Meet Duke! An adorable amigurumi dog pattern

Duke the Dog - an adorable crochet amigurumi pattern from Shiny Happy World

Duke is a sweet hound dog who always has his tongue hanging out. ๐Ÿ™‚

He’s a brand new pattern – exclusive to Ami Club members this May!

He’s fun to make – just challenging enough to be interesting, but not actually difficult. ๐Ÿ™‚

Want to get the pattern?

Sign up for the Ami Club here.

You’ll be able to download the Duke pattern right away!

You’ll also get a special discount on all eyes and noses – plus 50% off four select amigurumi patterns every month!

It’s a great deal – and lots of fun to get a surprise new pattern on the first of every month. ๐Ÿ™‚

Happy stitching!

Best,
Wendi

May Free Calendar

May free calendar from Shiny Happy World

Happy May!

It’s Cats & Dogs Month here at Shiny Happy World, so I decided to include some of my favorite playful puppies and cuddly cats in this month’s calendar.

Download your wallpaper below – there are options both with and without a May 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.

Have a great month! And happy stitching!

Best,
Wendi

Penelope Panda – a free applique pattern

Penelope Panda - a free applique pattern from Shiny Happy World

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

Sign up for Let’s Make a Quiltย 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!

The Bunches of Bears quilt pattern has thirteen different bears in it.

But you can never have enough bears! And it didn’t have a panda so I decided to make one more block – and make it free. ๐Ÿ™‚

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.

Penelope Panda - a free applique pattern from Shiny Happy World

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.

Penelope Panda - a free applique pattern from Shiny Happy World

Leave a little bit extra all the way around ยญ- 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.

Penelope Panda - a free applique pattern from Shiny Happy World

Leave a little seam allowance on the dotted lines ยญ- the top of the shoulders and the base of the ears will tuck behind the head.

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 eye, and the adhesive will stabilize the fabric so you can trace on it without it crinkling up.

Penelope Panda - a free applique pattern from Shiny Happy World

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

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

Penelope Panda - a free applique pattern from Shiny Happy World

Step 5

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

Cutย 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!

Penelope Panda - a free applique pattern from Shiny Happy World

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. Tuck the ears and the shoulders behind the head.

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

Do NOT fuse down the black eyes yet.

Penelope Panda - a free applique pattern from Shiny Happy World

Fuse the pieces in place.

Step 7

Stitch around the grey eye backings using matching thread and just a simple straight stitch.

Penelope Panda - a free applique pattern from Shiny Happy World

This video has some tips for outlining those tight curves.

Step 8

NOW position the black eyes and fuse in place.

Penelope Panda - a free applique pattern from Shiny Happy World

Step 9

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

Penelope Panda - a free applique pattern from Shiny Happy World

Done!

Want a handy dandy PDF of this entire post โ€“ with all the instructions and all the links to additional tutorials?ย Sign up for the Shiny Happy News here and youโ€™ll get the PDF in an instant email. If you already get the newsletter, you can still enter your email address to get the PDF. The newsletter system is smart and wonโ€™t sign you up twice.ย ๐Ÿ™‚

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

If you’re making a bunch of panda blocks to join into a quilt -ยญ 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. ๐Ÿ™‚

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. ๐Ÿ™‚

Happy sewing!

Best,
Wendi

Add an Embroidered Label to Your Quilt

How to Make a Quilt Label - tutorial from Shiny Happy World

It’s easy to add a label to your quilt – and it’s fun to make it coordinate with the designs on the front of the quilt.

I like my labels to be about 4 inches wide. To resize any block design to fit in that size you print it at 40% of the original size. Easy peasy!

Cut a piece of fabric big enough for the full four inch square to fit flat in a hoop. A seven inch square of fabric should work just fine.

Stitch the design. I used 4 strands of thread and two simple stitches – backstitch for all the lines, and satin stitch for the solid eyes and nose.

If you want to add a date – or maybe a name – there’s a free alphabet embroidery pattern here – with letters that are relatively simple to stitch, with no serifs, curlicues, or extra-tight curves. ๐Ÿ™‚

When you finish stitching, trim the fabric so there’s about an extra inch all the way around the part you want to show as the label. Fold about 1/2 inch under on each side and press.

