All Piggie Patterns 20% Off!

2019 is the Year of the Pig, so we’re having a Pig Craft-Along!

And to give you a little discount on the patterns you can use in the craft-along, we’re having a sale on all our pig patterns!

Yay!

That graphic shows just a few of my favorites. You can find ALL the pig patterns here. There’s even an adorable crocheted pig hat!

Use the discount code OINK for 20% off any of those patterns.

Sale ends Thursday 2/7 at midnight eastern time.

Happy stitching!

I can’t wait to see what you make!

Best,
Wendi

SHARE THIS

February Wallpaper

Happy February!

This year is the Year of the Pig – so for our calendar I used the pig block from the Noisy Farm quilt, with some cool glasses from the Fancy Doodads pattern. So cute!

Download your wallpaper below – there are options both with and without the February calendar.

Click here to download the one for computers/tablets.

Click here to download the same image with no calendar.

Click here to download the one for phones.

Click here to download the same image with no calendar.

Want to see what’s happening this month at Shiny Happy World? I’ll tell you!

Here are some of those links I promised. . .

Have a great month! And happy stitching!

Best,
Wendi

How to Measure Gauge for Amigurumi

First of all – gauge isn’t that important for amigurumi.

You could make hundreds of amigurumi and never once measure the gauge.

When do you need to worry about it?

One – if you want your finished project to turn out the size the pattern says it will be.

Two – if you have exactly the amount of yarn specified in the instructions and you don’t want to risk running out.

So how do you measure it?

Well, because you’re stitching in the round it’s a little different than other gauge instructions.

Crochet up a swatch of five rounds. Make sure you’re stitching through the back loop if that’s what the pattern says to do. (All FreshStitches and Shiny Happy World patterns are stitched through the back loop.)

Ch 2 (I like to start with a sloppy slip knot.)

Round 1 sc 6 in 2nd ch from hook (6)

Round 2 sc twice in next st (12)

Round 3 [sc twice in next st, sc in next st.] 6 times (18)

Round 4 [sc twice in next st, sc in next 2 sts.] 6 times (24)

Round 5 [sc twice in next st, sc in next 3 sts.] 6 times (30)

Now – measure across the diameter of your swatch.

Mine measures 2 1/2 inches.

If yours is 2 1/2 inches – good! Unravel your swatch (so you can reuse the yarn) and start stitching.

If yours is a little small, try using a larger hook size. If yours is a little big, try going down a hook size. You can also try switching between different hook materials – a bamboo hook “grabs” the yarn a little more than a metal hook, for example, which can change your swatch size.

Don’t try stitching just a little tighter or a little looser. As you work you’ll tend to revert back to your natural tension, so that’s not a good way to get gauge.

Keep experimenting until your swatch matches the one in the pattern – then stitch away!

Happy stitching!

Best,
Wendi

What to Watch While Stitching – an Awesome List of Reader Suggestions

Last week in the newsletter I asked for reader suggestions for what to watch while I stitch embroidery samples for my new book. The response was AMAZING! And lots of you said you watch while working too so I thought I’d share all the suggestions in one awesome list. I’m adding a star to the ones I’ve watched and can also recommend. 🙂

Here are all the shows that got multiple mentions (in order of number of mentions) . . .

  • Doc Martin
  • *Father Brown
  • *Midsomer Murders
  • *Downton Abbey
  • Doctor Blake Mysteries
  • *The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
  • Shetland
  • Anne with an “E”
  • Outlander
  • Vera
  • Lark Rise to Candleford
  • Scott & Bailey
  • *West Wing
  • A Place to Call Home
  • *Sherlock
  • *Great British Baking Show
  • *Death in Paradise
  • *Frasier
  • *Longmire
  • Broadchurch
  • McLeod’s Daughters
  • Murdoch Mysteries
  • Home Fires
  • Agatha Raisin
  • *Bletchley Circle
  • Line of Duty
  • The Incredible Dr. Pol
  • Bodyguard
  • *Inspector Morse
  • The Paradise
  • Endeavor
  • *Rosemary and Thyme
  • Hinterland
  • Grace and Frankie
  • Vikings

And here are the rest (in alphabetical order). . .

