Raw Edge Applique Tutorial

I just finished another raw edge applique project that I just love.  For the local MQG chapter we were challenged to use the Allison Glass Ex Libris butterfly motif in charcoal or white.  I decided to use the charcoal colorway.  Each circle in the panel is approximately 10″ in diameter.


I’ve been wanting to make a silhouette of a deer for a quite a while now and I thought this would be a good project for this fabric.  I had to do some piecing, but not much.  So other than the quilting, it was a quick project.  I just love how it turned out.



Thought I would share with you how I made this and the Anchored with Love pillow since the technique is the same.

You will need the following items:

  • Double-sided fusible web, paper backed on each side (I used Lite Steam-a-Seam2)
  • Quilt top
  • Fabric scraps
  • Scissors
  • Iron
  • Pattern of applique piece
  • Pencil or pen

Trace pattern onto paper on one side of fusible web.



Cut out image leaving approximately 1/4″ all the way around.


Peel off the paper from the other side of the fusible web that does not have the traced image.

Please your fabric scraps on the exposed fusible web where wanted.  Lite Steam-A-Seam2 is sticky, so it holds your fabric scraps while you work on placement, and it can repositioned as needed.  Just make sure the fabric covers all traced lines.  Once you are satisfied with where all fabric scraps are placed, press with hot iron to make permanent.  (Note that the other side of the fusible web is still backed with paper to keep it from sticking to anything else.)


Turn the applique image over and cut along the traced image to clean up the edges.



I have trimmed on all traced lines and have just the one antler left


close up


close up of head shows several fabric pieces

Peel paper off applique image and position where wanted onto quilt top and press with hot iron.


Once ironed onto fabric, the fusible web should be permanent (per the instructional sheet that comes with the fusible web product).  However, it’s always a good idea to put some sort of quilting over it just to make sure.

When I made the anchor pillow, I decided not to quilt it.  So, instead I zigzag’d along all edges of the fabric pieces.   This was probably a good decision for this project because I accidentally forgot to leave 1/4″ all the way around the fusible web before I placed the fabric scraps, so the edges are a bit more frayed than they would be otherwise.


Or you can do an all over quilt design making sure to ‘catch’ the applique as part of the quilting like I did here.


Or simply stitch 1/8″-1/4″ from edge of each applique piece.

Ta da, you’re done.  It really is super easy.  I hope you’ll give it a try and make something you love.

Deer measures approximately 9 1/4″ by 18 1/2″.  Finished project measures 17″ x 21 1/2″.  My plan is to hang this in my new mountain home.

Linking up with Finish it Friday at Crazy Mom Quilts and  Can I Get a Whoop Whoop at Confessions of a Fabric Addict




Anchored with Love

Happy 2016!  2015 was a year of many changes, some of which I haven’t seen the purpose for yet, so I’m very excited to see what 2016 brings.

I’m starting my sewing/quilting year off with a project I just love.  The two oldest grand kids just left after visiting for a week.  While they were here, they batted their little eyelashes, smiled their sweet smiles, and asked me to make a pillow for their mom.  They decided they wanted an anchor on the pillow.

So I pulled out my small scraps- blue they said.  Well after looking at the scraps we decided to use turquoise colors instead of blue.


We used various turquoise values and prints and they helped lay them out onto the traced image we had of an anchor.  And then we decided to add the heart in coral to show how much they loved their mom.  From my stash, we used a light grey print for the background and raw edged appliqued the anchor to it, and then used a dark grey solid as the border.  At the last minute I decided it needed a little something extra so I added the piping around the edges.

I love how it turned out and honestly hated to give it away.  I would be happy to have it in my house.  I just love the beach, and since we’re living in the mountains now, it made the sand, sun, and surf seem just a little closer.


Finished at 15″.  Used a 16″ pillow form.  The back is done using an envelope closure so the pillow cover can be removed and washed if needed.

Linking up with SewCanShe for Show Off Saturday

Holiday Mug Rug

I don’t know about you, but I am busy making things for the holidays.  I am working on small gifts for co-workers and friends, craft fair projects, decorations, and of course, gifts for family members.

