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Wishing you a wonderful Christmas full of joy, peace, love and happiness.

If you celebrate any other Winter Holidays, I still wish you joy, peace, love and happiness.

Take a break from your quilting and enjoy the day, enjoy your family, enjoy your friends and be thankful for the life you have.

Merry Christmas everyone! 

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I am hoping that as we approach the Christmas holiday, that you are calm, relaxed, and everything is under control.

If you are anything like me, that is all a dream and I am in almost panic mode because there is still way too MANY things to do!!

Do you have some orphan quilt blocks or other quilted fabric laying around? If so, you are half way done with making the gifts I have listed below

Click on any photo for a larger view


Practically Painless Pillows – Who doesn’t love pillows? And, if you have some orphan quilt blocks, half of your work is done! You don’t even have to quilt the blocks! I have figured out how to make perfect pillows, every time, including an easy way to put a zipper in the back of the pillow!

For Pillows Class details Click Here

 


Table Runners are always a great gift! Above is one I made a few years ago for my sister. She LOVES it!! I quilted this one with free hand feathers, but you can quilt ANY design you want!

For instructions on how to make this table runner Click Here

For instructions on how to make the same table runner, but quilted with Feathered Hearts Click Here


Cup Cozies are another great gift idea. If you have some already quilted fabric – maybe from some practice pieces – you can make these Cup Cozies in a snap!!

Also included is a recipe for home made Peppermint Mocha!

For details Click Here

 

 


One last quick gift!

Mug Rugs are great gifts for the coffee or tea drinker! You can make a TON of these really quickly.

I used free hand feathered hearts, but you can do any kind of quilt design. Or, if you have quilted fabric – maybe left over from the cup cozies above – you can make these!

For an even quicker finish, use a pinking shear and cut around the edges of the mug rug instead of binding them!

For step by step instructions on how to make the Mug Rugs Click Here


I hope these last minute gift ideas will help you in your last minute holiday preparations!

PS – I still have to put the binding on a couple of quilts!

MERRY CHRISTMAS and a HAPPY NEW YEAR to you and your family!

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Along with being an “obsessed” quilter, I am also an avid knitter! I always take my knitting with me, which is what I did when I visited with my family in the Midwest (Northern Illinois) over the Thanksgiving holiday.

While I was there, I knitted 2 Santa Hats and a Candy Cane Scarf along with a Seahawks color cowl. I had a LOT of knitting time, which was wonderful!!!

I posted photos of the Santa Hat and the Candy Cane scarf to a knitting Facebook group (Addicted to Knitting – I highly recommend joining this group if you are a knitter) and people were requesting the pattern for them.

When I made the hat and scarf, I “winged it” and made up the pattern as I went along. I have written up the instructions and they are below. I also have a PDF of the instructions which you can download by Clicking Here

I hope you enjoy these instructions and if you make a Santa Hat or two or the Candy Cane Scarf, send photos and I will post them here.

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Knitted Santa Hat and Candy Cane Scarf

For PDF instructions Santa Hat and Scarf

Click on any photo for a larger view. For more photos go to the end of this post

The following directions are somewhat generic and almost a recipe for creating these items. These instructions have not been tested or tech edited. If you see any mistakes or problem, please let me know. My email is at the end of the instructions.

Note – the shape of the scarf in the photo is a little (???) wonky. I was working with several different increases / decreases until I got the shape I wanted. I am working on a new sample and will add a new photo when it is finished.

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The red and the white yarn is— I Love This Yarn, from Hobby Lobby. It is acrylic and a worsted weight.

The fuzzy yarn (at the top of the ribbing on the hat and is the white yarn in the center of the red section of the scarf) is also from Hobby Lobby and it is called Yarn Bee, Snuggle Up. This yarn is optional.

Here is a link to the Snuggle Up yarn

https://www.hobbylobby.com/Yarn-Needle-Art/Yarn/White-Yarn-Bee-Snuggle-Up-Yarn/p/80843875

Size 8 needles. If you want the hat ribbing to be a bit tighter, use size 7 or 6 needles. The hat is knit in the round, you will need circular needles and / or double pointed needles for the crown. The scarf is knit flat on size 8 needles.

