By Laura B

Fabric Fun Friday

Fabric Fun Friday!

Welcome to my first weekly post- Fabric Fun Friday! Each week, I am going to pick an image as inspiration for a fabric pull! I tend to work in the same colors (usually blue & green or rainbow). So, I thought this would be a great way to challenge myself to go outside of my color comfort zone! This week, I was inspired by some beautiful birds:

Photo Credit: José Luis Rodríguez

Fabric Fun Friday Week 1Here is my fabric pull! The fabric info is below:

  • Pink: Folk Song by Anna Maria Horner
  • Yellow: Atrium by Joel Dewberry.
  • Blue: Daysail by Bonnie & Camille
  • Grey: Unknown- I think this may be from Joann’s
  • Navy: Unknown

This was very fun! I look forward to the challenge of picking out new color palettes each week! :)

Thanks for stopping by!

Sig

Encircled Love - Free Mini Quilt Pattern

Encircled Love – Free Mini Quilt / Table Topper Pattern

This year, I decided to participate in the Try Something New Every Month challenge hosted by Stephanie & Rebecca! You can read the details at Swoodson Says or Hugs Are Fun. The theme for January is Quilting! I decided to make this heart mini quilt / table topper (& free pattern!)

This was my first time writing a pattern, spiral quilting, making my own bias tape, and binding a circle! Lots of firsts here! I absolutely loved it! I am so happy to be able to share the pattern here free! You can download it by clicking here.

I thought of this idea in bed one night and I had to write it down before I forgot! It took a few months to have time to make the pattern, but after Christmas I finally had time to try this out!

Close up of my (slightly wiggly) spiral quilting! I used my walking foot and followed the tutorial here. It was harder to keep the circles consistent than I expected, but the effect is still pretty! I also added a teeny little heart at the center!

If you use the pattern, I’d love to see it! Tag it with #EncircledLove so I can see! :) And if you have any questions or issues, please let me know at Kittensandthreads@gmail.com!

Thanks!

Sig

Cricut English Paper Piecing Template Tutorial

English Paper Piecing Template Cricut Tutorial

My sweet Mom surprised me last summer with a Cricut Explore! I haven’t done much paper crafting in the past, but I’ve found tons of uses for my Cricut from wood blocks, to iron on vinyl, to making the templates for my English paper piecing! It took me a while to work out how to get the right size/shape templates, so I wanted to write up a tutorial for anyone else who would like to do this! I include directions for hexagons, diamonds, squares, pentagons, and octagons below!

– Hexagon Tutorial –

Note: You will need a Cricut that interfaces with the online Cricut Design Studio- not one of the older models with the cartridges. If you have an older model that uses Cricut Craft Studio program, I made a similar guide which you can find here! (Note: You can only make hexagon, squares, and diamonds in this program. Also the holes cannot be added- but you can add them with a hole punch after!)

Tip: You can click on the images to open them in a new window for a closer view!


Open the Cricut Design Studio & start a new project.

shapes-hexagon
Click “Insert Shapes” and select a hexagon.


I like to add a hole in my templates for easy template removal. To do this, Click “Insert Shapes” again and select the circle. Click on the circle to adjust your circle size. I usually make mine around 0.4in.


Click and drag your circle to the middle of your hexagon.


Select the circle then hold the “Shift” key and select the hexagon. Click on the “Layers” tab in the sidebar and then click “Slice”. This cuts the circle out of your hexagon for you.


Select the circle in the middle and press delete on your keyboard. Select the circle and click delete a second time. You are now left with your hexagon template!


Adjust your hexagon width to your desired size per the table below. The height will update automatically!

Select your hexagon and click “Copy” then “Paste” until you have your desired amount of hexagons. No need to organize them in this view, Cricut will move them automatically when you go to cut.


When you are ready to cut, click “Cut” and follow the Cricut directions for making your cut. I like to use office supply cardstock for my templates. For mine, I set my Cricut halfway between “Light Cardstock” and “Cardstock”. Cut out your shapes and remove from your Cricut mat! You are all finished!

– Diamond Tutorial –

shapes-Diamond

Follow the same steps as above, but inserting a diamond instead of a hexagon.


Click on the diamond and click “edit”. Then, click on the lock symbol next to the sizes. This will allow you to change the diamond proportions.

diamond compare

Use the size tables below to determine the right width & height for the size & shape diamonds you want!

