Free Motion Quilting Practice Designs

I am so excited to share these Free Motion Quilting Practice Designs with you!! One of my most popular videos is where I show you how to make  8 quilting designs using one basic motion, I regularly get comments from people who tell me they can’t wait to try the designs. This is going to make it so much easier! Free Motion Quilting Practice Designs This post contains affiliate links which help support this site with no additional cost to you.

 

When you first start Free Motion Quilting, you spend time getting used to working with your machine. You need to “synch” with your machine. Like a mind-meld, but for quilting. My friend Christa Watson calls this the “hum-purr”. (By the way, if you don’t know Christa, go check out her book Machine Quilting with Style. An awesome book for Machine Quilters! And check out her blog Christa Quilts.)

Since you’re spending that time finding your “hum-purr”, it can be hard to also focus on your design, and where you want to go next. So, when I found out that Cricut was coming out with a water-soluble fabric pen, I was EXCITED! I could draw out those designs for you, you can draw them with your machine (any Cricut machine that can operate with a pen – it doesn’t have to be the new Cricut Maker.)

Here is what you need:
Cricut Machine that uses pens and the Cricut Design Space
Cricut Mat (I used a fabric mat)
Cricut washable fabric pen
12″ square of cotton fabric for drawing on (light color that the pen will show up on works best)
13″ square (or larger) of scrap batting
13″ square (or larger) of scrap fabric for backing
Sewing machine with Free-motion foot
Super slider (optional, but I love it)
Basting Spray (you can pin baste or thread baste – but I love spray basting)

  1. Pen draws linesDownload one of my .svg files for Free Motion Quilting. Right now I have a loopy fill and a border file. Let me know what you think, and I’ll add some more.

drawn designs for free motion quilting

  1. Open Cricut Design Space.
  2. Upload the file into Design Space. It is an SVG file, so it is pretty easy.
  3. Resize the file to whatever size square you would like.
  4. Ungroup the image.
  5. Remove the background shape (I have it sitting in a square for easy resizing)
  6. Over in the right-hand panel, click on the scissors, and change that to write (select washable fabric pen, 1.0, Blue)
  7. Your file is ready!

Put your 12×12 fabric on the mat. Load the mat, put the fabric pen in the pen holder, and let the machine draw the design.

Cricut fabric pen can draw free motion quilting designs

 

Once it is done, you can unload the mat, turn this layer into the top of your quilt sandwich, and start quilting! If you haven’t watched my video, I give you all the basics for Free Motion Quilting these designs in my post on 8 quilting designs using one basic motion.

free motion quilting practice

I’m using my favorite Wonderfil 12wt thread here. You can use whatever you like – but I love this thread for really standing out against any fabric!

Once you’re done, admire your work for a minute.

Free Motion Quilting practice - border designs

Then, you can wash away all that blue ink!

washing away the ink

How cool is that?

FMQ Practice Designs on the Cricut Machine

By the end of a practice square or two, you’ll have found that hum-purr, and be ready to try it on your own, without practice lines!

Want to know what to do with your practice pieces? You can save them as reminders of your quilting journey. If you like, you can trim them up, bind them, and turn them into mug rugs and place mats.

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78 Degrees and… Quilt

Living in San Diego, you’d think it was always 78 degrees and sunny. Unfortunately, it isn’t… but this quilt makes it feel like it is! So I named it “78 Degrees and…” Not to be mixed up with “98 degrees and…” because that is way too hot! 78 is perfect for a beach day… or a hammock day!

78 Degrees and... Quilt Modern Improv Dresden

I made this quilt using the new Dimensional Dresden ruler that Nancy’s Notions sent to me to play with. I’ve played with other Dresden techniques before, like in my Roots and Wings quilt and Watermelon Coasters. I also made a Dresden Plate in Block 7 of the Technique Block of the Month.

Dimensional Kaleidoscope Dresden Template

The Dimensional Dresden ruler does much more than the average Dresden Plate template. First, it is HUGE! It can make a petal 10″ – which means you can make a Dresden Plate that is over 20″ across! You can use it to make curved ends, pointed ends, and flat ends. Also, it comes with a detailed instruction book. Not only telling you how to make a traditional Dresden Plate – but how to kick it up a notch. Making layered Dresdens. There are so many examples of how to layer the pieces by inserting them into the seams in different ways. The possibilities are completely limitless! Plus, it is on sale right now! Any ruler less than $20 is usually a good deal – but less than $10 is a steal (and since it is on sale, you can avoid the bad karma from actually stealing).

