Thursday, July 24, 2014

Artist Trading Block - Sewing Tower

I have been having so much fun lately making ATBs! I had another idea for "tower style" ATB using a sewing theme. I love vintage sewing notions and themed supplies. I'm always on the lookout for them when we go to garage and estate sales. This is a special project that I have made for a friend to commemorate her late mother's love of sewing. I hope it will spark many fond memories for her!

I used the main ATB block die and the die that cuts a set of three smaller blocks. (I did not use the smallest block in this tower.) Here's a peek into the little shadowbox on the bottom, largest block (construction details later):

And here is a closer look of the four sides:

This is a pretty straightforward build but I did get a little tricky with the bottom block. After cutting out the panels using matboard, I glued on pieces of actual pattern paper tissue using Multi Medium. 

When that was dry and trimmed, I also put on a thin layer of Iced Spruce paint. Then it was time to build the little shadow box. I wasn't super precise and neat because I knew it would be hidden. I glued all the items in before gluing it to the ATB panel. It's much easier to arrange it without reaching through the oval frame! 

For the pincushion side I used the middle sized oval from the Movers & Shapers oval set to cut an oval out of scrap matboard. I cut off the tips so it would fit the ATB  panel. A small wad of batting covered with a swatch of fabric did the trick for making a "puff". I wrapped the margin of the fabric (trim to shape) around the back of the matboard and glued it in place. (Clothespins work great to hold it in place while it dries.) 

Once that was all dry, I pressed it behind the second ATB panel so the puff pushed through the smaller oval. More glue and clothespin clamps held everything in place. Then I put the whole box together when it was dry.

I hope I've inspired you to try your own ATB creation! They are quite addictive, I can assure you. ;-) Be sure to check out The Artists On the Block for even more inspiration. The projects there will knock your socks off!

Most of the supplies I used for this project can be found at Inspiration Emporium. Follow the links below and use my code JUICE to save 10% if you go shopping. I will also point out that US shipping is always $5 and international shipping is just $10! 


  1. I love this, the sewing theme is so awesome and there are so many wonderful details here! Nicely done and your friend is sure to love it.

  2. Hello Lisa,

    I'm a sewing fan and I would love to get this as a gift ! I'm sure your friend will cherish this !
    You inspired me about the shadow box ! I thought you just made a hole in the cube and then filled it, but the small attached shadowbox is much better ! You can indeed arrange the stuff as you want it and it doesn't have to fill the whole box... Clever idea !
    greetings from Belgium

    1. I'm always happy to provide inspiration! I would love to see your take on the idea Inge. :-)

  3. What a fantastic stack Lisa! The shadow box idea is fabulous and I love how you've used pattern pieces on the initial layer. Jenny x

  4. What as neat idea... love it !!


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