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Monday, July 28, 2014

Christmas in July: Free Project Round-Up

July is almost over, and so is our Christmas in July blog hop. We hope you've enjoyed the tutorials these talented designers have shared (if you missed any, you'll find links near the bottom of this post).



Because it's never too early to begin a Christmas quilt, we also wanted to share a few free quilt patterns that coordinate with our lines. Below each you'll find a link to download or print the pdf for the pattern--then simply ask for the fabric at your local quilt shop! 

Find the pattern for "Father Frost's Ornaments" by Jackie Robinson here.


Find the pattern for "Wrap It Up" by Tailormade by Design here.


Find the pattern for "Classic Christmas" by Diane Nagle here.

If you haven't checked out all of our Christmas in July tutorials, make sure you do! You'll find some fantastic inspiration to help you make some holiday decor before the hustle and bustle of December begins. 
Day 1: Debby from Debby Kratovil Quilts and Season's Greetings
Day 2: Benartex Blog Design Team with Holiday Balis
Day 3: Lisa from Stubbornly Crafty with Christmas Pure & Simple

Day 4: Wendy from Ivory Spring with Holiday Magic

Missed our holiday collections? See them all here:


Friday, July 25, 2014

Christmas in July Tutorials: Day 4

It's Day 4 of our Christmas in July hop! With school supplies and pumpkins and other harvest decor out in stores, Christmas doesn't seem so far off! We're happy to help you get started on the holidays!
Today, Wendy Sheppard from Ivory Spring is sharing her holiday pillow and ornament grouping using the Holiday Magic collection.



Here's Wendy!


Hello Again, Everyone!  This is Wendy from Ivory Spring.  It's always good to be back.  I trust that all of you are well.  I am honored to be part of Benartex's Christmas in July blog hop!  And my project is a very quick and easy home dec project, hen-and-chicks-style!


I have loved the patch print fabrics that have been coming out lately.  But I realize sometimes they can be a bit challenging as to how to best feature them in my projects.  I oftentimes use them as quilt backing fabrics, but today, I am bringing the Holiday Magic patch print fabrics to the front of the stage!


***

Supplies:
An assortment of Christmas fabrics from Benartex's Holiday Magic collection to include patch print fabric.
Craft stuffing
Basic sewing notions
Optional: Ribbon pieces if you want to make them into hanging ornaments like I did.


***

First up is my "mother hen" ornament pillow.
1.  I cut around the word "CHRISTMAS" from the black patch print fabric with a 1/4" seam allowance.  I was too lazy to measure just how long the rectangle is - so I just cut the accompanying pieces a little longer than the patch print rectangle.  [Okay, I did measure the patch print rectangle out of curiosity, and found the way I had cut it measures about 19-1/4" long.]  The holly print is at 1-1/2" wide, and the gift print is at 2-1/2".  The trick is to piece all the rectangles together, and then trim them straight after that.
[Flexibility tip:  You can certainly adjust the widths of the accompanying pieces to suit the final size of your pillow.]



2.  Here you see the front of my pillow top all pieced, trimmed and pressed.



3.  I lay it on my pillow back fabric, and cut a piece of fabric that is the same size as the pieced pillow front. [If you are making this into a hanging ornament, you will be positioning your ribbon piece at this point]


4.  Then, I sewed the front and back pieces, right sides together, leaving an opening.  The corners are trimmed, and the pillowcase is turned inside out -- all ready for me to stuff with stuffing.  I like to press my pillowcase somewhat into shape before I stuff.



5.  Hand stitch the opening shut, and the pillow is done!



Next, we will make the "chicks."
1.  Here you see I have cut individual letters from the cream patchprint fabric that spell out C-H-R-I-S-T-M-A-S.  I measured 1/4" around the outer frame around the letters and cut square that are about 2-5/8".  Again, I am using the piece and trim later method.  So I cut all my accompanying  pieces  at (1-1/2" x 5-1/2").


2.  I sewed the accompanying pieces, in no particular preference to the swatches for a scrappy look, to the letter C square, and trimmed as necessary. [Yikes, I need a new cutting mat!]


3.  Here you see the front of the pillow ornaments, ready to be assembled.


4.  As before, I would cut the pillow back fabric to size based on the pillow front.  Place the front and pieces right sides together, sew and leave an opening.  This time I attached a ribbon piece.