60degdiamonds

45degdiamonds

36degdiamonds

– Square Tutorial –

squareshape

Follow the same directions as hexagons but choose square.

square shape

For the size, use the side length you want for both the width and height.

– Pentagon Tutorial –

shapes-pentagon

Follow the same steps as above, but inserting a pentagon instead of a hexagon.

Then use the size tables below to determine the right height. The width will update automatically!

pentagonsize

– Octagon Tutorial –

shapes-octagon

Follow the same steps as above, but inserting a octagon instead of a hexagon.

Then use the size tables below to determine the right width. The height will update automatically!

octogon

I hope this helps! If you have any questions, let me know! :)

Thanks!

Sig

Cricut English Paper Piecing Template Tutorial

Vintage Sheet Quilt - Kittens & Threads

Vintage Sheet Quilt

This is the first quilt I ever started- back at least 5 years ago! However, I got overwhelmed with the size and stashed it away with the rows pieced but not sewn together. (Note: Thanks to my sweet husband for holding this for me on a super windy day until his arms ached!)

Pink & Grey Patchwork Baby QuiltPink & Grey Patchwork Baby Quilt - Detail

Fast forward 4 years and I decided to try a simple patchwork baby quilt for our friend’s baby (excuse the crappy phone pictures! I didn’t think to do real photos before I gifted it!) After I finished- I was hooked! So I decided to pull out my vintage sheet quilt again! Unfortunately, my tastes had changed and I didn’t like half of the fabrics anymore! So I unpicked and salvaged the ones I did like and found other sheets to use for the rest. I also mixed in some quilting tonal prints to coordinate with all the bright florals!

Vintage Sheet Patchwork Quilt

I ended up using 8in squares for this quilt. I backed it with a soft cuddly fabric! I tried spray basting for the first time and loved it! Way better than breaking my back pin basting!

Vintage Sheet Patchwork Quilt - Quilting Detail

For the quilting, I chose to go simple and quilt lines ~1/2 in from each side of the seams. Except it turns out I missed one side of a row that I only noticed recently, after months of use! Ah well- makes it more charming!

Vintage Sheet Patchwork Quilt - Flat

I learned a LOT making this quilt. Namely, the importance of accurate cutting & seam allowances. I also learned not to change the seams trying to make the squares line up. Especially not starting from the outside going to the middle- because you will end up several inches off! Oops! But that’s ok- it’s my first non-baby size quilt and I adore it! It adds such a brightness to our living room against our boring greige rental condo walls and makes me so happy every time I look at it! Now I can’t wait to make many many more quilts!!!

Thanks for reading!

name

Personalized Zipper Pouches

Pouches, Pouches, and more Pouches

My close family has grown by 4 almost overnight! 2 new brothers and 2 new nieces! How? Exchange students! My mom & sister both are hosting 2 exchange students this year. [Note! Since writing this post one of my other sisters started hosting an exchange student as well! So we now have 5 in the family!]

My mom asked if I could make her 2 boys, Tony & Niki, some toiletry bags- and that sparked one serious crafting frenzy! Of course, I couldn’t just make generic pouches- I had to make customized pouches… for all four of them! The boys (Niki and Tony) liked soccer & football- so I set out to make some sport themes boxy bags! The girls I knew less about- so I went with a simpler open wide pouch and some cute fabrics & details. The pouches & some details are below!

Personalized Boxy Zipper Pouch - Soccer

For Niki’s pouch, I used English paper piecing to make a “mock” soccer ball pattern (you can’t use pentagons or else it will curve! So I used all hexagons which still looks like soccer ball pattern). I made 1 long panel and cut it in half to use as the middle panel. I surrounded it with black canvas (because English paper piecing takes some serious time!!). I used the Boxy Bag tutorial from Pink Stitches to construct the boxy bag and lined the bag with vinyl so it can be easily cleaned. Once it was done, I cut out his name from heat applied vinyl with my Cricut and applied it along the soccer detail. I love how this one came out!

Personalized Boxy Zipper Pouch - Football

For Tony’s pouch- I had to ask around for some help on how to incorporate football without looking cheesy. My step-brother suggested I make the whole case the football and use white zipper as the middle of the lacing! Genius! I made the cross laces & white end stripe details from white canvas & interfacing. I sewed them right sides together, turned them right side out, and then top-stitched them onto the brown. I used the same tutorial as Niki’s pouch and this one is also lined with vinyl and included the heat set vinyl name on the side in a football jersey font!

