Tuesday, March 20, 2012

It's all about Runners and let's run with Monica and her SIL house quilt ( with a giveaway)

This wall-hanging, which doubles as a play mat, features The Neighborhood by Monica Lee. The charming images remind us of a time when all the kids on the block would “go out and play.” Remember those many happy hours with pets, playing hopscotch, jumping rope and throwing jacks? We are pleased to bring you this collaboration of two Smart Creative Women, Monica Lee and her sister-in-law, pattern designer Carole Henell. They put their heads together to bring you this fun tutorial!
For this 36 inch by 36 inch project, you’ll need:
Fat quarters of each:
- tic-tac-toe orange (Monica-C8852-Orange)
- kitty toss white (Monica-C8850-White)
- kitty toss orange (Monica-C8850-Orange)
1/2 yard turquoise tic-tac-toe, includes binding (Monica-C8852-Turquoise)
1/2 yard red polka dot (Monica-C8938-Red)
1/2 yard stripe (Monica-C8851-Yellow)
3/4 yard kites (Monica-C8849-Sky)
1/2 yard green fence doggies (Monica-C8846-Green)
3/4 yard neighborhood yellow (Monica-C8845-Yellow)
1 1/4 yard of your choice for backing
40 inch by 40 inch batting
You’ll be cutting all the house blocks at the same time. To get started, stack the orange tic-tac-toe, turquoise tic-tac-toe, kitty toss white and kitty toss orange fabrics and line up one edge:
Now, you’ll want to even the edge, trim the cute selvages and cut a rectangle 10 ¾ inches by 5 ½ inches:

Cutting a rectangle 10 3/4" by 5 1/2"
From this rectangle, cut a 10 ¾ inch by 1 ½ inch rectangle. Trim to 10 ½ inches by 1 ½ inches and set aside for later:

Cutting 10 1/2" by 1 1/2" rectangle from stacked fabrics
Next, cut two rectangles 3 ¾ inches by 4 inches:

Cutting two 3 3/4" by 4" rectangles from the stacked fabrics
From the remaining 4 inch by 3 ¼ inch rectangle, cut two 2 inch by 3 ¼ inch rectangles:

Cutting two 2" by 3 1/4" rectangles
Go back to your original stacked fat quarters and cut another rectangle 3 ¼ inches by 8 ½ inches:

Cutting another rectangle from the original stack of fat quarters 3 1/2" by 8 1/2"
From this stack, cut one 3 ¼ inch by 3 ½ inch rectangle and two 3 ¼ inch by 2 ½ inch rectangles:
Each of our little houses will need a front door, so from the red polka dot, cut four 3 ½ inch by 3 ¾ inch rectangles:

I cut a 7 inch by 7 ½ inch rectangle, then cut two 3 ½ inch by 7 ½ inch rectangles and finally cut those rectangles into 3 ½ inch by 3 ¾ inch rectangles.
Now, we’re going to lay out the pieces for quick and easy assembly! Please take care and orient the pieces the way they are in the picture:
You’ll have four houses all cut out and ready to go:
To assemble the houses, use a ¼ inch seam allowance and sew in the order shown below:

Press towards the "house" fabric in all blocks. The seams will nest nicely!

All sewn together!

View from the back after being pressed
We’re going to trim the houses to give them their unique shape. First, fold the house block, matching the short sides and keeping the fold on the right. Place a mark on the bottom 3 ¾ inches from the fold as shown:
Line up your ruler with the upper left corner and the mark and trim with your rotary cutter:
Open up and here’s the main part of your house!
Assemble all your houses this way. Now we’re going to make the side sky around the house. Get your kite fabric and cut four 5 ¾ inch by 8 ½ inch rectangles and stack two pieces in two piles, right sides up:

5 3/4" by 8 1/2" sky fabrics
Cut each stack on the diagonal like the following picture:

The triangles on the left are all the same and the triangles on the right are all the same
Take a triangle from each stack and one of your house blocks for this next step. Place the sky triangle on the house block, matching the corner with the seam line like this picture:

The little red circle shows where to place the corner.
Stitch ¼ inch along the long side of the triangle. Repeat with other side and press towards the sky gentlysince you are working with a bias edge:
Trim straight across, so your house and sky look like this:
You can raise your roof using either of the following two methods. First, you can cut a 9 inch square and cut it once on the diagonal:
Or, for the stripe, you can cut a strip 6 ½ inches by 21 inches and try the technique mentioned in the second photo:

