Noel Paper-Pieced Quilt Block

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Christmas Ornaments from Wool Sweater

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Christmas Cookie Favorites

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Last-Minute Christmas Gifts for Kids and Adults

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Patchwork Scarf Tutorial + Giveaway

Hello, and welcome to visitors of the 12 Gifts of Christmas blog hop! Twelve sewing and quilting bloggers have joined together to share handmade holiday gift tutorials to get you ready for the season of giving. I’m very honored to be one of them! And in case you’ve been following along, you probably know that there’s a fabric giveaway at the end of this post. It’s sponsored by Mountain of the Dragon, one of my favorite online shops to browse for Echino and other designer fabrics.

Today, I’m going to be sharing how to make a reversible patchwork scarf in a zig-zag or chevron design. You’ll need a charm pack (I used Hometown by Sweetwater) and 5/8 yard of Kona white fabric.  You’ll have leftovers of both. Also, you’ll want a rotary cutter and cutting mat, your sewing machine and matching thread.

To start, open your charm pack and sort by color family. For this scarf, my strongest color groups were the reds and blues, so these are the 18 charms I used for my scarf. You could easily make two of these scarves from one charm pack, in which case you’ll want to use 1 and 1/4 yard of Kona white.

DSC_0001

Next, you’ll want to chain piece your charm squares by sewing them directly onto the white fabric, right sides together. (Use a 1/4-inch seam allowance for all stitching.) The wrong side of the charm squares will face up as you stitch, and you’ll arrange them on the white one right after the other. You’ll cut these units apart later, but chain piecing these blocks is quick and uses minimal thread.

Chain Piecing the Charm Squares
Once you have stitched along one long side of all the charm squares, flip the long white piece of fabric around and stitch the other side down to the white, so that two opposite sides of each charm are sewn down to the white, and the other sides are free. (This is where you will later cut between each charm.) After this step is completed, you’ll have a long strip of charm squares facing the white fabric, right sides together.

Note: If you’d rather not chain piece, you can still complete this step by cutting out 18 five-inch white charms squares, and sewing the left and right edges of one white square to each of your colored charm squares, with the right sides touching.

Next, you’ll cut around the perimeter of each charm square backed in white, to set it free. Measure and cut each quilt-block sandwich into two 2.5-inch halves, making sure the stitched sides are to the left and right of your cut line (not top and bottom).

Cut Apart the Blocks

Open up the new charms, which are half-and-half. Bring them to your ironing board and press the seams open.

Trim and Arrange Blocks

Trim up the blocks to 4.5-inch squares with your rotary cutter. Arrange blocks in a zig zag (keeping the color groups of blue and reds together) like the photo. Pair darker with lighter values until you get an effect you like.

Next, you’ll want to cut twelve 4.5-inch squares from white fabric. Slice these blocks diagonally, from corner to corner as shown, to make triangular inserts. These will fill in the holes around your zig zags. For two of the scarf corners (top left and bottom right), you will cut one triangle in half again (from the top point to the center of the straight edge) to create even smaller triangles.

Cut triangles, piece rows

Piece the tiny corner triangle to the corner block, and then piece the side triangles to create your first row. You will join each diagonal row in the same way (see below). Take the pieces for the next row and line them up to sew. I used my cutting mat to accurately transport the blocks from the floor to my sewing machine, making sure to keep each block facing the right way.

Piece rows together
Once all of your diagonal rows are pieced together, join the rows, making sure to iron your seams open. Iron the scarf and trim off the fabric peaks along each edge.

Next, fold the scarf in half width-wise, so that the red and blue layers are touching. Stitch around the three loose sides, leaving a 2-inch gap in both the top and bottom. Use these gaps to help you turn the long scarf right-side out.

Finish Scarf

Press scarf flat and stitch 1/8-inch from the edge of the entire perimeter to close up the gaps from earlier. This will give a nice, finished edge to your scarf.

Patchwork Scarf

Voila! Flip it to either side to coordinate with your outfit. I think this lightweight scarf would make a great gift for a parent or grandparent. As a variation, you could use yardage of any fabric, instead of using a charm pack! How fun would this design be in solids, for a Charlie Brown effect?

Fabric lovers: How about a 15% off discount at Fabricworm? Use the coupon code fw12days through the end of the blog hop!

Here’s the rest of the blog hop schedule, and each stop contains a giveaway! Winners will be announced starting Wednesday, October 26. Also, if you make any of these handmade gifts, be sure to add your photos to the 12 Gifts of Christmas Flickr Group. There’s also a $250 Fabricworm grand prize giveaway over at Ellison Lane Quilts!

