Office supply stores and art stores rank right up there with quilt and yarn shops for browsing fun. Look what I found at Staples - some wonderful 5” x 8” pads of graph paper! Who could resist? These are a perfect size for traveling. I grabbed a pack of Crayola “Twistables” colored pencils too. They are easy to carry along since they never need sharpening – they just twist up like a mechanical pencil.
I decided to make a little binder – just the right size to unfold on an airplane tray to entertain me; or on a restaurant table to entertain a squirmy kid. Actually I still am a squirmy kid – and I still love to color!
3 fat quarters (18” x 21”)
¼ yd fusible interfacing -I used Pellon Deco Bond
5” x 8” pad of paper
8 Crayola “Twistables” colored Pencils or fine point markers
cut two 9” x 12”
Binding and Paper Pocket
cut three 2-1/4” x 21”
cut one 6” x 14”
Tie and Pencil Pocket
cut two 2” x 21”
cut one 8-1/2” x 8-1/2”
Cut two 9” x 12”
Fuse the interfacing to the wrong side of each 9” x 12” focus print rectangle. Set aside one piece for the outer binder. Note: I'm switching to cherry fabric so the lines show up better!
Mark a line 5-1/2” from the right edge of one 9” x 12” focus print rectangle. Make it about 7” long.
Mark a line 1” over from the marked line, as shown. Make it about 4-1/4” long, starting at the bottom edge. Mark 6 additional lines ¾” apart as shown.
The first and last spaces will be 1”, and the middle spaces will be 3/4”.
Terry’s Tip: measure over from the long line each time – measuring at 1", 1-3/4”, 2-1/2”, 3-1/4”, 4”, 4-3/4”, 5-1/2” so that you don’t run out of space!
Fold the 8-1/2” square in half and press for the pencil pocket (red).
Fold the 6" x 14" rectangle in half and press for the paper pocket (green).
Mark a line 1-1/4” from the edge of the folded square as shown. Mark 6 additional lines 1” apart.
The first and last spaces will be 1-1/4”, and the middle spaces will be 1”.
Place the folded paper pocket on top of the marked rectangle with raw edges even along the bottom and right edges. Pin.
Stitch a scant ¼” seam through all layers.
Fold the top piece over to the right and finger press. Stitch close to the right and bottom edges through all layers, making the paper pocket.
Align the first 1” pocket mark with the first ¾” mark underneath it. Pin and stitch on the line, backstitching at the beginning and end.
Repeat to make 8 pencil pockets. The raw edges will be even at the end to make the last pocket.
Place the finished pocket section on top of the second 9” x 12” focus print rectangle, with wrong sides together and edges even. Stitch about 1/8” from the raw edge, all the way around the edge to hold the layers together. Fold a little pleat at the bottom of each pencil pocket as you go. .
Stitch through all layers next to the paper pocket as shown. Repeat between the first and second pencil pockets, stitching all the way to the edge. This will make a “spine” for the binder.
Stitch the three 2-1/4” binding strips together using diagonal seams. Trim seams to ¼”. Press seams open (shown in blue). Fold the binding in half lengthwise, with wrong sides together. Press.
Stitch the binding to the outside edge, using a ¼” seam. Start on the side edge, about 1-1/2” from the bottom. Stop ¼” from the corner and backstitch.
CORNERS: Fold the binding up so the raw edges make a straight line. Fold the binding down, making a crease even with the top edge. Begin stitching at the edge and continue to the next corner.
Repeat at each corner, ending the stitching about 1-1/2” past the fourth corner.
Fold the binding ends back as shown, leaving a little space where they meet. Press. Cut the ends 1-1/8” over from the fold. Terry’s Tip: Use the end of the folded binding to measure because it is exactly the right width!
Stitch the binding ends together using a diagonal seam. This is kind of awkward – but the creases will line up to help you position the edges.
Trim seam to ¼” and finger press the seam open. Finish stitching the binding to the edge.
Finger press the binding away from the center. Fold the binding around to the back and stitch “in the ditch”, catching the binding underneath. Right before you reach the corner, look underneath and fold the edges exactly as shown. You may wish to place a pin to hold it. The side part must fold on top so it stays in place as it goes toward the needle. Stop with the needle down at the corner to turn.
Terry’s Tip: I like to fold each corner when I get there because if I try to pin them ahead of time it doesn’t work as well for me.
Stitch the two 2” x 21” tie strips together with a diagonal seam. Trim seam to ¼” and press open.
Fold the tie in half with wrong sides together and press. Open it and press both raw edges in to meet at the center crease. Press in half and stitch close to each edge.
Center the binding seam behind the paper pocket. Stitch the tie to the binder at the side edge and on top of the vertical line of stitching as shown.
Add paper and markers and tie a cute bow! I think I'll fuse some matching fabric on top of the graph paper to hide the ugly black header.
To make a button tab:
Cut the two tie strips to 2” x 14-1/2”. Stitch them together with a ½” seam along the long edge. Press the seam open. Fold the raw edges in to meet the seam edges and press. With right sides together, stitch a ¼” seam at each end. Trim corners and turn right side out. Fold in half and press. Stitch around the edge close to the fold.
Add a Velcro or button closure at the ends. Decorate it with more buttons if desired. Stitch it to the binder at the side edge and on top of the vertical line of stitching as shown.