Friday, July 29, 2011

A Little Project to Finish out Christmas in July

The other day (as in a month ago) I was at Jo-Ann's and found these cute panels to make books in the Clearance section.  Aren't they just adorable!!  I was so excited I couldn't pass them up.  So I whipped them up one afternoon and then gave them as a gift to my wonderful sister. (who quite possibly, loves Christmas more than I do, and that's saying something :)

Her children adore them!!  They have had them for a few days now and she assures me they are getting much love!!  Isn't it just the greatest when your projects are loved by little ones!!!!

Now I just wish I would have bought a few more panels as my children keep asking where are our books :)  Seems like I might have to take another trip back over to Jo-Ann :)
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Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Wantobe Quilter Campaign!!!

Okay, so we all know that I am a little crazy about quilting :)  Well there is a new campaign going on over at one of my favorite blogs (Sew We Quilt) for new Want To Be Quilters who are just getting started out in the wonderful world of quilting.  The idea is to spread the joy of quilting (so that you can all think about quilting as often as I do, tee hee hee)  And the best thing about it is you can win big!!!  Oh, and I should mention when you win, I win too  (and you all love me and want me to win too, right :) 

So what can you win . . .
They are having quilting supplies to giveaway 5 x a week for 12 weeks.  From sewing machines to irons, to die cutters, to mats, to rotary cutters, sewing baskets, scissors, batting, needles, rolled sewing machine bags, patterns, books, magazines...everything you could imagine to assist you in being a NEW Quilter.   (I will mention though, if you do win . . . you have to pay for the shipping of the prizes, as the oranizer is doing so much she would go bankrupt in shipping costs.  But trust me, these prizes will be worth the shipping.  However, if you win something that you don't want to pay shipping for you can just not claim the prize, or you can tell me you don't want that particular prize, I am pretty positive I would be willing to pay for shipping to my house :)
So what qualifies you to be a Wantobe Quilter . . . 
You do not have your own machine, tools, notions, or fabric stash.  (now I know a few of you have a old, beat up, or "wimpy" machine but that is okay, that just means you don't qualify to win a machine, but you can win anything else.)  Basically, You could have made a quilt once with a Mom, Sister, Friend, ect. but you loved it, and want to do it more, but you don't have your own tools. 
So what do you have to do . . .
FIRST - Email me your name, email,  and phone number sew I can submit this to the organizer.  (These won't be redistributed and you can email them to me at happyquiltingmelissa (at) gmail (dot) com )
SECOND - Make sure you are a follower at my blog ( and a follower at Stash Manicure.  (Following is easy, just click on the follow button up in the top left hand corner of the blog :)   

Doing these two easy steps qualifies you to win!!  Pretty Easy Right!!! 

 There are over 49 Sponsors involved.  And oh my goodness it is going to be a blast!! I am pretty excited to be part of this, sew should you. I love being a QUILTER and I hope that a few of you can maybe win big and start down your own path of having quilting on the brain 24/7.   So if you are interested, just follow the 2 steps above :)  
This all starts August 1st so make sure to send me those emails by then :)  It is going to be so much fun!!!!
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Friday, July 22, 2011

The Final Winner!!!

Let's get right to it, shall we!!!

The winner of the Summer Breeze Quilt Kit sponsored by Burgundy Buttons is . . .

#403 . . .  Who happens to be . . . harleywife57!!!  Congrats!!!  I have sent you an email.

harleywife57 3 said...

I already follow Burgundy Buttons Blog and on facebook !
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Thursday, July 21, 2011

Some VIBee Sewing!!!

Oh my goodness, did I miss sewing!!!  I really was starting to get a little cranky not having time to spend in my new sewing room.  So this week, I ended the hiatiaus by working on some VIBee Blocks.  

The first one is for Meghan.  She is making a red and teal quilt for her husband who is in the Army Airbourne division.  So I googled images of Army Airbourne and came up with this for a little inspiration.

And this is what I created from that inspiration.  I hope you like it Meghan.  I am just thrilled with how well it turned out :) And I am just realizing as I posted this that I spelled Airbourne wrong, after I checked it like 10 times.  Grrrr!!!  

