Tutorials

Abstract English Paper Pieced (EPP) Christmas Ornaments on Tree Branches Appliqued Pillow Tutorial - click here.

Shamrock Pin Cushion for Luck on St. Patrick's Day and All Year at the sewing machine.

I made up this cute little shamrock pin cushion and it was a quick and easy little project.
 Here's how I made it if you want to make one too. You need two charm squares and a green scrap for the shamrock. I also hand stitched the blanket stitch around my shamrock so if you want to do that too you will need green embroidery thread. Otherwise, you can just machine stitch around it in your preferred method. (Suggestions on that further down in the tutorial.) You will also need "Heat n Bond Lite" or your preferred fusible for fusing your shamrock to your top charm square.
 I Googled "Shamrock Line Drawing" and found the little shamrock here. I printed it out and it was just the right size!
 I traced the shamrock onto the Therm O Web and then fused the therm o web to the wrong side of the green shamrock fabric. (Follow instructions on the package for whatever product you are using.)
 I carefully cut out along my pencil lines and peeled the paper backing off.
 Then I fused the shamrock to the charm square that I wanted for the top of my pin cushion. The charm square on the right is the one for the bottom of my pin cushion.
If you want to hand stich around your shamrock you can do that at this point. Or if you are lucky enough to have a blanket stitch on your machine you could machine applique with that. Or zig zag stitch with your machine. You need to set the stitch length very low or almost zero to get a nice satin stitch around your shamrock and cover the edges. If you want raw edges that will fray you could just use a straight stitch very close to the edge of your shamrock with a small sitch length to keep the fabric from fraying past your stitches.
Put your charm squares right sides together and sew a quarter inch seam around three sides and in an inch  or so on each end of the fourth side. Back stitch at the beginning and end of your seam. Clip your corners and turn your pin cushion right side out. Push out your corners and stuff with your choice of filling. I used crushed walnut shells. Pin your opening shut and whip stitch closed. There you go! Best of luck to you with all of your sewing projects! Happy St. Patrick's Day!

 

 

Valentine's Day Half-Square Triangle (HST) Heart Pillow Tutorial


Welcome to Daydreams of Quilts and my first tutorial! With this tutorial my goal is to teach you how to make this adorable little pillow for Valentine's Day. I'm sure this has been done somewhere before but I came up with this out of my own head and thought I would share it with you. I recommend you have intermediate quilting skills for this project as it would be quite challenging for a beginner. But if you are a beginner and up for the challenge I will try to put as many steps in as possible. Experienced quilters can skim through what they already know. Okay, let's get started! :)


