Showing posts sorted by relevance for query home for christmas. Sort by date Show all posts
Showing posts sorted by relevance for query home for christmas. Sort by date Show all posts

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Christmas in July

It's July, and it may be hot and humid in Nebraska, but it really is time to start thinking about Christmas projects. I had planned to have new patterns ready by now, but life got in the way. Funny how that happens.

So, instead of showing you brand new ideas, I've placed some my favorite holiday patterns and tutorials in this blog post so they can be more quickly located. I've tried to pick patterns in a variety of styles, sizes, and color schemes. Links are included.

Most of the patterns here can also be located under the label "Christmas" on the right hand side of this page.

For other ideas, feel free to visit my pattern page on Craftsy.

I wish you a wonderful second half of summer! 

Patterns Available for Purchase on Craftsy

Candlelight: wall hanging or table topper
Snow Family: wall hanging or table topper

Ice Skates: wall hanging or table topper

Holiday Toys, Soft Christmas Ornaments

Holiday Tabletop Trio: wall hanging or table topper

 Christmas Houses: wall hanging or table topper

Let's Rock: mug rugs

Wrapped and Ready: mug rug

Ready for Takeoff: mug rug

Holiday Rag Doll: mug rug

Winter Romance: mug rug

Tutorials on my blog:

Holiday Gift Bags

French Braid Oven Mitts

Home for Christmas: lap quilt

New Toys, Part 2: constructing the styrofoam wreath used with "Holiday Toys"

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Home For Christmas - Tutorial

It's Christmas Eve at my house and all is calm and peaceful. Christmas chores complete, no noisy children underfoot, only soft holiday music in the background, and no wet birds, thank goodness.

I pulled out this Christmas quilt a few days ago and settled it on my couch by the fireplace. Of all my quilts, this one may be my favorite.

I love the log cabin pattern and the fabrics, but most of all I love how it reminds me of my mother. It was made to remember her. She was so heartbroken after my father died and wanted only to join him. Less than two years later, on December 15, 2005, in a house beautifully decorated for the holidays, she passed away. Her prayers were answered and she had truly gone home for Christmas. That's how the quilt got it's name.

People often ask me what I did to make the flowers look like they are dancing around vines. I'm sharing the trick with you. You might consider it a Christmas gift.

The finished log cabin blocks are 9" squares. This quilt is rather long and narrow, 4 blocks wide and 6 blocks long. If I were to make it again I think I'd either make it 4 blocks by 5 blocks or 5 blocks square. There are 3 borders, 1/2", 1 1/2", and 2".

The finished dimensions are 44" x 62".

It's all about the fabric choices. It begins with a very large floral background on a light or white background. The petals have to stand out individually with lots of light colored spaces in between. Then, a green leaf print. Again, the leaves should be rather prominent, though the light background isn't required. The rest of the fabrics in the log cabin blocks should be light or rather neutral.

The fabrics I used.
Only this one block is used, throughout the quilt. The numbers on this diagram show the order in which the strips are added.

Cutting measurements for one block. Multiply the number of strips of each fabric you will need for one block by the number of blocks you choose to use.
Strip 1: 1 1/2" x 1 1/2"
Strip 2: 1 1/2" x 1 1/2"
Strip 3: 1 1/2" x 2 1/2"
Strip 4: 1 1/2" x 2 1/2"
Strip 5: 1 1/2" x 3 1/2" 
Strip 6: 1 1/2" x 3 1/2"
Strip 7: 1 1/2" x 4 1/2"
Strip 8: 1 1/2" x 4 1/2"
Strip 9: 1 1/2" x 5 1/2"
Strip 10: 1 1/2" x 5 1/2"
Strip 11: 1 1/2" x 6 1/2"
Strip 12: 1 1/2" x 6 1/2"
Strip 13: 1 1/2" x 7 1/2"
Strip 14 1 1/2" x 7 1/2"
Strip 15: 1 1/2" x 8 1/2"
Strip 16: 1 1/2" x 8 1/2"
Strip 17: 1 1/2" x 9 1/2"

This diagram shows how to assemble  the blocks. They are turned in only two directions for this quilt pattern. 

