I wanted to wish you all a very Merry Christmas! Thank you so much for being a part of my online community. I appreciate your support, and I can’t wait to share more quilting and crafting ideas with you in the upcoming year!
Enjoy the rest of the holidays and I hope you find time for you and some creativity! We are leaving for Austin, Texas, in the morning. Grandchild number three was due four days ago, so we’re hoping he makes his arrival while we’re there. I’ll keep you posted!
I have a super quick project idea for you – the cutest Gnome Mug Rug ever! He’s all ready to put a smile on your face and keep your mug safe and warm.
This little gnome is a smaller version of the free Gnome Quilt Block by Caroline at Sew Can She. Caroline has paired her gnomes with some tree blocks to make the cutest Gnome Forest Quilt!
If you need to make a last minute gift for someone, this little Gnome Mug Rug is a fast and easy project! He’s 6 1/2″ square and simple to piece together.
Caroline has graciously allowed me to share the cutting measurements for the smaller gnome. You’ll have to visit her tutorial to get the rest of the instructions to put him together.
Cutting Instructions for 6 1/2″ Gnome block
Red plaid (hat) – Cut (1) 3 1/2″ x 6 1/2″ rectangle
Solid red (body) – Cut (2) 2 1/2″ squares, (2) 1 1/2″ x 2 1/2″ rectangles, and (1) 1 1/2″ x 6 1/2″ rectangle
Solid white (beard) – Cut (1) 2 1/2″ x 4 1/2″ rectangle
White print (background) – Cut (2) 3 1/2″ squares and (2) 1 1/2″ squares
Once you have assembled your gnome using Caroline’s tutorial, you just need to layer a piece of batting and backing fabric and add some quilting to secure the layers. I simply stitched in the ditch along the hat and beard.
Next, trim the raw edges and add binding. For this mug rug I used 2 1/4″ wide binding and sewed it onto the back, then wrapped it around to the front and machine stitched it in place along the folded edge. You could also check out my mug rug binding tips for a more delicate binding edge.
Mug rugs make great gifts, especially when you package them with a favorite tea/coffee, mug, and a little something sweet! Thanks for stopping by today. Have a wonderful weekend!
The star of this pillow is the fabric. I’m using four prints from the Celestial Lights collection by Amanda Murphy for Benartex. This fabric has a beautiful pearlescent sheen to it that sparkles like fresh snow.
What makes this pillow a quick last minute gift? The piecing and quilting is very simple and easy. I let the fabric do most of the work by fussy cutting the center square. Also, I used Sliver Metallic thread in Opalescent by Sulky for the quilting which adds a touch of sparkle with straight lines on both sides of the seams.
I made this pillow in less than four hours, which is lightening fast in “quilter time”. I even added a zipper closure (which may remove the lightening speed for some of you). You can also choose to do an envelope back instead.
Celestial Snowflake Pillow tutorial
The instructions are for an 18″ square pillow with a zipper closure on the bottom. All seams are 1/4″ for the pillow front. All other seams are 3/8″ as noted in instructions.
1/2 yard Celestial Lights, Feature Blue, SKU 9628P-50 (pillow back and center square)
1/4 yard or fat quarter Celestial Lights, Wrought Iron Blue, SKU 9631P-50 (pillow front)
16″-18″ zipper (optional)
Fusible Interfacing (light to medium weight)
18″ pillow form
Feature Blue (main print): Cut (1) 6 1/2″ square and (1) 18 1/2″ square)
Starry Sky White/Blue: Cut (2) 2 1/2″ x 6 1/2″ rectangles and (2) 2 1/2″ x 10 1/2″ rectangles
Starry Sky Navy: Cut (2) 2 1/2″ x 10 1/2″ rectangles and (2) 2 1/2″ x 14 1/2″ rectangles
Wrought Iron Blue: Cut (2) 2 1/2″ x 10 1/2″ rectangles and (2) 2 1/2″ x 18 1/2″ rectangles
Fusible Fleece: Cut (1) 18″ square
Fusible Interfacing: Cut (1) 18″ square
Pillow front instructions. You will be assembling this in rounds.
First round: Sew the white 2 1/2″ x 6 1/2″ rectangles to both sides of the center 6 1/2″ square. Press. Sew the 2 1/2″ x 10 1/2″ white rectangles to the remaining sides. Press.
Second round: Sew a navy 2 1/2″ x 10 1/2″ rectangle to opposite sides of the pillow center. Repeat for the navy 2 1/2″ x 14 1/2″ rectangles.