 Gather your red scraps and / or fat quarters. I have some fat quarters in the photo above but I only cut one three inch strip off of them. If you prefer to use up scraps that is perfectly fine. I chose fabrics that are all the same colour value but if you want a really patchy look you could pick lighter and darker fabrics. Or you could lay them out from dark to medium to light in your layout and make an ombre heart. It's your project so do what makes you happy. You also need some white scraps or a white fat quarter, some fabric for the back of the pillow... about a quarter of a yard... some batting and a 15 inch pillow form. (Or make your own pillow form.)
 Trim up the edge of your fat quarter so you are starting with a straight edge to measure from.
 Trim a three inch strip from your white fat quarter. You need 5 three inch squares for the parts of your heart where there are half white and half red HSTs.
 Sub cut the 3 inch strip into 3 inch squares as above. You also need thirty-four 2 1/2 inch white squares for your background.
 Do the same with your red fat quarters or scraps. You need twenty five 3 inch red squares.
 Draw a diagonal line on the back of each 3 inch white square and on the back of ten 3 inch red squares. I put my fabric on sandpaper to do this to keep if from sliding around and distorting while I'm pulling the pencil along it.
 Match up your five white squares with five red squares and match up your remaining red squares into pairs that look good together. Sew a quarter inch down either side of your pencil line. You may find it easier to put a piece of tape on your machine at the quarter inch mark and line up the points of your squares with that.
 I sewed one at a quarter inch and then decided to move my tape over one tick to the scant quarter inch line because I was working with such small pieces and I wanted more trimming room. (I ripped the quarter inch seam out and replaced it with a scant quarter inch seam.) It's up to you and what you prefer with your own machine.
 Here you can see the corner and pencil line lined up with the tape.
 Chain piece your squares through the machine. Just keep feeding them in one after another. This saves time and thread.
 Here is one going under the presser foot right after the one before it without cutting thread.
 On the last square cut your threads and pull your chain out from behind your machine and feed it through again to sew down the other side of the line.
 Clip the seams between your pieces.
 Give each set a little press with the iron to set the seams.
 Line up your ruler on the pencil line. I like to line up the quarter inch line on one of the seams to make sure I am making an accurate cut. Then cut down the centre of your pencil line with your rotary cutter.
 Here we have two HST units now after cutting down the pencil line.
 Press your seams to the dark side (or you can press them open if you prefer as these triangles can bulk up the seam allowance further on in the project). You can see that despite my best efforts this HST square is not square so we need to trim them all up. Line up your square on your grid mat with your diagonal seam lined up on one of the 45 degree lines on your mat. (I forgot to do this for the photo above but I have more illustrations of this a couple of photos down.)
 Square up all four edges of your square to 2 1/2 inches.
 In the photo above you can see the bottom square is lined up with the seam on the 45 degree line on the mat. (The little black arrow is pointing to help show this.)This allows you to cut your square so that it is squared up on that centre seam. The square on the top left is the one where I forgot to do that and my seam is not in the corner (little circle is showing my mistake).
 When you are finished trimming all your blocks you will have a little pile of trimmings like this and all your HSTs will be all lovely and squared up. This step is tedious but important and fortunately there are not too many to trim for this project.
 Lay out your HSTs to create a heart and then surround them with your 2 1/2 inch white background squares. You should have 8 rows of 8 squares each. Stack your squares one on top of the other moving from left to right and number each stack from 1 to 8 so you don't get mixed up taking them to your sewing machine. Sew one row at a time pressing your seams in opposite directions. I pressed row one to the right and row two to the left and so on. This creates locking (or nesting) seams and helps your squares line up better when you sew them together. I pinned at each intersecting seam even though they were nesting because these triangles can be tricky to keep lined up when they are going through the machine. I sewed row one to row two and then pressed that seam open. Then sewed row three to row two and pressed that seam open and so on. At this point I found it was better to press seams open than to the side because there was a lot of bulk where the corners met up.
 When you are all finished sewing your rows together you should have something like this! :) Mine measured 17 x 17 inches.
 Here you can see (if you tilt your head... sorry) that I have seams going in opposite directions on the back and then the row seam is pressed open. Layer your quilt top with batting and a muslin backing and quilt it how you would like on your machine. I just used simple stippling for my quilting. I used red thread on the heart and cream thread on the background. You don't have to put the muslin on the back but I didn't want all the lint from the batting going down into my feed dogs and filling up my machine. My quilt top was 16.5 inches by 16.5 inches after quilting.
 Choose some fabric for the back of your pillow. I cut two pieces 10 inches by 18 inches. If you cut carefully you could get away with using a fat quarter for this.
 Fold a long edge over half an inch and press. Fold half an inch again and press again. Do this to the other piece as well.
 Top stitch down the edge of your pieces to create your hem.
 Put your quilted top face up and your pillow back pieces face down with the hems overlapping.
 Pin all the way around to hold everything together.
 Sew a half inch seam (or quarter inch if you prefer) all the way around twice. Remove pins as you go. Trim your corners so you can get them nice and square when you turn your pillow cover right side out.
 Insert your 15 inch pillow form and enjoy!
Here is the view of the back. This project took me about six hours from start to finish but I was stopping along the way to take photos so you might get yours done quicker.

Happy sewing and Happy Valentine's Day! :) This is my first tutorial so please let me know if anything is unclear (or if I did a good job). I appreciate that you took the time to stop by my blog.

5 comments:

  1. really darling! just saw this on the sew mama sew links! thank you for the tutorial!

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    1. Thank you Sophie! :) And you are very welcome!

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  2. That is so gorgeous and definitely on my list of to dos. I pinned a similar wall hanging years ago and I still haven't done it! I love the reds!!

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  3. I HEART YOU! Thanks so much for sharing this, I will scurry off to begin as soon as I leave you a comment. Absolutely lovely :)

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  4. stopping by from SMS, great pillow

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