Appliqued Tic-Tac-Toe Travel Pouch

Hello all!

I have another scrap-busting project that would make a great gift. We often play tic-tac-toe on picnics and long beach days, and while, sure, you can just draw in the sand, this is a cuter version that you can put together in an hour.

The materials needed are simple: 1 9½x14½” rectangle each of backing fabric, low loft batting and top fabric, plus a 2x9½” strip each of backing fabric (or another color contrasting with the top) and lightweight double stick fusible web (I use Lite Steam-a-Seam 2), a 6” narrow elastic in a coordinating color and a button large enough to loop the elastic around it, as well as coordinating thread. As far as tools, you will need a quilting ruler and rotary cutter, an applique foot and a ¼” foot for seaming and topstitching.

Preparing The Strips

The first thing to do is apply the fusible web to the strip of fabric. Make sure you read the instructions for your particular double-stick fusible web, but generally this is the way it is done:

1. Position your fabric right side down.

2. Peel off the non-printed side of the fusible web.

3. Carefully position the now exposed sticky side of the fusible web on the wrong side of the fabric.

Without removing the paper on the other side, cut 4 ½” strips out of the original strip.

Preparing The Top

Begin by marking a line 3” from the top of the fabric, and then another line 2¾” below it. Turn the fabric on its side and repeat (these longitudinal lines don’t need to run the whole length of the top, just 9½”.

Next, peel a corner out of each of the four strips of fabric and set three of them aside. Peel the backing off the last one and center it over any of the lines marked on your fabric top.

If you want to create a basketweave pattern, glue the first strip down only up to the intersecting marking (without covering it) so that you can slip the last strip under it. Peel and stick the three remaining strips and iron the top following the manufacturer’s instructions for your particular brand of fusible web.

Sewing The Applique

Select the blanket stitch option on your sewing machine.

Adjust your stitch width to 3.0 (or whatever width you prefer, just remember that these are narrow strips and you don’t want to overwhelm them) and the length to 4.0 (this is the longest my machine allows for this stitch, but I would make them even a little longer if I could).

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Position the first appliqued strip to the left of the needle, aligning it with the notch on the foot.

Start sewing carefully, keeping the edge of the strip aligned with the notch and slow down as you approach the first intersection. Make sure that you stop with the needle down right in the corner (if you’re less than a stitch short of the corner, lift the needle and presser foot, and very carefully slide the fabric so that the corner is positioned under the needle), lift the presser foot and pivot the fabric so that the intersecting strip is now to the left of the needle.

Sew to the end of this strip and cut the thread. Repeat with the rest of the outer edges of the strips, going around the short edges at the bottom of the longitudinal strips.

To blanket stitch the inner square, start right at a corner and proceed as above, going around all four sides. To finish pull the top threads to the back, knot with the bobbin threads and cut both about a ½” away from the knot.

blanket stitch


Now make a modified quilt sandwich by laying the batting down, then the top right side up and the backing wrong side up. Insert the elastic folded in half and centered on the top side.

Starting at one side, sew a ¼” seam leaving about 6” open to turn right side out later. Turn inside out and press.

Next, fold the bottom up to overlap slightly with the bottom of the strips to form a pocket and press to mark.

Open, and quilt the line that you just pressed.

Now top stitch the top edge of the pocket with the right side up.

Fold the pocket up again and topstitch around 2 long sides and the top side.

All done! Pick some buttons, shells or sea glass to use as your pieces and go play! I hope you will give applique a try and if you do tags us on Instagram, we’d love to see what you make.