Second, was this month's block for Krista.  She is making a "Brown" quilt for her boy.  And brown isn't her favorite color to sew with so she had our bee group help to get it done for her :)  Don't you just love how simple but at the same time how cool this is.  It will make quite a cool masculine quilt :)

Yippee Skippee for sewing again!!!  Here's to many more hours spent in my special purple room :)
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Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Winner, Winner!!!

I actually had time to sew yesterday!!!  It was so much fun!!!  A three week break from my sewing machine is just to long, even my husband told me yesterday that I shouldn't worry about mopping and just go sew because I was getting cranky without it :)   I can't wait to show you what I put together (but I will save it for tomorrow, as I have a tiny bit to finish up on it :)

So let's get to it . . . The Winner of the Fat Quarter Bundle of Flurry sponsored by The Fat Quarter Shop is

Drum roll please . . . . . . . #374   Who happens to be . . . Quilt N Queen!!  Yippee Skippee to You!!!

Quilt n Queen 174said...

What an awesome giveaway!! I'm celebrating my first year of blogging too....I'm not too chattie in blogland but I am trying to chat more. Keeping my fingers crossed....(o:
Quilt N Queen I have sent you an email.  And thanks again to everyone who played along.  I can't believe there were 557 entries.  That is a new record (by far) for Happy Quilting :)  

Have a Happy Quilting Day!!!

p.s. Just in case you are wondering, I know that the entry says 174 and not 374.  That is because my counter starts over at 200, so this is the second 174 which makes it 374 :)

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Monday, July 18, 2011

Christmas Traditions Advent Calendar

It's Christmas in July!!!  

And I am so excited to share with you my newest Moda Bake Shop Tutorial!!    It's the Christmas Traditions Advent Calendar.  I just love this concept of keeping track of your Christmas Traditions.  We wrote it out on a calendar last year but that wasn't very cute.  So this year I knew I had to turn it into a quilted wall hanging!!  And I am just thrilled with the outcome!!!

Each day from Dec 1st to the 24th, you will find a little scroll tucked underneath the flap (or you can do a pocket if you prefer, there are instructions for both) .  Each morning Mom, Dad, or one of the kids get to pull out the scroll and find out what Christmas Tradition we will do that day.  Some are big, (like seeing the lights, building a snowman, or going caroling) and some are small, (like reading a Christmas story, having hot chocolate with marshmallows, or singing our favorite Christmas songs together.) But most importantly, we don't miss out on any of our favorite Christmas Traditions and we keep the holiday spirit in our home all month long :)

I just love Christmas!!!!   I had so much fun putting together this little Christmas Calendar and I hope you love it just as much as I do.  More importantly,  I hope this little project tutorial will help many of you out there to keep the Christmas Spirit in your home.  

And now that this Moda Bake Shop Tutorial has been published for a while, I can now post it here on my blog for your convenience ;)   So just follow along below for the full step-by-step tutorial.  And if you love it, you can get the printer friendly version here :)    

2 Flurry by Kate Spain Charm Packs
2 White Bella Solids Charm Packs
1/2 Yard of Red Snowflake Print #27089 21
1/2 Yard of  Green Snowflake Print #27089 23
1/8 Yard of Blue Snowflake Print #12
1/2 Yard of White Peppermints Print #27087 14  (binding)
1 Yard of White Christmas Print #27084 13   (backing)
Heat and Bond Lite  (some yardage and at least 35 cut 5 x 5 squares)
Red and Green ribbon.

There is one print in this picture that it turned out I didn't use -  Just FYI :)

It is easiest if you sort your charms into color coordinated piles now  (that top one of the red pile isn't really "red" but put it with that pile anyway :)  The charms with the ovals I did not use, however there are times when you can use them, I just choose to go without them.  I will mention it when they can be used.


So obviously, this project has a lot of applique in it :)  Start by grabbing your green and red charms.  Sort them into two piles of red and two piles of green that are identical to each other (there are 2 charm packs here so you will have some repeat prints in each pile).  Set one red and green pile aside to be used later.

You now should have 12 green charms and 12 red charms (yes we are still calling that green, blue, and red print a red charm).  You need to cut out 24 Christmas appliqué's for the 24 days. Half will be in red and half will be in green - see how well that works out?

