Just in time for Christmas in July, here’s my pattern for this upcoming holiday season, Christmastime! Now available for purchase as a PDF download in my Etsy shop.
Finishing at 31 ¼” x 30 ¼”, Christmastime sews up in no time. Just choose your favorite colors and create a festive quilt – great as either a wall hanging or a table topper. And here’s a fun fact, I designed the tree construction in a non-conventional way that’s oh-so-easy with fewer seams and a smoother finish!
For my version of the quilt, I went bold with Kona Cotton solids which kind of gives it a Dr. Seuss look. 😉
Here’s a look at two of my testers quilts…Barbara went full-on Christmas which is just beautiful!
Janine chose solids and created a delightfully fun color scheme! And her choice of quilting is spot-on.
This is my first pattern of wall hanging or table topper size giving even more choices in my Etsy shop. If you’re looking for something fun to whip up that’s also whimsical AND original, give Christmastime a try!
After relocating and settling in, I’ve decided it’s time to clear out some of my mini quilts. Now most people would have thought to do this before moving, but, well…you know… 😉 Anyway, these minis are great for hanging on your wall or door -or- they make excellent table toppers. I have five on sale for 20% off on my Etsy shop for this week only! (More details are available on Etsy listing).
Next up is my Pinwheels Galoremini quilt. This mini is the one featured on the cover of my PDF pattern. Also, a baby size quilt version of this pattern was published in Quilts & more fall edition 2021. It’s a Monday Morning Designs pattern.
Another Monday Morning Design is my Floriography mini quilt. I embellished the block by adding a square-in-a-square border to help frame the center. This colorful mini is made with the Bedrock collection from Windham fabrics and boy does it pop!
This bold black, white and pink Flower mini is from a pattern by the Family Hearth. I used delightful prints by Pat Bravo for Art Gallery Fabrics for a striking aesthetic.
If you’re looking to bring autumnal colors indoors, this Maple leaf mini will do the trick! The pattern is by Cori Yoder. I used Moda fabrics throughout to give it a true-to-life fall vibe.
All five mini’s have corner pockets sewn onto the back to accommodate a dowel rod for easy hanging. All minis are handmade by me.
Choose a favorite for yourself, give one to a friend or loved one as they make great gifts!
My great nephew was about to celebrate his 1st birthday and I automatically went into ‘What can I make him?’ mode, because, of course, handmade gifts are always best. 😉 He loves watching the Lion King so I decided my lion mini pattern would make the perfect gift, but as a pillow.
I easily made some revisions to the old pattern by adding a thin border to frame the lion’s face and then I added outer borders to get the block to the size needed for the pillow form.
Here it is…
I’ve entitled it Lazy Lion because basically all lions are! It’s now available for purchase in my Etsy shop as a PDF download. The finished cover fits a 16″ x 16″ pillow form.
While the lion block is traditionally pieced, the eyes are raw edge applique and I did some basic straight stitch embroidery for the mouth. If you enjoy adding a personal hand-crafted touch to your projects, this one’s for you! And it’s easy enough for a beginner.
As another option you could replace the appliqued eyes with buttons, but I wanted mine 100% baby-proof, plus I like handwork sometimes, so I opted for applique. You could always quilt the front, too.
This lion block is fun to make, and it’s so versatile—you could make it into a mini quilt, a table topper, a placemat or make a lot of lion blocks and create an adorable quilt. The choice is yours! 🙂
A couple of years ago I made a Maple Charm throw quilt by Coriander Quilts. It’s a definite all-time favorite and I bring it out every autumn (for display only). 🙂
But lately, for some reason, I’ve really slowed down on making larger size quilts and I’ve been focusing on making minis or other small sewing projects instead. Hopefully I’ve just misplaced my quilt-making motivation for a while and it’ll show up soon. 😉
In the meantime, I wanted something more than just the quilt to decorate with so I decided to make minis using just one block. I chose three traditional autumn colors for the leaves: orange, yellow and red. Some fabrics were used in the quilt, others I’ve accumulated recently.
Picking out the fabric is half the fun, isn’t it? So, once my fabric choices were decided, I made one block out of each color. For the background I used Moda’s Cream Solid, the same fabric as in the full size quilt.
Since I wanted the minis a bit bigger than the block, I added a finished 1/2″ inner border using dark brown fabric to frame the leaf in. I then added a finished 1″ outer background fabric border to make it complete. The minis finish at 15″ x 15″.
I quilted the orange and yellow minis with a diagonal serpentine stitch to give a falling/windy effect which I thought worked out rather nicely.
I quilted the red mini in a 1″ square grid, just for something different than the other two.
I also added a corner hanging sleeve in all four corners—that way I can orient the mini any way I want. This hanging method is so easy! If you’re not familiar with it, I have a Corner Hanging Sleeve Tutorial on my website if you want to give it a try.
Overall, these were a really fun project and added great color and variety to my autumn décor. They also would make nice table setting minis for your holiday displays…another reason to make a few.
