New Laser-Cut Fusible Applique Wall Hanging Tutorial

Applique Wall Hanging

I’m sure you’re wondering what a Laser Cut Fusible Applique is! A Laser Cut machine is like a printer, but instead of printing, it uses a laser to cut shapes out of different objects, including fabric. It is doing amazing things in the fabric world – including allowing us to laser cut intricate applique shapes with the fusible already adhered to the back! Nancy Zieman has created a whole line of these appliques with fun words on them. When she approached me to share them with you, I jumped up and down and said YES! There are quite a few Laser Cut Appliques to choose from, I chose the “Fabric Stitch Sew Create” with the buttons. The “Sew” with the tomato pincushion outline was a really close second, though!

The applique looks like this in the package. They are made of black fabric, and the back has the fusible attached, and a paper backing.

 

Before removing the paper backing, I unfolded the applique and gave it a light press to get out the creases. This helps it lie flat when I place it later.

Then I started auditioning different fabrics from my stash. I ended up choosing these fun prints and solid from Art Gallery Fabrics.

Auditioning fabrics for the wall hanging

To make your own laser cut fusible applique wall hanging, you’ll need:
Laser Cut Fusible Applique from Nancy Zieman
Scissors
3 Fat Quarters for the front
Rotary Cutter, Ruler, and Mat
1/2 yard fabric for the back
505 or your favorite basting spray
#5 Pearl Cotton in coordinating colors (or Embroidery Floss)
Needle

Before taking off the paper backing and fusing the applique, I cut the support pieces from the applique. Look carefully! There are three. Once you fuse the applique down it will be permanent, so you want to make sure you cut them all out.

Cut out support pieces

I carefully removed the backing paper and fused the applique to my solid background fabric. The applique is fairly detailed, so as I auditioned fabrics, I found that it looked best on a solid color or a small print.

After fusing the applique to my fat quarter, I trimmed it down. Trimming my fabric after pressing down the applique helped me get the perfect positioning, and I didn’t have to worry about the applique shifting as I secured it.

Trim down fabric

I added a 4 ” strip of my large print to the top and a 6″ strip to the bottom of my wall hanging.

add borders

I prefer to spray baste (rather than pin baste), especially on small projects like this one, so I used my basting spray to put together my quilt sandwich – backing fabric on the bottom, right side down, then batting, then the applique top. I trimmed it down, leaving a few inches on all sides, and added some quilting.

spray baste

I wanted to add a little more fun, so I ironed on a few of the applique button shapes that came with the applique, and quilted around them. I picked out Pearl Cotton that coordinated with my print, and added stitching to the buttons.

number 5 pearl cotton

The thread was tied off on the back of the wall hanging. I tried tying it on the front, but it looked to messy for me, tying it on the back looked cleaner

stitch through button holes

All that was left was to bind the quilted wall hanging, and I was all done! I used 2″ binding that I applied by machine, but you can bind your wall hanging in whatever way you’re most comfortable.

These laser cut appliques are so simple to use, and since I put mine on a wall hanging that isn’t going to get washed or see much wear, I didn’t have to worry about stitching it down. The applique will stay permanently after fusing it with the heat from my iron!

I’m just one of the bloggers sharing fun projects made with these appliques – check out Nancy Zieman’s Blog all week for more fun ideas!

 

Should I Press My Quilt Seams Open or to One Side?

Should I press my seams open or to one side

 

The quilting question “Should I press my quilt seams open or to one side?” comes up very often in my quilting classes. When my students ask me, I think they’re looking for a single, definitive answer. A quilting rule that they can follow or flaunt. The problem is that I believe in very few quilting rules.

I believe that when quilting, you should press your seams. But how you press your quilt seams depends on a variety of factors. You should take these factors into account when you decide if you’re going to press your seams open, or to one side.

press seam open

How are you going to quilt your finished quilt?
If you plan on doing a “stitch in the ditch” on your quilt blocks, your decision has been made – you must press your seams to the side. The quilting technique “stitch in the ditch” is so named because of where the stitching falls. Pressing the quilt seams to the side created a slight raise on one side of the seam – which results in a slight ditch on the other. This is easy enough for a newbie quilter to find and aim at when quilting.
If you try to “Stitch in the Ditch” on a quilt where the quilt seams have been pressed open, you will be quilting along the seam line right between the pieces of the quilt top, and instead of securing the backing, batting, and top, you’ll be securing the backing and batting while tacking the top in place.
If you plan to do an all-over or a stitching pattern that does not closely follow the piecing of the blocks, you can press your seams however you like.