Start by placing a square of Heat N Bond (texture side down) onto the wrong side of the fabric of your first charm.  Press with iron.  Now using the templates at the bottom of this tutorial, draw the image of your appliqué onto the Heat N Bond.  Lastly, Cut out the image and remove the paper side of the Heat N Bond.  Repeat this process for all 24 charm squares (I did 3 of each Christmas image).

Next you want to do the number appliqué.  I choose to do these on the Bella Solid Charm squares but if you like, you can do them on the white print flurry squares.  It is your choice.  We will do the numbers in the same fashion as the Christmas images with one big exception.  Use the template from the bottom of this tutorial of the numbers but when you draw the images, make sure you draw the numbers backwards so that when you turn the number over, it will be facing the right direction.  You can get 4-5 numbers out of each charm square.  You want to cut out the numbers one to twenty-four.

Now it's time for a little sewing.  I am sure your fingers can use the break from cutting :)  Place a Christmas Image appliqué onto a White Bella Solid Charm square and center it. You can just eyeball this.  Press the appliqué to fuse it to the charm square.  Repeat this process for all 24 Christmas image appliqué's.

Now you can move over to your sewing machine.  You will want to sew around each Christmas image appliqué to secure it to the charm square.  I choose to do a blanket stitch but you are welcome to do a straight stitch for raw edge appliqué or a zig-zag stitch.  Whichever you prefer.  I also choose black thread to really make these appliqué's pop, but once again, you do what you like :)  Repeat for all 24 squares.

So now you have your 24 appliqué charm squares and you are ready to number them. I just realized I took this picture before I actually did the blanket stitch, oops :)  Now you want to figure your layout before attaching the numbers.  I choose to alternate the green and red pattern with that "special" red being day 24.  Once you have a layout you like, you are ready to start adding numbers.  (Side note . . . I did my numbers in numerical order but you can mix them up if you prefer)

You attach the numbers the same way you did the Christmas Image appliqué's.  I found it best when layering the numbers, to completely sew around the first number before ironing on the second.  It just made less starting and stopping :)   You guessed it, Repeat for all 24.

Now you are ready to do the last set of appliqué which is the Merry Christmas banner at the bottom. Using the letters template including in the Printer Friendly Version, cut out the words "Merry Christmas" from the 1/8th of a yard of the blue snowflake print. I didn't take any pictures of this as I figure you are a natural by now :)

Move onto making the backing for the Christmas banner.  Grab 9 White Bella Solid charm squares and sew them together using a 1/4" seam allowance end to end.

Press your seams open on the banner.  Now trim off 1 3/4" off of both ends of the banner to get the appropriate size.

Now you are ready to place your appliqué.  I found it easiest to lay my ruler one inch up from the bottom of my banner as a line to place everything on.  (I did have the "y" sink down below, just don't go down to far as you have to sew a 1/4" around this)  Once you have everything placed perfectly, press to secure your appliqué.

Use your desired method of stitching to secure your appliqué to the banner.  Once again, I choose black thread to really make this pop!  Oh, and don't worry about those seam lines, you can't see them once this is quilted. And that is the end of the applique!!!


With your appliqué all done, you are ready to move on to making the flaps or pockets for your calendar  Start by finding the red or green print charm square (those you set aside earlier) that matche the Christmas image appliqué of the square you are working on.  Place the two squares right sides together.  Now pin around the edges.  Repeat for all 24 charm sets.

Now to sewing.  Use the following guide for sewing. You are leaving the opening in the top to turn the piece inside out.   Once again, you want to be 1/4" from the edge.  And make sure to backstitch at the beginning and end so your stitches don't pull out when you turn the entire thing inside out.  Repeat for all 24 :)

Now turn your flap or pocket right side out using the hole that was left in the top.  Make sure to use a pen or small pointed tool to push out all your corners and seams.  Repeat for all 24.

Tuck the raw edges under at the top (they will fold naturally) and press the entire square.  Repeat for all 24.  You can now set these aside for a little bit.  Aren't they just adorable?!


