Quilted Pocket Organizer

When Mr. Domestic asked if I’d be part of his blog hop showing off his new line of Aura fabrics with Art Gallery Fabrics, of course I said yes and started thinking of how I wanted to use these pretty fabrics. What I immediately decided was something simple and practical. Because while I love quilts, I have so many that sit in a chest waiting for their day in the sun. And I knew I didn’t want to do that with these beautiful fabrics. So, I created a Quilted Pocket Organizer. This is a simple wall-hanging that it perfect for showing off favorite fabrics, and is super practical as a way to sort mail, keep track of important papers, or tuck items that you will need on your way out the door (like earbuds or a phone charger).

Doesn’t it show off the fabrics beautifully!? I love those gorgeous tropical florals!

Here are the basics for making this organizational wall hanging:

And here are the tips you’ll need to know in putting it together:

Once you cut all your pieces, place a purple and a cream right-sides-together, and stitch along ONE side. If your fabrics are directional, this will be the top edge. Then add interfacing on the back of the purple fabric. This will give your pocket extra body. If you want, you can add quilting or stitching at this stage for a little decoration.

Then layer the pocket together with a cream square when you add the bottom horizontal sashing piece to each. Move the pocket out of the way as you add the top horizontal sashing piece. Once all the pockets and horizontal sashings are stitched in place, add the side borders.

Then you can quilt as desired! I did a little stitch-in-the-ditch as well as supportive quilting on the outside of each pocket to give it extra stability. You can add whatever quilting you desire – just don’t quilt those pockets closed!

Before binding, I cut two 5″ squares that I folded on the diagonal, and put them in the top corners as hanging pockets. All I had to do was add a dowel, and the pocket organizer was ready to hang!

I love how it turned out, and these pockets are so handy by my front door!

Be sure to check out all the other awesome quilters and sewists who have joined in on Mister Domestic’s Aura Blog Party!


Announcing the Quilty 5k!

I am super excited to announce a new quilting series that I’m starting here, and on my YouTube Channel!

It is called the Quilty 5k! There are 7 blocks in a mile, and 3.1 miles in a 5k. So for the quilty 5k, we’ll be completing 22 blocks. Each will have instructions for stitching it in 3 different sizes, as well as different coloring options and a coloring sheet so you can design your own quilts using the quilt blocks!

Check out all the details in the intro video!

I hope you’ll join in!


Free Motion Quilting II

One of my most popular videos on YouTube is a simple video where I teach 8 simple free-motion quilting designs. Recently, I hit 10,000 subscribers on my YouTube channel, and decided to celebrate by following up on that popular video.

This video is a sequel of sorts to the first video. I show you 8+ more free motion quilting designs that you can make that expand on that same swirl motion that I taught in the first video.

I hope you enjoy learning a little more about free motion quilting!

Pizza Pillow

If you’re looking for some fun and whimsical decor, whip up this fun pizza pillow! It is super fun to make, and super comfortable to lay on!

These steps will give you the basics of how this pizza pillow comes together, but you’ll need some basic sewing skills (or a friend with some basic sewing skills).

You’ll also need a giant circle pillow, fabric for your crust, cheese, and pepperonis, matching thread, some plain white fabric, and fusible web.

Use a water soluble pen to draw a slice on your pillow.

Cut into the pillow. Once you’ve cut the lines on the top, you can remove the stuffing and cut the bottom layer to match.

Use the wedge and remainder of the circle as templates to cut the crust pieces.

Measure the edges of the wedge to determine how large your strips need to be. Cut two from the white and two from the crust. These create the depth on your wedge and circle pieces.

Re-create the casing piece for your wedge. Make it 1/2″ larger than the original wedge. This makes up for the seam allowance that will get used up on both the wedge and the main pie.

You can use a can lid to curve the edges to prevent sharp corners.

Put fusible web on the back of the pepperoni colored fabric. Draw circles, and cut out.

Cut the cheese the same size as the top crust, then measure in and trim off the extra.