Line up the ruler so both 9 inch marks are along the edge of the fabric and cut up one side and down the other. Flip the ruler, line it up the same way and cut. You'll have two perfect triangles!
We’re ready to attach the roof. Fold the roof and the main house in half and mark with a pin or crease:
Line up the edges and the pins and sew ¼ inch seam:

Be careful with those bias edges!
Now let’s make the yard. Take your green fabric with the fences on it and cut a square 9 ¾ inches. Then cut the square on the diagonal twice:
At this point, I decided on a layout for my houses so I knew where to put the grass blocks, since the fabric is directional. Fold the house and the grass in half and either pin or crease. Line up the bottom edges of the house with the grass and match the pins. Sew ¼ inch seam:

Press towards the grass.
Congratulations! You’ve completed your house blocks. You should check to make sure each block is 12 ½ inches square and trim if necessary:
You’re ready to sew all four of your houses together! I pressed towards the red:
To make the setting triangles, cut the Neighborhood fabric in yellow into two 18 ¼ inches. I folded it in half and then made my cut, so when I cut once on the diagonal, all the images were going in the correct direction:
Opposite sides were sewn onto the house center square:

You can line up the triangle point with the center seam and it comes out perfectly!
Trim the dog ears and stand back to admire your work!
I thought it might be nice to add some embellishments after it was quilted; buttons for door knobs, iron-on appliqués to make window boxes and rick rack around the town. I like monofilament for quilting so there isn’t any competition with the fabrics.
Here’s what it could look like:
Use your imagination and personalize your neighbourhood!

and look if you would like to make your own table topper
here is a bundle that includes everything you will need...

Sew who is in your neighbourhood that you would like
to have over for coffee?

Winner announced WED morning...!

Sorry my morning just slipped right on  by..

GRANJoyce  This package
along with some needles and Presencia
in case you want to do some embroidery
on the houses... is on its way ....
Ohhhh the pattern too...
ON it's way to TEXAS.....

Thanks to Monica, for a delightful package!
and to Colonial Needle for all the extras...


  1. I should have said I have my sewing friends Lorraine and Jenny over every Thursday for some sewing. Lorraine just lives 100 yards away. I'm so lucky to have met her.

  2. That is such cute fabric and I love the little houses. I would love to make one of these for summer time. I do love Monica Lee fabrics, such cute prints.

  3. I live in military housing and half my neighbors have a deployed spouse -- I think a weekly coffee would be a great stress reliever!

  4. Thank you so much for a fun tutorial.
    And also for tons of pics. I like pics..Also the fabric is really cute...count me in. Hi There Madame Samm..

  5. The superintendent of the local school district lives just down the street from me. I'd like to have him over for coffee and discuss his vision for the schools. Good schools are so important!
    Love this adorable project and thanks for the chance to win!

  6. I'd have my quilting friend Joanne over for coffee. We could make this table runner together. Thanks for the chance to win & the tutorial.

  7. My friend Kherun who quilts and sews much better than I do. Thank you for the chance to win.

  8. Great neighborhood--thanks for sharing!! I will have my neighbor across the street over--she's always doing nice things for other people.

  9. How sweet! Thanks for the fun tutorial. I love the bright color choices! My friend Linda and I get together several times a week to create together over a full pot of coffee. This will be a fun project for us to work on!! Have a beauty-full day!

  10. I love this fabric! What cute colors and designs. The houses are sew sweet!Thanks for the wonderful tutorial
    I am lucky to have 3 terrific neighbors. It would be fun to have this table topper when we sit and chat over coffee.

    I would love to win this fabric.

  11. I am in a rural area so a few miles will have to do and my best quilting friend lives right around the corner by those terms..tea not coffee tho, lol! Thanks for the chance! Your project is wonderful!

  12. I LOVE this "runner!" It is adorable! I do remember playing outside until the streetlights came on!
    Who would I have over for coffee? (this is very tough--I have found in my neighborhood that most people don't want to know their neighbors. It is really kind of sad...and so unlike where I grew up!) That said, I make an effort to introduce myself to any new families that move in. So, perhaps the neighbor around the cul de sac that just moved in a couple months ago.

  13. I love the cute fabric! Very nice tutorial! I would love a chance to win your lovely gift! Now, if only I had a neighbor or two to stitch with?! BooHoo!! I live in a rural area and none of my neighbors quilt. I do have one stitching friend, Denise, who lives s few miles as the crow flies and we both belong to the same quilt guild.
    Gmama Jane

  14. What a fun runner,love the little houses! I would have my brother and sister in law over for coffee as they live right next door!

  15. I have a retired neighbor who shares my love of quilting. She would be who I would have over. Thanks for wonderful tutorial and giveaway.