Position the label where you want it (I always put mine in the lower right corner) and pin or glue it in place to hold it secure while you stitch it.

Stitch the label to the quilt back all the way around the edge, being sure to only stitch through the quilt backing. Don’t let your stitches go through to the front of the quilt. I like to use ladder stitch.

That’s it!

It doesn’t take long and it’s a really nice finishing touch. ๐Ÿ™‚

Happy stitching!

Best,
Wendi

How to Applique Dark Eyes on Dark Faces

How to Applique Dark Eyes on Dark Faces - tutorial from Shiny Happy World

This cutie is Ivy – one of the bears in my Bunches of Bears quilt pattern.

I made all the bears in my sample blocks in realistic colors – shades of brown, grey and rust. (This is the fabric I used.)

Of course – living in Appalachia – I had to make a black bear.

But black bears are tricky!

Black eyes didn’t show up every well on the almost-black fabric I chose for the bear face.

The solution is to make an extra layer in a lighter color to back the eye.

Black bears usually have a cinnamon-colored snout, so I chose the same fabric to go behind the eyes. If your applique pattern doesn’t have a contrasting snout color (maybe you want to make a black cat from this pattern?) then just choose a slightly lighter shade of the face color.

I don’t recommend white. It will often make your finished face look frightened. ๐Ÿ™

Here’s what to do.

Using a scrap of your fusible adhesive, trace the eyes again. Fuse that to the back of the fabric you want to use to define the eyes.

How to Applique Dark Eyes on Dark Faces - tutorial from Shiny Happy World

When you cut them out – cut them a little bit bigger than the eyes you’ve traced.

How to Applique Dark Eyes on Dark Faces - tutorial from Shiny Happy World

I’ve cut mine with a little less than an extra 1/8 inch all the way around. You don’t have to measure it – you really just want a sliver of that color showing.

Now – fuse those pieces in place – along with all the other pieces on the block except the black eyes.

DO NOT FUSE DOWN THE BLACK EYES YET.

How to Applique Dark Eyes on Dark Faces - tutorial from Shiny Happy World

I know. It looks a little creepy at this point.

I usually outline all my applique pieces in black thread – but this is the exception. Stitch down the eye backings using matching thread.

If you do it now, you can be a little wobbly with your stitching. There’s no black eye for the wobbliness to show up against. If you fuse the black eye before you do the outlining you have to be very careful to keep your stitching right on that sliver of background color showing – and that would be hard.

Here’s a close up view where you can hopefully see my stitching. It’s just a simple straight stitch.

How to Applique Dark Eyes on Dark Faces - tutorial from Shiny Happy World

NOW you can fuse down the black eyes and do all the rest of the outline stitching in black thread.

How to Applique Dark Eyes on Dark Faces - tutorial from Shiny Happy World

Whew! Much less creepy. ๐Ÿ™‚ And look how nicely her eyes show up – without looking frightened.

Here’s the finished block.

Ivy block from the Bunches of Bears quilt pattern from Shiny Happy World

What a sweetie! Her name is Ivy. ๐Ÿ™‚

If you make softies (sewn or crocheted) instead of quilts – this post will help you make those eyes show up against dark faces.

Want to make a bear quilt? Get the Bunches of Bears pattern here.

Happy stitching!

Best,
Wendi

Bunches of Bears – a new quilt pattern

Bunches of Bears - easy applique quilt pattern from Shiny Happy World

Did you see the new quilt pattern?

It’s called Bunches of Bears and it includes patterns for, well, bunches of bears!

Thirteen bears, to be exact.

(My patterns usually include twelve block designs, but I always start by drawing way more than that and then narrow it down. This time I just couldn’t narrow things down any more. I loved all of them too much!)

The pattern cover shows one of each of the twelve blocks. Here’s what they’d look like in a crib-sized quilt.

Bunches of Bears crib size quilt

Click over to the listing in the shop to see sample layouts in nap and twin size.

And click here to watch a video where I share a bunch of different layouts you can do with the same pattern. Here’s one that includes some accessories from the Fancy Doodads pattern, some half-blocks using the free abc applique pattern, and an alternate grid layout.

