Monday, August 22, 2016

Cozy Christmas Sew Along - Week Two - Block Two!!

It's time for another episode of the 

I'm super excited that 
we have started making my
Cozy Christmas Quilt
If you want to join us...
to down load the FREE pattern:)

to purchase the 
Cozy Christmas 
Sew Simple Shapes

We are using 
Cozy Christmas Fabric
Check with your favorite quilt shop to purchase the fabric kit:)

Today we are making 
Block Two

Here are this weeks fabric choices for the appliques.
The kraft paper brown solid is called 
Nutmeg by Riley Blake Designs

for this block we will use 
B-1  B-2  B-4  B-15

I thought it would come in handy 
for you to have the 
fabric and interfacing 
cutting measurements for 
each appliqué piece all on one sheet.
to download the 
Cozy Christmas 
Sew Simple Shapes 
"Cutting Guide" 
and keep it with your pattern 
for easy reference every week:)

Cut all of your pieces 
using the new handy dandy 
chart as your guide!

Remember to cut a 7" square 
for your background:)
You will also need to cut a 
1" x 8" strip 
from the green gingham 
to use for the
window box in this weeks block.

All appliqué pieces are prepared
 the exact same way that 
I showed you in
my week one video 
unless otherwise shown. 
 if you want to 
refresh your memory 
before beginning:) 

Prepare Appliques
1. Trace all of the shapes onto 
your Sew-In Interfacing pieces.
2. Pair up with chosen fabric and stitch on your marked lines.
Trim an approximate 1/4" around stitching.
3. Press on the fabric side to set your stitches.
Cut an "X" in the back of each piece 
 cut an inch off the bottom 
of your chimney piece.
It doesn't need to be that long:)
4. Turn all pieces right side out
 and press from the front.
*Turn chimney piece right side out 
from the bottom open edge:)

First piece that you will
 glue or pin baste is 
the bottom of the house.

Measure 3/4" up from the bottom 
and center it
 onto the background square.

Cut a 6" piece of the 
and mark a line on your appliqué piece
 1/8" down from the top edge.
This is the line that 
you will sew your ric-rac on to.
I used a mechanical pencil 
for a thin line because 
the ric-rac is so cute and tiny!

First appliqué the bottom of the house down.
You can do this by
 hand or machine of course:)

Now fold under the edge of ric-rac 
and stitch down
 across your marked line 
like this.
Use matching thread:)

When you get to the other end...
trim off the excess ric-rac 
and fold under before finishing.

Baste the roof leaving the
 bottom edge of the ric-rac showing.
Now you have frosting 
on your cute 
little gingerbread house!

Tuck the chimney piece 
under the roof about 
1/4" from the
 top right corner of roof top.
The chimney should finish 
at about 5/8" tall:)

Now prepare your bias strip 
using the 1/2" bias tape maker.
Cut a 2 1/2" piece off 
to use for this block
 and save the other piece
 for the snowman scarf
 that we will be doing another week:)

Finish glue basting or 
pinning all appliqué pieces
 so that you can stitch them down.

Press under one end of the 
window box like this 
and pin it into place.

When you get to this part of the appliqué...
(either by machine or by hand)
use your needle or a tailors awl to 
tuck the turned edge inside before stitching...

like this:)

Continue until you get to the other end.
Trim off the excess and turn under 1/4"...

Pin it into place and continue stitching:)

Appliqué is all finished!!! 
Now to plant the
 "Cute Little Button" 
flowers and embroider the
swirly chimney smoke:)

Choose 6 of the 
tiniest buttons in the jar
 for the flowers...
and a red one that is
 a size up for the doorknob:)
I'm sewing my buttons on now 
so that you can sew 
where they are placed...
I'll probably leave them there
 during quilting because they are
 so small but you can decide
 to do yours now or after quilting:)

For the embroidery 
I used 6 strands of my
and a backstitch.
Easy Peasy!

 I also sewed my 
cute little buttons on with
 6 strands of my Aurifloss 
in matching colors...YaY!

Notice that I used either a 
cross stitch or a long stitch 
when sewing on my buttons for extra cuteness:)

Now add the borders using the little christmas bells print:)

And add your flying geese
 and half square triangles!

I really really love how this 
cute little gingerbread house 
block turned out.

I heart the added touches of 
just a few buttons 
and a little embroidery!


Next week is block three...
see you then!

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Friday, August 19, 2016

Scrappy Project Planner - Bee Organized!!!

Today the 
is taking a closer look inside my 
Scrappy Project Planner 
it's almost time to start shipping
and I'm sew excited!

to see my previous post 
about the planner when I announced it:)

These are the project pages and there are 50 of them...
50 projects!

It's so easy to organize your own personal projects and time 
because you fill in your own dates 
so that you can start using it at any time 
and as often as you want...daily or weekly:)

One section is FULL of handy dandy reference charts
and also my very favorite methods for
 piecing things like flying geese, 
half square triangles and
 quarter square triangles etc...

In it...I detail my 5 step method on 
organizing your fabrics and sewing space. 
There's a notes section too of course:)

It includes this quilt pattern...

These four patterns...

and this pattern for a total of 
6 super easy 
and fun scrappy quilt patterns 
to bust your stash:)

I've also designed lots of
 fun and useful accessories
 to go with the planner for
 ultimate and cute organizing!

Of course there will be
 a sew along and
 other fun things 
to celebrate when it gets here:) 
I'm super happy that 
it's almost time
 and we can Bee Organized together!

P.S. If you haven't already
 pre-ordered your copy:

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Monday, August 15, 2016

Cozy Christmas Sew Along - Week One - Block One!

I'm super excited about today because it's week one of my 
Cozy Christmas Sew Along!

