Christmas Pickle – a free crochet pattern

Stacey loves eating pickles, and is a Christmas Pickle Collector – so it’s no surprise that she designed a pattern for a crocheted Christmas Pickle! We’ve updated it here with some new tutorial links.

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

This project uses a couple of extra skills, but don’t worry. They’re easy, and we have video tutorials showing how!

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. If you use worsted weight yarn, your pickle will be about 5 1/2 inches long.

Materials

Gauge Notes

This pattern doesn’t specify a gauge. It’s a stuffed pickle, 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
  • hdc: half double crochet
  • bbl: bobble stitch
  • 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 in each st. (18)

Round 5 [bbl in next st, sc in next 5 sts.] 2 times (18)

Round 6 sc in each st. (18)

Round 7 [sc in next 4 sts, bbl in next st, sc in next st] 2 times (18)

Rounds 8-11 Repeat rounds 4-7.

Round 12 sl st in next 6 sts, sc in next 3 sts, hdc in next 6 sts, sc in next 3 sts. (18)

This video shows how to slip stitch – it’s what gives your pickle that classic bend in the middle. And this video shows how to half double crochet. These slightly taller stitches are what give your pickle room on the back to make that bend.

Round 13 sl st in next 6 sts, [bbl in next st, sc in next 5 sts] 2 times (18)

This video shows how to bobble stitch.

Round 14 sl st in next 6 sts, sc in next 3 sts, hdc in next 6 sts, sc in next 3 sts. (18)

Round 15 sl st in next 6 sts, [sc in next 4 sts, bbl in next st] 2 times (18)

Rounds 16-23 Repeat rounds 4-7, twice.

Lightly stuff your pickle.

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

Round 25 [sc2tog] 6 times (6)

Add a bit more stuffing if needed and close up the top using your favorite method. I like the drawstring method – there’s a video here showing how. And here’s a video showing how to fasten off.

Bury the tail. Tie a ribbon to the top for hanging.

Congratulations! You have an adorable Christmas Pickle ornament!

Happy stitching!

Best,
Wendi

Christmas Ornament Kits Are Back In Stock!

I’ve received several requests to bring the felt ornament kits back in stock.

Your wish is my command!

You’ll find a very limited quantity of each kit in the shop – and I can pack up more if needed.

Get the 2014 collection here.

Christmas Club 2015 - a dozen fun felt ornament patterns from Shiny Happy World

Get the 2015 collection here.

Each kit contains all the felt and thread you’ll need for all 12 ornaments, plus all the pattern pieces already printed out on freezer paper or Sulky Sticky Fabri-solvy – whichever is called for for each piece. The step by step instructions are delivered by email.

Happy stitching!

Best,
Wendi

North Pole Quilt-Along

Ready for a fun project? We’re having a Quilt-Along through the end of the year!

Build a house! Or two. Or a whole neighborhood. 🙂

I’m going to make a quilt – but you can make anything you like. Here are a bunch of free patterns that would work great with these houses.

Get the Shiny Happy Houses quilt pattern here.

Get the free signs to make North Pole buildings here.

If you want to use that shimmery white fabric I used for the snowy ground, you can get that here.

I’m also going to add sashing strips between my rows of houses, to make an extra snowy landscape. ☃️

Tag your photos #WinterCAL2019 and post them to the Shiny Happy People group. The Winter Craft-Along is a larger craft-along for projects that use any Shiny Happy World or FreshStitches winter or holiday pattern. There will be lots of prizes in lots of different categories – including a prize just for North Pole projects.

Happy stitching! I can’t wait to see your houses!

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!

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

Free Santa’s Village Signs to Make a North Pole Quilt

applique buildings from the North Pole/Santa's Workshop

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!

I’ve been working on a super fun North Pole quilt by adding a bunch of cute Santa’s Village signs to houses and buildings made with the Shiny Happy Houses quilt pattern.

Free Santa's Village signs to make a North Pole quilt - from Shiny Happy World

It’s been so much fun!

Free Santa's Village signs to make a North Pole quilt - from Shiny Happy World

Now you can do the same thing!

Free Santa's Village signs to make a North Pole quilt - from Shiny Happy World

Get the Shiny Happy Houses quilt pattern here.

Click here to get the free pattern for all the signs  – there are 26 – plus a page of blank signs so you can come up with your own fun names. 🙂

The pattern for the signs includes instructions for how I do the lettering. It’s easy!

Free Santa's Village signs to make a North Pole quilt - from Shiny Happy World

I wanted everything in my quilt to look like it was made of candy. 🙂 Here are the fabrics I’m using. . .

Free Santa's Village signs to make a North Pole quilt - from Shiny Happy World

Happy quilting!

Best,
Wendi
Wendi Gratz from Shiny Happy World

Make Easy Felt Gift Tags

Easy Felt Gift Tags - a free tutorial from Shiny Happy World

Four years ago I posted a tutorial showing how I make reusable fabric gift bags. We don’t use any gift wrap anymore at the holidays – just these bags.

This was a really popular tutorial and people loved the bags – but I had a lot of people ask how we stuck tags to them.

I’m finally getting around to that post!

For a while we just used paper tags tucked into the ribbon – but that didn’t always stay in place, so a couple of years ago I made a bunch of felt tags and they’ve been AWESOME.

First – a note. Mine is a small family – just three of us – and we all have different initials. So for us it worked really well to just have tags with a first initial. You may need to adapt the idea a bit to work for YOUR family, but the basic technique can be used a lot of ways. 🙂

First cut a 3 inch square of felt.

Why 3 inches? It’s a number that allows me to get 12 squares out of a single sheet of felt with no waste. 🙂

Cut out the felt letter you need. I used this free alphabet pattern.

It’s easy to cut shapes like those letters if you use freezer paper.

