Meet Ellen the Elephant!

cute green applique elephant

I love the 15th! It’s pattern release day in the Funny Faces Quilt Block of the Month Club!

The new pattern this month is Ellen the Elephant.

I made her in three different colors and this silly green elephant splashing around in pink lemonade was my favorite. πŸ™‚

If you’re in the club already, head over to the clubhouse to download the pattern. This link will take you straight to the elephant’s page.

If you’re not in the club yet – here’s the link to join.

Members get an exclusive new pattern every month!

Here’s a quick peek at my elephant coming together.

I ended up making elephants in three different colors.

Most African elephants are grey, so I made a grey one.

I used the Warm Neutral Batiks bundle for the elephant and Box of Crayons for the background block.

Asian elephants can also be grey, but they’re more often a reddish brown.

I used the Warm Neutrals fabric bundle for the elephant and the Rainbow Sherbet bundle for the background block.

Finally – here’s that silly green elephant.

This one uses the Dots and Gingham Play fabric bundles for the elephant and the Batik Rainbow fabric bundle for the background.

I can’t wait to see the elephants you make!

Happy stitching!

Best,
Wendi

Try one of our newest quilt patterns! Get the Liz Llama pattern here. Or join the Funny Faces Quilt Block of the Month Club to get a new block every month. πŸ™‚

January 2021 Wallpaper

snow monkey in hot spring with January 2021 calendar

Happy New Year!

I’m ready to hunker down for the rest of the winter – sewing, stitching, reading and eating.

Basically, I want to be a snow monkey. Enjoying winter and the cold – but staying warm and cozy. πŸ™‚

Dreamy, yes?

Download your wallpaper below. There are options both with and without the January calendar, in case you want to keep that silly monkey face on your screens during other months of the year. πŸ™‚

snow monkey soaking in hot spring with january 2021 calendar

Happy January! Happy 2021!

Best,
Wendi

Try one of our newest quilt patterns! Get the Liz Llama pattern here. Or join the Funny Faces Quilt Block of the Month Club to get a new block every month. πŸ™‚

Meet Shinji the Snow Monkey

I love the 15th! It’s pattern release day in the Funny Faces Quilt Block of the Month Club!

The new pattern this month is Shinji the Snow Monkey.

Snow monkeys (Japanese macaques) are one of my favorite winter animals. They do winter like I’d do winter if I had to live outdoors – they soak in natural hot springs!

In real life these monkeys look pretty grumpy – even when they’re soaking. I had to change things in my design a little bit – giving them a blissful hot water smile. πŸ™‚

If you’re in the club already, head over to the clubhouse to download the pattern. This link will take you right to the snow monkey’s page.

If you’re not in the club yet – here’s the link to join.

Members get an exclusive new pattern every month!

Here’s a quick peek at my snow monkey coming together.

I ended up making monkeys in three different colors. There’s the grey one (the most realistic) you see at the top of the post. Then there’s the silly green one you see in the video and here. . .

And I also made a purple monkey – just for a little extra fun.

Happy stitching!

Best,
Wendi

Try one of our newest quilt patterns! Get the Liz Llama pattern here. Or join the Funny Faces Quilt Block of the Month Club to get a new block every month. πŸ™‚

Gingerbread Cookie – Free Applique Pattern

three versions of applique gingerbread cookies faces

Want to learn how to make a quilt with an easy online workshop – totally free?

Sign up for Let’s Make a Quilt here. You’ll learn how to get started, the tools and supplies you’ll need, and how to make a quilt from start to finish using Quilt As You Go and applique with fusible adhesive.

It’s the easiest, most fun way to make an applique quilt. You can do it!

Every year (almost) I release a free holiday applique pattern.

What to do this year?

Here are the links to the patterns from previous years.

I’ve been having a lot of fun with Mix & Match patterns lately, so I decided to make a gingerbread cookie with lots of parts for you to play with!

Here’s a quick intro. . .

Now let’s jump right to the instructions!

These instructions assume you’re already familiar with the applique method I use – Quilt As You Go and applique with fusible adhesive.

If you’re new to my patterns, there’s a detailed video workshop here that takes you step by step through the methods I use. It’s totally free, and you can work your way through the lessons using any pattern you like, including this gingerbread pattern!

Step 1

Download the template pieces. If you’re using paper-backed fusible adhesive and cutting by hand, use this link to download the PDF. If you’re using an electric cutting machine, use this link to download the SVG.

