A pincushion, a WIP and a big thank you

Hi everyone.  I have an easy pincushion and a few works in progress (WIP’s) to share with you, but first I want to say a big “THANK YOU” for all of your sweet comments on the birth of my first grandchild.  You guys are amazingly supportive and kind!

Thank you vector stock

I haven’t had a chance to reply to each of you yet, but I will be working on that next week. We fly to Austin on Monday to visit little Miss Amelia.  While I’m there, I should have time to catch up on some emails in between snuggles and diapers!

My latest video on The Quilt Show just came out.  I’m showing you a quick and easy pincushion demo.  I used a small picture frame as the base for a pincushion.  It’s easy to remove the glass and insert a rectangle of fabric and some polyester stuffing.

Picture Frame Pincushion @ The Crafty Quilter


You can watch the video for details of the process, but I’ll give you the basic scoop here.  I bought my picture frame at Cost Plus World Market for $1.99.  It has an opening that fits a 2 1/2″ x 3 1/2″ picture.  I cut my fabric into a 5″ x 6″ rectangle.  One handful of stuffing is plenty to put in the center of the fabric.  The hardest part is getting the back of the frame to fit inside the opening with the fabric squeezed in between.  The first time I tried it, it worked like butter.  On camera, it was not cooperating at all.  I started laughing as I was trying to force it into place.  Needless to say, we cut that part out.

Picture Frame Pincushion @ The Crafty Quilter


The fabric is secured to the back of the frame with fabric tape.  You could also use regular masking tape or Washi tape.  Deciding on which fabric to use is probably what takes the most time!

Picture Frame Pincushion @ The Crafty Quilter

Photo courtesy of The Quilt Show


You can use the pincushion standing tall or sitting down flat.  It would lay flatter if you removed the “arm” on the back of the picture frame.

Pincushion flat copy


You’ll soon see me in another video on The Quilt Show, but this time it will be in the BOM classroom.  I’m covering the August instructional video for this year’s My Country House Block of the Month.  Are any of you participating?  I couldn’t squeeze this one into my schedule this year, but I did make some cute churn dash blocks for the video.

churn dash blocks copy


They look like a summer picnic just landed in the middle of a churn dash block!  I love the 9-patch unit in the center.  It’s so cute!

The other project I’m working on is for Blank Textiles and I’m having fun using a rainbow of colors for this quilt.  I can’t show you pictures just yet, but I think you’re going to like it.  I need to get back to the sewing room to get this puppy done.  I hope you’re all having a great week!


It’s official – I’m a grandma!

I have exciting news to share with you!  I have finally entered into the next stage of life, and I’ve become a grandma!  My oldest daughter, Kelly, gave birth to a beautiful baby girl on Friday morning. She weighed 8 lb. 15 oz.!  I don’t know how she fit inside my daughter’s small frame.

Baby Amelia

Amelia Marie

Kelly and Amelia

Mom and baby. (Photo credit – Harmon Li)

The delivery went smooth, and mom and baby are healthy and happy.

Kelly and her husband, Steven, live in Austin, Texas, so that will be a frequent destination for me and Mr. Crafty Quilter.  We’re flying there in one week, and I can’t wait to hold this baby!

Cutbirth Family Day 1

Kelly, Steven and Amelia. (Photo credit – Harmon Li)


Of course there’s a baby quilt.  It just needs two more sides of binding stitched down, plus a quilt label and then it will be ready to go.  Since we didn’t know whether to expect a girl or a boy (I love surprises!), this quilt is gender neutral.  You may remember this pattern from the Star Crossed Quilt Along that I participated in a few months ago.

baby quilt front copy


I love the backing fabric which is Woodland Animals from Timeless Treasures.  The little touch of orange polka dot binding that I added gives it a nice pop.

baby quilt back


I think I should make another quilt specifically for Amelia (but not too pink and purple or my daughter might disown me).  And I’m always looking for an excuse to make another quilt. Girls are so much fun to sew for!

Currently, I’m working on a big project for Blank Quilting.  I have this week to finish a quilt top, quilt and bind it, photograph and edit it, then send it off!  I may not come out of my sewing room at all this week.  Oh, the life of a quilter/blogger/grandma!


Giveaway winner and applique results

I have picked a winner for July’s Cozy Afternoon BOM giveaway.  It’s comment #104, Marlene, who prefers the look of hand applique, but finds that some projects don’t warrant the effort and time of hand work.  I agree that you have to pick the right project for all of that special attention.  Marlene, you’ll be receiving a pdf package of the patterns shown below.  Congratulations!

Giveaway for July- Cozy Afternoon Free BOM

I appreciated all of the comments I received on this month’s Cozy Afternoon BOM.  I asked you to tell me if you have ever tried applique and if so, which technique you prefer.  I enjoyed reading all of your answers.  I even tallied them up and thought I’d share the results with you.

