The 100 Day Project 2021 – 100 Birds

black-capped chickadee applique pattern

For the last few years I’ve participated in the 100 Day Project. Last year was the first year I actually finished it. πŸ™‚

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.

illustrated orangutan - cute

I hoped to have a fabric collection come out of it, but I got something else instead. SO MANY QUILT BLOCK IDEAS!

I’ve already designed a quilt pattern using the arctic animals I mocked up.

arctic chill applique quilt pattern cover

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!

backyard birds applique pattern design process

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.

black-capped chickadee applique pattern

Will I be able to make 100 different recognizable birds using just a few pages of templates? We’re about to find out. πŸ™‚

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. πŸ™‚

Update! The project is finished and you can find the pattern here!

Want to join in the 100 Day Project? There’s more info here.

Happy stitching!

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 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!

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!

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!

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 Corbin the Camel

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 Corbin the Camel. I’m so jealous of his eyelashes!

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

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

Members get an exclusive new pattern every month – and they get to vote on the next month’s pattern!

Here’s a quick peek at Corbin coming together.

I also made a camel who escaped from the Emerald City Zoo and has been seen roaming Oz. πŸ˜‰

Happy stitching!

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 Troy the Tree Frog

It’s the 15th! That means it’s New Pattern Day in the Funny Faces Quilt Block of the Month Club!

Meet Troy the tree frog! I love this guy!

There’s already a frog pattern at Shiny Happy World, but he’s more of a pond frog with a long, sticky tongue. Troy has awesome sticky tree frog toes. πŸ™‚

Here’s how to make him. . .

See how easy that is?

That’s a LONG video, so I’ve broken it up with a couple of time references here. . .

  • Building the background block – start at the beginning
  • Cutting and Marking the Applique Pieces – start at 4:37
  • Layering the Applique Pieces – start at 14:37
  • Outlining the Applique – start at 18:35

If you want just a very quick look at me layering the pieces together with no explanation, here’s a video for that.

Here are those links I promised. . .

Troy the Tree Frog’s pattern isn’t exclusive to the club anymore – you can get it here.

If you want to join the Funny Faces Quilt Block of the Month Club to get immediate access to the new monthly patterns, you can use this link to join.

Special note – this is the first Funny Faces pattern to include an SVG file for use with cutting machines! That’s going to be standard in all patterns from now on.

I can’t wait to see your frogs!

They come in every color of the rainbow!

Happy stitching!

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 Mo Muskox – new applique pattern

There’s a new pattern today in the Funny Faces Quilt Block of the Month Club!

(If you’re in the club already, use this link to go into the clubhouse. If you’re not in the club yet, use this link to join.)

Meet Mo Muskox! Isn’t he a cutie?

Mo is the first winner of the member vote! Members chose him from all of these arctic blocks I designed as part of The 100 Day Project I’m doing over on Instagram.

The Mama and Baby Polar Bear were a VERY close second, so we’ll probably see a pattern for them soon as well. πŸ™‚

Want to see how to assemble Mo?

I had the chance to try out some of my new fabric palettes with my Mo Muskox sample blocks! I talk about them all in more detail at the end of the video, but here are some still photos and handy links.

First, here’s the “realistic” muskox.

The background block is from the Rainbow Sherbet fabric bundle and the muskox is from the Warm Neutrals bundle.

I love this cartoony blue muskox on the more realistic background. The background is the Warm Neutral Batiks bundle and the muskox is from the Rainbow Brights fat quarter bundle.

This is Mo’s fiery redheaded cousin. πŸ™‚ The background block is from the Muted Rainbow bundle and the muskox is from the Batik Rainbow bundle.

And finally. . .

This fun version uses the Batik Rainbow bundle for the background. The muskox uses fabrics from three different bundles: Dots, Gingham Play, and Rainbow Brights.

As soon as I have three blocks in each new colorway combination I’ll be sharing those so you’ll have a better feel for how entire quilts made with these bundles will look. πŸ™‚

And now one extra special bonus! For those who don’t quilt, you can still get a muskox! Mo is now available as a printed panel, perfect for making pillows and other projects.

These are out of stock right now – but there are more on order and should be here soon. πŸ™‚ There’s more info here.

Happy stitching everyone!

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 Liz Llama!

Today is release day for the newest pattern in the Funny Faces quilt block of the month club!

You’ve already met Liz Llama. πŸ™‚

She was a mocked–up quilt pattern in the 100 Day Project I’ve been working on on Instagram.

She was so popular there that I made her this month’s wallpaper.

And there have been so many requests for a pattern that I made her this month’s BOM pattern!

I think it’s the eyelashes. πŸ™‚

Here’s the video showing how easy she is to make.

Here are all the links I promised in the video. . .

And here’s a closer look at the other versions I made of the llama block.

A pretty red llama. . .

And a “realistic” grey llama. . .

Happy stitching!

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 Sanford Squirrel

It’s the 15th! That means it’s New Pattern Day in the Funny Faces Quilt Block of the Month Club!

Meet Sanford! He’s just a little bit grumpy.

He’s even grumpy at a party! Here he is wearing a party hat from the Fancy Doodads pattern. πŸ™‚

There’s already a squirrel block in the Woodland Critters quilt pattern – but I’ve never been entirely happy with it. He just doesn’t have a ton of personality. πŸ™

But this guy! This guy definitely has personality. πŸ™‚

Here’s how to make him. . .

See how easy that is?

Here are those links I promised. . .

Click here for the tutorial showing how to outline with thicker thread.