I always try to get started earlier in the year, but it seems that inspiration doesn’t strike until the last minute and then I try to fit in more in a few weeks than is humanly possible. And…


I love being creative, and I love making things to bless people.

Yesterday afternoon, I made 36 key fobs for friends at work, at art class, and at bible study.  I love projects like this — this project is quick, easy, and a total scrap buster.  I basically, kinda, sorta followed the directions at the Pellon project site if you want to know how I made them.


Another scrap buster I recently designed and made was this mug rug.  I thought I would share it with you in case you would like to make one (or a few) for the holidays.

mug rug

You need to know how to paper piece simple designs.  I am not covering that here.  But if you would like the pattern,click here for link to the house, and click here for link to the tree.  It finishes at 6″ x 9″.

Here is one I threw together in August for a benefit craft fair. You can see that when I made mine I forgot to print the house pattern as a mirror image, so my house ended up facing the other way (oops!).  Not a big deal if you ask me.  But if you would also like your house facing the other direction, you can find that pattern here.


(P.S. – the links to the paper pieced patterns are to my google drive.  If for some reason they do not work for you, please let me know and I can send you the pattern by email)

Rett’s Truck

I have a special quilt to share with you today.  I was asked to make this quilt for a new baby of a long-time family friend.  My family has known this family since before I was born (I’m now in my late 40s) and they are still very precious friends.  I take that back… they are family, pure and simple.

Another reason this quilt is special is because I’ve never made anything like it before.  It was a huge challenge.  I honestly didn’t know where to start.  But if you’ve followed my blog for any length of time at all, you know I like challenges. It intrigued me…  So I decided to give it a try.

I was asked to make a quilt of this truck, but with a green hood.  First I had to determine what details I wanted to include and which to leave out.  I didn’t feel comfortable with including every little detail, but obviously I needed to include enough to make the truck look good.

1-FORD Truck

Then finding fabric that would work was also a bit challenging.  What values of grey would work for the metal parts versus the chrome?  I didn’t want to use metallic. And what to use for the green hood?  I really wanted to find a fabric that was green with some rust spots but ended up settling with the Michael Miller painter’s canvas green there in the middle.  In fact, I used the painter’s canvas in several grey tones as well.  I really liked the texture it provided.  Eve went fabric shopping with me.  She was a great help!  .


But, how do I actually put it together?  All my applique quilts up to now have been smaller pieces raw-edged appliqued onto a solid piece of fabric.  But in this case, the entire quilt needed to be appliqued since there wasn’t a background single piece of fabric to work with.  So, I decided I needed help.  I found a class on Craftsy called Pictorial Quilting Techniques by Wendy Butler Berns. I watched the whole class and then got busy planning the quilt.

I won’t tell you all the steps because I don’t want to give away any of Wendy’s steps, but many, many, many hours and a half-dozen glue sticks later, almost 100 pieces joined together to make this quilt . I embroidered the baby’s name onto the front license plate and added a hanging sleeve onto the back.  I am very pleased with how it turned out and so is the mom of a very sweet little one.  I heard there were tears when she opened it.  It measures 34″ x 45″ or so.  –




And I won 2nd place at the local county fair.


Linking up with Party Time at My Quilt Infatuation, Finish it Friday at Crazy Mom Quilts, Link a Finish Friday at Richard and Tanya, and Can I Get a Whoop Whoop at Confessions of a Fabric Addict

Sunday Stash

Hello friends.  It’s been so long.  I am not posting as often as I would like.  Our internet has been having issues – really I think it’s just due to living in a small town in the mountains – and it is just too painful to have to wait for things to load.  Morning aren’t too bad… late afternoons and evenings it crawls.  It seems to be working well today though so I am taking advantage of it.