  16. I'm a snowbird in Florida - I think I'll have the quilting group make this next week! Sharing fabric! OR make it for Christmas or the 4th of July! or Halloween! the possibilities are endless!! Thank you!

  17. My next door neighbor comes and sits on my front porch. We'll have a cup of coffee or a glass of wine (depending on the time of day)!

  18. Super cute idea and the fabrics are great. Love all the bright colors. Thank you for the tutorial.

  19. I would share this runner and my cuppa with my sister and my mom my best friend

  20. That's so cute! Thank you Monica!

  21. I would share this with my great granddaughter with tea and cookies.
    Really cute. Thanks

  22. I loved the tutorial. I liked the options given to cutting the fabric. I love to learn new things.

  23. I love this. The houses are so cute and the fabric is just gorgeous. Thanks for a great tutorial. Samm, I love your new banner, it looks like the quilts are floating in the air. Great job as always!

  24. Hi Monica...good morning to you too Carol. great pattern, lovely collection and great giveaway..what a delightful tuesday morning x

  25. What cute fabrics used in this project. Our next door neighbor would be our invitee. Thanks for chance to win! (marshudson at comcast dot net)

  26. Cute runner. Would love to make one for my daughter. I would invite her for coffee.

  27. this is adorable. looks like so much fun to make. thanks for the tutorial.
    an older couple moved in a few houses down. i would like to invite her over and get to know her.

  28. A friend from our church lives right down the street. We both have kids, so we might need a babysitter, too, to really enjoy our coffee! Cute fabric! :)

  29. Good Morning to you too! I just poured my second cup of coffee and am about to skype with a girlfriend. The 'world wide web" makes for an awfully big Neighborhood! Thank you Samm for showing this tutorial off!

  30. My next door neighbor Jan. We usually see each other almost daily during the summer and fall months but as of now I haven't talked to her since before Christmas. We would have lots to catch up on. Thanks for the great tutorial and all the great pictures to go with it.


  31. Those house blocks are too cute!

  32. Fun project - thanks for the tutorial with all the pictures! I'm fairly new to my neighborhood, but I'd love to have a few ladies over and have a show & tell of our favorite hobbies. It's a great way to get to know one another.

  33. I would have my Busy Bee friends over for tea and coffee for a fun day of sewing and friendly chatter.

  34. I've got a lovely group of 'ladies' who I sew with and I'd love to have them to tea in my backyard (and I will when it stops raining!).
    Great tutorial ~ it's so cute!
    And, thanks for the giveaway!

  35. I would have my friend over. We try to get together once a month...doesn't always happen with lots of busy little kids.

  36. That is such a timely encouragement and so sweet a project. I am feeling the urge to call my special friend, Colleen over and have a nice social visit with her..make her a cup of tea with a muffin and have a catch up. she has been there for me over the years and that friendship is precious and worth nurturing. Thank-you so much for stirring me up to do that. I will not put it off any longer!

  37. Houses!! I just love houses! This is a wonderful table topper and the fabric is so cute! Thank you!

  38. Great tute! Would love to win the beautiful & brightly colored fabrics.

  39. Monica...that is a super cute neighborhood quilt. Luv the colors, especially the aqua, limes and oranges. No coffee drinkers here ...they are into diet coke! Thanks for the chance to win some super cute fabrics with the super cool orange polka dot ribbon...luv the mug too(o:

  40. I will invite my friend Peggy over. We try to get together every other week.

  41. What a great idea! I'd love to have my neighbor Irene over - she's made many quilts and has lots of quilty wisdom.



  43. We used to have a quilt group that got together a couple of times a month. We all just drifted apart when the lady whose house we went to decided she just couldn't do it anymore. She is 96 years old. I would invite the quilt group over to her house for a surprize visit with coffee and goodies.

  44. I have to say I love the neighborhood pattern. Very original and great tutorial.

  45. Great pattern, lovely fabrics....hmmm, I'd love to have my neighbor Flo over for coffee. She is a wonderful 80+ year old woman, who has the energy of a 30 year old.

  46. Great tutorial and sew cute. I love having my mom come over for coffee.
    Thank you for the great giveaway.

  47. the neighborhood topper is so cute! our little town is a whole neighborhood ... there is a wide choice of friends to come for coffee!