  • *Arrow
  • Artful Detective
  • Back Roads
  • Being Human
  • Blue Bloods
  • *Bones
  • *Cheers
  • The Closer
  • Darkest Hour
  • Denver Pet Show
  • Derek
  • Designated Survivor
  • Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency
  • Doctor Foster
  • Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman
  • Drop Dead Diva
  • *Elementary
  • Escape to the Country/Escape from the City/Escape to the Continent
  • *Flash
  • *Friends
  • Game of Thrones
  • Girlfriends
  • The Good Cop
  • Home Fires
  • Homecoming
  • Indian Summers
  • Inspector Lewis
  • Jack Irish
  • Jack Ryan
  • Jamestown
  • Keeping Faith
  • Kids’ Baking Championship
  • *Kingdom
  • Land Girls
  • The Last Kingdom
  • Last Tango in Halifax
  • Legends
  • Little Dorrit
  • Little Women
  • Love Child
  • *Madmen
  • Mercy Street
  • The Miniaturist
  • Misfits
  • Mr. Selfridge
  • *Monk
  • Mozart in the Jungle
  • The Mysteries of Laura
  • Mystery Road
  • The Nature of Things
  • NCIS
  • Offspring
  • Ozark
  • The Palace
  • *Poirot
  • Rake
  • Reign
  • Ripper Street
  • *Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat
  • Schitt’s Creek
  • The Science of Stupid
  • Secret Agent Selection WWII
  • Silent Witness
  • Striking Out
  • Sugar Rush
  • *Supergirl
  • The Supervet
  • This Is Us
  • Time Goes By
  • The Time of Our Lives
  • Timeless
  • The Tudors
  • The Unforgotten
  • The Waltons
  • Watership Down
  • We Will Meet Again
  • White Collar
  • Wolf Hall
  • Yukon Vet

Oh – and for those who don’t get the newsletter, here are the shows I mentioned that I’ve already watched and loved to stitch to. . .

  • The Crown
  • Call the Midwife
  • Victoria
  • Foyle’s War
  • Miss Fisher Mysteries
  • Poldark
  • Law & Order
  • Grey’s Anatomy

You guys – this is an amazing list! Please keep adding suggestions in the comments so we have a continuing resource. 🙂

Best,
Wendi

The Perfect Scissors for Making Rag Quilts

Remember when I showed you how you could use any of my applique patterns to make a fun rag quilt?

When I made mine (you can see it below) I tested several brands of styles of ragging snips – and these Fiskars were BY FAR my favorite.

The spring action really saved a lot of muscle strain on my hand and wrist.

The blades are super sharp and cut through SIX layers of flannel like butter.

And my favorite bit – the blades are slightly serrated so they “grab” the fabric and cut right up to the tips of the blades – unlike many scissors that have a tendency to push the fabric out a bit as they cut.

I ordered some for the shop and finally got them in!

Get the perfect scissors for making rag quilts here.

Happy stitching!

Best,
Wendi

Happy January! New Wallpaper and What’s Coming this Month

Happy January! Happy New Year!

For this month’s wallpaper I decided to revisit one of my favorite projects – these little beanbag mice. They were so much fun to make in a rainbow of colors! Did you know that a group of mice is called a mischief? Get the pattern here.

Download your wallpaper below – there are options both with and without the January calendar.

Click here to download the one for computers/tablets.

Click here to download the same image with no calendar.

Click here to download the one for phones.

Click here to download the same image with no calendar.

Want to see what’s happening this month at Shiny Happy World? I’ll tell you!

Here are some of those links I promised. . .

Have a great month! And happy stitching!

Best,
Wendi

Jolly the Elf – a Free Christmas Applique Pattern

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!

There’s a new free applique pattern for you! Merry Christmas! 🙂

This adorable elf pattern is the same size and style as the other free Christmas applique patterns (10 inch finished blocks). There are five now! (You’ll find links to all of them at the bottom of this post.)

