Silly Sloth Fabrics

Silly Sloths Quilt Pattern from Shiny Happy World

A lot of people have asked about the fabrics I used for the Silly Sloths quilt pattern.

They’re all from Dear Stella Design.

I used five different prints, with three colors (a dark, medium and light) for each print.

I used the darks for the background blocks and the eye patches.

I used the mediums for the bodies.

I used the lights for the faces.

I used solid black for the eyes and noses.

Here are the specific prints I used. . .

Scallop Dot Fabrics from Dear Stella

Scallop Dot

  • dark – Tangerine
  • medium – Sorbet
  • light – Whisper

Wee Gallery Hearts fabric from Dear Stella

Wee Gallery Hearts

  • dark – Turquoise
  • medium – Mint
  • light – Smoke

Positive fabric from Dear Stella

Positive

  • dark – Ink
  • medium – Atlas
  • light – Smoke

Net fabrics from Dear Stella

Net

  • dark – Mustard
  • medium – Butter
  • light – White

Polka Dot fabrics from Dear Stella

Polka Dot

  • dark – Coral
  • medium – Blush
  • light – Silver

Here’s a photo showing the binding and a bit of the back.

Finished Sloth Quilt - pattern from Shiny Happy World

I used charcoal Cuddle Fleece for the back and Steam Texture in Smoke (also from Dear Stella) for the binding.

Happy quilting!

Best,
Wendi
Wendi Gratz from Shiny Happy World

Working with Flannel Fabric – Durability

Working with Flannel - I found some that doesn't pill

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It’s the easiest, most fun way to make an applique quilt. You can do it!


When I told folks that I was working with flannel on my next quilt, I got a lot of questions.

How do you keep it from pilling? Is it going to hold up to a lot of use? What about durability?

I got some variation of this question over and over and over again.

I understand! When my daughter was little, I made her a lot of pajama pants using all of those cute flannel prints you can find at the fabric store. Sometimes they held up really well, and sometimes they were very badly pilled after just one washing. And it seemed so random!

A lot of people also wanted to know about how well flannel would work for raw edge applique – particularly how badly it might fray.

I was worried about that too! So I decided to run a test.

I made two sample blocks – one flannel background with a cotton applique, and another flannel background with a flannel applique.

I tossed these blocks in every load of laundry I did for the last month. Everything – clothes, towels, sheets – everything. I put the blocks through both the washer and dryer with each load. That’s a lot of laundry and a pretty rugged test.

I was stunned by the results! In a good way. 🙂

Flannel background and cotton applique - a durability test

Here’s the flannel background with the cotton applique.

No pilling! Not even a tiny bit! It gets a beautiful crinkle and the applique looks great. And did I mention that there’s no pilling?

Flannel background and flannel applique - a durability test

And here’s the flannel block with the flannel applique.

No pilling – and no additional fraying on the applique!

I really expected to see more fraying around the edges but it’s pretty much the same as the smooth cotton.

The only difference I see is that the black outline and mouth line get a teeny bit lost in the fuzzier flannel surface. When I make a finished quilt (get the Peekaboo Bears quilt pattern here) I’ll use 12 wt. thread to outline the applique to get a slightly thicker line.

You know why the results are this good? I used good quality flannel! It makes such a difference.

For this test I used flannel from Timeless Treasures – the same manufacturer who makes the high-quality quilting cotton I use for many of my quilts. I’m so excited with how terrific the results are that I’m planning two quilts using it.

The first is a remake of the Peekaboo Bears quilt with flannel backgrounds and non-flannel applique. Here are just a few of those blocks.

Peekaboo Bear quilt in progress from Shiny Happy World.

And someday I’m going to make an applique rag quilt. Oh yes! I think it’ll work great to use my applique patterns for a rag quilt and I can’t wait to give it a try!

Update! I made the applique rag quilt and it turned out great! So cuddly and soft! There’s a tutorial here showing exactly how I made it.

Happy quilting!

Best,
Wendi
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!

Best,
Wendi
Wendi Gratz from Shiny Happy World

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

New! Skin Tone Fabric Bundles

People Colors - a bundle of five beautiful skin tone fabrics

Choosing people colors is hard.

Really hard.

Too light and your dolls look ghostly. Too pink and they look feverish or sunburned. Too yellow and they look ill.

