Monday, July 21, 2014

July Bee and A Winner

First off, thank you so much for all of the sweet comments on my O Christmas Trees Quilt!!!  You all sure know how to make a gal feel great!!

I worked on some bee blocks this weekend and had so much fun with them.  I so enjoy being part of these bees!!  It is always fun to have an excuse to try new blocks each month.

This months, Jan  had us make these adorable tulip blocks using this tutorial ;)  These turned out so cute and I totally want to make a quilt of these some day ;)  Another added to the list!

Then Shari had us playing with some fun Halloween prints.  I love that little ghost one!!!  (probably because it is purple ;) .  These little 9 patches went together in a snap :)

So now they are off in the mail and I am excited to see what I get to put together next month for the Bees Knees.   And a bonus . . . next month is my month for the Beejeebers.  I need to decide what block I want my fabulous bee mates to whip up :)   Decisions, Decisions??  Any suggestions on a great scrappy block??

And last, but not least,  I need to choose a winner for the Superior Threads giveaway.  Thank you for all of those who commented.  I am sure you found that Superior Threads is just amazing and thank you to them for sponsoring this fun giveaways!!

So . .  .Without further ado, the winner of the $30.00 Gift Certificate to Superior Threads is . . .

#102 . . . Congrats to Lorraine!!!!!   

Thanks again to everyone who played along ;)  And be sure to check back in tomorrow, we will be having another wonderful sponsor introduced and another fun giveaway ;)

Have a Happy Quilting Day!!

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Friday, July 18, 2014

O Christmas Trees - A Finish

**Note - If you are looking for the Superior Threads Giveaway you will find it here ;)

Yippee!!!  It's more Christmas in July!!!  Wednesday I shared my new Simply Modern Monochromatic Stockings tutorial  (and thank you for all of your sweet comments) and today, I get to share my new O Christmas Trees lap quilt!!!

Last September Christa from Christa Quilts hosted a Modern Trees Quilt-A-Long and I loved the design, but A) didn't have time to quilt a-long and b) wanted to change it up a bit for a little scrappier look and a larger quilt size.  In come my fabulous Bees Knees mates :)  I whipped up this Improv Tree Paper Pieced Block Tutorial and over the next bit received these beautiful Improv Tree blocks from all of my friends.  Thank you so much ladies, I love these trees!!!

The blocks got set aside, but at the end of June, I pulled them back out and in between other projects pieced the top, quilted it, and yes, even finished getting it bound.  Yippee!!!!  I love Christmas in July!!!!   The fabrics are Blitzen by Basic Grey.  And can I just say, I love Basic Grey's Christmas Lines, seriously, I haven't come across one that I don't like ;)

I had a lot of fun quilting this one.  Even though it did make the long arm wig out and was the start of it's downhill motion that has now landed it in the shop, le sigh.  Total side note there, back to the quilting.    I did some pebbling between the trees.  I wanted it to look like snow building up on them.  Ahh, I love pebbling, it is so relaxing :)    On the trees, I did some red and green loopies and zig-zags.  I kept that fairly simple as the improv scrappy of them is already quite a lot :)  Oh, and the trunks are done in a wood grain look, it fit ;)

And I had so much fun quilting the background of the quilt.  I really wanted it to look like snow flurries, so I played around with the concept of swirls with tails, but instead of doing the swirl, I did a little snowflake in the center of the swirl start.  It really did come out the way I had hoped and it was just so exciting to try a whole new design concept twisting on what I feel comfortable with and have it turn out :)

And now I have a new Christmas quilt ;)  Seriously, I don't think I can ever have to many Christmas Quilts.  They just make me smile!!!   This quilt finished at 63" x 74" so it is going to be just perfect to throw over the couch come December (or November, you know I pull out my Christmas stuff early :)  and curl up with while I watch White Christmas ;)

If you would like to make your own O Christmas Trees Quilt, I have added the Quilt Tutorial directions to the end of the Block Tutorial Directions. (just surf down through the block tutorial to find them ;)   It has all of the yardage and quilt top piecing directions you will need to whip up your own ;)  It really is such a fun quilt to put together ;)

Have a Happy (and Merry) Quilting Day!!!

Yippee for 2 finishes in a week :)  Linking O Christmas Tree up to Sarah's, Amanda's and Fort Worth Fabric Studio :)

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Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Simply Modern Monochromatic Stockings - A Tutorial

It's Christmas In July!!!!!!   I am so excited to share a new tutorial I have been working on. These have been on the "to do" list for about 3 years now and I think they were totally worth the wait :)  So without further ado . . .  Let me introduce my latest Riley Blake Design Team Tutorial . . . Simply Modern Monochromatic Stockings!!!

I had the idea to make monochromatic stocking a while back and have just been waiting for the right basics to come along.  When I saw some of Riley Blakes New Basics, I knew it was the perfect fit!!