Any type of maker knows that starting Christmas gifts early is necessary if you want things done on time. Since I’ve made quilts for everyone in my family, I’m always searching for new sewing projects to make instead. Luckily, sometime during the summer I saw an image of a rope bowl and thought they’d make great gifts, and I’d have plenty of time to make them, too.
I watched a few video tutorials to see how it’s done and I decided Mr. Domestic’s How to Sew Rope Bowls YouTube video was the most informative and it’s pretty funny. While he used craft rope for his, I wanted something more accessible and sturdy so I opted for braided clothesline. It’s readily available at hardware stores and it’s relatively inexpensive—one package costs around $6. While you won’t have a lot of color choices with clothesline, you should be able to find it in natural and/or white.
I definitely thought the bowls would make nice gifts, but I also liked the fun aspect of adding color with fabric. 🙂 They require 1″ wide strips in lengths of choice but there are no set rules! It’s all up to you—add as little or as much as you want. For the ones I made, I chose the recipient’s preferred color and went through my scraps.
As you’ll see in the video, starting the spiral can be tricky. Here’s a tip: once you pin your center, sew the X between the pins to completely miss hitting them with your machine’s needle. Then remove the pins and sew another X in the opposite direction. You may have to go back and stitch together missed spots, but this initial step makes it much more manageable.
I was able to get two bowls out of 50′ of clothesline. I made several, and the neat thing is that each bowl is unique. They differed in fabric color, placement, size and the tilt of the side’s angle.
While a lot of makers ended the bowl by sewing down a loop, I wasn’t able to do it very well. Plus, I wanted a bit more color on mine so I made a tab. To do so, I took a piece of the same fabric used in the bowl and cut it 1″ x 1 1/2″ long. I sewed about 1/8″ around the edge of the fabric piece, and using a pin I frayed the edges.
I stitched it on by hand on some, and on others I sewed it on by machine, securing it with an X. While it’s far from perfect, I like results because I think it gives an artisanal look.
I had a lot of fun making these bowls, it was kind of addicting too. 😉 I finally ended up making one for myself and I use it for carrying small quilting necessities…scissors, HST, fabric, pins, rotary cutter, etc. Not only are they pretty, they’re useful.
And with the little bit of rope left over I made a couple of coasters. Such fun and quick projects!
Once spring arrived and I’d completed my 8th quilt for the year, it was time to make something else. Not that long ago microwave cozies were really popular and I was seeing them everywhere, so I figured now was a good time to try them out. I’m always in favor of making practical things people can actually use, and stashing down is always a plus.
There are plenty of tutorials available on how to make these and they’re pretty much all the same. I followed a YouTube video by The Sewing Room. To make one bowl cozy you need 10″ squares for everything—the inside and outside fabric and the cotton batting in between.
The process is pretty basic: you quilt the squares, sandwich the pieces, sew them together adding darts, turn it inside out and top stitch. After making five, I discovered a few tips and compiled them for those of you who decide to make your own.
Instructions have you quilt an X from corner to corner. For accuracy, I marked my lines with a hera marker. I chain quilted the X on all five to save some time. Is chain quilting actually a thing? Carrying on…I used my walking foot guide for the rest of the quilting. Don’t forget to pin!
I quilted mine 2″ apart, a bit closer than in the video.
By doing so, the quilting helped shape the bottom of the cozies. I didn’t expect that but it turned out nicely.
And I certainly didn’t expect the lines on my fabric to line up either! 🙂
Since you’re going through two layers of fabric and batting, take it nice and slow when top stitching.
I spent a few hours making all five of these. I kept one for myself and gave the rest to my family.
Because I didn’t have 100% cotton batting, we don’t use ours in the microwave, but we do use them to keep food warm. They work great and all the bowl sizes we tried fit just fine.
You can also make them for decoration. I made this one for displaying pine cones around Christmas. The beautiful metallic fabric and 1″ quilted lines give a festive holiday feel.
If you’re on your umpteenth quilt for the year and need a change of pace, you can quickly make a few bowl cozies to mix it up.
Every year I like to write a blog post recapping all the projects I’ve made. I mainly do this to have a quick reference should I ever need to know when something in particular was made. And it’s fun to see how I’ve spent my time sewing. So here goes…
First up is my Petite Hearts quilt that I made on a whim. It has a funny story to go along with it…I thought I was onto an original pattern, but while looking for a name I found it had been published before as baby quilt. Still a top favorite.
I started making a Swoon quilt by Thimble Blossoms in the spring and got it back from longarming late September. I haven’t written a blog post on it yet because I haven’t gotten any good photos, so these two blocks will have to do for now. 🙂
I started my Maple Charm quilt before we moved in April and had it finished just in time for fall. I enjoyed it the entire season.
This Five Squared throw quilt is a Monday Morning Designs pattern (available for purchase in my Etsy shop; see sidebar). I made it out of fabrics I had on hand and I love that all the colors of the rainbow are included.