Stitch markers, purchased pom pom or yarn pom pom.

Santa Hat

I don’t know the exact gauge or size – I gifted the hat before I decided to write up the instructions. The hat I knit fit an adults head. My gauge was about 5 stitches per inch in stockinette stitch. Again, I don’t know for sure.

If you want a hat calculator which has a lot of different sizes and yarn gauges, I would recommend visiting –

http://www.earthguild.com/products/knitcroc/marypat/hatcalc.htm

Here are the instructions I used –

With the white yarn using circular needles, cast on 80 stitches, join stitches and work in K2, P2 ribbing for 2 – 3 inches.
Note: I used size 7 needles for the ribbing.

If you are using the Snuggle Up yarn, knit 4 rounds. If you are not using the Snuggle Up yarn change to the red yarn.

Change to the red yarn and work in stocking stitch (knit each row) for about 3 inches.

Begin decreases. Knit 20 stitches, place a marker. Repeat 3 more times. Use a different marker to note the beginning of the round.

Next round – K2 together, knit to marker. Repeat 3 more times. Four stitches decreased.

Knit 5 rounds.

Continue to decrease 4 stitches every sixth round until there are 8 stitches left.

Leave a yarn tail and cut yarn. Thread yarn onto a tapestry needle and put stitches onto the yarn tail and pull tight and secure.

Attach a purchased pom pom (which is what I did. I got my pom pom at Hobby Lobby) or make a pom pom with white yarn and attach.

Weave in all end and wear proudly!

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Candy Cane Scarf

Size 8 needles, white and red worsted weight yarn. Optional white Snuggle Up yarn. The scarf is knit flat in Garter Stitch (knit each row)

Gauge is not important. Scarf length is about 50 – 60 inches or desired length.

Stitches

K – knit
S1P – slip 1 stitch as if to purl. Doing this at the start of each row makes a neat and flexible edge.
SKPO – slip 1 stitch, knit the next stitch, pass the slipped stitch over the knitted stitch. One stitch deceased.
YO – yarn over
TBL – knit through the back loop of the stitch. This is done over the yarn over stitch in the previous row to “close” it up. I feel that this makes a more “flexible” increase.

There are three sections to this scarf – the increase section, the work even section and the decrease section.

Stitching sequence for the Candy Cane Stripes are on the next page.

With white yarn, Cast on 5 stitches –

—————————-
Set up rows

Set up Row 1 – S1P, K1, YO, K to end.
Set up Row 2 – S1P, SKPO, K to end.
Begin Increase Section

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Increase Section instructions

Row 1 – S1P, K1, YO, K to end.
Row 2 – S1P, SKPO, YO, K to end. (1 stitch increased)
Row 3 – S1P, K1, YO, K to last 3 stiches, TBL (of the YO in the previous row) K2.
Row 4 – S1P, SKPO, K to end.

Notes: You will be increasing 1 stitch every 4 rows. I recommend putting a marker to indicate the right side of your work and to indicate the YO edge.

Repeat the 4 rows above until you have 45 stitches on your needle.

If desired, measure your scarf along the YO edge. It should be about 28 (+/-) inches long.

Note: This measurement will be about the same for the Decrease Section.

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Work Even Section

Row 1 – S1P, K1, YO, K to end.
Row 2 – S1P, SKPO, K to end.

Repeat these two rows until your scarf measures about 30 – 32 inches (+/-) or desired length, from cast on edge. Begin working the Decrease Section

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Decrease Section

Row 1 – S1P, K1, YO, K to end.
Row 2 – S1P, SKPO, SKPO, K to end. (1 stitch decreased)
Row 3 – S1P, K1, YO, K to last 3 stiches, TBL (of the YO in the previous row) K2.
Row 4 – S1P, SKPO, K to end.

Notes: You will be decreasing 1 stitch every 4 rows.

Repeat the 4 rows above until you have 5 stitches on your needle.

K 2 rows then bind off and weave in ends. Block lightly if needed.