  1. Trace the letter onto the paper side of the freezer paper
  2. Fuse the shiny side of the paper to the felt.
  3. Cut out the letter – cutting through the felt and the paper at the same time for super accuracy
  4. Peel off the paper and use it again.

Stick the letter to the felt square with a dab of glue stick. Sew around the letter using a simple straight stitch on your sewing machine. You could also hand sew the letter in place using fancier stitches, but I wanted to make a big stack of these in an afternoon. (Keep reading for a no-sew option.)

Cut a slit in the felt on each side of the letter.

Easy Felt Gift Tags - a free tutorial from Shiny Happy World

I don’t measure these or worry too much about precision – most of the slits are about an inch tall, and roughly half an inch from the edge of the felt.

Done!

Now – here’s how I use them.

I make two kinds of bags. The main kind – the ones I use most often – have the ribbon sewn to the top edge of the bag. They’re designed for the ribbon to wrap all the way around the gift, like this. . .

Fabric Gift Bags - free tutorial from Shiny Happy World

For those I just slide the tag onto the ribbon anywhere on the front of the package. It looks like this. . .

Easy Felt Gift Tags - a free tutorial from Shiny Happy World

This is a gift for Jo. 🙂

The other kind of bag I make has the ribbon sewn into a side seam near the top of the bag. Those bags are meant to gather up at the top like a classic Santa sack, with the ribbon tied around the neck of the bag – not the gift itself.

For those I thread the tag onto one of the loops before I finish tying the bow. Here’s what it looks like.

Easy Felt Gift Tags - a free tutorial from Shiny Happy World

Another gift for Jo! 🙂

Both ways are super easy, and post-gift-opening cleanup is a breeze. The ribbons are attached to the bags, so I just fold up the bags, and make a little stack of the tags. The bags and the tags all fit in one small plastic tub – maybe the size of two shoe-boxes. 🙂

Here are links to everything you need. . .

I like the way the stitching looks, but you could make a completely no-sew version using Heat & Bond Ultrahold fusible adhesive. Remember – this is the heaviest weight they make and you should NOT sew through it. (It will gunk up your needle.) If you use this option, you’ll need to fuse a little hotter/longer than the package directions say in order for the heat to fully penetrate the thick felt and melt the adhesive. Everyone’s iron is a little different, so just experiment with temperature and time until you get a solid fuse.

Happy crafting!

Best,
Wendi
Wendi Gratz from Shiny Happy World

Wednesday Swoon! Christmas Tree Ornaments

Swoon! Christmas tree ornaments collected by Shiny Happy World

I’m bringing back the Swoon!

What’s the Swoon? Simple. It’s me swooning over things other people have made. 🙂

I used to do this all the time (I keep finding them when I go through the archives for the newsletter) and I think it’s time to bring them back.

This week’s theme is felt Christmas tree ornaments. There are so many cute ones out there! None of these are patterns – the links (these are affiliate links) go to listings where you buy the actual ornament.

Top Row

Middle Row

Bottom Row

Plus one extra-special swoon for this adorable Needle-Felted Mouse from MillaKnitt.

Needle-felted mouse from MillaKnitt

He’s far more expensive than the other items I collected – but look at the detail! The craftsmanship! The cuteness!

I’m swooning. 🙂

Best,
Wendi
Wendi Gratz from Shiny Happy World

Join Us in a Holiday Craft-Along!

Holiday CAL 2017 - Shiny Happy World and FreshStitches

Did you see the big Shiny Happy World/FreshStitches news?

One of the things they do really well over at FreshStitches is Craft-Alongs. The big alliance won’t be official until January 1st – but we’re jumping in now with a shared holiday Craft-Along! 🙂

Join in the fun!

It’s easy.

Pick a holiday pattern. Any holiday pattern from Shiny Happy World or FreshStitches. It can be a Christmas pattern or a winter pattern or a new year’s pattern – whatever you and your family celebrate at this time of year. (It can be a free pattern or a pattern from the shops. Keep reading below for some suggestions and links.)

Hop on over to the Shiny Happy People and tell us that you’re participating and what you’re making. You can share photos of your materials and your work in progress as we go along. We’d love to see bits and pieces as you make it!

There’s a Holiday CAL post pinned to the top of the Shiny Happy People page – so it will be the first thing everyone sees. 🙂

With about a week to go until the end of December we’ll pin a new post to the top of the page – a new one especially for sharing your finished project. Entries close on December 31 and we’ll pick a winner from all the photos/comments on the new post. There will be a prize!

Squee! Prizes!

Here are some pattern ideas with links for more. . .

Christmas Amigurumi Patterns

Make a holiday amigurumi! Scroll through all the FreshStitches patterns here.

Christmas Quilt patterns from Shiny Happy World

Make a Christmas quilt – or a tote bag, stocking, or something else with some Christmas applique on it. All of my Christmas quilt patterns are free and you can find them here. You can find other quilt patterns here.

Christmas Dress Up Bunch doll patterns from Shiny Happy World

Make something seasonal for your Dress Up Bunch doll! You can find all the patterns for dolls and doll clothes here.

Christmas Felt Ornament Patterns from Shiny Happy World

Stitch up a Christmas ornament! You can buy discounted bundles in the sets as shown – but all the patterns are also available individually so you can pick and choose your favorites. Find them all here. You can also find a few free ornament patterns here.

Christmas embroidery patterns from Shiny Happy World

Do a little festive embroidery! You can find all the free patterns here, and all the patterns in the shop here.

No matter what your craft of choice is and what holiday you celebrate – Shiny Happy World and FreshStitches are sure to have a pattern for you. And we can’t wait to see what you make!

Happy crafting!

Best,
Wendi
Wendi Gratz from Shiny Happy World