Thursday, December 18, 2014

Last-Minute Gifts: Tasty Treats in a Jar

Much like the fabled fruitcake of earlier generations, everyone has likely given (or received) the classic "brownie mix in a jar" or 'cookie mix in a jar" as a holiday gift. Which is great--who doesn't love dessert, especially one with the ingredients measured out and almost ready to go? 

But the possibilities for gifts in a jar go so far beyond that! Our favorite resource for ideas is DodoBurd's 44 Creative DIY Christmas Gifts in a Jar. Like the title says, the blog post features 44 ideas to give in a jar, some quick and easy, and some requiring a bit more work. 

Some that we liked:
Pottery Barn Mason Jar Knockoff
Christmas in a Jar 
Gift Card Snow Globe (check this one out--so neat!)
Detox Bath in a Jar
Salted Caramel Sauce in a Jar

And of course, what jar gift couldn't be improved with a little fabric? We made three sample jars to share with you: hot cocoa in a jar, red velvet cupcake in a jar, and salted caramel sauce in a jar (that one was a no-brainer--of course we had to try it! And YUM!!)

We topped each jar with a pinking shears-cut circle and coordinating ribbon. We used a blue and silver snowflake print and red and green check print from Christmas Basics, and a red/white/gold holly print from the Season's Greetings collection  Simply trace around the appropriate sized plate or bowl and cut out! Easy! 
Here's a tip for deciding circle size: For taller jars, find a circle approximately double the diameter of the jar lid. For shorter jars, like the salted caramel jar, find a circle approximately 2" larger in diameter than the jar lid.


Need other last-minute gift ideas?
See our drawstring gift card bag tutorial here.
See our fabric ornament tutorial here.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Last-Minute Gifts: The Ornament

Your neighbor or coworker brought you an unexpected plate of cookies or scented candle--a delightful surprise, don't have anything for her! You have three basic options:
a) Say thank you and enjoy it--not all gifts have to be reciprocal
b) Run out to the store or start baking so you can return the favor
c) Whip up a few of these cute ornaments--they're simple to make and you won't be caught empty-handed again!

Our ornament uses a metallic snowflake print and a red/white/gold holly print from the Season's Greetings collection, plus a green and a black print from the Marblehead collection. And...drop them all you want! They're beautiful but they won't break!
You'll Need:
6" square fabric piece (for ornament background)
6" square piece (for ornament backing)
2" x 6" fabric piece for each strip (3 total)
2" x 3" black/gray fabric piece for ornament cap
10" of coordinating ribbon
5-3/4" square piece of fusible fleece
Fusible web

Download the pdf of template pieces here.

Step 1: Trace the template pieces onto the paper side of fusible web. You'll need one full ornament shape, stripes #2, 3, and 4, and the rectangular ornament cap. (Note: Ornament pieces #1 and 5 are included as well, in case you'd like your ornament to be made up of five different fabrics rather than having the background fabric show. If you choose to use all 5 stripes, fuse the full ornament shape onto muslin to serve as a base.) 
Step 2: Cut out each shape 1/4" past the drawn lines and fuse to the wrong side of the appropriate fabric. 

Step 3: Cut out each shape on the drawn lines. Position the three stripes on the full ornament, layering stripe #3 first and then stripes #2 and 4 on top. Fuse into place.

Step 4: Layer the backing piece right side down and position the fusible fleece on top, fusible side down. Using a pressing cloth, fuse the fleece to the backing fabric. Position the ornament front on top of the fleece and fuse in place, using a pressing cloth. 

Step 5: Cut out all layers, following the ornament shape. Here's what the back will look like:

Step 6: Embellish with decorative stitching if you like. We used metallic thread and a star stitch to add detail to the green stripes. 
Step 7: Zig zag or buttonhole stitch around the outer edge of the ornament (except for the ornament top--this will be covered by the fabric cap.
Step 8: Fold the fabric cap piece in half and finger press so you can see the fold line. Position under the ornament as shown so the fold line is even with the top of the ornament. Find the center of the ribbon and lay on top of the ornament. Fold the cap down and fuse to secure. Flip over and fuse the cap on the back side as well. 

Step 9: Tie a knot in the ribbon for hanging.
Here's your finished ornament!

Just for fun, we made a second ornament using jewel-tone colored Marbleheads with the snowflake print. Love the depth the Marblehead prints give these ornaments! 

Need other last-minute gift ideas?
See our drawstring gift card bag tutorial here.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Last-Minute Gifts: The Gift Card Solution

The gift card...most people either love it or hate it. Regardless of your feelings on it, there's no denying that the gift card is an incredibly popular choice around the holidays. 

But how to make it feel a little less impersonal? 
Simple. Stuff it in a fabric gift bag. Wrapping and a personal touch, all in one easy solution.

Here's a quick tutorial to make an incredibly simple one, shown here in this fun tree print from the Season's Greetings collection.

You'll need:
6" x 12" fabric rectangle
1 yard narrow red ribbon
Small safety pin
(yep, that's it!)

