Monday, November 28, 2016

Winner of the Fat Quarter Shop November Sew Sampler box

You all know how excited I was to find TWO November Sew Sampler boxes from Fat Quarter Shop in my mailbox last week.  Now I’m even more excited that we get to announce the winner of this fabulous box! Sincere thank you to Fat Quarter Shop for their generosity!

Well quilting friends, I moved all of your comments into an Excel spreadsheet and did several random sorts to mix the entries thoroughly. Then I waited for my husband to get home from work and had him pick a number. If you didn’t win, you’ll have to holler at Brad!

The winner of the November Sew Sampler box courtesy of Fat Quarter Shop is Vicki S. from Oklahoma.  Vicki and I have already made contact via email and her box will ship tomorrow! Yeah Vicki!

Thanks so much for following my blog, entering the giveaway, and sharing your comments. I hope you all find time to get carried away quilting soon! 

Oh, and if you are looking for a fun and fast holiday project for someone you love, I hope you’ll check out my other blog post today featuring a free tutorial for holiday pillowcases! More fun with Fat Quarter Shop!



Holiday gift idea: Pillowcases!

Are you looking for a quick and easy homemade holiday gift?  How about a seasonal pillowcase?  This weekend I made standard sized Christmas pillowcases for my daughter and her college roommate, and they turned out so cute!

Whether a child is 8 or 18, a special pillowcase is a nightly reminder that he or she is loved.  For the college student, it’s also a reminder of holiday traditions that are awaiting them when they return home for semester break.  I hope that Haley and Brook enjoy them all December and are reminded how much their families love them.

For the girls' pillowcases, we ordered the festive "Cozy Christmas" line by Lori Holt for Riley Blake Designs from Fat Quarter Shop. Every print in the line is so adorable that it was hard to choose.  In the end Haley and I were drawn to the cookie recipe print as our focal fabric.  

Now we are already discussing what types of cookies we will make when she's home for winter break! Here's a link for you to check out all the other fun prints in the collection.

If you’ve never made a pillowcase, it is a fun project ~ so simple yet with great reward. The Fat Quarter Shop has a terrific YouTube tutorial that also includes a link to a PDF pattern.  I used their tutorial:  How to Make a Standard Pillowcase using Dilly Dally Pillowcase Pattern by Me & My Sister Designs.  

I also found these darling Lori Holt Cozy Christmas Magnets at Fat Quarter Shop that I thought the girls might need for their message board. Perfect! 

I hope you don't think I've neglected my college-aged son.  I asked Luke if he and his roommate Nick would like some Christmas pillowcases.  He just smiled and said, "No, but thanks for asking, Mom." I did stock him up with groceries though!

Thank you for stopping by the blog today.  As you prepare for the holidays, remember that sometimes the simplest gift, if made with love, will be the favorite gift!


Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Sew Sampler box giveaway with Fat Quarter Shop

Quilting friends, I hardly felt like a grownup today. I may have acted like a complete goof at my mailbox when I found not ONE but TWO Sew Sampler boxes from Fat Quarter Shop!  I hope no one was driving by, because I may have hopped just a bit.  No, not all the way back to the house, but perhaps one or two little hops at the mailbox!

Adults should not attempt selfies ~ unless you want to have a good giggle at your own expense!

I had the blues last week.  Daylight savings time is always a struggle for me, and then Minnesota had a blizzard on Friday.  When your first snow of the season comes as a winter storm, even the hardiest of Minnesotans get cranky.  It's snowing again today. While I'm beginning to embrace winter, these aqua boxes from the nice folks at Fat Quarter Shop came just in time to lift my spirits!

The joy is double when you realize you can keep one for yourself and give one away!  So that's what we will do ~ have a GIVEAWAY!  But first, let's look at the contents!

TWO charm packs of Olive's Flower Market by Lella Boutique for Moda
If you've visited my blog recently, you know that I love this pretty collection by Vanessa Goertzen.  In fact, I didn't have any of this fabric left, as I had used it all for a new pattern release (Window Garden) and a free pillow tutorial (On Point Pillow).  I am so happy to have these pretty packs in my sewing room!

A luscious 5" x 8" reversible cutting mat 
This is a fun new product by Lori Holt of Bee in My Bonnet and Riley Blake Designs. Did I really use the word luscious to describe a cutting mat? You bet I did! I've never seen a mat quite like this one. It is triple layer thick, soft and smooth, and of course cute on both sides (aqua on one side and pink on the other). I am really tickled to have one of these mats!

Needles & Thread
We can ALL use an extra spool of thread and more sewing machine needles.  This Aurifil 50 wt 2021 is my go-to thread for the majority of my piecing! And I've always used Schmetz needles, so I'm thankful to have more in my supply case!