Personalized Open Wide Zipper Pouches

For the girl’s pouches, I made the open wide pouches using the tutorial from Noodlehead. I added little personalized name labels using the heat set vinyl again. May is more girly- so I went with a floral pattern for her pouch. For Patty, I picked a more geometric fabric. Both were lined with vinyl as well so they can be used for makeup & toiletries.

Overall, these were a surprising amount of work (I only had about 2 weeks to get them all done!) but I am so happy with how they turned out! And the kids seemed to really appreciate them! I absolutely love making things for people as it pushes me to try new things! This is also why I am addicted to craft swaps- which you will be seeing a lot of here over the next few months since I am signed up for 2 right now!

Until next time!

signiture

Pineapple Mini Mini Quilt

Jumping on the Pineapple Bandwagon!

I just couldn’t resist the adorable pineapple block by Jackie Padesky Quilts any longer! After finding the #miniminiquiltswap on Instagram, I knew it was a match made in heaven! I present my mini mini pineapple quilt!

Pineapple Mini Mini Quilt

The finished quilt comes in at just over 3.5×4.5in (the squares are ~0.5in finished!). Since this was so small, I had to use some odd construction techniques. I used strip piecing for my yellow & bottom green rows which made it much less fiddly. There was a lot of trial an error used when figuring out how to do the half square triangles without having to piece 0.5 in squares accurately. I ended up using larger squares to make the HST’s and cutting them down to size after they were sewn for the top 2 green pieces. For the HST’s at the end of the strip piecing, I laid a larger white square on top and sewed across the strip square diagonally. I then pressed and trimmed it down to size.

Pineapple Mini Mini Quilt - Detail

For the quilting, I kept the border simple and chose a cross hatch pattern for the pineapple to mimic the natural pineapple texture. I also went outside my comfort zone and tried hand binding! I attached the binding to the front by machine then folded it over and hand stitched it to the back. This way it wouldn’t show if it was wonky! And of course I forgot to take a pic of it! I don’t love the ladder stitch- so I doubt I’ll ever do this on a full size quilt, but I’m glad I know how now!

Mini Quilt Wall

And here it is up on my mini quilt wall (posts on some of these to come!). Overall I am in love with this! I see many more mini mini quilts in my future! Side note: If you are wondering if my pineapple looks short- it does. I miscounted the number of yellow rows in the original block… Oops! But I still love my squat little pineapple!

Pineapple Mini Mini Quilt with Curious Kitty!

Bonus: Kitty Pic!

 

Thanks for reading!

name

 

Quick & Easy Thanksgiving Banner Tutorial

Quick & Easy Thanksgiving Banner

I’ve never been much of a seasonal decorator. Partially because it can be a lot of work! But when I saw these chipboard letters, I knew this would be one holiday craft I could actually do! This took me less than 20 minutes including taking pictures. I wanted to share a tutorial with you so that you can make your own (if you can even call it that with how easy this is)! :)

Thanksgiving

Supplies:

  • Hot Glue Gun
  • Ribbon of choice (I used 1/2in green burlap ribbon for mine!)
  • Chipboard letters – I found these in the $1.50 bins at Michaels!

Steps:

Thanksgiving-2

Cut your ribbon into 2 pieces. These could be as long as you like- I ended up cutting my ribbon spool in half. Next, choose your saying and lay it out on the ribbon until you like the spacing. You could do this all on 1 ribbon if you wanted as well, I happened to like the 2 layer look :)

Thanksgiving-3

Start at the middle and take one letter out.

Thanksgiving-4

Apply hot glue to the top portion of the letter that overlaps the ribbon.

Thanksgiving-5

Then stick the letter back into place. Repeat with each of the remaining letters, one at a time, until finished! Note: make sure you do this on a hard surface as the hot glue could soak through your ribbon and adhere to the surface!

Thanksgiving-7

All done! Just use some tape or nails and hang it up wherever you’d like! Holiday crafting doesn’t get much easier than this! And it got tons of complements at my family’s thanksgiving dinner too (we celebrate early as we are usually all busy the day of)!