Here’s how to make it. (This video shows all the steps for working with fusible adhesive – if you’ve never done it before you’ll find it helpful.)

Step 1

Download the template pieces here.

Step 2

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

I use this printable fusible adhesive so I just printed out the page. No tracing!

The image has already been reversed, so just trace or print. If you’re tracing, be sure to trace the facial features too. You’ll need those for Step 4.

Step 2

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

Leave a little bit extra all the way around ­- a little extra extra (at least 1/4 inch) where there’s a dotted line, like the top of the shoulders and the base of the ears.

Step 3

Cut around each piece neatly. Cut directly on the solid lines.

Leave a little seam allowance on the dotted lines ­- those are the seam allowances that will tuck behind other pieces.

Step 4

Remember when I told you to make sure you traced the facial features in Step 1? 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 the eyes, nose and mouth, and the adhesive will stabilize the fabric so you can trace on it without it crinkling up.

I traced just inside the eyes, and directly on the nose and mouth.

Here you can see all the tracing I did – without the light shining through.

Step 5

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

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 6

Peel off the paper backing and arrange the pieces on a background block.

Remember -­ all the dotted lines indicate where pieces tuck behind other pieces.

Tuck the ears and the shoulders behind the head. Tuck the head and the top of the hat behind the hat brim.

Fuse the pieces in place.

Step 7

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 used 12 wt. thread for all my outlining to get a slightly thicker line. There’s more info about using thicker thread here.

Done!

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

If you’re making a bunch of elf blocks to join into a quilt -­ have fun!

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. There are links to a bunch of free patterns you can use with your applique pattern to make bibs, pillow covers, tote bags, and more! 🙂

Here are all the free Christmas applique patterns so far.

If you’re looking for a different fun Christmas quilt pattern check out this post. It has a bunch of free patterns for little signs that you can add to a Shiny Happy Houses quilt to turn it into a North Pole quilt. 🙂

Do you like the fabrics I used?

The skin is the cream fabric from the People Colors fabric bundle, and the two fun stripe prints are from the Little Stripes fat quarter bundle.

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. 🙂

Happy sewing!

Best,
Wendi

Ho Ho Ho Holiday Accessories – free crochet Christmas tree and Santa hat pattern

Milo Mouse is all decked out for Christmas!

I’ve got free patterns below for both the tree and the hat – plus some extra fancification ideas for both at the bottom of the post. Have fun with these!

Milo Mouse is the Ami Club pattern for December. Sign up here and you’ll get instant access to the pattern – plus other member benefits. 🙂

You can use these patterns for any holiday decorations – the repeat pattern is easy to follow to make them larger if you need. Or just use thicker yarn!

Abbreviations

  • ch: chain
  • sc: single crochet
  • sc2tog: single crochet 2 stitches together
  • st(s): stitch(es)

The tree and the hat both start the same way. . .

Ch 2 (I like to start with a sloppy slip knot. This video shows how. And this video shows how to chain.)

Round 1 sc 4 in 2nd ch from hook (4) This post will help you find that second chain from the hook.

Round 2 sc twice in next st, sc in next 3 sts (5) This video will help you if you find it tricky to start the second round.

Round 3 sc twice in next st, sc in next 4 sts (6)

Round 4 sc twice in next st, sc in next 5 sts (7)

Round 5 sc twice in next st, sc in next 6 sts (8)

Round 6 sc twice in next st, sc in next 7 sts (9)

Round 7 sc twice in next st, sc in next 8 sts (10)

Round 8 sc twice in next st, sc in next 9 sts (11)

Round 9 sc twice in next st, sc in next 10 sts (12)

Round 10 sc twice in next st, sc in next 11 sts (13)

Round 11 sc twice in next st, sc in next 12 sts. (14)

Round 12 sc twice in next st, sc in next 13 sts. (15)

Round 13 sc twice in next st, sc in next 14 sts (16)

Round 14 sc twice in next st, sc in next 15 sts (17)

Round 15 sc twice in next st, sc in next 16 sts (18)

Round 16 sc twice in next st, sc in next 17 sts (19)

This is where the pattern changes, depending on whether you’re making the tree or the hat.

