Nesting Basket Pattern Launch

Launching a new pattern is one of my favorite things. While it has been tough to manage all the deadlines during this global upheaval, making progress, if even on the little things, feels like a big thing.

The Nesting Basket pattern has been in the works since 2016. I’ve made them for friends, for fabric launches, and for my own use. And each time I’ve been asked for the pattern, but told the person it just wasn’t ready yet. Well, today is the day! The pattern is ready. It is incredibly simple, fun to make, and you probably have everything you need on hand to make your own nesting baskets.

If you want to make all three with contrasting colors, you need 6 fat quarters. You can see on the pattern cover that I used the middle basket uses the same fabric as the lining of the large basket and the outer of the smallest basket. You can get away with just 5 fat quarters to do this – you need just one fat quarter of the middle inner/small outer fabric. And you’ll want to plan your cutting before you make any cuts.

The fabrics I used for the cover baskets are all Art Gallery Fabrics (of course!). I used florals from Amy Sinibaldi’s Mayfair line, and the lining for the smallest basket is fabric from AGF Foresta Fusion.

You’ll also need 1 1/4 yards of medium-weight interfacing. I used HeatnBond Heavy Weight Fusible iron on interfacing. One 20″ x 1 yard package was enough. You can also use fusible fleece, or a foam-based stabilizer made for bags and purses. Use what you have, the pattern is versatile! And there are alternate handle instructions if you’re using a heavier stabilizer.

You can whip up a full set of nesting baskets in an afternoon. And nothing about the pattern makes you make all three sizes if you don’t need all three. You can make stacks of large baskets if that is what you need, or an army of small baskets if it keeps you organized. I like a large and a medium for small pieces I’m working on at the sewing machine.

The nesting baskets are great for scraps, selvedges, tools, or whatever you like. The largest basket finishes at 6 1/2″ square, and the smallest is 4″ square.

The nesting basket pattern is available for sale in my pattern shop. Head over to purchase your pattern. When you make yours, share it on Instagram and tag me @craftmoore and use the #nestingbasketspattern hashtag.

I can’t wait to see all of your fabulous nesting baskets!

Custom Fabric Letterboard

Have you ever wanted a letterboard that fit your decor perfectly? One that wasn’t just made from plain felt? Do you have a favorite fabric that would make a perfect letterboard but no idea how to make it happen? Well, here you go! Step-by-step on how to make your a custom fabric letterboard out of your favorite fabric!

I do want to mention that it is the texture of the felt that helps keeps plastic letters in place. Using a quilting cotton like I have here makes them more likely to slip out if the board is hanging up. But it is still perfect for flat-lay photos.

To make your custom fabric letterboard, you’ll need:

1/2 yard of main fabric
1/2 yard of fusible fleece
1/4 yard of border fabric
Cheap or old letterboard
Hot glue and hot glue gun
Rotary cutter and ruler
Marking tool
Plastic cards such as gift cards or hotel key cards

Start by taking apart the old/cheap felt board. Usually they are just glued together, so it is pretty simple to do.

Once you have removed the frame and felt, you’ll have a wooden board with grooves on it. If you have access to a woodshop (or access to someone who has access to a woodshop) they could probably make one of these base boards for you. But, for most of us, just buying a cheap letterboard and taking it apart is easier.

Cut your chosen fabric 1-2″ wider than your board. You want to give yourself a little room. Keep the length of the fabric, don’t trim this down. You can trim it down at the end.

Then back the fabric with fusible fleece.

Then, start tucking the fabric into the grooves. I found this was easiest to do with a plastic card – you could use a gift card or a hotel key card or a store loyalty card. Just something sturdy that will help press the fabric down into the crease.

Keep going, inserting the fabric into each crease. I found that holding the previous crease in place with one card while pushing in the next crease was most successful.

Keep going, inserting the fabric into all the creases.

You may find, if you always start from one side, that the fabric starts to “creep” in that direction. To prevent the creeping, alternate the directions in which you make the creases. Crease one from right to left, and the next from left to right.

When you’re done, trim off the excess around all four sides.

Glue down the edges with hot glue.

Use a fabric marking tool to mark a border around the letterboard. I went with a 1/2″ border, but you can choose what feels right for you.

Measure from this border line all the way to the back, with a 1/2″ overlap. Then double your measurement. This is the width you need to cut for your border strips. Cut a strip this width. Fold the strip in half so that it is just as long, but half as wide (as you would for quilt binding).

Cut a length of this strip as long as the side. Glue this strip to one side of the felt board, with the fabric fold right on the line you drew marking the edge of the border.