Step 1: In each of the four corners, fold the long edge in slightly wrong sides together (1/4" at corner, tapering as you get farther away from the corner) and press. Stitch from short end edge until stitching reaches the tapered edge.

Step 2: Fold one short edge over 1/4"wrong sides together and then 3/4" again. Stitch near the bottom edge to create the casing on each side. Repeat on opposite end.

Step 3: Fold the rectangle in half, wrong sides together, matching the folded casing edges at top. Pin in place and sew down both edges of the bag using a 3/8" seam allowance, stopping at the casing seam on each side so the top 3/4" is not stitched. (This is where you ribbon will feed through.)

Step 4: Turn bag right side out. Cut ribbon into two 18" lengths. Starting and ending on one side, attach a safety pin to the ribbon end and feed through the casing until it returns to starting point. Knot the two ribbon ends. Repeat on the opposite side. Trim drawstring ends if needed.

Step 5: Stuff with a gift card, candy, or some other small treasure!

Friday, December 12, 2014

The Quilter's Ultimate Wish List - part 2

Yesterday we shared a generic version of the quilter's ultimate wish list. However, for a non-quilter, heading into a quilt shop to buy fabric can be intimidating. So today we have a more targeted version of a wish list which will make it a piece of cake for your family and friends to get you exactly what you'd love for the holidays!

Download the printable pdf version of the wish list here.
See all of the fabrics in the featured collections by clicking on the links below.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

The Quilter's Ultimate Wish List

In case your hints have been too subtle this year, we've created a handy letter to Santa. Print it out, fill in the blanks, and send it to the North Pole or hand it to the gift-buying elf in your house!

Download the printable pdf version here.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Wrap it up!

Gift wrapping...seems like most people either love it or hate. What about you? Do your presents have perfect corners, coordinating ribbons, themed gift tags? Or are you one of those people that accidentally cuts the wrapping paper rectangle too small so that you end up "piecing" the paper, and then just skip the ribbon all together? 

Gift wrap lovers, you'll LOVE this. Gift wrap haters, you may not love it, but you'll certainly appreciate it (and maybe reconsider that no-bow position?!)

Judy Hansen, designer of the Nutcracker Christmas collection, found a new use for her fabric--wrapping! The true icing on the cake, though, are the pom-pom bows. 

Judy made these cool accessories using Clover's Flower Frill templates
Gorgeous, aren't they? 

We love seeing all of these presents wrapped up in Nutcracker Christmas--it really puts us in the holiday spirit!

The best part of fabric wrapping paper? You can recycle it by using it your next quilting project! 

And just for fun, Judy also sent us this bloom, made with an old wooden spool center and garment tissue paper petals.

You can find more information on the Flower Frill templates here; you can also find them in Judy's online store, the Quilt Shop of Deland.
See the entire Nutcracker Christmas collection here.

Happy wrapping!

Friday, December 5, 2014

Hottest Quilting Prints: Owls!

Who's Who... it's not always a biography of the best and brightest names out there. 

In our case, it's simply one of the best new fabric lines around: Ro Gregg's Who's Who: owls, butterflies, geometrics and more!

It all started with the panel: A pair of patchwork-looking owls perched in a whimsical tree.

 Add in a lovely assortment of coordinates:

And you've got the making for a who's who of fabrics, all from one collection! 

Ro chatted with us about her new line, so keep reading to learn more about it!

Q. Why owls?
Ro: As you've heard from me before, I love nature. I love owls and I'm an owl collector—I have all kinds of owls—candles, pottery, glass…
A sampling of Ro's owl collection

Owls are so popular. I wanted to do something different that could go across the board—more of a home dec look to it—not juvenile; something that would bring nature indoors. 

Q. Tell us about the panel.
Ro: I wanted to showcase a pair of owls. I've always found owls magical, and in this pair I really emphasized that with their big, watchful eyes. That's a common characteristic of owls. I did some research, and many cultures in history have a reverence for owls. In Greek mythology, owls symbolize intelligence and protection.
These owls give the feeling of being totally patched work. You can quilt around the components that make up each owl.

Q. And the coordinates?
Ro: Of course, we did the little all over owl to go with the panel. Then I also introduced the butterfly print—going back to nature. There's the decorative rose and damask, and several geometrics for a more contemporary feel.

Q. We love the color palette—so fresh, without being cutesy!
Ro: These colors—robin's egg blue, sand, fudgiscle, butterscotch and sage—are part of a very strong home dec look that's continuing through 2015. They're very natural colors as well.

Q. Do you have a favorite print?
Ro: The panel. It just speaks to me. It could be used for anything—even a baby quilt. I designed the panel first and everything else around it.

Thanks Ro!

Be sure to download our free pattern using the panel and coordinates from Who's Who.
"Romance in Flight" by The Quilted Button
Download it here.

See the entire collection here and ask for it at your local quilt shop!
(And...keep watching the blog...we'll be featuring a tutorial using these fabrics soon!)