If you want to make a quilt similar to “78 degrees and…”, you’ll need:
Lots of assorted yellow fabrics (about 6 yards)
Nancy Zieman Dimensional Dresden template Regularly $17.99 – now $9.99 through July 31st!
6 1/2″ square ruler
Rotary Cutter and mat
Scissors
Seam Ripper
Blue wash-away marker or chalk pencil
Sewing machine and matching thread

I was feeling like I needed a little sunshine, so I grabbed my entire stash of yellows, pulling out anything that felt too orange or too brown. Leaving just the pieces that could read as solid from a distance. I might have given myself permission to head to my local quilt shop to add a couple yellows. Just to round it out.

fabric selections

Spoiler Alert: I used it all. Or, pretty close to all. I have a healthy bag of yellow scraps… and an excuse to shop for more buttery and sunshiney yellows. I might have a thing for all yellow quilts.

Using the ruler, I cut lots of wedges. First, I cut a strip the height of the wedges I wanted, then cut the strip up into pieces using the wedge ruler. No waste at all!

cut wedges

Lots and lots of wedges.

lots of wedges

I cut different sizes. More than half were 8″ or 9 1/2″. These would be my big background pieces. I also cut lots and lots of small 4″ pieces, and a variety of pieces in between.

All the smaller pieces, and some of the larger pieces, were stitched along the top to make dresden points.

stitched dresdens

And then pressed.

press all the pieces

There is a handy template that comes with the ruler for centering the seam on the back. So smart!

pressing points

Once I had all these points created, I used the instruction booklet to stitch together partial dresden plate blocks.

Pressing was sometimes tricky with all the bulk in the seams. I found that inserting a wooden point turner into the front of a tucked-in dresden helped. I could press the back seam open without pressing creases into the tucked in dresden. A round wooden chopstick would work well, too.

press open with stick

Three 8″ wedges going the same direction, and then a fourth going the opposite direction was enough to trim to 6 1/2″ square. For the blocks where I wanted the seams more diagonal, I used 9 1/2″ wedges.

big enough

I just used my 6 1/2″ square ruler to trim them up.

trim up the block

I kept the scraps to stitch to the sides of other blocks that needed a little more width to make it to 6 1/2″ x 6 1/2″

On some, the inserted dresden extended beyond the edge of the 6 1/2″ block. I didn’t want to cut off the points – I wanted to keep the dimension!

I cut the sides that didn’t have the point. On the last side, I marked using a blue water-erase marker.

I carefully cut both sides with scissors, all the way up to the seam allowance. I ripped the seam on the part that needed to be removed, and removed it.

Then I pulled back the point, and cut into the dresden at an angle, towards the crease. I got to almost 1/8″ of the crease.

This allowed me to pull the point up and away from the side of the block, leaving plenty of room for the seam allowance. And all these raw edges will be protected when the point is appliqued down.

I repeated this process, making 47 blocks. The 48th block was special.

For this last block, I made a full Dresden with lots of points sticking out. Some sticking very far out!

Of course they wouldn’t fit within my 6 1/2″ square. I traced around the square.

I carefully trimmed each side like I had with the regular blocks – but this time I needed to trim all four sides.

Carefully moving all the points out of the way for cutting.

Or cutting right up to that seam allowance like before.

Cutting on all sides.

Once I cut in, I was able to pin the points out of the way.

pin out of the way

Then it was time to lay out the blocks.

lay out blocks

I made sure to have more points to insert in the seams.

pressed under

Some I stitched together.

stitch together

All of them I pressed 1/4″ in on each side to tuck in the raw edges.

press seams

I pinned them  so that the raw edges of the bottom extended beyond the edge of the blocks.

pin in place

And pinned them all over the quilt.

pin all rays in place

Then I stitched the blocks into rows… and the rows into a quilt!

finished quilt top

Then it was time for quilting. I used a walking foot to make rays out from the center. Then quilted the rays.

