Bonus Project! Hope Throw Pillow

Hope Applique Throw Pillow

I hope you enjoyed my Home Sweet Home mini quilt project for Baby Lock’s Sewlebrity Love of Sewing Challenge. I’ve decided to share a bonus project that I came up with, using the same fabrics leftover from my original quilt. The background on this is a blue feather print designed by Simple Simon & Co. for Riley Blake Designs, and I chose a mustard yellow solid for my applique.

This pillow reminded me of the famous quote by Emily Dickinson: “Hope is the thing with feathers that perches in the soul – and sings the tunes without the words – and never stops at all.” It’s a reminder to all of us that it’s okay to stop and breathe, and wait for tomorrow. Because there is always hope around the corner.

To make this project:

  1. Download a free PDF of the applique! Print out page 3.
  2. Follow the basic tutorial on how to use the Baby Lock Destiny II’s IQ designer to scan in your design. I’ve used a running stitch for my placement stitch and outline stitch, and a 1mm satin stitch for the outline, which gives it a shabby chic look. Use a thicker 2mm or 3mm satin stitch if you’d prefer to cover those raw edges.
  3. Need help stitching out your design on the Destiny II? I’ve made a video for that, too! Or, just use your favorite method to raw-edge applique the design onto your pillow front. I’ve used Steam-a-Seam double-sided fusible web.
  4. Add fusible fleece to the wrong side of your pillow front. Quilt if desired, or just leave it as is.
  5. Measure your pillow front, and create an envelope pillow back to fit using the method of your choice, or follow my envelope pillow back tutorial here.
  6. Before sewing the front and back together, add piping if desired. Here’s a great piping tutorial by Christine Haynes showing how to do just that.

I’ve left the dimensions off this project on purpose, so you can customize it to fit your desired hoop size, applique design or pillow form. Once you’ve made an applique throw pillow, you’ll be a pro and won’t need these directions the next time around!

Home and Hope Applique Sewing

Thank you so much for joining me this week for the challenge! Make sure to go back and check out any of the 12 projects that you might have missed for lots more inspiration and tips to help you celebrate your love of sewing!

Sewlebrity Love of Sewing Challenge

Here’s my sewing challenge posting schedule so you can follow along!
3/16: Introducing the Baby Lock Sewlebrity Love of Sewing Challenge
3/20: Video: Delivery Day + “Home Sweet Home” Mini Quilt Supply List
3/22: Video: Sewing an Applique with the Destiny II
3/24: Free Pattern for the “Home Sweet Home” Mini Quilt + Video (IQ Designer How-to)
3/28: Bonus Project! Hope Throw Pillow

Free Pattern for the “Home Sweet Home” Mini Quilt

Baby Lock Destiny II and Home Sweet Home mini quilt

Today I’m sharing the next video for my Sewlebrity Love of Sewing Challenge project, plus the free pattern for my “Home Sweet Home mini quilt. It’s a darling little mini quilt to hang in your living room, entryway, or even your sewing room! Because, let’s face it, most of us feel at home when we’re in front of the sewing machine.

In this video, I’ll demonstrate the full process I went through to make my own applique using the Destiny II’s IQ Designer, a feature which allows you to scan your own image into the sewing machine and sew it. Amazing, right?! If you are still considering whether or not to get the Destiny II, this may be a game changer for you!

I’ve included a free downloadable PDF of the appliques, so you can use your favorite method to applique the word home and the house outline onto the quilt, even if you don’t have an embroidery machine to do the fancy stitching for you! Below, you will find the complete project instructions:

Home and Hope Applique Sewing

Project: Home Sweet Home Mini Quilt

Materials:

  • 1/2 yard each* of 5 fabrics (I used assorted Riley Blake prints and solids)
  • Tear-away embroidery stabilizer
  • 8 1/2″ x 11″ sheet of double-sided fusible web for applique, like Steam-A-Seam 2
  • Free applique pattern print-out (3 pages)

* You’ll have enough extra fabric to make my Hope Throw Pillow bonus project, which I’ll share next week! A fat quarter will work for the yellow, turquoise, and gold stripe fabrics.

