Friday, September 02, 2016

Chills and Thrills - Fabric Frenzy Friday!

Well, hello quilty friends!

It is Friday, which means that it is time for another Fabric Frenzy Friday over at Fort Worth Fabric Studio!  This Friday's bundle is called Chills and Thrills and it is a super fun grouping of fabrics that you will love using to make something spooky cute for Halloween this year!

It was such fun to unwrap this adorable bundle when it came in the mail, tied with a bow and everything!  The fabric mix gave me all kinds of Halloween ideas.

After playing with the fat quarters for a while, I finally decided to design a Halloween Village pillow cover.  I have included lots of photos below in the tutorial.  If you are not in the mood for a pillow cover, this can always be made into a mini quilt/table topper.  Once you know how to make the houses, you can have fun creating other houses to use in future projects!  I love the addition of little bits of raw edge applique to make it whimsical.  I have included the templates for the applique as well.


Fabrics Used (all from Fort Worth Fabric Studio) and Supplies:

* 1 Chills and Thrills Fabric Bundle
* small scrap of green fabric for stems
* 1 - 14" x 28" pillow form 
* 1 - approx. 16" x 30" piece of batting
* 2 - small black buttons
* scraps of Heat 'n Bond Lite (or similar fusible product for applique)
* applique templates

Grab your cute bundle and lets start cutting!

Cutting Instructions:

Houses: Each house is given a corresponding letter

(A) Lost & Found Halloween Stripes Black - 1 - 3" x 7" rectangle
(B) Le Creme Swiss Dot Orange - 1 - 5" x 6" rectangle
(C) Quatrefoil Orange - 1 - 4" x 9" rectangle
(D) Lost & Found Halloween Newsprint Black - 1 - 3 1/2" x 6" rectangle
(E) Spooky Damask Orange - 1 - 5" x 8" rectangle

Background (Spooky Script Black):

House (A)
1 - 1 3/4" square
1 - 2 1/2" square
1 - 3" x 4" rectangle

House (B)
2 - 2 3/4" squares
1 - 5" square

House (C)
1 - 3" square
1 - 2 1/2" square
1 - 2" x 4" rectangle

House (D)
2 - 2" squares
1 - 3 1/2" x 5" rectangle

House (E)
2 - 2 3/4" squares
1 - 3" x 5" rectangle

2 - 3 1/2" x 10 1/2" rectangles

Border (Petite Dots Black/Cream):
2 - 2 1/4" x 10 1/2"
3 - 2 1/4" x 20" (sew these three strips end to end)

Envelope Pillow Back (Spooky Damask Orange and Lost & Found Halloween Skull Black):
1 from each fabric - 14" x 18"

Binding (Quatrefoil Orange):  
cut at least 90" of binding strips in your preferred width (I cut my binding strips 2 1/4" wide)

I think it just took me longer to decipher my cutting instructions than it did to actually make the pillow!!!!  Hee hee

Ok!  Let's start making houses!  Once you know how to construct the basic house, you know how to make them all.  The photos below show the construction of House (E). 
Take your 5" x 8" Damask Orange rectangle and your two 2 3/4" background squares and lay them out on your mat.  Draw a diagonal line on the back of both background squares.  NOTICE:  LOOK below at the square that is turned wrong side up and see the direction of the line.  With a directional fabric like the black text print, you have to make sure you draw your line correctly if you want the text to be right side up.

With right sides together, sew along the drawn line.  Trim the seam allowance to approximately 1/4" and press seam open.

Repeat with other background square on the left side of the house to create the roof.

And it's that EASY!!!  Now you have a cute little Halloween house!  The finished house should measure the same as the original rectangle cut for the house (in this case, 5" x 8").

Coming together nicely!  Keep making houses!!  

For this pillow cover, I created three houses with symmetrical roofs and two houses with roofs that turn out to be asymmetrical.  I think this really adds to the fun and whimsy!  You construct these houses in the same manner as above, but by using two different sizes of background squares, the roof will be cute and wonky!

Again, draw diagonal lines on the wrong side of both background squares, paying attention to the direction of the text.  Add one background square to the right side and sew along the drawn line.

Trim the seam allowance to 1/4" and press open.  Repeat with the other background square.  Remember that the bigger background square will create the bigger slope to the roof line.  It is up to you on which side you want to place the bigger slant.

