October Free Desktop Wallpaper

Happy October!

It’s Monster Month! Woo hoo!

I love monsters, but I try to keep it in check most of the time. I know you don’t want monster patterns every month!

But in October, I let loose with All The Monsters, All The Time. 😄

Download your wallpaper below. There are options both with and without the October calendar.

That monster is one of the blocks in the Mix & Match Monsters quilt pattern.

Isn’t that purple batik I used for his body fabulous? Batik is especially lovely for applique. It’s usually a very tight weave so it tends not to fray, and the little bit of fraying that occurs is practically invisible because batiks are dyed all the way through, so there are no white threads on the fabric back. Look for some colorful batik fat quarter bundles in the shop later this month!

Have a terrific month!

Best,
Wendi

September Free Desktop Wallpaper

Happy September!

That fairy is the new Ami Club pattern for the month. Isn’t she adorable? I was so tickled when she was finished that I had to go out and photograph her in some greenery and flowers. And I loved the photo so much that I had to make it my desktop wallpaper for the month! 🙂

Download your wallpaper below – there are options both with and without the September calendar.

If you want the Flit the Fairy pattern, join Ami Club here. It’s just $4 a month and you’ll get immediate access to download the pattern. She’s easy to make!

Have a great month!

Best,
Wendi

Make a Fancy Felt Frame – free tutorial

I had so much fun with the Bears in the Hills project that I immediately needed another way to play with felt applique and embroidery. I had been having glimmers of an idea about using traditional quilt patterns as felt applique and I thought it would be fun to do that as a frame around one of my applique patterns.

It was so much fun to make that I decided to put together a tutorial showing how to make the frame. I want you to be able to use it in combination with any of my applique patterns you already have. I’m always looking for ways you can get more use out of your library of patterns. 😄

So here we go!

This layout works for two different possibilities. If you want the full rectangle, use a double-sized sheet of felt (I carry them now in the shop in some colors) and a 12″ x 18″ frame. That’s a standard size I know for sure you can get at Michaels because I checked over the weekend. 😄

If you want just a square frame around your square image, ignore the blue striped parts of the image and use a 12″ x 12″ frame – also a standard size.

What You’ll Need

One 12″ x 18″ sheet of felt for the background. I highly recommend wool-rayon blend or bamboo felt. Don’t use acrylic felt – it will pill and look grubby before you even finish making it. This is the felt I use in all my projects.

Assorted felt colors for the other parts. I used the following colors. . .

  • ruby red slippers (background)
  • grape jelly (purple triangles)
  • blue snow (blue stripes)
  • sandstone (cat)
  • Tahitian sunset (cat stripes)
  • black (cat nose)
  • shocking pink (polkadots)

Thread to match all the applique pieces. (I use this Invisafil 100 wt. thread.)

Thick black thread to embroider the eyes and mouth. (I use this.)

Other thick thread for fancy embellishment. (I used this Razzle rayon thread. I love how the shine looks against the wool felt.)

Glue stick to hold the applique pieces in place. (This is my favorite.)

Optional – I like to use a Q-snap frame for this kind of handwork, so I bought a couple of extenders for my 17-inch frame so it could go all the way to 20 inches. I also used some cheap muslin as a base for my felt so I didn’t need to catch the felt in the clamps.

That’s it!

Prep the Pieces

You’ll need to cut some strips, triangles and circles from your felt.

For the triangles, cut four strips of felt 1″ wide and 12″ long. From each strip, cut 1″ squares. You need a total of 40. Cut each square in half on the diagonal to get 80 triangles.

For the blue stripes, cut 8 strips 1/4″ wide and 12″ long.

For the pink polkadots, cut nineteen 1/2″ circles. (I buy mine pre-cut from Woolhearts on Etsy.)

Choose your pattern for inside the frame and print it at 80% size. I used one of the cats from the Cuddly Cats quilt pattern, but changed his eyes to happy sleeping eyes. There are also a bunch of free patterns available here. Cut out all the pieces. (I like to print mine on freezer paper to make it easier to cut out the pieces accurately.)

Put It All Together

I started by gluing my large background sheet of felt to some cheap muslin so I could easily hoop it without covering up any of the stitch area. Here you can see my piece in its hoop.

I used a couple of batting scraps under the clamps to give them more to grab onto, since the muslin was pretty thin.

Next I started to arrange the cut pieces onto the background felt. Here’s the plan. . .

