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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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Spooky Spiderweb Trick Or Treat bag tutorial

If you’d like to make the perfect project for your special little trick-or-treater, I teamed up with Janome to bring you the perfect tutorial for a reusable treat bag!  Visit Janome’s website for the full tutorial and a quick and easy sew!  

 This is a great project with a little pop of color on the reverse side of the drawstring bag–you can use a contrasting fabric to really make it pop (or even glow in the dark fabric!)


And learn to quilt some really fun spiderwebs!  Enjoy!

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Free Jelly Roll Quilt Tutorial!

 If you’ve been looking for a way to use up those super cute jelly rolls you’ve acquired…I have a great jelly roll tutorial for you!  It’s free, and you can find it at the American Quilter’s Society Blog, sponsored by Janome.  

Free Jelly Roll Quilt tutorial by Joanna Marsh

I whipped up this quick tutorial using L’s Modern Basics (in the warm colors) Sushi Roll.  I absolutely love this fabric collection and plan on making one of these in the cool colorway too!  

Easy piecing with Janome’s 1/4″ piecing foot

If your quarter inch seams aren’t perfect, you can take your piecing skills to the next level with a 1/4″ piecing foot that will give you perfect seams every time.  This foot is everything when it comes to piecing!!!

Up close and personal of the quilting

And then finish your top off with some fun free motion quilting!  Have fun with this free tutorial, and use up that fabric you’ve been hoarding for so long 🙂  

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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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Back to school tutorial: Notebook / Planner cover

Everyone loves that time of year when it’s hotter than blue blazes outside, right?  That means summer is in full swing, and another favorite is right around the corner…THE FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL!!!  Parents everywhere countdown the days to this landmark date like children do Christmas, and breathe a sigh of relief to have a bit of a break and shoo the kiddos out the door to start their education once again.

Many moms or dads may want to treat their kiddos to some personalized back to school handmade goodies, and I’m here to help with that!  

 Make some great customizable notebook (or day planner) covers by simply taking a few measurements of the kids’ existing school supplies.  My quick and easy step-by-step tutorial will help you create some great covers that will prolong the life of those school supplies and make the kids feel extra special on their first day back.  The tutorial can be found HERE so head over and check it out!  


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Free pattern! Water resistant pool tote

 If you’re planning a trip to the pool, river, beach this summer, you’ve got to whip up this painless pool tote lined with laminated cotton.  Throw your wet towels in and you don’t have to worry about them getting water spots on the car seats or even forgetting about them in the car (hey…don’t judge…we’ve all done it!)

Water resistant pool tote

The only thing extra you might want to pick up, as far as sewing machine accessories, is a teflon foot.  Teflon feet are absolutely amazing when it comes to sewing any sort of “sticky” fabric.  So if you run your hand over it with pressure, and it doesn’t smoothly run across the fabric, a teflon foot will easily sew it!  Some great examples are glitter vinyl, regular vinyl, oilcloth, and laminated cotton.  Any fabrics that look like they have a sheen or platic-y finish.  Personally, I love to sew with weird fabrics, so I’ve had a teflon foot for a while now.  But if you don’t stray from the beaten path very often, now is the time to stray!!!  You will love the teflon foot, and have so many more interesting sewing options.  

Teflon foot for Janome

So let’s get down to the nitty gritty–This pattern was written for Janome exclusively for the Quilt views blog.  So you can grab the FREE PATTERN HERE

Hop to it and get sewing!  Make something cool this summer 🙂

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Free Quilt Pattern Alert! Super easy I Spy Quilt pattern to ease your pain on long road trips with the kids

How many times have you been in the car, loaded up the kids to go to grandma’s house, and heard that horrible, awful question…(queue the Jaws music)…”Are we there yet?”  or better yet…”I’m Boooooooored.”  

I Spy Quilt loaded up and ready to go!

I know we’re all super busy in the summer, and it makes finding time to sew pretty difficult.  But now you have a great reason to bust out the sewing machine–you’re going to cure the kids of their road trip boredom by making them an I Spy Quilt!  All you really need are some random novelty prints or scraps–even seasonal fabrics are great for this.  The great thing about this quilt is that NONE of the fabrics need to be cohesive for this to work.  You have a print with elephants?  Elves?  Pirates?  Cactus?  Ballerinas?  They’re all perfect!  The more random the assortment of your fabrics, the longer the kids will be staring at this quilt, absolutely stumped.  

Your layout can be totally random, too!  I tried to lay my squares out from dark to light,
but you can try grouping them by color, theme, etc.  



I had the privilege of teaming up with Janome to write this tutorial for American Quilter’s Society.  So follow this pretty little LINK and head over to get the skinny on how to put this awesome little lifesaver together!  

I quilted mine with some sweet little swirls that were fast and easy!  

Okay, so in all honesty, making this quilt won’t be the end of you ever hearing those two comments from the back seat again, but what the heck!  It’s worth a shot isn’t it?  😉

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Couching tutorial

Decorative stitches with a 3-way cording foot 

I had absolutely no idea what couching was when I first heard of it.  I saw a demonstration of couching on a longarm quilting machine, and then very quickly wrote it off (since I didn’t have a longarm at the time), thinking I would never have the means or opportunity to try couching.  You can use couching to emphasize a print on fabric, outline applique, doodle with it, and you can even quilt with it.  

Couching can add a little flair to regular fabric


Well, there are some ways that you can couch without buying a super expensive longarm quilting machine, and then also buying a super expensive couching attachment for said longarm.  You can actually couch by hand–but it takes a while.  And you can certainly try couching by using a domestic sewing machine.  You don’t even have to buy a special foot for it if you don’t want to.  As long as you have a free motion quilting foot that has some sort of round part that the needle goes through, you’re good!  I will say, that if the hole for the free motion foot is really big, you can easily modify it yourself by taking a small piece of scotch tape and covering a portion of the hole (not a portion the needle will travel through).  The smaller the hole on the free motion (or couching) foot, the easier it will be for the yarn to travel where you want it to go.

Make an art piece using couching techniques if that floats your boat!

I wrote a super easy to follow couching tutorial for Janome’s website that can be accessed HERE
So click it and check out how easy couching is!  There are seriously so many things you can do with couching to spice up existing projects.  

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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!