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Color strips for the Candy Cane Stripes

Note: I began this sequence after the set up rows.

Work 28 rows (14 ridges) in white yarn
Work 6 rows (3 ridges) in red yarn
Work 2 rows (1 ridge) in white yarn or the Snuggle Up yarn
Work 6 rows (3 ridges) in red yarn

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I hope you enjoy these patterns.

If you have any questions about them or need more information, please contact me
at longarmu@aol.com

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As promised, here are some photos – Click on any photo for a larger view

I gifted the hat and scarf to my Daughter-in-Law, Reesia Roth and here she is modeling them.

And she wore them when she put the kids on the school bus this morning.

While I was in Northern Illinois, I made two Santa Hats. Before I left, I got photos of both my Mom and Dad wearing the hats! They look so festive!

Here is my Mom, 88 years young!

And here is my Dad, 92 years young!

And here they are together! In October they celebrated their 69th Anniversary!!!

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My oh my! It has been a while since I have posted to my blog! I have been busy the last few months, I have been traveling, visiting family, designing quilts, making quilts and of course quilting quilts! (That is a lot of “Q” words!)

Here is my latest customer quilt. Karla did a wonderful job of piecing this Batik Log Cabin quilt. This quilt is HUGE! It is 110 x 132 inches and each block is 22 inches square!

It is so huge that I could only photograph half of the quilt as it is hanging on my backyard clothesline!

Click on any photo for a larger view

The colors of the fabrics are fabulous and I love the center of each block (which is 10 inches square!) I used NINE different colors of high sheen polyester thread. Yes, it does take time to change each color, but it is worth it!! Here are the threads!

Here is the quilting on the blocks –

The photo is in a large pixel format. Please enlarge the photo to see the quilting detail an the thread colors! I quilted feathers along the diagonal from the corners to the middle of the block, stopping the feathers at the edge of the center block. Where the colors of the fabric change in the corners, I changed the colors of the thread. I love the overall texture that the feathers give the quilt.

Then I quilted the centers individually, following the lines of the printed design in the center block and filled in around the center with echo quilting and ribbon stipple.

Here is a photo of another block, in a large pixel format. I hope you can see the detail of the quilting.

It is amazing how a simple Log Cabin quilt can be changed / adapted to become a fabulous quilt!

 

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A few days ago I posted photos of my Patriotic Star quilt block and I have had several requests for the instructions on how to make this block. I have written out the instructions for both the Patriotic Star quilt block and the instructions on how to make the table runner.

You can view and save these instructions as a pdf file by clicking on the highlighted text Patriotic-Stars-Pattern

I have also put together a photo tutorial on how to construct this block. Note: These instructions are photo intensive and I have the photos at a small size so more can fit on the screen. Click on any photo for a larger view.

Fabrics

1 Fat Quarter or equivalent of the fabrics listed below will make 1 Patriotic Star block, plus a few more!

Blue Star fabric, Red Star fabric, Red and White striped fabric, OR solid red and solid white fabric to make your own striped fabric.
Background fabric – 1 Fat Quarter or equivalent

Refer to the PDF file (see above) for the cutting dimensions.

The piecing instructions for the Star Points are written (and illustrated below) so that you don’t have to use any special piecing rulers.

NOTE: For a great red / white wavy striped fabric, I recommend visiting the Quilted Dragon  website.  (www.quilteddragon.com) She is a quilting friend and has great fabric Click on the link to go directly to the fabric  Red & White Striped Fabric 

Tools

If you would prefer use special piecing rulers to make the elongated triangles that are used in the Patriotic Star Block, I recommend the following:

Peaky & Spike Templates by Marti Michelle
http://www.FromMarti.com

Tri-Recs Tool from EZ Quilting

These template sets should be available at your local quilt shop.


Star Center – Pieced Strips

Take the 1 inch x 2-1/2 inch pieces of the Solid Red and Solid White fabrics and stitch them together along the long edges. Press to one side.

 

 

 


Take the 1 inch x 4-1/2 inch pieces of the Solid Red and Solid White fabrics and stitch them together along the long edges. Press to one side.