Fuse the cheese to the crust.

Fuse on the pepperoni, Make sure to fuse them onto the slice as well.

Overlap the slice (which is a 1/2″ larger to make up for the lost seam allowance, and place the pepperonis accordingly.

Applique stitch on the cheese and pepperoni.

Now add the strips to create the depth for the wedge and main pie.

Finish up the casing as well. Fill the casing. The outer layer you can either stitch up by hand or add a zipper to make it easy to remove and wash.

Prosecco Wine Bag

If you’re looking for a fun way to gift a bag of wine (especially a fun wine like Prosecco) then I have the perfect idea for you with this simple to make Prosecco wine bag!

Measure the height of your bottle and add 3″. This is the height of your fabric. Measure around your bottle and add 2″, this is the width of your fabric. Cut an outer piece and a lining piece.

To the side, pin several ribbons.

Fold the fabric in half, right sides together. Stitch the bottom and side, which will stitch the ribbon in place. Do the same with the lining piece, leaving a 4″gap for turning.

Turn the outer piece right-side-out, then place inside the lining, making sure to tuck the ribbons inside. Pin around the top edge.

Stitch the top edge closed.

Turn right side out through the hole in the lining.

Topstitch along the top edge. And stitch the hole in the lining closed.

Tuck in your bottle of wine, and tie with the ribbons.

Cricut Embroidery Hoop

When I first started playing with my Cricut Maker, I was super excited that I could use it to cut fabric. But then I learned that when they added the rotary blade, they also added another tool to the Cricut arsenal – the water-soluble pen! This pen can be used with any of the Cricut machines with a pen adapter (so the Explore and Explore Air certainly qualify), and is perfect for drawing lines to make your own embroidery designs!

I used this Jen Goode Butterfly design that I thought would be perfect, but you can use whatever line-art style art you like.

Use the water soluble marker to have the Cricut machine draw on your fabric.

Then you can stitch on your design.

When you’re done, just rinse of the ink under the sink and let the fabric dry.

Super simple, and super cute!

Dream Sewing Room

When my friend Cheryl asked if I wanted to be part of her sewing room blog tour, of course I said yes. In part because I really don’t know how to say no to anything… and in part because I really needed a deadline. My sewing and crafting room has been in serious need of a facelift for months, and having a deadline would give me the motivation I needed to get it all put together. Read on to for the story of my new space, and be sure to check out the links at the very end of other fabulous sewing spaces!

Dream Sewing Room! Isn't this the dreamiest little sewing corner? Found over at www.AlwaysExpectMoore.com

For months I have been dreaming of my new sewing and crafting room. About four months ago, we had a flood in our kitchen. The drainpipe in the wall behind the sink in our 1957 Bungalow was made of cast iron, and had cracked. Water leaked into the walls, and soaked the floors. All the cabinets and flooring were going to need to be ripped up. Which was made more complicated because there was asbestos found under the living room carpet, and in the walls. And the glazing of the tiles was found to have lead in it.

The process ended up being fairly involved. My sewing room looked very much like it did the last time I did a sewing room tour in 2016. I had to pack up the closet, which meant my sewing room looked like this:

things pulled from closet

Then, I had to move everything away from the other interior wall so that the bathroom that shares that wall could be re-piped. So my sewing room looked like this:

things shoved in the corner

Before putting everything back, I re-painted the walls. They were a yellow-beige, and are now a soft blue-grey. And, I decided not to put everything back where it had been. My needs have changed since I first set up the room 3 years ago. I do a lot more typing at my desk, so need some real desk space. And I need dedicated work space for crafting. And I needed video set-up, preferably set-up that would work for crafting, and set-up that would work for sewing. I had two months to plan and dream up how my crafting space would look when I could finally move back in.