The finished layout of the blocks after being sewn together. The dancing petals don't show up in this diagram at all. The main reason is that I couldn't find a picture of poinsettia fabric that had leaves as large and a background as light as it needed to be.  The inner green computerized design is also too solid. It should have a very light background with little green showing at all - more like the fabric I actually used. 

This photo shows the borders. The red is 1/2" wide, the floral is 1 1/2" wide, and the green is 2" wide. 

Merry Christmas from my house to yours. Whether home or away from home, may your holiday be filled with joy.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Christmas in July 2015

It's the middle of July, the weather is hot and sultry, but Christmas fabrics are filling the shelves in all of the fabric stores. Those fabrics are flying off the shelves faster than they are coming in, too!

My favorite winter holiday is five months in the future, but sewing panic is already beginning to set in. Will I be ready? How many projects do I really need to make this year? What do I need for gifts? How shall I decorate? What on earth can I sew that's at least a little bit different from everything else I've done?

I'm working on new ideas for patterns that will come out later, but some of you may want to get started now. A number of my projects are new since this time last year, and I hope one of these might help you with your holiday quilting plans.

Mug Rugs: 

For easy gifts or handy table decorations, nothing beats mug rugs. They are small enough that they don't take very long to stitch, and your scrap basket will likely already contain all the scraps you will need. They can also be popped into an envelope and mailed for special greeting cards.

If you are really pressed for time, "Mitten Weather" is a perfect choice. There's no need to spend long hours sewing or shopping for fabrics. This one whips together so quickly that you can make a bunch, one for everyone using favorite color combinations.

Find 'Mitten Weather" here:

"Wrapped and Ready" is one of my favorites. If you love Santa and his elves, this is a perfect project. This whimsical little elf resting after wrapping bunches of Christmas packages is sure to delight any child - or the child in any adult.

Get "Wrapped and Ready" here:

I've blogged about the "Ice Skates" pattern twice in the past couple of weeks. This is the newest of my patterns and one of the most versatile. The pattern can be used to make a mug rug, a table topper or wall hanging, or even a pillow. Anyone who loves figure skating will appreciate this design.

Get "Ice Skates" here:

A couple of cardinal families live in the trees in my yard. They are so beautiful that I become mesmerized watching them. It's harder to see them when the trees are thick with leaves, but in the winter they stand out beautifully against the bare trees and the white snow.  A while back I made a pattern, "Four Seasons", to showcase my birds, and cardinals were on the mug rug symbolizing winter. This isn't a new pattern, but it is one of my favorites.

"Four Seasons" is found here:

Table Toppers:

Table decor can have a huge impact on the overall look of a room. Table toppers are small enough, too, that they make wonderful gifts that will be appreciated for years to come. 

This square table topper is entirely pieced and contains no applique.  "Shining Star" is easy for a beginner to piece, and since it would look fabulous in any number of color combinations, it doesn't have to be made specifically for a holiday. 

Find "Shining Star" here:

"Holiday Tabletop Trio" is the most traditional of my table decor patterns. I can't imagine preparing for Christmas without decking my house with poinsettias. Last year, in fact, I didn't have much time at all for decorating, so I put up the tree and filled the house with poinsettia plants. Nothing else seemed necessary. I used this table runner and matching place mats, and everything came together as a theme.  The pattern is actually three patterns in one: a table runner, place mats, and a small table topper.

"Holiday Tabletop Trio" can be found here:

"Snow Family Holiday" is another pattern that works on a tabletop, but I hung it on a wall. There is something warm and wonderful about a family preparing for Christmas together, but a family of snow people is both magical and fun. 

"Snow Family Holiday" is available her:

Lap Quilt: 

If you want something to snuggle up under on and cold and snowy day, "Snowball Fight" is just the thing. It can be made either in cotton quilting fabric or in flannel for extra warmth. Mine is flannel, and it's so warm and cuddly. Traditional snowball blocks make the pieced center, and colorful, wooly mittens are strung around the border like Christmas lights.