Bunches of Bears - easy applique quilt pattern from Shiny Happy World

Get the Bunches of Bears pattern here. And have fun with it!

Happy stitching!

Best,
Wendi

Play with Your Layouts – Multiple Possibilities for One Quilt Pattern – a video tutorial

Play with Your Layouts - Multiple Possibilities for One Quilt Pattern - a video tutorial from Shiny Happy World

When I design a quilt pattern I always make up a sample – usually a simple grid.

But if you think of my quilt patterns as patterns for collections of blocks that you can put together any way you like – it opens up all kinds of other possibilities!

In this video I show several different layouts you can use for almost any of my quilt patterns.

Here are a couple of extra links for you. . .

If you do a unique layout I’d love to see it! Share a photo in the Shiny Happy People group. ๐Ÿ™‚

Happy stitching!

Best,
Wendi

Make a Felt Garland – using any Christmas ornament pattern

Make a Felt Garland using any Christmas ornament pattern - a tutorial from Shiny Happy World

There are SO MANY cute felt Christmas ornament patterns out there!

Shiny Happy World alone has a couple dozen. ๐Ÿ™‚ You can find them here.

Some of them are Santas and trees and things specific to the holiday – but a bunch of them are just cute everyday items that are fun to hang on your Christmas tree. I wanted to come up with another way to use those fun everyday patterns, so I decided to make an easy felt garland.

I picked the cupcake pattern – because I love cupcakes and it was my birthday and I thought it would make a really cute party decoration that could be used year after year.

Other fun options would be this dinosaur, this rocket ship, this bird, and more. There’s also a free felt matroyshka doll pattern here that would work well.

Stitch up however many you want, in whatever colors you like.

I made a dozen cupcakes in all different colors (using up a bunch of my felt scraps – an added bonus.)

Then you just string them together!

Make a Felt Garland using any Christmas ornament pattern - a tutorial from Shiny Happy World

Cut a length of thin cotton yarn (make it a lot longer than you think you need) and thread a big-eye needle with it. Run the needle through the back layer only of your ornament. Make sure to pick a spot near the top of your ornament so the piece doesn’t tend to flip upside down when you hang it. It will always want to hang heavy-side-down.

Finished!

Make a Felt Garland using any Christmas ornament pattern - a tutorial from Shiny Happy World

Don’t tie any knots or anything – that way you can slide the ornaments along the string as needed to fill any space.

I like mine so much I decided to keep it up all year! I hung it across the opening to my studio so I see it every day. ๐Ÿ™‚

Make a Felt Garland using any Christmas ornament pattern - a tutorial from Shiny Happy World

Make a party garland! Decorate a nursery or a child’s room! Or make one for yourself. ๐Ÿ™‚

Have fun with it!

Happy stitching!

Best,
Wendi

Wendi’s 50th Birthday Sale – 50% Off All Patterns

50th birthday sale - 50% off all patterns at Shiny Happy World

Happy birthday to me!

Today is my birthday and I’m 50 years old!

So I’m having a huge birthday sale!

For one day only – midnight to midnight eastern time – every pattern in the shop is 50% off.

I’ve never had a sale this big before – but turning 50 is a BIG deal!

Here are the details. . .

Use the discount code PARTY for 50% off all patterns.

The discount only applies to digital patterns – not tools and supplies – so there’s no need to worry about anything selling out.

Take your time. Pick your patterns. And don’t forget to use the code when you check out.

It’s good all over the place.

Shop the Shiny Happy World store here.

Shop the FreshStitches Ravelry store here. (crochet patterns only)

Shop for online video workshops too!ย Get the Big Stitches and Patchy Patchwork class hereย and the Think BIG Giant Applique class here.

No matter where you shop, use the codeย PARTYย for your discount.

(Sorry – the code does not apply to my Craftsy classes. Craftsy has their own sale plans and I’m not allowed to discount my own classes.)

Sale is one day only on April 6.

That’s today! Sale ends at midnight tonight – Eastern time.ย There’s a time zone converter here.

Happy birthday to me! And happy stitching to you!

Best,
Wendi

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