December. My favorite month of the year. A time to celebrate.
When I was a little girl, I remember believing anything that was good was going to happen to me in December.
That’s not to say that the rest of the year was bad at all, but December! December held my birthday AND Christmas AND snow, and well, that’s quite a bit for one little month to contain without bursting.
December was full of parties, and heavy snowfalls, and treats, and music, and baking. So, so, much baking.
Did I ever tell you about the year I made over 2000 sheets of gingerbread with my Grandfather?
We should talk about that sometime.
Then, I grew up, and married a man who celebrates Hanukkah. And so we celebrate that too.
My December got even more full of twinkle lights and magic.
Celebrate, lovelies. Whatever fills your heart to bursting. Celebrate that.
Cut the following:
(1) 6 1/2” linen square
(2) 6” x 1 1/2” strips
(2) 8” x 1 1/2” strips
Trace letters onto fuse able web, adhere to back of letter fabric, and cut out.
Fold linen square in half both ways and press lightly so you can see the middle lines. Use these as guides to lay out the letters. Iron on, and then stitch around. Square up to 6” square, centering the letters.
Stitch (1) 6” strip to left and right of block. Press toward strips.
Stitch (1) 8” strip to top and bottom of block. Press toward strips.
Using the pattern provided, paper piece (2) side blocks (C & D), and (2) top/bottom blocks (A & B).
Stitch left paper pieced block (D) to the left of center block, making sure the arrows are pointing up. Press toward center.
Stitch right paper pieced block (C) to the right side of center block, making sure arrows are pointing down. Press toward center.Stitch top paper pieced block (A) to top of center, making sure arrows point to the right. Press toward center.
Stitch bottom paper pieced block (B)to bottom of center, making sure arrows point to the left. Press toward center.
Download paper piecing templates and appliqué letters here.
These are the new ones (SIX new ones!), and I’ve been working on them for what feels like forever—and I’m so excited to finally show you! It’s always a little bit terrifying to show new work, so instead of being nervous, I’m going to celebrate with a discount code instead! Now through Monday night, the 2nd of December, use code SMALLBUSINESS25 for 25% off anything in my shop! Happy Thanksgiving, Happy Black Friday, Happy Small Business Saturday, Happy Cyber Monday!
First up, Twinkle!
The pattern gives instructions for 3 sizes: large throw, twin, and queen. This version here is the throw size, and isn’t it just so pretty? My new friend Melanie made this quilt for me at the last minute–she’s a rock star. It’s made from Moda’s Weave basic. I can’t get over the COLORS. Love. I’ve also got a twin and queen to show you another day. Next up, Mind the Gap!
In two sizes, baby and queen, Mind the Gap is SUCH a fun quilt to make. It is sized just right to use precuts, and goes together in a snap. The fabric shown here is Tula Pink’s Fox Field–it is so vibrant and beautiful.
Okay, next is Morocco. Remember my obsession with little tiny squares? Yep. They’re back. My friend Sue pieced this for me, and good heck, she’s pro. This thing is GORGEOUS, and crazy precise. And the best part? She’s still my friend after making it. Score.
Don’t Stop is the next pattern. This is the first pattern I have ever done in solids, and I have to say, it was pretty darn fun. My friends Stephanie and Shelly helped me with the piecing on these ones.
And finally, Cozy Cabin! I think this one might be my favorite. In fact I’m pretty sure it is. Jelly Roll friendly, and super easy to piece, I might make a few more with the Jelly Rolls I’ve been hoarding. My samples were made from Jeanean Morrison’s True Colors line for Free Spirit Fabrics (Shelly made this one:), and April Showers by Bonnie and Camille for Moda. I still get googly eyes looking at them. Seriously.
Which is your favorite new pattern? Mine just might be all of them.
The other day (or like, two months ago) on QuiltCast, Amy and I were talking about shortcuts and tools we use in our studio. I mentioned blue painter’s tape, and how I use it for making Half Square Triangles (HST) quick and easy. WITHOUT MARKING. Yes, you read that correctly. I don’t mark the back of my half square triangles. I’m a quilting rebel, what can I say. (By the way, have you been listening to QuiltCast? It’s a podcast for quilters that I’m doing with Amy Ellis of Amy’s Creative Side. We’re getting some great feedback on it, and I’d love yours. Head on over and download it and let me know what you think? xoxo)
Anyway, I figured you’d want to see this awesome little hack, because hey, it saves me a ton of time…and who really loves marking the back of HSTs anyway? *crickets*
That’s what I thought.
So get yourself some blue painter’s tape, and let’s do this thing.
Mark one line right down the middle of the tape, and another line 1/4″ away on either side, for a total of 3 lines.
Put the tape on your extension table, lining up the middle line with your needle. Be sure not to place the tape over the feed dogs.
To sew a standard HST, line up the top corner with your needle and place under your presser foot. Align the other corner with the middle line.
keeping the bottom corner on the middle line as you sew.
Sew all the way to the other corner…
set your seam, trim your excess,
press toward the dark, and VOILA!
To make 2 HSTs, simply align your top corner with your 1/4″ seam allowance (I use the edge of my patchwork foot) and the right or left line.
then rotate and repeat…
on the other side of the diagonal.
Cut between the two seams…
Set seams, press toward dark, trim up, and check it out! Two HSTs and NO marking!
Seriously people, it’s like magic. (However, it is not magic taking photos in the basement.)
On my table, the biggest HSTs I can do with this method is 3″ square–but for those of you lucky ducks who have a custom table where your machine is inset, you may be able to go even bigger. Just make sure your tape is straight out from the needle.
What do you think? Will you try my Half Square Triangle Hack? Do you have any fast and easy methods of your own? I’d love to hear them!
Also. YOU GUYS. New Patterns and a Black Friday coupon code coming tomorrow!! I’m crossing my fingers you love these new ones as much as I do.
You can’t help but be grateful when surrounded by abundance. But what about when you’re surrounded by sadness? Or heartache? Or loneliness?
Gratitude, to me, is a living, breathing thing. It can literally bring life to barren places. Fill the holes in our emotional buckets.
Counting blessings in the middle of emotional turmoil might be cliche–but I’ve often suspected that cliches are overused for a reason.
Counting blessings in the middle of happiness and wholeness, makes the moment that much sweeter.
And then of course, the act of sharing gratitude–giving thanks–expressing our appreciation to those, divine or otherwise, who have facilitated, is the capstone of it all.
Thank you. I don’t know what makes people come to my little corner of the internet, and be so kind and encouraging–but thank you. I adore sharing a little part of my world with you.
Cut the following:
(1) 7″ square linen
(2) 2” x 6 1/2” strips (navy)
(4) 2” x 9 1/2” strips (green)
(2) 2” x 12 1/2” strips (navy)
Trace the embroidery pattern on the center of the linen square. Stitch as desired. I used a running stitch for the design, and a backstitch for the word.
Square up to 6 1/2” square, centering the embroidery.
Stitch (1) 2” x 6 1/2” strip to each side of embroidered piece, pressing seams toward strips.
Stitch (1) 2” x 9 1/2” strip to top and bottom of block, pressing toward green strips.
Stitch (1) 2” x 9 1/2” strip to left and right of block, pressing toward green strips.
Stitch (1) 2” x 12 1/2” strip to top and bottom of block, pressing toward navy strips.
Download the embroidery pattern, here.