Wait for the glue to set, then wrap the strip around to the back. Glue in place. You’ll need to glue down both layers. You can trim the corners on the back to reduce the bulk.

Repeat for the other side. Then repeat for the top and bottom. If you like, you can fold the edges of the top and bottom in to create more finished corners.

That’s it! Your custom fabric letterboard is complete!

Make a custom fabric letterboard in whichever fabrics suit your mood! Once you know how to make it for yourself, it will be hard to make just one!

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.

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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Craft Room Tour 2016

What do you call your creative space? A sewing room? Craft Room? Office? Studio? Sewing Studio? I use all of these names interchangeably for the room that most of my creativity happens in – and all of my supplies hang out in. I feel a little pretentious using the word “studio” to describe my space – but I don’t think it matters what you call it – I think it matters what you do with it! Here, I’ll take you on a tour of my creative space!

Always Expect Moore Craft Room tour - lots of photos of the pretty details, plus a youtube video where some of the secrets to a pretty space are exposed!

I’ll take you on a photo tour of the room, but if you prefer, you can watch this video tour. I originally recorded it on Periscope, so I’m not jumping subjects randomly, I’m responding to commenters. Pinkie swear.

We moved into this house a year ago. You can see my old craft room here.I’d done some work to spruce up and organize my space, but when my friend Angie from The Country Chic Cottage started planning her Craft Room Tour, I only hesitated a second before I signed up. The hesitation was because my craft room is notoriously messy (I share lots of #honestcraftroom photos on Instagram, like this one), and I knew it would take several days to whip it into shape. But a deadline was exactly what I needed to work miracles in this space, so I signed up. And then did very little until last week. Sure, I did a little picking up here and there, but not the dump-out-the-drawers overhaul I wanted in here. Yes, there are still areas that need some TLC, but overall I’m thrilled with the work done in here! So, let me take you on a tour! I’ll start with the big table that greets you when you walk in…

sewing table

This table is a dining room table I found at a furniture outlet store years ago. I splurged last year and bout a self-healing mat as big as the top of my table. I love it! Great for working on larger projects. On my table I have some sewing baskets, pincushions, a current project, and my sewing machine. I sew on a Bernina 710, which is a model they discontinued last year. It doesn’t do any fancy embroidery, but it has lots of throat space for sewing and quilting.

The table is in front of two giant windows at the front of the house. They face SouthWest, and get great light in the late afternoon. These windows are the reason this room was the perfect room in this house for my craft studio. The windows face the street and don’t offer a lot of privacy, so I put a thin cotton curtain on each. These provide privacy while filtering the light – perfect for photos! You can see that I haven’t decided yet what the perfect height for the curtain rod is – they’re both at different heights. We’re renting this house – a 1957 Bungalow in San Diego – so I’m leaving the blinds up, but they’re pulled all the way to the side.

On the left of the table is a tall cabinet with wicker drawers. This holds jars, fabric, and projects in progress. On top are my quilting rulers, in a file-folder holder from the office supply store.

And yes, the chair has an apron tied to it. It is this Apron back from the AGF fabric challenge.

To the right of the table is a big ironing board. Behind that is a large cabinet. It stores a few craft supplies, but my favorite are these jars with various items in them. Decorative and functional. Exactly what you need in your creative studio.

odds and ends storage

On top of the cabinet is a big basket for storing Styrofoam.

styrofoam storage

And to the right is my thread storage.

thread storage

Which takes me to this wall of the room.

desk in the craft studio

Another window (oh, the light!), and my desk. This is actually my childhood desk from back home. To the left is cube storage with baskets. They hold all kinds of random surfaces to craft with. Lots of good stuff going on there. In the drawers of the desk I have a drawer filled with glue guns, and a drawer with my metal stamping (you can check those out in the video above). The desk itself is well decked-out.

notes and buttons

Lots and lots of buttons I’ve collected from people at different events, and a beautiful row of Expressionery Stamps. But I’m about to run out of space (yikes!), so I’ll need to figure out a new solution soon.