 

Cutting:

For applique block:

  • Cut (1) 14.25″ x 11.5″ background (or start larger for hoop, and trim down)
  • Cut applique fabric and double-sided fusible into a rectangle larger than the PDF pattern, for each the word home and the house image

For house blocks (cut 1 each in different fabrics: gold stripe, turquoise, yellow, and blue):

  • Cut (4) 7.5″ x 4″ for flying geese roof
  • Cut (4) 6″ x 5″ for house

From background (cream dot) cut:

  • (8) 4″x4″ for flying geese roof
  • (8) 1.5″ x 5″ for house blocks
  • (2) 1″ x 8.25″ for sashing between house blocks
  • (2) 2.5″ x 26.5″ for left and right borders
  • (2) 2.75″ x 18.5″ for top and bottom borders

For prairie points (gold stripe):

  • Cut 12 squares 3″ x 3″

Mini Quilt Assembly:

All seam allowances are 1/4″ unless otherwise noted.

Embroidery Hoop house

1) Hoop the stabilizer and background fabric into the 8″ x 12″ embroidery hoop. Follow along with the video for directions on using the IQ Designer to make your appliques. Remove the tear-away stabilizer and press. If you aren’t using an embroidery machine, you can use the PDF pattern to make an applique in any method of your choice. However, it won’t be nearly as fun!

Flying geese roof

2) Make the flying geese roofs. The Destiny II’s needle beam works great for this! I also fold the squares diagonally and press to mark my diagonal line before stitching.

House Blocks Tutorial

3) Add 1.5″ x 5″ sides to the house bases. Attach the roof pieces to the house blocks. Trim the blocks.

Home Mini Quilt assembly diagram

Quilt Assembly Diagram

4) Add a piece of 1″ x 8.25″ sashing between the house blocks in each row. Press the seams toward the center. Then, attach the house rows to the top and bottom of the center applique block, referring to the quilt assembly diagram above.

5) Add the left and right borders.

Prairie Points

6) Make a prairie points by folding a 3″ x 3″ square in half diagonally. Press. Fold in half diagonally again and press. Space 12 prairie points evenly on the top and bottom borders, according to the quilt assembly diagram. Baste in place 1/8″ from the edge, then sew on the top and bottom borders. Press the prairie points away from the house blocks.

Home Sweet Home mini quilt sneak peek

7) Make a quilt sandwich. Quilt as desired (I used a wide meandering design) and bind your quilt!

 

Here’s my sewing challenge posting schedule so you can follow along!
3/16: Introducing the Baby Lock Sewlebrity Love of Sewing Challenge
3/20: Delivery Day + “Home Sweet Home” Mini Quilt Supply List + Video
3/22: Sewing an Applique with the Destiny II + Video
3/24: Free Pattern for the “Home Sweet Home” Mini Quilt + Video (IQ Designer How-to)
3/28: Bonus Project! Hope Throw Pillow

 

I hope you enjoyed this free mini quilt pattern, and I hope to see you back next week for a look at the hope throw pillow project I created with the Destiny II!

Sewing an Applique on the Destiny II

Home applique design

I’ve made many applique quilts in the past, but I’ve never used an embroidery machine to do so. Let me tell you, I’m in love with the Baby Lock Destiny II for machine applique and embroidery projects! Applique in particular is so versatile, especially when you realize that you can create your own designs quickly and easily on the Destiny.

Later this week, I’ll show you how to design your own applique pattern right on the Baby Lock Destiny II, using the amazing IQ Designer. But, perhaps you’ve never sewn an applique before and need a little primer. I’ve prepped a short video to show you the basic steps needed to sew a machine applique design on your embroidery machine! I hope this gets you excited to try and create some of your own applique patterns in our next lesson!

On Friday, I’ll be back with full instructions for the Home Sweet Home mini quilt. If you’re already familiar with the IQ designer and want to get a head start on making your applique, here is a free PDF pattern to print and use for this week’s projects! Print out pages 1 and 2 for the mini quilt and page 3 for the hope throw pillow project.