Swirls and pebbles, mostly.

Swirls mixed in with wavy lines.

I might’ve snuck in one feather.

Technically, she isn’t done yet. I want to hand-applique down all the points so they still have lots of dimension, but all the raw edges are tucked away and protected. And it isn’t bound yet. I’m undecided on if she will get a traditional binding, or if I’ll add a facing instead.

What do you think? Binding or facing?

Oh – and be sure to grab that Dimensional Dresden while it is still on sale! I have a couple more fun projects planned that you might be tempted to make!

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The Anatomy of a Win

My friends all know that I’m a competitive person. I LOVE contests. When I was younger, it was rough. I really, really, really wanted to win. But nobody wins all the contests, all the time. Though I ended many a contest in tears, it didn’t dull my love of competition. Thankfully. Because as an adult, I see contests as more than just a chance to win. It is an opportunity to complete something (nothing helps me finish like a deadline). I have a reason to stretch myself – try new skills. And I get to see what other like-minded creatives have come up with. I love getting to see other entries! I get inspired by what they came up with. And while I still get a little jealous when I see an awesome idea and think, “Man, I wish I had come up with that”, it is now combined with an appreciation for the craftsmanship behind it, and excitement by the inspiring idea.

three different dresses

So, when the Craft and Hobby Association (CHA – now AFCI {Association For Creative Industries}) announced their “Fashion Fusion Challenge” I KNEW I wanted to be a part of it. I’m much more of a quilter than a garment maker, but I’ve successfully made several garments. And considering that the show is filled with crafters, not all sewists and garment makers, I liked my chances. Plus – it would give me a chance to stretch myself.

 

Here are the basics of how the contest was going to run: There were two tracks – accessories and garments. People could sign up as individuals or in paired garment/accessory combos. We would all show up on Thursday at 11am. We’d have several hours to work in the workroom, using the supplies generously donated by sponsors. If we didn’t finish, we’d have access to sewing machines on the show floor on Saturday and Sunday. We had to turn in our completed designs Sunday afternoon for judging. Winners would walk the runway Sunday night.

supplies from sponsors

On the website were photos of the patterns that would be available for us to choose from, the fabrics we would have, and some of the notions and accessories. For a contest, they really gave us quite a bit of information up front. I loved it, and decided to use this information wisely!

 

Fairly quickly, I found a friend to team up with. We started sending design ideas back and forth. We came up with a feather theme. I’d convert the pattern for a top into a dress with a high front and low back. We’d add feather designs on the inside back for extra interest. I would bring Espadrille soles to make coordinating shoes which would lace all the way up the calves. I ordered the pattern online to play with it, and try my pattern adjustments at home – I knew from experience that the first time I make a garment isn’t nearly as successful as my third or fourth.

sharing the pattern

But then she had a family emergency, and couldn’t come. Luckily, Simone offered to step in for me. We re-planned. The pattern I had ordered came in and I sent her photos of my first attempt.

first attempt at design

It was not great. The dress was baggy where it should be fitted. It was uninteresting. And I wanted to take advantage of my quilting knowledge. So I tried again.

dress with quilted pieces

This one was more interesting, but the length made it look like a housedress. And while the log cabin piecing was perfect for quilting … it did nothing to enhance my figure. But, I had taken two passes at the pattern, knew what was working well and what was not, and more importantly, I was out of time.

 

On Thursday, I was late. My flight arrived on time, and I was able to get from the airport to the hotel. But my hotel room wasn’t ready for check-in. I had to rummage through my bags for the items I planned on taking with me, stow my carry-on items in my suitcase, and check them at the bell desk before running to the conference center. Late is not my favorite way to start!

 

Once we were both there, Simone and I wasted no time getting started. She was going to create a headband and purse. I was going to create the dress. And (time permitting) Espadrilles. We went through the items from the sponsors to see what we could use. WOW! So many fancy items that I didn’t even know existed!

Other than being late, I had a second hiccup. I had brought my own rotary cutter and ruler, but there was no cutting mat. My design hinged on cutting strips of fabric and piecing them back together. Not possible without a cutting mat!