 

How flat do you want your finished quilt top to be?
Pressing quilt seams open results in flatter piecing. This is because instead of pressing all the bulk of the seam to one side, the bulk is divided in half and spread equally over two sides. Your finished quilt blocks are much flatter than a block with the seams pressed to the side. Once your quilt top is quilted together with the batting and backing, much of the flatness created by pressing seams open is lost into the batting, and a quilt with the seams pressed to the side is no more lumpy than one with the seams pressed open.

press seam to the side

What piecing techniques are you using?
Depending on the techniques you are using when piecing your top, you may prefer one pressing method over another. If you are piecing many small pieces together, you may want to press the quilt seams open to reduce the bulk at the individual seams. However, if you are doing intricate piecing where you want to match your seams, pressing the quilt seams to the side may actually help you. If you press one seam up and one seam down before laying two pieces with their right sides together, the ditches of the two seams will “lock” together, helping line up the piecing, and resulting in more crisp lines and points.

 

How do you press best?
What is most important in pressing is that you do it, and do it as well as possible. I have seen new quilters who did not press properly, and lost as much as 1/2″ of fabric in each seam because of poor pressing. So, if there is one way that you prefer pressing because it makes you happier, go ahead and use that method. Because staying happy while you quilt is what it is all about anyway, right?

Hexagon Fabric Bracelet

Do you have some favorite pieces of fabric you’d like to turn into wearable accessories? Or maybe you love hexagons and want to show it in your wardrobe. Maybe you want to try out some of this hexagon madness without committing to a big project. These hexagon fabric bracelets are perfect for you! They make a great gift for a fabric-loving friend, or to mail in a swap package with a fellow quilter. Simple to make with just hand stitching, you’ll get addicted to these fun hexie bracelets!

Fabric bracelet stitched out of hexagons

Supplies:
1″ Hexagon Template
Pellon 71F
Pencil
Scissors
Fabric (I used 4 Charm Squares for each bracelet)
Needle and thread

Start by tracing your 1″ hexagon onto the Pellon. You’ll need 12 hexagons for each bracelet. For reference, a 1″ hexagon has sides that are 1″ across.

trace hexies onto pellon

Cut out all your hexagons.

hexies all cut out

Fuse the hexagons to your fabric, and trim the fabric. You’ll want to give yourself a generous 1/4″ of fabric all the way around each hexagon.

Fold over one edge of the fabric and tack down with a few stitches.

stitch down corner

Fold down each side, and put two stitches in each corner to hold down the sides.

stitch down hexie corners

Add a few extra stitches on the final corner to secure, and cut the thread. Repeat for all 12 hexagons.

finished hexie

Put two hexagons right sides together, and stitch along one edge. You can whip stitch them together, or you can use a ladder stitch to secure the edges. Repeat with all the hexagons to make 6 pairs.

The ladder stitch, I found, is less visible than whip stitching the pieces together. Start by making a stitch on one edge. Where the needle comes up, start a stitch on the opposite side. Keep making stitches on alternating sides all the way across. Your stitches will look like a series of straight lines up and down across the edge of the hexagons.

stitch together pieces

When you unfold the hexagons, and make them flat, you’ll see the stitches. Pull on your thread to tighten the pieces together, then secure with a few stitches.

stitched together hexies

Once you have your 6 pairs, use the same stitch to stitch them together.

stitch into a chain

You’ll want 6 hexagons down the middle, with the extra hexagon for each hanging off of either side.

chain of hexies

Fold over the matching pairs, one at a time, and stitch down around each edge. making a sandwich with the right sides out. This hides all the backs of your hexagons, and leaves just the pretty side.

stitch together front and back pieces

Repeat this with each hexagon, all the way around. When you get to the end, match up the two ends and stitch them together. Line the two pieces up, and stitch the two inside edges together first.

stitch into a bracelet loop

Then go back across, stitching together the two outside edges. Secure the thread with several stitches, and adjust the hexagons to form the shape of your hexagon bangle bracelet.

Hexagon Fabric Bracelet Tutorial

They’re pretty addictive… you’ll find yourself making a whole armful!

Hexaon fabric bracelets tutorial

How to Make a Wizard Costume

Wizard Costume

Ever have those days where you find out that you need to send your child to school in a Wizard Costume on Friday… and it is already Wednesday evening? I had one of those days last week. Being a mom who knows her way around a sewing machine, I decided we would make a Wizard Costume. Not just any wizard costume… we would make the most awesome Wizard Costume ever. According to my son, we achieved this goal. Make sure you check out how to make a Wizard Wand and how to make a Wizard Hat as well.

supplies for wizard costumeThursday, after a morning play date at the pool, we headed off to JoAnns to get our supplies. We got everything we needed to make a Wizard Robe (supplies listed are for a 4-year-old child), as well as the Wizard Wand and Wizard Hat.
For the Wizard Robe we used:
4 yards blue satin (some used on the hat, too)
1 yard green satin (some used on the hat, too)
2 spools copper ribbon (also used on the wand and hat – I would get 3 if I were to make this again)
Coordinating thread

You’ll also want a sewing machine, Iron, and pins.

