Wednesday, November 30, 2011

HOTH Day 3: Love Where You Live Ornament with Pickup Some Creativity

Hi Gwenny Penny fans! My name is Chris.

My piece of blogland is called Pickup Some Creativity. You  may remember the little sew-along that Gwen and I did together last spring. Gwen is a dear friend, and I'm thrilled she invited me over today.

Each year we give our children a Christmas ornament, that way when they grow up they'll have ornaments to decorate their own tree with.

For Christmas 2011, I wanted to do something fun to remind them of the two places we've lived in Idaho this year. After seeing some fun state-related crafts, and inspiration from all of Gwen's fun embroidery hoop ideas, I came up with the Love Where You Live Christmas Ornament.

With just a tiny bit of embroidery, and one of my favorite tools... heat n bond lite, you can make a sweet little ornament to celebrate all the places to love in your life.

Aren't they fun?

I hope you'll pop on over and get the full tutorial. I have a blog full of tutorials, and even a little Etsy shop with sewing patterns and banners (I'm hopelessly addicted to banners!)

Thank you, Gwen, for the invitation. I'm excited to see what everyone else is making!

I LOVE this project! And it would make a fantastic gift, too. I just added this to a couple of names on my list. Chris is a gifted seamstress and puts so much love into everything she makes. I love her scalloped buntings, and she has a tutorial for the most adorable Swedish woven heart ornament that would look beautiful on the Christmas tree. Make sure you visit her blog and leave a comment on her Love Where You Live Ornament tutorial! Chris, thanks so much for joining in on the Haul Out the Holly fun this year :)

Click HERE to see more Haul Out the Holly 2011 tutorials!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

HOTH Day 2: Tree Twig Art with At Home With K

Hi Gwenny Penny fans! I'm Kindra from At Home With K.
I'm so excited and honored to be part of the Haul Out the Holly event again this year!

I love to create and decorate my home for less! I love to create for less so much I even have a weekly linky party called Terrific Under Ten Tuesdays. It's for projects or thrifty finds made or bought for $10 or less! It's fun to get creative on a low budget!

So today for my Haul Out Holly project, I'm creating something festive that is thrifty, easy and fun! You can even get your kids involved to help make it!

Christmas Tree Twig Art

Come on by At Home With K and check out the full tutorial!
Thanks so much Gwen for having me!

Isn't this project great?!? I love that it uses natural materials and that you can make one in any size. Kindra is a gifted decorator and has done some amazing furniture makeovers. Make sure you visit her blog and let her know what you think of her Christmas Tree Twig Art tutorial! And check out her project from last year's Haul Out the Holly event... her felt poinsettias. Thanks so much for joining me again this year, Kindra :)

Click HERE to see more Haul Out the Holly 2011 tutorials!

Monday, November 28, 2011

HOTH Day 1: Fussy Cut Quilted Coasters with Gwenny Penny

Welcome to Day 1 of Haul Out the Holly!!! If you thought last year's event was fun, this year promises to be even bigger and better. The next three weeks will be filled with fabulous Christmas tutorials from fifteen different bloggers. Stay tuned... you won't want to miss the awesome projects coming up!

Let's get started! I'm kicking off the series today with a set of fussy cut quilted coasters...

Last Christmas I bought this Alexander Henry "Merry Main Street" fabric...

It's very busy, and I couldn't figure out what to do with it, so I didn't make anything with it last year. I dug it out a few weeks ago and decided that if I fussy cut some of the scenes I could use them to make some cute Christmas coasters (another item that has been on my to-do list for a while). That's how I ended up making these...

There are a lot of great Christmas fabrics that lend themselves to fussy cutting. I just bought some fabric with an adorable vintage Santa print that would be great for this project. I also decided that these would make really cute quilt squares, too, so that may be in the works, but definitely not probably not until next year :) These coasters would be a great addition to your Christmas decor or a great gift for someone on your list this year. Want to put together a set of your own? Here's the how-to...

Materials (to make four coasters):
  • main fabric (enough to cut four 3.5" squares of the motifs that you want)
  • border fabric (1 fat quarter or 4 charm squares)
  • backing fabric (1 fat quarter or 4 charm squares)
  • binding fabric (1 fat quarter)
  • batting (1/4 yd)
  • coordinating thread
  • safety pins
  • rotary cutter or scissors
  • ruler
  • fabric marking pen or pencil

Step 1: Start by fussy cutting your motifs from your main fabric. Decide which areas of the fabric you want to cut for the centers of your coasters. I cut mine 3.5" square, but you may need to make them larger or smaller depending on the fabric print that you choose (note: doing so will require you to alter the border fabric dimensions). Cut four of these squares, one for each coaster...

