12 Days of Christmas Blog Hop: Day 1

The Christmas countdown is on … and we (Benartex Fabrics) are here to help you with fun, festive and fast projects that you can finish before the holidays! Join us on our Facebook page and Instagram account December 12th through the 23rd for our “12 Days of Christmas – Quick Gift Project Hop”.

Today I'm the first designer out of the box and am featuring the Toadily Cute fabric collection. We all are looking for some quick ideas for last minute gifts. I will be sharing two today. This blog post is photo heavy, but I think you'll enjoy seeing all the Toadily Cute things I made!

The first one is something you've seen here before:

Tissue holders using the Toadily Cute fabrics
Tissue Holders! I have made dozens of these in the past 20 years. I tweaked the original pattern so the little tissue packs fit better (I added 1/2" or so). But you want to see the pictures, don't you?!!

First, the fabrics. The one on the bottom is a border print that is just the sweetest. And the one on the right is a set of panels. You can see all of them here at the Benartex web site.

Toadily Cute fabrics
Now, how to make these little handy, dandy tissue holders!

Step 1: Fabric Requirements (**Good contrast between the fabrics is recommended)
  • One 6” x 7” rectangle for OUTSIDE
  • One 6 x 8-1/4” rectangle for INSIDE
  • Yes: the inside fabric rectangle is larger than the outside. That's what forms the little "binding" overlap.
Paired fabrics cut into two sizes of rectangles
 Step 2:
  • Place rectangles right sides together. Sew the 6” sides together. Yes, one is larger than the other and they donʼt lie flat. You are sewing a tube with one piece larger, but they are connected with two short, side seams.
Yes, we're inside out but we can still see you!
Step 3:
  • Turn seamed rectangles right side out and press the overlaps of the larger rectangle (1/4” seam allowance size) so that your rectangles now lay flat on each other, wrong sides together.
  • The frog print is the OUTSIDE of the holder; the green dotted print is the inside.
Turned right side out the lining overlaps the outer print
Let's see more of these, ok?

Four sets with the prints turned right side out
Step 4:
  • Fold this unit in half along the length (bringing the two finished edges together) and finger-press the center mark at the two raw edge sides. Remember the pins in the picture above? Those finished edges overlap 1/4". Pin in place
  • Itʼs a little bulky; a normal sewing machine stitch is possible.
Showing the inside of the tissue holder
Step 5:
  • Sew 1/4” seam on both raw edges. Trim away tiny triangle at ends of seams to reduce bulk when turning. Zigzag or otherwise overcast the raw edges to keep them from fraying.

Stitching the short sides together; then zigzag.
Step 6:
  • Turn the unit right sides out to form your tissue holder. Add one of those little packs of tissue. See how happy I've made that froggy!
Single tissue holder.
Now for a second quick project that works year round. I call these my Kids' Busy Books. I have made them from hexagons. Today, I'm using those sweet panels from the Toadily Cute collection.

Hardly anyone writes on paper anymore, but if you can find these in the stationery section of your local stores, grab them. They are a great fit for the busy books!
This is the paper size I will use for the inside
 I cut two of the panels and then removed the spacing strip because of the fit of the paper. I left 1/4" all around each of the two panels
Two panels trimmed
I stitched them together, making sure that the front of the book is in the correct position when it's turned right side out!
Two panels stitched together
 Then I cut a piece of light batting and a lining (the one with the words) and layered them.

3 layers
Lining is placed right side together with the book front. The batting is on the bottom. Stitch around all 4 sides with 1/4", leaving a space for turning (see where the two straight pins are at the bottom.)

Stitching and leaving opening for turning
Turned right side out and top stitched around all sides, closing that opening. The frog will be the FRONT of the book; the turtle will be the back.
Outside of book
I pulled 10 pieces of paper from that tablet and drew a line down the center. I will stitch these together with my sewing machine (yes, I will!)

10 pieces of paper stacked and ready for stitching along that center pencil line
I placed this stitched paper in the center of my book, but it won't be permanently attached as I have done in previous books. I'm making a spine that this stack can slip into using elastic.

Auditioning the stack
 I only had black elastic. You work with what you have, right?!

1/4" elastic stitched to the ends
 The stack of paper can slip in and out (when it's been totally scribbled on).
Paper slips in under the elastic. Easy to remove for another replacement!
 And this is how it looks when finished!

Kids' Busy Book
I actually made four of these busy books so that I can gift them to my granddaughter's little friends in her kindergarten class. I am going to stitch a few more replacement insides and include them.

Click to see the schedule of this fun hop!
Each day you will find a new designer with new ideas. Here are the links below. They will also be posted at the Benartex Facebook page.

13-Dec  Rachel Rossi - https://www.rachelrossi.design/
14-Dec  Ann Lauer - https://grizzlygulchgallery.com/
16-Dec  Carol Swift - https://www.justletmequilt.com/
17-Dec  Pat Sloan -  https://blog.patsloan.com/
18-Dec  Julie Cefalu - https://thecraftyquilter.com/
19-Dec  Shelly Cavanna - https://www.corasquilts.com/
21-Dec  Charisma Horton - https://charismascorner.com/
22-Dec  Cherry Guidry -  https://www.cherryblossomsquilting.com/


  1. This fabric is really cute and the projects are so adorable. I love the little books. I haven't thought of putting the paper in like that. Great idea. I will keep this in mind for the next time I make some. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Cute fabric in those wonderful gift ideas...thanks for sharing, Debby!

  3. Thank you for sharing the tissue holder and busy book tutorials

  4. Hi again, Debby! Oh, that busy book is a great idea. I LOVE the addition of the blank pages in the center. I am certain the KG students will have a blast with them. ~smile~ Roseanne

  5. Thanks for the two patterns - both keepers.

  6. The busy book is a GREAT idea. I have friends who don't like coloring books, but prefer their children to imagine their own things, so these would work perfectly. Thanks, Debby!


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Thanks for stopping by Debby Kratovil Quilts! If you had a question and don't get an answer from me, please feel free to email me at: kratovil@his.com