 

 


Take the 2-1/2 x 2-1/2 inch piece of the Blue Star fabric and the two (sewn) striped pieces and place them EXACTLY as shown.

Stitch these pieces together like a 4-Patch and press as desired.

 

 


The completed Star Center block is shown. This piece should measure 4-1/2 x 4-1/2 inches square, including seam allowances.

Make 1 Star Center for each block you are making.

 

 

 


Star Center – Striped Fabric

If you are using Red and White striped fabric, place the pieces a shown in the photo at the far left. Stitch together like a 4-Patch to form the Star Center. Press as desired.  This piece should measure 4-1/2 x 4-1/2 inches square, including seam allowances.

Make 1 Star Center for each block you are making.

 


Star Points – Using Templates/Rulers

If you are using piecing templates/rulers, follow the directions to make the following 4-1/2 inch square Star Point blocks.

For EACH Patriotic Star Block you will need the following –

1 – Star Point with Blue fabric on the left and Red fabric on the right. (See upper left)

1 – Star Point with Red fabric on the left and Blue fabric on the right. (See upper right)

2 – Star Points with Red fabric on the left and Red fabric on the right. (See bottom left and right)

If you are NOT using piecing templates/rulers, go to the next section.

 


Star Points – without rulers

On a padded surface, WRONG sides up, pin OPPOSITE corners of 2 – 4-1/2 x 2-1/2 inch Star Point fabric EXACTLY as shown in the photo.

Note: – I like to use a padded and gridded ironing pad or a folded terry towel on top of my ironing board. Yes, I know that my ironing mat is a little (??) grubby. I use it quite a lot with my piecing!

Start with the Red Star fabric to make the Star Points.

 


Take the “flaps” that were to the inside, and fold them out as shown at the right. Make sure that the fold that is being created is along a long straight line. The RIGHT side of the fabric is on the top.

Press to make a crease line along the fold line. You now have right and left leaning long triangle pieces.

Your Star Points should look EXACTLY like the photos at the left.

 


Remove the pins and re-position the (new) long triangles as shown at the right.

DO NOT TRIM YET!!

 

 


Take a light 4-1/2 inch fabric square and position ONE Star Point as show at the right. Make sure that the lower (straight) corner of the triangle matches the same corner of the background square.

 

 

 


Carefully open the Star Point and place a pin or two on the “under flap” of fabric.

Instead of pins, use fabric glue stick or similar product to hold in place

Stitch just inside of the fold line.

 


Fold the Star Point back into position and make sure it is lined up properly. When satisfied with the placement of the triangle, trim the excess under flap and background fabric to 1/4 inch from the seam.

If desired, press the diagonal seam OPEN!

The “open” seam make quilting MUCH easier!

 


Place the remaining Star Point on the 4-1/2 inch background square exactly as shown in the photo. Make sure that the lower (straight) corner of the triangle matches the same corner of the background square.

 

 

 


Carefully open the Star Point and place a pin or two on the “under flap” of fabric.

Instead of pins, use fabric glue stick or similar product to hold in place

Stitch just inside of the fold line.

 

 


Fold the Star Point back into position and make sure it is lined up properly. When satisfied with the placement of the triangle, trim the excess under flap and background fabric to 1/4 inch from the seam.

If desired, press the diagonal seam OPEN!

 

 


The Red Star fabric Star Point Unit is now completed! When finished, the Star Point Unit should measure 4-1/2 inches square, which includes seam allowances.

Make a total of 2 Red Star fabric Star Point Units for each block.

 

 


Then make –

1 – Star Point with Blue fabric on the left and Red fabric on the right.

1 – Star Point with Red fabric on the left and Blue fabric on the right.

 

 


Putting the Patriotic Star Block Together

Place the Star Center, the 4-1/2 inch square Background Corner pieces and the Star Points EXACTLY as shown in the photo to form the Patriotic Star Block.

Stitch the block together and press as desired.

 

 


The completed Patriotic Star Block should measure 12-1/2 inches square, including seam allowances.

