Super Kids Inspired Party at Ann Kelle Fabrics

Free Super Kids Mask Tutorial by Better Off Thread for Ann Kelle Fabrics

Last month, I had the wonderful opportunity to work with Kelle Boyd (The designer behind Ann Kelle Fabrics) to create Super Hero masks based on her Super Kids fabric line for Robert Kaufman Fabrics and Super Hero cards she designed for Tiny Prints.

Free Super Kids Mask Tutorial by Better Off Thread for Ann Kelle Fabrics

Kelle created a colorful, fun, Super Kids party to celebrate her new line and the photos on her blog today are adorable!  Be sure to check it out. She is also hosting a giveaway for a $50 Tiny Prints giftcard (just in time for the Holidays!).

Free Super Kids Mask Tutorial by Better Off Thread for Ann Kelle Fabrics

There are also lots of great tutorials in her blog for super hero capes, party printables and I created a free tutorial for the masks, so you can have your own little Super Kids (children not included).  Click here to check it out!

 

A-Maze Finished (and a FREE Craftsy Pattern)!

A-Maze Quilt with Architextures: A Craftsy Pattern by Better Off Thread

I FINALLY finished my A-Maze quilt!   I wanted to make  a quilt to showcase all those yummy Architextures fabrics by Carolyn Friedander before I used them up in other quilts. I don’t often use one fabric line in a quilt, but I LOVE these fabrics so much.  I wanted something simple and linear, so the fabrics are the focus.

A-Maze Quilt with Architextures: A Craftsy Pattern by Better Off Thread

I decided to do my favorite wavy quilting on it, and I also added in some large pebbles, to echo the curvy lines and circles on the Architextures fabric.

A-Maze Quilt with Architextures: A Craftsy Pattern by Better Off Thread

The binding is scrappy on one side, using each print from the collection.

A-Maze Quilt with Architextures: A Craftsy Pattern by Better Off Thread

The back is one of the ledger prints paired with Kona Peacock.

A-Maze Quilt with Architextures: A Craftsy Pattern by Better Off Thread

The finished quilt measures 60″ x 70″ and it’s really quick and easy to make.  It’s also a great pattern for a man (my husband has already claimed it for his couch at work).  I love sharing with all my wonderful readers, so I wrote up the pattern and it’s a free download on Craftsy.  You can find it here.

Happy Halloween!

Countdown to Christmas Quilt-Along: Quilting

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How is everyone doing with their Advent Calendars?  By now, you should have it pieced and ready to quilt.  Don’t worry if you haven’t started yet.  I bet you could still catch up in time to link-up for prizes at the end of November!  If you’d like more information on the quilt along and our sponsors, you can read all the details here.

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Now that your top is completed, it’s time to make a “quilt sandwich” and quilt it!  A quilt sandwich is a VERY technical term for layering the quilt top, batting and backing and basting them together (either with pins, spray or thread).

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Here is my Advent calendar being basted into a quilt sandwich.  I tape the backing to the floor and then place the batting and top on it.  Elizabeth Hartman has a great tutorial right here.  For batting, I like to use “Warm and Natural” or “Warm and White”(if the quilt has a lot of white fabric).  I would normally cut my batting to be several inches larger than the top on the sides, but I REALLY wanted to use a scrap of batting I already had.

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I like to start by pinning at spots where 4 blocks meet and then I add pins as needed.

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For my quilting, I decided to do “pebbling”, which is tiny little quilted circles all over the background of the quilt.  I love the results, but it takes FOREVER, so I will be quilting little bits at a time over the next two weeks, while all of you quilt your calendars.  Melissa at Melia Mae Quilting did very pretty loops and she also shows a few other quilting options, so be sure to check out her blog.  If you are new to quilting, you can also just sew straight lines around each pocket and call it done!  It really doesn’t need much quilting at all.

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Now it’s time to show what you’ve been working on!  Link up your progress below and be sure to check out the flickr group.

See you in two weeks for binding!

Candy Corn Table Runner and Bunting Tutorial

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When Jo-Ann asked if I’d like to be a part of their Celebrate the Season Campaign, I jumped at the chance!  I love creating holiday crafts and the kids get really excited about seeing the decorations.

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Our neighborhood gets pretty crazy on Halloween and my husband does up the entire outside of the house.  I had abolutely no decorations for the inside, though, so I decided to create some festive decor for the mantle and coffee table. My kids are 2 and 4 and don’t really like spooky, so I decided to play it safe and use candy corn as my inspiration.  This table runner and bunting are super easy to make and customizable to any size table and mantle.

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Candy Corn Table Runner and Bunting Tutorial

(All amounts and measurements are for a table runner that is 17 1/2″x 40″ and bunting that is 6′ long.  You can modify the patterns by adding more, or less, candy corn triangles.)

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Materials Needed:

All seam allowances are 1/4″

Step one: Cut fabrics

(Fold all fabrics in half, selvage to selvage.  Tutorial assumes your fabric is 44″ wide.  If your fabric is several inches narrower, you may need extra strips.)

