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

Turn Any Quilt Block Patterns into Cute Coasters – an easy tutorial

Turn any Quilt Block Patterns into Cute Coasters - tutorial from Shiny Happy World

I love getting all the mileage I can out of my quilt patterns – using them for lots of other projects besides quilts.

I’ve got a whole page here where I’m collecting all kinds of different ideas for things you can make – with links to more info and tutorials. 🙂

One of my favorite things to make is felt coasters. I’ve got them scattered all over my house, in lots of different designs. The cats you see above are some of my favorites!

It’s super easy.

Choose the design you want to use and print that pattern page out at 40% size. Any square block from any of my patterns.

Your print window may look slightly different than this (it’s different for every computer, printer, and operating system) but it should be similar.

Print digital patterns at 100% for the correct size.

Look for something like that “scale” entry. It will probably default to 100%, but you can change it to anything you like. Change it to 40%.

From this point on, follow the instructions you’ll find at this post showing how to make some cute bear coasters. (And if you want to try out the technique – those bear patterns are free.) You can use those instructions to make cute coasters from any of my square quilt block patterns. Just reduce the pattern size to 40%. 🙂

Happy stitching!

Best,
Wendi

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

Mini Stockings Advent Calendar Pattern

Mini Stockings Advent Calendar Pattern from Shiny Happy World

The Mini Stockings Advent Calendar pattern is finished and it was so much fun to make!

You get patterns for 25 mini stockings – just the right size to hold candy, small toys, gift cards and more. Open a stocking every night to count down the days until Christmas!

One of my favorite things about this pattern is that you’re getting 25 different repeat patterns that are very easy to stitch. (I only used the four most basic stitches – all of which are covered in my free Embroidery 101 class. The pattern also has links to the how-to videos for all of them.)

You can use these designs on so many other projects! I’ll be showing some samples of other things you can make in the weeks to come. 🙂

My other favorite thing is that you stitch the designs on a grid – which makes it so easy to get your stitches perfect! Here’s an example of what one stocking looks like all stitched up, before I soak away the Sulky Sticky Fabri-solvy.

Mini Stockings Advent Calendar Pattern from Shiny Happy World

See how easy it is to get the stitch length perfect and the spacing perfect?

And here’s that same stocking after soaking.

Mini Stockings Advent Calendar Pattern from Shiny Happy World

I just love how those thread colors glow against the dark purple felt!

Speaking of colors – I stitched all of my samples using the Tutti Frutti felt and thread bundles – but you could do any colors you like!

This red thread on white felt is so fresh and pepperminty!

Mini Stockings Advent Calendar Pattern from Shiny Happy World

And I especially love the way the white thread on Tahitian sunset felt looks like royal icing on gingerbread. 🙂

Mini Stockings Advent Calendar Pattern from Shiny Happy World

Your family will pull hang this advent calendar every year and have so much fun finding surprises in the stockings every night!

Are you ready to stitch up an heirloom?

Get the Mini Stockings Advents Calendar pattern here. 🙂

Happy stitching!

Best,
Wendi
Wendi Gratz from Shiny Happy World

Mini Stockings Advent Calendar Pattern – all your questions answered

Mini Stockings Advent Calendar Pattern - from Shiny Happy World

I’ve been stitching away at the Mini Stockings Advent Calendar and I’ve been getting a lot of questions about it. I thought I’d pull together all of my answers in one handy place. 🙂

How big are the stockings?

They’re definitely mini stockings. Each stocking is about 4 inches wide and 5 inches tall – at the widest and tallest points. The “leg” of the stocking is 3 inches wide. I made sure it was big enough to slip in a gift card. Maybe one of the goodies is a gift card for a movie night?

How long do they take to stitch?

It depends on the design. Some take me only an hour. Some take more like three hours. And I’m a fairly slow and careful stitcher.

How hard is the stitching?

Really easy. Even if the pattern looks complex, it’s actually made of very simple stitches. And the fact that they’re stitched on a grid makes it soooo easy to get perfectly spaced stitches – even if you’ve never embroidered before.

What’s that filmy stuff on the felt?