5.  Then I clipped the corners, turn the pillow inside out, press and stuff!  Voila, a hanging pillow ornament.


Making these project has been really fun - I intend to finish up all the Christmas letter ornaments in time for Christmas!  These ornaments will be perfect to teach my 5 year old to spell Christmas!
I hope you liked my little hen-and-chicks Christmas project using the patch print fabrics from Holiday Magic, and will use these fabrics in your Christmas projects this year!




Thanks so much Wendy!

Would you like to win a fat quarter bundle of Holiday Magic? It's easy! Simply sign up to follow the Benartex blog (use the email or Bloglovin' buttons in the right hand side bar and leave a comment letting us know that you do). In the comment, let us know--do you make your own ornaments? For a second chance to win, follow our Sew Interesting page on Facebook and leave a comment here letting us know you do. The giveaway is open through Monday, July 28 at 11:59 EST and the winner's name will be randomly selected and announced next week on the blog. Be sure to head over to Wendy's blog as well to check out her other work!

Check out the rest of our Christmas in July tutorials:
Day 1: Debby from Debby Kratovil Quilts and Season's Greetings

Day 2: Benartex Blog Design Team with Holiday Balis
Day 3: Lisa from Stubbornly Crafty with Christmas Pure & Simple

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Christmas in July Tutorials: Day 3

Welcome back for another day of Christmas in July tutorials, featuring our new holiday-themed collections! Today, Lisa from Stubbornly Crafty is here, using Nancy Halvorsen's Christmas Pure & Simple line to make an adorable snowman bag. We're in love!


Here's Lisa:

Reusable Snowman Gift Bag Tutorial


Today I'm sharing a little tutorial for this sweet snowman. Benartex asked if I'd be willing to make something Christmasy using their fabrics. Umm, yes! I don't think they even knew about my obsession with Halloween and Christmas fabrics. I just lucked out. They sent me these yummy fabrics from the Christmas Pure & Simple line. I need a lifetime supply of the red multi-stripe. I lurve it so. Here is how to make your own:

