charm or one 10×10 piece. This made it especially scrapaliscious! Still need to quilt, but the top is finally done:)

And another Color Theory wall hanging! No matter how many times I make this, it’s different each time. This one is going to Sew Original Winston! Kudos to Anna at Six White Horses for her amazing block design! And check out Bluprint Textile’s sweet tutorial!! This wall hanging is also for the guru; I’ve been promising her one;) Aboriginal dots is an all-time favorite print of mine; the warm grey/taupe really makes the color wheel pop!

I’m also loving how all the straight line quilting looks with the star on the back!

And I’m just past halfway on the voile quilt for Sew Original Winston. It’s also Tula with a little AMH and solids. Each one is so unique!

I also started putting these fun little tags on my quilts! Spoonflower had a free fat quarter promotion and I ordered my logo on twill and cut them apart. I’m excited to put these on all my projects from now on!! They’ll be fun for swaps.

I am off to finish the voile top and quilt some wonky stars!! What have y’all finished lately?
xo LC