That is Sulky Sticky Fabri-solvy – my very favorite embroidery supply. You print the pattern onto it, peel off the paper back, and stick it to the felt. Then you stitch right through the felt and the stabilizer. When you’re done stitching you soak it in cold water and it dissolves away. It’s pure magic. I have a post here that shows in more detail how awesome it is for working with felt.

Is every stocking a different pattern?

Yes – you’re getting a total of 25 different geometric patterns.

Why is there a sheet of plain grid paper in the pattern?

That’s so you can use the same geometric patterns in other designs. Like maybe stitch a monogram letter filled in with your favorite pattern? Or the silhouette of a favorite animal? Or trace a cookie cutter, use brown felt, and stitch the design in white thread like icing?

Do I have to stitch the numbers? I’d rather use the little stockings as gift tags/tree ornaments.

Of course not! The pattern also includes a page of three stocking with just the grid – no numbers.

Can I machine sew the stocking front to the back?

Yes! Just use a simple straight stitch and matching thread, and stitch really close to the edge.

Can I get those tiny clothespins?

Yes! You can get them here.

Where did you get that red and white twisted cord?

I got it at Joann’s a few years ago and I use it for all my ornament hanging loops. It was in the section of cotton yarn – the stuff people use to knit or crochet dish cloths.

Can you show some examples of the designs in different colors?

Sure. I’m using the Tutti Frutti felt and thread bundles for my samples, but I stitched up a couple of individual stockings in other colors for you to see.

Sample Mini Stockings from the Shiny Happy World Advent Calendar pattern

These two use felt from the Enchanted Forest felt bundle with white thread. I thought that would be a really nice “snowy woods” kind of collection. 🙂 And the first stocking (the white thread on Tahitian sunset felt) looks just like gingerbread to me. A whole set done as gingerbread stockings would be terrific!

Classic red and white stockings from the Mini Stockings Advent Calendar pattern from Shiny Happy World

I also love these classic red and white stockings. Easy peasy! Red thread on white felt. 🙂

I haven’t had a chance to stitch up samples yet, but I also think these would look great in this Frosty Pastels palette.

frosty pastels palette from Shiny Happy World

What are some ideas to fill the stockings?

The sky (and three inches!) is the limit. 🙂 Candy or small toys would be great. A little note in each stocking with a favorite family activity would be fun. Maybe a little pack of cocoa and the name of a favorite Christmas book to read aloud. I’ll post this to the Shiny Happy People group and see if other have fun family traditions they can share.

I hope that answers all your questions! If you have any others, just ask and I’ll add the answers to this post. 🙂

Get your Mini Stockings Advent Calendar pattern here and stitch along with us!

Happy stitching!

Best,
Wendi
Wendi Gratz from Shiny Happy World

Add a Name and Date to Your Felt Ornaments

Free ABC Pattern and Instructions to Personalize the Back of a Felt OrnamentAll my ornament patterns have solid felt backs – no applique or embroidery. That makes it the perfect spot to add a name or date!

In my family and in my husband’s family, it was a tradition to give handmade ornaments to the kids every year. Having our names on them somewhere was absolutely necessary since we both have siblings. 🙂

Now that I’m a grown-up with my own daughter it’s fantastic to have those dates too. She loves knowing how old we were when we got each ornament and who made them for us. 🙂

It’s easy to add a bit of embroidery to the back of your felt ornaments. Here’s how.

Download the ABC pattern I used here. You can also choose to type up your name and date and adjust the size and choose the font – but be sure to choose a font that’s mostly straight lines with minimal tight curves so it’s easy to embroider.

Now grab a piece of Sulky Sticky Fabri-solvy.

This is a great use for any small scraps you’ve saved. 🙂

Draw a straight line to use as a guide to line the letters or numbers up, then trace them onto the stabilizer.

Free ABC Pattern and Instructions to Personalize the Back of a Felt Ornament

Peel off the backing, stick the stabilizer to the felt, and stitch right through it.

Free ABC Pattern and Instructions to Personalize the Back of a Felt Ornament

I used backstitch with three strands of white thread.

