Saturday, December 17, 2011

It's that time again...

Andrea Bocelli, the Lords Prayer
singing with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir
(for Deonn)x
( who will be singing with them next Christmas)

Ahhh isn't this a nice way to begin our day...?
A prayer sung for us by Andrea


Friday, December 16, 2011

Comfort and JOY with Patty and her Zip Bag Tutorial

Happy Holidays!!   Patty here from A Stitch in Time blog - so pleased to have the opportunity to guest post and share my tutorial for a small zipped bag.  Madame Samm does an amazing job organizing a series of guest bloggers and I am honored to be part of Comfort and Joy.

Here is what we are going to make!  This bag finishes at 6 inches wide and 3 1/2 inches tall.  (Fabric used in this photo is a print from Sweetwater's Hometown line.)

You'll need:

  • Fabric for the outside of bag, inside of bag and batting - each roughly 8 1/2 inchs square
  • A strip of outside bag fabric (or coordinating or contrast fabric) 1 1/2 inches wide which you will cut into two 7 inch strips for the casing and two 2 inch strips for the tabs.
  • A 5 inch zipper  (see link at bottom of post for a giveaway)
  • A swivel clip (see link at bottom of post for a giveaway)
Ready the zipper:

1. Fold your two 7 inch strips in half and press.  Fold your two 2 inch strips in half and press.  Then open this up and fold the rough edge to the fold line and press again.  You now have two tabs for the ends of the zipper that are 1 1/2 inches wide (zipper width) and  1/2 inch long that will cover top and bottom of zipper to give your bag a finished look.
2. Trim zipper tape so the tab fits over the zipper end.  Attach the tab to each end, carefully sewing across the zipper.  (Note, you can cut zippers to size and this tab keeps things from coming undone!)   Use zipper foot to attach casing to each side.
3. Sides attached - time to neaten up and trim any loose threads.   Trim casing so they are roughly 1/4 longer than tab. (see below).

Congratulations!  You've just put your zipper in a casing.  There are many way to attach a zipper to a bag.  I use this method because I like the finished look it brings to the bag and, frankly, makes attaching quilted fabric to a zipper so easy!   Casing can be made in the same fabric as the bag or a coordinating or contrast fabric.

Quilt Bag:

4. Assemble your quilt sandwich and quilt as desired.  For this bag, I used my walking foot and did some fun straight line quilting.
5.  Trim your quilted square to two pieces - each 3 1/2 by 6 1/2.
6. Attach zipper to each side with straight stitch and then go back over and zigzag seam for a finished edge.

7.  Trim as needed.

Attach Swivel Clip:

8. Take a small piece of ribbon or twill tape etc and attach the clip to the top edge of the fabric.  (Fabric in photo new here - this print from Moda Circa 1934.  If you look carefully, you can see I used black fabric for the zipper casing).

Finish Bag:

9. Open zipper.  (Don't forget this step!)
10. Right sides together, seam bag and then zigzag the edge of bag.  Be careful not to catch edge of zipper tab in the seam.  Turn inside out and gift to a friend or to yourself!!

Please come visit my blog.  I've listed the supply sources I used for the zippers and the swivel clips and these wonderful Etsy shops are sponsoring a giveaway for these supplies!

My best wishes for a wonderful holiday for you and your family!  May there be much fabric in your stocking and under your tree!

Happy Stitching!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Comfort and JOY Guest Barb with her FAST, FUN, EASY.....AND I DO MEAN EASY PLEAT/ RUFFLES FOR YOU CHRISTMAS TOWELS and psssst 2 guests today ...yes !

As my husband and I were driving from JoAnn's today, I came up with a really quick way to do those pleats/ruffles for your kitchen towels. Who says this is only for your kitchen? Your bathroom might want in on some of the action.

So here is one towel with a pleats with a raw edge band over the pleats.

This next one, the band over the pleats is turned under.

So we all know that Barb at Bejeweled, Quilts, that is me, is the queen of kitchen towels. Love them, gotta have them.....

Thanks Madame Samm for having me over and stretching my imagination.

So.....lets begin. You will need a 3" strip (cut the length of your fabric from selvage to selvage)

Trusty Glue Stick

You will iron your strip in half and just lightly glue the top together.
You will fold in the edge you will be working with and glue it down (fold under at least a half inch). I did not stitch this down, just glued it. Once the top is sewn to the towel it should not be able to come out. When you get to the end of the ruffle, you will do the same thing so leave enough fabric to turn under generously.