Third round: Sew a Wrought Iron 2 1/2″ x 14 1/2″ rectangle to opposite sides of the pillow center. Repeat for the Wrought Iron 2 1/2″ x 18 1/2″ rectangles.
Following the manufacturer’s instructions, fuse the fusible fleece to the wrong side of the pillow front. Quilt as desired. I stitched 1/4″ on each side of all seams and I stitched around the center snowflake motif using Sliver Metallic thread.
Following the manufacturer’s instructions, fuse the light to mid weight interfacing to the wrong side of the 18 1/2″ square pillow back. This is optional, but I like the added stability it gives to the pillow.
The following instructions include a zipper along one side seam. I did not follow anyone’s tutorial, but relied on my memory from my dressmaking days. Well, that may have been a mistake but it turned out OK. I’ll try to make this tutorial better than my method! For a complete guide, check out How to Make a Zippered Pillow Cover at Hey There, Home.
Basically, you’re going to sew the bottom seam (where the zipper will be) with a long stitch length for the zipper opening. Once the zipper is sewn down (on top of the seam allowance), you will use a seam ripper and open up the basting stitches to expose the zipper.
On the wrong side of the pillow top, mark 1″ from each end of one side. Place the pillow top and pillow back right sides together. Stitch with a 3/8″ wide seam and a 2.0 stitch length until you get to the 1″ mark. Backstitch. Change your stitch length to 4.0-6.0 and continue stitching until you get to the next 1″ mark. Backstitch. Finish the seam with a 2.0 stitch length.
Note: Normally I would use a 1/2″ seam allowance on a zipper seam, but I didn’t want my pillow to shrink in size too much. A 3/8″ seam will suffice.
Press the seam open. Place the zipper face down on top of the seam allowance, centering it over the seam. The zipper pull should be at the beginning of the basting stitches and the zipper stop at the end of the basting stitches. If your zipper is too long, cut it so that it extends 1/2″ beyond the basting stitches. Pin in place or use Wonder Tape by Dritz to fuse into place.
Using a zipper foot and matching thread, begin stitching (on the wrong side) close to the zipper teeth. When you get to the zipper pull, you can stop with the needle down, lift the presser foot and slide the zipper pull beyond the presser foot. Make sure the zipper stays centered on the seam. Continue stitching all the way around the zipper.
Note: I used Wonder Tape on one side of my zipper only. I stitched the zipper from the front (right side) of the zipper seam. I later realized this was not the “easy” way to do this because it was hard to move the zipper pull out of the way from underneath. The photo below shows how I sewed the zipper in place from the top, and the red line is the laser beam on my Baby Lock Crescendo which helps guide my stitching line.
Use a seam ripper to un-sew the center basting stitches. Unzip the zipper half way.
Place the pillow front and pillow back right sides together and pin along the remaining three sides. (Make sure the zipper is open half way first!) Stitch with a 3/8″ seam allowance.
Trim corner seam allowances. Turn right side out through the zipper opening. Insert pillow form.
Now you have a Celestial Snowflake Pillow to gift or keep for yourself. Make sure to check out all of the other projects on the Benartex 12 Days of Christmas – Quick Gift Project Hop.
I fell in love when I saw a Lavender Llama at my son’s apartment (it belongs to his girlfriend). I knew I had to make one myself. And I did! I’m happy to share my Lavender Llama (hot/cold plush) tutorial with you all! This could make a great, last-minute gift for someone young or old.
These soft, plush animals are filled with rice and dried lavender that you can microwave for warm comfort in the winter or freeze for instant relaxation in the summer. And they smell so good! They are the perfect size to fit on your chest, abdomen or across your head or neck.
You could fill these llamas with rice, flax seeds, seed corn or beans. I used white jasmine rice and Starwest Botanicals Organic Dried Lavender that I ordered from Amazon (affiliate link). The lavender is optional, but I love the scent and it’s a wonderful stress reliever.
The fabric to make these llamas can be made from a Minky type fabric (I used Cuddle dimple from Shannon Fabrics for one), faux fur or flannel fabric.
EDIT: There has been some concern about putting plush fabric in the microwave. I tested the Cuddle fabric in my own microwave by putting a 6″ square of both samples in the microwave for 2 minutes at high power. The fabric samples became slightly warm, not hot, and there was no other change. Nothing melted or smelled strange. There are many different manufacturers of plush fabric. I used Cuddle by Shannon Fabrics (which is sold in most quilt shops). I would definitely test your specific brand/sample first. If you have any concerns, use 100% cotton flannel.
