Saturday, December 10, 2011

It is that time again.....

Whatever your wishes are
these are my wishes for you.

Blessings from our hearts to yours

Friday, December 9, 2011

Comfort and Joy. with Cinzia and her: Card Cases from Deux Petites Souris

I am so pleased today to be a guest blogger on Madame Samm's Blog! I am a WAHM, running my own crafty business selling my wares through my Etsy shop. Aside from designing and making quilts, I like to design and make smaller projects that can be offered as gifts for friends and family. You can find me writing about my projects on my blog: Deux Petites Souris.( 2 little mice)
When Madam Samm asked me to come up with a holiday tutorial, I knew right away what I wanted to share! I first made this card case as a way to carry my business cards in my purse. It is also a nice way to present a gift card to someone and is small enough to tuck into a Christmas stocking.

This is also a great project for using up all your little scraps of fabric and, once you get the hang of it, you can whip up a bunch in no time!


Make two pattern pieces from cardboard in the following measurements:

A) 1 piece @ 4 ½ in. X 5 in.
B) 1 piece @ 4 ½ in. X 3 in.

Using pattern piece A) cut:

2 from main fabric
1 from batting
1 from heavy interfacing

Using pattern piece B) cut:

1 from coordinating fabric (fold this piece in half so that you now have a 1 ½ X 4 ½ in. rectangle). Press. This will be the pocket for the case.

You will also need to cut a 2 X 33in. strip of fabric for the binding and the tie.


Lay your pieces on the table as follows:

Fabric piece(A) wrong side up
Fabric piece(A) wrong side down

(you are essentially making a quilt sandwich with an added layer of interfacing)

Place the pocket along the bottom edge of the quilt sandwich, matching raw edges.
Pin all layers together.


Sew down the bottom edge of the pocket using 1/8 in. seam allowance.

Mark a line down the center of the quilt sandwich. Stitch along this line through all the layers.

From the binding strip, cut off a 10in. piece to use for the tie.
Fold over one short end about ½ in. Press.
Fold each of the long edges in at ¼ in. Press.
Fold the whole strip in half lengthwise. Press.
Topstitch along the open edge of the strip.

Place the tie on the quilt sandwich on the opposite side of the pocket and the opposite end. Center it and pin in place. Sew in place using a 1/8" seam allowance.

Bind the quilt using your favourite method, making sure to sew in the tie.
Your card case is now complete!

This clever little case can be used in many different ways:

Also makes a great hostess gift, a gift for teachers with a little note from the kids tucked in.
Use it as a stocking stuffer or nestle it in the branches of your Christmas tree! You can even tuck a little secret note from Santa for the kids! The possibilities are endless...

Happy Holidays to all!

Comfort and Joy. With Dorian. A Christmas Tree Runner

Hello everybody, so glad to be back! Thank you Samm. For those of you who don't know me, I'm Dorian, and blog over at RidgeTopQuilts. Would love for you to come over and take a look around :)

When I asked Samm if I could be part of the tutorial month, I told her I was thinking of a table runner. I couldn't decide if I should do a rectangular one, or some other shape. Samm suggested a Christmas tree shape. Perfect I told her! So here we go...

We are going to make 5 different type blocks, 10 blocks in all. These are all made from scraps. So get out a bunch of green scraps and some pretty Christmas ones, or even some FQs if you have them about. Of course, you can use all the same greens and Christmas colors, if you like to work with yardage instead.

                                                                         BLOCK ONE

You will need 8 HST (half-square triangle) blocks. * You will be making HST blocks for 4 of the 5 blocks we are making. This is the way I do all of mine, and have put only one set of pictures showing the process.

One 3 1/8" x 18 1/2" green strip and one 3 1/8" x 18 1/2" white strip.
Lay them face down together. Mark squares every 3 1/8" down the strip.
Then mark diagonal lines.
Sew 1/4" on both sides of diagonal lines.

Cut apart on all solid lines. Press and trim to  2.5" squares.

You need 12 green 2 1/2" squares, and 3 white 2 1/2" squares.

This will make three blocks. Stack the pieces for the three blocks as follows.

Chain sew your columns together, then your rows, using 1/4". Press and trim to 6 1/2".

                                                                       BLOCK TWO

You'll need 8 flying geese blocks, 2"x 3 1/2".
Two- 3 1/2" white squares.
Eight- 2" green squares.

Here's how I do my flying geese.

Using two- 4 1/4" green squares and eight- 2 3/8" white squares.

1. Right side up, lay your green square on the table. Right side down, place 2 white squares in                  opposite corners, they will slightly overlap in the middle.
    Draw a line from corner to corner, and sew 1/4" on both sides.
2. Cut apart on solid drawn line. Open small triangles, and press.
3. Put another white square right side down, draw a line from corner to corner, and sew 1/4" on either       side.
4. Cut apart on drawn solid line. Open up triangles and press.
5. Trim to 2" x3 1/2". You will get four flying geese from this method.

This will make 2 blocks. Using your geese and your 3 1/3" white squares and 2" green squares. Lay them out as follows.

Sew columns together, then rows. As you can see, you can also make your center squares green, or one of each. It makes each block look a little different.

