Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Tutorial: Paint-by-Number place mats

This is my favorite of all the handmade gifts I made this season. A set of four place mats for my mom. Finished size is 12.5" x 16.5".


  • one yard or (2) half yard cuts of Lush Uptown Paint-by-Number prints. I used the birds and deer prints in the "sky" colorway.

  • 1/3 yard of Lush Uptown Paint Chips in a matching colorway

  • 1/3 yard of light brown or other color to border the paint chips

  • 1/2 yard for binding

  • 1 yard for backing

  • batting and thread


  • fussy cut (4) pieces of Paint Chips fabric that are 1/4" larger on all sides than 2 squares by 7 squares, approximately 3" x 11 1/4"

  • fussy cut (4) pieces of Paint-by-Numbers that are 11 1/2" wide x 13 1/2" tall

  • (5) strips of border fabric 1 3/4" x width of fabric (WOF)

  • (6) strips for binding, 2 1/2" x WOF

  • (4) place mat backs, 17 1/2" x 13 1/2"


Sew the 1 3/4" border on all sides of each Paint Chips piece. Press.

Sew the bordered Paint Chips piece to the Paint By Numbers piece. Make and baste the quilt sandwich (back, batting, top). Quilt. Bind.


Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Grand Junction quilt

I just finished my last quilt of 2013.

It's the Grand Junction pattern by Lunden Designs.

I offered to make my youngest sister and her husband a quilt as their wedding gift. I started this way back in January and they got married in June. It is late and I feel a bit bad about that, but you have a year after the date to deliver wedding gifts, right? I worked on the quilt intermittently all year, and have finally finished in time to deliver it at Christmas.

The finished quilt is amazing. I love the interlocking square design and the batik fabrics I chose. I had it quilted by Nikol at Sewtropolis, and she did a fantastic job with a meandering rectangle design. 

This quilt took significant time and effort. There are partial seams and each seam need to be pressed open. Each block has 13 pieces. I would make this quilt again, but next time I will do some math and use strip piecing for a couple parts of the block to reduce the number of 2" squares I have to sew. I am not a fan of sewing 2" squares! All the work was worth it, though - I love the way it turned out and I know its new owners will appreciate it.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Nature walk pullover

The Oliver + S Nature Walk Pullover in size 3T is a great fit for Isaac now. I finished it at least six months ago, but he just tried it on for the first time this weekend. We didn't do any nature walks this weekend, but it looks nice with our gold tinsel tree.


He is a big fan of the pocket in front. Lots of room for toys.

I remember this pattern being time-intensive. There are a lot of pieces to cut out, and the collar and curved pockets were tricky (for me). I was unsure of it when I finished it - it didn't look great on the hanger, and the fabric seemed stiff - especially on the bottom where it's two layers thick - but it looks really cute on him and he loves it.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Tutorial: Wins Lane Table Runner

I came across the Winter's Lane panel at a quilt show this fall and I knew I had to make something with it. After a lot of measuring, math and sketches I designed a table runner.

It shows off the panes, and it is "readable" by people on both sides of the table. The finished dimensions are 14" x 49".


  • 1 panel of Moda's Winter Lane fabric

  • 3/4 yard red fabric

  • 1 yard white fabric

  • batting

  • thread


  1. (7) panes from the panel of Moda's Winter Lane. Cut 1/4 inch around the dark grey border. Cut pieces will be just under 5" x 7"

  2. (3) 2" x WOF strips from the white fabric, to go between the 5x7 pieces

  3. (1) 6.5" x WOF strips from the white fabric, to go on the top and bottom of the bordered panes

  4. (2) 12" x WOF strips from the white fabric , to piece the back

  5. (6) 1" x WOF strips from the red fabric, to border and connect the 5x7 panes

  6. (4) 2.5" x WOF strips from the red fabric, for binding

  7. (2) 5" x WOF strips from the red fabric, to piece the back


1. Sew a border around the panes. Sew 1" strips at the top and bottom of every pane. Press and trim. Sew 1" strips on both sides of every pane. Press and trim.