I started by laying out the blue satin, along with a long-sleeved shirt that is a little big for my son.You can’t tell here, but the left side of the fabric is the fold, and there is a double layer of the fabric, so there are actually 4 layers of fabric right there, and I’m going to cut through all of them on the fold.

I was lucky that the width of fabric was enough for the top and sleeves. Otherwise, I’d have to cut different pieces for the sleeves and set them into the arm holes. Which would be a lot more work.

measure for costume size

I had my son lay next to the fabric so that I could determine the height.Yes, his pants are on backwards… that happens sometimes when he dresses himself…

You can see I marked it with a fabric pencil here. Then I cut.
I added a little bit of flare from the waist down to the bottom to try to give the robe a little extra fullness.

cut satin for wizard costume

I also added some extra fabric at the bottom of the sleeves. Having the bottom end in a point like this makes the sleeves have a nice big point at the bottom, which is one of the things I love about this costume. I also cut a little ways away from the shirt because I needed extra seam allowance for the french seams. More on that in a little bit.

The rest of these instructions are going to be picture-less, because it is pretty basic sewing. It takes a while, but it is pretty basic. I’ll warn you, the neckline bit is a little complicated… there might be a better way to do that part.

I separated the two layers, and then cut a V shape into the fold of the piece that was going to be the front, to give a more open neckline. Then I cut all the way up the fold on this piece, because the robe was going to be open.

I pinned the pieces wrong-sides together (WRONG sides, not right sides, because I’m doing french seams here). I stitched the shoulder/sleeve tops, and the sleeve bottom/armpit/side seams all with a scant 1/4″ seam. I then flipped it wrong-side-out, clipped the seams at the armpit, and repeated all those seams with a generous 1/4″ seam. This keeps all the raw edges tucked inside so there is no fraying while the costume is worn. In hindsight, it would have been a good idea to do the shoulder/sleeve top seams, add the green to the end of the sleeves, and then do the sleeve bottom/armpit/side seams.

Next was adding the green satin to the collar. I put a piece of paper under the neckline and traced the curve from the back center of the neck, all the way down the V neckline in the front. I added a 2.5″ border to the outside, and a .25″ border on the inside and cut it out. This was my template for creating the green satin for the neckline.

I folded the green satin in half, and pinned on my template, with the bottom of the V touching the fold. I cut out the template, but at the bottom of the V cut all the way down the fold the height of the straight slit in the front of the robe.

Putting this neckline piece right-sides-together, I stitched that inner 1/4″ seam, and then turned right side out. I created a second neckline piece for the other side, and pinned them both to the robe, then pressed the raw edges under, folded it over the raw edge of the blue satin so that the blue satin raw edge sat right inside the green, touching the fold. I stitched it all down, then pinned the copper ribbon on top, and stitched that down as well. There might be an easier way to do this part, but I wanted a smooth neckline and it was already 11pm the night before he was supposed to wear the costume!

I cut 5″ strips out of the green satin, folded them in half, and pressed. I then opened up those seams, folded in the sides, so the raw edges touched that middle fold line, and pressed. Then folded it back in half and pressed yet again. This made all the trim for the bottom and the sleeves. I folded this over the sleeve and bottom edges just like before, with the raw edge of the blue inside the fold of the green. This time, when I got to an end, I trimmed off the green with about 1/2″ extra, then folded the extra under and stitched in place.

After sewing on the trim, I pinned the copper ribbon in place and stitched it down. You’ll notice that there is no copper ribbon along the bottom of the Wizard Robe. I ran out and had to choose between having it on the sleeves or on the bottom edge. The sleeves won.

That was it! It took several hours to stitch it all together, but my son was THRILLED when he woke up the next morning and saw his costume!

If you want to make a wizard costume, make sure you check out how to make a Wizard Wand and how to make a Wizard Hat as well!

wizard hat and wand

Precut Hexagon Honeycombs: Happy Go Lucky Quilted Table Topper

I’m still getting my monthly pack of Charming Solids from Pink Chalk Fabrics. It is like getting unfattening chocolate in my mailbox each month, and even when I don’t have time to make anything with the fabric I’m sent, I love it. I’ve thought about cancelling… but I just can’t. Not yet. And I’m so glad I didn’t because last week I got an awesome surprise in my mailbox! Usually, the Charming Solids club pack has 2 charm packs and coordinating solids. This month they sent me one of the new precut hexagons along with coordinates! That was all it took to get my quilting mojo going, and I whipped up this little hexagon table topper. The best part? NO Y-seams!

