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Gifts for mom – the generational pillow

A few weeks ago around Mother’s Day, I was contemplating what handmade gifts would be truly appreciated by mom.  As a new mom, I was excited to celebrate my first mother’s day, but didn’t really care about getting any gift (I honestly wanted some house chores done as a gift, and maybe some honey-do’s!), so I was thinking about gifts with meaning.  I was seeing lots of advertisements on social media for jewelry and diamonds and just lots of STUFF.  I’m not much of a jewelry person, but the diamonds got me thinking about birthstones and some of the jewelry I had seen a few years ago.  I remembered one of my friends receiving a ring that had her kids’ birthstones set in it, and how much she loved it.  How could you translate that representation into a quilt?  And how many people have time to whip up a “quick” quilt, by the time they are pondering mother’s day gifts?

I thought a decorative pillow for the couch or bed might be more practical and manageable on a short time frame.  So I teamed up with Janome to create a generational pillow that would be a great design for using the birthstone jewelry idea and making something for the home.  You can view the free tutorial on the Janome Projects Website

I used the Janome Horizon Memory Craft 9400QCP to sew this project, and sewing the curves was a breeze.  I’m completely spoiled by this machine and will be hard pressed to sew on anything else ever again.  It even has an additional light that you can pull out for a better lit area when sewing.  It’s extremely helpful, especially if you are sewing dark fabrics and using dark thread.  Another favorite perk from this machine is that when you stop sewing, the needle remains in the down position.  Which is absolute heaven when you are sewing anything tricky that you don’t want to shift too much when the presser foot is lifted.  
In the free tutorial, there are three options for the pattern–you can select birthstone colors for 3, 4, or 5 people (or even more-but you’ll have to do the math for that on you own 😉
If you have a couple of people with the same birthstone, you can use different tones of that stone for a little variety.  Some months even have multiple birthstones (or so I was told in my reading up on different months…), so you could go that route as well.  Happy sewing, and see you next time!

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Chevron Table Runner free tutorial with foundation paper piecing

So St. Patrick’s Day is right around the corner–let’s face it–everything is right around the corner!  I feel like I blink and the week is over ;)–anyway, you probably need some greenery in the kitchen to avoid getting pinched, right?  Well, you’re in luck (like what I did there??), because I’ve teamed up with Janome to bring you a super simple tutorial for a table runner.  If St. Patty’s Day isn’t your thing, you can easily swap out the colors for something more suiting and make it your own.  

So pictured below are a few great supplies to have on hand for foundation paper piecing.  I absolutely love my add-a-quarter ruler.  It has a little lip that you butt up against the edge of your fabric for easy trimming.  I’m also a big fan of Cristy Fincher’s glue basting tips that you can get HERE.  They screw onto the top of a regular bottle of Elmer’s school glue and are fantastic for distributing just the right amount of glue to the fabric.  And some 8.5″ x 11″ newsprint paper–you can use standard printing paper if you don’t have this on hand and don’t want to make a special trip for it.  The newsprint tears away a little easier than the heavier weight printer paper, so that’s why I prefer it.  And a glue stick!  The rest of the supplies are pretty standard sewing supplies.  

Foundation Paper Piecing Supplies

When you foundation paper piece, you sew on the printed side of the paper.  The fabric is secured by using a little glue from the glue stick to adhere it to the opposite side, and the elmer’s glue to add another piece of fabric.  Be sure you shorten your stitch length–a good rule of thumb is to shorten your stitch length to 1.5 or smaller.  This perforates the paper enough to easily tear away later.  If you don’t shorten the stitch length, you could play tug of war trying to tear the paper away once your blocks are complete!


Use a ruler to trim away the excess fabric and paper (you may want to use a rotary cutter that you designate for paper use for this), making sure you leave the 1/4″ seam allowance in tact!


Visit the Janome Website for the full instructions on how to finish this sweet project!


Enjoy the rest of your week!  I know I will–as I type this, my husband has taken our 3 month old for a walk so I can have a little break 🙂  I love her to pieces, but my lanta–sometimes it’s nice to have a minute for yourself!  Happy sewing!

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Quilted Oven Mitt Tutorial (Free project)

Yikes!!  So I’m a little late on sharing this, but it will be here for future reference 😉



Do you love a fun (and quick) project for Valentine’s sewing?  Check out this sweet tutorial I teamed up with Janome to create HERE .  

