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

Free January Calendar

jan-2017-1280x800

Happy January!

This is one of my favorite January projects. Mine hangs on my studio wall to remind me to start every day with a good attitude. 🙂

It’s a free pattern if you want to make one for yourself! Get it here.

Here’s the free wallpaper for the month in common sizes for computers, tablets and phones. . .

Download the 2560×1440 wallpaper.
Download the 1920×1280 wallpaper.
Download the 1280×800 wallpaper.
Download the iPhone wallpaper.
Download the iPad wallpaper.

I don’t have an iDevice, but I’ve heard that changing the wallpaper on iPhones and iPads can be tricky if you’ve never done it before. Here’s a tutorial I found that looks pretty clear.

Enjoy!

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

Free September Desktop and Device Wallpaper

Free September wallpaper from Shiny Happy World

Happy September!

I made this sweet elephant for Mollie (a Dress Up Bunch doll) to snuggle up with under her new quilt. I liked it so much that it became this month’s wallpaper image!

If you want to make your own you can get the pattern here. That pattern is part of a collection that also includes a doll nightgown and quilt. It would also make a terrific (and easy) Christmas tree ornament. 🙂

Here’s the free wallpaper in common sizes for computers, tablets and phones. . .

Download the 2560×1440 wallpaper.
Download the 1920×1280 wallpaper.
Download the 1280×800 wallpaper.
Download the iPhone wallpaper.
Download the iPad wallpaper.

Enjoy!

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

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

March 2016 Computer Wallpaper

March digital wallpaper from Shiny Happy World

Happy March! Does it feel like spring where you are? It’s been nice here in North Carolina, but there’s snow in the forecast for later this week.

This year Easter in March 27 – the perfect time to put some pretty embroidered eggs on your screen. These are from the Spring Fling pattern collection for the Dress Up Bunch. They were so much fun to stitch!

And here’s the free wallpaper in common sizes for computers, tablets and phones. . .

Download the 2560×1440 wallpaper.
Download the 1920×1280 wallpaper.
Download the 1280×800 wallpaper.
Download the iPhone wallpaper.
Download the iPad wallpaper.

I don’t have an iDevice, but I’ve heard that changing the wallpaper on iPhones and iPads can be tricky if you’ve never done it before. Here’s a tutorial I found that looks pretty clear.

Enjoy!

Best,
Wendi
That's me!

Easter Crafts You Can Make – Sewing, Quilting and Embroidery Patterns

Easter crafts - easy (and sometimes free!) sewing, quilting and embroidery patterns from Shiny Happy World

Easter is early this year – March 27 – so it’s time to start thinking about your Easter Crafts. What do you want to make?

I could just link to the Easter section of my shop – but then you wouldn’t see all the fun free patterns that are available!

(And there are a lot of them.)

So I created this handy dandy round-up post with all the patterns for all my favorite Easter crafts. Just click on the image to go to that project!

Easter Stuffed Animals

Some are big and huggable. Some are small and pocketable. They’re all easy and fun to make.

Easter Felt Projects

Spend a lovely spring afternoon stitching one of these by hand.

Easter Quilt Blocks

Make a kajillion bunnies with a fun mix & match pattern.

Easter Embroidery patterns

Stitch them on tea towels, baby onesies and more.

Other Easter Sewing Patterns

Including Dress Up Bunch dolls and clothes!

Of course, there are lots of spring-themed patterns too – but I stuck to Easter crafts for this post. 🙂

So whether you like to sew, quilt or embroider – stitch by machine or by hand – I’ve got an Easter craft pattern for you. Have fun with them and be sure to share what you make in the Shiny Happy People group on Facebook!

Happy Easter! Happy spring! Happy stitching!

Best,
Wendi
That's me!

Easter crafts - easy (and sometimes free!) sewing, quilting and embroidery patterns from Shiny Happy World

February 2016 Desktop Calendar

February 2016 desktop calendar from Shiny Happy World

Happy February! It’s a lovely time to be thinking about love. 🙂 The pattern for the hearts on the new February 2016 desktop calendar is from the 2015 Valentine’s Day collection, worked in a new color palette for this year – in case you want to stitch up a few lovely hearts for yourself. 🙂

And here’s the free wallpaper in common sizes for computers, tablets and phones. . .

Download the 2560×1440 wallpaper.
Download the 1920×1280 wallpaper.
Download the 1280×800 wallpaper.
Download the iPhone wallpaper.
Download the iPad wallpaper.

I don’t have an iDevice, but I’ve heard that changing the wallpaper on iPhones and iPads can be tricky if you’ve never done it before. Here’s a tutorial I found that looks pretty clear.

Enjoy!

Best,
Wendi
That's me!

Pretty Embroidered Felt Hearts – Easy Valentine Crafts

Pretty Valentine's Day felt hearts for 2016

These easy embroidered felt hearts are such lovely Valentine crafts!

I had a ton of fun remaking the 2015 Valentine’s Day heart collection in these classic colors. 🙂

At first I was a tiny bit worried they’d be too grade-school-construction-paper-Valentine-looking but I’m so in love with how they turned out!

The pattern has instructions for four different projects you can make with them, but I think I’m going to turn them all into a set of coasters.

Pretty Valentine's Day felt hearts for 2016

I love how they look as a group!

Get the pattern for all four hearts here.

Happy stitching!

Best,
Wendi
That's me!