Luckily, we were able to wrangle one from one of the booths on the show floor, and I started piecing my dress.

pressing and working

The workroom was loads of fun. Hanging out with the other gals sewing and crafting, chatting with my friend Simone, learning about the cool Brother machine and the Brother Scan-N-Cut. There was lots to keep me entertained while I stitched together strips of fabric.

sewing photo

Unfortunately, Simone and I weren’t able to take advantage of all the workroom time. We were both scheduled to speak at a roundtable on social media that overlapped with the last hour. Simone had nearly finished the clutch (there was adhesive drying on it), and I was at a good stopping place. We packed up what we had, and crossed our fingers.

In the hotel room, I did as much prep as possible. Pinning and marking don’t require a sewing machine. Simone was able to finish embellishing the clutch. She started on the headband.

Pinning on Bathroom Floor

On Saturday, I headed back to the sewing machine. Between working in booths and attending events on the show floor, I snuck in about an hour of sewing. I had forgotten to mark the neckline, so couldn’t progress any further. I also stitched the pieces for the Espadrilles. Saturday night I’d have to stitch the fabric to the soles, as well as mark the dress. And hope that I’d have enough time in the morning to stitch the neckline, sew the sides together, and hem the dress!

While hanging out in the hotel lobby with friends on Saturday night, I stitched up the shoes. I LOVED the way they turned out, and knew that they would be perfect to wear with the dress.

stitching shoes

Sunday I was exhausted. When I attend the show in January, I usually just go for Saturday and Sunday. Just two days. By this time I was on day FOUR. Four days of chatting, planning, partying, staying up way too late, and waking up WAY too early. But I was determined to finish!

oh so very tired

When I finally had the dress sewn together and ready to hem, I was so excited to try it on. Of course I took a bathroom selfie to send to Simone!

ready for hemming

After hemming, I tried on the whole outfit, with shoes and clutch. Just needed the headband from Simone, and we were ready for judging!

try on dress

The judging was incredibly nerve-wracking. Quite a few contestants didn’t make it to the final judging. In the “teams” category, my main competition was a teen who had made a skirt. It was the second garment she had ever sewn, and she had done quite a bit of hand-sewing in order to get her look finished on time. I barely knew her, but was incredibly proud of her for getting it all done.

The worst part of hoping that you will win is knowing that someone else will lose.

judging

When the final result was announced, I was so excited! WE WON!! But that meant being runway-ready that night. Luckily for me, it was as easy as messaging my friend Jessica. She had done my hair and makeup for more than one of these types of events, and knocked it out of the park each and every time.

Makeup session

With the perfect hair and makeup to go with my outfit, I felt fierce as I walked down the runway a winner! Here I am with the other contestants and their awesome looks. To the left of me is the individual garment winner from The New Craft House. To the right, the individual accessories winner. And on the end, the outfit that was my competition. No, we are not all glowing – the lighting in the bar just made us look that way!

fashion show winners

The whole event was such a fantastic experience. It was so fun to alter a garment, work in my quilting skills, partner up and collaborate with a friend, and (of course) come away a winner!

the three dresses

Usually a good win comes with a great prize – this contest was no exception. As the winning team, Simone and I were given a Brother sewing machine and a Brother Scan N Cut. We had them send the sewing machine to Simone, and I’ve been able to give the Scan N Cut a new home!

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Woven Top Zippered Pouch

I’m not much of a scrap quilter. I often pile my scraps into a box until it overflows, then mail it to a friend who likes to quilt with scraps. But every now and then I’m inspired to get scrappy… like with these Art Gallery Fabrics Scraps that I wove together to make a zippered pouch! I took photos along the way so you can use my method to make one of your own!

Woven Top Zippered Pouch Tutorial

I’m showing you how the weaving of the top panel was done, and giving basic instructions for finishing the zippered pouch. If you want more detailed zippered pouch instructions, check out this zippered pouch tutorial.

Start by cutting a piece of background fabric a little bigger than your small scrap strips. Lay the short pieces down, parallel to one another. Stitch across the top to secure in place.

stitch down short pieces

Weave a long piece through the short strips.

add cross strips

Keep weaving long strips through, until you get to the bottom.

weave strips

Using a walking foot, stitch diagonal rows across to secure all the strips in place. You can use a ruler to make sure the first row is at a 45 degree angle. Then use the edge of the foot to line up subsequent rows.

stitch down woven rows

stitch rows

Stitch at a 90 degree angle, to create cross-hatch stitching that secures all the strips in place.