Friday, October 14- Jennifer/Ellison Lane Quilts
Saturday, October 15- Ayumi/Pink Penguin
Sunday, October 16- Amy/ Lots of Pink Here
Monday, October 17- Faith/Fresh Lemons Quilts
Tuesday, October 18- Penny/Sew Take a Hike
Wednesday, October 19- Kati/From the Blue Chair
Thursday, October 20- Lee/Freshly Pieced
Friday, October 21- Elizabeth/Don’t Call Me Betsy
Saturday, October 22- Melanie/Texas Freckles
Sunday, October 23- Lindsay/Craft Buds
Monday, October 24- Amanda/A Crafty Fox
Tuesday, October 25-Vanessa/Little Big Girl Studio

 

Giveaway!

Giveaway is now closed. Congrats to Cori!

Ready to win some fabric? Enter to win a $50 gift certificate to Mountain of the Dragon fabric shop by leaving one comment on this post! You can get one extra entry if you “Like” this post on Facebook and leave a second comment.

mountain of the dragon

They have some great Japanese prints and a great Echino selection! We will choose one winner via Random.org on Wednesday, October 26. Good luck!

Free Pattern Features: Candy Corn

Lots of tutorials have been popping up lately for all things candy corn including accessories, decorations, clothing, and lots and lots of recipes! Here are some of my candy corn finds:

The Purl Bee shares a pattern for these cute treat bags.

Candy Corn Treat Bags at the Purl Bee

 

You can find the tutorial for this hat, dress and treat bag at So You Think You’re Crafty.

Candy Corn Costume at So You Think You're Crafty

 

At Ideas Materialized, you can find the pattern to knit these candy corn hats.

Knit Candy Corn Hat at Ideas Materialized

 

At Tatertots and Jello is the tutorial for Candy Corn Bunting.

Candy Corn Bunting at Tatertots and Jello

 

And I couldn’t help but include one recipe! The recipe for these Candy Corn Macarons is at Barbara Bakes.

Candy Corn Macarons at Barbara Bakes

 

Don’t forget to check out our Giveaways Roundup and enter one of the many current giveaways listed!

 

Jack-o’-Lantern Shirt Stencils

Looking to add some Halloween fun to your family’s wardrobe? Here’s a shirt idea for either you or your kids to make. It would also be a fun project for a kid’s Halloween party!

I’ve put together a free 2-page PDF you can download here. It includes a variety of eyes, mouths and noses that you can print onto cardstock and cut apart and use as stencils. Kids can rearrange the parts to create a unique jack-o’-lantern face.

After the face is picked out cut out the image with an Xacto knife (or you can cut them all ahead of time if it’s for a party).

Place your stencil either directly on a shirt or on a scrap of orange fabric. For a scrap of fabric, orange knit would be ideal since you can leave the raw edges and it won’t fray. I couldn’t find orange knit so I used cotton and then hemmed under the edges. Paint the face onto the fabric with fabric paint.

If you stenciled onto a piece of fabric, after the paint dries you can either hand stitch or machine stitch the fabric to a shirt. I like to use loose stitches so I can easily pull out the threads and remove the pumpkin face after Halloween so my son can keep wearing the shirt. Here he is in the final product, being bribed with some candy to sit still for a minute!

For more information about stencils, visit this post I did in the past.

Pin It

Etsy Tips: Inspiration, Giving Back + Holiday Prep

Ashley Carter is the Etsypreneur behind two shops, a handmade store and a modern fabric shop. She also blogs about the creative life at My Little Sunshine. Let’s learn a little more about Ashley and her handmade business!

Lace Rosette Headband

Ashley, when did you start blogging and selling from your Etsy stores? Did one of these inspire the other?

I started blogging and selling on Etsy around the same time…about 2.5 years ago, however, I kept them very separate from each other for a long time, blogging was kind of my family updated and Etsy was my crafty outlet.  It wasn’t until 6 months ago that I finally let them come together under the same name and root of inspiration, and renamed my shop and blog, My Little Sunshine.

Do you have a particular way to find inspiration for new products handmade store?

I don’t have a system or way of being inspired. It mostly happens organically.  I see something pretty in a shop window or magazine, I see the seasons changing and want to capture it’s beauty, or my eye is drawn to a particular fabric or object and my mind just shoots off with ideas from there!

Windswept Bag in Fields of Green

I read that part of your profits go to a non-profit organization. Can you tell me a little more about this and how you decided to get involved?

Gladly!  15% off the profits from My Little Sunshine goes to a ministry called Heartline in Haiti. This organization does so much to support women and children in Haiti, but the aspect that I am involved with is one that for obvious reasons is near to my heart.  My Little Sunshine supports a program at Heartline that teaches women to sew.  The idea is to teach them a skill and business practices in order to equip them to be able to make a living for themselves and their families.  For many women it is a second chance, a new beginning.

Heartline Haiti collage

Do you have any tips for other Etsy sellers on preparing for the holiday season?