Now, this one towel, I wanted the bottom of the towel showing under the pleats. So I placed it like so....and glued it down. Then I started taking pleats. Now for those of you who are OCD, perfectionist, you might want to measure the distance between each pleat. Me.....well....I am a fly by niter, so it matters not to me.
If you want a ruffle look, just scrunch the top instead of laying flat and glue.

So you glue, pleat, iron, glue, pleat, iron....etc...

So you just keep making the pleats, and be sure to keep gluing the pleats to the towel...yes it looks messy, you won't be able to see it after completion.

Here is the finished pleating.
Now you need Steam A Seam or what ever adhesive you desire. I tell everyone that I use this like toilet paper, trust me that is not far from the truth. I have a friend that comes over and sews and she will say "I brought my toilet paper." At first I thought, toilet paper...and then she shows me her Steam a Seam......
You will cut 1- 1/2 inch strip of your fabric the width of your towel. Then you will cut two 1- 1/2 inch strip of steam a seam
You will follow the instruction of your adhesive of my case, you just iron it onto the back of your fabric like so.

Then you iron the strip across the towel and over the raw edges of your pleats. As you can see here, I did a blanket stitch around the band. Oh....sooooo easy. I am going to show you how I did the band on the other towel. Here you have the pleats.
So here is the band, it is also 1- 1/2 inches wide, will be a little longer than the width of your towel so you can turn the ends under. Once again I pulled out my trusty glue and turned the edges about 1/4 inch under, then glued and iron it down. No, I did not measure, but you certainly can.
After all ends and sides of the band are ironed and glued under, I glue it to the pleats and towel.
Then top stitch it down.

If you will notice, I used the Christmas Medley Accuquilt Go Die for the snowflakes. There are free places you can go for your designs like Fat Cat Patterns. If you are interested in the trees, well that is my creation, you can go to Inchworm Fabrics for the free pattern under LINKS. The trees are in this table runner pattern below. I designed it for this post but forgot to take pictures and for some reason when I went to do the post it was such a please, go to Inchworm Fabrics for your free pattern if you like.


Comfort and JOY Guest Pauline with her Fat Quarter Apron pssst 2 guests today....BARB too

Hello everyone....I'm thrilled to be back....
Thank you Madam Samm for inviting me to be a guest blogger again...

I'm Pauline from Quiltnqueen and I would luv it if you came for a visit.

My Comfort and Joy small project tutorial is an apron tut.....


In November during the Ghastlie Blog Hop I made a couple of aprons
and I was asked if I would do a tutorial on how I made them....
sEw here goes........
I used the measurements found
in a tutorial by Jona on her blog
Stop Staring and....start sewing because it's fun.
I changed the instructions using the same technique as the

infamous pillowcase method known as the 'hot dog method'.
I have probably made 200+ pillowcases using this method and
if you have made pillowcases this way
you will be making these aprons in an hour or less....
OK maybe not your 1st one or even your 2nd but you can make
the basic apron in less than an hour.

Thearica did a pillowcase tutorial on Sew We Quilt,
you can find it here.

These aprons are sEw much fun to make.....


1 FQ
1/2 yd coordinating fabric

  • from the 1/2 yard.....cut 3 strips 6 inches wide x 44 inches (wof)
  • remove all salvages
  • cut 1 of the strips the width of the FQ...should be 21-22 inches this will be the hem of the apron (do not use the 18 inch side),
  • the other half of the strip will be used for the waistband

  • with the hem right side up
  • place apron right side face down on top of the hem....if you have a directional print the print will be upside down when it is placed on top of the hem with the right sides together
  • pin across, keeping the fabric edges even...I use lots of pins.

  • roll the apron and bring the bottom edge of the hem over the rolled apron and pin all 3 edges together...keep the edges lined evenly

  • stitch the pinned edge using a generous 1/4 inch seam allowance
  • pull the rolled up FQ out one of the ends.
  • press just the seam area from the front first and then from the back making sure you do not have any little pleats at the seam, press the folded edge last.

