Thanksgiving Begins My Gift Making Frenzy!

Well it’s Thanksgiving here in the States and I’m off enjoying turkey, stuffing, and all the trimmings. I hope you’re doing well and that you’re enjoying a little bit of me time catching up on blogs. Making Thanksgiving dinner can be overwhelming since my family has so many favorites I just have to make! To ease the stress, I learned a long time ago to make the turkey ahead of time.  

Wish I could say the same for my holiday gift making. <grin> It seems that I always get my best ideas for quilty gifts to make at the last minute. So I was thinking….if you’re like me, perhaps you’d like to see a list of quick gifts you could make for your holiday gift giving now instead of at the last minute.

Best of all, these projects can be made from your fabric scraps! Consider this my early Christmas present to you. Be sure to check back as I've got some new ideas I hope to work up as additional tutorials.

Last year I blogged for 12 days, posting a different gift tutorial each day.. Just click on the picture to jump to my post where I show you how to make that gift.

Day One - Three Part Fabric Pillowcase

Day One - Three Part Fabric Pillowcase

Day Two - No Sew, No Knot Fleece Blanket

Day Two - No Sew, No Knot Fleece Blanket

Day Three: Funky Fabric Picture Frames

Day Three: Funky Fabric Picture Frames

Day Four: Folded Fabric Flower Ornament

Day Four: Folded Fabric Flower Ornament

Day Five: Kitty Cat Needle Case

Day Five: Kitty Cat Needle Case

Day Six: Chalkboard Soda Can Koolie

Day Six: Chalkboard Soda Can Koolie

Day Seven: Folded Fabric Christmas Tree Ornament

Day Seven: Folded Fabric Christmas Tree Ornament

Day Eight: Insulated Fabric Wine Glass Coaster

Day Eight: Insulated Fabric Wine Glass Coaster

Day Nine: Quilted Eyeglass Case

Day Nine: Quilted Eyeglass Case

Day Ten: Fabric Luggage Tags

Day Ten: Fabric Luggage Tags

Day Eleven: Wonky Tree Mug Rugs

Day Eleven: Wonky Tree Mug Rugs

Day Twelve: Quilted Camera Strap Cover

Day Twelve: Quilted Camera Strap Cover

Thanks for stopping by and have a wonderful holiday season!

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Tell me…what's your favorite fabric gift to make?

&nbsp;  &nbsp;  I really appreciate your comments. Please leave an email address so I can thank you personally!

  I really appreciate your comments. Please leave an email address so I can thank you personally!

Goodbye and Thanks for All the Fish

Well, it's Day 13 and I'm feeling very thankful to everyone who went on this sleigh ride with me through my 12 Days of Christmas Gifts series.

The series has been a lot of fun for me, and hopefully for you too! If you missed part of the series, it's not too late--you'll find links to everything at the end of this post.

But hey, don't look so glum--even at this 11th hour, I bet you can find a quick to make gift for someone on your Christmas list.

Have a great Christmas and a wonderful quilter's New Year!

Speaking of the New Year, have I got some great surprises in store for you! One thing I'm super excited about is my first quilt along! In case you've never participated in one, a quilt along is a group of quilters working on the same quilt at the same time. A quilt along is a great way to stay motivated by asking questions, sharing tips and techniques, and posting images of your work in progress and the final result.

I can't wait to share my new pattern with you, and to see all the new quilts you'll make with it as a result. The pattern I've chosen for our quilt along is a fast makin' quilt that provides tons of design possibilities, as you'll soon see.

Right now though, my quilt along quilt is at the quilter so I can't share it with you just yet. But I can't just 't leave you hanging there, wondering what the quilt along quilt might look like! Here's a sneak peek from EQ just to whet your appetite.

I know. It looks simple and frankly, it is! But that's where the charm comes in. As I said, this deceptively simple design offers lots of room for creativity in terms of color, tone, and fabric choice, all of which we'll discuss at the start of the quilt along. The quilt also provides lots of room for creative quilting, and we'll talk about that too.

I sure hope you'll consider joining in the fun! I'll be posting more details about the quilt along soon, so keep checking back. Until then, have a great holiday!

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Day Twelve: Quilted Camera Strap Cover

I’m the picture-taker in my family. It seems I can’t go to any event—whether a party, bee meeting, quilt retreat, or other special event without wanting to take my camera along. I call myself a picture-taker and not a photographer because I’m still learning how to take good photos. Still, I have to admit that a camera feels very comfortable in my hands and that I Iove taking photos even if they don’t turn out exactly how I want.

One thing that doesn’t always feel comfortable to me is the camera strap. The darn thing seems to be designed to chaff and dig into my neck so frankly, I’m more prone to hold my camera all the time than to hang it around my neck. So when I was looking for things to feature in my 12 Days of Christmas Gifts series, I thought about my camera and how to make using it better and a camera strap cover seemed a simple project to tackle.

