Sunday, December 22, 2019

Merry Little Christmas Stitch-Along — Day 11

Welcome back for the 11th and final day of the Merry Little Christmas Stitch-Along!


Today we're finishing our darling little pillows with an overlapping back and binding.


In addition to your quilted pillow top, you'll need:
  • ½ yard red print for pillow back
  • ¼ yard binding fabric
  • 16" x 16" pillow form



Once again, I'll include instructions here and on a printable pattern sheet—here's the link:

Day 11 - Finishing

Day 11:  Finishing

Cutting:
From the red print, cut:
  • (2) backing panels 12½" x 16½"

From the binding fabric, cut:
  • (2) binding strips 2½" x 42" (Width of Fabric)

Assembly:
1.  Trim the batting and muslin even with the quilted pillow top.

2.  Fold one long edge (16½”) of a backing panel toward the wrong side ½” twice and press to form a hem.

3.  Stitch close to the inside folded edge to finish the hem.

4.  Repeat to hem the second backing panel.

5.  Lay quilted pillow top face down on a flat surface.  Layer a backing panel on the back of the quilted pillow top sandwich with right side down and wrong side up, and raw edges aligned.

6.  In the same manner, layer the remaining backing panel on the opposite edge of the pillow top sandwich with raw edges aligned.



7.  Pin to secure all layers.  Machine baste ⅛” from raw edges if desired.

8.  Join the 2 binding strips and bind as usual.

9.  Insert pillow form.

10.  And voilà!  You did it!


Here's my finished pillow.  I really love how bright and colorful it is and that candy-striped binding is so sweet!



And here's a picture of both of my pillows together.  They're so different, but I love them both!



If you love the look of quilted projects embellished with appliqué and embroidery, you might want to take a look at my book, "Stitching for the Seasons."  Inside you'll find 20 seasonal quilting projects, 14 of which combine patchwork, embroidery and appliqué.  The book is available at booksellers and quilt shops—wherever you like to buy quilting books!  For more information and a peek inside, check out the book page on my website.

Stitching for the Seasons


Thank you so much for following along with the Merry Little Christmas Stitch-Along.  I've thoroughly enjoyed being your host and I hope that you've had fun stitching your way through the season!  

But most of all, I hope you have yourself a Merry Little Christmas and a Happy New Year!

All my best,

—jen

Casey, my sweet quilting companion

Friday, December 20, 2019

Merry Little Christmas Stitch-Along — Day 10

Welcome back for Day 10 of the Merry Little Christmas Stitch-Along!


Today we're going to tackle assembling our quilted pillow tops and adding the red big-stitch quilting that ties this charming pillow together!


You'll need:
  • Your 9 appliquéd blocks
  • ¼ yard background fabric (mine is a white tone-on-tone)
  • 18" x 18" piece of batting
  • 18" x 18" piece of muslin (or a similar lining fabric)
  • Red size 8 perle cotton


I'll include today's instructions both here and on a printable pattern sheet.  Here's the link for the pattern sheet:

Day 10 - Assembly


Day 10:  Assembly

Cutting:

From the background fabric, cut:
  • (2) 1½” x 16½” strips
  • (2) 1½” x 14½” strips
  • (12) 1½” x 4½” rectangles
  • (4) 1½” x 1½” squares

Assembly:
Refer to the project photo and assembly diagram throughout.


1.  Lay out 9 appliquéd blocks, 12 background 1½” x 4½” rectangles and 4 background 1½” squares in 5 horizontal rows as shown.

2.  Stitch together the pieces in each row.  Press seam allowances toward the background (or sashing) rectangles.

3.  Stitch together the rows.  Press seam allowances toward the background sashing rows.

4.  Sew a background 1½” x 14½” strip to the left and right sides of the quilt center.  Press seam allowances away from the center.

5.  Sew a background 1½” x 16½” strip to the top and bottom of the quilt center.  Press seam allowances away from the center to finish the quilt top.

6.  Layer the quilt top, batting and muslin.  Baste using your preferred method.  Because of the small size of this project, I basted with straight pins.

7.  Using a single strand of red perle cotton, stitch a ⅛” running stitch down the center of the sashing rows and outer borders (through all layers).


I love the look of the red big-stitch quilting on this project, but if you're short on time, you could also do a decorative machine stitch on the sashing rows and borders.  Layering your pieced top with the batting and muslin will help add dimension to whatever decorative quilting or stitching you choose to do.

The layout that I used for my pillow top is only a suggestion.  I used a different one for my traditional pillow, although I did keep the gingerbread man in the center of both because it's the only brown block.  Here's a look back at my traditional pillow:


Once again, do what you love and make it your own!

That's it for today!  I'll see you back here on Sunday for the final day of the Stitch-Along.

Happy Stitching!

—jen

Wednesday, December 18, 2019

Merry Little Christmas Stitch-Along — Day 9

Welcome back for Day 9 of the Merry Little Christmas Stitch-Along!



For our 9th and final appliqué block, we'll be making Christmas Trees.  I've used metallic floss and seed beads to decorate my tree, but feel free to decorate yours however you like.  For the garland, you could use regular floss or a more decorative stitch, and for the ornaments you could substitute tiny buttons, bells or even stitched French knots.  Have fun and make it your own!


For today's block, you'll need:
  • 4½" Square of fabric
  • 3½" x 4" Green flannel or felted wool
  • 1" x 1" Brown flannel or felted wool
  • Embroidery floss in green, brown and metallic
  • Star button
  • 8 Small seed beads



Here's the link for today's pattern:

Day 9 - Christmas Tree


And here's the Christmas Tree that I made for my traditional pillow:



Have fun making your last block!  I'll see you back here on Friday for Day 10 and our first day of assembly.  Can't wait!