I used Medium Damask Reversed for the stocking, Houndstooth for the lining, and Swiss Dots for the cuff. Don't you just love all of the colors together ;)  And the kids had so much fun browsing through all of the different color options and picking their favorite, which makes their stocking all the more special to them :)

These stockings are very generously sized.  Not to big, but for sure large enough to stuff a lot of goodies in ;)  And they really are so very easy to make.  You could easily put one together in an hour.  (and since it is July, you have lots of hours :)  And I have instructions for embroidering or appliqueing the name, so if you don't have access to embroidery, there us another option ;)

Eeekk!!!  I can't get over how much I love seeing each stocking match the next but just in a different color.  I think this is going to be such a fun fun way to add some pop to my traditional Christmas colored decorations :)

These stockings are so very simple and oh so much fun to make.  You really can make one in less than an hour :)  So let's show you how to make do it :)

For each stocking you want to make you will need :

16 to 22" of a Stocking Fabric
16 to 22" of a Lining Fabric
9" of a Cuff Fabric
6-8" of  Ric-Rac
21" of Mini Pom-Poms in White
Matching Thread
Batting Scraps
Stocking Template - Print, Cut, and Assemble
**Optional - Solid White Fabric Scraps for Appliqued Name

 Now, to make these Monochromatic, you will want to use the same color fabrics for each of your pieces as well as your Ric-Rac.  Luckily, Riley Blake makes it super easy with all of their amazing Basic choices!!  I am using Medium Damask Reversed for the Stocking, Houndstooth for the Lining, and Swiss Dots for the Cuff.    And a quick note, you will be topstitching, so Matching Thread is really important!!   Check out the Riley Blake Aurifil Basic Colors Thread box, they are the exact same color of the fabrics ;)

Whether you need 16" or 22" of fabric will depend on the orientation of your print, if there is one.   So for Example, in order for my Damask print to run up and down (and not sidewards) on my stocking,  I will need to use the larger 22" cut and place my template sideways on the fabric.

And, in our second example, I don't really mind which way the Houndstooth print goes so I can use  the smaller 16" cut and place my template up and down on the fabric.

So do you have all of your supplies gathered??  Excellent,  let's make a Stocking!!!  Oh, and don't forget to turn on the Christmas tunes, I had so much fun singing along with some Bing Crosby while stitching these up!


Start by grabbing two batting scraps appx 16 " x 20"  (this is a great way to use up all those bits and pieces lying around ;)  Lay a batting scrap on your work surface, followed by your Stocking Fabric, folded in half with right sides together to make 2 layers of fabric, and then add one more scrap batting on the top.  So you will have a fabric sandwich that looks a bit like this ;)

Place your stocking template onto the fabric sandwich and trace around the template.

Now, pin around the inside of the traced stocking taking care to catch all 4 layers in your pinning.   Time to load your matching thread into your machine ;)

Cut the 4 layers of sandwich out along the traced line.   Now, it's time to sew all of those together.  You will be starting on the top right hand corner of the stocking and stopping on the top left hand corner

Stitch a 1/4" seam along the pinned raw edge, taking care to backstitch at the start and stop.  A walking foot is incredibly helpful here to push all of those layers through evenly.

Once you have stitched a seam around the stocking  (notice, the top is still open, we don't want to stitch that shut :)  finish the raw edge by stitching a tight Zig-Zag stitch along the raw edge.

If you have access to a Serger, you can skip the last two stitching sub-steps and simply Serge along the raw edge creating a seam at the same time.   Just be sure to take out the pins as you go :)

So now you should have a Stocking Outside that is currently inside out with a layer of batting, two layers of fabric that have right sides together and then another layer of batting, all nicely finished around the sides and bottom.   Go ahead and set it aside for the moment ;)


Onto Step 2.  Gather your Lining fabric and place it with right sides together.  Using your Stocking pattern again, Trace the stocking shape onto the wrong side of your fabric.

Pin the 2 layers of fabric together along the inside of the traced line.  Cut the stocking out directly on the traced line.  Again you are going to stitch a seam starting and stopping at the same points as before.  However . . .

This time you want to use a 3/8" seam.  This just allows your lining to sit inside and lay flat  a little easier avoiding those bulky finished seams created in the previous step.  Remember to backstitch at the start and stop of your stocking.  You will now have a finished lining ;)


You will now have an outside stocking piece that is still inside out.  Go ahead and turn it right side out and then give it a nice pressing rolling the seams out to make sure they are aligned along the edges of the stocking.  You can keep your Lining inside out ;)

Now, go ahead and insert your lining into the stocking.  Your stocking is Right Sides Out and your Lining is Right Sides In.  So the wrong sides of both will come together.    Your lining might want to try and grab onto the batting as you insert it, but just give it a little wiggle until you get it to lie flat inside the stocking.

Once you have your lining snug inside the stockings, align the seams of both pieces on either side of the stocking.  Pin the seams together.  Continue to match the raw edges and pin around the entire top of the stocking.

