December 8, 2014

Across the Pond - Christmas Trees and Santas for December

Better late than never...
I'm sharing this month's themes for the
Across The Pond Sew Along.

The Patchsmith has devoted two posts
{so far} to this timely topic,
and she has even supplied us with a fun free pattern
for making Quilted Christmas Trees.

Photo by The Patchsmith
Aren't they just so sweet???
I'm very late in decorating for Christmas,
but I hope to find time to share photos
of my own quilted trees soon!

If you enjoy stitching,
Amanda has curated a wonderful collection
of free designs for many more trees,

I must find time to make this gorgeous Nordic tree!

Susie's been busy over at Susie's Sunroom,
making a series of Santas!
Here's Santa's hat, which she made using the
foundation piecing technique, 
with warm and fuzzy fabric for the trim.

Photo by Susie's Sunroom
Head on over to Susie's blog post
for more inspiring Santa projects!

Photo by Susie's Sunroom
I've been busy sewing something special
for a Christmas tree in New Mexico.
Last year I posted about 
using Kate Spain's In From the Cold collection.

I made this same pattern again, but smaller,
using the same prints.
I think the cocoa cups are still my favorite,
but I'm loving those mittens, too!

This time I used green mistletoe for the binding.
There's my little label, on the back,
to say, "Amy Made That!"

The backing is beautiful,
and the tree skirt is actually reversible.
Those Christmas doves are so pretty.

Right after I finished that tree skirt,
I noticed some more pretty Christmas doves
for heart and dove ornaments!

Photo by Debby Kratovil
I had a few minutes to try out Debby's tutorial
using some scraps from the tree skirt.
My Frixion pen came in handy
for tracing the design onto the fabric.
I used a zigzag stitch,
setting the width to 2.5 and the stitch length to 1.0.

Once I'd stitched the outline,
it was sew easy to cut away the excess fabric
and add a hanging ribbon.

I hope you'll have time to add some
homesewn Christmas photos to our Flickr page
for Across The Pond.

Now I'd better put up that Christmas tree,
so my doves will have a place to nest!

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November 25, 2014

Teacher's Pet Mug Rugs

One of my blog's most popular posts
has been "Be My Valentine,"
featuring heart-shaped mug rugs.

I've made a few different versions
of these ric-rac trimmed sweeties,
and they never fail to make me happy.

Here's one I made in earth tones - quite different!

When I finished making my hexagons
I had lots of nice scraps of Elementary by Sweetwater.

I patched together this little heart...
perfect for presenting to a favorite teacher.

I really enjoy the process of making these
mug rugs, edged in ric-rac.
The black looks so sharp against the fabrics in this line!

I made a matching one...
they will make great teacher's gifts.

{Whoever gives these will be an instant teacher's pet!}

The backings are pretty, too.

These mug rugs look especially great with a cup of coffee.

Oh, and a cookie really makes the difference between
a good coffee break and a great one!

I found these chocolate-coated biscuits,
and they are soooooo delicious!
Do you have these where you live?

These cookies made great props for my mug rug photos.

{I don't have them any more...not sure where they went...hmmm.}

Luckily, I've still got quite a few of those Elementary scraps.

Maybe a few more of these Teacher's Pet mug rugs will
pop out of my Elementary scrap box.
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November 22, 2014

Central Park Squares Baby Quilt

There's a new baby in my world...
one of my friends has waited for a very long time
for the safe arrival of little Samuel.

I just had to make a quilt for this special little boy!

{ALL babies are very special, but Samuel is truly a miracle.}

Samuel's nursery is filled with animals,
so I started with an animal print
from Kate Spain's Central Park line for Moda.

I found most of these coordinating fabrics at Rose Room Quilts.

I had recently stocked up on polka dots,
and they were fun to use in this quilt.
I love the Ta Dots in Sea...

 the small cream dot in orange from Riley Blake...

and the solid olive green.

My favorite print, though,
was the Random Pencil Check in Linen,
which I used instead of a plain background solid.

I labored {hee hee} over what pattern or design to use,
and in the end, I decided to use colorful squares,
set off by the neutral pencil-check blocks.
Before I knew it, I was ready for the quilting step.

I kept the quilting very simple, 
just stitching 1/4" on each side of the seams.

{I wanted to give this quilt to baby Samuel before he is ready for kindergarten.}

This quilting looks so cool on the back, too!

For the binding,
I chose those happy orange polka dots.

I finished the binding by hand-stitching,
and that is a process I really enjoy.

{Do you like that part, too?}

So there we have it...
just 5 different fabrics, made into a finished quilt, 
ready for a bundle of joy!

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November 11, 2014

Some Guest Posting - Hexagons and Elementary Fabric

Maybe you've noticed already...
I've been doing a bit of guest posting

I just finished a 3-part blog series,
by Sweetwater for Moda.
I had been drooling over this line of fabric
since the first time I saw it...
it must be because we have so many teachers in my extended family!

In Part 1
I test-drove a new-to-me specialty ruler,
I can only begin to describe how FUN this tool is to use.

You can make such a variety of hexagons,
each one using similar simple steps.

There's a video here, that I referred to for lots of ideas.
Sometimes the simplest designs are really stunning.

These hexagons are a lot like snowflakes...
each one unique, and also beautiful.

{Oooooh! I just inspired myself...I think I'll have to try making some in wintery fabrics!}

In Part 2
those hexagons were put to use
when I created Textagon Mug Rugs.

Each of these would make a great gift
for a teacher or a student,
don't you think???

For Part 3
I decided to design a Library Book Bag,
featuring hexagon blocks on the front and the back.

Like it???
You can follow the tutorial to make your own
Library Book Bag.

I've got some leftovers from my fat quarter bundle,
just begging to be made into gifts
for teachers and students.

Stop back soon to see what I'm going to make
with this A+ Elementary fabric

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