The most popular method in this group was machine applique, with 30 of you preferring that method.  The biggest reason:  it’s quicker!  One person said that poor eyesight prevents her from doing hand applique.  I’m beginning to “see” what she means!

The next popular category I showed was BOTH.  Many of you (24) like to switch it up, depending on the size of the project and the time frame you’re working on.

Hand applique was a close third with 19 of you preferring that method.  I enjoyed reading some of the reasons for this technique:  “I don’t drive straight by machine” and “It’s soothing to my soul”.  I can relate to both of those!

I was happy to see that 9 commenters wanted to learn applique soon and five people enjoyed doing wool applique (something I’d like to learn).

There are SO many ways to do applique.  Some of the methods mentioned were freezer paper, needle turn, blanket stitch by machine, envelope style, back basting and edge color applique (a new one to me).

I’ll be doing a round up of applique methods and tutorials soon.  I hope you all have a great day!




Cozy Afternoon Block 3

It’s time for the third block of Jacquelynne Steves’ Cozy Afternoon BOM.  If you haven’t joined the fun, it’s not too late!  You’ll receive all of the previous block instructions as well as the current month.  You can sign up here.  Invite a friend and it will be twice as much fun!

This month’s block is another adorable tea cup centered in a pieced frame.

Cozy Afternoon BOM Block 3 by Julie Cefalu @ The Crafty Quilter


I had one of those “Wow” moments when I was following Jacquelynne’s instructions for this month’s block.  She has a really cool trick to make the type of units which are located in the corner squares (shown below).  It’s worth signing up for the BOM just to find out how Jacquelynne made this unit super easy and precise.

block 3 corner unit dashed


For the sides of this block, I strip-pieced the center rectangle and the squares together which improved my accuracy (and speed). I used a 3 1/2″ x 9″ rectangle for the center and two 2″ x 9″ rectangles on each side.

block 3 strip piecing


The applique turned out really well.  I used a small zig zag stitch to mimic the string of the tea bag.  I also used blue thread to stitch around the tea bag which is a great way to accent a color like yellow that might not have shown up well otherwise.

Cozy Afternoon BOM Block 3 by Julie Cefalu @ The Crafty Quilter

Cozy Afternoon BOM Block 3 by Julie Cefalu @ The Crafty Quilter


This block of the month is so much fun!  I love how it’s turning out.  If you missed my first two months, here they are all together on my design wall.

Cozy Afternoon BOM Block 3 by Julie Cefalu @ The Crafty Quilter


Jacquelynne has provided another generous giveaway this month.  You can win her Amelia Quilt & Round Pillow Pattern plus her Savannah Wool Runner pattern.  All you have to do is leave a comment here and tell me if you’ve ever tried applique before.  If so, which method do you prefer?  You have until midnight (Pacific time), July 19 to enter. Giveaway is now closed.

Giveaway for July- Cozy Afternoon Free BOM

You’ll have more chances to win the giveaway (now closed) if you visit the other featured bloggers and leave a comment on their blog.  It’s also fun to see what fabrics they’ve chosen to work with and any tips they might have.  Here’s the list of participating bloggers:

A Quilt and a Prayer
Lily Pad Quilting
Red Letter Quilts
The Crafty Quilter (that’s me!)
44th Street Fabric
Kathy’s Quilts

Thanks for visiting me today!

Cozy Afternoon BOM Block 3 by Julie Cefalu @ The Crafty Quilter


Christmas in July

I am loving all of the Christmas in July happenings in the crafting world. It’s not always easy to get into the Christmas mindset when it’s summertime, but Fort Worth Fabric Studio is helping with that.  They are putting on a Christmas in July series that includes some great tutorials.  Today, I am participating with a tutorial for a Frosty Cabin Tree Skirt.

Frosty Cabin tree Skirt from The Crafty Quilter

You can find the full tutorial at Fort Worth Fabric Studio.  I’ve been wanting to make a tree skirt for awhile, and this has been a great opportunity to get it done!

If you’re visiting here for the first time, welcome!  I’m so glad you stopped by.  You can find many more tutorials for Christmas quilting and gifts at my Christmas Once a Month page.  If you want to know a little bit more about me (and some random facts), you can check out this post.

It’s not easy photographing and staging a Christmas project without the usual wintertime props, so I relied a bit on editing and PicMonkey to help.  PicMonkey is a free program that is really easy to use and one of my favorite blogging tools.  If I can figure it out, anyone can!

This is what the tree skirt looks like without any tree or presents to adorn it:

Christmas Tree Skirt Complete copy


I think this would be so cute in a red and white color scheme.  There are so many cute Christmas prints out there.  For this project, I used some of the Frosty Forest collection from Benartex.  I love the owls in this one!

Frosty forest owls

Make sure to stop by Fort Worth Fabric Studio to see all of the other Christmas in July tutorials.  Here’s the schedule:

Thank you for stopping by!