I have quite a bit new fabric in my stash which is nice since my stash is still in storage and I brought almost nothing with me to work with.  First up is this Michael Miller Glitz fat-eighth bundle that I got from the Modern Quilt Guild for the Michael Miller Challenge at the upcoming QuiltCon West in Feb 2016.  These are black and white fabrics with metallic silver designs.  The goal is to feature this fabric in a quilt of any size.  I can combine it with any Michael Miller solids for the quilt top, and any Michael Miller prints on the back.  So…


I won a $50 gift certificate from Hawthorne Threads from my friend Michelle at Factotum of Arts.  With that I was able to buy these Michael Miller coordinates and matching Aurifil threads.  I picked this flowery print because it matched the honey and mint solids I picked for the front.  But, it has gold metallic accents, instead of silver.  Hmm… I’m going to have to think about this.IMG_2845

Then I won this fat quarter pack from The SewCanShe Sewcialites on Facebook.  These prints are from The Adventures line by Cori Dantini for Blend fabrics.  Aren’t they adorable?  They will make a great boy quilt.


And lastly, remember Ethel, the elephant I made that won 2nd place in an Art Gallery Fabrics challenge.  Well, this is the half-yard bundle and set of Aurifil thread I won from that.  This fabric is the Hello Bear line from Bonnie Christine.  Another great line for a boy quilt.IMG_2642

The Lord has truly blessed me with free fabric lately, so I need to find some time to make some quilts to bless others.  I don’t think I’ll get to it this month, but maybe in December.  Hahaha… who am I kidding?  It will probably be after Christmas.  Of course, I’ll share them with you when I get around to it.

Linking up with Sunday Stash at Molli Sparkles.

Too Many Projects to Count

It has been a busy week!

First, the elephant I made for the Cultivate in Fall Challenge with Art Gallery Fabrics won 2nd place.  Woo Hoo!  Thank you so much to everyone to voted.  I wouldn’t have made it that far without you.


Second, I finished a quilt that I started this past February.  Yippee!  A finish is always something to celebrate.  I can’t show it to you yet.  I’m waiting to mail it to the intended recipient. But, I’ll show it to you as soon as I can.

Stitched in Color is hosting a Primary Mosaic contest featuring Lark Cottons.  It sounded like a fun adventure.  So, I took the time to create and submit two samples.  I think it was a great idea to get us quilters to slow down and think about color, and it really was as fun as I expected.  I didn’t make it into the top 10, but I really didn’t expect to.  After I submitted my fabric choices (below), I read through the blog again and realized I didn’t get the gist of what she was looking for the first time around.  That will teach me to try to do something like this when I’m tired and trying to listen to the TV at the same time.  But that’s ok.  I still like what I picked out, and I LOVE the navy fabric with the sail boat schematic, and the blue dandelions, and the blue giraffes… Voting starts today so head on over to Rachel’s blog and vote for one of your favorites.  mosaiccdb1d9de8b5e0e62bc937c9567eca89ac2210431


I also have the front and back of the Long Star quilt for my middle son completely pieced.  It should finish to be about 70″ x 90″.  Now to iron it really good (somehow on my 2 foot portable desktop ironing board), and get my sandwich pinned together.  My plan for quilting is nothing too complicated.  I plan to straight line quilt following the lines of the diamond pieces, which is a good thing since my machine is still skipping stitches if I try to FMQ as discussed here.  I really need to get my machine serviced, but I can’t figure out when I’ll have time.  I am in the mist of too many projects at the moment.


Also, I belong to a Facebook crafting group and one of our members found out she has stage 4 breast cancer that has matastasized into her hips.  Her treatment is expected to be extensive and costly.  So, our group is having a benefit by making items to sell at a craft fair.  We are looking to make as many items as we can over the next 9 days and ship them out to one of our members that is planning to have a booth at an upcoming craft fair.  I do hope we are able to raise a sizable amount of money for her.  If you have any finished projects just hanging around that you would like to donate, please let me know.  Also, here is a link to her go fund me page.  So, for this new venture, I designed and made this paper pieced mug rug last night.  It is made entirely with scraps from my scrap bin and measures 6″ x 9″.   I plan to make a few more mug rugs, and several other items (not sure what yet) in the time we have allotted.  So, for that reason, progress on the Lone Star will likely be stalled for a little while.  (Please excuse all the strings in the photograph.  I need to bury my threads but I can’t find my little needle book.  I am blaming the cat!)


And there’s more going on.  But really, I don’t want to overwhelm you.