Make a second panel the same way you created this first, and trim up the edges.

trim up top

Cut bottom pieces the same width as the panels, and as long as you need to make the size bag you want.

stitch top and bottom pieces

Press open the seam.

Add fusible fleece to the back of each piece. Cut lining pieces the same size.

Add the zipper.

Box the corners.

Your zippered pouch is complete!

 

Camper Hoop Art

I love stitching up mini hoops for friends. Much quicker to whip up than a quilt, doesn’t take much space in the recipient’s home, and still a fun sentiment!

This camper hoop art isn’t a full-and-fancy tutorial, just some photos and a few steps to get you on your way to stitching your own fun hoop art!

Cute Trailer Hoop Art

To make your hoop art – camper or otherwise – you’ll need:
Background Fabric
Needle
Embroidery Floss
4″ embroidery Hoop
Rubber Stamp (optional)
Color Box Erasable stamp pad (optional)
Water-soluble pen (optional)

 

If you’re using a stamp, you can stamp your artwork to give yourself an outline. If you want to make “changes” to the stamp, use the water soluble pen to mark these changes. I wanted my stichery to look like my friend’s Eileen Hull’s trailer that she has named “Scotty.”

stamp on image

I traced the hoop to make sure the words would fit inside. It wasn’t as centered as I wanted, so I re-centered when I hooped.

Hoop the image in the embroidery hoop, and start stitching.

When you’re done, use a damp towel to “erase” away the water soluble markings.

finished hoop art

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How to make a T-shirt quilt from start to finish

It has been a couple years since I filmed my how to make a t-shirt quilt series.

Time for an updated video! I got together with my friends at Prime Publishing to show you how to make a T-shirt quilt from start to finish.

 

To make your quilt, you’ll need a few supplies:

T-shirts
Press Cloth (an old dishtowel will do)
Lightweight Fusible Interfacing
Border Fabric
Rotary Cutter, Mat & Ruler
Iron and Ironing Board
Sewing Machine.

In the video I take you through all the steps of making your t-shirt quilt. Learn the best way to cut your shirts so that your whole design fits on your blocks, and tips for how to center your design. What do you do when you have different sized shirts to incorporate into your t-shirt quilt? Add borders, of course! I show you what bordered blocks look like.

Stitching together stretchy shirts can result in puckers and blocks that don’t line up correctly. Adding a light-weight interfacing to your quilt blocks (I love and use Thermoweb brand interfacings) keeps them from stretching while cutting, sewing, and quilting your quilt.

Quilting your quilt is easy using a walking foot, or you can send your t-shirt quilt to a professional long-arm quilter to quilt it for you.

To finish your quilt, add binding and a label!

 

 

 

Blithe Blog Tour

I’m so excited to be part of Katarina Roccella’s Blithe Blog Tour! I’ve been a long-time fan of her whimsical fabric designs, and I have been a fan of Art Gallery Fabrics even longer! Katarina’s new line, “Blithe” is in stores now… I know it is at my local shop Cozy Creative Center… check to see if your shop is carrying these fun fabrics!

Blithe Fabrics EPP Pillow

Katarina asked if I would be part of this fun blog tour, and of course I said YES! I already had a project in the works… which is a funny story.

I attended Houston Quiltmarket in October. It was my third time going, and I really enjoy seeing what is new in quilting. I went to sample spree, hoping to get my hands on Katarina’s next line, “In Blue”. They didn’t have yardage yet, so instead I bought some Blithe. Which is equally beautiful. Really. The gorgeous colors and nature prints are just so inviting. And Art Gallery Fabrics always feel so nice, they are a pleasure to sew with. I don’t know what kind of fairy dust they weave into their fabrics – but if you’ve never touched AGF, you’re in for a treat!

I flew home after market was over, and was at the airport waiting for my flight. I had supplies with me for English Paper Piecing because I always have EPP supplies with me (and I had taught an EPP class that morning and done EPP demos while at market). I pulled out my Blithe and started stitching. I didn’t know what it would become… but my hands like to stay busy.

