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  • Companion Fabrics & Jill's Pincushion Project!

    Using a selection of companion prints, simple pincushions can turn into bright fun on a desk or in a sewing case. This set used solids and leaner designs in the center, bordered by bright colors and intricate patterns for the ends. Using squares of about 4 inches and scraps to mix and match ranging from 1 ½ to 4 ½ by side, lay out the pieces in a bright combination. After sewing the pieces side by side, fold in half lengthwise and sew the long seam together.  Fill with crumbled walnut shells or sand.

    For step-by-step instructions check out the original post at Stitchin' Post!

    Key Takeaways:

    • Stitchin' Post is back at it again with a great pincushion project.
    • One cute stitching project involved an oblong, walnut-stuffed pin cushion, perfect for sitting beside your seeing machine.
    • The final result is a colorful, crafty gift that makes a great stocking stuffer.

    "This little pincushion is the perfect size to sit in front of your machine."

  • 5 Minute Fabric Gift Bag Tutorial

    Need a gift bag? Why not make one? This lesson by Kim of Sweet Red Poppy will teach you how to do it. It requires a sewing machine and thread and features designs from Melissa's Wonderland fabric collection. It takes you step by step through the process.

    Key Takeaways:

    • Cut out a rectangle that measures 6 x 18 inches. Use pinking shears or a pinking blade to prevent the fabric from fraying.
    • Carefully press down all sides and make sure that it is securely attached to the bag. Allow a few minutes to dry.
    • Flip the bag right side out and gently poke out the corners. Press the bag with a hot iron to get rid of any creases.

    "It requires a minimal amount of fabric and it all comes together in just under five minutes!"

  • Simple Hand Warmer Tutorial

    Making a hand warmer with simple rice and fabric is a perfect way to use up those beautiful fabric pieces you've stored away. Remember, you'll hold on to these to keep warm so choose or cut squares of fabric to approximate handful size. With the fabric inside out, stitch edges together ¾ of the way around, by hand or with a machine. You can embroider or baste in any appropriate design. Turn it right-side out through the remaining space and fill with rice and stitch the top closed. Voila! The perfect winter gift!

    Key Takeaways:

    • this craft is excellent for beginners
    • you will need some specific supplies to complete the project
    • measuring accurately and attention to detail is important

    "We love hand warmers at our house and take them with us on winter walks, caroling, and even slide them into our packets when we are out playing in the snow."

    Check out the entire tutorial here!

  • Fabric for Traveling Quilters

    Today’s fabrics are more original and innovative than ever; many are computer designed and digitally produced. This offers creatives working with such fabrics a lot of options for their crafts. It also encourages simple fabric souvenir collectors to go looking for interesting and stimulating swatches. Some shops have turned into tourist stops and are taking their unique locations to encourage customers.

    Key Takeaways:

    • For a recent family trip to North Carolina’s Outer Banks, Mary Kate planned to bring some hand quilting projects along to make good use of her time.
    • She ordered a quilt panel from an online shop that sells popular fabric souvenirs of vacation destinations.
    • The internet allows us to source fabric from any part of the world from the comfort of our homes, but the in-person experience of bringing a quilt memento back from your travels can be even more fulfilling.

    "Between Marsha’s concept and Brooke’s artwork, they came up with a design that they print through Spoonflower and sell directly to customers."

    Read more here!

  • Flawless Flying Geese: a flip-and-trim technique

    If you've ever tried sewing flying geese quilt patterns it's easy to find that they don't line up. The key to keeping them perfectly squared is to sew and fold onto the face and then flip it over. Any hanging edging should be carefully trimmed to bring it in line with the back fabric. It seems like a simple technique but it's actually ingenious since a little prep on each block will result in perfectly lined up geese when you're ready to apply to the pattern. Carol Hopkins shows exactly how in a video taken at the Quilt Market.

    Key Takeaways:

    • Flying-geese units are a fun addition to quiltmaking, and there are lots of ways to make them
    • It is important to measure and pay attention to details, as a single misstep can ruin the quilt
    • Use small scissors to trim each piece carefully

    "At spring Quilt Market, she showed us how she gets her flying-geese units to fly flawlessly into her quilts."


  • Quilting with brown fabrics: It’s All About Brown

    "What can brown do for you?" Quilting can be fun and therapeutic. It's enjoyable to make something useful and beautiful. Why not enjoy the tranquility further by working with browns for a Fall quilt? Browns look nice and go with many styles of decor so are a good choice. There are many shades of brown as well, so you should be able to find something you like.

    Check out QuiltMaker.com's article on quilting with browns!

    Key Takeaways:

    • Not many quilts use brown in them.
    • Anissa Arnold's quilts all used brown and the were rich and earthy.
    • Brown can be a very useful color in your quilt-making color pallet.

    "Brown just doesn’t seem to add color to a quilt like other colors do."

  • Saturday Morning Quilt Break: Thrift Store Treasures

    You can find great things at thrift stores. You can find some pretty crazy ones too! Quilts are always things to treasure because someone had to sit down and make them. It takes a lot of time to do. Then there's the stories behind some of the patterns and fabrics used in a quilt. The history of a quilt can be really enjoyable learning.

    Mary Kate at quiltmaker.com jumps into some interesting things to remember when you're shopping or dropping quilts at thrift stores.

    Key Takeaways:

    • I no longer judge or begrudge anyone who chooses to part with a personal item, whether utilitarian or heirloom.
    • Always label your work since you never know where it will travel.
    • There are a variety of goods available at thrift stores, searching and looking for these goods can be half the fun.

    "If we find we only have so much space, both physical and mental, for all of the precious things we accumulate over a lifetime, then that’s something to be celebrated; we should count ourselves blessed."

  • Appliqué to the Rescue! 6 Ways to Use Appliqué in Quilting

    You might wonder what types of quilts you should use appliques in. An applique is perfect for artistic quilts or quilts with curved pieces. You can use appliques to create landscapes, add floral arrangements, and to add cute animals to a quilt. It is also useful to add big shapes that would be odd to piece into your quilt. An applique can add a world of creativity and embellishments to your quilting.

    Appliqué to the Rescue! 6 Ways to Use Appliqué in Quilting

  • How to Blanket Stitch

    A picture of a blanket stitched frame that says "M is for Maria" This is the latest in a series of useful stitch tutorials. The blanket stitch is easy to do and can be used to make beautiful personalized baby blankets. Read here about how to make your templates and use a blanket stitch to create a beautiful personalized gift - a gift that is worth waiting for.

    How to Blanket Stitch

  • Fearless Free-Motion Stitching 2 Class by Eric Drexler

    Learn how to free-motion stitch with your sewing machine, instead of having to buy an embroidery machine! Eric Drexler provides classes that start by teaching you different leaf and butterfly patterns, then goes from there. Be able to stitch patterns onto scarves, napkins, quilts, or towels. The limit is your imagination!

    Key Takeaways:

    • Some of you know that I really, really like to do free-motion quilting on my personal machine and Eric is a magician when it comes to free-motion quilting. So I’ve been watching for his latest classes.
    • The first section of Eric’s new class is 3-Dimensional Leaves. I recently saw a beautiful pin/brooch made with multiple leaves machine-embroidered on different colors of silk and organdy. With Eric’s instructions, we can make something similar without an embroidery machine.

    "With Eric’s instructions, we can make something similar without an embroidery machine"

    Check out McCalls' article for more information!

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