First, a dedicated sewing space. The machine could stay set up at all times. The ironing board is right behind the machine for easy access. And all my threads are close at hand on the wall. Plus, the backdrop of thread and mini quilts is great for filming video.

sewing corner

Second, a dedicated crafting space. Right up against the window for great natural light in the afternoons. A bright, white desktop for taking photos. This faces the sewing space, so I also have great eye candy.

crafting workspace

Third, a desktop space for typing at the laptop. With a great background for Facebook Live videos and for YouTube videos.

video background

This is flanked by large shelving on either side that hold papercrafting supplies, my Cricut Machine, and printers.

video backdrop

While I do feel a pang of envy when I see my friends have beautiful, all-white spaces with everything tucked behind cabinet doors, I find that this setup works best for me. I’m very visual, so open shelving means I get to see my supplies and be inspired by them. The spaces are all designed to be flexible, I can easily change out the video backdrop by removing the black bulletin board from the shelf it sits on. And above the bulletin board are curtain rods with clips I can use to hang quilts, streamers, or anything else I want to use as a video background.

And while I love having a clean space to start crafting on, it doesn’t always stay this crisp. As I cycle through projects and deadlines, you’ll find different projects on each surface…

This was when I was working on the pizza pillow for Fairfield…

This was when I was working on clay pot craft projects.

This was when I was finishing up my hot glue gun book (which will be out this fall).

And this is what it looks like now!

cleared space

I’m currently working on re-organizing the closet. Having a functional closet in this room will make such a difference in being able to manage the clutter in this space!

Thanks so much for joining me on this tour of my craft room! Be sure to check out these other Dream Sewing Spaces!

April 23 – Lori Crawley Kennedy – http://theinboxjaunt.com/
April 24 – Jennifer Thomas – http://curlicuecreations.blogspot.com
April 25 – Robin Koehler – http://nestlingsbyrobin.blogspot.com
April 26 – Andi Barney- https://www.andibarney.com/
April 27 – Misty Cole – http://www.mistycole.com/blog
April 28 – Carolina Moore- https://alwaysexpectmoore.com/
April 29 – Heather Pregger – https://heatherquilts.blogspot.com/
April 30 – Linda Bratten – https://lindabcreative.blogspot.com/
May 1 – Lisa Reber – https://www.dippydye.blogspot.com/
May 2 – Teresa Coates – http://www.crinkledreams.com
May 3 – Lisa Chin – http://www.lisachinartist.com/
May 4 – Jamie Fingal – http://www.jamiefingaldesigns.com/
May 5 – Sam Hunter – www.huntersdesignstudio.com
May 6 – Jessee Maloney – www.artschooldropout.net/blog
May 7 – Rhanda Parrish – http://www.sewartsyfartsy.com/
May 8 – Sarah Vedeler- https://meaningoflifedesigns.com/
May 9 – Jessica Darling – https://jessicakdarling.com/
May 10 – Melody Crust – http://www.melodycrust.com/
May 11 – Debby Brown – http://higheredhands.blogspot.com
May 12 – Cheryl Sleboda – http://blog.muppin.com

 

 

Cricut Maker Block of the Week Quilt: Week 12 – Quilting the Mini Quilt

Getting your quilt top finished doesn’t mean you’re done with your quilt! In the quilting world, we call a finished quilt top a “flimsy.” Which isn’t derogatory at all… it just means the quilt doesn’t have the batting and backing attached to it yet… and it is still, well, flimsy! So, this week I’m going to show you how to quilt your mini quilt. Which is really one of the first times you have options in making this quilt… and you have a lot of them! There are a couple different ways you can baste your layers. I’m going to show you the two most popular ways – spray basting and pin basting. And there are lots of different ways to quilt your quilt. I’m going to show you two different techniques – Walking Foot Quilting and Free Motion Quilting.

Cricut Maker Block of the Week - Walking Foot Quilting

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Basting the Quilt

First let’s talk about basting the quilt. “Basting” is a sewing term that basically means to temporarily secure layers together. I have used three different kinds of basting – Pin Basting, Spray Basting, and Thread Basting. I’m going to go over the first two here.