This is a great project to incorporate some low volumes with a great print that you’ve been saving (I used Liberty of London), but you might now have a lot of! 


The oven mitt tutorial can also be customized–you can leave out the reverse applique option for a simpler finish and enjoy your new oven mitt quicker.

Happy belated Valentine’s Day!

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Free Christmas Stocking tutorial

It’s time for another free tutorial!  I got to team up with Janome again to bring you an awesome Christmas stocking tutorial 🙂

Be sure to check it out on the Janome website !

These stockings are super easy to whip up!  All you have to do is sew some strips of fabric together (jelly roll strips would be perfect!), then use the template to cut the stockings out.  You can add some decorative stitching to the seams where the fabric is joined for a little extra oompf!  Start and finish in an afternoon and make some awesome new stockings for the family 🙂  Merry Christmas!




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Hot Pad Hostess Gift! Sewing for a hostess…

So I got to team up with Janome to offer a free tutorial for a quick and cute hostess gift!  If you aren’t the main cook in charge of Thanksgiving, but a guest at someone else’s table–you don’t want to show up empty handed!  Whip up one of these cute hot pads with a little recipe card and a cooking utensil and you’ll be sure to be invited back!  Get the free pattern at the AQS Blog !  And also–Happy Thanksgiving!!!

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Sew Home Blog Hop! It’s a Twist table runner

Welcome to the next stop on the SewHome blog hop!  I am super excited to be included in this blog hop and can’t wait to share one of my favorite projects from this awesome book with you.  There’s also a giveaway (open internationally) hosted by each blog hop participant!!!  Instructions on how to enter are at the end of the post 🙂

SewHome by Erin Schlosser (photo by C&T Publishing)

Be sure to follow the other participants as they showcase some seriously amazing projects from Erin’s new book!


Wednesday, September 21 – Sew 4 Home & Jen Carlton Bailly
Monday, September 26 – Windham Fabrics & Rebecca at Bryan House Quilts
Wednesday, September 28 – Dear Stella Fabrics & Mandy at Mandalei Quilts
Thursday, September 29 – Erin at Schlosser Designs


Let me start by saying I had the awesome opportunity to quilt another project for SewHome, and so found out about this amazing book a few months before its release.  Erin is so talented and has thought of literally every project you could ever want to sew up to make a house your home.  

I am not as blessed as others when it comes to the interior decorating gene, so this book is a God send.  Erin even thought to include some design basics and clearly explains everything that needs to be considered prior to starting any project.  She has tons of suggestions on how to keep your projects cohesive, even discussing color and fabric selection.  I had the opportunity to preview this awesome book before it was printed, and had to purchase it myself to keep a hard copy on hand.  

It’s a Twist Table Runner (photo by C&T Publishing)

I chose to make the “It’s a Twist Table Runner” since my kitchen decor is a little blah…and I had never seen a design this unique before.  With summer fading and fall quickly approaching, I opted for a warm ombre color scheme to do my “twists” in, and chose the new Essex linen in yarn dyed metallic by Robert Kaufman so I could keep this beauty on the table from September through December.  

Warm ombre color scheme with Essex metallic linen

I had so much fun picking out my fabrics, and couldn’t wait to try the new Essex yard dyed metallic to keep the design warm and fall-feeling.  This project is so fun, and great for adapting to use up your scrap pile!  

You can see the tiny metallic detail in this close up of the sewn together table runner

Erin’s instructions are clear and concise, and I was able to finish this adorable project in under 3 hours.  The twisting technique is really simple to follow and gives such a great look when finished.  I’m excited to try this technique in other sewing projects, too!  

My finished table runner


I also loved that the table runner didn’t have batting in it and wasn’t quilted.  It seems like most table runner projects these days are of the quilted variety, and the “It’s a Twist Table Runner” has ample interfacing to give it a luxurious feel and weight.  It also made it a quick and fun sew.  

I was thrilled to participate in this, and can’t wait to make more projects from SewHome.  Thanks Erin for a delightful read!!!

To enter the giveaway for your free copy of Erin’s book SewHome, answer the following question by September 30, 2016 either in a comment here (on my blog), or a comment on my instagram post about this project:  What home decor item have you been dying to sew for your home?   Giveaway entries will close at midnight, central standard time 9/30/2016 and winner will be selected randomly.  If winner is domestic (US), they will receive a hard copy of SewHome, if international, the winner will receive the e-book version.  Winner will be contacted by me for shipping information.  