Calendar & Pattern
Rounding out this terrific box are an exclusive Lella Boutique pattern, and a sweet little Fat Quarter Shop desk calendar which has the month on one side and quilty inspirations on the other.  

The value of these Sew Sampler monthly subscription boxes by Fat Quarter Shop just can't be beat.  Every box I have received has been abundant in its quilty awesomeness! Just check out some of my other posts to see for yourself:

Now it's time to share my extra November Sew Sampler box, so let's have a giveaway. My sincere apologies, but due to the high cost of international shipping, this drawing must be limited to the United States.

To enter, please leave a comment below with your email address. Comments are open through 5:00 pm (CST) on Monday, November 28, 2016. At that time, I will do a random drawing and announce the winner.   *Only one comment per person/per email address. Email me if you are having trouble leaving a comment and I will leave a comment on your behalf. (

Thank you so much for stopping by the blog today.  Good luck!


Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Coffee Time Quilt for Christmas

Hello quilting friends! I'm back with another seasonal Coffee Time Quilt for you. This time I've made a Christmas version in the beautiful Midnight Clear collection by 3 Sisters for Moda Fabrics.

Once again, the nice folks at Lou Lou’s Fabric Shop have fabric kits prepared to go with my free tutorial. The Halloween Coffee Time Quilt kits we introduced in September sold out in just a couple of days, so you may want to head over to Lou Lou’s quickly!

The Midnight Clear collection includes rich traditional Christmas colors and details. For our Coffee Time Quilt, we chose the sophisticated crimson script to be the main fabric. This tone-on-tone print includes the titles of many of our favorite Christmas hymns. It is gorgeous and frames all of the mini charm squares so nicely.

My initial idea was to use a matching crimson thread for my simple straight line quilting, but then I spied a spool of Aurifil 2340 50 wt in my thread basket.  I loved the warmth it added and how it pulled out the soft browns found in the pine cones and birds. The name of Aurifil 2340 is Cafe au Lait, which means coffee with milk. What a perfect thread for my Coffee Time Quilt!

I’ve written before that I enjoy “rescuing” crocheted trim from antique stores and using them in my smaller pieces. However, this month my antique store scavenging fell short.  I did find this really pretty ecru crocheted trim at JoAnn Fabrics and I’m very happy with the results.  In the bottom of Grandma Audrey's button jar I found four small wooden buttons. They add a nice, warm finishing touch.

The Coffee Time Quilt is an easy project you can finish in a day. Really, I think you could complete the sewing, quilting, embellishments and binding in a day and even take a couple of breaks to eat!  

Turn on the Christmas music, pour yourself a cup of coffee (or hot apple cider if you prefer) and get carried away making your own Coffee Time Quilt for Christmas! Be sure to post your version of this mini quilt on Instagram using this hashtag:  #coffeetimequilt

Thanks so much for stopping by the blog!


Thursday, November 10, 2016

Mini Charm Pack Tutorial: "On Point Pillow" with Olive's Flower Market

The wait is over . . . Olive's Flower Market by Vanessa Goertzen of Lella Boutique for Moda Fabrics is finally arriving at stores! Hooray! This lovely collection made its debut at Spring Quilt Market, and I was fortunate to get enough sample yardage to design a new layer cake pattern, Window Garden, which I shared with you in September.

To celebrate the arrival of Olive's Flower Market, I broke open a mini charm pack and came up with a pretty little pillow to coordinate with my Window Garden quilt. Actually, my daughter has adopted the Window Garden quilt, so I'm guessing this pillow will belong to her too! 

On Point Pillow 
When mini charm squares are set on point, it adds visual interest, and yet the construction is still so simple. For this project, I used a mini charm pack, Bella Solids Bleached White and Weathered Teak, and Olive's Flower Market Blackboard 5034 14.  I've included a tutorial with pictures and instructions at the bottom of this post.

I am really tickled with how this pillow turned out.  As many of you know, straight line machine quilting is the only quilting trick I have up my sleeve.  But I think it's very effective on a piece like this.  

I did go a bit out of my comfort zone and used a darker thread.  I think it gives the piece a very warm and earthy feeling.  My husband actually said, "Ooooh, I really like the colors on this one!"  Maybe men don't notice the pink if we throw in a lot of charcoal and brown. ;) 

Window Garden Quilt Kits
I'm happy to see that my Window Garden pattern is popping up on social media by quilters using different fabric collections, and they have all been just beautiful. But if you are interested in a Window Garden kit using Olive's Flower Market, several of my blog sponsors have kits available:

Lou Lou's Fabric Shop
Stitches 'N Giggles
My Timeless Day
Quilts on Broadway
Stash Addict Quilts
(Note: Stash Addict Quilts will also be offering a kit package that includes long-arm quilting services by the talented Star of Starlit Quilts!)

