Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Make a Jingle Trees Christmas Apron...

...just like this one my Grandma made! She made lots and lots of aprons in the 1950s for family and for her church bazaars. I can't remember ever seeing her without an apron. She loved to cook and she really loved sweets, so I could always count on cookies at her house. And when we moved a thousand miles away, we knew there would be a big box of grandma's sweet treats in the mail for Christmas! So, this pattern is a tribute to her. 

Not too long ago, my dear Mom called to ask if I wanted some of the linens from her hope chest. Of course I said yes, but I didn't know that Grandma's sweet Christmas apron would be in the box too. I just couldn't resist reviving the pattern for my readers at this special time of year. I don't have many of Grandma's things so it was a special surprise to receive it from Mom.

In tribute to Grandma's love for sweets, the pattern includes my favorite recipe for decorated sugar cookies. What fond memories this apron evokes of my loving and selfless Grandma!

There's still time to make one of these aprons for yourself to wear during the holidays. Like this and all of my patterns you'll find the PDF downloadable pattern in my pattern store at Craftsy.

Until next time,
Have fun stitching, quilting, and crafting!

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Another New Mug Rug Pattern

I just might be addicted--to mug rugs. During the past month, I've designed many and completed 11 patterns. They are such fun to design using Electric Quilt 7, and they're so fast to make--talk about a little piece of instant gratification! I'm pleased to announce that my Turkey Time Quilted Thanksgiving Mug Rug has just joined the holiday parade in my pattern shop at

Because mug rugs remind me of a nice cup of hot coffee, and coffee is always better with a sweet treat, this new pattern also includes two of my favorite harvest-time recipes: Streusel-Topped Pumpkin Pie and Easy Pumpkin Walnut Muffins. So grab your scrap box, search your fat quarters, and stitch up a batch of these fun mug rugs for your holiday table or to give as gifts. Then try one of my favorite recipes for Thanksgiving-time treats. Enjoy!

Until next time,
Keep sewing, quilting, crafting, and smiling!

Monday, November 11, 2013

The Trouble with Quilted Mug Rugs...

Just like you can't eat just one potato chip, you can't make just one mug rug. They're fun, cute, easy, and quick to make. I was a little late with Halloween so I bypassed Thanksgiving (for now) and skipped right on to Christmas. With over eight new designs from which to choose, I settled on making my three favorites and have grouped them together in a single pattern. Check out Santa and His Helpers at my craftsy store:

 Santa & His Helpers

If you prefer, the mug rugs can become oversize ornaments or package gift tags by adding a ribbon tie to the upper edge as shown in the photo of Rudy' Red Nose, above right. Or, if you use a muslin backing to cover the batting and the quilting stitches, you can write a holiday message on the back and add other "artsy" embellishments with stamping, doodling, etc. Pop them in envelopes to send to friends who will appreciate your handiwork.

Simply Santa is just that--really simple to stitch up in a hurry. Use poly felt for the beard, mustache, and hat trim and do free-motion quilting in the beard to simulate Santa's curls. For his hat, choose two red fabrics to help differentiate the two pieces. Add a white pompom to the tip of the hat.


Rudy's Red nose, as shown, is an applique enhanced with a flat button. When adding embellishments, make sure they won't interfere with your mug, if you're planning to use these as mug rugs.

Alfie the Elf looks like he's a little unhappy--maybe he's a little overworked! It's all in the shape of the mouth! Make it smaller and turn up the ends a little more when you stitch his mouth for a cheerier demeanor. Flat buttons replace appliques on Alfie's hat and shirt.

All three mug rugs are set up for fusible applique. The pattern includes full-size applique placement guides and reversed images for fusible applique. Use up scraps and cut into your fat quarters for these fun mini quilts. They are wonderful scrap buster projects and give almost instant gratification.

Set yourself up to sew multiples and you'll have a set or two done in no time. Check out the section on Assembly Line at a Glance in the pattern. 

No Time Like the Present...

to start your holiday sewing. And, speaking of presents, why not stitch up a set of my placemats, Presently Wrapped, too? The napkin is folded to form the bow on these easy-to-sew mats. Or, if you love Santa as much as I do, check out Santa's New Suit placemats with a napkin designed to look like his hat.


And, if you're looking for an easy Christmas wall hanging to deck your holiday halls, I think you'll love A Heartfelt Christmas. It features easy piecing in the background and fusible applique. You can add embellishments to the tree if you wish for a truly one-of-a-kind tree!

These projects will keep you busy with holiday sewing and they're easy so you're sure to get them done in plenty of time for Christmas...if you start now.

Until next time,
Happy Holiday Stitching

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Sew Pretty Sew Easy Tote Bag--Great for Gifting

Sew Pretty Sew Easy Quilted Tote Bag
I wanted to design something pretty and practical and this little tote bag was the result. It's a great "scrap buster" project--each of the four fabrics required for the piecing and the lining require 1/2 yard or less. Add a bit of lace--three yards will be more than enough--and some polyester fleece and you have a finished bag in no time. It has simple square corners and two side seams that are bound for a neat finish inside and out. A hanging pocket inside is the perfect place for your phone, a pencil or other small items to keep close at hand.

The sewing is fast and easy. Polyester fleece between the two fabric layers adds just the right amount of body and requires only minimal quilting. I did a simple grid of squares in the center panel only, plus the stitching that holds the trim bands in place adds straight lines to anchor the pieced panel to the fleece and the lining. All pieces are cut across the width of the fabric so there is no bottom seam. It really couldn't get any easier to make it.

Sized at 15" tall and 13-1/2" wide, the tote is the perfect bag for book club meetings, quick errands--or even to hold a small knitting project. With Christmas coming, this is the perfect for anyone on your list who loves bags. You can make several in one sitting--and you might just have the makings for all of them in your fabric stash. I made mine in just a few hours, once I had the design finalized. While I love floral prints and lace, other fabrics will work too. Go bold with a bright modern print and eliminate the lace for an entirely different look.

Like all of my patterns, you'll find this one in my Craftsy pattern store at:

I'm headed back to the machine to whip up some Christmas-themed mug rugs. I had such fun making the ones for Halloween, that I just had to get back to designing them. I'm getting pretty good at designing appliques in Electric Quilt--I don't do well with pen and paper, but EQ has made an "artist" out of me! Read my previous posts to see my "ghoulishly easy" Halloween mug rugs.

Hope you're having fun getting ready for Christmas--my favorite Holiday. I'm ready to start sewing gifts--after I finish a set of mug rugs!

Have fun sewing, quilting, and crafting.
Until next time,
Keep on sewing and smiling!