If you are just joining us...
to read my previous post 
about all of the supplies needed:)

Each week we will do
 one block together...
and so will Cindy from

We will be making the Cozy Christmas Quilt
to download the free pattern

Using these Sew Simple Shapes...
if you don't have a set of your own:)

And my latest fabric collection:

You can find kits for the sew along 
at your favorite quilt shop:)

Today we are kicking off 
the sew along with Block One!

Here are the prints from 
Cozy Christmas that we
 will be using for the appliqué shapes.

We will be using Sew Simple Shapes
B-18  B-13  B-9  B-6

If you have had any problems with the
 interfacing that we used in the 
because it was somewhat fragile for you...
You may want to try my new 
Sew-In Interfacing 
which I developed especially for my 
Sew Simple Shapes.
It's a little thicker because
 it has a super tight
 weave to make it more sturdy.

I love it and I hope you will too!

if you want to try it!

From BOTH fabric and interfacing: 
B18 - Cut 1 - 5" square for bell
B13 - Cut 2 - 2" x 3" for bow ties
B9 - Cut 2 - 2" x 2 1/2" for bow
B6 - Cut 1 - 2 1/2" square for ringer

From fabric only:
Cut 1 - 7" square for background
Cut 1 - 1" x 8" to prepare for bias tape maker
(you will have leftover bias strip,
 save it for other blocks)

When you trace the shapes onto your interfacing... 
Don't forget to reverse ONE of the B13 pieces
 like I will be explaining in the video:)

to watch my Cozy Christmas 
Block One Video Tutorial

Okay now onto the next steps after the video:) 

I chose to hand appliqué mine.
You can do the same or 
machine appliqué if you want.
to see my post about 
how I machine appliqué:)

My appliqué is complete 
And now for the embroidery:)

I decided to use all 6 strands of my 
and a backstitch:)

I said to use 3 strands in the video
but when I actually did it...
 I thought 6 strands looked best.

to see my embroidery tutorial part 2 
on how to do a back stitch.

It's a four part series on beginning embroidery 
that I did a few years ago 
and in part two...
 I show how to do the backstitch:)

After your embroidery is complete...
PRESS your block from the back.
This protects the appliqué work on the front.
Remember not to use steam of starch... 
I'm saying this because I have found through experience 
that the background fabric will wrinkle up
 around your appliqué pieces.

After you have pressed your block...
use a 6 1/2" square ruler 
and trim your block to 6 1/2" square.

Now it's time to add the 
inner borders around your block.
Cutting and sewing instructions 
for this are in your pattern.
Keep in mind you can add 
the shortest strips to
 either the top and bottom 
or the sides first...
 it doesn't matter.

I chose this way because of the way that
 I cut my little mint and pink bell background fabric.
I wanted my bells to be right side up:)

Your block should measure 
8 1/2" square 
after the bell borders are added:)

Now it's time to add the
 pieced outer borders on your block.
Instructions are in the pattern but here
 I will show you how with close up photos.

Flying Geese 

1. Place a background square onto
 one side of the rectangle with right sides together.
Make sure to line up corner
 and all edges evenly.
Stitch from corner to corner.
Do not guess! 
Either mark your line 
or else you can use my 
2. Trim off excess about 1/4" away 
from stitching line and press open.
3. Repeat for the other side.
4. Trim and press open:)

Make four flying geese
 for each block.
When you are making 
scrappy flying geese...
this method is super easy!

Half Square Triangles:
You will get 2 half square triangles 
at the same time using this easy method.
That works out great since we will need several for this quilt:)
You just need 1 square each 
of the background and a print to make 2.
(Cutting is in your pattern)

You simply put them Right Sides Together and sew 1/4" on each side of the diagonal center.

I did not mark a line down the center of mine because I used my Seams Sew Easy.

You can see in this 4 step photo above how I sew the first seam by using the left line on my Seams Sew Easy as a guide.
It's simple because the 3 lines are exactly 1/4" apart.

For the other seam I simply do the same thing on the other side.
I now have 2 seams exactly 1/2" apart
 and centered perfectly
 down the center diagonally:)
Easy Peasy!

I cut it apart right down the center...
but don't press them open yet!

I like to square mine up BEFORE I press them open to save time on the trimming step.
Use a 2 1/2" square ruler and place the diagonal linen my stitching line like this.

Then I trim off the excess.
It helps to use a rotating mat 
for this step 
and I like this one by Sue Daley
 and use it often.

After trimming...
 I press it open and I have a
 super cute and super accurate 
2 1/2" half square triangle.
It will finish at 2" square:)

I set the other one aside 
to use later in 
another block in this quilt.

You will need to make 
8 half square triangles 
for the block.

Now stitch your block one together!
It should measure 
12 1/2" square at this point.
Use a 12 1/2" square ruler 
to trim up if needed.

When I am sewing 2 pieces together that have seams that need to line up exactly...
I like to use a fork pin by Clover.

I use it because I can pin on BOTH sides of the seam at the same time and that leaves no room for either side to slip out of place when going under the presser foot.
The Clover brand pins are
 thin enough that 
I can sew over them:)

They line up perfectly.
Easy Peasy!

These pins are traditionally used 
for sewing clothing 
but I have always used them 
for my patchwork.
Neat little trick...right?

After you finish your Cozy Bell Block
 please show it to us on 
It makes the sew along 
so much fun to see everyones 
blocks and the progress 
that they are making.

If you want to make sure 
that we all see it you will need
 to use the same hashtag 
so that it shows up on 
that hashtag page 
when it's clicked on.
For this block use the hashtag: 

Other hashtags to use
 when posting are: 

I'm so completely excited 
about this sew along and 
that we have finally started!
Thank you from the 
bottom of my heart for joining me:)

I can't wait to see your block one.
Let's do this!


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