"Snowball Fight" is found here:

Wishing you wonderful early holiday sewing successes!

Monday, November 11, 2013

A Do it Yourself Christmas 2013

I just looked at the calendar and had a bit of a shock. Thanksgiving is almost on top of us and we have only six weeks left till Christmas! Where did the time go? There's so much to do, and so very little time!

I'm not the least bit interested in decorating with those expensive, but poorly made items that fly off assembly lines in some far away factory. Not only that, but for the special people in my life, I want to give gifts made by my own hands. I know I'll be be sewing right up to the very last minute, and I will definitely be visiting several of Craftsy's pattern shops to search through the fabulous ideas of some of my fellow designers.

If you are also looking for ideas, I hope you'll drop by my Craftsy shop to see what there is to see. Each of my patterns is easy to make. The piecing is simple and applique is a whiz with quick fusible web.
Just a Few of My Patterns
Ideas For Your Holiday Sewing

I've divided this blog into several very short idea sections. There are decorating ideas, projects for a few special people, and some super fast, last minute gifts. Check them out. You may find something you like. And if you can't find everything you need, do visit the shops of my fellow Craftsy designers.

Decorate Your Home

Set a pretty table, or hang a cheerful wall hanging. My pattern shop has four holiday table runners or wall hangings that make up quickly.  A free pattern, "Two Christmas Table Runners", was posted last December.

Table Runners or Wall Hangings
Scatter mug rugs everywhere. These are perfect for your small tables or your desk. They are just the right size to hold that holiday cup of cocoa and a cookie or two. Mug rugs also fit beautifully on a shelf or in a display amidst your Christmas cards.

Ready for Takeoff

Special Gifts for Special Folks

What to give the new mom? What about a pair of cute bibs and a matching burp cloth?
Elephant Walk
A new apron might be fitting for your favorite cook. This one fits all sizes. 
Coffee Break Apron

Mug Rugs for Everyone

Choose a mug rug that has personal significance for the recipient. Roll a special mug rug, put it in a pretty cup, and you'll have a very thoughtful gift.

Left: Heartthrob and Sunshine Brew  Right: Four Seasons
Several mug rugs were made specifically with children in mind. There's something to be said for having your own little snack mat. Your littles might enjoy "New Toys" or "Just Ducky".

Last Minute Gifts for Desperate Moments

This happens to all of us. You suddenly discover that you are short a gift or two at the very last moment. Don't panic!! Sew up a few of my "Zoom-zoom" coasters. 

If your gift is going to someone who sews, you can throw a mug rug kit together in minutes. Print off a pattern and cut fabric scraps for the piecing, background and border. Add a bit of trim, a spool of thread, a piece of batting, and toss everything into a pretty box. You'll have an instant gift that every sewist will appreciate.
Mug Rug Kit
May you enjoy happy holiday stitching and may all of your projects be done on time!

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Thanksgiving Already! Projects and a few "Bits and Pieces"

Thanksgiving is arriving in less than a week! 

We will be a small group this year so preparations are easy. The bird is thawing in the fridge and ingredients for everything are purchased. I'll be baking a lovely chocolate birthday cake instead of pumpkin pie. My son and both of my grandchildren have late November birthdays, so we always combine the birthday party with Thanksgiving. 

Thanksgiving is definitely under control, but I really wound up on the verge of panic over Christmas projects this week. I've taken on way too many sewing projects, but that's pretty typical for me.

Everything seems to be under control now, thank goodness - at least for the moment. Anything could happen, though, so my fingers are tightly crossed.  

All those robes!

I love my serger.  I don't use it very often, but when I need it I really need it. When the serger went on the fritz just as I was getting ready to sew the second of many Christmas robes, I was beside myself. The blade was cutting the fabric too closely and loose loops of thread were hanging off the edge of the seam allowance. Not only that, but the fabric was stretching as I stitched. I don't have time to take my machine it in to be serviced. I was sure I'd have to forget the robes for this Christmas, and I had no idea where I might store 20 yards of fleece for a year.