Over the desk I have an IKEA lamp that has been converted to work as a camera holder to do overhead video. I’ve used it a couple times… and I love it! I need to do more with this.

over the head video

Continuing counter-clockwise around the room is this giant wall of storage.

lots of creative storage

I have a giant IKEA unit with baskets and bins for holding everything. And lots of room on top for scrapbook storage.

scrapbook storage

And a little room for some decor. But it is functional. Ribbon storage, odds and ends of floral in a large vase, and lots of washi tape in a large jar.

decorative storage

To the right is a tall IKEA shelf which I call my “Tower of Power”. One of the challenges of living in a house built in the 1950’s is the “charming” electrical. Our last house was built in 2007, and had two outlets on each wall. This room has 3 outlets in the whole room. Only one has ground. The other two outlets each have only one working socket. That means I have a lot of extension cords running behind furniture! Having all these appliances near the doorway is also helpful for the family – they can print to the printer, and don’t have to wade through a messy craft room to get their printout.

creative storage space

On top are some smoothfoam half-spheres for an upcoming project, and a wine rack holding rolls of vinyl. Then a rack with paper. Then my Silhouette. Then my HP Envy. Then the Sizzix eClips2, Laminator for Thermoweb Deofoils, and my laptop, then (hidden in this photo), the Sizzix Fabi and my Samsung Laser printer, and finally the Accuquilt Go! and a case of paper. Whew! Lots and lots going on in the “tower of power”. Let’s move to the right…

design wall

You see my design wall, which is hidden behind the door when the door is open. Above it I have some ribbons I’ve won. The red one is a recent win from 2015. The two ribbons on the left are actually from a pie-baking contest. That’s right, I’m an award-winning baker and an award winning quilter!

Next to the design wall is my scissors storage. You can make one yourself with this tutorial, and it is crazy useful.

scissors holder

This whole wall is super colorful and busy.

wall of creativity

Next to the scissors storage is a bookshelf that has (from the bottom up), mason jars, block printing and adhesive, paint, a sewing box, and a bulletin board. The bulletin board is from my wedding – we made it to hold place cards for guests almost 10 years ago, and it is still going strong!

The shelf is actually in a doorway – that goes to the half bath. But, we don’t need that entrance to the bathroom, and it is the perfect place for me to have a shelf.

paint in color order

To the right of the shelf is a quilt rack with quilts in various stages of completion. The bottom has a basket with more projects. To the right of that are the closet doors – which double as a quilt wall for mini quilts. Some of these I’ve made, and some are from friends and swaps. I love this use of space!

quilt wall

Inside the closet is more stuff! Lots of fabric, sorted by type and color, and more craft and quilt storage up top. There is a lot going on in here, but it doesn’t have to be picture-perfect, because I like to keep the closet doors closed.

fabric storage

That’s the craft room! Scroll back up to the top to check out the video, if you haven’t already, I chat in more detail about a lot of the items you’ll see in this room. And if you’d like to see more fun creative spaces, check out the other craft room tours over at The Country Chic Cottage.

Pieced and Quilted Pillow

Want a fun way to use your scraps? Or maybe you have a friend who admired a quilt you made, that you don’t want to give up… but you’d be happy to make them a simple project using the scraps from the quilt. This quilted pillow is perfect. It doesn’t take too much time to whip up a scrappy quilted pillow. And if you use bigger scraps, it takes even less time!

I created this project as part of a whole week of fun Handmade Gift ideas that Niki from 365 Days of Crafts and I have put together, along with a bunch of our crafty friends. Scroll down to the bottom of this post to check out all the awesome handmade gift ideas!

scrappy quilted pillow

Start by gathering your scraps. mine are all in strips already. If yours aren’t, cut them into strips. They don’t have to be all the same size – in fact, it looks more scrappy if they aren’t.

You’ll also need a fat quarter for the backing, Fusible Fleece, and an 18″ pillow form.

fabric for pillow

 

I divided my strips into piles based on length. Long, medium, and short. Then stitched each of the piles together into wide rows.

stitch strips

Press the rows, then trim the edges.

trim sections

Stitch the sections together, then press.

press seams

Roughly trim – basically trimming off any long edges, you’ll do a final trimming after quilting – then press to fusible fleece.

add to fusible fleece

Quilt as desired! I chose a variety of loops, swirls, lines, and pebbles.

quilt pieced top

Once you’re all quilted, trim to 18.5″x18.5″.

quilted front

 

Cut the Fat Quarter to two pieces – each 18″ by 11-ish”. Hem one 18″ side of each, place right-sides down on top of the quilted front, with the hemmed pieces towards the center, pin in place, then stitch all the way around. If you need more detail, you can check out the Easiest Pillow Cover Ever Tutorial.

Flip the pillow right-side-out, pop in the pillow form, and you’re done!

pillow quilted

Christmas Tree Half-Square Triangle Quilt

I was sent a fat quarter bundle of Robert Kaufman’s Holiday Flourish fabric for a fun challenge with the other Fairfield designers. When it came in the mail, I was excited, and full of ideas. But then deadlines came, and the bundle was pushed aside, and so were the ideas.