A Y-seam is unlike a traditional seam. A Y-seam is when 3 seams come together in one spot, often forming a Y shape. It can be hard to get a perfect Y-seam with no pucker. And a quilt full of Y-seams can be a challenge. By cutting triangles out of my solid coordinating fabrics and creating diamond units, I eliminated the need for Y-seams. And I also have ideas for more fun no-y-seam-hexagon projects!

To make this hexagon table topper, you need:
– Bonnie & Camille Happy Go Lucky Honeycomb Hexies
– 8 Coordinating Solids. I had an “extra-wide” fat eighth of each. A regular fat eighth will be fine.
– Coordinating fabrics for scrappy binding. I used fabrics I had on hand, plus some of my coordinates from the pack. If you start with fat quarters of your coordinating solids, you will have plenty for a scrappy binding.
– 1 1/4 yards backing fabric
– batting of your choice

Cut 72 triangle units from the coordinating solids. I created a template for mine. Each side is 3 3/8″, and the whole unit is 3″ from base to point. I cut 3″ strips from my fabric, and then cut the triangle units from the strip. If you cut your strips from the length of your fat eighth, rather than the width, you’ll have more usable fabric to use in your binding.

Set aside 5 hexagons. Stitch the triangle units to each side of your remaining hexagons to create diamonds. Of the 5 hexagons you pulled aside, select 2, and stitch a triangle to only one side of each. These two will go on either side of the middle row. You will have leftover triangles that you’ll use later.

Set aside 3 diamonds. Stitch your remaining diamonds into pairs, being careful to line up your seams.

Use your pairs, the diamonds you set aside, the single-triangle units, and your leftover triangles to create rows:
2 rows of 4, with an extra triangle
2 rows of 5, with an extra triangle
2 rows of 6, with an extra triangle
1 row of 7, using the single-triangle units on each end

Stitch your rows together to make your quilt top, being careful to line up your seams.

Quilt as desired, and bind. I used a 2″ scrappy binding.

Makes a great baby play quilt or table topper.

Urban Sprawl Quilt with Art Gallery Fabrics

EEK!! Today I’m over at the Art Gallery Fabrics Blog sharing my Stackable, Squishable Fabric Blocks tutorial (if you ever want to make fabric blocks, these ones are the best, y’all – they are both squishable and stackable which is kinda a miracle in fabric construction).

AND – I’m giving away a Fat Quarter Bundle of the fabrics I used for those blocks – get the details at the bottom of this post!!

I’m super excited to be sharing on the AGF blog, but also wanted to share something fun for y’all here, so I’m sharing my Urban Sprawl quilt that I made with the yummy Urban Mod Fat Quarters that AGF sent me.

Yup – here is what they sent… the full line of Urban Mod. I just knew I wanted to make a quilt top out of these… a quilt top that would truly do these modern fabrics justice. So I came up with Urban Sprawl. It has a modern look, and some modern cutting techniques, but is really quick and easy to put together (I promise)!

I started by pressing all of my fat quarters, stacking them up, and then cutting them:

a: 2″ x 20ish (length of the FQ)
b: 11.5″ x 11.5″
c: 11.5″ x 2″
d: 11.5″ x 2″
e: extra fabic – use for scrappy binding/backing if desired

Fabric B is for my blocks, A and C is for my modern sashing, and D is really extra (some of the FQs aren’t quite big enough to get a D out of them), I wanted it for my backing, which you’ll see at the end.

I then cut my block (B) pieces into 3.

I stacked 5 fabrics, then cut at an angle across. You can cut at whatever angle you like, but cut at least 1.5″ away from the corners, just to reduce bulk at the corners in your finished block. Move the smaller piece to the side, then cut the larger piece into 2, again at an angle and at least 1.5″ away from the corner.

Here is another set that I cut:

Keep your sets together!

Take your fabric to your sewing machine. Lay out one set. Of the 3 pieces for the block, pick one section. Move the top fabric to the bottom. Then for the second section, move the top 2 fabrics to the bottom.

You should now have 3 sections, each with a different fabric on top.

Stitch the two smaller pieces together. Press the seam open. Then stitch the larger piece on the side. Press open.

Repeat with all blocks.

Square up blocks to 10.5″.

Here comes the fun part: adding the sashing!