Step 2: Next, cut your border fabric. I used a charm square (5"), so all I did was cut it into four 1.25" strips...

I then trimmed two of the strips down to 3.5" long and left the other two 5" long.

You'll need to do this for each of your four coasters.

Step 3: Lay out one of your main fabric squares and one set of your border strips like so...

Flip the two 3.5" long border strips over onto the main fabric square, lining up the raw edges. Your fabrics should be right sides together. Pin in place...

Sew using a 1/4" seam allowance...

Press seams open, and lay out like so...

Flip the two 5" long border strips over onto the main fabric square, lining up the raw edges. Your fabrics should be right sides together. Pin in place...

Sew using a 1/4" seam allowance...

Press seams open...

See what I mean… wouldn't a bunch of these make an adorable Christmas quilt?

Repeat Step 3 for all four coasters.

Step 4: Time to put your layers together. I cut my batting to 5" square because I was using charm squares (5”) for the back of my coasters. Lay your fabric like so: backing right side down, batting, then your pieced square from Step 3 right side up on top...

Use a couple of safety pins to pin your layers together so they won't shift around when you start quilting...

Repeat for all four coasters.

Step 5: Time to quilt, and don't be afraid if you've never quilted before because these are small and easy to handle. First, stitch in the ditch... right in the seam where your fussy cut square meets your border fabric. Stitch all the way around your main fabric square. I used a bit longer stitch length (3) and a walking foot, but if you don't have one, just use your standard presser foot. Next, stitch a square 1/4" outside of your first quilting stitches all the way around your main fabric square...

Repeat for all four coasters.

Step 6: Next you’ll make the binding for your coasters. I took my binding fabric fat quarter and cut it into 2.25" x 22” strips. In order to make a continuous strip of binding, lay one strip vertically right side up and one on top of it at a 90 degree angle to it right side down

It’s important that the ends of your strips are square. Pin in place, and draw a line from one outside corner where the two fabrics meet to the other outside corner where they meet…

Sew along the line you just drew. Trim the corner to 1/4” from the seam…

Continue doing this until all of your strips are sewn together. Press the seams to one side. Fold the entire strip in half lengthwise and press. Your binding is ready.

Step 7: I'm going to refer you to the binding tutorial over at Crazy Mom Quilts. There are tons of binding tutorials out there (you can even find one that I did in my Out to Eat Place Mat tutorial), but I recently started using this method, and I really like the results. I'm going to share a few tips for adapting it to this project. Start at the bottom right corner of your coaster. Leaving a 6" tail of fabric, start pinning your binding to your coaster, lining up the raw edges of the binding with the raw edges of the coaster. Place a pin at the corner 1/4" from the edge of the coaster...

Do as I say, not as I do :) This picture doesn't truly show 3/4"... notice that the final binding fabric is different ;)
If you don't want to break out the seam ripper, stick with 3/4". 
Sew 1/4" from the right edge of your coaster, starting 3/4" up from the bottom. Believe me, you do not want to start sewing any further than 3/4” up from the bottom, or you will run into problems later when you try to join your tails together. Stop sewing when you reach your marking pin (1/4" before the edge). Leaving your needle down, rotate your coaster 90 degrees counterclockwise. Backstitch to the edge of the coaster...

That backstitching step is what I really like about the Crazy Mom Quilts tutorial. You need to be pretty precise with your 1/4 inches, though. Follow the binding tutorial, paying special attention to properly folding your corners. Once you get back around to the right side where you started, only stitch down 3/4” from the top edge. Cut the tail to 5”. Then you will have two tails of binding that need to be sewn together…

Take your two tails and fold them back so that the two folded edges meet in the middle along the edge of the coaster…

Press the folded ends really well.

Unfold the ends and use your pencil to mark the fold lines on both tails. Fold your entire coaster in half and pin it, leaving the tails hanging out. Pin the tails right sides together, matching up the fold lines…

Sew along the fold lines that you matched up/marked. There isn't a whole lot of room to play here, so it's a little tricky (that's why that 3/4" was so important). Just take your time. Trim the seam back to 1/4”.

