Sunday, November 30, 2014

Quilted Star Ornament Tutorial

 I have a quick tutorial for you today for simple fabric Christmas ornaments.

While I was decorating for Christmas, I decided to make a star garland from my old stash of African prints. The stars were so much fun to make, I thought I'd share the process with you. This is a great way to use up fabric and batting scraps.

 You will need some fabric scraps, batting scraps, ribbon for hanging or stringing, glue dots (or hot glue), shapes cut from freezer paper, pinking shears and a sewing machine.

I cut some 4" stars out of freezer paper using my Sizzix machine.  You can make any shape in any size. Press your freezer paper shapes onto a fabric scrap, leaving at least 1/2" between shapes.

Layer a piece of fabric (right side down), then some batting, and the fabric with shapes on top. Pin the layers together.

Using a slightly longer stitch length than normal, stitch around each shape, close to the edge of the freezer paper. (I'm working on the Featherweight because I dropped off the Bernina for service. Vacations are the perfect time to bring machines in for service!)

Overlap your beginning and ending stitches about 1" to lock the stitches, as indicated by the arrows below.

Clip the threads. Cut out the shape with pinking shears, about 1/8 - 1/4" away from the stitching line. I found it easier to see where to cut with the freezer paper still attached. 

Once the shape is cut out, remove the freezer paper.

Aren't they fun? I'm thinking about sewing together the bits and pieces to make scrappy stars.

I was trying to decide how to attach the stars to the ribbon and remembered I have lots of glue dots in my stash leftover from scrapbooking and Girl Scouts. 

The larger dots were perfect for the garland. You can just barely see it through the sheer ribbon at the top of the star.

I used two tiny dots to attach a ribbon for hanging an ornament.

If you don't have any glue dots handy, you can stitch or hot glue the ribbons. If you don't have pinking shears or a pinking blade for your rotary cutter, a straight cut will work just fine.

I'm still tweaking my Africa-theme Christmas mantle. The bows on the carved animals are causing some controversy in the family! Bill spent a year in Liberia when he was a kid. He bought the animals and his parents brought back the wall art made from barbed wire. 

You might not hear from me again for a couple of weeks. Bill and I are leaving soon to meet Julia in Tanzania. I suspect there will be more animals to add to the mantle, and there will certainly be lots of fabric to add to the stash! (Be on the lookout for a fabric giveaway before Christmas!) If I find a decent internet connection, I'll try to blog while we are away.

(See you later)

Added 12/3/14: When I decorated the tree last night, I found this cute selvedge star. Apparently, I've made these stars before! This one is actually dated 2008. It was made in a quilt as you go style, stitching together the selvedges and quilting through the batting and backing all at once. If that makes no sense, I can clarify after the trip. I just wanted to show you another option for these ornaments.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

WIP Wednesday

 The wedding quilt top is done! Today I'll be preparing it for the machine quilter- pressing, trimming threads, squaring up- and piecing the back. This puppy is massive! I could only get a picture of a quarter of it!

This strip is part of a super secret project. Shhh.

There won't be any more sewing going on around here until mid-December. Pete will be home for Thanksgiving (yay!). After he heads back to Camp Lejeune, my brother and sister-in-law arrive to house sit while Bill and I are in Tanzania with Julia. I can't wait to hug my kids!

Time to link up!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Tuesday Archives - Jelly Rolls

Val's Tuesday Archive theme today is Jelly Roll Quilts. I've got two completed quilts and a couple of WIPs made from jelly rolls.

This is Olivia's quilt, made for my 4th great niece in February 2013. A sweet quilt for a sweet little girl!


This batik quilt was quick to piece and fun to quilt.

Julia and I participated in a jelly roll race at a retreat last March. They are still in the WIP pile because the project calls for some set-in circles to add interest. We planned out a layout design for our circles, but haven't made this a priority yet.

Head on over to Val's for more jelly roll inspiration!

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

WIP Wednesday

I'm trying to stay focused on the wedding ring quilt until it's done, but I'm so easily distracted. Squirrel! I'm working my way around the border, completing the applique.

It took me a while to figure out how to make the scalloped border work. I'll have a tutorial for you soon so you won't need to reinvent that particular wheel.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Sunday Stitching

 I've been busy hand appliqueing lately, so I was ready for a quick piecing project. This little table runner will be donated to a holiday raffle/auction. One of my guilds meets at a senior center that does not charge us rent, so we try to donate quilty things when they have fundraisers.

I was supposed to make a runner suitable for April. Looking for spring fabric in my stash on this cold, rainy day was a welcome break. I found a mini charm pack of Wren & Friends that seemed appropriate. I had to add a few extra squares and some Kona Snow.

I just love that border print and have almost used it up. The backing is a sweet calico from a friend's stash. For the binding, I found two jelly roll strips of brown stripe left over from Olivia's quilt

Some simple free motion continuous curves and machine stitched binding made this was a two hour project. The finished product doesn't really say "April," but it is what it is.

Wrens & Friends Runner
 November 2, 2014
12" X 28"