It’s the number one color-choosing question people ask me about.

Now I’m making things easy for you with this bundle of pretty skin tones. These are the shades you see me use over and over again – in the Paper Dolls quilt pattern and in all of my Dress Up Bunch dolls.

These are not fat quarters – they’re half-yard cuts.

You need a half yard to make any of the Dress Up Bunch dolls – so this bundle will allow you to make five. One bundle is also enough for all the dolls in a crib size or nap size Paper Dolls quilt. If you’re making a twin size you’ll need two bundles.

Get your bundles here!

Happy sewing!

Best,
Wendi

Two New Rainbows in the Shop!

Solid Rainbow Fabric Bundle - nine vibrant solid fabrics in one easy-to-use bundle perfect for Shiny Happy World quilts

There are two new rainbow bundles in the shop today.

One is the Solid Rainbow Fabric Bundle you see in the photo above. These are the bright, vibrant solids I use in a lot of my quilts – like Cats and Playful Puppies.

But wait – there’s more! I also created a thread bundle that matches this fabric bundle. When I run out of thread I have to drive over an hour to get to the nearest store that sells it. 🙂 I’d love to order it online, but it’s almost impossible to match thread colors on a monitor. So I did it for you!

Solid Rainbow Thread Bundle - nine spools of thread that perfectly match the vibrant fabrics in the Solid Rainbow Fabric Bundle

Update: Sorry – the thread bundles have been discontinued. But you can still get the fabric bundle! It’s one of the most popular things in my shop. 🙂

Happy quilting!

Best,
Wendi
Wendi Gratz from Shiny Happy World

New Fabric Bundles in the Shop – Green Batiks!

Green Batiks Fabric Bundle - all the pretty shades of green I use in my woodsy and gardeny applique blocks. :-)Ever since I added fat quarter bundles to the shop, I’ve had people asking if I’ll also add some bundles of the fabrics I use for my backgrounds.

Done!

At least one of them. 🙂

These are the green batiks I used for all of these quilts. . .

They make a beautiful, richly dappled background for your applique!

These are not fat quarter bundles, because that’s a really inefficient way to cut the fabric for background blocks. Instead they are bundles of 12″ strips of fabric cut selvedge to selvedge. That makes it really easy to cut the 11″ blocks I recommend for most of my quilts, with minimal waste.

I’ve got bundles in three different sizes, for the different size quilts I include in my patterns. See the shop listing for more details.

Before you ask – I know a lot of you have asked about the bright solids I use in so many of my quilts. They’re coming soon! I just got word that the last color shipped and I should have it early next week.

Update – see all the Shiny Happy World fabric bundles here.

So get your green batiks bundles here.

Happy quilting!

Best,
Wendi
Wendi Gratz from Shiny Happy World

Heat & Bond Ultrahold Is Now in the Shop!

Heat & Bond Ultrahold - no sew fusible adhesive perfect for eyes and other small bits

If you don’t like sewing around the eyes and noses in your applique quilts, try using this Heat & Bond Ultrahold fusible adhesive for those fussy parts. I stock it in the shop now!

This stuff is very different from the Heat & Bond Lite that I use for all my quilts.

  • It is NOT available in printable sheets. It comes in a smallish package (17 inches x 1 yard) that is more than enough for eyes and noses for several quilts.
  • It’s not printable. You’ll need to trace the pieces.
  • You don’t need to sew it. In fact – you shouldn’t even try. When I did a test it left a gummy, sticky residue on my needle and skipped a lot of stitches. It sticks very well without stitching – so enjoy the ease!
  • Wash and dry on low heat. A higher heat might actually loosen the adhesive. It is heat activated, after all. 🙂
  • It’s stiff. I don’t recommend it for your entire quilt, but it works great for eyes and noses and any other teeny tiny pieces you might not want to stitch around. And you’ll never notice the stiffness on such small pieces.

Get a pack here and give it a try!

Happy quilting!

Best,
Wendi
Wendi Gratz from Shiny Happy World

Tips for Quilting a Cuddle Fleece Back – video tutorial

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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 love using cuddle fleece for my quilt backs.

When I made the first cat quilt for my daughter Jo, she asked for cuddle fleece on the back. Until then I had only used it for stuffed animals, but she thought it would make an exceptionally cuddly quilt.

