Meet Becky – the New Ami Club Pattern

Meet Becky!

She’s the new Ami Club pattern for November.

Isn’t she a cutie?

She’s super easy to make. Everything is crocheted together – the only sewing you need to do is a simple bit of running stitch to attach her wig to her head. Easy peasy!

If you’re already an Ami Club member, make sure to download your pattern before the end of the month.

If you’re not a member yet, join now! It’s just $4 a month. Every month you get an exclusive new pattern, 50% off four selected patterns, and 10% off safety eyes and noses all the time. It’s a great deal!

Sign up for Ami Club here.

Happy stitching!

Best,
Wendi

Happy November! Free Calendar Wallpaper

Happy November!

I don’t know why owls make me think of fall, but they do – so the November wallpaper includes a few of my favorites from the Parliament of Owls quilt pattern. 🙂

Download your wallpaper below – there are options both with and without the November 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

Squishy Monster – a free amigurumi pattern

These squishy monsters are fast and easy to make – and super fun to play with. 🙂

The skills you’ll need for just about any amigurumi are. . .

This project uses just one fancy skill – stitching one row below to get that mouth. Don’t worry – there’s a link in the pattern to a video showing how, right at the spot where you’ll need it.

You can go through all those posts now, or just hop to them as you get to those points in the pattern – whatever works best for you!

Yarn

This pattern can be used with any weight yarn. The samples are crocheted with Big Stitch worsted weight yarn, and all yardage/hook recommendations are calculated based on the sample. If you use a different weight yarn you may need to adjust how many plastic pellets you use to fill it.

Materials

Gauge Notes

This pattern doesn’t specify a gauge. It’s a stuffed toy, and you don’t need to be too picky about exact sizing. The most important thing is that you use a hook size that creates a nice looking fabric for your yarn. If you use the recommended hook size, and your fabric looks very loose (so that stuffing would show through), then you will want to use a smaller hook. Other than that, no measuring required!

Stitch into the Back

All stitches in this pattern (that are worked in the round) are worked through the back loop only, unless otherwise directed. Look at this picture.

Stitching in the Back Loop

See how one loop is highlighted in black? This is the back loop, and it’s what you’ll stitch into. Stitching into the back loop creates ridges on the right side of the piece.

Want to see crocheting through the back loop in action? Check out this blog post. It talks all about why Stacey crochets through the back loop and even has a handy dandy video showing how to find that loop. 🙂

Abbreviations

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

Ready? Let’s jump in!

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 6 in 2nd ch from hook (6) This post will help you find that second chain from the hook.

Round 2 sc twice in next st (12) 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 st.] 6 times (18)

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

Round 5-6 sc in each st. (24, 2 rounds)

Round 7 sc in next 7 sts. Sc in next 10 sts, one row below. Sc in last 7 sts. (24) This video will help with stitching one row below.

Round 8 sc in next 7 sts. Sc in next 10 sts, back in the original (inner) round of stitching. Sc in last 7 sts. (24)

Round 9 [sc twice in next st, sc in next 3 sts.] 6 times (30)

Round 10-11 sc in each st. (30, 2 rounds)

Insert the eyes in round 4, centered on the lip, with 3 stitches between them.

Round 12 [sc2tog, sc in next 3 sts.] 6 times (24)

Round 13 [sc2tog, sc in next 2 sts.] 6 times (18)

Fill a section of nylon knee high with 1/2 cup plastic pellets. Tie the end closed in a knot.

Stuff the bag of pellets into the monster body. It will be a very tight fit.

Round 14 [sc2tog, sc in next st.] 6 times (12)

Round 15 [sc2tog] 6 times (12)

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

Bury the tail.

Congratulations! You have squishy little beanbag monster. Make some more! They’re so much fun to play with!

Happy stitching!

Best,
Wendi

New! Teeny Tiny Dandelyne Hoops in the Shop!

New in the shop!

These teeny tiny embroidery hoops are so adorable!

The smallest ones are just 1 inch across. There’s also a slightly bigger set – 1.6 inches across. These are perfect for necklaces and brooches – and some of the sets even come with necklace chains and pin backs!

Use them for teeny tiny embroidery, or to frame up a special piece of fabric. 🙂

Get them here.