                                                                    BLOCK THREE

You are going to need eight- 3" HST blocks.
And ten- 2 1/2" green squares.

Make your HST's  the same way as for Block One. Using a 3 1/2"x 14" strip of green and a 3 1/2" x 14" strip of white. Lay them right sides together. Mark your square lines at 3 1/2". Draw your diagonal lines. Sew 1/4" on either side. Cut apart. Press and trim to 3".

Now lay one HST block right side up, and place another one right side down, making sure your colors are opposite, top and bottom (your seam lines will be matching).

Draw a line from corner to corner, the corners that are not seams. And sew 1/4" on either side.

Cut apart, press and trim to 2 1/2". These are called quarter square triangle blocks, or QST.             This will make 2 blocks. Lay your QST blocks and your 2 1/2" green blocks out, as follows.               

Sew your columns together, then your rows. Press and trim to 6 1/2".                                                      


You will need eight HST blocks. Made from one- 2 5/8" x 10 1/2" green strip. And one 2 5/8" x 101/2" white strip (I used a blue strip instead).   Plus another 2 5/8"x 10 1/2" green strip and one 2 5/8" x 10 1/2" red strip.

Mark your square lines at 2 5/8", draw diagonal lines, sew a 1/4" on either side. Cut, press and trim your blocks to 2". 
Lay your HST blocks and sixteen 2" green squares out as follows. Watch your colors, so they come out right. This makes two blocks. Sew your columns, then your rows. Press and trim to 6 1/2".     


You will need eight green and white HSTs, using strips that are 2 5/8" x 10 1/2".
Four green and white HSTs, using strips that are 2 5/8"x 5 1/4" and four red and white HSTs, using strips that are 2 5/8" x 5 1/4".

Mark your square lines at 2 5/8". Draw diagonal lines, sew 1/4" on either side. Cut, press and trim to 2".

Lay out your HST blocks as follows. Watch your colors! This makes one block. Sew your columns, then your rows. Press and trim to 6 1/2".

Sew your blocks together in rows, as follows. Mix and match your blocks, which ever way you want. Just so you have 1, 2, 3, 4 blocks in the rows.

 Setting triangles.

Cut ten- 6 3/4" x 4 3/4" rectangles. 
Cut five of the rectangles from right top corner to left bottom.  Make sure your rectangles are all right side up when cutting


Cut the other five rectangles from left top corner to right bottom corner.

Sew two of these together for the top.
Add one triangle to either side of each row.


You will need 27 -  4 1/2" squares, what ever color you want, or a mix of them.
Fold your square from one corner to an opposite corner.  Making a triangle. Then fold again from corner to corner, making a smaller triangle with folds on two sides and raw edges along the bottom.

Place one prairie point (PP) on your sewing machine with the opening towards you. Place another PP inside the first one, 3/4" of an inch in. Sew a 1/4" seam thru both triangles, stopping about halfway thru the second one, so you can add the third one. (I have a full tutorial on PPs here, if you need more pictures.)

You will need to sew them in rows of 4, 7, 11, and 15.

Lay your 4 PP strip on top of row one, place the top green triangle on top, right side down. Pin and sew a 1/4" seam. Sew your 7 PP strip between row one and row two, your 11 PP strip between row two and three, and your 15 PP strip between row three and four.

Lay your ruler along the edges, and trim off  the little points of the green setting triangles.

Quilt and bind as desired.

Hope you've all enjoyed my runner. Thanks again for having me Samm!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Comfort and JOY guest from U.S - Annie's Christmas Tree Skirt

Oh, hello Sew We Quilt fellow followers. Annie here again to share with you another one of my hair-brain ideas. Oh, Samm, you surely are brave when you let me come visit after I've been thinking about a complicated looking project but wanting an easy way to get to my end result. But I'm pretty excited about this one, so thank you so much for bringing me here to share my mathematically incorrect Christmas tree skirt.

I hope by now you are all well into your Christmas sewing it gifts or decorations. Have you taken a look at that well worn tree skirt you keep throwing under that gorgeous tree year after year? Is it a store bought skirt you remembered to grab at the last minute? Is it one you lovingly made but now has seen better days and needs replacing? If you answered yes to any of these, you just might want to give this one a try...even at this late date. Let me show you how easy it is!

Christmas Tree Skirt
how to:

It's not exactly a small project, but it's so quick and easy you just won't believe it!

To make this very easy but 'complicated looking' tree skirt, you will need this wedge ruler and 140 charm squares.

This one is by Omnigrid and is a 9 degree Circle Wedge. I've had it forever.
Ignore my ancient iron. No, it is not for looks or to give the photo a vintage look. It is my working iron. I tried to win a new one during the Wantobe Quilter's Campaign but Samm's winner picker never picked me. Truth be told, I love this iron...good old fashioned heavy weighted iron that I don't think a new modern one could measure up to. Back to sewing...
I made this tree skirt from 4 charm packs of Jovial that had 42 squares each.

Charms packs come in a variety of counts, so that will determine the number of packs you will need.