She was right.

After sleeping under it the first night she came to me and very seriously said, “Mommy. You should never use anything else on the back of your quilts.”

She was right again. 🙂

Wonderfully – I’ve found that it’s no harder to work with than a woven fabric on the back!

A lot of people have asked me whether they have to do anything special to use cuddle fleece on the back of their quilts.

  • Do they need to use a special needle?
  • Do they needle to use a particular thread?
  • Do they have to use a walking foot?
  • Can I show actually doing some of the quilting?
  • Can I show what it looks like from the back?

I can show you all of that!

I’ve made a bunch of these now and I’ve found that I don’t really need to treat it any different from using a woven fabric background. In fact – I think it’s even less likely to get tiny folds or puckers in it. 🙂

A note about the fluff. . .

By the time I get to the backing/quilting/binding step of a project I’m always super excited to finish – and I don’t take the time to tumble the backing in the dryer to get rid of the fluff on those cut edges. 😛 If you’re more patient than me. . .

  • Cut the backing to size
  • Toss it in the dryer on air dry for 15-20 minutes. That will pull almost all of the fuzz off the edges and catch it in the lint trap.
  • Proceed as normal – baste, quilt and bind wearing whatever you want and not worrying about getting too messy. 🙂

Cuddle fleece makes an extra cuddly quilt with (in my opinion) the perfect weight. And it washes and wears beautifully!

Other helpful links. . .

Have you got any other questions? Just ask! I may make another video to answer it. 🙂

Happy quilting!

Best,
Wendi
Wendi Gratz from Shiny Happy World

New in the Shop! Klip It Sewing Clips

Klip It sewing clips - so much better than pins!

Ever since I discovered sewing clips, I rarely use pins anymore.

(I wrote a review about my discovery of Wonder Clips here.)

Don’t like the way pins distort thick fabrics like fleece and felt?

Use clips instead!

Sewing laminated fabrics and don’t want to leave holes?

Use clips instead!

Sewing on a quilt binding and having a hard time with pins?

Use clips instead!

Tired of pins sticking you while sewing or appliqueing by hand?

Use clips instead!

Sewing with kids and they have a hard time managing pins?

Use clips instead!

I love sewing clips and use them all the time!

This pack holds 25 large clips. They’re bigger than basic Wonder Clips – 1 3/8″ long and 1/2″ wide. Here’s a photo of one side by side with a standard Wonder Clip for comparison.

Klip It sewing clips - so much better than pins! Here's one next to a standard Wonder Clip for size comparison.

I have yet to find anything they can’t handle, and 25 is just the right number for most people.

Give them a try – you’ll never turn back. 🙂

You can get them here – choose your favorite pretty color!

Happy sewing!

Best,
Wendi
That's me!

New Sulky Thread in the Shop!

Sulky Thread - I love these Sulky Petites spools of 12 wt. thread!

A lot of people have reported having trouble finding my favorite Sulky thread in their local fabric stores – especially the smaller spools of 12 wt. thread that I like using for Big Stitch quilting. That’s always a pretty good signal to me that I should add it to my shop. 🙂

So I brought in some Sulky Petites in nine pretty colors.

Sulky Thread - I love these Sulky Petites spools of 12 wt. thread!

If they do well I can definitely add a bigger color selection.

When I Use This Sulky Thread. . .

  • When I embroider the faces on my Dress Up Bunch dolls (both my hand and machine)
  • When I machine applique and want a thicker line outlining my pieces – especially for faces and whiskers
  • When I do Big Stitch Hand Quilting
  • Anytime I do hand embroidery and don’t want to use regular 6 stranded floss – especially in summer when I have gnarly garden hands that tend to really snag the DMC stuff

The 12 wt. thread is the same thickness as two strands of regular DMC 6 stranded floss.

You can use it for hand or machine work. For hand work I use a #8 embroidery needle. For machine work I recommend these topstitching needles.

You can see it used for hand embroidery in these free patterns, and in this freestyle mandala project. You can see it in some Big Stitch Quilting here. You can see it used in machine applique here.

Grab some pretty spools here and get stitching! 🙂

Best,
Wendi
That's me!

How I use my favorite Sulky Petites 12 wt thread - I love it!