They really are looking spooky!  I love the addition of the slanted roof house to the bunch.  Make one more with an assymetrical roof (the black and white stripe).

Once all your houses have roofs, it is time to add the background rectangles to the top of each little house.  I ironed the seam towards the rectangle.  This step will make all the houses the same height so that you can sew them side by side.  All houses should measure 10 1/2" tall once the top rectangles have been added.  Pay attention to the direction of the text on each rectangle.

Once all your houses measure the same height (10 1/2"), you can play with arranging them and then start sewing them together, side by side.  I pressed open the seams between the houses because I liked how they lay better this way.

Here are all the little houses all in a row!!  So cute!

Add the two 3 1/2" x 10 1/2" background rectangles to either side of the row of houses and press the seams open.  Your finished row of houses should measure 10 1/2" x 24 1/2".

Next you will want to add your cream colored borders.  Add the two 2 1/4" x 10 1/2" strips to either side.  As I mentioned in the cutting instructions, you will need to sew the three 2 1/4" x 20" strips end to end to create one long strip.  Cut this into two lengths and and attach these border strips to the top and bottom of the row of houses.  Press seams towards the cream borders.

Now you ready to layer your pillow top with your batting and quilt it!  Depending on your quilting preferences, it may be beneficial to add a "backing" of muslin to the pillow top before quilting it (top-batting-muslin).  It may pucker less.

Layer.  Pin.

And quilt it!!
I did an all over loose swirl free motion quilting design.

After quilting, trim the batting and "backing" flush with the edges of the pillow top.  Now you have an adorable quilted pillow top!

Before using your scraps of fabrics from the bundle to create your applique pieces, I recommend that you cut and prepare your rectangles for the envelope pillow back.  This way, you won't use up fabric that you would have needed for the back of the pillow.  I am all about making the best use of the fabrics in the bundle with nothing extra!!!  It can be done!

Take the two 14" x 18" rectangles you cut earlier - the Damask Orange and the Lost & Found Skull Black - and press them.  Using a nice hot iron, turn up one of the 14" long sides about 3/8" and then once again, another 3/8" so that there is no raw edge.  Create this hem on one 14" side of each back piece.

Top stitch along the inside folded edge to create a finished inside flap.

Love that band aid!

This is what the finished envelope back will look like.

Now we are ready to work on the fun little applique pieces.  There are several different ways I know to do machine applique.  The project itself usually determines which type I choose to use.  This project just said "raw edge fusible machine applique"!  I know you were thinking that too!

Grab some Heat 'n Bond (or something similar like Steam A Seam), your leftover fabric scraps from the bundle, and let's get started.  

First you will want to print the PDF template I have created for the applique shapes.  These are my hand drawn shapes, so they are not perfect, but lots of fun to play with!  Click the link below for the PDF.

Print your shapes on paper or card stock and cut them out.  I usually work one shape/applique at a time.

I started with the ghost template.  Trace the outline of the ghost on the paper side of the Heat 'n Bond. Trim the piece down a bit but don't cut on the line just yet.

Using your hot iron, follow the manufacturer's instructions and fuse the Heat 'n Bond to the wrong side of the chosen fabric for that applique shape.  Your fabric should be slightly bigger than the rough shape.

Once it is fused, carefully trim the exact shape on the line of the template.  Look how cute this little polka dotty ghost is!

Place your applique ghost in your desired spot and follow the manufacturer's instructions to fuse it to the pillow cover top.

Continue adding your applique pumpkins and the moon in the same manner.  For the two pumpkins you will need a small scrap or two of green for the stems.  I drew my own little stem shape.  The stem needs to be layered under the top of each pumpkin before fusing them both to the pillow top.  I let one of my pumpkins overlap the border so things didn't look so matchy-matchy.

Lastly, I added all the applique windows.  I played with the template shapes first to see where I wanted windows and then took a photo.  I also chose the different window fabrics based on which fabrics would stand out best on each house.  Have fun with the windows.  I chose not to add windows to the black and white stripe house, but you can.  You can make more windows or less.  It's up to you.

Fuse all the windows onto the houses.  They are really coming along now!  Isn't this fun?