I traced the date in pencil. It can be a bit hard to see, but there’s NO chance of it bleeding on the white thread. Most pens bleed a lot – test yours or use a pencil.

After you’re done stitching, soak off the stabilizer in cold water and lay the piece flat to dry.

Finish making your ornament according to the pattern instructions. (You can find all the Shiny Happy World ornament patterns here. More coming later this week!)

Free ABC Pattern and Instructions to Personalize the Back of a Felt Ornament

Now you’ll always remember when you made it!

Happy stitching!

Best,
Wendi
Wendi Gratz from Shiny Happy World

Easter Craft Ideas – Free Embroidered Felt Egg Pattern

Easter Craft Ideas - make a pretty embroidered felt egg with this free patternLooking for some easy and fun Easter craft ideas?

You (yes, you!) can stitch up a lovely felt egg just like this one. What do you need? Some felt. Preferably wool felt. It’s dreamy to stitch on and you can find it in gorgeous colors here.

You’ll need embroidery thread. Use any colors you like – either an assortment of colors like the sample above, or one color for a very simple, classic egg.

You’ll need a needle. I stitched my sample with three strands of thread – for that I recommend a #5 or a #8 needle, available here.

You’ll need the pattern – of course. Download that here. It’s full-sized, so no enlarging needed.

You’ll need a bit of stuffing. A handful of cotton balls will do the trick.

Finally, there are a couple of optional items that I strongly recommend to make your stitchy life better. Sulky Sticky Fabri-solvy is fantastic for transferring patterns to felt (as you’ll see below) and Thread Heaven just makes your thread behave really nicely.

Do you have questions about working with felt? I answer a bunch of common questions here – including info about how to transfer an embroidery pattern to felt.

Here’s how to make it. . .

Step 1

Download the pattern here. Print or trace the pattern pieces onto Sulky Sticky Fabri-solvy. (Learn more about how to use this fabulous stuff here.)

Step 2

Rough cut around each piece and stick it to the felt.

Step 3

Embroider the design. You’ll be stitching right through both the stabilizer and the felt. I used a combination of the following stitches – the links below take you to videos teaching you how to do them if you’re new to embroidery.

Easter craft ideas - free tutorial to make a pretty embroidered felt egg

I used three strands of thread for all my stitching. It’s all white thread on Norwegian blue felt. The top sample used straw felt.

Repeat for all four wedge shapes.

Step 4

After you’re done with all the embroidery, cut the four pieces out neatly on the outline.

Easter craft ideas - make a pretty felt Easter egg

Step 5

Soak off the stabilizer. This is the magical part! Drop the pieces face down in a bowl of cold water and let them sit there for about an hour. The stabilizer will get all mushy and soft. Rinse it off under cold running water. If any bits are stubborn, just hit them with a kitchen sprayer and that should do the trick. Don’t rub the surface of the felt – just let the running water do its thing.

Easter craft ideas - pretty felt egg pieces waiting to be stitched together

Set them flat on a towel and let them dry. Don’t wring them out, twist them, or even smoosh them. Just lay them sopping wet on a towel and let them dry.

Step 6

Place two egg pieces wrong sides together and stitch them together along one edge. I used running stitch, which leaves a nice ridge that I like along the seams of the egg. If you want a smoother finish you can use whipstitch instead.

Easter craft ideas - two embroidered egg pieces stitched together

Repeat for the second pair of pieces.

It’s easy to mix up the ends – one is a little pointer than the other and has a bit more lattice. Make sure you put matching ends together.

Step 7

Put your pairs together (make sure the matching ends are together) and sew the last two seams. Leave a couple of inches of the last seam open for stuffing.

Easter craft ideas - embroidered egg is almost finished

It will be easiest to sew your egg together if you let it collapse into a deflated football kind of shape.

Step 8

Stuff your egg and finish sewing up the opening.

Easter craft ideas - free tutorial for a pretty embroidered felt egg

You can totally make this!

Looking for more Easter craft ideas? Click here for all kinds of Easter crafts – sewing, quilting, crochet and embroidery. 🙂

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 stitching!

Best,
Wendi
That's me!

