Find all the Safari patterns here. The Safari Craft-Along will run for August and September, so you’ve got lots of time to stitch up some elephants and lions and zebras and rhinos and hippos and more.
Whoops! I misspoke here. The Safari Craft-Along will actually just be running in September, but you’re welcome to get a jump on making now. 🙂
I mentioned a bunch of free patterns that could be used with single block patterns – pillow covers and tote bags and placemats and bibs and Christmas stockings and more. You can find all of these here.
The cover sample you see above is from before I had fabric bundles in my shop, and most of the fabrics I used are no longer available.
One of the things I love about the way I do fabric bundles now is that you can use any bundle for any quilt. Here’s an example of three quilts that all use the Warm Neutrals fat quarter bundle for the animals – but different bundles for the background colors.
One more change – I’m making this one a silent farm. 🙂 I’m leaving off the half-blocks with animal sounds and adding sashing. I get a lot of requests about adding sashing, so I’ll be writing up a tutorial showing how you can reset (almost) any of my quilt patterns with added sashing. I’ll do the math for you for all the sizes. 🙂
If you’ve made any of my quilt patterns using a different color scheme – please share! Seeing all the different versions of my patterns makes me Muppet-arms-flailing happy – and it’s a great resource for your fellow makers out there to see different options. 🙂
I like to wish my friends on Facebook Happy Birthday by posting a cute picture on their wall. I decided to add a little speech bubble to Annabelle so I could add her to my library of digital birthday cards – and I thought I’d share that image with you so you can use it too if you like. You can download it here.
You see – I have a specific project in mind and I’m sooooo eager to get to it!
This is the door between my office and my husband’s office.
I love that barn door – and from the very beginning we planned to cover it with a quilt. Basically, I’m going to make two quilts – one for the front and one for the back, and I’m going to hand-sew the door into them (like a model on Project Runway) with a strip of solid fabric all around the thickness of the door.
I want to improv piece the quilts – but I’ve never really done that before. So I want to practice a bit and try some things out before I start on the big door project. And for that – I really wanted to have a design wall. It helps so much to be able to see the design straight on as it’s growing!
For my practice pieces I’m making some placemats. Each one will use a different basic shape so see what I like – and what’s fun to do. 🙂
I’m starting with stripes. I love stripes!
Here are my rules for this one. . .
No rulers. I’ll use my rotary cutter and scissors – but no rulers, either for measuring or cutting. I want my lines to be slightly wobbly/crooked.
Big Stitch quilted with really dense stitching. Yay! I haven’t done any big stitch quilting for months and I’m itching to get back to it.
The first thing I did was measure out a space on my design wall – a little bigger than a placemat needs to be – and mark the four corners with pins. That way I can see what space a need to fill.
Then I started cutting and sewing. Remember – no rulers. I just grabbed some pastel scraps, cut a chunk of grey, cut them into strips, and sewed them together. This is so much fun! Once a finished a little chunk of pink, I moved on to other colors. Here’s a super short video showing each little chunk going up onto the wall.
After I was happy with all the chunks, I sewed them together. Easy peasy – nothing fancy.
At the end of the video you see it hooped up in a square frame all ready for stitching, stitching after one evening, and stitching after two evenings. So here’s a little more info about that part of the process.
I’m using Sulky 12 wt. thread for all the quilting. That’s those little spools you see on top of the basted work.
My husband and I got married on New Year’s Day in 2000.
I started Shiny Happy World on New Year’s Day in 2011.
Shiny Happy World is merging with FreshStitches today – New Year’s Day in 2018.
New Year’s Day may be my favorite holiday of all. That sounds silly because it’s not what most people think of as a major holiday – but I love that sense of possibility.
The idea that anything can happen.
Every year I think to myself. . .
This is the year!
And it always is. It’s always the year for something.
This is the year I learn to quilt.
This is the year we move to the mountains.
This is the year I learn to cook without following a recipe.
This is the year I start my own business.
That statement is going to be different every year, and for every person – but I think many of us feel that sense of anticipation and the magic of possibility on January 1.
What are you excited about doing in 2018?