With Pin Basting, you use safety pins to secure the layers together. This is a fairly quick way to baste. Pins are placed at intervals (every 6″ or so is a great number) to hold the layers together. As you quilt through the layers, securing them permanently, you remove any pins that are in your way. Once you’ve finished quilting you remove any pins that have been left behind. The pros of pin basting are that it is inexpensive – safety pins are inexpensive to purchase, and reusable. Once you have a stash of pins for basting, you won’t need to buy them again. Also, pin basting is preferred over spray basting for people who are sensitive to chemicals. However, it can be tedious to pin across a large quilt. And, the quilt is only secured in the pinned spots. It could potentially shift in the spots between the pins. You’ll see me go over Pin Basting in the Walking Foot Quilting video below.

Spray Basting is my go-to method, because it is fast. I can spray baste even a large quilt in less than 30 minutes, and have it ready to quilt. It can be expensive – the cans are more expensive than safety pins, and when they run out you have to buy more. I have used all of the following basting sprays, and they have all worked well: Thermoweb Basting Spray, Dritz Spray Adhesive, 505 Temporary Spray Adhesive, and Sulky KK2000. If you are sensitive to chemicals, you might want to look at the label before using one of these sprays. They should always be used in a well-ventilated area. If I’m gifting the quilt to a baby or small child, I like to pre-wash the quilt before gifting to remove any spray residue.

Walking Foot Quilting

Now that we’ve talked about basting, let’s talk walking foot quilting. If you’ve never quilted a quilt before, this is a great option. You need a different foot for your machine. This foot is called a “walking foot.” With a standard sewing machine foot, the feed dogs on the bottom pull the fabric through the machine. When you have several layers, you want the whole thing (we call this a “quilt sandwich”) to feed through evenly. The walking foot essentially adds a set of feed dogs to the top that pair up with the feed dogs on the bottom. This pulls the whole quilt through evenly and prevents puckers or shifting.

Check out this video which shows you how to pin baste, and shows you how to use a walking foot to quilt your quilt:

 

Cricut Maker Block of the Week Free Motion Quilting

Free Motion Quilting

For Free Motion Quilting, you don’t use the feed dogs at all. You move the fabric around under the needle. To do this, you engage the lever that lowers the feed dogs. Also, you use a sewing machine foot that has less drag on the top of the fabric (and more visibility around the needle) like a free motion foot or embroidery foot. It can take a little practice to get even stitches while free motion quilting. You want to sync the speed at which you move the fabric under the needle to the speed at which the needle is moving (which is controlled by how hard you press on the presser foot). I liken this to turning a corner in a car. You want to turn the steering wheel at a speed that is in sync with how fast the car is going – once your foot, hands, and brain are all on the same page, turning corners is no problem!

Check out this video which shows you how to spray baste, and shows you the basics for free motion quilting your quilt:


 

That was a big week! We basted our layers together and quilted them! Next week we will get the quilt trimmed up and bound – which is the final step!

 

If you’d rather not bind the quilt, you can skip to Week 14. This is a bonus video that shows you how to turn the quilt top into a lovely large pillow, instead of a mini quilt!

Cricut Maker Block of the Week Quilt: Week 10 – Adding Sashing

We’re up to week TEN of our Cricut Maker Block of the Week! I’m so excited!! This week we get to put all those quilt blocks together into a quilt top, using the sashing that we cut in Week 1: Intro. So, we will have no actual cutting today! Just sewing and pressing as we add the sashing pieces and make our mini quilt top for our Cricut Maker Block of the Week quilt!

If you’re just finding this series, start by going to the Cricut Maker Block of the Week Reference Page. That has all the links and videos to get you started from the very beginning.

Cricut Maker Block of the Week - Week 10 - Adding Sashing to your quilt

 

Let’s get started on adding the sashing! No cut file this week, since we cut the sashing at the very beginning. The reason we cut the sashing first, even though we didn’t need it until now, was because there are such large sashing pieces. We want to cut these larger pieces first, and then our smaller pieces after. If we cut the smaller pieces first, there might not be enough room on our fabric to cut the larger pieces later.

