Christmas,  Gift Ideas,  Quick Projects,  Tutorials

Calendar and ‘To-Do List’ Organizer – Tutorial

Do you make New Year’s Resolutions? I try to set a couple goals that challenge me throughout the year. For 2015, my goal was balance. For the most part I did well and at times I failed miserably :). One of my goals for 2016 is to be more organized and productive in my daily life, so I decided to start the year off by making a cute holder for my calendar, notepad and daily to-do list. Here is the tutorial in case you want to get more organized in 2016 too!

Fuzed cover copyI put my favorite Martin Luther King Jr. quote on the front of my organizer just to remind me of what is really important. In the hustle and bustle of everyday life, it’s nice to have a reminder of what is really important. You can download this design for FREE here.


4 coordinating fat quarters plus one 21″ x 14″ piece of fabric for backing – this will give you enough fabric for the holder including the binding and a little left over
1 piece of batting 21″ x 14″
Sulky Fuse n Stitch™
Sulky Soft ‘n Sheer Extra™
KK 2000™ Temporary Spray Adhesive
Sulky 30 Wt. Cotton Thread in Coordinating color
MLK Machine Embroidery Design – It’s free here
Sulky 40 Wt. Rayon Thread in Coordinating colors for the machine embroidery design
Sulky Tear-Easy™ for stitching out the embroidery design
Fabric Marker
Clover® Wonder Clips™ (optional)
1/4″ Foot (optional)
Basic sewing supplies


Start by stitching out the embroidery design. I used Sulky 40 Wt. Rayon in Medium Turquoise #1094 and Hot Pink #1109. I hooped my fabric along with 2 layers of Sulky Tear-Easy. I probably could have gotten away with one layer, but my motto is I would rather use too much stabilizer and not need it, than too little and not have a clean, pucker-free design. Center the design where you want it on the front cover and cut the fabric to 10-1/2″ x 13″. Cut the back cover fabric to 10-1/2″ x 13″.

010 (1)Stitch these two together with a quarter inch seam allowance. (I serged this seam.) Fuse a 20″ x 13″ piece of Sulky Soft ‘n Sheer Extra™ to the wrong side of the front and back cover. This gives the piece extra stability and keeps it from shifting and distorting while you are quilting.

009Make a quilt sandwich with the backing right side down, then the batting and cover right side up. Use Sulky KK 2000 to hold the three layers together for quilting. TIP: Spray the KK 2000 onto the fabric, not the batting, for a better, longer stick.

008I quilted the front cover in a crosshatch pattern with Sulky 40 Wt. Rayon in Pale Yellow #1061 in the top and bobbin. I like the way the rayon blended into the fabric but gave just a little shine. I quilted the back cover with Sulky 30 Wt. Cotton Blendables in Glacier #4069. The colors in this Blendable are a perfect match to the blue fabric and the subtle pink fabric that I used for the inside pockets.

Once the quilting was finished, I trimmed the cover to 20″ x 13″. Now onto the pockets!

For the left side pocket, cut a piece of fabric 17″ x 10-1/2″ and a piece of Sulky Fuse ‘n Stitch 8-1/2″ x 10-3/4″. Fold the fabric in half, right sides together, so it measures 8-1/2″ x 10-1/2″. Fuse the 8-1/2″ x 10-3/4″ piece of Sulky Fuse ‘n Stitch to the wrong side of the fabric leaving a quarter inch seam allowance on the three sides with raw edges.013

With a 1/4″ foot, stitch along the edge of the Fuse n Stitch using a 1/4″ seam allowance, down one 8-1/2″ side from the fold to bottom. Turn and press.012

For the right side pocket, cut a piece of fabric 17″ x 13″ and a piece of Sulky Fuse ”n Stitch 8-1/2″ x 13″. Fold the fabric in half, right sides together so it measures 8-1/2″ x 13″. Fuse the 8-1/2″ x 13″ piece of Sulky Fuse ‘n Stitch to the wrong side of the fabric. Turn so the right sides are together and press.savedforweb

Using Clover Wonder Clips™, clip the pockets in place (like in the picture below). Use a pin to pin the top edge of the left side pocket in place so it doesn’t shift when you sew. Sew the raw edges down with a scant quarter inch seam allowance.Organizer w wonder clips

Top stitch the side of the left pocket down. I used my walking foot to ensure the pocket didn’t shift and I used the Sulky 30 Wt. Cotton Blendable in Glacier on top and the Sulky 30 Wt. Rayon in Pale Yellow in the bobbin. I carefully stitched in the ditch where the two cover fabrics joined so there wasn’t an extra seam on the outside spine of the organizer.019

Now it’s time for binding! I wanted my binding to match the cover fabrics so I had to be sure they joined right at the seam where the two fabrics are joined. 004

Disclaimer: I have no idea if this is the right way to do this. This is how I did it. I fired the ‘Sewing Police” a long time ago so if this is different than others would do it, I am sorry, and I would love to hear any other methods of doing this in the comments! This method did work really well for me on this project.

I cut two 2-1/4″ strips from each of the cover fabrics. I joined the strips and clipped the binding to the front.

002Once I got to the seam, I marked it with a FriXion™ pen, then cut the strip leaving a quarter inch seam allowance. I then joined the second color binding strip.

003I did the same process at the other seam and viola!

023Next, I sewed the binding on like I always do. I use a walking foot and sew the binding to the front of the project with a quarter inch seam allowance, mitering at the corners. I trim any excess seam allowance and then hand stitch the binding down to the back.

fuzed open no stuffI love my new organizer! I fits my notepad and my calendars perfectly. I really like the printable calendars and planners from Scattered Squirrel. Here’s to an organized 2016!fuzed-opened

Happy Sewing!

Do you have Pinterest? Pin this image below to your page so your friends can find this tutorial too!


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