Also while trying to use what I had on hand, I made a Four Patch Charm quilt. I’m hoping somebody has a special event this year so I can gift it.
Lastly, I made my son a Picnic Play quilt designed by Michelle Bartholomew. While this quilt looks innocent, it was a tough one! It was a huge project, too. My son enjoys finally having a quilt large enough to use on his queen size bed.
I made quite a few mini quilts, too. This one was completed early 2019. I’ve also written a tutorial on how to make a Scrappy Heart mini. It’s a fun and quick one to make.
What can I say about this cute crab pattern by Ellis and Higgs? The big crab was a gift for my daughter, the other one is mine.
This Radiant mini is also a Monday Morning Designs. I was fortunate to have it featured in the July/August edition of Quiltmaker. It surely brightens up my space! I plan to release the pattern this summer.
I made quite a few Little Quilted Star ornaments for gifts for Christmas. Very festive.
My pattern Wee Three Trees became available for purchase in time for the holiday sewing rush. I made two, one for myself and one as a gift for my niece.
Here’s the last of my projects. I made the microwave bowl cozy for myself as a holiday bowl for pine cones. The little holders are for gift cards; gifted as party favors, and the bottom photo shows my process on a mini Christmas tree skirt.
These pillows were also gifts…
And a pillow case for my bird-loving husband.
Lastly, towels with cute toppers made for my mom. You can download my free PDF tutorial How to Make a Hanging Kitchen Towel. It’s easy-to-follow, complete with photos, a template and lots of tips!
Well, that sums up last year, and I’m well into making for 2020!
I’m always looking for a new sewing project to make—something easy and fun with a fairly quick finish. I thought I’d enjoy making hanging kitchen towels since they’re decorative and useful. While scrolling through Pinterest I found several examples with a variety of toppers, but I couldn’t find any tutorials I liked so I designed my own.
I also wrote a tutorial while making mine, and for an easy way to share it’s available as a PDF download. That way it’s convenient for you to keep it on your device while working on your project. Here’s the link to download my How to Make a Hanging Kitchen Towel tutorial.
I’d rate this project as ‘easy’ and it’s great for both new and experienced sewing enthusiasts. The tutorial is chock-full of colorful photos, helpful tips and a printable template—all there to guide you while making your own!
Sometimes when working on a quilt that’s taking a lot of time, I feel I need a break to make something with a fast finish. Over the summer I received a free sailboat pattern from Ellis and Higgs and I thought it would make a nice pillow as a gift for my sister since she lives on the bay and has a nautical theme throughout her house.
I’d been wanting to learn how to make an envelope pillow because I think they look better than a zipper, so what better time to try it out? I found a few tutorials and combined the best of them and came up with one to pass along. It’s really easy and can be made in less than an hour!
For mine, I pieced the front and used interfacing to keep everything in place, but you can make the front easily with a cut of fabric. Here’s how to make a cover for a pillow insert, and also what you’ll need:
MATERIALS: Either a pieced block with interfacing fused on OR fabric for the front, fabric for the back, pillow insert, hot ruler (optional), bluntly pointed stick, sewing machine, iron, general sewing supplies.
For the pillow FRONT: Make your block to measure the same size as your pillow form. If you choose to make a fabric front, the same measurement applies, cut your fabric to the pillow form size.
For the pillow BACK: You will need one piece of fabric to be cut into two (or two pieces). The width will be the same as your pillow form, but the length will be the size of the pillow form plus 6″.
If you’re using a quilt block and it’s too small, just add borders. For example, I added 2″ borders to my sailboat block to get it to measure 16″ x 16″.
Once the pieces are cut to size, fold under one edge of each back piece 1/4″ and then again 1/4″ to form a small hem for the flaps. A hot ruler works great here.
Sew the hem for the flaps, stitching close to the edge. Press the seam.
Next; sewing everything together. Pin the front and back pieces right sides together with the two back pieces overlapping in the middle. It will look upside down and backwards, but it ends up as it should once you turn it right side out.
Sew around all four sides of the pillow cover using a 1/2″ seam allowance. If you want to keep the raw edges from fraying, add a zigzag stitch around all the edges.
Once sewn, trim away the corners and turn the cover right side out, making sure to push out the corners. Using a bluntly pointed object helps get the corners sharp.
Lastly, give it one final press and insert the pillow form. And you’re done!
Not only are these pillows easy and fun, they’re an inexpensive way to add a splash of color and style to your living space.
After seeing these, my daughter wanted a few in traditional Christmas colors, red and white. I made her three using a rich red for the star in Moda’s Rustic Weave and a pure white background with wintry swirls from a Bee Sturgis Quilting Treasures holiday collection.
And I just love the contrast.
She wanted them quilted all the same, with straight line quilting in each corner section.
She also chose Kona Cotton White for the binding which really made the red stars pop.
Either traditional colors or modern, I think these ornaments are a great holiday addition.