For many of us in this group – it’s something related to craft. 🙂
This is the year I learn to crochet.
This is the year I make a quilt for my bed.
This is the year I learn to embroider.
This is the year I make my first softie – for my first grandchild.
So I have a New Year’s Day assignment for you. Think about your end of this sentence.
This is the year. . .
Pick a thing. One thing that you really want to do this year. One thing you want to learn, one thing you want to make, one thing you want to teach. It can be anything! And that’s why this is a pretty hard assignment. Grab a cup of tea and some quiet time and really think about it.
This is the year. . .
I’ll go first.
This is the year I actually make a quilt using improvisational piecing. I already love improvisational stitching – especially Big Stitch quilting – but it’s the piecing I want to jump into. I’ve got a book I’ve been reading. I’ve been collecting inspiration. I’ve even make a few blocks. But I want to make a whole quilt. And I’m going to use it to upholster a barn door hanging between my studio and my husband’s office.
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. 🙂
I’m putting the finishing touches on the new house block patterns going out this weekend and I thought I’d share a look at all my house blocks so far. Remember – I’m working on three different house quilts in three different styles and color palettes. Most people in the club are only making one. 🙂
Up top is my whimsical neighborhood – with houses in colors that most people don’t use in real life. I love them! There’s an extra house in this group because it’s what I used to make the video demo showing how to put everything together. 🙂
This is my more conventional neighborhood. The houses are still wonky and fun, but the colors are more like what you’d see driving down the streets of an actual neighborhood.
And this is my gingerbread quilt. 🙂 All the houses are gingerbread color with candy trim and lots of extras – like beading, extra stitching, buttons, and rickrack “snow” on the roof.
I’m having so much fun with these blocks! And it’s been absolutely fantastic to see the houses that members are making! Pop into the Shiny Happy People group on Facebook to see! Here’s just one fabulous example – this one from Terri.
Want to join the club? It’s never too late! If you sign up now you get instant access to all the pattern pieces and all the emails that have gone out so far. The next mailing goes out this Sunday 4/3.
Updated – The club has finished, so if you order the pattern now you get it all in one big download.
Here it is! The very last block in the Controlled Chaos scrap quilt!
What You’ll Need
52 two-inch squares in color A (shown in purple)
48 two-inch squares in color B (shown in green)
Use 1/4″ seam allowances for all sewing.
Press all the seams as you go. I’m pressing mine open for this quilt. I think it will make things simpler in the end.
Arrange your squares according to the diagram below.
For this block I worked in big chunks. I sewed things up in the following order. . .
Sew all your individual squares into pairs of matching colors. You should have 26 purple pairs and 24 green pairs.
Sew the purple pairs into 2 x 2 squares.
Pull out four of those purple squares. Sew two green pairs to opposite sides of each purple square. Sew the remaining green pairs into eight 1 x 4 rectangles.
Sew these rectangles to the top and bottom of your purple squares, so that there’s a green ring around each of the four purple squares.
Sew the rest of your purple squares into one 2×10 rectangle and two 2 x 4 rectangles.
Sew a 2 x 4 purple rectangle between two purple/green squares. Repeat with the last 2 x 4 purple rectangle and the last two purple/green squares
Assemble your chunks in rows and sew the long 2 x 10 purple rectangle between your other two rows.
Well – finished with the blocks. 🙂 I still need to join them all together with sashing strips between them and then quilt the whole thing. Here’s what it’s going to look like. . .
I’ll have a tutorial showing how to do the sashing strips (there’s a little trick to that!) and then tutorials showing basic hand quilting, quilting without marking, and big stitch hand quilting. Yes – I’m going to spend the winter hand-quilting this beauty!
But all of that is going to have to wait just a little bit. I have a new and improved website that I’m really close to launching, so that’s taking a lot of my attention behind the scenes these days. It’ll be worth it! While you wait – finish all your blocks!
Remember – you don’t have to make your quilt the same size or number of blocks as my quilt. You can make fewer quilts for a crib size, or repeat some of the designs in different colors (or make up your own additions!) for a larger quilt. Mine is going to be just the right size for curling up on the couch. 🙂