Sunday, November 20, 2016

Thanksgiving to Christmas Pot Holders

I was standing in my kitchen the other day when the towels hanging on my stove caught my eye and I thought, "hmmm, those don't really say Thanksgiving!".  ;)
So I figured I needed to change them.

There's only about a week until Thanksgiving and then I'll need Christmas stuff. Making new pot holders and towels for just one holiday seemed like a lot of work, so I decided I should come up with something that would carry me through Christmas. I ran a list of applique ideas like Pilgrims and Santas through my head until I landed on a Gingerbread Man (well - metaphorically landed!).

And, I took some photos as I went so I could do this quick pot holder tutorial.

I started with a cookie cutter to help draw out a simple g-man shape for the pot holders. The supplies for one pot holder (I made 2) are listed below this photo:

Clockwise from upper left
~ dark brown thread that would be darker than the gingerbread fabric
~ rust fabric scrap for gingerbread man
~ g-man traced on fusible web
~ 2-1/4" by width of fabric for binding
~ 7" square for backing
~ 7" square for background
~ rick rack
~ 7" square Insul-bright batting
~ 7" square regular batting

Iron the fusible webbing to the wrong side of rust fabric according to package directions. Cut gingerbread man out with sharp scissors (note: I always lift a small section of paper before I cut the shape out to make it easier to remove the paper).

Fold the background fabric on the diagonal and press to create a line to help center the applique (I put the applique on the diagonal because it makes it easier to add the binding and hanger). Iron to fuse the applique to the background.

Add rick rack pieces. Cut them a little larger than needed. Stitch along edges.

Trim after stitching.This will help prevent raveling.

Stitch around the outside of the gingerbread man with a small blanket stitch (or narrow zigzag).

Stack layers as follows: backing (wrong side up), battings, front of pot holder.

Line up all edges and pin.

Straight stitch around the outer edge of the gingerbread man with the same color of thread as the blanket stitch, through all 4 layers. Press and trim to 6-1/2" square.

Fold binding in half lengthwise and press. Place one end of binding at the corner above the head, lining up raw edges as shown in photo above. Begin stitching at the edge and stitch around the first three sides 1/4" from outside edge.

Stop at your regular pivot spot after 3 sides. Leave the needle down to hold everything in place. Go back to where you started and wrap the binding over the edge and pin (like you would if you were hand-sewing it down).

Continue sewing the binding down on the last side. Stitch right over the folded binding - be careful not to bunch up the binding on the underneath side and remove the pin when you get close to it.

It should look something like this when you're finished stitching.

Fold the binding to the wrong side and hand-stitch all the way around. Continue hand-stitching the binding closed for about 5"- 6" past the edge of the pot holder. You'll have a little binding "tail" at the top of your pot holder.Top-stitch all the way around the binding and to the end of the tail.

Loop the binding around and tack it to the back of the pot holder with a narrow zigzag stitch. And that's it - all finished!

I also made a couple of kitchen towels (well, I haven't quite finished the second one). Anyway, pictured below are both pot holders (front and back view) and the towel.

I'll be linking up with Oh Scrap! at quilting is more fun than housework and Linky Tuesday at freemotion by the river.

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Didn't Quite Catch Up

I started the Rainbow Scrap Challenge in April, so I was already behind when I chose a quilt with a lot of blocks. October is the last month that we're given a color - November and December are designated as the time to complete our quilt.

I still need to do the gray blocks and the yellow blocks. However, they should go pretty fast because I've finally got this down to a science! 

I've come up with a super fast way to cut the pieces needed to make the 80 blocks. What a shame that it took me so long! And I also have a good methodical chain-piecing and pressing routine. But that got me thinking how great it would've been to know these "speed tricks" when I started. So I'm going to take some pics as I cut and sew the last two colors and then put together a tutorial (just in case anyone wants to make a similar quilt during the next RSC). 

Until then, here's what I have so far - 80 blocks of each of the first eight colors. These little cuties will finish at 2" square! 

I'm linking up with Angela at ScrapHappy.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Pink Rainbow Scrap Challenge

I got all my hot(ish) pink squares cut, but I haven't sewn them into blocks yet. I'm linking these up with soscrappy for RSC16.

Earlier this month, I finished the brown bow ties so they got added to the box. There are now 400 little bow ties ready and waiting. I still need to get the blue ones from January (?I think?) done. I just fell behind a bit on everything this month.

Sometimes I fantasize about wearing a cute little micro-mini quilt block on a chain around my neck that has a button I could press and say "help - I've fallen behind and can't get caught up"! The dispatcher would come on, calm me down and say help is on the way. Then my front door would burst open and a fun group of super-quilters would rush in and start cutting and pressing and organizing. Most importantly, organizing.

  **sigh**  :)

12 Days of Christmas in July

I finished this quilt top in record time, thanks to the creativity and pattern writing genius of Sarah Craig who blogs at Confessions of a Fabric Addict. She ran a Christmas quilt tutorial for 12 days, after which you have a completed 76" x 76" quilt top!

The way this pattern is written is just fantastic. If you're thinking about making this quilt, let me tell you: do it! It's so fun to follow her directions and have all the seams nest together so smoothly....even with all those half square triangles going every direction!

I have quite a few Christmas quilts, so I decided to do more of a snowy winter's night take on it. I have white snowflakes on a scrappy dark batik background. And even with reversing the color scheme, it was a breeze!

I'll be linking up on Sarah's blog, where you can find lots of other quilty Christmas inspiration.

One final comment on the beauty of this pattern: today was day 12 (the final day) - I started on day 9!

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Summer Solstice & Summer Fun

I'm getting caught up on a number of projects over the next few days. I finished these flying geese blocks just before the next step in this quilt along is released tomorrow. Phew!

I love this Summer Solstice quilt by Melissa Corry. Click here for more information. 

I fell behind a little bit for the best possible reason. I've been having all kinds of fun with these little sweethearts.

In addition to the indoor playgrounds, we've been swimming to escape the 105+ degree heat...well, if you can call 90 degree water an escape! 

Anyway, it's been a blast having them all together - I miss the noise and commotion already! 

Summer Solstice

When I first saw Melissa Corry's blog post about her Summer Solstice quilt along, I thought about whether or not to join for approximately 7/10 of a second. This is such a cool quilt - actually, it has more of a hot, blistering sun kind of vibe and I love it!

She has numerous block and quilt sizes, so you can make this in any size from a small baby quilt to a king size bed quilt. She also posted a nice variety of fabric and color options. You can purchase the bundles or be inspired to select your own. After pulling out nearly every fabric I own, I came back to her original color scheme. Those colors are all sunshine and heat. 

These are the fabrics I selected. My background fabric is a white on white cross hatch.

And here are all the cut pieces, ready to go!

For more information on Summer Solstice, click here.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Maggie's First Dance

I've been joining quilt alongs right and left these days! I have a need for variety in quilting - I think that could be why I have so many UFOs. I start a new quilt and part way through, I'm bored with it or something new and exciting has caught my eye.

But with a bunch of quilt alongs, I'm always working on something different. And, since I only make one block or do a little bit of cutting, I don't have a chance to get bored with it and I'm always excited for the next set of instructions to be released.

Maggie's First Dance is one of the new quilt alongs I've joined. Here is my first block:

More information on this project can be found at You need to sign up to receive the pattern and instructions by email. Her version is just darling!