Now you are ready to make the backing that you will be attaching your flaps or pockets to.  Start by grabbing 11 charm squares out of your 'blue" pile .  This is where I choose to leave out the solid blue and the blue snowflake print from the appliquéd, just a personal choice.  You are going to cut the 11 charm square into four 2 1/2' x 2 1/2" squares.  Just cut in half vertically and then without moving the pieces, cut in half horizontally.  Repeat for all 11 charm squares and then set the squares aside.

Now you need to cut the rows to do some strip piecing for the sashing. You will be doing the next 2 sets of instructions for both the red and green yardage :)  Align the folded edge of your yardage along the 0 horizontal line on your mat.  Align your ruler up along the marks on vertial marks on the top and bottom of your mat and cut a nice straight edge to start with.  Now measure over 1 1/2", align your ruler along the top and bottom again and cut a 1 1/2" strip.


Without moving your already cut strips, keep moving over 1 1/2" until you have cut nine 1 1/2" strips.  Now align your ruler along the horizontal line at the top of your strips to trim off the selvage edge.  Repeat for the green.

Now for some strip piecing.  Strip piecing is a great way to speed things up and save time.  Take a green and red strip and place them right sides together.  Sew a 1/4" seam all the way down the side of the strip.  There is no need to pin, you can just align as you go.  If the ends don't come out perfect, no worries :)  Just keep feeding strip sets through until all 9 have been sewn.

Now clip the threads between sets and press your seams.  You can press to one side or open.

Lastly, you are going to cut your strip sets into the sashing sizes.  Start by trimming a little off the end just so you start with a nice straight line.  Now measure over 5" and cut.  You will be able to get 8 sashing pieces out of each strip set.  You need 66 sashing pieces, so cut 8 out of 8 strip pieces and 2 sashing pieces out of the final 9th strip piece.


Now that all your pieces are cut, you are ready to put your rows together.  First are your border rows.  There are 2 layouts for these and you will be doing three rows in each layout.  Notice, they look similar but the red and green are opposite.  Be careful not to mix them up :)  

Start by laying the first piece in the row onto the second piece in the row with rights sides together.  There really isn't need to pin as you are dealing with such small pieces and no seams but you can if you like.  Sew a 1/4" seam along the edge.  Continue adding on piece by piece of your row in this fashion until the row is complete.  (I found it easiest to stack up my rows so I didn't have to go back and forth a lot :)  Repeat for all 6 rows (3 sets of the 2 layouts) and then press the rows.

Next you are going to sew the background rows.  You will need 4 of these rows.  The layout is as follows.  The red and green on the ends don't matter here because you can just flip it as needed.

You will sew these 4 rows in the same fashion.  Lay your first piece of the row onto the second piece with right sides together.  Sew a 1/4" seam.  Then continue adding on piece by piece until the row is finished.  Once again, stacking helps. Repeat for all four rows and then press.

Lastly, you need to add the borders onto the Merry Christmas banner.  Now before doing this, (if you are doing the same color alteration as me) just double check that your #19 is going to coordinate with this side.  Meaning, my #19 is a green print, so I want an inner red border around it. I need to make sure that the row below has a green outer border.  Hence the Green strip closest to the M in Merry.  (If I totally just confused you just look down at the first picture under step 5 to see what I am talking about).

You attach these two row ends the same as you did your other rows.  Lay the two pieces onto the edges of the borders with right sides together.  Sew a 1/4" seam and then press.

Now all your rows are done.   You should have 1 Merry Christmas banner, 4 background rows, 3 sashing rows that start in red on top and 3 sashing rows that start with green on top.  You with me :)  Great, let's move on!!!


Okay, so now you are ready to layout your top.  Once again, double check that your appliqué prints are going to be the opposite color of your inner squares.  You can also choose to mix up the color squares if you like, so the top and bottom inner squares are green and the sides of the inner squares are red.  It looks great both ways :)  

Sew the top together the same way you pieced the rows together. Take your first row and lay it on top of your second row with right sides together.

Make sure to match each of your seams. This is of prime importance to make sure they come together nice and crisp.  Once you have pinned your seams, go ahead and pin along the rest of the row.  If you find you have some bulk from lining up those seams, go ahead and slide the bubble down and put in a horizontal pin.  This helps to get rid of that bulk but still keep nice crisp seams :)  Once you are all pinned, sew 1/4" seam along the pin line, making sure to remove pins as you go.  Press.