White Fabric
- Cut 3 strips 2 1/2″ x 44″ for strip sets

Gold Fabric
- Cut 3 strips 2 1/2″ x 44″ for strip sets

Orange Fabric
- Cut 3 strips 2 1/2″ x 44″ for strip sets
-Cut 3 strips 2 1/4″ x 44″ for binding

Black Fabric
-Cut 3 strips 6 1/2″ x 44″ For background
-Cut 3 strips 3″ x 44″ for border

Step 2: Sew and Cut Triangles

Take your 2 1/2″ strips, and sew a white, orange and yellow strip together lengthwise (orange will always be in the middle). Press seams open.

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You will now have three sets of 3 sewn strips that match the photo above.

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Line your Pyramid Ruler (or your printed template) up with the top and bottom edge of your strip set and cut out your first triangle.  (Don’t worry if your strips are wider or narrower than the template, just line your template up with the top edge.)

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Flip your template and cut your next triangle.  Repeat until you have 21 triangles.

 Next, take your 3 black 6 1/2″ wide strips and cut them the same way you just cut your strip sets.  Cut 21 triangles.

Step 3: Sew Triangles for Table Runner

 

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Sew triangles together using the diagram above as a guide.

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Triangles are sewn right sides together using a 1/4″ seam allowance.  Press all seams the same direction.

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You’ll now have two strips of triangles.

Step 4: Assemble your table runner

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Sew the two strips of triangles together, matching the point of the candy corn triangle with the center of the black triangle. Press seam open.

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As an alternate layout, you can match your triangles point to point to create diamonds.

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Trim  sides of table runner, so they are even, as pictured above.

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For the border, sew the black 3″ wide strips to the sides of the runner, trim,  then  sew to the top and bottom.  Press all seams towards border.

Most of my readers are quilters, so I am not going to bore you with instructions on quilting and binding (plus it would get really long!), but here is a list of my favorite tutorials, if you need help:

- Making a “Quilt Sandwich” at Oh Fransson: that’s quilter speak for layering the top, batting and backing.

- Straight line quilting tutorial at Amy’s Creative Side.

- Double Fold Binding Tutorial at Canoe Ridge Creations.

Step 5: Make your bunting!

You should have 10 orange and 10 black triangles left over.  Feel free to cut more and make longer bunting.

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With right sides together, sew an orange and a black triangle along two sides.

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Clip point, turn and press flat.  Repeat to make 9 more triangles.

Clip off those tiny seam allowance points that are sticking out of the raw edge.

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Open bias tape up,  align with raw edge of a triangle and sew.  Butt next triangle up to first and sew to the same piece of bias tape.  Continue for all triangles.

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Fold bias tape around to orange side of bunting and press.  Sew just inside the edge of the bias tape.

You are done!

Happy Halloween and enjoy your new decorations.

For more craft and sewing ideas, check out Jo-Ann Fabric’s Celebrate the Season website.  There are tons of project ideas from very talented craft and sewing bloggers. You can also search #spookyspaces on Instagram and Twitter.

 As an added bonus to you, I have a 50% coupon to get you started on your holiday projects!

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This tutorial is part of the Jo­‐Ann Fabric and Craft Stores® Celebrate the Season campaign. I was given a gift card to create a unique holiday projects, but all views, opinions and designs are my own.

Countdown To Christmas Quilt Along: Piecing and Layout Variations

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Wow, we are over the half-way mark in the quilt along!  How is everyone doing?

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I had fun piecing my calendar this past week. Now I can see it really coming together and it is CUTE (if I do say so myself). The instructions for this week were very straight forward, so I really don’t have any tips to give, except, “Measure twice, cut once.”.  There are lots of cuts to make, and you don’t want to have to redo any of the hard work you’ve accomplished so far!

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I decided to put my numbers in sequential order.  Someone asked me why there is no 25th of December.  Most advent calendars count up through Christmas Eve, but you could totally do 5 rows of 5 and add Christmas Day!

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It’s your turn to link-up and share your progress.  Don’t forget that we have great prizes from our sponsors at the end of the quilt-along.  If you haven’t started your calendar yet, there is still plenty of time to catch up.  All of the information is located here.

Also, stop by Melissa’s blog and check out her progress.  I love how her calendar is turning out!

Sew Cute Tuesday

Better Off Thread

I came to the realization, as I was sewing at 11pm last night and still hadn’t written up the Sew Cute Tuesday post, that I just don’t have time for everything anymore (what, really?!). I need to either A. say no, or B. hand some things off.

I’ve had such a great time hosting Sew Cute Tuesday, but it’s been falling by the wayside because my family comes first, then my work (so I can help support my family), and THEN my blog.  I do want to keep active on the blog and post when I have new projects to show you, but the link up is the one thing on my weekly schedule that I can easily hand off.  It makes me sad, because the link-up has really started growing, but I think it will grow more with someone who can pay attention to it!

