FREE Pattern: Wine Cozy

As promised, here is the first of the free patterns I am offering to help spruce up your home for the holidays. Just imagine you have guests over, and everyone has a wine glass, but keeping track of those glasses and running around with coasters for every flat surface is a problem.  The wine cozy is an attractive and fun way solution to both situations.  You’ll want to make it in a variety of colors and fabric patterns – to help guests identify their own drink.  The best part?  You probably have enough different fabrics in your stash to make dozens of these!

Materials – note: these instructions are to make ONE cozy

  • 5″ strip of cotton print or solid fabric – or 1 fat quarter
  • 4″ square of thin cotton batting

Suggested Tools

  • (beyond standard sewing supplies)
  • Circle Cutter (I used the OLFA cutter)
  • Self Healing Mat

Project Level: Beginner

Cut fabric as follows:

  • Cotton Print: cut 4 circles with a 4″ diameter
  • Cotton Batting: cut 1 circles with a 3½” diameter

Construction –

  1. Sandwich the batting circle between two of the fabric circles with right sides facing out on fabric circles (so bottom fabric is right side down, then batting, then top fabric with right side up).
  2. Take remaining two circles and fold in half, ironing the fold sharply.
  3. Lay folded circles on top of the sandwich, with the folded edges touching so the two half circles (folded circles) make a whole circle on top of the fabric sandwich. This area with the fold is where the foot of the wine glass will insert. 
  4. Pin all layers together, making sure you catch each of the folded pieces separately.
  5. Stitch around the sandwich, catching all layers of the fabric (bottom piece, batting, top piece and each of the folded pieces) into a ¼” seam.
  6. Clip the selvage, allowing you to more easily turn the circle out.
  7. Using the opening at center of the circle (folds) turning it right side out. Iron cozy flat.
  8. To use, insert the base of your wine goblet. Create a variety of cozys out of different fabrics – now everyone will know which glass is theirs.

Here is a downloadable PDF version of this pattern: Wine Cozy Pattern
Sheila Reinke, Heart of Sewing

September – National Sewing Month

If you have been into a store that sells fabric in the last few days, then I’m sure you already know that September is National Sewing Month. National Sewing Month

What does National Sewing Month mean?  Well, the official site will tell you that it’s “a great time to indulge your passion for sewing and a great opportunity to introduce yourself to the craft if you’ve never tried it before.”  That’s not a bad message at all, but I think there’s something more to it.  National Sewing Month should be a time to celebrate that you are a sewer!  Indulge yourself by getting a new fabric you’ve been wanting, but just couldn’t quite justify.  Or try a new technique or pattern that you’ve been worried about getting started on.

Celebrate that you are a sewer – you can take two pieces of fabric, cut them up in various unusual shapes and sew them back together in a fashion that is not only coherent, but is pleasing to the eye!

Okay, now that the pep talk is out of the way, more about the holiday.  It’s nice to know where events like this come from, so I decided to look into the history of the event.  I was pleased to find that National Sewing Month actually has it’s own website, so the information below is primarily from that site.

Many people believe that National Sewing Month is only a few years old because of the intense marketing campaigns in the last few years. But it actually was declared by President Ronald Reagan on September 21st, 1982 that September would be recognized as National Sewing Month. This was done at the request of the American Home Sewing & Craft Association.

The American Home Sewing & Craft Association later became the Home Sewing Association (HSA) and in 2004 they renewed their dedication to National Sewing Month. In 2005, a full advertising campaign was launched to make the public more aware of this holiday, and for the first time a theme was associated with the holiday for the year: “Sewing… the alternative yoga.”  From that point, themes have been continued for the holiday each year:

    2005Sewing… the Alternative Yoga
    2006Sewing… Express Your Creative Spirit
    2007Sewing… it’s What You Make of It
    2008Go Green! Sew Green!
    2009Reuse, Remake, Restyle

In 2008 the American Sewing Guild (ASG) took over the promotion of National Sewing Month along with the Sewing & Craft Alliance. You can find out more about this history, and links to this year’s contest at the official website.

2009 NSM Logo

Yes, you read that correctly – there is a contest associated with National Sewing Month, and I encourage everyone who can to join in.  Even if you don’t feel that you can submit your final project for entry, I’d like to hear from those of you that do try to make something in the spirit of the month.   Details on the official rules can be found here: 2009 contest rules, but here is the challenge:

Reuse, Remake, Restyle Challenge
We want to see your most creative ideas for how you implement environmentally-sound sewing into your life.

Have you designed a clever method to reuse a garment that you made and no longer wear? Do you shop thrift stores and garage sales for designer garments that you restyle into bags, totes or ‘vintage’ style garments for yourself? Have you found a way to remake an everyday product into something unique and eco-thrifty? Sew up your best ideas for National Sewing Month and you could be a lucky winner!

My challenge to you – get out there and sew! Sew whatever you like, even if it doesn’t meet the qualifications for the official contest, you will have celebrated that you are a sewer! And I’ll be happy to post pictures of projects that are made this month – just email them to sewingheart @ (sorry, but to prevent a bunch of spam, I can’t give you a link to the email, just take out the spaces around the @ sign and use that as the email address).  By the end of the month, I hope to have so many pictures from you that we’ll have to make a series of posts about them!

Sheila Reinke, Heart of Sewing

Retreat Memories

I’ve always loved going to retreats – for a variety of reasons.  There are some obvious things to mention that I like about retreats – meeting new people, seeing old friends return, and getting to do something that is different from my daily routine.  Those are all things to enjoy, and I think most people who attend the retreats would consider them accurate.

But there’s also a certain something that’s hard to define that sets an event like this apart.  For lack of a better way to describe it, I’ll call it energy although that’s not quite right.  It’s the excitement of being with other creative minds, working toward a common goal, and letting the ideas and suggestions flow.  It’s sharing knowledge with someone new to the craft, and listening to stories from a veteran crafter that remind you of your own adventures in quilting.  It’s laughter as we are all able to put the cares of a regular day behind us – no one is going to be able to come into this ‘secret sewing place’ to bug you.  And there is freedom as well, in knowing that you won’t get interrupted by the TV, the dog, or ANY of your family members who need you.  There’s also the joy of knowing that your needs will be met, you don’t have to stop to cook – someone else will do that, you don’t have to clean the dishes, again that’s for someone else to do, okay we do have to clean our fabric messes up!  So – we’ll call it energy but know that it is so much more….

I took some pictures of the retreat at Hebron – to show everyone what I mean.   But, I have to admit, there weren’t very many pictures taken.  (I was having too much fun and forgot to get out the camera!)  Perhaps I’ll have some more pictures after the retreats this fall.

Sewing Time

Sewing Time

Here you see a shot of a quiet time at the retreat, everyone is at their sewing machines – and look!  Not only is there plenty of room to work in, but we didn’t have to clean the kid’s homework off the table before we got started!



It works!  Here’s a shot of a block going together and starting to reveal it’s secrets.  We were working on kaleidoscope blocks in this retreat, so it was a real treat as we started to see the pattern evolve.  In the background you can see the fat quarters that were available for purchase for those who needed a little something ‘extra’ for their quilt.

Finished Blocks

Finished Blocks

We all felt that WOW! of accomplishment as we finished our blocks.  And as you can see here, the smiles were big and bright!

As I said before – I’ll try to get some more pictures this fall, but if you have attended one of my retreats in the past and have pictures to share, feel free to email to me and I’ll get them posted.  Just remember, if any of your fellow retreat participants are in the picture, we have to have their permission to post it!
Sheila Reinke, Heart of Sewing