Supplies
  • Coordinating fabrics, 1 white & 2 accent
  • Scrap of orange felt
  • Fusible fleece
  • Wonder Under (optional)
  • Buttons
  • Velcro
  • Black paint (for eyes)
  • Any other embellishments (pom poms, rickrack, etc..)
  • Large glass bowl
  • Acrylic ruler
Cut:
  • Main snowman fabric (white) 4"x11" (2) 6"x11" (2)
  • Accent fabric (hat) 3.5"x11" (2)
  • Accent fabric (scarf) 2.5"x11" (2) 2.5"x5" (4)
  • Interior lining 11"x28"
*All seam allowances are 1/4 inch unless otherwise stated.
snowman gift bag tutorial
Cut out your strips of fabric following the cut guide above.
snowman gift bag tutorial
Sew the strips together in the same order as photographed above (3.5 inch strip, 4 inch strip, 2.5 inch strip, 6 inch strip). Make sure to back-stitch at the beginning and ends.
snowman gift bag tutorial
Repeat so you have two matching rectangles. Iron flat and top stitch.
snowman gift bag tutorial
Grab your Wonder Under, felt, a pencil, and a scrap of paper. Using the paper, make yourself a template for a carrot nose. Trace the nose onto the Wonder Under.
snowman gift bag tutorial
Cut around your traced carrot nose and iron the rough side of the Wonder Under down to your felt. Follow the directions on the package for specifics.
snowman gift bag tutorial
Cut out your shape and take the paper off the back. Fold your fabric in half and finger press the "face" to help find the center and make placement easier.
snowman gift bag tutorial
Once you have the nose placed, iron it down following the directions on the back of the Wonder Under package. Stitch around the perimeter. If you do not have Wonder Under, just pin the nose in place and then stitch down.
snowman gift bag tutorial
Grab a large bowl that is about the same size as the top of your snowman. Line the bowl up with the top of your snowman's "hat" and trace the bowl.
snowman gift bag tutorial
Trim the excess fabric off. Repeat with the back snowman piece.
snowman gift bag tutorial
Use some black paint and a small paint brush and paint on two small dots for eyes.
snowman gift bag tutorial
Take your four 2.5"x5" strips. These will be part of the snowman's scarf. If you are adding any embellishments to make tassels at the ends of your scarf, add those now. I like to tack it on using a 1/8" seam allowance. Then sandwich two of the strips right sides together.
snowman bag tutorial
Sew around the perimeter, leaving an opening for turning on one of the longer sides. Repeat with the other two strips. Trim the corners off, making sure not to cut your sewn line.
snowman bag tutorial
Turn and iron flat. Top stitch around the perimeter, making sure to sew your opening closed. Set aside.
Snowman Bag Tutorial
Sew on the buttons.
snowman bag tutorial
Match the front and back of your snowman right sides together and sew on the bottom using a 1/4" seam allowance (sorry, forgot to photograph that step). Lay your liner in half. Keep the snowman front and back folded together and lay them on top of your liner matching the uncut end (lining) and your newly sewn ends (main snowman) up. Use the curve at the top of your snowman as a guide and trim your lining to match.
Iron your snowman open flat, wrong side up. Cut a long rectangle of fusible fleece to match and lay it on top. Iron down. Once you've got it nice and fused, flip your snowman over. Make sure you don't have any lumps. If you do you can pull the two fabrics apart just where the lump is and re-iron. Trim off the excess fleece.
snowman bag tutorial
Fold your snowman in half, wrong sides together, and pin the two sides together leaving the top open. Since the fleece is a bit bulky it makes it difficult to fold without bunching up at the bottom. Use a ruler to help you get a crisp edge. Repeat with the lining.
snowman bag tutorial
Sew down the two long sides on the lining and main snowman, leaving a 2.5 inch opening on the lining. Do not sew the top or bottom.
snowman bag tutorial
Now, to make our bags stand up we need to box our corners. Pull on the corner of your main snowman and press down so the side seam matches up with the bottom seam. Lay your acrylic ruler across the corner, lining up the diagonal edge of your piece with the 45˚ angle line. The stitching line should line up at 1.5" (as shown above). Draw a line across the top of your ruler.
Snowman bag tutorial
Sew across that line. Trim off the excess corner, leaving a 1/4" seam. Repeat with the second snowman corner and both corners on your lining.
snowman bag tutorial
Turn your lining right side out. Cut two small pieces of velcro.
snowman bag tutorial
Fold the two sides of your lining together and finger press at the opening of your lining (the side with the rounder edge). This will help you with placement. Using your acrylic ruler, measure down one inch from the top and center-align your velcro just below the ruler. Iron in place according to package directions. Do NOT iron directly on top of the velcro. Either iron from the back or use an extra piece of material between your iron and the velcro. It will melt if you iron on it directly. The directions say you don't need to sew the velcro down but I find it falls off after a while if I don't, so I'd recommend sewing your velcro down after fusing it down with the iron.
snowman bag tutorial
Let's finish this little guy off. Turn your snowman right side out and your lining wrong side out. Slide your snowman inside of the lining. The two pieces will be right sides together.
snowman bag tutorial
Match up the top edges together and pin all the way around.
snowman bag tutorial
Sticking with our 1/4" seam allowance, sew all the way around the top of your bag taking the pins out as you go. Make sure to back-stitch at the beginning and end.
snowman bag tutorial
Turn your bag right side out by pulling everything out through the opening on the side of your lining.
snowman bag tutorial snowman bag tutorial
Once everything is right side out, sew your opening closed using a 1/8" seam allowance. Tuck your lining inside.
snowman bag tutorial
To finish the top edge, make sure the lining is inside and the top seam is not visible from the front. Use an iron and a few pins to help you do so. Top-stitch all the way around.
snowman bag tutorial
Now all you have left to do is add the tassels/scarf ends. I just eyeballed placement and used a couple of buttons to sew them on. I also glued a pom pom on top of the hat.
reusable snowman gift bag tutorial
Phew! That was a long one, folks. I'm a visual person so I'd rather have too many photos than not enough and leave you scratching your head. Please leave a comment or send me a message if you have any questions.
I see endless possibilities with this little guy. Add some stick arms to the side and some sunglasses. Or change things up and make him into an elf or santa. Or maybe a bundled up little boy or girl for a reusable birthday bag. If you use this or any of my other patterns and tutorials, post on Instagram with using the hashtag #stubbornlycrafty. I'd love to see what y'all make!
A big thanks to Benartex for getting the ball rolling on holiday crafts. I've been wanting to do Halloween and Christmas crafts since February. :) The flood gates are now open.