EPP at the Airport

By the time I’d gotten home, I had a message from Katarina. We have chatted via Instagram in the past – I created a quilt sample for a past line of hers. She asked if I’d like to turn what I was making into a project for her lookbook.

Of course, yes. I had a project that might get finished eventually. But now, it had a deadline. I was off and running.

finishing up EPP

English Paper Piecing is my favorite. I don’t knit or crochet, so this is the handwork that I can tuck in my bag and take wherever I go. When waiting at the doctor’s office, when waiting to pick up kids from school, in the evening in front of the TV… I love to pick up my handwork.

If you’ve never tried EPP, here is a video of me at Quiltmarket, showing
how easy it is:

You’re hooked already, right? Grab some papers and a glue pen, pick up your needle and thread, and start stitching!

Of course, once you’re done stitching, you have to finish your project. Since this was going to be a pillow, I pulled out the papers, ironed on some of my favorite Thermoweb Fusible Fleece, and did some simple straight-line stitching with my walking foot.

quilting EPP

You’ll notice I stitched to the side, and not “in the ditch”. English Paper Piecing doesn’t have a “ditch” to stitch in – the seam allowances are essentially pressed open. So quilting has to be done across the surface of the fabric.

Yes, I would love to have hand-quilted this piece. But time.

I did manage to put together another quick project for the lookbook… a simple clutch.

Stupid Simple Clutch

This is my “Stupid Simple Clutch” pattern that I’m still working on writing up. I’m hoping to release it this spring. Fingers crossed!

Those are the simple projects I created for the Lookbook, and for the Blog Tour… I hope you’re getting inspired to play with some Blithe yourself! Drop me a comment below and tell me what you’re planning to make!

 

 

Pokemon Halloween Costumes

I thought I’d share our family Halloween Costumes this year. My boys, in all the Pokemon Craze, decided they wanted to be Pikachu and Raichu for Halloween this year. I figured they would be easy enough to make out of fleece. I went to JoAnns to get fleece in the colors I’d need, and looked for a basic pattern that would be easy to adjust with a tail, stripes, ears, and such. I found McCall’s 6106, and it was perfect!

I spoke to my SIL who lives here in San Diego. Her boys wanted to be Pikachu as well. Making 4 costumes really isn’t much more work than making 2, so I whipped up all the costumes and had them done by mid-October. Pretty much a Halloween miracle, as I’m usually finishing costumes the night before. So of course I took to Facebook to brag a little.

Pikachu and Raichu Costumes

Karma. Karma, karma, karma.

My other SIL, who lives in Northern California has a couple Pokemon-obsessed kiddos as well. 3 of them. She asked if I could whip up some costumes for them as well. I’m never going to say “no” to making costumes for my nieces and nephews, and by this time I was a Pikachu expert, so of course I said yes.

And then discovered they didn’t want Pikachu.

They wanted Charmander, Nidoran, and Squirtle.

This was going to be more challenging than I originally planned! But a challenge is just a solution away from genius, so I bought more fleece in different colors, and started stitching. I used the same pattern, just with more adjustments.

more pokemon costumes

My SIL took these photos of the kids in their costumes:

Charmander and Nidoran costume

Squirtle Costume

Kids traveling to Halloween parties often need to hop in and out of car seats or Booster seats, and I didn’t want their costumes to get in the way. So I made the tail, spikes and shell detachable with magnets (these are traditionally purse clasps).

squirtle shell

Since I was already making a record number of costumes, and we had a good Pokemon theme going, I told my husband I’d make him a Snorlax. He was game!

Snorlax Costume

That’s how 2016 became the year that I made 8 Halloween Costumes. From Scratch.

I’m thinking it is also how 2017 became the year that we bought our costumes instead of making them! Ha!

picachu costumes

Glory: Scrappy Flag Quilt Pattern

Happy 4th of July! A couple weeks ago, I had an idea for a Scrappy Flag Quilt. I went to my fabric stash and pulled assorted reds, then pulled out my Tumbler English Paper Piecing shapes. I had plenty of both, and a long car trip perfect for some hand-stitching time, so I got to work!

