From The Heart – My Day… Was… Yesterday…

stbs-2020-Key-Rings-016Oh, Dear!! I’ve done the one thing I have myself written to other bloggers about when they are no shows. For some reason, I just kept thinking that today Thursday was to be my day on this hop and it wasn’t. It was supposed to be yesterday. I feel like I’ve been a day behind for weeks now, even my hubby is starting to wonder as last Saturday, I asked him why he wasn’t going to work, and he said because it’s Saturday. Ummm… oops!! Perhaps because I am always at home time just gets lost on me. I dunno but I haven’t been myself ever since that accident in September. I’ll get there it’s just slow going I guess. They did check me for a head injury at the time and there were none and nothing showed up.

Anyway, I was very excited when Carol announced this bloghop and I knew exactly what I’d do as this is my all time favorite gift to make for others. It’s quick and easy and has so many different ways you can incorporate fabric into the key rings.

Yes, that’s right, I love making key rings. For many years, I have shown this image on my projects page of key rings I’ve made in the past.


The picture is a bit blurry, but I think you get the idea.
When you are making fabric choices for key rings, you are not limited in what you can use. My favorite choice was novelty prints because there was no small block piecing, and you could literally cut your squares, give it a little quilting (I love diamond square quilting for keyrings but stippling works also), and then put the whole thing together. With novelty prints, it is a fussy cut, but you are going for a specific idea with the cut so of course it can’t really be done by cutting your fabric by strips.

With panels another favorite, the same goes, but you need to have space enough between each panel to allow for room to sew with. In the sample of images below, some of these novelty panel type prints have plenty of room, where others have the print butted up next to each other. If you use these your going to give up some of that design space, so be sure you take that into account when you use this type of print.

The next type is pieced blocks. Because keyrings need to be small, you really don’t want something larger than a 5-inch block and really it should more in line with a 4-inch size. My key rings were always 4-inches square.

In today’s sewing world many machines come with an embroidery unit and that makes creating text on your keyrings such as initials absolutely fabulous. This is what I’ve done today even tho the process is the same for sewing them on a normal sewing machine. In fact, I’ve tried to keep the “hoop” out of the picture just so you know it can be done on your regular sewing machine. 

I will note that making keyrings is far faster to do on a regular sewing machine than it is on an embroidery machine.

I’ve given keyrings to every member of my family for many years. They literally know that every year they will get a new keyring. However, I used to sell these at craft shows also, and for me, these were a huge moneymaker. The fact that they are simple to make and cost very little to make is a really big deal when you can charge very little or higher depending on the type of work you put into the keyring. If I pieced them the price was higher, if I used novelty prints, the price was lower so it varied.

This process is much the same as I used in a tags tutorial I did a few years ago with a few differences now.


Supplies you’ll need

1 – 5-inch square for top (I cut larger then cut down before I turn it inside out)
1 – 5-inch square – for 1st backing (I use the same fabric as I choose for the backing you’ll see)
2 – 5 x 6-inch squares backing for 2nd backing (the one you see)
1 – 5-inch piece of fleece or thin batting (I love to use my scraps)
1/4 or 1/2-inch wide satin ribbon … I like to use black, but you can match your colors if you prefer to do so.

Thermoweb Basting Spray
Elmers Glue Stick
Scissors, Rotary Cutter, Matching Threads, and Sewing Machine Supplies

With your batting laying on your cutting surface, place a towel or a non-stick pressing sheet (preferred) under the batting and use the basting spray then layer your block on top of the batting. Turn it so the batting is again on top and your block is towards the pressing sheet and again baste with the spray, and place the backing in place. Quilt this section, and if you’re adding an embroidery design, this is also the time to get that done. I like to quilt before doing an embroidery design because I want the quilting to show within any embroidery spots that are open to show the backing. If you do the quilting after the embroidery is added, you have to be more careful about getting that quilting to not work into your embroidery design.

Once you have your two – 5 x 6-inch squares cut and ironed, fold them in half with the wrong sides together, making sure that the 6-inches side is the one that’s folded and not the 5-inch side. When folded these should measure 5×3. You can use the basting spray to secure them. I don’t use glue stick to do this because the glue stick will dry too stiff and make it hard for them to turn inside out later on.


Iron your other pieces so that you have all 4 ready to go along with your batting. If your using scraps, a quick thing to do is to “piece” them together by zigzagging on your machine the pieces so they are slightly touching each other.