Would you like a chance to win a fat quarter bundle of Christmas Pure & Simple? Head over to Lisa's blog to find out how!

Check out the rest of our Christmas in July tutorials:
Day 1: Debby from Debby Kratovil Quilts and Season's Greetings

Day 2: Benartex Blog Design Team with Holiday Balis
Day 4: Wendy from Ivory Spring with Holiday Magic

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Christmas in July Tutorials: Day 2

It's Day 2 of our Christmas in July blog hop...sit down with a refreshing glass of lemonade steaming mug of hot cocoa and enjoy! Today's tutorial, presented by the Benartex Blog Design Team, uses holiday colored Bali batiks in a strippy herringbone table runner--easy to sew and fast to finish!



Our strippy runner, in all its green and red glory:

The batiks we used light and dark reds and greens with a few golds mixed in for contrast: 

Materials and Cutting:
  • 1/4 yard each of 6 batiks
  • 3/4 yard of a green batik (for strips, center square and binding)
  • 1 yard batik print for backing
  • 18" x 70" batting piece
From the 6 batiks, cut strips in a variety of widths (ours were between 1-1/2" and 3" wide)
From the green batik, cut (1) 10-1/2" square, (5) 2-1/4" x 42" strips for binding, and a few various width strips for piecing

Step 1: Choose your first strip and sew to one side of the 10-1/2" green square. Press open and trim.




Step 2: Sew the remaining strip to an adjacent side, press open, and trim.


Step 3: In the same manner, sew strips to the remaining sides of the green square. Line a ruler up so the 45-degree line aligns with the seam between the red and green and the ruler straight edge is 1/2" past the green corner. Trim as shown. Repeat on opposite corner. This will give you a cushion for trimming later after all the strips are added.


Step 4: Choose a different color and width strip and sew to one side of the the unit. Press open and trim just past the trimmed corner.


Step 5: Repeat on adjoining side using the remainder of the same strip. Press open and trim past the trimmed corner. 


Step 6: Continue adding strips in colors and widths desired, trimming each strip past the trimmed corners. Tip: For more efficient piecing, work off both sides of the center square at the same time. (In other words, do as we say, not as we did!) You can sew a strip to opposite sides of the center square, press open, trim, and then return to your sewing machine and sew the coordinating strip to each adjacent side.



Step 7: As you add strips, line up the ruler along the original trimmed corners and mark the extended line with chalk. This way you'll know that each strip is long enough without too much waste. 



See the digitally enhanced chalk lines?


Step 8: Continue adding strips to both sides to make the runner the desired length. Our runner measures approximately 64" long, using 10 strips per side. You can either eyeball the length on each side of the center square to ensure they're similar, or you can measure and trim the outermost set of strips so the pieced ends of the runner measure the same length. Tip: As you add strips in pairs, use a ruler to ensure that the "points" of each strip set remain aligned with the points of the center square.


Step 9: Align the ruler so the 45-degree line aligns between the red and green and the ruler's straight edge is 1/4" past the green point. Trim. Continue trimming along this line the length of the runner. Repeat on opposite side.


Here's a close-up of half of our pieced runner:


And the entire runner again:


Step 10: Layer the runner top with batting and backing fabric cut and pieced to fit. Quilt as desired and use the (5) 2-1/4" x 42" green strips for binding. Enjoy decorating your holiday table!


Would you like to win a fat quarter bundle of Holiday Balis? It's easy! Simply sign up to follow the Benartex blog (use the email or Bloglovin' buttons in the right hand side bar and leave a comment letting us know that you do). In the comment, let us know--how often do you sew with batiks? For a second chance to win, follow our Sew Interesting page on Facebook and leave a comment here letting us know you do. The giveaway is open through Saturday, July 26 at 11:59 EST and the winner's name will be randomly selected and announced next week on the blog. 

Check out the rest of our Christmas in July tutorials:
Day 1: Debby from Debby Kratovil Quilts and Season's Greetings
Day 3: Lisa from Stubbornly Crafty with Christmas Pure & Simple
Day 4: Wendy from Ivory Spring with Holiday Magic