Maxwell Monster Crochet Pattern Is in the Shop

Maxwell Monster is probably my favorite crochet pattern I’ve ever designed.

That goofy underbite! Those meaty paws! The hairy ears!

I just love everything about him. 🙂

He was the October 2018 Ami Club pattern and now he’s available to everyone!

Get the pattern here.

Want to join Ami Club? Members get all the new patterns first – and they get them at a discount! Join here.

Happy stitching!


Free Trick or Treat Bag Tutorial

Trick or Treat Bag - a free pattern from Shiny Happy World

Need to whip up a super easy bag for trick or treating this year?

Then I have the pattern for you!

It’s fully lined (which actually makes construction easier), requires no hand sewing, can be made with any of my square quilt block patterns with no resizing – and you can make it in an hour or less. 🙂

This project will work with any of my square applique patterns. If you’re using someone else’s pattern, you may need to resize it to fit a 10 inch square.

I’m using two monsters from the Scary Squares monster quilt pattern.

If you have a witch who needs a black cat, you could use the free Spooky Cat applique pattern.

If you have a farmer who needs a few farm animals, you could use any of the blocks in the Noisy Farm pattern.

If you just want to customize it with a name or Halloween greeting, use a fun Halloween print fabric and this free alphabet applique pattern.

The sky is the limit!

What You’ll Need

  • 1/2 yard medium weight fabric for the main bag (I used black cotton twill)
  • 1/2 yard light weight fabric for the lining (I used a Halloween novelty print)
  • fusible adhesive (I recommend Heat & Bond Lite)
  • fabric for your applique (I used prints from the Rainbow Brights and Little Stripes fat quarter bundles – plus a bit of black and white solid)
  • black thread
  • applique pattern of your choice

Cutting Instructions

  • Cut two 11″ x 11″ squares from the main fabric.
  • Cut two 11″ x 11″ squares from the lining fabric.
  • Cut two 14″ x 4″ rectangle from the main fabric for the handles.

Put It All Together

Step 1

Applique the main fabric squares with the design of your choice. If it’s one of my portrait designs, make sure the cut edge of the body is lined up with the bottom edge of the square.

Trick or Treat Bag - a free pattern from Shiny Happy World

Trick or Treat Bag - a free pattern from Shiny Happy World

If you’ve never done applique with fusible adhesive, it’s super easy! You’ll find instructions with video links in any of my patterns, and there’s a general video tutorial here.

Step 2

Fold the rectangles for the handles into double-fold strips and press.

There’s a video here showing how to do that if it’s new for you.

Stitch through all the layers down each long edge.

Trick or Treat Bag - a free pattern from Shiny Happy World

Set the handles aside.

Step 3

Layer the two lining pieces right sides together. Sew down one side, across the bottom, and up the other side using 1/4″ seam allowance.

Trick or Treat Bag - a free pattern from Shiny Happy World

I clipped the corners here out of habit, but you don’t need to do that. They’re about to get chopped off in the next step.

Repeat for the two main bag pieces.

Step 4

Box the corners  of the lining so the bag is 1 inch deep

Trick or Treat Bag - a free pattern from Shiny Happy World

If you’ve never sewn boxed corners before, this video will show you how.

Repeat for the main bag.

Step 5

Fold the bag in half to find the center of the top edge.

Pin the handles to the bag so that the inside edge of the handle is 2 inches from the center pin, and the raw edge of the handle is lined up with the raw edge of the bag.

Pin the handles in place on both sides of the main bag. You can baste them in place if you like, but I usually just hold them with pins for the next step.

Step 6

Leave the main bag right side out, and the lining inside out.

Slide the lining over the main bag, so that the right side of the lining is facing the right side of the applique, and the handles are sandwiched between the two layers. Match the side seams and centers and pin the two bags together around the top edge.

Sew around the top edge of the bag using 1/4″ seam allowance and leaving an opening on one side between the inside edges of one of the handles.

Trick or Treat Bag - a free pattern from Shiny Happy WorldThis is easiest if you start sewing right at the inside edge of one handle. Sew through that handle, around the side seam, through both handles on the other side, around the second side seam, and through the last handle. Stop as soon as you sew over the last handle (remember to backstitch!) and you’ll have an opening about 4 inches wide.