I tossed and turned and lost most of a night's sleep over my predicament. What on earth could I do instead of robes? The next morning I got out the instruction manual in hopes of a minor miracle. I should have done that in the first place, but I had panicked instead of thinking. Every single setting was off! The serger had been moved here and there while new blinds were being installed in my sewing room and the dials must all have been bumped. When in doubt, check the obvious!!

I'm back in business. Two of the goodness-knows-how-many fleece robes are ready to package up and number three is cut out and ready for me. I'll quit sewing these when I run out of time or when I run out of fleece, whichever comes first.

I love my new window blinds
Bits and Pieces 

I finished up the last three of the mug rugs for my daughter's office buddies a week or so ago.
This was such a fun challenge and the mug rugs are perfect holiday gifts for a great group of friends.

My daughter and I brainstormed ideas as we tried to come up with a unique set of bits and pieces to place on individual mug rugs. The first three mug rugs were pretty generic with basic hearts and flowers in favorite colors schemes. The flowers weren't going to be fitting for the rest of the crew, though. Interests are so varied. In the photos you'll find the ones for the man with three-year-old triplet boys, the one who loves fine food, the cat and dog owners, the musician, and even the gal who likes to play the slot machines.

Way last spring I promised to make a pattern when I had the new templates, and this week I wrote the pattern. It's all ready to download. The templates for the little shapes are free, and any letters can be used for the names. The letters I've used are from  my "Alphabet Soup" pattern.

Templates include itty bitty bicycles, wine and hamburger, music, slot machine, and pet prints.

Wishing all of you a wonderful Thanksgiving! 

May your turkey be juicy and may you be surrounded by those you love.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

My Daughter Wanted Something, So ...

"I have so many crochet hooks," my daughter said. "I wish I could find a case that would hold them all in order! Everything is too small, and it's such a headache to dig through the whole pile every time I want one." Then she smiled and showed me some of the lovely and fun crochet projects she's been working on for Christmas gifts.

Those might not have been her exact words, but I knew what she was really saying with that pretty smile that I can never resist. "Mom, I'm not going to ask you outright, but I really want you to make a case for my crochet hooks. Please. With sugar and cream."

Melt. Of course. Anything for my sweet daughter.

The minute I got home I headed to my sewing room and got out paper, rulers, a pencil, and a calculator. Then I sorted through my stash of fabrics and "stuff" to find what I needed.

Yes! That last little bit of tape measure fabric will do. And, it goes perfectly with this yellow and black floral that I used to make that tote and iPad holder. (For my daughter, of course.)

Oh, and here's a black button, a great zipper, and magnetic snaps. Oh, look! Skinny elastic cord! Happy, happy!

Twenty four hours later ...

As for the crochet hooks ... 

But would she like it?

There was only one way to answer that. Forget waiting till Christmas morning. I was too anxious to have her to check it out. I could alway make another, better one for her if I needed to. 

"I have something for you to look at," I said. "It's just a prototype," I said.

"What is it?" she asked, grabbing it from my hands. (Maybe I handed it to her, but grabbing sounds more interesting.) 

She immediately pulled out her crochet hooks and slipped them in the pockets. Room to spare! Then she found the little pocket and squealed! (Or, perhaps she just said something about it being perfect, but I like the idea of squealing so much better.)

"It's a prototype," I said, pulling hooks out and taking it from her. "I need to improve it for a pattern." 

"But...." Oh, those puppy dog eyes! (She really hasn't made those eyes for years, but don't those words make for a great picture?)

So, in spite of her objections, I brought the case home so I could make a pattern. I hadn't been sure about the pattern idea until I saw her reaction. Perhaps other crocheters could use something like this, too.

I changed the pocket up a bit to make it more spacious and easier to attach. I used different fabric, too. The tape measure fabric is pretty much used up, now. 

Measure, cut, mark, stitch ...

and here it is!

I hope you will like what I've done. 

Happy Stitching!!