Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Christmas Tree Topiary Pillow

More Christmas in July

With all of my newly made Christmas decorations out at my house, and the  piles of Christmas fabric laying about, you could easily believe that I think it is Christmas time already!
Christmas in July  is the July ATPSA project

I just have this energy and desire to make holiday projects now, during " Christmas in July."  (I figure I should make them now, because you never know what will take up my time in December. :)  )

I am normally not very competitive, but something deep inside of me would not rest until I made my own Christmas Tree Topiary Pillow.... like Amy and Amanda have both made!  (Maybe it became irresistible to me  because they BOTH made such beautiful pillows...)

Amy's pillow-
Amy's Christmas Tree Topiary Pillow    designed by Amy @  Amy Made That!
photo by Amy Made That!
Amanda's pillow-
Amanda's  Christmas Tree Topiary Pillow
photo by  The Patchsmith

Isn't fun to see how two talented and  beautiful quilters create their own beautiful pillows, using  the same pattern!

Well, after taking my time to decide what colors I'd like to use for my own pillow, it didn't take long to cut out, iron and sew up my own pillow.
Fabrics used:    French Poinsettia  London Portfolio for Michael Miller  (for back and seeds)
                       393 Pindot    Makower UK   (green with gold dots)
                       Majestic Yule  by Sentimental Studios for Moda  (red and creme with gold paisley for front )
                         Moda Marbles blender green  (seeds)
                       Heat-n-Bond   fusible for backs of seeds to applique
                       Pellon Fusible Fleece  FF 987
Making the seed applique, using  Heat-n-Bond fusible

Susie's    Christmas Tree Topiary Pillow
The pattern makes a pillow about 17 1/2 inches square, and I only had a 20 inch square pillow form, so I squeezed it in. It is very plump!!  Another reason I wanted to make this pillow, is that it looks so great with the  covered zipper pillow backing.  Amy has a free tutorial ,that makes this elegant zipper back easy to make. (A great first zipper installation project!)

Pillow back     with the Covered Zipper backing
This was the first pillow back that I made with a zipper.  It is very easy to create , and looks so elegant!
The zipper is hiding
I had fun picking out a red  zipper that matched this French Poinsettia fabric.  I get assortments of the 14 inch zippers, in lots of delicious colors, online at   Zip It .  They have excellent customer service and a huge selection.  
Back of pillow

I love this Majestic Yule fabric.  That is in my Moda holiday stash !
My Christmas Tree Topiary Pillow is all ready for Christmas!

By the way, did I mention that this  pillow pattern is  a free pattern from Amy !   Both Amanda  and Amy were bloggers , sharing free patterns in Julie C's  The Crafty Quilter Christmas in July Blog Hop .

Hop on over to our  Across The Pond Sew Along Flickr group to see what everyone is making !  Put your project in , too!  We love seeing what you make ! :)

Merry Christmas  July!!
I'm off to my sewing room!

I am linking up to:  Sew Cute Tuesday @ Better off thread
                            Sew Darn Crafty @ Sew Many Ways

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Ringing in the Joy in July

Joy in July

I have been having so much fun making Christmas projects this July!  (This is the first year I have ever done this, even though I have said to myself for many years...."Next year I will start some holiday projects early in the summer..." )


It  all began with making a Christmas item for our July  Across The Pond Sew Along .

Merry Gift Boxes      block design by Clover and Violet

Next,  I couldn't resist making a  ( well it turned out to be 11 .... so far!) gingerbread men!  Amanda,  over at The Patchsmith  has some totally cute gingerbread men patterns  at her Craftsy patterns page.  (As well as lots of other adorable Christmas patterns!)

Gingerbread cup mug rug     pattern by The Patchsmith
Gingerbread bunting        pattern by The Patchsmith
Amanda also just released a free pattern, called Charm Pack "JOY" Bunting.   Hasn't she been a busy gal lately!!
Well, Amy,  over at Amy Made That!  , made hers already .... and of course,not to be outdone by Amanda and  my sister, I wanted to make my version immediately after I saw theirs!
Amy's  Joy Bunting          pattern by The Patchsmith
Amanda's  Joy Bunting   pattern by The Patchsmith

Susie's Sunroom  JOY Bunting              pattern by The Patchsmith
I made my bunting with  charm squares from a pack of Merry Medley  by Sandy Gervais for Moda fabrics.  I love the fabrics, because there are bells and music.  I actually used some blender gold/tan fabric for the backs of the squares, and the "ribbon".  (I wanted to save more of the little 5 inch squares for another project that was brewing around in my mind.)