After fusing all the applique shapes, I stitch around each shape.  I don't like to depend on the Heat 'n Bond to keep my cute little appliques in place even though I most likely won't be washing this pillow cover.

When I stitch around applique, I have the best luck using a straight stitch foot and making two lines of stitching around each shape.  It doesn't have to be perfect.  Since this is raw edge applique, the unevenness of the stitching, to me, always adds an element of fun.

I love the fussy cutting on these windows!

Once all your applique shapes are stitched in place, it is time to finish off your pillow!  We are almost done!!!

Go grab the rectangles that you hemmed earlier for your envelope pillow backing. Line these up flush withe edge of the pillow top, wrong sides together.  Pin in place well, overlapping the rectangles.  Since this is a bound pillow, there is no flipping right side out involved.  The right sides of your pillow cover should be showing on the front and back!  I love bound pillows!!!

Then stitch all the way around the outside edge of the pillow about 1/8" away from the edge of the raw edges of the pillow cover.  This stitching will be covered up by the binding, but serves to hold everything in place while you sew on the binding.

Cut and attach your binding.  I chose the wonderful Quatrefoil Orange fabric for the binding.  I am a sold out machine binder, so that's how I flip and finish mine.  Feel free to bind as desired.

And you are done!  What a fun project!  I hope you enjoy adding this to all your fun Halloween decor!

Thanks to Fort Worth Fabric Studio for this fun little bundle of fabric and for the opportunity to create with it!  

Have fun and count your blessings,

Friday, July 01, 2016

Let Freedom Ring - Fabric Frenzy Friday!

Well, hello quilty friends!

It is Friday, which means that it is time for another Fabric Frenzy Friday over at Fort Worth Fabric Studio!  I was so honored and thrilled recently to be asked if I would like to be a contributor for these fun fabric bundle Fridays.  Of course, I said I would LOVE to!!

This Friday's bundle is called Let Freedom Ring and it is a perfect combination of fabrics for creating something patriotic for the upcoming Fourth of July holiday and all those other days when we love to celebrate our nation!

I especially loved this bundle because it not only has seven fun fat quarters, but also comes with this US map panel.  I love this!  When I saw the panel my mind started dreaming up possibilities.

I decided to make a patriotic quilt that you can hang or use as table topper for the holiday.

The neat thing about this quilt is that I decided to use the US map panel as the backing for the quilt!  Some of you may know that my full time job is home school mom.  I thought it would be really fun if  when this quilt is not being used as a patriotic decoration, it could be used as a learning tool.  Even moms who don"t home school could really enjoy using this map with their preschoolers or as a wall decoration in a playroom.  You could even use it for some learning games!  Get a few beanbags and have the kids toss the beanbag and name the capital of the state it lands on.

There are so many fun ways you could use these fat quarters for a quilt!  I chose to use a pattern that is available from Fort Worth Fabric Studio.  The pattern is called Silver Star by Villa Rosa Designs.  I love these little patterns.  I happened upon these Rose Cards patterns at a quilt show and have made several of their designs.  They are super fun because they only cost $2 and the entire pattern is contained on the back of the postcard - photo on front and fabric requirements/pattern on back.  Such a clever idea!

So before I give a little more information about how I put the quilt together, I'll give you the list of the fabrics I used.

Fabrics Used (all from Fort Worth Fabric Studio):

* 1 Let Freedom Ring Bundle (includes the US map panel) - this is used for the star, the top and bottom borders, part of the backing, and scrappy binding
*1/2 yard Riley Blake Swiss Dots Red - star background
*1/2 yard Celebration Red Stars by Northcott - part of the backing

From the bundle I chose the two red prints, the dark blue print, and the red, white and blue stripe for the star points.  I cut my squares to use for these half square triangles (HSTs) a little bigger than the pattern calls for.  When the amount of fabric allows, I prefer to oversize my HSTs and trim them down a bit.  

I also cut 2 rectangles for the two borders from each of the prints I used for the star - one rectangle per border.  The other 8 rectangles for the borders I cut from the really fun firework print.

The pattern calls 3/8 yard for the border.  Instead I used the red and white stripe fat quarter from the bundle to cut the border strips.  While you can't cut 4 complete strips for the border, the one fat quarter is more than enough to create pieced strips for the border.  I even added a little extra interest by cutting some squares from the dark blue print to use as corner posts on the border.