  48. cute fabric , i would have my aunt jo over

  49. Hey there, what a cute playmat. I would invite my Mom over for coffee and sewing. Thank you Elizabeth

  50. My sewing buddies are our 4-legged guys as we live in the country. They are the best companions, never fuss, always happy with whatever I am doing.
    Thanks for the opportunity
    hadacres at comcast.net

  51. You make this project sew easy. When you show pictures, it makes all the difference in the world and is such a great help to see what it is you're doing. This way you're not ripping it out. I can always have my Mom over. She is only 15 minutes away. THere isn't anybody that is closer than my Mom and the neighbors are always so busy with their young children. I can always find a project to use up fabric. Yes, we all can.

    Sandi T.

  52. I have a thing for little houses! I love how the houses are 'close neighbors'. I use to have a neighbor who came over for coffee or tea and a sewing time. I use to have a sewing shop in my house. That neighbor moved and I eventually sold my business. I miss the constant flow of friends and new customers.

  53. great little houses.... and how would I like to visit.... a dear friend who passed away a couple months agao I would be great ot get just one more visit in with her, to see her smile and hear her laughter and share our show and tell over tea....
    in stitches

  54. I would love to have tea/coffee and a bit of sewing with some of the wonderful quilters who I stalk, but will probably never meet in person: Sharon of Vrooman's Quilts, Sarah Craig of Confessions of a Fabriholic, Tonya of Hill Billy Quilter, Kelly Guy of Charming Quilts, and of course the Fabulous Madame Samm.

  55. My dear sewing friend moved to China. But she will be visiting in July so maybe she will come over then for a cuppa!

  56. Beutiful unique table decor! Sew hard to choose who to have for coffee as I am a tea drinker!! Thanks for the chance, Dianne

  57. I think I would have my sister in law over, just to sit and have a little chat...Thanks for this great opportunity to win all that lovely fabric.

  58. The houses are so cute and the fabric is just gorgeous. I love this.Thank you for the great giveaway.

  59. I'd love to invite my mom over for coffee! If only she did not live half a continent away! She has coffee with her neighbors twice a week!

  60. Such a cute playmat! Really love how the blocks go together. Thanks for the tutorial and also the chance to win!

  61. Most of my neighbors roam the hills and are of the bovine persuasion, but I would love to invite my neighbor Kelly over and get her bit with the quilting bug! Thanks for the chance to win some FUN fabrics !

  62. love these fabrics! I would take my stuff over to my Friday morning quilting group and share with them...or at least let them look!

  63. What a cute table runner! Unfortunatly none of my neighbors sew/quilt and don't really know any of them. So, I'll just have to wait until I travel in May to visit the in-laws & have my cup of joe with my mil then. :)

  64. I'd have my Mom for coffee and relaxing chats :)

  65. Would have my quilting friends over for coffee, and goodies.

  66. Thanks so much, Madame Samm, for posting the tutorial--enjoying everyone's comments about who their favorite coffee companion would be!

  67. This really cute. I would love to have my friend Sandi over for coffee. We hardly see each other anymore because she works when I am home and I am usually gone when she might be home. It would be nice to catch up with her.

  68. LOVE the Runner & Fabric!!

    I'd share tea with my "Bestest" friend,Audrey!! I live in a rural area too...and she is almost 10 miles from me....but we love to peruse patterns & quilt books over pots of tea! :)

    Thanks for chance to win! YAY!

  69. When my kids were young and I wasn't working, the neighbors would get together. Things have changed since most of the moms have gone back to work. Brings back some fond memories. Thanks for the cute project.

  70. This is a darling project - I've been "collecting" house blocks because one day I want an entire quilt made with nothing but houses...when I have time to sew again! I'd love to have my new neighbor over - she's young and full of life...she gives me hope!! xo, Nan

  71. Very cute project. I would have my DD come and sew with me. :-)

  72. What an awesome project! I love the whimsy houses. Thanks for a great tutorial with lots of great pictures. How fun it must be to do the embelishing of the houses. Great job!

    Thanks for your giveaway and a chance to win.


  73. I would invite my friend who is unwell if I could have anyone over, but we would need some yummy lemon slice to go with that coffee.... I llike this house topper and my kids would really love the fabric!

  74. What a nice fabrics used in this project. Our next door neighbor would be our invitee. Thanks for chance to win!

  75. What a cute project! I'd love to have my next door neighbors for coffee.

  76. What a fun little topper! Perfect for a housewarming - add a basket of baked goods!

  77. Those little houses are so cute!! Thanks for sharing them with us!!!

  78. This is seriously adorable, and from your very own line of fabrics, just the cutest thing! I've been experimenting with stitching washers into batting with little magnets on separate applique' pieces for an interactive quilt for kids... I've got to make this! Thanks for the tutorial!


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