Sewlebrity Love of Sewing Challenge

Here’s my sewing challenge posting schedule so you can follow along!
3/16: Introducing the Baby Lock Sewlebrity Love of Sewing Challenge
3/20: Video: Delivery Day + “Home Sweet Home” Mini Quilt Supply List
3/22: Video: Sewing an Applique with the Destiny II
3/24: Free Pattern for the “Home Sweet Home” Mini Quilt + Video (IQ Designer How-to)
3/28: Bonus Project! Hope Throw Pillow

Delivery Day! Meet the Sewing Machine of My Dreams

Baby Lock Destiny 2

It seems like just yesterday that the Baby Lock Destiny II showed up at my doorstep, but I already can’t imagine my life without it!

I made this fun little video to show you how excited I was to open my machine and start sewing with it.

 

Here are a few of my favorite features on the machine. Really, I’m blown away every time I turn it on! It has a full-color touchscreen, like a tablet. It’s so easy to use. There are videos built into the machine giving you a tutorial on how to perform certain stitches.

The IQ Designer allows you to scan in your own designs and turn them into embroidery! For my project next week, I’m going to show how this works in a video tutorial. You’re going to be amazed.

There is a large throat space with 11.25″ to the right of the needle! For quilting large or small projects, it’s like a dream come true.

The Baby Lock Destiny II has a NeedleCam™ digital camera that allows you to see your how your project will look with the applique or other stitches on it! Just pull up the camera, and you’ll see your fabric or project pop up on your screen, placing the design wherever you want it.

There’s an awesome Sensor Pen that you can use on the touch screen to edit your designs really precisely. And, get this…you can also point the sensor pen on your project to tell the Destiny where you want to start sewing!

Baby Lock Destiny II and Home Sweet Home mini quilt

If you’d like to sew along with me this week and make the Home Sweet Home mini quilt, I’m including a supplies list below. I hope you’ll join in the fun! The full pattern is coming later this week.

Home Sweet Home Mini Quilt

Supplies List:

  • 1/2 yard each of 5 fabrics for quilt front (I used assorted Riley Blake print and solid quilting cottons)
  • 1/4 yard of binding fabric
  • 5/8 yard backing fabric
  • Tear-away machine embroidery stabilizer larger than your 8″ x 12″ hoop
  • Double-sided fusible web for applique, like Steam-A-Seam 2
  • I used the Destiny II and the included 8″ x 12″ embroidery hoop

Note: You’ll have enough extra fabric to make my Hope Throw Pillow bonus project, which I’ll share on Friday! If you only have fat quarters, you can probably get by with

Sewlebrity Love of Sewing Challenge

Here’s my sewing challenge posting schedule so you can follow along!
3/16: Introducing the Baby Lock Sewlebrity Love of Sewing Challenge
3/20: Delivery Day + “Home Sweet Home” Mini Quilt Supply List + Video
3/22: Sewing an Applique with the Destiny II + Video
3/24: Free Pattern for the “Home Sweet Home” Mini Quilt + Video (IQ Designer How-to)
3/28: Bonus Project! Hope Throw Pillow

Introducing the Baby Lock Sewlebrity Love of Sewing Challenge

Baby Lock Destiny II sewing machine

Today, I have something amazing to share! My new sewing machine. It’s the Baby Lock Destiny II embroidery machine, and it does absolutely everything a sewing machine should do, and more!

  • Sewing
  • Quilting
  • Embroidery (that means machine applique, too!)

 

Sewlebrity Love of Sewing Challenge

I’m taking part in the Sewlebrity Love of Sewing Challenge, and that means I’ll be back next week with a free mini quilt pattern that was inspired by my love of sewing. One of the things I enjoy most about being a creator is the chance to teach others how to learn new techniques and make their own projects. This project will show you how to make your own applique with an embroidery machine, as well as piecing patchwork blocks and making prairie points.

My project is called “Home Sweet Home,” and I can’t wait to share it with you. Here’s a sneak peek!

Home Sweet Home mini quilt sneak peek

To learn more about the Destiny II, visit Baby Lock’s Sewlebrity Love of Sewing Challenge, chock full of project ideas and free tutorials from my friends! And I’ll be back in a few days with more on my project and some of my favorite features on the machine!