Until next time!

name

Craft with a Fat Quarter Swap

Craft Swap Addict Part One…

I’m kind of addicted to craft swaps… no really- I have participated in 21 so far with my first one being back in 2005! And I still have 2 more in progress! Most of my swaps have been through Craftster- including my latest swap finish for the “Craft with a Fat Quarter” swap! In this swap, we were challenged to make items for our partner using only 2 fat quarters! It was such a fun challenge to figure out how to fit the projects using such a limited fabric! I wanted to share what I made for my partner today. My partner loved this Bonnie & Camille strawberry fabric, so I went with that and a coordinating red fabric. The two fabrics in the corner are the 2 fat quarters I sent with the package for her to use. My partner had tons of great inspiration pinned, so I used those and lots of tutorials to make these items!

Pincushion & Removable Thread Catcher

One of the items she had pinned was a thread catcher, so I decided to make this my biggest project. The pin cushion was a simple rectangle with a loop for the basket attachment. I weighted it down with door hinges wrapped in foam batting so that it wouldn’t slip and then stuffed it with polyfill. For the basket, I started with the thread catcher tutorial from The Sewing Chick & modified it to fit my needs. You can find the tutorial for my version Here! I used foam batting on the basket to add structure so the basket could stand up and be used on its own. I also added a button so that it could be attached to the pin cushion to hang off of the table.

 Checkbook Cover - Closed

Checkbook Cover - Open

My next largest project was a checkbook cover which my partner had pinned as well. I used the tutorial from Small Fry & Co for this. I used some cute coordinating heart ribbon for the page holder and thin elastic for the button closure.

Vinyl Lace Zipper Pencil Pouch

I also made a little sweet pencil pouch from the tutorial at A Spoonful of Sugar. However, I made the outer from 1 piece instead of a patchwork. I used my Cricut to add a doily edging along the zipper with heat apply vinyl (free doily .svg courtesy of Bird’s Cards). I finished it off by adding a little strawberry charm on the zipper!

Charm Square Fabric Tray

At this point, I was getting down to some smaller scraps! Since she liked organizing, I decided to make her a charm square fabric tray (tutorial also from A Spoonful of Sugar! Can you tell I adore her work? I love these for holding little items in my sewing space to keep things more organized!

Sewing Machine Pedal Non-Slip Pad

My project using the least fabric was the non-slip sewing pedal pad! I was inspired by the tutorial on So Sew Easy, but I had to adjust it because of my fabric constraints. The bottom of the pad was made from 2 layers of non-slip material, quilted in star to keep the layers together. I then used a 1in wide strip of fabric to bind the edges! I added the front padded stop & added little pieces of ribbon on the edges since my fabric wasn’t quite wide enough!

Embroidered Hexagon Keychain

My smallest project was a little hexie key chain. I embroidered the strawberries & used the heart ribbon to make a loop for the key chain. These are so simple and quick!

This swap definitely challenged my planning skills. I have to say, a lot of graph paper & excel was used in this swap!! But in the end, I was surprised how many projects I could make with just 2 fat quarters! Now to move on to the projects for my 2 swaps in progress!

Thanks for reading! :)

signiture

Thread Catcher / Fabric Basket Tutorial

Thread Catcher Tutorial

I decided to make my first blog post a tutorial because one of my main objectives of this blog is to give back! I have been inspired by so many amazing craft blogs and have used many patterns & tutorials from them. So I wanted to kick things off with my version of a thread catcher! I was inspired by the awesome tutorial over at The Sewing Chick. Her tutorial is for a patchwork thread catcher, but the swap I made this for limited us to using 2 fat quarters. I made my own version with some different techniques which I am going to share with you here (with permission of course!).

Threadcatcher-2Threadcatcher-1

Supplies:

  • One 13 x 10 in piece of fabric for the outer shell
    • Note: This will be folded in half, so a directional print is not recommended or one side will be upside down
  • One 14 x 10 in piece of fabric for the lining
    • This will be the binding for the top edge too so again directional prints are not recommended
  • One 15 x 12 in piece of foam stabilizer (I used In-R-Foam Sew In. You could use regular quilt batting as well but it would not be as rigid).
  • Basting Spray (I used 505 brand. You could also pin baste if you prefer!)
  • Wonder Clips
  • Washable Marker
  • Rotary cutter, ruler, & mat
  • 1 Curious Cat (Optional)

— Tutorial! —

Threadcatcher-3 

First, use your basting spray (or pins) to adhere your outer fabric to the foam stabilizer.

      Threadcatcher-4

Next, draw on your quilting lines. For mine, I chose to do a diamond pattern. To do this, I lined up the 45 degree line on my ruler with the side of my outer piece making sure the line will go through the corner. I then marked this with my washable marker.