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Dresden Placemats tutorial

Do you need a little something special to liven up your table top decor?  How about whipping up some fabulous new place mats that easily reflect your awesome style?  I recently created a cute little tutorial with a free dresden template that can be downloaded HERE !  


There’s also a really cool-no bind technique that is explained in the tutorial that you’ll just have to try out!  I love this fabric by Sarah Jane Studios for Michael Miller fabrics, and think it’s perfect for spring and most of summer!  

I hope you’ll find some time to sew this week and play around with some cute dresdens!

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Applique your way to a handmade Mother’s Day!

I’m always looking for creative gifts to make for holidays, birthdays, anniversaries, and it seems like it’s always the same kind of stuff that you could really do without…like, how many cosmetic bags do you really need?  

So I was trying to think about what kinds of gifts would be meaningful to me if I were a mother.  What kind of gift would I cherish and appreciate forever?  

Well, right off the bat, I think about things that represent my “imaginary kids”.  Handwriting samples, drawings, things that could be made more permanent.  But then, I thought not all kids are old enough to draw or write…so how could that stage be permanently captured in a cute way?  My answer was hand prints!  But the painted hand prints are kind of cheesy, and lots of those probably come home from school in the form of turkeys,  reindeer antlers, spiders, butterflies, etc.  

So how about making a functional patchwork pillow with traced hands of the kiddos appliqued on top of the patchwork?  

I got to team up with Janome for this super easy tutorial, and really loved the experience.  If you’re in the need for a super cute, but still functional Mother’s Day gift (or grandmother’s gift!), this is the project for you!  Follow this Link to access the full tutorial and supply list.  

The pillow features Karen Lewis’ awesome fabric range, Blueberry Park.  The back of the pillow is an easy envelope closure that takes minutes to make.

Hemming the envelope closures of the pillow


Sweet little blanket stitch on one of the hands prior to quilting

Selecting thread to go with each hand
For more details, check out Janome’s project page and access the complete, free tutorial!
Until next time, I hope you are able to get some good sewing in!


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Free tutorial: Using chalk pounce and stencils to make gorgeous quilted pillow shams

Check out my newest tutorial for Janome on the AQS blog this week!  The tutoiral is for Quilted pillow shams that will really step up your bedroom decor and give an extra special touch.


Follow this LINK to see the full tutorial and add some new tools to your quilting toolbox!

I’ve always loved quilting, and was a little skeptical at the stencils.  Especially before I knew about the chalk pads.  I tried them when I first tried my hand at quilting, and used a water soluble pen to trace each stencil line.  And let me tell you…that will be a wonderful deterrent for anyone to never try stencils again.  Time consuming, inefficient, etc.  Then one of my friends had some of the chalk pounce and pads and so I thought I might just go ahead and try it again.  WAY better than tracing each line by hand.  What originally to hours literally changed to minutes.  So if you haven’t loved stencils, maybe try this and you’ll change your mind!

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Sew organized! Free sewing machine mat and mini pin cushion tutorial

The month of January brings tons of resolutions to improve, organize, etc.  Along with a new year!  I like to stay organized (or at least try to!), and so I teamed up with the awesome people at Janome to bring you a free tutorial for a sewing machine mat/organizer and a mini pin cushion that velcros to the top of it for easy removal.  It’s a fun way to try out some new products that you may not have used and keep your tools handy.  You can find the tutorial at Janome’s project page HERE

Sewing machine mat/organizer with mini pin cushion

There are some really fun features with this tutorial!  If you’ve never used Soft and Stable ByAnnie before, this project gives you the opportunity to try it out.  You can easily substitute regular batting, if you choose to do so.  


Cheater panel for easy quilting
Another fun tip is using a cheater print fabric to guide your quilting!  I picked up this Timeless Treasures fabric at my LQS and quilted around each little square/rectangle to make it look like fun patchwork.  

Mini Churn Dash Pin Cushion

And if you’re not in the market for a sewing machine mat, you’re sure to love this tiny churn dash pin cushion!  It would make such a sweet “extra” for any sewing swap.  And, Lord knows, I can never have enough pin cushions 😉


Decorative stitch binding finish
I also discuss trying out different binding techniques.  So instead of hand stitching your binding down, try a fun decorative stitch to add a little pizzazz!  

I hope you enjoy this fun project and take some time for a little selfish sewing this week 🙂