Be uniquely YOU!  Take time to sit and brainstorm fun gift ideas for the holidays, what are things that you would be buying for the holiday season?  Colorways for the holidays? Affordability always goes a long way, especially during this time of year.  Brainstorm ways to offer attractive pricing, but don’t sell yourself and your skills short!

Scalloped Lace Clutch

What do you do when you’re not sewing or blogging?
My husband and I are always on the go, being a military family there is never a dull moment!  I enjoy long walks with my hubby and our pup, Bob.  We do a lot of traveling and exploring of new places and things and like to entertain friends and family-we get lots of visitors!

Ashley Carter, My Little Sunshine

Thanks Ashley! Make sure to check out her blog My Little Sunshine and her shops here and a here.

Review: Stitch Craft Create Magazine + Winner

Stitch Craft Create

If you love playing with buttons, fabric, paper and found objects, the pages of Stitch Craft Create magazine will be a welcome retreat for the senses. The premier issue of this magazine releases today, October 18th! It’s themed around the holidays, which is the perfect setting for creative gift ideas and wrapping trends like those featured on the cover.

Remember these handcrafted beauties from our Q&A with Shannon Miller last week? After hearing about all the preparation that goes into starting a new magazine from scratch, I was so excited to preview an advance copy last week! I’d actually read about this magazine on a couple other blogs, and you can tell that each of the contributors is especially grateful to be featured here. From cover to cover, the magazine is filled with fresh, holiday inspiration.

Isn’t it fun to make crafty things for a fellow crafter? If you’re involved in a creative group like a quilting bee and are looking for holiday gifts, there are lots of ideas in this issue for handmade collections (like the color jars, below) that are so beautiful, they’ll produce more handmade gifts! But they are actually pretty enough to just sit out on the table.

Although I love paper crafts and can often be found pinning creative gift-wrap ideas, I am most inspired by creative sewing projects. And the variety of fabric crafts in Stitch Craft Create does not disappoint.

Favorites include the Winter Mint Jersey Shag Pillows from Vanessa Christenson of V and Co. and the Felt Flowers Fabric Wreath by Danielle Burkleo of Take Heart.

Photo: V and Co.

When I interviewed editor Shannon Miller about the new magazine, she explained that the projects were tied together with a color palette of a “fresh, vintage-inspired collection of mint green, light blue, red with lots of white and touches of golden yellow.” The color scheme is very fresh, and makes me want to bypass fall and head straight to winter. And that NEVER happens.

The variety of projects inside ranges from holiday decorating to papercrafts, sewing and embroidery, entertaining and party ideas, yarn crafts, handmade gifts, accessories and packaging ideas. It’s enough to interest a variety of multi-crafters without scaring anyone away with too-technical projects. Overall, I’m very hopeful that this magazine makes it to issue number two (which will depend on initial response to newsstand sales and online orders), because I’d love to become a subscriber.

Craft Supplies Winner!

Out of 566 entries (wow), the winner of a copy of Stitch Craft Create magazine plus a bundle of crafting supplies is…

Entry #144, Liz Taylor! Congrats Liz, and please check your e-mail!

If you’d like to snag a copy, the magazine releases to craft stores TODAY, October 18. Or you can order a copy online right here. Thanks for all of your entries and the feedback on Rafflecopter.

Fall Treats: Fresh Picks for Sunday, 10.16.11

With trick or treating just around the corner, you might need some little treats for yourself, your home or the kids. Check out this week’s fresh picks for some fall inspiration!

Bow Bookmarks

Short and Sweet: Treat someone special to these handmade bow bookmarks, in soft fall hues. Get the tutorial from Allison at Little Lovelies!

Banana Sushi

Surprising Snack: Steph from The Silly Pearl guest posts at Multiples in the Kitchen to show off her version of Banana Sushi. It’s a snack that kids can easily make with you.

Cheap Candly Upgrade

Light Me Up: Sometimes it’s the little things that make a home, like this cheap candle makeover from Raechel at Finding my Feet.

Lollipop Topiary

Trick or Treat: Stacy shares a simple tutorial for a lollipop topiary at her blog She’s Kinda Crafty. What a perfect way to pass out candy for trick or treaters.

Mummy Lollipops

Come to Mummy: Here’s another fun way to pass out lollipops for trick or treaters or classmates. Japanese masking tape plus flat lollipops make these spooky sweet Mummy Lollipops. Get the tutorial from Jessica at Zakka Life.

12 Gifts of Christmas Blog Hop

You should also check out our Giveaways Roundup and enter one of the 24 current giveaways listed. There’s even a giveaway for $250 to Fabricworm and 11 other fabric prizes!

 

Thanks for checking out this week’s Fresh Picks!
Weekly Giveaways Linky
| Submit Your Project

 

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