The Window Garden pattern is also available from Fat Quarter Shop and Country Road Kits. You may also purchase from me directly, but I encourage you to shop locally or through one of my terrific sponsors whenever possible.

Thanks so much for stopping by the blog today!  I hope you enjoy this tutorial! Now go and get carried away quilting!


On Point Pillow Tutorial

Size: 16" x 16"

Please read all instructions before beginning.  All seam allowances are 1/4”unless otherwise indicated.  With the exception of precuts, fabric is assumed to be 42” wide, unwashed. 

Materials Needed: 
  • (1) mini charm pack or (32) 2 1/2” squares
  • (14) white 2 1/2” squares
  • (2) strips 1 1/2” x 16 1/2” (inner border)
  • (2) strips 3 1/4” x 16 1/2” (outer border)
  • (2) strips 2 1/4” x width of fabric (pieced together for binding) ~ You may use 2 1/2" strips for binding if that is your preferred width.
  • (2) pieces that are 10 1/2" wide by 16 1/2" tall (backing)  
  • (1) 20” x 20” piece of batting
  • (1) 20” x 20” piece of scrap muslin
  • buttons ~ optional
  • (1) 16" x 16" pillow form

Step 1.
Lay out the colored and white 2 1/2” squares on point with the inner and outer borders so you have a nice mix of color and pattern. Take a picture of your layout and refer back to it when completing the following steps. 

Step 2.
First sew the (4) longest strips.
Sew (4) strips that include (5) colored 2 1/2” squares and (2) white 2 1/2” squares.  Press each strip in alternating directions so you can nest them later. (Note: I pressed a few seams open when a very dark fabric was next to a very light fabric.)

Step 3.
Next sew the remaining smaller strips that are on each side of the strips you just pieced in Step 2. (I have them pictured below along with the (2) lone white 2 1/2" squares that will be used in step 4.)
Sew (2) strips that include (4) colored 2 1/2” squares and (1) white 2 1/2” square. 
Sew (2) strips that include (2) colored 2 1/2” squares and (1) white 2 1/2” square. 
Press these strips in the direction that will allow you to nest them with adjacent strips later.

Step 4.
Lay out all of the strips you have sewn and the remaining (2) white 2 1/2” squares. Nest seams, pin and sew units together from left to right.  Press all seams open.  (If you plan to stitch in the ditch when quilting, then press seams to one direction.)

Step 5.
Trim this pieced unit to 16 1/2” x 9”.  Follow these tips:

We want this trimmed unit to be centered, so first find the center. (See where my Purple Thang is pointing in the picture.)

Trim the left and right sides first. Align your ruler so that you are trimming 8 1/4" to the left of center and 8 1/4" to the right of the center.

Then trim the top and bottom 4 1/2" away from center. Make sure you stay 1/4" away from the mini charm points. If necessary, move your ruler slightly and then trim.  It is more important to be 1/4" away from the mini charm points than to be exactly 4 1/2" away from center.  It's a pillow.  We have a little room for "negotiating"! :)

Step 6.
Pin the inner border to the top and bottom. Sew with the back of the pieced unit facing you so that you can see and “catch” all points with your stitched line!  Press to the border.  

Step 7.
Pin and sew the outer border to the top and bottom.  Press to the border.

Step 8.
Layer your pillow top, batting, and muslin (scrap backing) using your preferred method of pinning, thread or spray basting.  Since this is such a small piece, I found that fabric adhesive was enough to keep my pieces in place and flat during quilting.  I kept my quilting simple, using a pleasing grid design and allowing the fabric to be the star of the show.  When you have finished the quilting, trim the backing and batting.

Step 9.
Add buttons if desired. The pillow top is now complete.

Step 10.
Using your two backing pieces, sew a 1/2" seam on the right edge of one piece and a 1/2" seam on the left edge of the other piece.  These two pieces will overlap in the middle and need finished edges.

Step 11.
Lay the pillow top right side down on your cutting mat. Then lay down the two backing pieces right side up.  Overlap the two backing pieces so that when overlapped, the backing measures 16 1/2" wide.  Adjust the backing pieces slightly to make sure all outside edges line up nicely.
Pin around all four sides. Using a 1/8” seam allowance, sew a basting stitch around all four sides. This will keep everything in place for binding.

Step 12.
Bind your pillow as you would normally bind a small quilt.
Step 13.
Insert your pillow form, and you are done!  
Please share your version on Instagram using the hashtag #onpointpillow and be sure to tag me @taunjalynn so I see your creation!