December 19, 2014

Holiday Hot Pad!

Since yesterday's Procrastinators Unite project was a pretty large one, today we have a super fast project - the Holiday Hot Pad!  Our house is where 20 or so members of my husband's family gather every holiday season, so we have lots of food.  I designed this hot pad specifically to fit under a 13" x 9" pan.  I have several and use them all the time - even when it isn't the holidays :)  Such a perfect host(ess) gift or present to yourself if you are the one hosting!

Holiday Hot Pad Free Download (13" x 9")
Simple, Free Image and File Hosting at MediaFire

December 18, 2014

Snowflake Tree Skirt

Today's Procrastinators United project is my Snowflake Tree Skirt.  This is a great modern tree skirt made with machine applique.

I used my favorite Medium Grey and White for mine, but I've seen in made in lots of colors and prints and it always looks great!

You can get the pattern in my Etsy (paper and PDF) and Craftsy shops.  Don't forget to use the coupon code Xmas20 in my Etsy shop to save 20% thru Dec 26!

December 16, 2014

North Pole Tree Skirt

Today's Procrastinator's Unite project is the North Pole Tree Skirt.  In true procrastinator fashion, this post is up later than I meant it to be :)

This tree skirt is such fun to make!  You don't worry about cutting the curves until the very end - it is just regular piecing before that.  The tutorial has lots of pictures to help you along the way.  I love the bright white stars on the pretty green background of this skirt - so festive.  Enjoy!

December 15, 2014

Randot Table Runner

Randot - 13" x 35"
Today's installment of the Procrastinators Unite series is my Randot table runner.  I use this table runner all the time - we have a buffet-style piece of furniture in our family room and it always has a runner on it.
I love the black added to the red and green seasonal theme.  Of course, any color scheme would work here and it is a perfect project for scraps.  The two insets in the background fabric add a subtle touch of interest.  The quilting is straight line but done in a down-up-down pattern on the diagonal.  You can find the tutorial here.  Enjoy!

PS Runners are great for using up those batting scraps!  (I might need a runner for each day of the month in order to use them all up!)

December 14, 2014

Sew Solid Sunday!

Welcome back to the final Sew Solid Sunday of the year!  I know many of you are busy sewing up a storm, so I hope you have some great solid projects to share!

I've been thinking about making a seasonal project using holly as a motif for years.  This week, it finally rose to the top of the list!  I Googled some images to remind myself what real holly looks like and then set about to design my simplified version.  I like the balance of things in threes, so decided on three leaves and three berries.

I used two of my favorite Robert Kaufman Kona cotton solids, Peridot and Rich Red for the holly and berries and chose Snow for the background.  I usually go with White, but decided that I wanted this little mat to have a slightly softer feel.  And what do I call this thing I've made?  At 12" x 20", it could be a mini quilt, a placemat, a table runner, a mug rug, a centerpiece...  I started out thinking I'd make a pillow, but I just wasn't in a pillow mood this week :)

I don't have a full tutorial for this little mat, but I've included my template and a few construction notes.
You can download the template here - it is already reversed for fusible appliqué.

Supplies needed:
Background fabric:  13" x 21"
Holly fabric:  9" square
Berry fabric:  2 1/2" square
Backing fabric:  13" x 21"
Batting:  12" x 20"
Fusible web:  12" square
Removable marking pencil
Scrap of freezer paper
Thread to match holly and berry fabrics (I used Aurifil 5016 and 2260)
Quilting thread (I used Aurifil 2310)

I traced the holly and berries onto the fusible web in the usual manner, applied the web to the fabric and fused them in place.  The farthest right and lowest edges of the holly are both about 2 1/4" from the raw edges of the background.

I traced the center holly leaf onto the freezer paper and lightly pressed it over the appliqué piece.  Using the removable pencil, I traced the edges of the front holly leaves where they overlap the center one.  I also lightly drew in the center leaf spine of each holly leaf.
First Stitching
To stitch the holly down, I began my first stitching where the center holly leaf meets the front two and stitched around the center leaf only.  Next I stitched around the two front leaves, stitching over the line marking the front edges.  This gives a bit of dimension to the appliqué.  Lastly, I stitched around the berries.

Second Stitching
To complete the project, I pillowcased it in order to avoid a thick binding on such a small item.  To do likewise, center the batting on the wrong side of the quilt top.  Flip it over and pin it in place from the quilt top side.  Add the backing, right side down and pin the edges together.  Using a 1/2" seam, sew around all four sides, leaving a 5-6" opening for turning.  Clip the corners, turn and press, tucking the fabric from the opening area in.  Topstitch around the mat 1/8" and 1/4" from the edges.  Quilt the center as desired. I quilted around the holly and down the center of each holly leaf and then meandered on the background.

I hope this year of Sew Solid Sunday has inspired you to try a few projects using solids - whether one of the ones I've shared here or your own.  What would you like to see from Sew Solid Sunday next year?  I'd love to know and am open to your ideas.  Now, let's see what you've been doing!

December 12, 2014

Joy Centerpiece!

Joy Centerpiece
After yesterday's big project, I thought we'd have a small one today.  The Joy Centerpiece finishes at about 18" in diameter and only requires three fabrics.  You can whip one - or more - up in no time at all!

I designed the Joy Centerpiece for my kitchen table as it often seemed like a table runner was too big and in the way.  This simple centerpiece is a perfect way to add a little pretty fabric to the table.  It makes a great hostess gift or a wonderful addition to a kitchen-themed present.

Looking back now, I wonder why I haven't made lots more of these!  Maybe I'll fix that soon :)

PS  The "Joy" name came from the lovely line of fabric designed by Kate Spain - her current holiday line is called "Solstice".

December 11, 2014

Procrastinators Unite!

Are you like me?  I really don't tune into Christmas until about now.  It's not a strategy I recommend for those of us with busy lives, but it is just how I am.

Depending on the rest of your life, you may or may not have time for any more sewing projects between now and the big day.  For the next week or so, I'll be sharing some of my patterns and free projects that are holiday-themed.  A few of them are big, but most are smaller.  One thing I know is that, if you love a project and don't have time to make it now, Christmas WILL come again next year.  Think of how amazing you'll feel when you have a Christmas project finished in March!

In the spirit of the season, save 20% on all PDF and paper patterns in my Etsy shop by using coupon code XMAS20.  The code will expire on December 26, 2014 - in case you procrastinate past Christmas!

So, let's start with the biggest project first - my Holiday Sweater pattern.  Inspired by one of my favorite holiday sweaters from when I was a child, this pattern is fusible machine applique and includes five sizes: baby, youth, throw, twin (shown) and queen.  While I used red and white solids for maximum graphic impact, I think this quilt would be great in some fun holiday prints as well.  It is made up of 12" blocks, so raid your stash to see what you have already that might work!  Maybe a print with a bit of metallic shine?  Or a lovely holiday floral print?  How about making it in black and white?  As always, lots of possibilities!

I'll be back tomorrow with another project!