Happy stitching!

Best,
Wendi

Make an Easy Applique Rag Quilt – tutorial

Several years ago my mother-in-law made us a fantastic flannel rag quilt. We use it all the time, and every time I look at it I think that it would be super easy to add applique to that style of quilt.

I finally did it!

And it was just as fun and easy as I thought. 🙂

I made mine using the Bunches of Bears quilt pattern, but you could use any quilt pattern you like. All the square quilt blocks in my own patterns are already sized for 10 inch blocks. If you’re using someone else’s pattern you may need to enlarge or reduce the images.

So let’s go!

My quilt is nap sized – 50 x 60 inches – perfect for using on the couch. It’s 5 blocks wide and 6 blocks tall and the blocks all finish at 10 inches.

You can resize the pattern by changing the size of the blocks or by changing the number of blocks. 🙂

I used ten flannel colors (one of each color in the Dash Plaid collection from Dear Stella Fabrics) and bought one yard of each.

I prewashed my flannel. I think people don’t usually do that for rag quilts, but flannel is notorious for shrinking a lot and I didn’t want the shrinking to distort the applique. Don’t use fabric softener in the wash – it can resist the fusible adhesive. Dryer sheets are fine.

Each block is three layers of flannel, so you’ll need to cut 90 blocks, each 11 inches square. You can get nine from one yard of fabric.

Sneaky tip – if you have some ugly flannel that you can’t figure out how it got into your stash, cut 30 of the squares out of that and hide it in the middle of your layers. 🙂

Applique 30 of the squares using any method you like. I used my favorite fusible adhesive method. There’s a video tutorial here. I use these Heat & Bond Lite printable fusible adhesive sheets and all my fabrics are from the Warm Neutrals fat quarter bundle. You could use flannel here too if you like, but I love my Warm Neutrals. 🙂

When you position your faces, line up the bottom edge 3/8 inch up from the bottom edge of the block. That way, when you sew the blocks together using 1/2 inch seam allowance, you’ll catch the bottom edge of the applique in the stitching and it will be nice and secure.

Fuse the face into place.

Layer a second square of flannel behind the one with the applique (both facing right side up).

Stitch down all the edges on your applique. Outlining through both layers of flannel adds just a little bit of poof and dimension to your block – not as much as quilting with batting, but similar.

I used the “scribbly” method of going around each bit three times with regular weight black thread and a simple straight stitch. There’s a post here with more detail about that, and one here with more info about using a heavier weight thread if you prefer that.

This post has tips for stitching the tight curves around the eyes, and also for stitching the mouths. And this one has tips for making dark eyes show up on dark faces, like this cutie.

After you get all 30 blocks appliqued, it’s time to sew them together. This was actually the hardest part, because it’s backwards from any other kind of sewing you’ll do normally.

Add a third layer of flannel to each block, this time with the right side facing the back of the quilt. (It’s going to be come your quilt back.)

Using 1/2″ seam allowance, sew two blocks wrong sides together so that the seam allowance is on the right side of the quilt.

Here’s what it looks like from the back.

See? That last layer of flannel makes a nice quilt back, and you have a nice clean seam.

I joined all of my blocks into rows of five, then sewed those rows together for the finished quilt.

The intersections can get very bulky, so I snipped into the seam allowance 1/2″ from each edge and sewed my crossing seam through that slit so I wasn’t stitching the seam allowance down.

And look – my seam secures the bottom edge of each bear, just like I planned. 🙂

I found it helpful to use my quarter inch foot, but adjust it out to 1/2 inch for sewing all those layers together.

I also lengthened my stitch to 3.0 and reduced the pressure on my presser foot to keep the layers from creeping. If you can’t make that adjustment on your machine, just use a lot of pins or clips, as if you were sewing napped fabrics together.

Once all the blocks are sewn together, sew all the way around the outside edge of the quilt, one half inch in from the raw edge.

Now it’s time to snip all those seams.

Snip 1/2 inch apart all along all the seam allowances, almost up to the stitching line. Be very careful not to cut into your stitching. If you slip and snip it, repair it now by sewing over the snipped seam.

If you’re trying to snip with regular scissors, you’ll need to take a LOT of breaks. They’re really not designed for this kind of work.

