Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Stocking Advent Calendar Tutorial: Part 2

Are you ready to finish up your advent calendar? My apologies if you have been waiting patiently for part 2. The holiday weekend kind of got the better of me.

To see the first installment of this tutorial, go to Stocking Advent Calendar part 1 here

Approximately 3/4 yd of linen
3/4 yd backing fabric, batting and extra for binding
24 1" miniature wooden clothespins (find in any craft store)
Spray paint to match your design if desired (IO used Rustoleum enamel paint)
Black thread
Washable marker
20" ribbon for hanging
1/4" wooden dowel cut to 20" length
Glue gun and glue sticks

This part of the tutorial is going to be very free-spirited and short. You can finish up the back of the calendar any way you like. I have already shown you one option where the stockings were laid out in a circle.
Saavy Season's Swap goodies
That won't work for a wall hanging obviously, but works well as a table topper or centerpiece. In that case the background fabric was a square about 25x25". I sewed buttons in a circle and attached the stockings to the buttons by the loops.

Another simple option would be to stop here, find a nice velvet ribbon and simply string the stockings up on the ribbon and use it to adorn your fireplace mantle. Simple, easy and you'ld already be done! Sometimes simplicity speaks volumes! Especially around the holidays when you have a million other things to do.

Another option and the one I'm making here, is going to be hung on a wall, so I'm going to show you how I made that version.

I've chosen a linen backing mostly because I'm loving the linen these days. I've laid out all my stockings in a pattern that I liked. In this case I chose a three-tiered curve that is supposed to represent a washing line. My background pieces measures about 23" by 28"which includes 1/2" seam allowance for binding. I have chosen not to do any patchwork on the background of this piece, because I really want the stockings to be the focal point.

Once your background is cut, you'll want to layer it with batting and quilt it. I've done some basic meandering stipple quilting here, but you could just as easily do straight line quilting in random directions to keep this very modern and simple. There are lots of good online tutorials for making a quilt sandwich and for adding bindings so I'm not going to cover those parts here. Use whichever method appeals to you. Here are some examples:
Making a quilt sandwich 1 Making a quilt sandwich 2 Making a quilt sandwich 3
Binding 1 Binding 2 Binding 3

Before you sew on your binding, if you are planning on hanging this on a wall you might want to add a little sleeve onto the back of the quilt so you can hang it. I've done that here. Take 2" by 20" rectangle and finish the short edges with a narrow seam. Then fold in half lengthwise and sew it into the binding seams. Pin in place matching up the straight edges. You'll be attaching the sleeve to the quilt when you sew on the binding.
Again see the binding tutorials linked above if you need to reference that step. I've chosen a contrasting red print for the binding to liven things up a bit and because I really like the contrast of bright reds with linen. Use a long wooden dowel (mine is 1/4" diameter) to hold up your quilt and add some fishing wire or pretty ribbon to hang it on the wall later.

Next, lay out your stockings again on your finished quilt background.
I get them all situated in the way I like them, then mark about 1/2" above the stocking tops on the loop side using a water soluble marker.
Then I just drew in a line between the dots, to get a smooth curve.
This line will be the stitching line. I attached my walking foot to my sewing machine and sewed 3 lines of stitching over marker line with black thread.

I've sewed miniature clothespins onto the background at the 'washing' line and then attached the stockings to clothespins. Clothespins don't come in aqua, so I had to spray paint these first.

And you are done with the sewing!! Put and wooden dowel in the sleeve on the back of the quilt and glue a piece of decorative ribbon to the dowel at both ends. Hang on the wall and enjoy!

Doesn't it look fabulous? Don't you wish you could be a kid again? You can always keep this calendar for yourself, I won't tell ;)

You could use any layout, it doesn't have to be this one. Just arrange the stockings any way you like them. It's up to you!

Now, I'm going to fill my stockings with little chocolates and other treats since tomorrow is Dec 1st!

If you make this advent calendar, please post your pics in the Trillium Design Flickr group. I always love to see your creations. Happy Holidays and Happy Sewing!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Stocking Advent Calendar Tutorial:Part 1

It's snowing outside!! How appropriate then for me to share with you my stocking advent calendar tutorial. If you have a snow day coming your way soon, you can stitch up one of these in time for Dec 1st.

The one I'm making will look a little different but here is the one I made for the Savvy Season's swap.

Saavy Season's Swap goodies

The one we'll be making here is identical in size.
Saavy Season's Swap goodies

Ready? Set? Here we go...