2. Put white headers and footers on the panes. From the 6.5" white strip, cut (5) 6.5" x 8" pieces. Cut (2) more 6.5" x 8" pieces from one of the 12" lengths. Sew one 6.5" x 8" pice to the bottom of a pane. Cut off half or more of the white piece, and sew the cut piece to the top of the pane.  You should have (7) 6.5" x 14" panes, with equal or more white on the top than the bottom.

3. Make the connectors for between the panes. From the 2" white strips, cut (8) 14" pieces. Cut each 14" piece in two random pieces, roughly but not exactly in half. Sew a 2" x 1" strip of between the two pieces.

4. Layout your table runner. There will be 4 panes facing you, and 3 panes facing away from you. Connectors will be between each pane, and on the ends. The panes and connectors will all be at slightly different heights.

5. Sew the connectors to the panes. Press.

6. Piece the back. I cut the (2) 12" white strips lengthwise and sewed the 5" red strips between. Then I pieced the (2) resulting 16" strips together for the back.

7. Make the quilt sandwich with top, batting, backing.

8. Quilt and bind.

9. I like my quilts to be washed and crinkly, so I washed mine. With hot water. The red fabric (Kona) or some other red fabric in the wash bled, but only onto the Moda panels. I find it odd that only the Moda panel absorbed the red color, but I like the look so I'm sticking with it.

I quilted this along the edges of the red fabric, and around the top and bottoms of the panes. When I do this in a non-seasonal print, I'll do denser quilting to hold up to everyday wear.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Quick Christmas gifts - Dumpling bags

Check out all these dumpling bags! I made a couple last year and they took a long, long time. This year I made sixteen, assembly-line style. I didn't keep track of the time it took, but it seemed really quick.

I made all these for a gift exchange with my husbands' aunts and cousins. To read more about my assembly-line approach, see my post on the Minneapolis Modern Quilt Guild blog.
You might notice in that post that my zipper is shorter than the one in Michelle's tutorial. It is. I'm not sure why I bought 20 zippers of the wrong size, but I did. ::sigh:: To make up for this mistake, I modified Michele's steps a little bit. Here's what I did:
  • baste one side of the zipper to one half of the outer fabric, as shown in Michelle's tutorial. 
  • put the right side of the lining on the right side of the outer fabric. Pin the layers together along the basted zipper
  • sew the layers, clip and trim the seam allowance
  • turn the layers right side out and iron
  • topstitch that side
  • pin the other half of the zipper to the right side of the outer fabric. This requires you to fold up the outer fabric like a taco. It's kind of awkward but do-able. Stitch or baste the zipper.
  • fold the lining so that it is right-sides-together with the outer fabric, pin and stitch. This is awkward too - everything is folded up, but it's still do-able. 
  • turn right-side-out, press, topstitch, then follow Michelle's steps for finishing the bottom. 
I'm super pleased with how these turned out, and also how I was able to finish them on time for the gift exchange. Hope your holiday crafting is going equally well!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Dinosaur mittens

This is the third (and cutest!) set of mittens I've made using the pattern in Oliver and S: Little Things to Sew.

I've made an extra small and a small pair for Isaac. The extra small fit last year and the beginning of this season, the small are a perfect fit now (he's three). Isaac's mittens have been worn so much that I had to darn them last weekend.

These were a gift for a three-year old's birthday. She loves dinosaurs and had a dinosaur theme party. Hopefully these mittens are worn until they are worn-out, too!

These mittens are a great fit for toddlers - they are roomy around the fingers but snug at the wrist. They are easy for toddlers to put on by themselves, and they stay on until the toddler wants them off. I'll be making many more of these, for sure!

The mittens are machine washable and dryable, too. I've found that once a sweater has been through a couple of wash cycles it's unlikely to shrink any further. The sweater I used for these was already felted when I bought it at Arc Value Village. I sent it through 2 hot washes and one hot dryer before I made the mittens. I repeated the hot wash and hot dryer after I sewed the mittens and they didn't shrink any further.