But, projects have a magical way of becoming important again when their deadline is due… and that’s what happened with this project! I went to Quiltmarket, and when I came back, I had to get started making something with these fat quarters. I picked up a fun half-square triangle ruler at market, and was excited to use it… so I thought I’d make a fun wall hanging that looked fun and scrappy with half-square triangles.

half square triangle christmas tree quilt

finished size: 30.5 x 30.5″

 

This bundle was perfect for making the wall hanging! And at 2.5′ square, this wall hanging is the perfect size for anywhere in the house.

 

To make the wall hanging, you’ll need:
4 black fat quarters
7 gold fat quarters
1 yard backing fabric
1/4 yard for binding

From the Fat quarters, make your half-square triangles. They’re all 2″ finished triangles. Use whatever method you like to make them. I used a ruler that makes 24 at a time – you can use triangle paper, or the old method of cutting squares, drawing a line diagonally down the center, then stitching on each side. If you do this method, your cut squares will be 2 7/8″ to make the 2″ finished HSTs.

For the quarter square triangle, cut 3 4″ squares – two gold ones and one black one.
67 black-on-black HSTs
22 black-on-gold HSTs
135 gold-on-gold HSTs
1 quarter-square triangle

quilt supplies

Once you have all the HSTs made, it is time to stitch them together to make the tree shape. You can lay them out on a design wall, or the floor, and stitch them one set at a time to make your rows. Or, you can cheat like I did!

Fairfield has a new line of interfacings that will be available in stores starting January. I pulled out the lightweight fusible interfacing, and drew a 2.5″ grid on the back. Then I fused the squares onto the grid to keep them in place. Once all the squares are fused in place, I was able to stitch down a whole row at once!

stitch down rows

Once the top was pieced, I quilted the top using Fairfield Superior 80/20 Blend batting. I used a walking foot for some simple straight-line quilting. The fabric was already so busy, I decided it didn’t need busy free-motion quilting.

Then I bound it, and the quilt was done!

christmas tree quilt from half square triangles

Umbrella Applique Wall Hanging

I was working on a freelance project, and needed some applique samples. I don’t keep a lot of samples hanging around, so I whipped up a couple fun applique projects – including this umbrella applique wall hanging. If you have the umbrella applique die for the Accuquilt GO!, this is a super simple project to make.

Umbrella applique wall hangning

 

Grab some fabric and the die. I used scrap fabrics I had on hand – these are all Art Gallery Fabrics.

supplies for applique wall hanging

 

Add fusible web to the back of the applique fabrics, then cut on the Accuquilt GO!. Iron on to your center block.

iron down applique umbrella

I ironed it on first, then cut it down. That made it easier for me to center. This is 10″ wide by 11″ tall. But you can go with whatever size works for you.

center block

Cut fabric for the borders and binding.

strips for borders and binding

Stitch on borders.

sew on borders

Before stitching down the applique, I put fusible fleece on the back, and then spray basted on backing fabric. I then used a buttonhole stitch around the applique. This appliqued down the umbrella and quilted the quilt at the same time.

applique down umbrella

Once it was quilted, I trimmed it down. Before finishing the binding, I tucked a triangle into each top corner. Just a square folded on the diagonal, and stitched to the top corners. These can be used in place of a hanging sleeve – just tuck in a dowel, and hang up the quilt!

hanging corners on wall hanging

 

Fast and simple – and fun to make!

wall hanging umbrella

 

Quilted Tie Dye Pillow

Sometimes, you have a shirt that you love, but can’t wear. Either it has gotten worn out, or it isn’t the right size, or it has a stain on it. Don’t tuck it into a corner of the closet, or into a bottom drawer – celebrate your tie dye by turning your shirt into a custom decor piece! I work with the folks at Rit to come up with original dyed pieces, and was super excited to work on a quilted piece using a shirt I dyed with Rit dye.

If you’ve been following my Instagram feed, you know that I’m into quilting feathers lately… and I thought it would be fun to combine quilted feathers and tie dye in this handcrafted decor piece. I love how it came together!

Make a quilted tie dye pillow

Of course, you could use different quilting designs on your pillow, but be sure to get the how-to over on Rit Studio!

quilted tie dye pillow

ABCs of Blogging Free Printable

the ABCs of Blogging printableAt the end of April I went to the SNAP conference for creative bloggers – one of the fun things we do at the conference is decorate our doors. My roommate Angie from The Country Chic Cottage came up with a fun idea for our door… the ABCs of blogging!

ABCs of Blogging Door Decor

We posted pictures of our door on Instagram, and some of our friends who weren’t at the conference wanted to be able to see each of the cards better… so we turned it into a free printable! We tweaked all the images to give them a vintage look, and are so thrilled with how it turned out! You can download the ABCs of Blogging for yourself!