Step 7

Turn the bag right side out. This step is a little mind-bendy if you’ve never done it before, but it’s actually really simple.

First pull the main bag out of the lining so that both parts are inside out.

Trick or Treat Bag - a free pattern from Shiny Happy World

Now reach into the opening, grab the main bag and pull it through the opening so that it’s right side out. Keep pulling and the lining will follow – also right side out.

Trick or Treat Bag - a free pattern from Shiny Happy World

Now just tuck the lining down inside the bag. 🙂

Step 8

Smooth and press the top edge of the bag.

Fold under the seam allowance from the turning opening and press that as well.

Edgestitch all the way around that top edge. This will finish your bag, sew up the turning opening, and reinforce the handles – all in one step. 🙂

Trick or Treat Bag - a free pattern from Shiny Happy World


Trick or Treat Bag - a free pattern from Shiny Happy World

Now go out and feed it lots of yummy candy. 🙂

For a slightly smaller tote bag, made with the same method, head over here.

Happy Halloween!

Wendi Gratz from Shiny Happy World

October Crochet Fun + Fave Links

I know I say this every month, but there is just SO MUCH going on! Fall is the time for crocheting, so I’m just going to go ahead and get started!

October Ami Club Pattern

Isn’t Mr. Jack the Pumpkin so adorable?
freshstitches pumpkin
I designed his arms to be like ‘vines’ that you can style any which way! And I created an easier technique for making the ‘pumpkin grooves’ than many other tutorials I’ve seen, so I hope you find it a cinch. Ami Club members can hop over to their account and download the pattern!

Get the pattern here.

Fave Links

Turn a Witch Hat into a Princess Hat – Easy Peasy

Turn a Witch hat into a Princess Hat - an easy peasy tutorial from Shiny Happy World

One of my favorite Dress Up Bunch patterns is this one for a witch costume.

Dress Up Bunch doll Halloween witch costume

As I was making it, I kept thinking that it could easily be converted to a princess costume – just change to a sparkly princess fabric and make a tiny change to the hat.

Here’s exactly what I mean by “a tiny change to the hat pattern.”

The witch hat is a simple cone with a brim added. For the princess hat (a hennin) you just leave off the brim and add a pretty little fall of fabric to the top.

Turn a Witch hat into a Princess Hat - an easy peasy tutorial from Shiny Happy World

Take a look at the scraps you have left over after you make the dress. I had a long strip 6 inches wide. From that I cut 3 pieces, each 6 inches wide and 12 inches long. You could use a couple of 12 x 12 squares, or several skinnier strips, or make them longer than my 12 inches, or add some pretty ribbons. Just play around and see what you like the look of.

Grab your fabrics at one corner, bunch them up as small as possible, and sew them into the top of the cone when you sew the hat seam.

Turn a Witch hat into a Princess Hat - an easy peasy tutorial from Shiny Happy World

See the little bunch sticking out from the top of the cone? The rest of the fabric will be inside the cone (as shown) while it’s inside out.

Turn a Witch hat into a Princess Hat - an easy peasy tutorial from Shiny Happy World

Make sure you go over that little bunch a couple of times with your stitching. I backstitched over mine a few times. Princess fabric tends to be fragile and you want it to be securely attached. 🙂

Turn the hat right side out and. . .

Turn a Witch hat into a Princess Hat - an easy peasy tutorial from Shiny Happy World


Turn a Witch hat into a Princess Hat - an easy peasy tutorial from Shiny Happy World

Mollie approves. 🙂

Get the witch pattern here. It will fit any of the dolls in the Dress Up Bunch.

Happy sewing!

Wendi Gratz from Shiny Happy World


Fussy Cutting and Broderie Perse – Fancy Applique Tutorial

Broderie perse applique tutorial 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 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 are two kinds of applique that rely on the print of the fabric you’re using – fussy cutting and broderie perse.

A lot of you have probably done fussy cutting without even realizing it has a name. It’s when you carefully position your applique template to incorporate images printed on the fabric.