Each square in the grid is 1/4 inch. I don’t like to mark on felt, so I used a ruler as a guide to position my pieces.

Here you can see that I’ve laid the ruler across the bottom of the background piece so that the top edge of the ruler is exactly 3 inches up from the bottom edge of the felt. That’s where I lay down the purple triangles in a pinwheel arrangement. I originally positioned one triangle in each inch of the background felt, but I photographed this after I finished all the stitching – which draws up the width a little bit. (You can see that the finished width is now a smidge less than 12 inches, which throws off the alignment of the triangles a bit – but you get the idea.)

Once you get the bottom row of triangles in place, it’s easy to build out the rest of the pinwheel frame. When you’re happy with how it’s all laid out, glue each piece in place with a swipe of glue stick.

Use the ruler as a guide to position all the skinny blue stripes as shown in the diagram and glue in place.

Position your face. I shifted mine a bit to the right, just to make things more interesting.

Sprinkle some polkadots in the background and glue them down too.

Once the glue is dry – hoop it up and start whipstitching all the pieces in place. This video shows how I whipstitch applique felt.

Once you get all the pieces whipstitched in place, it’s time to have fun with the embellishment.

I used backstitch to embroider the cat’s eyes and mouth.

I used darker blue straight stitches to stripe the stripes.

I used three lazy daisy stitches in each triangle.

I used simple running stitches in the pink negative-space triangles in the pinwheels and also in the spaces between the blue stripes.

I used straight stitches arranged like spokes in each polkadot, and French knots scattered around the polkadots.

Here you can see all the different types of embellishment stitching I used, in one close-up shot.

I’m definitely not a member of The Back Is As Neat As The Front Club – though this isn’t bad at all for me.

And that’s it!

You can frame your finished piece, make it into a wall hanging, a pillow cover, a tote bag, or more. Have fun with it!

Happy stitching!

Best,
Wendi

August Wallpaper

Happy August!

We just wrapped up a Beach Craft-Along so I had swimming on the brain – and decided I needed to make a water buffalo for this month’s Ami Club pattern.

A water buffalo who can’t swim yet, so he needs a swim ring. 🙂

I was so tickled with the results that I decided to make him this month’s calendar. 🙂

(I named my water buffalo Walter after my grandfather. That’s why he has the super high-waisted swim trunks. That was the fashion in my grandpa’s day. 🙂 You can, of course, switch to buffalo-colored yarn a few rows before I did if you want your buffalo to look a little more contemporary.)

Download your wallpaper below – there are options both with and without the August calendar.

If you want the Walter the Water Buffalo pattern, join Ami Club here. It’s just $4 a month and you’ll get immediate access to download the pattern.

Have a great month!

Best,
Wendi

April Wallpaper

free penguin calendar April 2019

Happy April!

I made a cute pink penguin for this month’s calendar. 🙂

The pattern is Paxton Penguin – the current Funny Faces Quilt Block of the Month Club pattern.

The color palette is the Pretty Pinks fabric bundle. I like the colors so much that I think I’m going to use it for every month’s block pattern. I’ll end up with a pretty pink quilt with lots of different funny faces. 🙂

Download your wallpaper below – there are options both with and without the April 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!

Here are some of those links I promised. . .

Have a great month! And happy stitching!

Best,
Wendi

March Wallpaper

Happy March!

Easter is coming soon, so I used the new Ami Club bunny pattern for the calendar this month. Meet Boone Bunny!

Download your wallpaper below – there are options both with and without the March 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!

Here are some of those links I promised. . .

Have a great month! And happy stitching!

Best,
Wendi

February Wallpaper

Happy February!

This year is the Year of the Pig – so for our calendar I used the pig block from the Noisy Farm quilt, with some cool glasses from the Fancy Doodads pattern. So cute!

Download your wallpaper below – there are options both with and without the February 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!

Here are some of those links I promised. . .

Have a great month! And happy stitching!

Best,
Wendi

Happy January! New Wallpaper and What’s Coming this Month

Happy January! Happy New Year!

For this month’s wallpaper I decided to revisit one of my favorite projects – these little beanbag mice. They were so much fun to make in a rainbow of colors! Did you know that a group of mice is called a mischief? Get the pattern here.

Download your wallpaper below – there are options both with and without the January 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!

Here are some of those links I promised. . .

Have a great month! And happy stitching!

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!

Milo Mouse is the Ami Club pattern for December. Sign up here and you’ll get instant access to the pattern – plus other member benefits. 🙂

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