Here’s my sewing challenge posting schedule so you can follow along!
3/16: Introducing the Baby Lock Sewlebrity Love of Sewing Challenge
3/20: Delivery Day + “Home Sweet Home” Mini Quilt Supply List + Video
3/22: Sewing an Applique with the Destiny II + Video
3/24: Free Pattern for the “Home Sweet Home” Mini Quilt + Video (IQ Designer How-to)
3/28: Bonus Project! Hope Throw Pillow

How to Make Your Own Ugly Christmas Sweater

Make Ugly Christmas Sweater

Guest post by Lindsay Olsen

In the beginning, there was Great-Aunt Mabel, a woman blessed with a lot of creativity and an endless supply of yarn. What Mabel lacked in taste she made up in energy. Her nieces and nephews could always count on getting a warm, comfortable and utterly hideous sweater every Christmas.

Great-Aunt Mabel, and others like her, produced knitted monstrosities that could only be worn by the brave. Want a puffy, three-dimensional Christmas tree? Mabel had a stitch for that. Need to make sure that Rudolph’s nose is placed in a socially awkward location? Mabel’s knitting needles came with an anatomical GPS. It’s a shame she isn’t still around to wrap us all in the warm glow of holiday embarrassment.

Nowadays, the ugly Christmas sweater is a tradition to be celebrated, not worn once and hidden away in shame. If you don’t have a Great-Aunt Mabel and don’t have time to knit for yourself, there are still some options available for your Christmas party wardrobe.

Find an  ugly christmas sweater

Finding Great-Aunt Mabel

Exploring thrift shops is like searching for buried treasure. You never know what you’ll find. These stores often get donations from estates or from people who are simply cleaning out their attics. Great-Aunt Mabel’s work has been known to make an appearance. Vintage ugly Christmas sweaters can also be found in online shops and auction sites. Read the descriptions carefully to make sure the garment is the right size, and keep in mind that the actual quality and condition may not be apparent from the photos.

Tulle ugly Christmas Sweater

Starting From Scratch

The nice thing about creating a custom ugly Christmas sweater is that it doesn’t have to be a sweater at all. Any knitted top that’s heavy enough to support your decorations will do. Here are just a few of the ways to get ugly:

Artwork appliques.
This is a patch or other shape added directly to the sweater. You can draw your own designs using markers or fabric paints. Another easy option is to use iron-on transfer paper to print images you find online. Craft felt and a glue gun makes quick work of geometric designs like Christmas trees — not to mention snowpeople of either gender.

All the trimmings.
Craft stores and fabric stores are great places to find interesting and kitschy trim to add to your ugly Christmas sweater. Use string or yarn fringe to mimic icicles. For strings of ornaments, try ball fringe. The tiny yarn balls have a fuzzy texture and will sway as you move. Rickrack is an easy way to decorate a felt gingerbread house. Sequin trim adds flash and can be used to trace outlines or even woven in and around other decorations.

Light it up!
If sequins aren’t flashy enough, try battery-powered LED lights. These can be found in hobby stores or purchased online. Use strings of tiny lights as tree decorations, edging on a cottage roof or an outline around your own special sweater billboard. Larger individual lights work as noses for reindeer or for buzzed elves. Lights will need a power source and a controller. A simple pocket sewn into the lower edge of your ugly Christmas sweater will make these easy to reach.

Entering a new dimension.
Great-Aunt Mabel’s puffs and cable stitches gave her sweaters a bulky, three-dimensional look. You can do the same by adding on yarn pompoms to create Christmas trees or snowbanks. For a more sophisticated effect, try using tulle flowers. These come in a wide range of shapes and colors, and can be attached to any sweater with just a few stitches or a dab of glue. You can even use them to turn yourself into a Christmas present. Simply cover the front of the sweater with a large square of felt. Next, add a cross of wide satin ribbons. Finally, attach a cluster of tulle flowers as a bow.

make ugly christmas sweater

What to Do When Time Is Short

If you’re running short on time, searching the Web or hot-gluing elves onto your shoulder pads may not be an option. That doesn’t mean you have to attend that holiday party dressed like a civilian. Your custom ugly Christmas sweater is just a click away. Just choose your color and pattern, then add your artwork. It just shows that you can wear an ugly Christmas sweater and still be a snappy dresser – no glue gun required.

Just don’t tell Great-Aunt Mabel.

 

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