Add one of the small sashing pieces (C) to each block. One piece, and it doesn’t matter what side of the block you add it to. Just sew, sew, sew! The sashing piece will be longer than the block. That’s ok.

Press the seam, and then trim the sashing piece flush with the block.

Sew your blocks into rows of 4. All the sashings should be parallel, but you can have fun with the placement. The rows should not be block – sashing – block – sashing – block – sashing – block – sashing. Instead, try block – sashing – block – sashing – sashing – block – block – sashing. Go for variety in each row.

Stitch your A pieces into long strips of 3, by sewing 3 pieces end-to-end. This will be your horizontal sashing.

Add a horizontal sashing piece to the top or bottom of each row. Press, and trim the sashing piece to the size of the row.

Stitch your sashed rows together to form the quilt top. Again, you don’t have to have a perfect alternation of sashing and blocks. Have fun with the placement!

Once you’re done with the top, it is time to work on the backing. I used the D strips, plus some more 2″ strips I cut from E to make a stacked coin column to piece into my backing. This quilt is just barely wider than traditional quilting cotton, so it was the perfect way to stretch the use of my fabric, and add a fun element to the quilt back as well.

Now all that is left is to quilt it! I’m thinking of doing an echo of the pieces in the blocks… what do you think? How would you quilt it?

Be sure to check out my Stackable Squishable Fabric Blocks on the AGF Blog – and if you love quilts, you can check out some of the other quilts I’ve done!

Want to win an awesome bundle of AGF? To be eligible to win you must do three things:
1. Follow AGF on your favorite social media platformeither PinterestFacebook, Twitter and Subscribe to the AGF blog to stay up to date on all things AGF & the Fat Quarter Gang!
2. Follow me on Pinterest, Facebook, or Twitter
3. Leave me a comment below (maybe tell me how you’d quilt Urban Sprawl?)! Make sure to give me your e-mail address…

I’ll be picking a winner on June 3rd!

Hanging Canvas Quilted Tapestry Wallhanging

I’m not sure what to call this. I started with a UPrinting Rolled Canvas. I added some fabric, quilting, upholstery fabric, binding… and hung it on the wall. Though I’m not sure if it is a quilt, a tapestry, or a wall hanging, I do know that I LOVE it, and it was super simple to make!

Supplies:
UPrinting Rolled Canvas
Scrap Fabric
Upholstery Fabric
Spray Adhesive for Fabric (like 505 spray)

I ordered my rolled canvas from UPrinting. Super easy. All I had to do was upload my picture (I just LOVE this picture of my boys), select my size, and enter my information to have it delivered to me in just a few days. I ordered the canvas untrimmed, but they will trim it at no extra charge.

Since I ordered my canvas untrimmed, I had to trim it down. I trimmed it with a scant quarter inch of white, which will disappear into my seam allowance. I could also trim it to the size of the photo, and my finished piece would be about a half inch smaller.

I cut my fabric scraps into 2.5″ strips. I stitched one to the top and one to the bottom, and then finger-pressed open. I was worried about using a hot iron on the canvas.

I stitched rows on the sides as well. To get a scrappy look, I cut up the rest of my fabric, and stitched the pieces into one long strip. I used this scrappy strip to add a second border. This one I pressed open with an iron, careful to avoid the printed picture.

I had some upholstery fabric left over from when we staged our house to sell. Six years ago. I swear I’m not a hoarder, despite much evidence to the contrary! I just plan really far ahead. For projects I haven’t even come up with yet. Like this one. Where the fabric was ideal. It matched my color scheme perfectly. I attached it to the back with spray adhesive designed for fabric – 505 spray. I considered adding some kind of batting – either regular batting or a fusible fleece – which would add a puffy, quilted look. In the end, I decided I wanted it to be more smooth and flat, and look less quilty.

I did a stitch-in-the-ditch to secure the layers together, and give it a more hand-made look. After sewing, I trimmed the backing to the size of the front.

To make it easy to hang, I added corner pockets to the back of the wall hanging. These are super simple, just squares of fabric folded into triangles and stitched into the corners when the binding is sewn on. Easier than adding a hanging sleeve, and for a small wall hanging, so simple. I just cut a dowel down to size and tucked it in the corner pockets to hang the piece when finished.

I bound the whole thing with a dark brown binding, and hung it on the wall.

When Little Moore woke up from his nap he said “I LOVE it!” And Hubby noticed it immediately when he got home from work, and actually commented that he liked it as well. I’d say this project is a hit all the way around!

Always,

Disclosure: this is a sponsored post. Though I received compensation for this post, all opinions are mine.