Arrange your squares in columns of 5 squares each. You need a total of 28 columns. Play with them until you have an arrangement that is pleasing to your eye.
Stitch each of the 28 columns into strips of the 5 squares top to bottom. 1/4" seam allowances throughout. Press your seams all in the same direction for all strips. All pressed toward the top or all toward the doesn't matter which direction you choose, just press them all the same direction. Keep them in your arranged order as you sew and press them. You just won't believe how quickly this will be completed.

Now for cutting. Take your first strip and place the wedge ruler aligned with the bottom of the strip ...

and aligned at the right hand edge of your strip.
Left handers can do the opposite, it won't matter, just cut them all the same way each time.

This wedge ruler will be about 3/4" shorter than your strip. When you rotary cut along the wedge just continue the cut to the edge of the strip without moving the ruler. It will work did for me every time. Don't stop at the end of the ruler to think about it, just continue the cut until you are off the fabric strip.

If possible, cut one side and walk around to cut the other side without moving the ruler. It's not necessary to cut the wedge this way, but it's quicker if you don't have to turn the fabric and re-align the ruler for the second cut. When I walked around the table to cut the other side of my wedge, this is where you would be starting with the narrow end that doesn't reach the edge of your fabric. I aligned my cutter with the ruler about 3" from the end and cut pulling backwards to the end of the fabric. Then realign your cutter in that cut to cut the rest of the wedge as normal.

If you trim your strip at the end of the wedge ruler, nothing bad will happen. You will simply have a larger opening when your strips are all sewn together in a circle. In the end I trim my opening larger anyway, but it is quicker to do it in the end than it is to trim every single strip wedge as I go.

You will now have these slices from your strip.

You will discard the slice on the right (the one with the very pointy tip) to your scrap collection.

The slice on the left will be flipped so that both wide ends are adjacent as shown below. This is how they will be sewn together and you will note that every other wedge now has the seams pressed in opposite directions so they can be butted when the wedges are sewn, huh?

As you get the wedges cut, keep the wider wedges in the order you arranged them in. You'll need to find a layout that again is pleasing to your eye that includes the narrower wedges between the wider ones.

Begin sewing a wide wedge to a narrow wedge.

Press your seams toward the wide wedge. This will help avoid bulk in the center at the narrow tips, because the narrow tips will disappear to nothing.

Then sew all your wedges together.

Half way together...

Full circle...yeah! Do not sew the very last seam where the ends of your circle meet.

You will only use 27 of your 28 wide wedges, and you will use all 28 of your narrow wedges. Your tree skirt will meet at two narrow wedges which is where your opening will be. You probably started sewing your wedges together beginning with a wide wedge, so you will need to add your last narrow wedge to the beginning of your circle.

This tree skirt has no batting. I didn't really want the thickness nor stiffness of a batted quilt. I wanted a very drapable skirt. I considered adding a layer of muslin inside, but finally decided on just the pieced top and a backing.

You can purchase extra wide fabric for a whole un-pieced back. I just went with one and three quarters (1-3/4) yards of a 44-45" wide coordinating fabric and pieced the section that extended past the width of the skirt.

Just like you do with layering a quilt with batting, layer the fabrics with wrong sides together and pin baste. It doesn't really show in the photo but this tree skirt is loaded with safety pins. Cut a slit in the backing fabric where you have left the circle open. Then trim the excess backing fabric away following the outside edge of your pieced top. You can trim the inside circle as well or wait if you decide you want the center opening larger.

I did want the center opening larger so I traced around a whipped topping lid. It seems like a good size.

Because the skirt could now be 'stretchable' as you continue to work with it, I suggest that you stay-stitch the raw edges at about an 1/8 inch from the edge all the way around the skirt.

I didn't want the skirt to be like a bubble with the front and back floating separately. I did faux quilting with stitch in the ditch along the length of each wedge.

In the above photo you see horizontal top stitching. I removed that didn't look good...and went with the stitch in the ditch along the lengths of the wedges instead.

Then I added a narrow binding.

All done!

This tree skirt is an early gift, so I stamped and stitched a tag for it.

Yeah! another gift crossed off the list!

Alternative finishing options:
You can easily add batting for a traditional quilted skirt. You could also lay the top and backing right sides together to stitch around the outside leaving an opening and turn the skirt right side out for enclosed seams. You wouldn't need all that pin basting for that. You could also add lace or a ruffle to the outer edge if you so desire.

As well, this tree skirt can be made for your smaller holiday trees...your Easter egg tree, your creepy Halloween tree, even that wedding money tree. Just cut your wedges from a shorter charm strip and using the narrower end of the wedge.

Design Disclosure Statement:
As far as I know this is my own design. I don't think anyone would publish a mathematically incorrect pattern design. Mathematically incorrect because the narrow wedge has one angled side while the other side is straight. I just hoped they would all go in a circle the way I wanted them to and I was so not disappointed.
As with any of my tutorials that you might give a try, if you have any questions at all, please do not hesitate to contact me. I'd be more than happy to help you.

There are so many possibilities for fabric arrangements for this skirt that I'd love to see yours when you have it together...seriously, I would.

Merry Christmas to you all
and wishing you all a
Sew Happy New Year!