Click here for the tutorial showing how to frame any block in a Polaroid frame.

If you’re already in the Funny Faces club, you can access the clubhouse with this link. Grab the new pattern!

If you’re not in the club yet, you can use this link to join.

I can’t wait to see your squirrels!

Happy stitching!

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™‚

Begin – a free felt applique and embroidery pattern

I started this project AGES ago and finally finished it. I haven’t been working on it anything like steadily. I didn’t plan on releasing a pattern, so I just picked it up and worked on it at odd moments, and didn’t worry about documenting the process much.

Of course, now people want a pattern! I’m happy to share. It was a lovely project and one that was really relaxing and low-pressure to stitch. I’m just letting you know upfront that it’s a pretty loose pattern. πŸ™‚

So here’s how to make it!

My project finished at 11 inches square. That gives me a little bit of breathing room all the way around, because I’m going to put it in a 12-inch frame. You can size yours up or down as you like, but here are the materials you’ll need for this size.

  • One 20-inch square of background fabric. I used a nice dark slate grey.
  • Assorted wool felt pieces. I used all the colors in the Frosty Pastels felt bundle except the white.
  • Thread to match the felt. I used Invisifil 100 wt. thread. (Yes – you read that right. 100 weight. It’s the thinnest thread I’ve ever used – like sewing with spider silk.) I matched the colors to the felt but, honestly, that thread is so fine that you could probably just use a medium grey for everything. If you want to use embroidery floss, there’s a bundle that matches the felt in the Frosty Pastels collection.
  • Slightly darker, thicker thread to contrast with the felt. I used Razzle 8 wt. rayon thread. I love the way the shiny rayon thread contrasts with the wooly felt.
  • Needles appropriate for your thread size.
  • Fabric glue stick.
  • Freezer paper (optional)
  • Frame or hoop (I used a 14-inch PVC frame)

Download the pattern here.

Print it at 100% size – or scale as desired. You can print directly onto the freezer paper, or you can print it onto regular paper and then trace it onto freezer paper.

Using freezer paper to cut small pieces like these makes it sooooo much easier to be accurate. You’ll find more info here.

The pattern page has the letters and eight blocks of blocks.

Cut the letters out of light grey felt.

Cut four blocks of blocks out of each of your other six felt colors. That way you’ll end up with four of each shape/size in each color. That’s more than you’ll actually need – but it will give you some extras to play with as you arrange.

Ok. Here’s where things are a little loose. Sorry – I didn’t take any photos of this process and I was really just winging it. That’s ok – it means you can wing it too!

Lay your background square on a flat surface.

Map out a 12-inch square in the center. I used a few rulers to block it out – use what you have handy. You just need to be able to “see” the borders of your square of workable space.

Start by laying out the letters, centering them in the space.

Here’s the finished layout again so you can refer to it for the next bit.

Start building your way out from your letters, filling the square space you have mapped out. I followed a few “rules” as I built.

  • I kept all my blocks running horizontally or vertically. None of them are tipped at an angle.
  • I tried to keep the spacing between the blocks pretty consistent. Think of it like grout between tiles.
  • I tried to never have two tiles of the same color right next to each other.
  • I sometimes had two of the same shape next to each other, but I kept it a pretty rare thing.

You can follow my finished project as a map if you like, but please don’t feel like you need to follow it exactly.

Once you’re happy with how everything looks, use a swipe of fabric glue stick to stick all the pieces in place. If you don’t have a glue stick, you can use liquid glue like Elmers, but I recommend brushing it on. If you squeeze it right out of the bottle you may get too much glue on there and it will seep through to the top of your felt and remain visible even after it dries. Don’t use a restickable glue (like a post-it glue stick). As soon as you put your hoop in the frame and pull it tight, those pieces will pop right off. Ask me how I know. πŸ˜›

Let it dry and hoop it up. You’re ready to start stitching!

Now I started taking some pictures. πŸ™‚

The first thing I did was whipstitch around each piece using matching thread. This tutorial shows how I whipstitch applique felt.

whipstitch applique felt - free Begin felt applique project from Shiny Happy World

Once everything’s whipstitched down I can stop worrying about accidentally pulling any of the pieces up, or catching my thread on them. Time to relax and settle into the fancy stitching.

I chain stitched in dark grey right down the center of each letter.

There’s a tutorial here showing how to chain stitch.

I stitched a lazy daisy in the center of the dot over the. Here’s the video showing how to stitch a lazy daisy.

Finally, I wanted to embellish each block. The stitching is all tone-on-tone, using a thread color a little more vibrant than the felt color. I really agonized over what kind of stitching. I debated it for what felt like weeks and finally settled on simple stacks of straight stitches. I just love the texture of that!

I started with the long skinny pieces since there was only one way I wanted to stitch those. Just stitch a stack that almost fills the block.

Next I stitched the larger rectangles. They’re twice as wide as the skinny rectangles, so they get two stacks of stitches, side by side, but not touching.

Finally, I stitched the squares. The small squares got one stack, the medium got two, and the large got three. But which direction? Horizontal or vertical? I made the call for each square based on what kind of stitching was going on around them, trying to keep the direction as varied as possible.

Done!

We’re currently staying home because of the pandemic, but when I can leave the house again, I’ll get a 12-inch frame to finish it. Here’s a tutorial showing how to frame textiles without damaging them.

Happy stitching!

Try my new embroidery book! Over 500 fun motifs – all embroidered using the easiest, most basic stitches. Get the book here.