Linking up with

Skipping Stitches

I might actually, FINALLY, get a quilt done today.  I’ve been working on this quilt off and on for about 6 months and am ready to be done with it.  Today, I am finishing up the quilting on it, and hope to get it bound and a hanging sleeve on it by the end of the day.IMG_2422 IMG_2421

My machine hasn’t been cooperating so it has taken much longer to finish this quilt than it should have.  I have had to start and stop a million or more times because it keeps skipping stitches.  Can you see that?  It goes along fine and then it skips 2-3 stitches, and then goes along fine again, and then will skip 5 stitches.


So I would have to stop, rip it all out, and quilt it again.  And it only seems to be temperamental when I’m free motion quilting.  When I’m quilting with my walking foot, it works like an angel.  There are several common ways to try and fix this problem.

  • Change the thread – maybe the tread is cheap, worn out, old, or maybe your machine just doesn’t like a certain brand of thread
  • Change the needle — maybe it’s bent or dull, or maybe it the wrong type or size of needle for the project or the fabric
  • Clean out the fuzz — you know, all the lint that accumulates under the stitch plate
  • Rethread the machine — this can fix a whole host of problems, including bobbin vomit
  • Increase the pressure of the pressure foot — maybe the pressure foot isn’t providing enough pressure and the fabric is moving too freely
  • Adjust the tension — this probably isn’t the problem, but if nothing else works, it’s worth a try

If your machine is skipping stitches, try the steps above.  Usually one of them will fix the problem?

However, not a single one of these solutions worked for me.  I changed needles twice, I had no less than 3 different bobbin threads and 3 different top threads in the machine and they would all skip.  I knew for sure that fuzz wasn’t my problem since I clean that out daily, but I did it again for good measure.  I played around with the pressure foot pressure and the tension in a hundred different combinations.  It did seem to work better for a little while if I would switch back to stitching with the feed dogs up, stitch that way for a little while, and then go back to free motion.  But it wouldn’t fix the problem for long until it would start skipping stitches again.  I’ve heard of some people that free motion quilt with the feed dogs up, but I couldn’t figure out how to get my machine to work that way.

So, the only thing I know to do now is to get it serviced.    I sure hope that fixes the problem because it is driving me crazy.  If you have any other suggestions, I’d love to hear them.

Ethel, The Rocking Elephant

I am in LOVE with Ethel.  Not only is she made with beautiful Art Gallery fabric, but she is soft, cuddly, and so freaking adorable.


Art Gallery is sponsoring a contest using the new Cultivate line by Bonnie Christine.  This great line blends the cool colors of summer with warm fall tones.  The challenge was to use any of the prints from this line to make anything that signifies change.

We had just 2 1/2 weeks to make and submit a project for this challenge.  That’s not much time, but doable.  I was hoping to create my own pattern, but then I had the grand-monkeys for a week, and was sick for a week.  So really, I didn’t have much time as originally expected to work on this challenge.  But I love how she turned out.

I used a Huggable Pattern for the elephant.  I made up the hat and rocker, and honeyman made the rocker for me. She had her first photo shoot at the LQS, but when I took her to the park, her personality really came through.

She decided that she really liked to garden among the hosta plants.


And then she lost her rocker (Is that the same as losing your marbles?) and decided to take a break.  She didn’t see any little boys or girls to play with, but she would have loved that as well.  (I put magnets in her feet that allow her to stand on the rocker without falling over.)


She started playing hide-and-go-seek behind the bushes…


And took a break on a bench in town square.


If you have enjoyed Ethel, she asks that you log into Pinterest and VOTE FOR HER here.  You vote by clicking on the heart on her picture.  Of course, repins are great too.

Linking up with:

#CultivateChallenge & #CultivateInFall.

Flying Kites

The best memories are made when you are able to unplug from technology and enjoy more simple things.  This is exactly what we did this past weekend when we took the little monkeys out to fly kites.


The wind was sporadic, so although we would be able to get the kite up, it wouldn’t stay up for long.  Finally, they figured out that if they would run when the wind started to die down, they could keep the kite up longer.