If you’e using an electric cutting machine like a Cricut. . .

  • Upload the file to your machine.
  • Resize if needed. (To fit a block that finishes at 10 inches square, the image should be 15 inches wide.)
  • Ungroup the pieces and assign colors
  • Cut.

Step 2

printed pattern pages for free gingerbread applique pattern

Trace or print the pattern onto the paper side of the fusible adhesive.

I use Heat & Bond Lite for all my quilts, and I love these printable sheets because I’m lazy and hate to trace. πŸ™‚

The image has already been reversed, so just trace or print. If you’re tracing, be sure to trace the eyes and (optional) eyelashes too. You’ll need those for Step 5.

Step 3

printed gingerbread applique pieces fused to fabric

Roughly cut around each shape and fuse it to the back of your fabric.

Here’s a video showing those first two steps. . .

Step 4

Cut around each piece neatly.

This time you’re cutting directly on the solid lines.

This video has more info about that step.

Step 5

Remember back in Step 2 when I told you to make sure you traced the eyes and eyelashes? Now you’re going to use that. Hold the face up to a window so the light shines through it. You’ll be able to see all the dotted lines, and the adhesive will stabilize the fabric so you can trace on it without it crinkling up.

gingerbread applique in progress - eyes marked on cookie

Trace the lines to show where the eyes go. If your cookie will have eyelashes, trace those too.

Here’s a video with more info about this step.

Step 6

If you’re doing Quilt As You Go (I did) then you can quilt your block before adding the applique. So easy!

quilted block

Cut your background fabric and a piece of 100% cotton batting 11 inches square.

Layer the block with a piece of 100% cotton batting. Quilt any pattern you like!

Find all the Quilt As You Go tutorials here.

If you’ll do the quilting later, simply skip this step.

Step 7

Peel off the paper backing and arrange the pieces on a background block. Have fun creating your own custom cookie!

Mix & Match Gingerbread pattern - all pieces layered

Fuse the pieces in place, following the instructions for whatever brand of adhesive you used.

This video has detailed instructions for layering the cookie decorations.

And this video is a shorter version with no explanation – just music – perfect for folks already familiar with my techniques.

Step 8

Outline all the pieces with black thread and a simple straight stitch – or choose your favorite decorative stitch.

This video has some tips for outlining those tight curves.

I like going around all the pieces three times for a sketchy, scribbly look. This post has some tips for that.

This post has tips for using decorative stitching.

This post has some information about outlining using thicker thread.

And this video has me talking through the path I followed to outline my sample block – and also shows you the other two blocks I made.

Done!

If you’re making a one-block project, go ahead and finish it up!

If you’re making a bunch of gingerbread blocks to join into a quilt -Β­ maybe adding them to the other free Christmas blocks – have fun!

This video shows how to trim your finished quilt blocks.

This video shows how to sew your blocks together using the QAYG method I use.

This post has tips for quilting on a cuddle fleece back.

And this video shows how to bind your quilt.

What can you do with just one block pattern? Tons of things!

Check out this page I’ve been slowly building – 100 Things to Do with an Applique Pattern. πŸ™‚

Have fun! And share a photo of what you make! You can share it in the Shiny Happy People group or tag it with #shinyhappyworld on Instagram.

If you like this free pattern, sign up for the Shiny Happy News! Subscribers get a weekly newsletter full of sewing tips and tricks, free patterns, special discounts, and other things to make you smile. πŸ™‚

Happy sewing!

Best,
Wendi

Try one of our newest quilt patterns! Get the Liz Llama pattern here. Or join the Funny Faces Quilt Block of the Month Club to get a new block every month. πŸ™‚

Happy December! Free Downloadable Wallpaper

Happy December!

The holiday season always puts me in a gingerbread kind of mood, but I rarely make gingerbread cookies. I usually make this Gingerbread Snacking Cake, but instead of dusting it with powdered sugar I cover it with a thick layer of cream cheese frosting with the zest of an orange mixed in. Orange and ginger are so good together!

Are you hungry yet? 😁

No eating this gingerbread man – but you will be able to decorate him! Or her. πŸ™‚ There’s a free pattern coming soon and it will include a few different mouth options, hair, and even a version with a bite taken out. Stay tuned! I expect to have the pattern ready before the end of the week.

Download your wallpaper below. There are options both with and without the December calendar, in case you want to keep that sweet face (see what I did there?) on your screens during other months of the year. πŸ™‚

Happy December!