For the Santa Hat. . .

Round 17-20 Change to white yarn and sc in each stitch (19, 4 rounds) This video shows how to change colors cleanly.

Fasten off and weave in the tail.

Make a small white pompom and tie it to the end of the hat. There’s a video showing how to make a pompom here. I wrapped mine around the times of a fork for a nice small puffball. 🙂

Finished!

If you’re making a hat for a larger softie, just follow this pattern of increasing one stitch per round until the hat is big enough to fit, then stitch at least four rounds of straight single crochet for the contrasting band. You may need to add more rounds of contrast to feel like it’s in the right proportion with the hat, depending on how much bigger you make it. Trust your judgement. 🙂

For the tree. . .

Picking up after round 16 above.

Round 17 sc twice in next st, sc in next 18 sts (20)

Round 18 sc twice in next st, sc in next 19 sts (21)

Round 19 sc twice in next st, sc in next 20 sts (22)

Round 20 sc twice in next st, sc in next 21 sts (23)

Round 21 sc twice in next st, sc in next 22 sts (24)

Stuff the tree and slip a large washer across the stuffing at the base of the tree. This will give your tree a nice flat base and the washer adds a nice weight.

Round 22 [sc2tog, sc in next 2 sts] 6 times (18)

Here’s what it looks like after that first decrease round wraps around the edge of the washer.

If you don’t have a metal washer, you can cut a circle of cardboard. It will give you the flatness without the weight.

Round 23 [sc2tog, sc in next st] 6 times (12)

Round 24 [sc2tog] 6 times (6)

Slipstitch across the top and fasten off. Here’s a video showing how to slipstitch, and here’s one showing how to fasten off.

Finished!

If you want to make your tree bigger, keep following the same increase pattern after round 21. To make your decrease rounds easier to calculate, make sure to make your last increase round one whose stitch count is evenly divided into 6.

I dressed up my tree with some simple white-headed pins – but there are tons of possibilities to dress up both the tree and the hat!

For the tree. . .

  • Use multicolored instead of white pins.
  • Wrap it in tiny fairy lights.
  • Sew (or pin) on buttons.
  • Add beads as you crochet! That link goes to a video showing how.
  • Use sparkly or glitter or eyelash yarn.
  • Pin on garland from the trim section of the fabric store – braid or cord or rickrack.

For the hat. . .

  • Sew on a bell or tassel instead of making a pompom.
  • Surface crochet the contrasting band on the hat with eyelash yarn. Yep – that’s another video link. 🙂
  • If your hat is kind of stiff and you want it to flop down like the one in the photo, you can drop a metal nut into the tip of the hat. The weight will keep it dipping down. I use a surprising amount of hardware store items in my softies. 🙂

If you decide to give a holiday Milo Mouse as a gift, I suggest pairing it with these books.

  • The Night Before Christmas – I had the line “Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse” in my head as I designed Milo. There are so many beautiful editions of this story available – the link goes to one with very traditional illustrations.
  • Mr Willoughby’s Christmas Tree – I just love this story about the tippy top of a Christmas tree. 🙂

Have fun with these patterns!

Best,
Wendi

 

Happy December! Free Wallpaper

Happy December!

For this month’s wallpaper I decided to pull together all of my free holiday applique patterns – so far. There’s a new one coming this month. 🙂

Here are the links to those patterns if you want to make your own.

Make them into wall hangings, table runners, pillowsgift bags, placemats, bibs, coastersstockings and more.

All those links go to free patterns. 🙂

Download your wallpaper below – there are options both with and without the December calendar.

Click here to download the one for computers/tablets.

Click here to download the same image with no calendar.

Click here to download the one for phones.

Click here to download the same image with no calendar.

Want to see what’s happening this month at Shiny Happy World? I’ll tell you!

Have a great month! And happy stitching!

Best,
Wendi