Now just move onto the next row.  Lay the third row onto the now sewn together first and second rows with right sides together.  Pin, sew, and press. Keep repeating until you have sewn all of your rows together.

...and here is what you should have!!!  A beautiful background just ready for those adorable little flaps or pockets.  So lets get to them now!!!


Go ahead and grab all those cute little numbered charms you set aside.  Don't they just look adorable all lined up?!!  

FOR THE FLAP - Go ahead and pin the charm square along the top of the white background square.  Sew a line across the top of the square about an 1/8" in.  This closes up the hole and secures it to the background. Remember to backstitch at the beginning and end of the line.   I choose to do a super small zig-zag stitch here instead of a straight stitch just so that it was anchored well (I know I will have little hands tugging on them).  You can do a decorative stitch, straight stitch, whatever you like :)  Once again, repeat this process for all 24 Christmas charm squares.

FOR THE POCKET - First you need to close up the hole in the top of your charms.  Sew a line across the top of each of your 24 charms keeping about an 1/8' from the edge.  Once again, you can use a decorative stitch, straight stitch, whatever you like :)  Repeat for all 24 squares.

Now you are ready to attach the pockets.  Align the pocket flap onto the background white solid.  Pin along the side edges of the pockets.  Now sew a line about 1/8" in (once again, using whatever stitch you like keeping strength of seam in mind) according to the picture below.  Remember to backstitch at the beginning and end.  Repeat for all 24 squares.

And there you have it!!!  Your Christmas Traditions Advent Calendar top is done!!!  I just love it!!!!!


So now the fun part... finishing it up!!   First you want to make your quilt sandwich.  Grab your yard of backing.  Make sure to give it a good press first (this helps to keep bubbles out of the backing).    Tape your backing down to a flat surface with wrong side up.  Then lay down your piece of batting followed by your Advent Calendar top. Having some tunes for this next part might be nice :)  

Now onto basting!!!  Start in the center and pin moving outward and smoothing as you go.  I pinned in each of the blue squares and the center of each of the background white squares.

Once your project is all basted, you are ready to quilt it.  I really had some fun with the quilting and decided to share but remember, you do what you like.  For the sashing I wanted to give a ribbon look.  I sewed the top line first and then went back and echoed the line crossing over every once and a while to create the ribbon effect.  I used white thread so when I crossed over on the blue squares it wouldn't show up much :)  Oh, and make sure not to sew any of your flaps down. They pretty much stay out of the way, but I thought it was worth mentioning :)

For the background of the banner I wanted to do something that really made the words pop!!  So, nothing pops quite like little pebbling.  And I love that it has the added benefit of looking like little snowballs!!!  It also really makes those seam lines in the background impossible to see.

Lastly, and this is optional, I wanted to repeat the images in quilting in the background squares that are on the front of the flaps or pockets.  So using a water-soluble pen and the templates from the appliqué's, I drew the image and then pebble quilted around it to make the image pop :)

Once you have your quilting done, you are ready to bind your project.  Grab your 1/2" yard of peppermint print and cut it into at least  four 2 1/2" strips.  Turn those into your binding and attach.  If you have never done a binding before there is a great tutorial here to help :)

And last, if you are doing the flaps, add a piece of ribbon to the back of each background fabric.  Once again, I just used a small zig zag stitch to ensure these were really on well.  Now you are ready to write up your Christmas Traditions.  For the scrolls I just used squares of paper about 2 x 4, you can use fancy Christmas Paper as well, that would be adorable.  Write your traditions, plan your days, and enjoy your Christmas holiday!!!

One amazing Christmas Traditions Advent Calendar perfect for keeping your family in the Christmas Spirit all month long!!!  The Calendar measures approx. 34" x 40" and will make the perfect addition to your Christmas!

I hope you have enjoyed this tutorial and if you make your own NAME Quilt I would love to see it!!  You can email me a picture at, post it to social media with #happyquiltingwithmc  or or add it to my flickr group here ;)  I can't wait to see your Christmas Traditions Advent Calendars!!!

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