I started my measuring the length and width of the strap that came with my DSLR camera and came up with a plan. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Outer fabric: One 2-1/2”x20-1/2” rectangle, two 2-1/2”x2-1/4” rectangle
  • Inner fabric: One 2-1/2”x20-1/2” rectangle, two 2-1/2”x2-1/4” rectangle
  • Batting: Two 2”x23”
  • Lightweight vinyl scrap: 2-1/2”x4”

A note about these materials: I measured my camera strap from leather clasp to leather clasp, and it measured 23”.  The strap was 1-1/2” wide. Measure your camera strap and make any needed adjustments accordingly.

You can purchase the lightweight vinyl at Joanne’s, in their home-dec department. I like to keep some of this vinyl on hand for use in testing out quilting designs (you can draw on it with a dry-erase marker and lay the vinyl on your quilt to preview the design) and for marking applique placement (I copy the placement diagram on the vinyl using a permanent marker, then overlay my block to place the next applique piece). In this case, the vinyl will be used to hold an ID card in case my camera gets misplaced.

Also, the materials specify two batting strips—I wanted my camera strap extra soft and cozy, so I used two scraps of batting.

Add the contrasting ends

Sew the Inner fabric 2-1/2””x2-1/4” rectangles to either end of the Outer fabric 2-1/2”x20-1/2” rectangle. Press towards the Outer fabric.

Repeat, sewing the Outer fabric small rectangles to the Inner fabric longer rectangle. Press towards the Inner fabric.

Hem the strap ends

Fold each end of Outer fabric strip up by 1/4” and press.

Fold each end again by 1/4” and press. Sew along the folded hem to finish it.

Quilt the strap

Place the Inner fabric strip face up, and center the two batting strips on top. Pin.

Quilt the strap however you like. I simply sewed down the length of the strip several times.

Add the vinyl ID pocket

For now, you only need to sew one end of the vinyl pocket—the sides of the vinyl pocket will be sewn when the strap is sewn together.

Place the vinyl piece on the Outer fabric strip, 3” from one end. Sew this end only. The other end you’ll leave open, and the sides as I said earlier, will take care of themselves.

Sew the strap

Place the quilted Inner fabric strip on top of the Outer fabric strip, right sides facing. Pin.

Sew along both lengths of the strap, backstitching at the beginning and end of each seam.

Flip the tube right side out and press

When pressing, be careful to avoid the vinyl ID pocket.

Add your identification information

Print out your identification info and slip the print out into the vinyl pocket.

Slip the strap cover over your camera strap

Take your new strap cover out for a photo shoot. Isn’t it cool and distinctive? Doesn’t it feel comfy? I love mine!

There are quite a few people on my Christmas list who own nice cameras or will be getting one for Christmas that would love a custom camera strap cover. How about you?

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Day Eleven: Wonky Tree Block Mug Rugs

Welcome to Day 11 of my Christmas gifts series. I hope you've been enjoying the easy to make gifts I've featured every day. I know I have!

If you have a party or other gathering you are attending soon,  consider making some of the gifts featured in my series as last-minute gifts.

Today's entry is one of my favorites--mug rugs! I love making mug rugs for several reasons—one of which is that they make cute, easy to make gifts. They are also so easy to personalize.

For a Christmas party hostess gift, I recently whipped up a set of mug rugs. You can use any quilt block to make yours, but if you like these wonky trees, I can show you how I made them.

To make my wonky tree mug rugs, you’ll need:

Green fabric: Two 6” squares

White fabric: Two 6” squares

Batting and backing, cut to the same size of trimmed squares

Cut your block pieces

Lay one white square on top of one green square, both right sides up. Angle your ruler and make a cut. Gently pull the side pair away.

Make your next cut to create a tree. You can make your tree fat or skinny, as you like.

Repeat with the other set of white/green squares to create a total of four cut tree blocks (2 pairs).

Sew the left side of the tree block

Take a pair of matched green/white cut squares. Lay the left white background wedge down, right side up. Place the green tree section on top of it. Lay the tree section on the background wedge so that its top point overlaps the background by 1/4”. Pin and sew. Press to the dark.

Repeat for the other pairs, sewing and pressing.

Sew the right side of the tree block

Lay the right white background wedge on top of the green tree, pin and sew. Press to the dark.

Repeat for the other pairs.

Square up the blocks

Although a mug rug doesn’t have to be square, that’s how I like them so I squared up my blocks to 5” square. When trimming, make sure you cut at least 1/4” away from the point of your tree so it doesn’t get cut off in the seam allowance when you make the mug rugs.

Make the wonky blocks into mug rugs

Cut four backing and batting squares the same size as your trimmed blocks. In my case, I needed to cut my backing and batting into 5” squares. Then I followed the steps in my tutorial here to create the mug rugs.

I quilted my wonky tree mug rugs by quilting in the ditch around the tree, and then quilting across the tree using various decorative stitches. It was fun putting some of those stitches on my sewing machine to good use!

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