Here are two blocks, the one at the left has the pieced stripes in the Star Center and the block on the right has the striped (printed) fabric in the Star Center.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


I hope you enjoy making the Patriotic Star Quilt Block and use it in your projects.

Here is the link to the PDF file for the Patriotic Star Table Runner Patriotic-Stars-Pattern  which includes the instructions on how to piece the Star Points without templates or special rulers.

Please feel free to leave a comment.

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Earlier today I posted to this blog, step by step photo instructions on how to make an easy zippered pouch. Somehow, when I was trying to upload the WordPress app to my new smart phone, I  DELETED that post!! Don’t ask me how I did that, I have absolutely NO idea how that happened.

Fortunately, I was able to selvage the original post and here it is again. I apologize for this and this is where I can say I both Love and Hate technology!!!


Easy Zippered Pouch

A belated Happy New Year to Everyone! I hope that 2017 is wonderful for you and your family!

I have been SO busy the last few months that I have not had a chance to post to any blog. Now that things have slowed down slightly, I can finally “get to posting!”

For Christmas, I made the Grandkids these simple, easy zippered pouches. A few years ago I began giving the Grandkids McDonald’s gift certificates as a Christmas gift. The kids love them – I’m not too sure about the parents loving them, but I am the Grandma and Grandma’s do things like this! Sometimes just to annoy their children. This is payback time! – and I like to put the gift certificates in things that I have made for them. (See my post about last year when I made all 10 Grandkids knitted socks. To see that post Click Here)

When I made the zippered pouches, I took photos of the process and I am going to show you, step by step, how I made them. Believe it or not, these zippered pouches were NOT quilted! If you wanted to quilt the fabric you can, but the zipper is bound and applied a different way. I have a unique way of doing this and I may post those instructions later on.

Below are the instructions for the Easy Zippered Pouches. Note: The instructions are photo intensive and I have the photos at a small size so more can fit on the screen. Click on any photo for a larger view.

Easy Zippered Pouch

b-zip-23

Supplies – Outside the pouch fabric, pouch lining – a fat quarter of each will make several pouches. I love to look through my stash and use larger scrap fabrics. Zipper several inches LONGER than the finished pouch, standard sewing supplies.

Finished size – you determine the size of the finished pouch. The pouch in the photos above finish about 6 inches square.


b-zip-01Cut your fabric twice as long as it is wide plus seam allowance. If you want a pouch about 6 inches square, cut your fabrics (the outer pouch fabric and the lining fabric) 6 x 12 inches, plus 1/2 inch seam allowance on all four sides. Your final fabric measurement should be about 7 x 13 inches

This is not a hard and firm number and it can be adjusted. If you wanted a bigger pouch, say 7 inches square-ish, your fabrics should be about 8 x 15 inches.

 


b-zip-02Place your zipper face up. Center and place the narrow edge of your outer pouch fabric face DOWN on top of the zipper. Make sure both ends of the zipper EXTEND well past the cut edges of the fabric. Pin in place.

 


b-zip-03Turn the zipper/pouch fabric over. Place, then pin the lining fabric, face DOWN on top of the zipper, aligned with the pouch fabric. Move the pins from the pouch fabric side to the lining side and pin all three layers together. The fabrics at this point are right sides together.


b-zip-04Using a zipper foot, stitch close to the teeth of the zipper. If desired, stitch another line close to the first line. I apologize, I used white thread for the stitching. You can barely see it in the photo!

 


b-zip-05Turn the fabrics to the right side to expose the zipper. If desired, press fabrics in place.

 

 


b-zip-06Take the bottom edge of the pouch fabric and bring it to the (top) edge of the zipper tape. When you do this, the fabric will be right sides together. Line up the edges of the fabric and pin in place along the zipper tape.

 


b-zip-07Turn this over and bring the bottom edge of the lining fabric to the (top) edge of the zipper tape. Move the pins to this side and pin the three layers in place. As you can see in the photo, the bottoms of the pouch are “hanging free” and are NOT stitched together. At this time, all the stitching is being done at the top, zipper edge of the pouch.