—jen




Monday, December 16, 2019

Merry Little Christmas Stitch-Along — Day 8

It's Monday morning and I'm so happy to be back here for Day 8 of the Merry Little Christmas Stitch-Along!

Today we're making ornament blocks!


This is a super simple block, but the embroidered stars and the whipped blanket stitch around the red stripe make it extra special.  I love how the whipped blanket stitch resembles candy striping!


For today's block, you'll need:
  • 4½" Square of fabric
  • 3½" x 3½" Aqua flannel or felted wool
  • 1½" x 3½" Red flannel or felted wool
  • 1½" x 1½" White flannel or felted wool
  • Embroidery floss in aqua, red and white





Day 8 - Ornament

The pattern sheet briefly describes how to make the whipped blanket stitch, but you can find more detailed instructions below.

To make the whipped blanket stitch:
  1. Blanket stitch the red stripe in place as usual using matching floss.  
  2. With 2 strands of white floss, bring your needle up through the fabric at the very edge of the red stripe at one of its corners.  
  3. Use your needle to whip or wrap the white floss around each of the edge stitches of the blanket stitch, being careful not to catch the flannel/felted wool.  
  4. Continue whipping the white floss around the red stitches around the entire edge of the red stripe.  
  5. To finish, push your needle back through the fabric where you started and tie off your threads in back.

If you need more help with the whipped blanket stitch, you can find a lot of pictures and short tutorial videos online by searching "whipped blanket stitch."

Here's the ornament block I made for my traditional version of the pillow.  The red/white whipped blanket stitch really stands out on this block!  I think this may be my new favorite embroidery stitch—maximum output for minimum input!


That's it for today!  I'll see you back here on Wednesday for Day 9 and our last little block.  Can't wait!

—jen



Saturday, December 14, 2019

Merry Little Christmas Stitch-Along — Day 7

It's Day 7 of the Merry Little Christmas Stitch-Along and today we're making candy canes!



For today's block, you'll need:
  • 4½" Square of fabric
  • 2½" x 4" Red flannel or felted wool
  • 2" x 4" White flannel or felted wool
  • Embroidery floss in white and red



The instructions for today's block are a little bit different.  When I first attempted this block, I tried fusing and appliquéing the candy cane shape first and then fusing and appliquéing the stripes afterwards, but to my eye, the block looked a bit bulky and messy.  I'd also had a difficult time neatly aligning the outer edges of the white stripes with the outer edge of the candy cane, especially with the thicker wool.

So I tried again, but this time, I cut the white stripes longer than the patterns at both outer ends and fused them in place on the candy cane first, using a piece of parchment paper beneath the candy cane to be sure it didn't stick to my ironing board.  With the longer stripes in place, I flipped the candy cane over and trimmed the stripes even with the outer edge of the candy cane.  Then I fused the whole unit to the background fabric, blanket stitched the white stripes only on their inner edges and finished by using red floss to blanket stitch around the outer edge of the entire candy cane.  Using this method made for a much neater finished product.

When you're ready, here's the link for today's pattern sheet:

Day 7 - Candy Cane

And for a little more eye candy, here's the candy cane block that I made for my traditional pillow:



Thanks for stopping by on your weekend!  I'll see you back here Monday for Day 8!

—jen


Thursday, December 12, 2019

Merry Little Christmas Stitch-Along — Day 6

Welcome back for Day 6 of the Merry Little Christmas Stitch-Along.  We're halfway through the Stitch-Along now, and as we get closer to Christmas, I'm definitely enjoying taking a break every other day to stitch these sweet little blocks!


Today we'll be making stockings.  The stocking block, with its white cuff, has the potential to look a lot like the mitten block that we made on Day, so I decided to change things up.  Instead of using matching white embroidery floss to blanket stitch the cuff, I used the same green that I planned to use for the lazy daisy holly leaves.  The stitching definitely shows up more, so I worked hard to keep it even, but I think the contrast is worth it.  


For today's block, you'll need:
  • 4½" Square of fabric
  • 3" x 3½" Pink flannel or felted wool
  • 1½" x 3" White flannel or felted wool
  • Embroidery floss in pink, green, red and white, if desired





Day 6 - Stocking


And here's the stocking block that I made for my traditional pillow.  I love the background fabric for this block, especially how the holly leaves and berries echo the stitching on the stocking's cuff.  And the red tweed wool?  Seriously gorgeous!




That's it for today!  Have fun stitching your stockings and I'll see you back here on Saturday for Day 7!

—jen


Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Merry Little Christmas Stitch-Along — Day 5

It's Day 5 of the Merry Little Christmas Stitch-Along and today we're making gingerbread men!



Between the brushed texture of the flannel/wool, the contrast of the white stitching and the darling peppermint buttons, these little gingerbread men look just like cookies!


For today's block, you'll need:
  • 4½" Square of fabric
  • 3" x 4" Brown flannel or felted wool
  • Embroidery floss in brown and white
  • 2 Peppermint swirl buttons  (my buttons are from Just Another Button Company - the small peppermint swirl (sku:  nh1067.s))




Day 5 - Gingerbread Man


And here's the gingerbread man block that I made for my traditional pillow using a slightly darker brown wool:



You may notice that the buttons that I used for this block are a bit smaller.  They're also from JABC, namely the tiny peppermint swirl (sku:  nh1067.T).

Have fun making your own gingerbread men and feel free to embellish them as much as you like.  I've kept mine pretty simple, but if you search online for gingerbread man cookie images, you'll find a lot of great ideas.  I can't wait to see what you come up with!

—jen