For my ribbon:   2-    2 inches x wof  blender gold/tan
Sew the 2 long strips together, to make over 80 inches long
Iron a center crease in the long strip
Fold each raw edge to the center fold line and iron
Fold these together (you have no raw edges now) and it is about 1/2 inch wide

I inserted each block, with the raw edges tucked into the ribbon.  No raw edges showing now!
Don't tell Amy that I copied this from her, ok?

On my mantle
I guess while I was in the mode of doing applique.... I remembered a really cute pattern that I recently WON as a giveaway from Beulah at Sowing Stitches blog.  She sent me 2 Christmas applique patterns (and a template for mini dresden plates) for a giveaway prize.

                                            The pattern ~
'Bell -Ringer Santa'     pattern designed by Jan Kornfeind @ Country Appliques.com
I was drawn to this pattern immediately, because I loved the artwork of this design, and I am a bell ringer in a bell choir in church, for over 30 years now.   I knew I had a color theme now, based on my  Merry Medley charms pack.

Susie's Sunroom    Bello-Ringer Santa   applique wallhanging   Pattern by Jan Kornfeind @ Country Appliques

Fabrics used:
      Normandy Court  by Michele Amore  Benartex    (snow swirls)
      IQSC Birdsong Moon and Stars Black    Kathy Hall with Jo Morton  Andover  (night sky)
      Moda Marbles   Moda    red coat
      Merry Medley Charm Pack   Sandy Gervais   Moda   (coat trims and various parts)
      Quilters Linen   Robert Kaufman    (white beard)
      Blender gold/tan vines    JoAnn  (pouch)
      Curtain taffeta scrap ( his sack)
      Plaid border      Poppies   by Exclusively Quilters 2007
Heat-n-Bond Lite  for ironing on applique pieces

I like this pattern. Jan Kornfeind  put the applique shapes separately on a sheet, so I could tape it onto the window, to copy the reverse side to my heat-n-bond paper.  She includes directions to make a pillow , too. The pattern came out in 1995, but I looked on the net and she has a web site now, with all of her old world Santa patterns available.       

I have never made any applique this big before, but decided to "go for it!" after  having made a lot of mug rugs (designed by The Patchsmith and Amy Made That!)   and loved it.
After I laid out all of my fused pieces on to the background fabric, I  consulted  with Amy about how I should machine sew my appliqued pieces on this wall hanging. (Thanks, Amy, for your advice!)  I decided on a blanket stitch on my Viking Topaz. 
I embroidered his eyes by hand.  I used a red colored pencil for his cheek blush.
After stitching around each piece, the shapes started to come alive
I used a satin stitch at a few places, for the creases in his coat arms and boots, and for his beard and pouch buckle.
Has anyone noticed that the above picture has another CUTE detail added finally???

The BELLS!!!!!  As soon as I started cutting the fabric, I went online to order some little "liberty bells" in 3 sizes.   I found an awesome site:  www.FactoryDirectCraft.com
I got 3 different sizes of these sweet little bells  :)  *heart*

Three  sweet little bells 
Bell Ringer Santa wall hanging  with JOY Bunting  
Susie's Sunroom     Bell Ringer Santa    and    JOY
I also *heart*  this Moon and Star black sky fabric-IQSC Birdsong by Kathy Hall  Andover.  I did order some more of that for my stash.   

I really enjoyed stretching myself to make something that I never attempted before. Thank you , Beulah, for the lovely giveaway prize!

Please link up any pictures of projects that you make for Christmas early, (not just July!), at  our ATPSA Flicker page.  Look it over for some ideas and inspiration.  Take a chance, and stretch yourself to make something with a new technique!

I'm off to my sewing room!

   I am linked up to :         Sew Darn Crafty @ Sew Many Ways                               And Sew We Craft Together  Linky Party @  And Sew We Craft

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Gingerbread Man Bunting

This July has been so much fun for me, because I have been actually making Christmas projects... with no stress and no  time restraints!