If you can afford to buy a special set of snips just for this kind of work, it is absolutely worth it. I tried several brands and these Fiskars Easy Action Tabletop Rag Quilt Snip were by far my favorite. I liked them so much that I’m going to add them to the shop. They have a spring action, so their default setting is open, which saves a surprising amount of strain on your wrist. They’re super sharp, and the blades are slightly serrated, so they really grip the fabric well, helping them cut right up to the tips of the blades without “pushing” the fabric out at all.

Even with the fancy snips I took a break between snipping the horizontal and vertical seams. It took about two hours total.

Don’t forget to snip around the outside edges too.

When you’re done snipping, throw it in the wash and tumble dry.

Ta daa!

All those snipped edges fray in the wash and you get a really soft, fluffy ridge between each block. This blanket is just begging for someone to snuggle under it.

If you make an applique flannel rag quilt, we’d love to see it! Post a photo in the Shiny Happy People group so we can all oooh and aaah. 🙂

Happy stitching!

Best,
Wendi

Bears in the Hills

The Bears in the Hills are here!

I’ve been working on this for a while now and it’s finally to a place where you all can join in!

Sign up for the workshop here.

It’s the same price as a pattern, but it’s set up as a video workshop on Teachable, where I host all my free introductory workshops.

If you sign up right now you’ll find the pattern pieces, an overview of the tools and supplies needed, and instructions for cutting, prepping, and layering all the pieces.

I’ll be adding videos showing how I do the stitching on the hills as we go along – probably at a rate of something like one new video every week. You won’t need to do anything special to access the new videos – they’ll just pop up in your classroom as soon as I load them up. Easy peasy!

The first video to come will show how to give your bears their faces. I want to see them all smiling at me while I work!

Sign up for the workshop here.

I can’t wait to see all your bears!

Happy stitching!

Best,
Wendi

Bears in the Hills – a Progress Report

I’ve finished all the whipstitching around the edges of the hills and the bears.

Ready for the fancy stitching!

I wanted the whipstitching to be fairly invisible. To make sure I got all the scallops outlined, I flipped it over to check the back.

So here’s what comes next. . .

Next week I’ll be putting together the online class. Here’s what will be available as soon as the class opens. . .

  • the pattern – both a PDF for printing on freezer paper to cut by hand and an SVG file for those who have cutting machines
  • a video showing how to cut, layer and glue the pieces in place
  • a video showing how to whipstitch the edges
  • a bundle of felt sheets in the colors I used
  • a bundle of pre-cut pieces for those who want to jump right to the fun part 🙂

After the class releases, I’ll start adding more videos showing how to embroider the faces and how to add fancy stitching to the hills.

This is going to be so much fun!

Happy stitching!

Best,
Wendi

Meet Maxwell Monster – new amigurumi pattern

Meet Maxwell Monster! He’s the new Ami Club pattern for October!

I just love him. 🙂 I love his hairy ears, his adorable underbite, his meaty monster hands, and his old man pants hiked almost all the way up to his armpits. 🙂

Want to make him? Sign up for Ami Club! You’ll be able to download the pattern right away – plus you’ll get lots of other perks. Get all the details here.

Happy stitching!

Best,
Wendi

Monster Pattern Sale – 20% Off

October is Monster Month (of course) so we’re having a Monster Craft-Along and a Monster Pattern Sale!

Stacey and I both LOVE monsters, so you’ve got a lot of patterns to choose from. 🙂 Those images up there are just a tiny sample.

Shop all the patterns here.

Use the discount code SILLY for 20% off.

Sale ends Monday 10/7 at midnight eastern time.

Stacey and I both have really terrific monster classes on Craftsy. The Shiny Happy World sale code doesn’t work on them, but Craftsy has sales all the time and if you use these links you’ll get the current sale price.

Amigurumi: Design Your Own Monster Craftsy Class

Stacey’s Design Your Own Monster class is fantastic – my favorite of all her classes. Get that class here.

Cute Quilt-As-You-Go Applique Monsters - a new Craftsy class with Wendi Gratz of Shiny Happy World

My Cute Quilt-As-You-Go Applique Monsters class includes my Mix & Match Monsters pattern. It’s so much fun to make! Get that class here.

Happy stitching!

Best,
Wendi