Easter Craft Ideas - make a pretty embroidered felt egg with this free tutorial from Shiny Happy World

A Very Fancy Coat for the Dress Up Bunch Dolls

Frozen Fancies - patterns for doll dress, coat, hat and boots

The first time I watched the movie Frozen I spent most of the time with my mouth hanging open. It was just so beautiful!

The second time I watched it I was watching it alone, so I could pause at will to study the beautiful costumes and backgrounds. 🙂

This outfit is inspired by Frozen. It’s not a direct copy of anything (because that’s totally illegal) but the rich dark colors with pops of bright details and traditional embellishment are right out of my favorite parts of the movie. It looks very fancy, but it’s still very easy to make – using just two embroidery stitches. And if you can’t (or don’t) stitch by hand this would be a great chance for you to use some of the fancy decorative stitches on your sewing machine!

I hope you have a lot of fun with this one!

There’s a new dress – long sleeves with a dropped waist and a very full skirt.

a very pretty dress with long sleeves, fancy trim and a very full skirt - part of the Frozen Fancies pattern collection from Shiny Happy World

Hit the fancy trims section of your fabric store and find something fun to embellish the skirt with. I just love the look of this braid!

There are some very fancy boots.

fancy embroidered felt boots - part of the Frozen Fancies pattern collection from Shiny Happy World

I love how the flowers in the front look like flowers, but also suggest old-fashioned boot buttons.

There’s a fun hat.

Embroidered hat with a cute felt pompom - part of the Frozen Fancies pattern collection from Shiny Happy World

I love that felt pompom. 🙂

And, of course, there’s the coat.

Fancy schmancy embroidered felt coat for dolls - part of the Frozen Fancies pattern collection from Shiny Happy World

I want a coat like that! In those exact colors!

Ready to sew up some cozy winter wear?

Get the pattern collection here.

Happy stitching!

Best,
Wendi
That's me!

2015 Christmas Collection

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

The 2015 Christmas Collection is finished! All twelve fun and easy felt ornaments. 🙂

You’ll find two options for it in the shop. . .

  1. The PDF pattern. All twelve patterns in one 85-page PDF. It has each pattern complete – plus the last few pages have all the pattern pieces for all the ornaments grouped for efficient printing. There’s one page to be printed on Sulky Sticky Fabri-solvy and six pages to be printed on freezer paper (grouped by color for easy ironing). Every single piece is labeled so it’s easy to group them back together again.
  2. The PDF pattern + materials kit. It includes 10 sheets of my favorite wool-blend felt, 10 skeins of embroidery thread perfectly matched to the felt, all the pattern pieces printed out on Sulky Sticky Fabri-solvy or freezer paper (depending on what the pattern calls for), and the red and white baker’s twine I used for all the hanging loops. And, of course, you get an instant download of the entire PDF pattern. Handy dandy!

Get the patterns here.

Also – the 2014 collection is available here.

Happy stitching!

Best,
Wendi
That's me!

Meet Palmer Penguin – a doll-sized softie or Christmas ornament

Palmer Penguin - a simple softie or ornament pattern from Shiny Happy World

When I released the new Winter PJs pattern for the Dress Up Bunch dolls, a few people asked if I could release the penguin softie pattern separately.

Sure!

And I decided to go one better and release a kit as well! You can get the pattern or the kit here.

In addition to being the perfect doll-sized stuffed animal, this little cutie also makes a great Christmas tree ornament or gift topper.

Turn any small felt softie into a Christmas tree ornament. Just add a hanging loop!

Just cut a 10″ piece of embroidery thread or thin yarn, thread it through the top of the head, and knot it into a loop. Instant ornament!

There are two more small felt patterns in the shop that would also make terrific Christmas tree ornaments.

Freddie - a doll-sized teddy bear pattern from Shiny Happy World

You can get the Freddie pattern or kit here. Every tree needs a teddy bear. 🙂

Maurice Mouse pattern from Shiny Happy World

Or maybe you want to go classic, with “not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.” Get the Maurice Mouse pattern or kit here.

All three of these cuties are super simple to make – no machine needed and just the very simplest stitches. Have fun with them!

Happy stitching!

Best,
Wendi
That's me!