Press the seam open. Refold your binding in half lengthwise and pin along the right edge of the coaster…

Finish sewing the binding down along the right side of the coaster 1/4” from the edge. Repeat for all four coasters.

Step 8: Finally, you'll need to bring the folded edge of the binding around to the back of the coasters. You'll need to decide whether you are going to finish by hand or machine. I went the machine route (if you stop by here regularly, you know I have very little patience for hand-sewing :) Continue following the Crazy Mom Quilts binding tutorial, or follow my tutorial (Step 13... My tutorial uses bias tape, but it's the same idea.)

All done!

We were away for Thanksgiving, so I’m getting out my Christmas decorations today. I can’t wait! These coasters will be finding a home on my coffee table for the next five weeks, although I’m sure my girls will be toting them all over the house :)

Thanks so much for joining me for Day 1 of Haul Out the Holly. I can’t wait for you to see all of the projects that will be shared over the next three weeks. Come back tomorrow for another fun Christmas tutorial!


Click HERE to see more Haul Out the Holly 2011 tutorials!

I'm linking up...
Made by You Mondays on Skip to my Lou
{Sew} Modern Monday on Canoe Ridge Creations
Fabric Tuesday on Quilt Story

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Pin It Wednesday: Words to Live By

This week I am sharing one pin... a Thanksgiving-themed "Words to Live By"...

Source: gray square designs via Chris on Pinterest

Pin It Wednesday will be on hiatus until after Haul Out the Holly. Wishing all of my American readers a very Happy Thanksgiving! Hope you get to enjoy some time (and turkey :) with the people you love.

Interested in seeing all of my Pinterest boards? Click HERE.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Point of View Feature and a Printables Party

Thanks to everyone who linked up their projects at the Point of View Gifts Link Party last Friday.

This month I'm featuring this awesome set of free printable gift idea planners from Ginny at Organizing Homelife...

Ginny has created four different gift idea planners: family, relatives, friends, and stocking stuffers. This would be much more organized than my piece of notebook paper that I'm currently using (It would look a lot cuter, too :) Make sure you head over to Ginny's blog to download all four PDF files.

We're taking a break from Point of View next month, but we'll be back in January. Keep an eye out for our first theme of 2012!

And since we're talking about printables... my friend Kristin over at A Simply Klassic Home is having a 12 Days of Christmas Printables party December 1-12. Kristin has designed some beautiful printables, like this one from last year...

She and five other bloggers will be sharing twelve new free printables beginning next Thursday. You won't want to miss it!

And get ready... Haul Out the Holly is less than a week away!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Giveaway Days Winners!

Thank you all so much for entering last week's follower appreciation giveaways. I'm so glad that I was able to pull this together to thank all of you for visiting my blog and for being supportive of me. I am so grateful that you choose to spend a little bit of your time here. I continue to be overwhelmed by the love and support that I receive from people on this blog every single day.

OK, now for the reason you're really here today :) Here are the winners of the six giveaways...

Winner of Giveaway 1  Alexander Henry Christmas Fat Quarter Bundle: #93, regan

Winner of Giveaway 2 – Teapot Pin Cushion: #42, Lindsay Conner

Winner of Giveaway 3  Kids' Slippers from Mom's Blankies: #97, Tanya

Winner of Giveaway 4  "Build Your Own Robot" Pattern from Pickup Some Creativity: #3, Krista

Winner of Giveaway 5  Joel Dewberry Heirloom Fat Quarter Bundle: #67, annemarie

Winner of Surprise Giveaway 6 – Handmade Goodies from jujuB: #6, Nancy Markosky

Congratulations to all of the winners! I will be emailing you today. Thanks again to Shaunna, Chris, Juliana, and Becky for their giveaway items. If you didn't win, don't forget about the great shops that were a part of these giveaways. Check out Mom's Blankies for Shaunna's adorable handmade shoopers and toasties for the little ones on your gift list...

Mom's Blankies

Visit Pickup Some Creativity to purchase a copy of Chris's awesome "Build You Own Robot" pattern. Like I said before, these robots would make great Christmas gifts for boys and girls alike...
Pickup Some Creativity

And stop over to visit Juliana and Becky at the jujuBstash shop to find some cute handmade gifts (or maybe something for yourself :) this holiday season...

And can you believe that Haul Out the Holly starts a week from today?!? I can hardly wait!
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