I started first by making a table runner for our  July  Across The Pond Sew Along... with the "Christmas in July" theme:

My Merry Gift Boxes table runner
    pattern by Clover and Violet 

Then, I went over to The Patchsmith's blog to see what Amanda has been  sewing during  July.  I was in awe of all of her  beautiful holiday mug rug patterns that she has designed!
I had a hard time deciding which one to start first... but chose  the 
Gingerbread Cup mug rug pattern by The Patchsmith
 photo courtesy of The Patchsmith blog
I enjoyed looking through my Christmas fabrics, to find the right ones to make my little gingerbread man and a mug of hot chocolate.  

Fabrics used:    Jolly Christmas  Vita Mechachonis  Camelot Cottons  (mug)
                       Grandma's Gingerbread  Dianna Marcum  Marcus Fabrics  (vest)
                        Keepsake Calico  JoAnn Fabrics   (brown tonal for gingerbread man)
                       Mini Mike     Michael Miller   (tiny tan gingham)
                        Cookie Cutter Christmas   Wilmington Prints  (backing/binding)
*A great thing about The Patchsmith's patterns... you don't need a lot of fabric to make the projects!!*

My Gingerbread Cup mug rug       by Susie 

Mug of cocoa  with  hot steam swirls and a candy cane

I machine- stitched the blanket stitch for outlining the cup and the gingerbread man.
Then I embroidered, by hand,  the fun details that makes this mug rug come to life.

 Vest  buttons and the icing on his ams and legs close-up

I love the little loving details that Amanda puts into her patterns.  They make them so fun to make.
All ready to use in December!!
Well, I guess it is really hard just to make ONE gingerbread man....  and I was thinking about making some more mug rugs for gifts... and then I saw the latest post by Amanda-
Joy and Gingerbread Bunting...

Amanda's  Gingerbread Bunting pattern
How adorable are these little guys?!!

So , you know what is coming....  A Gingerbread Bunting for me!

I found some felt for the backs of the gingerbread men, and some cute coordinating fabrics at JoAnn for the clothes. I already had the brown fabric for the cookie dough fronts.
The directions in Amanda's pattern are excellent!  I chose to fuse the front and felt back together, with Heat-n-Bond,  and then blanket stitch them together (by machine.)

The fabric ready to iron the Heat-n-Bond onto

Laying out the body shapes onto the felt

Blanket stitching around the vest

All of their outfits are sewn.  Now time to embellish!

I chose to hand embroider their faces on, and then I sewed their buttons on.

I decided to machine sew (satin stitch) the icing .  Left has icing /  Right no icing
With and without icing

All the icing is completed!  This little detail that Amanda adds makes them so much cuter as a cookie!!

Look what else I found at JoAnn..... bows for the girls!! I used a bit of Liquid Stitch for attaching the bows.

After the glue had dried, I just had to sew them onto my 55 inches of ric-rac.   I used my invisible thread to do that.  The next time I make them, I will glue on the bows AFTER they are sewn on to the ribbon or ric-rac.    I will have more head sewing space to attach each girl to the ribbon.
Gingerbread Bunting        Susie's Sunroom version

My gingerbread boy and gingerbread girl

Rehearsing for December...

I only have one problem...  when I hung this Gingerbread bunting on my fireplace mantle.... it only reached HALF WAY across!   I need to make a second one !  But there's plenty of time yet... it's still July!!

Amanda's  Gingerbread bunting  project is Day Two at the   "Christmas in July"  Blog Hop   at The Crafty Quilter blog.

 Blog Hop at the Crafty Quilter

Julie has gathered many talented bloggers who are sharing   holiday tutorials at her blog.  Many have giveaways, too!   Day One visits Amy,  at  Amy Made That!  blog.

Amy's Christmas Tree Topiary Pillow
photo courtesy of Amy @  Amy Made That!
  Her tutorial is full of details and clear instructions!  I really want to make one of these pillows.  It is so elegant.  Go on over to see her tutorial and beautiful pictures!
Be sure to keep checking all week for more designs at The Crafty Quilter blog!!

Well,  I think I will make some supper, and find some time to make sewing time tonight  for...
another bunting by The Patchsmith!!
 Link up any Christmas projects you are working on in our Across The Pond Sew Along Flickr Group! We love to see what everybody is making with us!
I'm off to my sewing room!