But then they got tired of running, and little man decided the tails of the kite worked pretty well as a blindfold.


Isn’t that just like life?  We’re trying to stay the course and focus on the goal, and then we get tired of all the obstacles in our way and get sidetracked and our kite falls to the ground.  When, if we would have just kept running, we might have experienced our breakthrough and been able to keep our kite flying until the wind picked up again.

Life has certainly been like that for me lately.  I’m heading in a new direction… although I’m not yet sure where.  I think I know where I want it to lead to, but I also want to make sure it’s God’s will.  It would be easy to give up on the dream and go back to what I know, to what I’ve been doing for the last 20 years, because at least I know where I fit there.  But, I also know I wouldn’t be happy there.  It’s not where I’m supposed to be anymore.  So, instead, I pray I have the stamina to stay the course until the direction becomes clear, even if the wind isn’t blowing my direction for a little while.  And then, I pray I have the courage to jump and take the risk laid before me.

headed for sunshine

Bucket Hat & A First Quilt

The two oldest grand-monkeys (ages 4 & 5) were visiting this week.  We hiked to a waterfall, flew kites, played outside, watched movies, painted, did crafts, and just generally had a lot of fun.

One of our excursions was to A Stitch In Time, one of the two local quilt shops in Franklin, NC.  If you’ve not had the opportunity to visit this shop, you really should.  It is probably the most beautiful quilt shop I’ve ever been in.  And the staff there is super nice.  I had the pleasure of working with them for 2 weeks over the last shop hop and they are a great bunch of ladies.

Of course, I was there to show off the grand-monkeys because they are the cutest things in the world.  While we were there though, I bought grab bags for each of them.  A grab bag consists of fabric pieces less than 18″ x WOF.  The idea was to take whatever was in the grab bag and help them create a project during the week.  So they each picked out a bag and we headed to the car to open them.

“R” opened his bag and found two lovely floral Art Gallery prints by Bonnie Christine from her Sweet as Honey line.  If that had been my grab bag, I would have been ecstatic since Art Gallery fabric is my absolute favorite and I have been drooling over that line.  But, being a 4-year old boy, he wasn’t very impressed.


And then “E” opened her bag, and out dropped two dark plaid fabrics.  Well, needless to say, as a 5-year old girl that loves flowers, she was a bit shocked to have such dull, drab fabric.


So, they decided one was ‘girl’ fabric and the other was ‘boy’ fabric, they switched, and then they were both perfectly happy.  Phew… I love it when things work out.

We bounced around a few ideas for what they wanted to make from their fabric, and R decided he wanted a hat, and E wanted a quilt.

For the hat, we used the Bucket Hat tutorial from Sew Much Ado.  We needed to make our hat a bit larger than the pattern pieces provided in her tutorial, so I cut the round circle for the top of the hat 1/4″ larger all the way around.  And I cut the bands 1/4″ longer than the pattern which made each piece 1/2″ longer overall since it was cut on the fold.  Not sure if the math works exactly for enlarging a pattern, but it went together just fine.  I had him help me put the last stitches in it so he could say he helped make it.  It turned out super cute and he loves it.


The shop owner, Maxie, also gave E an 8-pack sample of Benartex fabrics that were 8″ x 10″ each.  Since E wanted a quilt, I figured we could somehow use those with the AGF prints and make a small doll quilt or something.  But then she stated that she wanted the quilt large enough to fit her.  Ummm….  Ok.  What can I pull together to accomplish this?  99.9% of my fabric stash is still in storage, but I did bring my scrap bucket with me.  So we started raiding it.  She picked out what she wanted, and that along with what she got from the quilt shop is what we used to make her quilt.  Nothing matches… there are baby prints, spiders, fireworks, florals, birds, and even some metallic prints.  But she loves it!  It’s her creation, and she has put every stitch in it (with my help of course).  And that’s all that matters.  I am super proud of her first quilt.



Oh, and she loves picking out stitches.


Linking up with Finish it Friday at Crazy Mom Quilts, Link a Finish Friday at Richard and Tanya, and Can I Get a Whoop Whoop at Confessions of a Fabric Addict.