Beautifully Scented Sachets – Quilting

If you’re stuck for a present, nothing beats a lovely and practical handmade gift. These lavender and rose sachets are perfect for as a hostess gift, or as a little thank you for a friend. They are a great way to use up scraps from your fabric stash, too. In this tutorial you’ll make two sachets, so you could give one to Mum and keep one for yourself!

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Using the rotary cutter and cutting mat, cut 12 strips of fabric each measuring 1.5 x 12 inches. I used four strips of pale aqua, three of dark coral, two each of grey and red, and one of mid aqua.

The finished panels consist of six stacked fabric strips. Lay the strips of fabric out and move them around until you’re happy with the way the colours are ordered. Step the strips back in increments of about three-quarters of an inch.

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All seam allowances in this tutorial are a quarter inch.

Starting at one end of the stack, sew the strips together in order, right sides together, maintaining the stepped edge.

Use thread in a co-ordinating colour – I’ve used contrasting thread so it’s more obvious for this tutorial.

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After you attach each strip, open the pieces out flat so you can attach the next strip.

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Press the seams flat to one side.

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Turn the fabric over and press the front. This pieced fabric will form the right-hand panels of the two sachets.

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Each cut fabric panel will measure 3 x 4.75 inches.

Place the pieced fabric on the cutting mat on a diagonal. Position your ruler over the fabric to match the photo below.

The base of the ruler sits a quarter of an inch below the seam, joining strips two and three (marked as ‘A’ on the photo). Rotate the ruler until the three inch mark bisects the bottom of strip 1 (marked as ‘B’ on the photo).

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Cut along the left-hand vertical edge of the ruler, and then the bottom edge.

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Slide the ruler over and cut the fabric at the three inch mark.

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Slide the ruler down and cut the fabric at the 4.75 inch mark.

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You will now have one panel measuring 3 x 4.75 inches.

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Cut the second panel out of the remaining pieced fabric.

Position the ruler as shown below and following the same instructions as for the first panel, cut the second panel measuring 3 x 4.75 inches.

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You will now have two matching pieced panels: both right-hand panels for the front of your scented sachets.

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Lay out the fabric strips next to the completed pieced panel. The design works best if you have at least one instance where the same colour strip is in the same position on both the left and right panel. You can see on the layout below that there is a light aqua strip second from the top on both panels.

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When you are happy with the layout of the colours, set the completed pieced panel aside. Lay the strips out so they step back in the opposite direction to the first panel strips. The bottom most strip will extend furthest to the right, the second bottom strip will step back to the left. Step the strips back in increments of about three-quarters of an inch.

Following the previous instructions, sew the strips together and press them.

Take one of the right-hand side panels and lay it right-side to right-side on the newly pieced fabric. Position it so that the seams align. If the seams are slightly out of alignment, you can ease them into place as you sew.

Cut the second panel in the same way.

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Take one left and one right panel and place them right sides together, ensuring the diagonal seams align in the centre.

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Sew the centre seam, back stitching for a few stitches at the start and finish.

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Open the pieced fabric and press the seams flat.

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Turn over and press the front.

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Using the ruler and rotary blade, check that the edges of the pieced panel are square. Trim if necessary.

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Cut a piece of fabric for the back of the sachet measuring 5.5 x 4.75 inches.

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Place the two pieces right-sides together and align the edges.

We need to leave a gap of about 2.25 inches along the bottom edge of the sachet for turning and stuffing – refer to the photo showing the sewn sachet below.

Sew around the edge of the sachet, pivoting the fabric at the corners. To do this, stop sewing a quarter of an inch before you reach the edge (as pictured in the left-hand photo below). With the needle in the down position, lift the sewing machine foot and pivot the fabric around (as pictured in the right-hand photo below). Lower the foot and continue sewing.

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Cut the corners of the fabric off. This will remove the bulk from the corners and make them sit better.

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Turn the sachet out the right way, using your finger or a chopstick to make sure the corners are pushed out. Press.

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Roll up the sheet of paper to form a cone shape with an opening that will fit into the opening of the sachet. Secure the cone with tape.

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Hold the sachet and place the cone into it. Pour some lavender or rose petals into the cone. Gently tap or shake the cone so the filling falls into the sachet. Stop filling when the sachet is half full.

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Thread a needle with thread that matches the backing fabric and using small ladder stitches, close the opening. Ladder stitch is a strong and invisible way to sew up the opening. Stitches go under the top layer of the folded seam and across the opening – see the diagram below. So the needle starts inside the pillow and comes up and out of the fabric at position 1. Then across the opening and down into the fabric at position 2. The dotted line indicates the needle and thread running under the fabric from position 2 to position 3. It comes out at 3, across the opening and down into 4, etc.

Stitches should be 2-3 mm (less than 1/8 inch) long. Pull the thread tight every few stitches to close the opening. Finish with a double stitch.

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Tie a ribbon around the sachets and add a gift tag and a flower and your gorgeous handmade  gift will be sure to be a hit.

In this tutorial you have learned some basic patchwork skills like piecing strips and using a quilting ruler and rotary cutter. You have also learned how to do ladder stitch which is a handy and strong invisible stitch.

Experiment with using different coloured and patterned fabrics to make these sachets. They are easy to make in batches – if you want to make more than two at a time, just increase the length of the strips. Cutting and sewing the strips together is the most time-consuming part, so making longer strips will be more time efficient.

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Have a stack of unfilled sachets on hand for last-minute gifts. Keep the lavender freshly sealed in its packet until you’re ready to give the sachets. Then you can just fill one and stitch it up and you’re good to go.