Threadcatcher-5

Next, I repeated this step for my top corner in the other direction.

Threadcatcher-6

Once I had my 2 starting lines drawn, I drew in the rest of my lines spacing them 1.5 in apart.

Threadcatcher-7Threadcatcher-8

Here are my finished quilting lines. Now it’s time to quilt the outer panel! I used my usual sewing foot and line it up with each of my drawn lines.

Threadcatcher-9Threadcatcher-10

I like to quilt every other line first starting on the same side. I then quilt the rest starting from the opposite side. The left picture shows my quilting after the first direction. I do this to avoid pulling the fabric & creating wrinkles which can happen if you go in the same direction for every line. The right is an example of one of my first quilted items. You can see how the fabric pulls to the side- I should have alternated sewing directions (and basted better)!

Note: If you are using a walking foot you can skip this step- I am just too lazy to put mine on for these small projects!

Threadcatcher-11   

After you finish quilting the panel, we are going to wash out the marked quilting lines. I use a white washcloth and a cup of filtered water for this.

Threadcatcher-12Threadcatcher-13

Here is the panel with all the marker washed out. Next, trim away the excess foam on your quilted panel.

Threadcatcher-14

Fold your quilted panel and inner fabric in half “hamburger style” (fold the longer side in half) and pin/clip the folded sides. I like to clip my quilted panels with wonder clips since it is thicker and pin the lining.

Threadcatcher-15

Sew the quilted panel with a 3/8 in seam allowance on both sides leaving the top open.

Threadcatcher-16

Sew the lining with a 1/2 in seam allowance on both sides leaving the top open. This will make the lining a tiny bit smaller than the outer fabric which helps the lining to lay flat.

 Threadcatcher-17

Here are the finished inner & outer pieces.

Threadcatcher-18Threadcatcher-19

Next, we are going to mark the bottom corners. To do this, line up the bottom fold with the 1.75in mark on your ruler. For the side, line up the 1.75in mark with your seam line (not the edge of the fabric). Do this on both corners of the outer & lining panels.

Threadcatcher-20Threadcatcher-21

After you have your panels marked, cut out the bottom squares. I like to do this with scissors as I always seem to overshoot with my rotary cutter!

Threadcatcher-22Threadcatcher-23

Once the squares are cut out, open up the bottom corner and center the side seam as shown. Again, I like to clip my quilted panels and pin my lining fabric. Do this for both corners on the outer and lining.

Threadcatcher-24

Sew the bottom corners with a 1/2 in seam allowance. As you sew, be sure to open up the seam allowance on the side seam to reduce bulk.

Threadcatcher-26

On the quilted panel, trim down the seam allowance at the top edges. This will reduce the bulk near the binding.

Threadcatcher-25

Here are the completed outer & lining panels! Now it’s time to assemble!

Threadcatcher-27

Turn your outer panel right side out. Place your lining (still inside out) inside the outer panel. Line up the side seams and push the lining around until it is seated inside the outer nicely.

Threadcatcher-28

Pin the bottom of the basket. I like to do this to make sure the lining doesn’t creep up on me when I am binding it in the next step.

Threadcatcher-29

To bind, start by folding the lining in half as shown.

Threadcatcher-30

Next, fold this over the top edge of the quilted panel and secure with a wonder clip. The raw edge of the lining is now tucked inside the binding.

Threadcatcher-31   

Continue this process around the basket, folding & clipping as you go. It may take a little wiggling since your lining is a tiny bit smaller than the outer panel, but you should be able to get it folded over all the way around and clipped.

From here- you can choose to hand bind or machine bind. I haven’t been brave enough to try hand binding yet, so I will show you how I machine bind!

Threadcatcher-33

To bind on my machine, I remove the flat portion so that I can use the free arm. I use my edge stitching foot to sew on the binding.

Threadcatcher-34    

Insert the basket under the foot. I line up the binding to the blade on my edge stitching foot. I then adjust my needle so that I will be catching about 1/8 in of the binding. I then sew all the way around the basket removing the clips as I approach each one. Then, I trim my threads and I am finished!

Threadcatcher-35

There you go! You now have a handy little thread catcher that can stand up on its own! You can also use this as a small bin for storing other notions or at your door for your wallet/keys!

I hope you have enjoyed this tutorial! If you have any questions or comments, please let me know!

Thanks for reading!!

signiture