Sewing for a Cause :: Kangaroo Cuddlers for the Riley NICU

Indy Reads Bookshelf Quilt went to a good home.

Indy Reads Bookshelf Quilt went to a good home.

Ohhhhhh man! We are fresh on the heels of raffling off our Indy Quilts Books Bookshelf Quilt and just don’t know what to do with ourselves. The winner was drawn at the Alphabet Affair and it hit us that we weren’t quite ready for the quilt to go. What will we do with ourselves now that our beloved work is done for the year with IndyReads?

We’re starting a new project to spread the good-giving. We know you’ll love this one. We’ve partnered with one of our lovely customers and friends who is involved in the Kangaroo Cuddlers which is a program that encourages skin to skin contact of mother and baby. Read what the project coordinator has to say:


Our first Kangaroo Cuddler

Kangaroo Care is hard to accomplish when your little one is in constant care in the NICU. A team of doctors devised a great program that provides opportunity for moms to wear a little kangaroo inside their clothing and when they aren’t able to be with their baby, the little kangaroo stays with the child. It reminds the mothers that this skin to skin contact is very important in early childhood as well as provides comfort and security for the baby as the swatch contains the mother’s calming smell.

How sweet is this? You want to help us sew these dudes? Let’s talk deets.

Who: You, silly! Our wonderful sewy community.

What: The Riley NICU Kangaroo-a-thon! The initial goal is to collect 60 Kangaroo Cuddlers.

When: Please complete and deliver your finished cuddlers by Saturday, May 9, 2015

Where: Drop them off or mail to Crimson Tate – 845 Massachusetts Avenue, Indianapolis, IN 46204

How: Download this simple Kangaroo Cuddler pattern and make as many ‘Roos as you please, and please don’t forget to closely follow the guidelines because a mom has to wear this under her clothes and a baby has to snuggle with it. Keep it as simple as possible!

Hop to! What an awesome use of our skills that other people might not have, so think of what a difference this simple gesture can make. How many Kangaroos can we sew, gang?! Let’s find out!

Scrappy Heart Block Tutorial – INLove


A tutorial from Crimson Tate :: Modern Quilter

Finished block size: 14″ square



½ yard of lightweight interfacing per block

oodles of scraps of whites and reds (or if you need yardage, 1/8 yards of a goodly amount will suffice)

This quilt is perfectly suited to digging through your scrap bin and using up those oddly shaped pieces. The blocks can be as scrappy as you’d like, using as many different fabrics as you’d like. We encourage you to find at least eight different reds and five different whites, just for funsies and to create superior contrast.

If using eighth yard cuts, cut (2) 3 1/8” x 3 1/8” squares and (13) 2 ½” x 2 ½” squares  from each fabric.


To create each finished block, you will need:

(24) 2 ½”  x 2 ½”  white squares

(4) 3 1/8” x 3 1/8” white squares

— plus —

(17) 2 ½” x 2 ½” red squares

(4) 3 1/8” x 3 1/8” red squares


Half Square Triangles

Start by sewing the half square triangles. Draw a diagonal line across all of your 3 1/8” white squares using the 45° guide on your ruler.


It’s time to chain sew! Start with those 3 1/8″ squares using one white square and one red square (right sides together), sew a ¼” away from each side of the diagonal line




Cut along center line.


Press seams open. (We typically press our seams open around Crimson Tate, but you don’t have to be as persnickety if you absolutely hate it)

Trim half square triangles down to 2 ½” x 2 ½”.


Tip: Make your first two cuts a little bit larger than 2 ½”, then make your last two exactly 2 ½” in order to trim all four sides and remove the dog ears. See video below.

Designing Your Block

Shortcut alert! The following steps will save you oodles of time. Thanks to our friend Ellesquare who taught us this method in her Friday Night Brights quilt pattern.

On the ironing board, lay out your piece of interfacing glue side up. As you place your squares right sides up, be as careful as possible to leave the same amount of space between your squares (about 1/8”). Make sure your squares are not overlapping or touching. It will resemble a nicely tiled kitchen floor when finished.


Using the pick-and-pluck method, fuse the squares in place, taking care to not run over large areas of exposed interfacing. You may want to dig out your handy dandy pressing cloth.



Fold first row of squares over the second row (right sides together) and sew with a ¼” seam. Continue in this manner for each horizontal row, being sure to flip the previous rows out as to not catch them in your next seam.



On the wrong side of the block, trim a scant 1/8” from your seam allowance as to remove the folded interfacing from all six seams. Image

Iron your seams open. In this instance, pressing your seam open is strongly advised – the interfacing adds a lot of bulk to the seam.

Tip: Finger press your seams open before you go for the iron. Easy-peasy!


Rinse and repeat! This time, sew the vertical columns together. Again, use a ¼” seam allowance, sew slowly, and try to keep the seams you just pressed open, well… open!



Trim seams you just sewed.  Iron open seams. Image

Voila! We’re done! That’s a wrap! You did it! Make Valentines for all the precious lil’ lovers in your life!  Big thanks to the Quilt Guild of Indianapolis who chose the heart block as their block for February which is where we drew our inspiration.

Karen LePage of One Girl Circus will be sewing with us on Friday Night

Friday, August 17, Karen LePage of One Girl Circus will be joining us during a special Friday night edition of Downtown Sewcial.  Come hang out with the author of SEWING FOR BOYS and sew with her.  We are honored to have her in attendance.  She is hanging out in Downtown Indianapolis during the Indianapolis GP Motorcycle Races at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. (Her husband has a gig!  She’s along for the sewing ride).


I had the great fortune of meeting Karen in an aisle of the Kansas City Quilt Market while she was hanging out with Rashida Coleman Hale and Heather Braunlin Jones.  We became instant friends and I’m excited to host here in Downtown Indianapolis.  How cool is she to come hang with us?!  Love it!!


Call the store or email me if you want a reservation to sew at Friday Night’s Sewcial.  Otherwise, just drop by and say hey to Ms Karen!!  We’ll be glad to have you.  Image