Is March coming in like a lion for you? For me it’s coming in like a bedraggled kitten, with tons of rain. But temperatures are dropping and I’m hoping for a little more snow before spring actually arrives.
For the last few years I’ve participated in the 100 Day Project. Last year was the first year I actually finished it. 🙂
The 100 Day project is awesome. Participants decide on any creative activity they want to pursue for 100 days. It can be ANYTHING! A few that I remember off the top of my head are a jeweler who made 100 pairs of earrings, a potter who came up with 100 different handles, a baker who made 100 different pies, and an artist who designed 100 different alphabet fonts – the sky’s the limit!
Last year I designed a different repeat pattern every day – AND I used that pattern to mock-up a new applique design. Here’s just one example.
I hoped to have a fabric collection come out of it, but I got something else instead. SO MANY QUILT BLOCK IDEAS!
I love how it turned out – but it was relatively easy. Just design all the blocks, make a sample, record the video tutorials, and write the pattern!
But one of the ideas that the project sparked last year was a Mix & Match Backyard Birds pattern. As I was drawing some of the birds I see at my feeder, I realized that a lot of the basic parts are pretty much the same. I wondered if I could create some basic templates that could be used to applique just about any of those classic feeder birds. I noodled around with the idea for ten of my hundred days, and it seemed like it would work!
I’ve taken the months since then to draw up a bunch of templates and now I’m finally ready to test them – just in time for a new 100 Day Project!
The new tests won’t be mock-ups. They’re actually appliqued blocks that I’ll be able to join into a quilt. So exciting!
Here’s Day 1 – a black-capped chickadee, one of my favorite birds.
Will I be able to make 100 different recognizable birds using just a few pages of templates? We’re about to find out. 🙂
You can follow along with my progress on Instagram. And the applique pattern will be available at the end of the project – maybe even sooner if the testing goes smoothly and I don’t need to design too many additional templates. 🙂
Want to join in the 100 Day Project? There’s more info here.
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!
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
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. 🙂
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.
Roughly cut around each shape and fuse it to the back of your fabric.
Here’s a video showing those first two steps. . .
Cut around each piece neatly.
This time you’re cutting directly on the solid lines.
This video has more info about that step.
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.
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.
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!
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. 🙂
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. 🙂 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. 🙂
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. 🙂