Best,
Wendi

Try one of our newest quilt patterns! Get the Liz Llama pattern here. Or join the Funny Faces Quilt Block of the Month Club to get a new block every month. πŸ™‚

Meet Tom Turkey

I love the 15th! It’s pattern release day in the Funny Faces Quilt Block of the Month Club!

The new pattern this month is Tom the Turkey.

I’ve had a bunch of requests from folks for a turkey block to add to the Woodland Critters quilt. With Thanksgiving just around the corner, now seemed like the perfect time!

I love turkeys. We used to see them in our yard all the time when we lived in a little more rural area in the mountains. And when we didn’t see them, we heard them! Their call is very distinctive.

But my favorite turkey memory is one morning when I was driving my daughter to a class at Penland School of Crafts – just a few miles from our house. I don’t remember how old Jo was, but she was still in a car seat or booster seat – so young. We came around a bend and the road was absolutely FULL of turkeys. I counted over eighty of them! There were a lot of adult turkeys, but also a ton of baby turkeys, and they were all running back and forth, bumping into each other as they scrambled to move off the road. Jo sat in the back just howling with laughter, calling, “So many turkeys, Mommy!” It was just an absolute delight to see all those clumsy birds. πŸ™‚

If you’re in the club already, head over to the clubhouse to download the pattern. This link will take you right to Tom’s page.

If you’re not in the club yet – here’s the link to join.

Members get an exclusive new pattern every month!

Here’s a quick peek at Tom coming together.

I also made a second version using batiks on an autumnal orange background.

Happy stitching!

Best,
Wendi

Try one of our newest quilt patterns! Get the Liz Llama pattern here. Or join the Funny Faces Quilt Block of the Month Club to get a new block every month. πŸ™‚

Happy November! Free Downloadable Wallpaper

Happy November!

The cooler temperatures of fall always make me want to hibernate, so our wallpaper this month is a happy bear ready for his winter nap.

Download your wallpaper below. There are options both with and without the November calendar, in case you want to keep that sweet face on your screens during other months of the year. πŸ™‚

Happy November!

Best,
Wendi

Try one of our newest quilt patterns! Get the Liz Llama pattern here. Or join the Funny Faces Quilt Block of the Month Club to get a new block every month. πŸ™‚

How to Give Your Monster an Underbite – video tutorial

If you have the Mix & Match Monsters applique quilt pattern, you may have wondered about a mysterious dotted line that runs through some of the pattern pieces.

Wonder no more!

In this video I show you how you can use that line to give your monsters underbites and overbites and add teeth and tongues.

Here are a bunch of the samples you see at the end of the video. You can click on the images to see them closer.

Happy stitching!

Best,
Wendi

Try one of our newest quilt patterns! Get the Liz Llama pattern here. Or join the Funny Faces Quilt Block of the Month Club to get a new block every month. πŸ™‚

Meet Marcellus the Monster

I love the 15th! It’s pattern release day in the Funny Faces Quilt Block of the Month Club!

The new pattern this month is Marcellus the Monster.

I love monsters! But I try to limit myself to just one or two new ones a year. I already have so many monster patterns!

If you’re in the club already, head over to the clubhouse to download the pattern. This link will take you right to Marcellus’s page.

If you’re not in the club yet – here’s the link to join.

Members get an exclusive new pattern every month!

Here’s a quick peek at Marcellus coming together.

I also made monsters in a few extra colors. Here he is in fun orange. . .

And here he is in neutral batiks. I think he looks like a gargoyle!

And now I want to make a monster quilt all in shades of grey to make a gargoyle quilt. πŸ˜„

Happy stitching!

Best,
Wendi

Try one of our newest quilt patterns! Get the Liz Llama pattern here. Or join the Funny Faces Quilt Block of the Month Club to get a new block every month. πŸ™‚

Happy October! Free Downloadable Wallpaper

Happy October!

It’s my favorite month of the year! I love fall weather, colorful leaves, eating soup, reading in front of a fire – and Halloween!

To celebrate the season, our wallpaper this month is a spooky black cat.

Want to make your own? There’s a free applique pattern here!

Download your wallpaper below. There are options both with and without the October calendar, in case you want to keep that kitty on your screens during other months of the year. πŸ™‚

Happy October!

Best,
Wendi

Try one of our newest quilt patterns! Get the Liz Llama pattern here. Or join the Funny Faces Quilt Block of the Month Club to get a new block every month. πŸ™‚