This quilt is part hand work (the red stripes are hand-stitched using English Paper Piecing), and part machine-stitched (the background is stitched together by machine, and the EPP is machine appliqued and machine quilted). All the beauty of handwork, without being crazy time consuming!

You can buy the pattern on Craftsy here.

Glory: Scrappy Flag Quilt Pattern. Uses English Paper Piecing and traditional piecing techniques.

Tumblers aren’t the most popular shape for English Paper Piecing, Hexagons are the most popular, followed by Diamonds. Both of these shapes have angles that can be tricky to piece, making paper piecing a great choice. Tumblers can be fairly easily machine pieced – but they are so satisfying for hand sewing! The edges line up nicely, and you can get this great zig-zag effect from alternating the directions of the tumblers.

Scrappy flag quilt - simple to make, easy to follow pattern with EPP instructions

The quilt makes a great wall hanging for any room. You can use it as a table topper. You can hang it outdoors for a picnic – or use it on a picnic table or picnic display table.

fun and scrappy flag quilt pattern

I had lots of fun quilting this one… I think my favorite part is the quilted stars in the 13 white tumblers!

close up of Glory scrappy flag quilt

Buy the Digital Download pattern here.

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BB8 Pouf

Is your family Star Wars Crazy? With a house full of boys, you can bet mine is! My 3 and 7 year old boys love Star Wars. And the adorable Droids in it. R2D2, Chopper, and BB8 are their favorite! So, when Fairfield offered to send me a foam Pouf to design with, I knew what I would make with it! It HAD to become a BB8 Pouf!!

DIY BB8 Pouf

Adorable, right? And really simple to make – I whipped this out in an evening – from sewing the cover to painting it. When my kiddos woke up in the morning, this BB8 was waiting for them!

You’ll need:
Fairfield 6″ tall foam Pouf (leave the plastic packaging on)
Pencil
Fabric – I used 1.5 yards of Robert Kaufman Outback Canvas
24″ white zipper
DecoArt Multisurface paint in Dolphin and Orange Sherbet
Paintbrush
Sewing Machine and thread

If you read that supply list and the word “zipper” scared you, don’t be afraid! Zippers are not hard, and I’m going to show you a very basic way to insert the zipper that doesn’t take crazy sewing skills. Also, you’ll be glad you have the zipper because white fabric in a boys’ room is going to need to be washed fairly often!

Start by cutting your fabric. Trace the pouf onto a double layer of the fabric with a pencil.

Then cut two strips of fabric – one 4″ and one 6.5″, both the entire Width of the Fabric.

cut strips

Cut the 4″ strip in half. Lay one on top of the zipper, and with your zipper foot on, stitch all the way down the zipper. If the zipper pull gets in the way, stop with your needle down, move the zipper pull, then keep stitching.

stitch on zipper

Flip the fabric over to expose the zipper, then top-stitch down to secure.

top stitch zipper

Repeat with the other side, then trim the fabric to the length of the usable portion of the zipper, plus 1/4″ on each side for seam allowance.

Trim the width to 6.5″

trim up

Stitch the two strips together on the short ends, to make one long strip.

attach side to zipper

Pin the side to one of the circles, then stitch on using a 1/4″ seam allowance.

attach sides to bottom

Stop stitching about 2″ from the end. Match up the two ends, trim, and stitch closed.

stitch closed side

Lay the top circle on the bottom, and draw registration points to line up.

draw points for matching

Use these registration points as guides to pin the circle to the edge of the side. This will prevent puckers.

pin top to sides

OPEN THE ZIPPER. Don’t forget to do this!! You’ll want to open the zipper partway before you continue, so you can turn it right side out in the next step. Then, stitch all the way around the circle.

Turn the cover right-side-out, and insert the Pouf with the plastic packaging still on.

insert foam pouf

Using a dinner plate, draw circles onto your pouf lightly, with a pencil.

draw circles

Paint them in. I looked up images of BB8, then free-handed the design based on what I saw, but you can use a ruler and pencil to sketch in your designs before painting.

paint circles

Allow the paint to dry. After it is completely dry, you can pull out the pouf, remove the plastic, and re-insert it. You’ll see that the plastic protected the foam from any paint that seeped through the fabric.

colors of paint

Your kids (of any age) will be so excited!

stitched-pouf-cover-painted

finished-pouf