  • hem the side seams by pressing 1/4 inch then fold again, press and stitch

  • attach the short end of the waist band to the short end of the 2 ties, centering the waist band between the 2 ties, right sides together
  • with waist band (right side up) center apron (right side down) on top the waist band and pin edges together
  • start stitching about 1 inch past rolled up apron on the other side of the seam that you joined the waistband to the ties


  • the apron is now encased in the waist band and the ties are NOT stitched
  • pull the apron out just like you did with the hem



  • press the waist band just like you did the hem
  • pin ties right side together and mark a diagonal line 2 inches from the end
  • using a generous 1/4 inch seam allowance start stitching about 2 inches from where the apron is attached to the waist band
  • trim corners and turn ties right side out
  • press ties


  • you will have an opening on both sides of the apron
  • stitch the 2 openings closed and
  • top stitch around the ties.
  • give it a final press and you are done.
Now you can be creative when you make your next one.....
....I added a flange at the hem seam on this one
I cut my flange 1-1/4 inch and have even used 1 inch strips.
When I make my pillowcases I cut my flange narrow too.
...looks kinda like piping and lays flatter.


and on this one I added the flange, a pocket and appliqued a cat on the hem.

Pink Hot Dog Pillow Case Apron
    I hope you enjoyed the tutorial,
    ...if you have any question please let me know .....
    I will be giving away one of my aprons from comments left on
    my Comfort and Joy posting on my blog. Don't forget to enter my other giveaway. I'm participating in the Quilt Gallery Blog Hop giveaway is Anne Sutton's 'Pumpkin Pie' pattern and as a bonus if you are one of my 484+ Google Friend Members pictured on my side bar you will received the embellishment kit with the pattern.
    I will announce the winners for both giveaways late on December 18
    or early December 19....
    You do not have to be a follower
    but it would make my heart smile if you choose to follow...(o:
    Please, please make sure I have an email to contact you....
    a 'No Reply Comment' is a 'No winner'......
    One comment only....
    tell me where you live
    and if you like the kitten apron or the polar bear apron
    that's all you have to do...(o:
    I live in Canton Michigan and if I were to win I would like the polar bear apron....
    Happy Holidays and all the best to everyone in 2012!!!

    Wednesday, December 14, 2011

    Comfort and JOY with Connie and her Christmas Tree Table Runner Tutorial

    First off I want to thank Madame Samm for inviting me back again! I'm Connie from Quilting by the River and I hope you will stop by my blog where I have tutorials and lots of projects going on all the time. Now I want to share with you a fast Christmas runner that could still be made before the holidays.
    The size is 10 x 36 and is made using 2 - 1/2 strips of fabric.
    Here is the layout of each block, can you tell I am a visual person?

    I used 3 different prints for each tree. You are going to make easy half square triangles by cutting your background fabric and tree fabric into 2 - 1/2 inch x 2 - 1/2 squares so let's get started.
    • Cut 2 - 2 1/2 x 2 - l/2 blocks of each tree fabric and 8 - 2 - 1/2 x 2 - 1/2 background fabric
    • Place the tree fabric right side up and the background fabric right side down on top of it
    • Draw a line diagonally across, this will be your stitching line
    • Stitch the seam
    • Press the seam toward the tree print and trim off the 2 back pieces
    Now that you have your half square triangles (HST's) we are going to add the rest of the pieces.
      I have marked the sizes on the photo so you can save this to your computer for easy reference. I used a 1/4 inch seam.
    Here are the tree limbs ready to be sewn into a block.
     Completed block is 10 1/2 x 10 x 1/2
     Make 3 blocks, I switched the color order on the middle tree.

     Cut 2 background strips 2 1/2 x 10 1/2 and 4 - 2 1/2 x 2 1/2 squares from binding and sew the squares to the ends the same way you did the HST's. Then sew them together. You will need 2 sets of these.
    Sew the sets to both sides of your center block.
    Now sew the other trees to the center piece.
    I used muslin for the backing and Warm & Natural batting. My binding was 2 - 1/2 inch strips.
    I did a free-motion stipple quilting on the background.

    The runner looks a little funny on my table but that is okay as this is going to my daughter and she has a long buffet in her dining room, I hope she likes it! I hope you enjoyed my tutorial and if you have any questions just let me know. I also have a Give-away  going on right now so come and visit! Thanks again Madame Samm for having me here!