You will need:
48 5" Scraps of various fabrics,
1/2 yd of lining fabrics or more scraps
rick rack or ribbon
quilting template plastic
1 yd of background fabric
1 yd of backing fabric
extra fabric for binding
24 buttons

All seam allowances are 1/4"

First off, you will need to create a template using the stocking pattern shown here. Print this out so that the guideline measures 1" For me that's about 100% but it might vary for you, depending upon your printer settings etc.
Advent calendar Stocking

I traced the stocking onto a piece of plastic quilting template then cut it out. You can find this plastic at any place you buy quilting supplies. However, you can also use a piece of paperboard or cardboard, or even cut it out of a plastic lid. Whatever, works for you.

Trace the stocking pattern out 48 times. I double my fabric, press so it's flat and then trace and cut - that way I'm cutting out 2 at a time and they are exactly opposite orientation. You will need 24 with the stockings facing left and 24 facing in right. I like all my stockings facing the same direction on the final piece, so I make sure I trace them all in the same direction when fabric orientation is important.
I lined all my stockings, so I also trace 48 stockings out of a lining fabric. You can use anything for this since you won't really see the lining. I used some Kona white.

First off you will need to add numbers to the stocking fronts. I used embroidered numbers, but you can do anything here. You can use a fabric marker, or hand/machine embroider the numbers or applique them on. It's up to you!

Now we are ready to sew them together. Place the pieces together so that you have one stocking outside and one lining piece. You will be placing the lining such that right sides are facing.

Then sew a 1/4" seam along the top of the stockings.
Now iron open all the top seams as shown.

Once all your lining pieces are attached. Take two corresponding stocking sides and line them up so that the right sides are facing.
Like so...
Take a 2" piece of ribbon or rick rack and fold it in half. Align the rick-rack along the top seamline towards the back of the stocking. The ribbon is going to be inserted into the side seam of the stocking when it's sewn.

Now sew a scant 1/4" seam around the outside of the stocking. Leave a small 1" opening towards the top of the lining section as shown~
Clip the corners of the curved seams, taking care not to clip the stitching! This will help the curved seams lie flat in the final stocking.
Turn the stocking right-side out as shown~
Here I have pinned closed the remaining opening . You will then stitch this opening closed using a very narrow seam.
Pop the lining inside the stocking and voila! You have completed a mini stocking!! Now do this 23 more times....!! ;)
Ok, that's it for today. Stay tuned for the finishing part of this calendar.

Stocking Advent Calendar part 2

Sunday Sewing ~ Riverbend

Another day, another pillow. Introducing Riverbend! ~ which is similar to the Earth and Sky pillow revamped back to my original color scheme.

I like this one a lot - probably the colors. This one will live happily on my living room sofa. It looks quite content in it's new home. Just in time for Turkey day company.

I decided to change up the pebble quilting using a contrasting thread - looks better like that. I also increased the gathers on the curved section, also improves the look to me.

Stay tuned for a little mini tutorial on how to make an stocking advent calendar wall hanging for the holidays ~ coming up this week!

Happy Sewing!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Of Earth and Sky

Here is my entry for Pillow Talk Swap round 4 ~ going to ?? someone, somewhere....who could it be?

I have had a version of this design in my head since PTS3 but it was nixed in favor of the Circular Logic pillow at the last moment. Originally this pillow was supposed to have an aqua/blues color palette but my partner wasn't really an aqua kind of person, so I have changed the design somewhat to better suit their preferences.
The pieced portion of this pillow was made using the Hexagon string piecing process written by Malka Dubrawsky in the winter 2010 issue of International Quilt Festival Quilt Scene magazine. After piecing together those lovely hexies, I proceeded to cut them up again (I seem to always do that) to create the curved sections necessary for the design.
I used Radiance (Kaufman) in Chocolate which is a silk/cotton blend for the gathered section. A little piping to accent the curves and then finally pieced in the linen section to complete the pillow top.
I was able to try a few new techniques for this pillow. I thought the design called for some fancy quilting and I had been wanting to try some pebble quilting. So the linen section has a progression of pebbles, going from large to small across the linen.

As the title suggests, this pillow represents a sort of Earth and Sky theme which is where the pebbles come in. The color palette represents a beautiful sunset.

Kind of a fun project that sewed up very quickly. I like it when it works like that.

I hope you like it Partner! It's flying your way tomorrow.

Happy Sewing!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Harvest Softies

~ A beavy of cucurbitaceaus softies~

I felt a little fall decorating was in order now that Halloween has come and gone. This was a fun little project. Squash and Pumpkin pattern from PortabelloPixie
They will look great on the mantle once I make a few more. Maybe I'll add in some fall leaves to round things out.

Fabrics are an assortment of Sandi Henderson prints, some Erin McMorris and Sis Boom basics. Fabulous felt from Heather Bailey to round it all out.

What are your fall decorating plans?

Happy Sewing!