 


b-zip-08Using a zipper foot, stitch close to the zipper teeth. If desired, stitch another line of stitching close to the first line. Notice the gentle fold in the fabrics at the bottom.

 

 


b-zip-09Turn the fabrics right side out so that the zipper teeth are exposed. Position the zipper so there is about 1/2 – 3/4 inch of fabric ABOVE the zipper. If desired, press this fold in place. Don’t press the bottom yet.

 


b-zip-10If you open the zipper, you will see how nice the inside and the outside of the pouch looks. The edges of the zipper tape is encased in the fabric.

 

 


b-zip-11If desired, make one or two lines of top stitching along the zipper edges. Click on the photo to enlarge it to see the stitching lines. I used pink thread on the sample and you can barely see the stitching!

 


b-zip-12Cut a piece of the pouch fabric about 1-1/2 inches x 6 inches. Again, this is not a hard and fast measurement. Instead of fabric you could use ribbon or something similar. If using fabric, press in half lengthwise, WRONG sides together. Then press the cut edges to the inside about 1/4 inch or so. Fold and press again so all the raw edges are to the inside. Stitch close to the folded edges. This piece should finish about 1/2 x 6 inches or so.


b-zip-13Pin this tab in position at either the right or left edge of the pouch and pin in place. Pin only through the top two layers of fabric. See way below for the right edge placement of the tab.

 

 


b-zip-14Open the zipper about half way and turn the pouch inside out. The lining fabric will now be on the outside. Match the raw edges of the pouch and pin in place. Notice how the zipper edges at the left are positioned. Make sure the zipper is at least half way open!!!

 


b-zip-15Stitch the raw edges of the pouch together with a 1/2 inch seam. If desired, stitch a line of zig zag or 3 step zig zag in the seam allowance close to the first line of stitching. You can trim the edges of the zipper at this time, but I like to wait until a little bit later.

 


b-zip-16Let’s deal with the bottom of the pouch! I like to press the fold in the bottom of the pouch. Then I take this fold line and line it up with the side seams we just stitched. The pins in the photo show where the fold line and the seam lines come together. Yes, the pouch will be a little “poofy” because of this.

 


b-zip-17Measure in from the point about 3/4 of an inch and draw a line across the “point” of the bottom.

I used the blue, Mark B Gone, water soluble marker to make this line. Do the same thing on the other side.

 

 

 


b-zip-18On both points, stitch along this line. If desired, stitch a line of zig zag or 3 step zig zag in the point. You can trim the points away, but on something this small, I just leave it as is.

 


b-zip-19Here is another view of the pouch. The zipper has been trimmed and the points at the bottom have been stitched.

 

 

 


b-zip-20Turn the pouch inside out and – taa daa – you have a completed zippered pouch! Give it a light press and your pouch is done!

 

 


b-zip-21What if … You wanted the tab on the other side? No problem! Go through all the steps above until you get to the part where you are pinning the tab in place. Pin the tab to the RIGHT edge of the pouch and stitch it in place. Continue stitching your pouch following the instructions above and turn the completed pouch right side out.

 


b-zip-23Here is a photo of both of these pouches, one tab is on the right and the other tab is on the left.

 

 


I know that this looks like a lot of steps, but once you get started it takes about 10 minutes (maybe less) to make a pouch like this. It is also fairly easy to “assembly line” the construction if you are making several at one time.

If you make any of these pouches, please send photos. I love seeing what others can do with this basic design.

 

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Many of you know that I am a professional machine quilter and I do the quilting on other people’s quilts. I have been doing this for nearly 20 years and in that time I have had my fair share of “wonky” or bad borders on quilts.

The borders will make or break a quilt – and if the borders are not applied properly the quilt becomes hard to quilt and the results are (many times) not good, even thought I do the best I can with what I got.

I have put together a few pages on the Longarm University website about fixing wonky borders. I have included some of my thoughts about wonky borders and also comments others have made about wonky / bad borders.

To view the Wonky Borders pages Click Here 

I welcome all comments and will post them to the Longarm U Wonky Border Comments page.

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