If you’d like to watch the video, you can watch it here. Or you can follow along in the step-by-step photos below.

Note: In the video, I show you how to square up blocks. Ideally, your quilt blocks are all exactly the right size. When I stitched the version seen in the photos below, they were very accurate. The blocks I stitched for the video were less accurate (not surprising since I had my head off to an angle to keep it out of the camera frame, and my mind was focused on talking and filming instead of just sewing).

Grab thoe sashing pieces that we set aside. Leave the border pieces. We’ll be using the border pieces next week.

Lay out all nine blocks, and the sashing pieces. You don’t have to use the same layout I did. Depending on the fabrics you chose, your quilt might look better with a different layout. And even if you chose the exact same fabrics, you might like a different layout than mine. There are no wrong choices here.

lay out quilt top

If you’ve been following along, you know that each step builds on the previous steps. This step builds on past steps. Because this part of the quilt looks remarkably like something else we have done before…

lay out the block

That’s right! The nine patch! Putting together this quilt top is just like a nine patch… but with adding the sashing pieces between the blocks. Which is easy.

Start by stitching your sashing and blocks into rows. Press the seams towards the sashing strips.

press rows

Lay the quilt back out.

finished rows

Now stitch the sashing to the top and middle rows. It helps to pin the sashing on each end, and then in the middle. This ensures that the sashing is even along the length of the whole row. Press the seam allowance towards the sashing.

sashing on rows

I don’t have photos of this step, but you can watch in the video. What we want to do here is line up each vertical sashing strip with the sashing strip above/below it. That would be easy to do with seam allowances. But the horizontal sashing doesn’t have seam allowances. Use a ruler (or any straight edge – the edge of your mat will do) and your blue water-soluble marking pen from the Cricut machine to extend the seam allowance lines down across the back of your sashing pieces. Then match up the rows, pinning where the seam allowance from the bottom row matches up with the line that you’ve drawn. Then stitch the rows together.

finished sashings

Press all the seam allowances towards the sashing, and you’re all done!

Next week we’ll add the borders. And the week after we’ll get to my favorite part… quilting!

 

Cricut Maker Block of the Week Quilt: Block 9 – Mother’s Dream

The final block in our Cricut Maker Block of the week! Today we’re making Block 9, the Mother’s Dream. But don’t worry, we won’t be stopping here! Next week I’ll show you how to put the blocks together with the sashing we cut in Week 1: Intro, then we’ll add borders, quilt our mini quilt, and I’ll show you how to bind and finish the quilt!

If you’re just getting started, head over to the Cricut Maker Block of the Week Reference Page. There you’ll be able to start from the very beginning, with all the videos and links to get you started in making the quilt!

Cricut Maker Block of the Week - Week 9 - Mother's Dream

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If you’d like to watch this week’s video, I’ll show you step-by-step how to put the block together. I’ll also show you a slightly different way to piece this block in the step-by-step photos and instructions that you can find by scrolling down a little further.

 

Start by cutting out all the pieces. Here is the Mother’s Dream Quilt Block Design Space File. Lay out all the pieces like this:

Look at rows

Yes, we’re laying out the pieces in diagonal rows. But before we can put the rows together, we have to stitch the two rectangles together to make squares. Sew each set together, and press towards the dark.

lay out block

Now we can start stitching our rows. Sew the three pieces in row 2 together. And the three pieces in row 4. In row 3, go ahead and just stitch together the three center pieces.

For rows 2 and 4, press the seams out. For row 3, press the seams in. This will allow everything to nest beautifully when you stitch the rows together.

press

Stitch row 1 to row 2, and row 4 to row 5.

stitch side

Then stitch these sides to the middle. Press.

All that is left is to stitch on the other corners.

stitch on corners

Go ahead and clip off the dog-ears now. Your quilt block is finished! Next week we’ll combine it with the other 8!

finished mother's dream quilt block