Now, change your machine settings to a basting stitch and stitch a 1/4" basting seam along the raw edge.  Once again,  a walking foot makes this a lot easier and you might have to do a little easing in around the seams, but don't stress to much, as this will be under the cuff ;)

And now you have a lined outer stocking that should look something like this.  Go ahead and set it aside for the time being :)


From your Cuff fabric, cut am 8" x 20" rectangle.  Note, you only need one piece this size so your fabric doesn't need to be folded :)

Fold your 8" x 20" fabric rectangle in half long wise, and then in half short wise again.

Now, grab another long batting scrap and cut it to 3 1/2" x 19 1/2".  Place the batting scrap onto the wrong size of your cuff rectangle, centering it so there is appx. 1/4" of fabric along either side of the top of your rectangle and nesting it right into the fold leaving 1/2" of fabric along the top.  The batting should just stick to the fabric, but if you are worried about it shifting pin it in place along the sides and top.

Now the fun part, adding the names :)  I had a good friend embroider our families names onto our cuffs.  When adding the names, you want to put them in the top left hand quadrant.  Be sure to center the name in this section.  To figure the centering take out 1/2" from the top and sides and 1/4" from the fold

You can also choose to Applique your names onto your stockings.  Again, use the same centering technique.  If you are unsure on how to applique, you can see this video I made on the basics of applique.  It will walk you through each step of how to do it ;)

**Either way you choose, be sure the batting stays behind the fabric.  This will make the names pop!!

 Once you have the name added, fold your cuff rectangle in half short wise and align the raw edges along the side.  Stitch a 1/4" seam along the raw edge.  (this is why the batting is slightly smaller than the rectangle ;)

Now, turn the cuff right side out and then fold it along the pressed fold line.   The raw edges should align along the top of the cuff to look something like this ;)


And now, you are ready to put it all together!!  Yippee!!!   Sorry about these first 2 pictures, I forgot to take them on my original stocking, so you get them in a new color ;)

Grab your matching color ric-rac and cut a 6"-8" piece.  The longer the piece, the longer your stocking holder will be.  I used 6" :)  Fold it in half and place it along the seam on the left hand side of your cuff.  Pin it in place.

Now, slide the cuff into the basted stocking with the name of the cuff facing front and the stocking facing front.  So looking from the front you will have a stocking front, a stocking lining, a cuff front, a cuff back, a stocking lining, and finally the stocking back.

Align the seams on either side of the cuff and stocking.  Pin them in place.  Continue to align the raw edges and pin through all of the layers.  Yes, this is a lot of layers ;)

Stitch a 3/8" seam along the pinned raw edge.  This will be just over the basting stitch ;)  Be sure to Backstitch at the beginning and end.  And yes, your walking foot is so very, very useful at this part of the process.  You might have to give it a little yank when you go over the seam with the ric-rac in it.  It is super bulky ;)

And once again, go ahead and finish the raw edge by stitching a zig-zag stitch along the edge.  This will keep any loose strings from flying out from underneath your cuff ;)

And you can always serge the raw edge at this point as well ;)


Almost done now.  Just time to add the finishing touches.  Pull the cuff out from the inside of your stocking but don't fold it over yet.  You want it sticking straight up.  And here you are going to add the mini-pom-pom's to the edge of the cuff.

I found the easiest way to do this is to place the right side of the under your presser foot, then slip the pom-poms under the folded edge and stitch them in place using a 1/8" seam.  This may seam a little backwards, but by doing this from the front, you can ensure that the pom-poms are aligned right along the edge of the fold.

Start at the back of the cuff and work your way around the cuff.  It is easier if you just try to align a few inches at a time :)  When you get all the way around the cuff, overlap slightly the pom-poms and backstitch them into place.  Then cut off any excess trim so the pom-poms line up nice and even.

Now, one final finishing touch.  Fold your stocking cuff down.  I like to take an extra second here and press the cuff in place, that way I know I won't have any lining slipping out into my cuff ;)  Now, start at the back of your cuff once more and stitch a 1/8" topstitch around the entire top of the stocking cuff, backstitching at the start and stop.

The top stitching just  finishes it off so nice ;)  And remember, when doing both of these top stitching embellishments, you want to be super sure that your thread is matching.

The Aurifil Basic Thread box is a perfect match :)  Thanks again Riley Blake for letting me use this great thread!!

 And your done!!!!  And now, just keep going!!!  There are so many colors to choose from.  My children loved picking their favorite color for their stocking.  So fun!!!

I hope you have enjoyed this tutorial and will have so much Christmas fun whipping up your own Simply Modern Monochromatic Stockings.   And when you are finished, I would love to see them!!!  You can add a picture of your own fabulous stockings to my Flickr Group here or email a picture at or add it to social media with #happyquiltingwithmc .      I can't wait to see them all ;)

Thanks for following along and have a Happy (and Merry) Quilting Day!!
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