I did it on this Paper Doll quilt block to make sure the top T.A.R.D.I.S. was centered on the V-neck and the bottom ones were lined up with the hem.

example of fussy cut applique for a tutorial from Shiny Happy World

I also did it on this haunted house quilt block, to make sure there was a bat flying in the center of each window, and the skull was centered on the door.

example of fussy cut applique for a tutorial from Shiny Happy World

Fussy cutting is easy. It just means paying attention when you position your templates. You can hold your fabric and templates up to a window so you can see really well where your outlines are falling.

Broderie perse is similar, in that it uses motifs printed on the fabric. But with broderie perse – the images ARE the templates. You’re cutting out the images on one fabric and appliqueing them to another. It’s traditionally done with flowers – but you can do it with anything you like!

Heres how I used broderie perse to add a couple of cute trick-or-treaters to one of my Shiny Happy Houses quilt blocks – designed especially for Halloween.

You have to start with adorable fabric. I’m using two fabrics from Dear Stella that are designed to work together.

Fun fabrics to use for Broderie perse applique technique - tutorial from Shiny Happy World

Bundle Me Up is the fabric with the sweet animals faces, hands, and feet – but no bodies. Costume Party is the fabric with all the fun costumes for those critters to wear. So clever!

Broderie perse applique tutorial from Shiny Happy World

Roughly cut out the image you want (like the fox in this picture). Back it with fusible adhesive, and then cut the image out neatly (like the dress and crown).

Broderie perse applique tutorial from Shiny Happy World

The dress in this example already has little slippers attached, so when I cut out the fox neatly I decided to cut away the lower part of the body. It would have been hidden anyway and this makes assembly easier – I don’t have to line things up as perfectly.

I’m such a lazypants. 🙂

Broderie perse applique tutorial from Shiny Happy World

After that it’s applique as usual.

Position the critter first, then the costume and fuse it down with everything else in your block.

I stitched around all my pieces in simple black thread for a nice cartoony look. I added a couple of pumpkin buttons for their trick or treat pails, and – of course – some spider buttons on all that magnificent glow-in-the-dark spiderwebbing. (You can get that fabric here. It’s from Timeless Treasures and I think it makes a fabulous background for a Halloween block.)

Have fun with broderie perse! It will make you look at your fabrics a whole different way. 🙂

Happy stitching!

Wendi Gratz from Shiny Happy World

Halloween Giveaway! Fabric and Buttons!

Halloween giveaway from Shiny Happy World

For this month’s Shiny Happy Houses quilt blocks I made haunted houses!

So much fun!

Regular house patterns + Halloween fabric + spooky buttons = Fun Haunted Houses!

Make fun applique haunted house blocks with the fabric and buttons in this giveaway from Shiny Happy World.

Now that I’ve made my blocks – I’m giving away my leftover fabric!

There are 13 (lucky!) fabrics in the bundle and you get 1/4 – 1/2 yard of each. You’ll get a large handful of fun buttons too – spiders, pumpkins, bats, spooky eyes and more.

Giveaway closes on Tuesday 9/13 (again with the 13!) and I’ll announce the winner on Wednesday the 14th. It’s open to almost everyone in the world. (Read the fine print if you think you may be in one of the few countries that doesn’t allow this kind of giveaway.) Sorry – the giveaway is closed now.

Happy Halloween!

Wendi Gratz from Shiny Happy World

Make fun applique haunted house blocks with the fabric and buttons in this giveaway from Shiny Happy World.

Shiny Happy Haunted Houses

Haunted Houses - quilt pattern from Shiny Happy World

If you have the Shiny Happy Houses quilt pattern, you can use it to make a whole different quilt just by switching out the fabrics. Make a fun haunted house quilt!

For this block the arch templates that I usually use for doors and windows became fun tombstones! I used ghost and creepy eyeball buttons for extra Halloween fun. And of course – the Halloween-themed fabrics make it easy. 🙂

There’s a tutorial here showing how to do some fussy-cut applique.

Shiny Happy Haunted House with fussy cut trick-or-treaters. Fun!

That’s how I made these adorable trick-or-treaters!

It’s Haunted House Week here at Shiny Happy World. The Shiny Happy People group on Facebook is already on board – I’ve seen two awesome haunted houses over there already!

Happy Monday!