So, if anyone is interested in taking over Sew Cute Tuesday, please email me and I’ll give you all the details on doing it!

And I’m sorry to anyone who was hoping for a link-up this week.  If someone takes over, I’ll post where to find the next link-up and I’ll put a new button in my sidebar, so you don’t get lost!

 

Countdown to Christmas Quilt Along Week 3: Applique

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Have you all been busy cutting your fabrics for your Advent Calendar?  It’s time to put the numbers on!

If you are new to the Countdown to Christmas Quilt Along, there is still plenty of time to join in and catch up!  You can read about it here and the schedule is as follows:

  • August 19th – Announcement of Giveaway and sponsors
  • September 2nd – Quilt Along begins:  Choosing fabrics and fabric requirements
  • September 16th – Cutting fabrics
  • September 30th – Applique techniques (machine, hand, puff-paint, ironed on).  The options are endless for how you would like to add your numbers to the pockets.
  • October 14th – Piecing and layout variations
  • October 28th – Quilting ideas
  • November 11th – Binding
  • November 25th – The Big Reveal and ideas for what to put in the pockets.

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There are lots of ways you can put the the numbers on your calendar.  In Elizabeth’s version, she has you do classic machine appliqué with fabric, Steam a Seam and a machine satin stitch around the edge.

Some other ideas you could try:

  • Machine Embroider like Melissa did on her calendar
  • Hand Embroider
  • Fabric puff paint
  • Rubber Stamp with fabric paint
  • Applique with hand sewn blanket stitching
  • Raw-edge appliqué
  • Iron-on Felt appliqués

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I chose the last option which is making iron-on appliqués out of felt.  It was quick and I like that the felt has dimension and  texture.  My kids are 2 and 4, so they are all about texture.

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I used Ecofelt and Heat n Bond Lite (you can get both at Michaels) to make my appliqués.  They are so easy to make and all the instructions are on the Heat n Bond packaging!  Once you iron the felt on, you can zig-zag around the edge, but I have found there is no need to do this as long as I am not going to wash the item.

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I decided to go with an orderly layout for my calendar.  My children are just learning to count and understand the passage of time, so I didn’t want to confuse them by jumping around the calendar! I did randomize the placement of my numbers on the squares.  I didn’t want to cover up the images, so I just placed the number in the best spot on each square, rather than the bottom right corner.

I can’t wait to see what everyone else is up to!  Be sure to check out Melissa’s amazing embroidery on her calendar and don’t forget to link up and post photos in the flickr group.

Have a great 2 weeks!

 

 

Finished Projects and New Classes

Are you ready to see the oodles of projects I’ve been working on?! This is not even half of them, but it’s all I can show for now.

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First, I’m going to be teaching two classes at Sew Modern in October.

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The first class will be October 19th, from 10:30am-5:30pm and I’ll be teaching my Round the Blocks Pattern.  I’m really excited about this class, because these blocks are so fun and easy to make.  The class will cover paper-piecing, fussy cutting, setting in circles and sewing curves.

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I’m really excited to make a full quilt out of these blocks someday soon, and I have a stack of fabrics waiting to be cut into!

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The second class is not on the schedule yet, but I’ll be teaching the adorable Geranium Dress.  This is the perfect beginner’s pattern for anyone who is interested in venturing into garment sewing.

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I’ve also been working on various projects for upcoming fabric lines by Anne Kelle and Andi Hanna at Robert Kaufman Fabrics.  You can see the list of fabrics and patterns on the images below.  I loved making all of these projects and they are all great gift ideas.  The best part; most of the patterns are free!

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A cute little camera pouch from Amy Ala Mode.

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The Peas and Corn Bag by Sew Sweetness.

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Notebook cover, Pencil Case and Crayon Roll at Anne Kelle.

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Dopp Kits (Men’s toiletry kits) at The Cottage Mama.

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That’s it for now.  I’ll share more as I can!

Sew Cute Tuesday

Happy Autumn, Everyone!

Better Off Thread

I’m still working like crazy getting projects finished up, but I’m hoping it will be back to normal on the blog (and in my life!) soon.

Here are some fun projects from two weeks ago:

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1

Isn’t this just the cutest quilt ever?  Kelli at Seriously, I Think It Needs Stitches designed this quilt and it is the bike of my dreams.  The pattern is available on Craftsy!

2

Adrianne from On The Windy Side made these retro-chic sewing room accessories for a swap.  I am SO jealous of her partner!

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This Supertote by Samantha from Making Life Prettier is so fun!  Be sure to check out close-up shots of the tote on her blog.  I had heard of the pattern, but now I think I need to get it!

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It’s time to link-up your projects from the past week!

• Sewing projects only (that includes crochet, knitting and anything with fabric and thread!)

•Please be sure to visit a couple other blogs in the link-up and give them some love.

• Link back to my blog and help spread the word about Sew Cute Tuesday.

Sew Cute Tuesday

Sew Cute Tuesday is a taking a break this week, but will return next week!