I found a llama printed flannel for the back of one llama and I used ivory Cuddle on the front. I think it’s super cute and still cuddly! The other body parts should be made with wool or wool felt so they can withstand the microwave.
Even though I call myself The “Crafty” Quilter, I’m definitely not an expert at making stuffed animals; but I’ll show you how I put these llamas together, and I have a pattern template that you can download and print out.
Lavender Llama tutorial
1/3 yard of Cuddle (minky) fabric or flannel (body)
10″ square (approximately) of tan or gray wool (ears and legs)
small scrap of white wool (nose/mouth)
small scrap of black wool (eyes)
scraps of 100% cotton batting (ears and legs)
2 – 2 1/2 cups of filler (I used white rice)
1/2 cup of dried lavender (optional, or you could use essential oil)
water soluble fabric glue
black permanent marker or fabric pen
pattern template (below)
Print out the lavender llama pattern template at actual size.
Cut apart the pattern pieces on the lines.
Using the body pattern, trace (don’t cut yet) two bodies onto the wrong side of minky or flannel (make sure they are mirror images of each other).
Cut 1/2″ OUTSIDE THE BODY LINES for the seam allowance.
For the other body parts, you’ll be tracing and cutting on the line (no seam allowance needed). Cut one face from wool, one nose/mouth from white wool, two eyes from black wool, four legs and four ears from wool, two ears and two legs from batting.
Make the ears and legs. I found that these body parts needed extra stability so I stuffed them with batting that I cut down about 1/8″ smaller all around than the pattern. I used Roxanne’s Glue Baste It to hold the layers together. Then I stitched 1/8″ from the edges using a walking foot. You could also use a heavy interfacing instead, which I did for the tan wool on the cream llama.
Make the face by drawing the nose/mouth on the white oval using a permanent marker or a fabric pen. Glue this and the eyes to the face shape using the pattern as a placement guide. Stitch them in place using matching thread.
Glue the face to the right side (of fabric) of the llama’s head using the pattern as a placement guide. Stitch in place.
Baste the legs and ears in place so the raw edges are lined up, using the body pattern markings for placement.
Place the body pieces right sides together and pin well. Cuddle or plush fabric has a nap to it, so it tends to shift.
Use a walking foot and stitch on the marked body line, leaving an opening where indicated on the pattern. (Note: When sewing with Cuddle, I always use a walking foot, 1/2″ seam allowance, and a 2.5-3.0 stitch length).
Clip inside curved edges of seam allowance and trim seam allowance to 1/4″ except at the opening.
Turn right side out.
I had a hard time keeping the ears of the llama equal. I had to re-sew the right ear of the lavender llama to make it straight. The cream llama also has a crooked ear, but I left it as is. I suppose it adds to his charm!
Fill the llama with the rice and dried lavender. I found that using a funnel was more efficient and less messy. If you want your llama more full, you can add another 1/2 cup of rice. Just make sure that you leave room to stitch the opening closed with your sewing machine.
Pin the opening closed and stitch close to the edge by machine. You can hand stitch this closed, but I prefer the small stitches and strength of the sewing machine.
Enjoy your sweet Lavender Llama! He or she is ready to make you comfortable by placing it in the microwave for about 1-2 minutes or place it in the freezer for several hours. Enjoy!
Hey everyone! My new pattern, Lincoln Stars, is here and it’s on sale! You can find the pdf pattern in my Etsy shop, on sale for $6 (regularly $9).
This quilt is much easier to make than it looks. There are two sizes offered: Lap size which is 57″ square and Double size which is 84″ square. There are two different blocks in this quilt and they both measure 14″ square.
I think this quilt would look wonderful in red, white and blue, or with a large floral for the block centers (which is also perfect for fussy cutting). I played with my software and love this version using Catalina fabric by Fig Tree for Moda Fabrics.
One of my pattern testers, Wendy, has been quilting for just a little over a year. She made the smaller version and had no problem with the instructions (whew!)! Thank you, Wendy!
I love the way the Lincoln Star block looks like it’s set on point. All of the pieces are cut from squares and rectangles – no tricky triangles! The simpler, alternating block sews up very quickly, making this quilt go together in no time.
Instead of marking diagonal lines on my fabric, I used Diagonal Seam Tape by Cluck Cluck Sew. It’s a huge time saver! I’ve mentioned it before; it’s basically Washi tape with a center marking line and 1/4″ markings on each side. You use the markings to guide your fabric through your machine.
Thanks for cheering me on and motivating me to finish this pattern. It will remain on sale for the rest of December. If you make it, I’d love to see a photo. Use the hashtag #Lincolnstarsquilt if you post it on Instagram.