Take your block and sandwich the 5-inch backing you won’t see with the batting and your top piece. Quilt it. If you have used a pieced block, that should be your top piece instead of what you see in the image as a top piece. Mine is embroidered initials on my embroidery machine.


Next, cut a 3 or 4-inch piece of ribbon. I cut 4-inches and using your glue stick to bring them together so the ribbon is touching with the same wrong sides and glue together. It helps to do this first so the ribbon stays together before putting it in place on your key ring.


As you can see this holds the loop on its own.


Next, take the glue stick and rub it in the area where you plan to place the tie.


Some people like to place tape on top of the tie to keep it in place but I find when I have used the glue stick to hold it in place it stays just fine and I don’t need to worry about removing tape later.


Next, we’ll take one of the 5×6 backings. and place it on the top part of your key ring. Make sure the folded side is in the middle of the keyring with the open parts on the sides and top of the keyring. Baste around the edges and the top in place on your sewing machine. Do not baste on the folded edge.

Now add the backing to the bottom being sure the fold is overlapping the other backing and meets the edge of the bottom of the keyring. Baste around the edges and bottom again. Do not baste on the folded edge.


Next, take a look at your image, and with a chalk type pencil mark the areas on the back where you can mark within a 4-inch area and not hurt your top design. If everything is centered you can then just use a ruler and mark each edge of the keyring with a 1/2-inch inside marking, thus you get a 4-inch square to stitch on.


It is very difficult to see where this was marked in the image but it is actually marked for me to stitch a 4-inch square.


Stitch around the block. I do this twice to give it some extra strength. cut the square down to a 1/4-inch seam allowance either with scissors or a rotary cutter then cut the corners. By cutting the corners as shown above you get a nicer turned corner.


Using the overlapped pocket area, open it slightly and start pulling your keyring thru to the outside.


Give it a little bit of ironing, not a lot just enough to flatten it and wala, you now have a keyring. Add your metal parts and you are done.

Let me just note that it’s not a wise thing to put a lot of keys on one ring. Normally people put their house keys on the same ring as their car keys, but this is not a good thing to do. It is better to have separate keyrings for this purpose for several reasons, the first should be obvious if you lose your keys, both keys are not on the keyring if stolen, the same issue, the other is the more keys traditionally on a car keyring, the harder it is on the ignition of your car. I’ve actually had to replace the ignition in one of our cars in the past because I had every key known to man on that keyring… so keep these things in mind, please.

There are various styles of key ring chains you can add to the ribbons. I like to use the slide on type, but the key can be difficult to get into these, so I’ve moved into a key ring like the one shown below… These are a bit pricey, but they are so easy to add the keys and remove them that for me it makes lots of sense to use something easier for all my gift-giving friends and family and I know that since I switched they really love the new key ring itself.


I hope you will try a key ring soon.

btw… It was pointed out to me that the way I close the back of the key ring is inventive, but to be honest I do that on purpose. It creates a “pocket” and is a great way to place some emergency cash. The bill doesn’t fall out as it’s pretty secure in the pocket, people (someone who’d take your keys) doesn’t know the cash is there, and that emergency cash has saved me many times over thru the years I’ve had that pocket in my key ring, thus it’s been a godsend at times. I’ve even been known to put my driver’s license and a debit card in it when I didn’t want to carry a purse or a wallet around.

Everyone participating in this hop

October 26

Creatin’ in the SticksMs P Designs USA
Becky’s Adventures in Quilting and TravelWebsterquilt
Selina QuiltsCynthia’s Creating ArkQuilting Gail
ScrapdashRidge Top QuiltElizabeth Coughlin Designs
That Fabric FeelingVicki’s Crafts and Quilting

 October 27

MooseStashQuiltingJust Because QuiltsDay Brook Designs
Karen’s KornerQuilt SchmiltKathy’s Kwilts and More
Karrin’s Crazy WorldWords & StitchesVroomans Quilts
Sew Many YarnsSongbird DesignsSamelia’s Mum

 October 28

Just Let Me QuiltQuiltscapesBeaquilter
Seams To Be Sew (oops) | Pieceful Thoughts of My Quilting Life
Bumbleberry StitchesDays Filled With JoyQuilted Delights
Den Syende HimmelLife in the ScrapatchStoried Quilts
Kathleen McMusingFood for Thought

Thank you Carol for having such a fabulous idea for a bloghop and my sincerest apologies for missing yesterday on the hop.

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