For the backing I used the US map panel as the focus.  Because it is not quite large enough for the entire backing, I added some additional fabric all the way around it.  I cut the 1/2 yard of the Celebration Red Stars into two long strips and added them to the top and bottom of the map panel.  I also cut the red and blue star fat quarter into strips, pieced them together, and added them to the left and right sides of the panel.  After quilting and trimming the quilt, there won't be much of the star print visible, but it came in handy to extend the backing.

Then it's time to layer, quilt and bind!  I had a lot of fun free motion quilting an all-over design of swirls and rounded point stars.  You will have plenty of fabrics left over to create a fun scrappy binding for this patriotic quilt (I love scrappy bindings!!)

Thanks for stopping by the blog today.  I had a lot of fun creating this quilt for Fort Worth Fabric Studio and sharing it with you!  Go on over and visit their website for this super cute bundle, the pattern, and the few extra fabrics you'll need for this fun quilt.  It's so quick and easy.  I know you can get it done to hang for the next patriotic holiday!!  


Monday, June 27, 2016

Charming Checkers at Moda Bake Shop

 I am feeling so excited and blessed today! 
Come visit me over at Moda Bake Shop to day for my very first post there!

It is a fun pattern for a pillow or a mini called Charming Checkers!
I hope you enjoy it!!


Friday, June 10, 2016

Yes, I have a scrap system!

Once upon a time I had a drawer.  That drawer was very large.  That drawer was full to overflowing with scraps of fabric. 

My system?  I cut.  I opened said drawer.  I tossed.  And I shoved it closed as best I could.

It was quite an impressive collection of scraps to pull from.  But there was the problem.  I never "pulled from".  Ever.  It was such a tangled, fraying heap.  Awful.

Then the amazing Lori Holt, of Bee In My Bonnet fame, created a whole blog post on how she cuts and organizes all her scraps.  It was the first time I had been introduced to such awesome scrap storage.  These were scraps I could really see myself reaching for and using over and over again!  To learn from the scrap master (and see some super cute quilty pics), GO READ the original blog post!  Go.  Now.

Way back when, I took all those scraps out of the awful drawer and I began to organize!  Following Lori's lead I began to iron and sort and cut.  It took a while, but I cannot tell you how pleased I am with the results.

I used Lori's helpful information in her post and then I customized it to what I felt I would really use.  I decided on the sizes I would keep and then I also decided I wanted to sort mine by color.

When I save scraps now, I save the following:

* 3.5" squares
* 2.5" squares
* 2.5" strips
* 1.5" strips
* in a glass dish all their own, assorted 1.5" squares

 When I began working on the drawer several years ago, I first sorted every usable scrap into color bins.  Then began the task of choosing a bin, ironing, sorting and cutting.

The blue bin is the before.  The pink bin is the after.

I bought six neat bins I found at Target and I chose to sort them into the following colors based on those fabric colors I own the most of and buy/use over and over again!

My six bins are:

* reds
* pinks
* blues/aquas
* greens
* oranges/yellows/purples
* whites/multi/blacks/grays/browns

These were the finished buckets.

Recently, I had a large green bin full of all my wonderful scraps that I used while making all my Farm Girl Vintage blocks in the sew along.  It, too, was a little out of control.  A big raveling, tangled mess.  Very unusable.

Yes.  That's it.

So I spent many evenings ironing and sorting by size.

 Once I was finished ironing and sorting, I turned on some Gilmore Girls, and started cutting!  It really was a lot of fun because as you cut and organize you get to look at all these fun fabrics you love!!

When I was all done cutting, I sorted them by size and color!!
So pretty!!

 And then I added them to my awesome buckets of goodness and I was done!!!!

Normally I don't let scraps get so out of control.  It is way easier, and not a chore at all, to cut as I go.

When I am cutting fabrics for a project, I cut up the left overs that I don't want to add back to my stash on the shelf.  I cut them into one of my useful sizes and then I file them away.

It's that easy!

Plus, I always end up feeling like I am being a good steward of all this beautiful fabric I am blessed to own.

Have fun creating your own scrappy saving system!!

Thanks Lori!

PS - Next on the agenda.........

My very, VERY out of control Bonnie and Camille scrap bins!  Oh my!