Wendi Gratz from Shiny Happy World

Tutorial: Gnome Costume

Happy Halloween!

Maddie decided that she wanted to be a gnome for Halloween… and I thought it was a good excuse to put my craftiness to good use. This is a great costume to make! It’s adorable, and you only need to make a few components. Combined with store-bought clothes, it looks amazing!

Baby gnome costume

If you’re wondering why these photos are so cropped, it’s because I let Maddie play with the November Kit Club sample- she just loves it! But, it means that I needed to crop it out to avoid a major spoiler!

Let me give you a quick run-through all of the components!

Knitted Hat

There are loads of pixie-style patterns on Ravelry. You can follow one of those, or modify a normal hat pattern.
baby pixie hat, knitted
To do this, work two plain rounds in between every decrease round of the crown. That’s how you make the point! This technique works for knitting or crochet!

Crocheted Beard

I followed the Bobble Bearded Beanie pattern. It’s a great pattern, and comes in adult sizes, too!

Sewn Belt

To make the belt, I cut a piece of belting (yes, that’s actually what it’s called! You can find it by the yard in the notions section of a craft/sewing store) to length. I sewed snaps to each end to fasten it on.
I cut a square of felt (about 2″ longer in each dimension than the width of the belting) and cut two slits in it so I could run the belting through. Easy!


I bought red pants and a blue cardigan from Primary (the Baby Pants in Cherry and the Baby Snap Cardi in Pool). I bought the cardigan one size too big, which gives the outfit a cute, oversized gnome look!

Happy Halloween!

I hope you have a blast today! And you might want to download my free pumpkin pattern for a fun little project! Or crochet a sweet gnome!

EEP! It’s an EPP Halloween Blog Hop!

Halloween Hexies

I’ve really been having fun playing with English Paper Piecing (EPP) ever since I got Diane Gilleland’s All Points Patchwork and made my very first EPP project.

I reviewed that book here. In a nutshell – it’s absolutely fabulous.

Every time I look at a hexie template – especially when it’s solo and surrounded by other fabric – I see an eyeball. 🙂 So when Diane asked me to participate in a Halloween EPP Blog hop I leaped at the chance.

The design is super easy. Make a bunch of hexies and then start playing around with them.

Halloween Hexies

I made 96 black hexies using all the black-on-black fabrics in my scraps, and 14 green hexies, two each of all my acid green scraps.

Then I started playing around with the arrangement and joining them together.

Halloween Hexies

I put the matching eyes together in pairs, and then added 1/2″ felt circles. If you make them “look” in the same direction, they’ll look like pupils to the eyes.

Halloween Hexies

Frame your eyeballs in a hoop using this method.


You could make just a single pair of eyeballs for a fast little project in a small hoop, or a whole bunch of eyeballs for a bigger piece.

How many eyeballs do you want to sew?


Happy Halloween!

That's me!

Spooky Ideas for Halloween

The Not So Itsy Bitsy Spider - an easy felt spider pattern

We’re almost a full week into October, so I can start freely talking about Halloween patterns and projects. I love Halloween! I’ve designed a lot of Halloween patterns over the years – but this simple felt spider is one of my favorites. It’s just so versatile!

You may be thinking, “Versatile? How much can I really do with a felt spider?”

So many things!

Here are just a few ideas. . .

  • Make a whole bunch of them and send them scattering across your Halloween table. It would make a great centerpiece!
  • Attach one to a hair clip or headband for a fun costume piece.
  • Attach a safety pin to the bottom of the body and you can pin it anywhere. Maybe on your shoulder?
  • Attach a band of clear elastic to the bottom of one and wear it as a bracelet.
  • Attach a string to the top of the body and hang it from a bare branch for a creepy Halloween tree. Hang multiples in the tree for a Great Spiders in Mirkwood Forest effect. 🙂
  • Attach a ribbon “leash” to a spider and set up your rag doll in her Halloween gear to look like she’s taking her pet spider for a walk.

Have fun and play! And send photos! I’d love to see how you use this spider pattern in your Halloween decorations!

Happy Halloween!

Get the spider pattern here.

There’s also a kit option! Choose that option from the drop down menu above the add to cart button.

Happy Halloween!

That's me!