Adventures in Softie Making: Moo Moo + Baby Bunnies

Friday, June 30, 2017

I've been on a bit of a softie making kick this year. I have always had a soft spot (hehe) for stuffed animals, so it was only a matter of time before I made some myself! I've made a few here and there over the years (including some made from knit fabrics), but I've never felt super happy with the quality I was able to achieve.

Now that I have lots more sewing experience and knowledge under my belt, I've started at it again. I'm happy to report it's going well, and I have three recently finished softies to share today!

First up, this adorable cow! My Mom made me a stuffed cow for my birthday when I was young, and I always thought it was so cute. When I saw this Moo Moo pattern by Melly & Me, I knew I had to make one. I love the sweet felt details and little floss tail! I dug deep into my Erin McMorris Park Slope stash for this guy. I thought the pebble print sort of looked like cow spots!

Of course I couldn't resist the Baby Bunnies pattern by Melly & Me either. Look how cute! I thought it would be funny to make a bunny out of cat fabric. I'm easily amused!

And one more bunny, because you can't make just one. I've had this repro print in my stash for years and it's still a favorite, I love purple and orange together. I finished both bunnies with button eyes, embroidered faces and pom-pom tails. My embroidery could use some work, I need some more practice.

The two bunnies together. These softies were a fun exercise for me, and I am really pleased with how they turned out. I've already made two more softies (hippos!), since I made these, which I'll share soon. Perhaps I'll share some tips that have helped me improve my softie making too.

My main sewing pull is usually quilts, but I do love working on small side projects like these to keep things interesting and learn new things!

Happy Sewing!

DIY Enamel Pin Banner Tutorial

Monday, June 26, 2017

Happy Monday! Let's start the week off with a tutorial! Today I'm sharing instructions for make a little banner to display enamel pins.

I am really loving how popular enamel pins are these days! I've always had a soft spot for pins, especially enamel ones (Thanks, Disney!). I'm slowly adding more pins to my collection, and they're taking over my bulletin board. I thought it would be fun to have a dedicated spot for my favorite pins.

All the pins on my banner are listed at the bottom of this post.

This banner stitches up quickly and doesn't use much fabric. I kept mine pretty simple, but there are endless opportunities for embellishment or customization! There is an optional instruction included for adding pom pom trim.

I recommend using a fabric with a bit of weight, so that your pins don't weigh it down. I used Essex Linen* in Natural for mine. If you're using quilting cotton, I'd recommend interfacing one main piece with something heavier, like fusible fleece (987F).

**Updated October 2018**
I've added two new sizes to this tutorial! Now you can make a Large (original size), Medium, and Small banner. Enjoy!

Sewing Level: Beginner
Finished size: Large - 10"x14", Medium - 7"x10", Small - 4.75"x7"

Looking for supplies? Check out my Pattern Supplies and Resources post. I bought a pack of these* craft dowels to make these banners. I cut down the dowels for the Medium and Small banners with a small handsaw.

Large Banner (10"x14")
- 1/3 yard of fabric
- 5/8 yard of woven interfacing (SF 101)
- 1/4" x 12" wooden dowel
- 22" of leather cording, ribbon, or twine
- Optional: 1/2 yard of pom-pom trim*

From fabric:
- Cut (2) 10.5"x14" pieces
- Cut (1) 2"x20" piece

From interfacing:
- Cut (2) 10.5"x14" pieces

Medium Banner (7"x10")
- Fat Quarter of fabric
- 1/3 yard of woven interfacing (SF 101)
- 1/4" x 8.25" wooden dowel
- 18" of leather cording, ribbon, or twine
- Optional: 1/3 yard of pom-pom trim*

From fabric:
- Cut (2) 7.5"x10" pieces
- Cut (1) 2"x14" piece

From interfacing:
- Cut (2) 7.5"x10" pieces

Small Banner (4.75"x7")
- Fat Quarter or 1/4 yd of fabric
- 1/3 yard of woven interfacing (SF 101)
- 1/4" x 6" wooden dowel
- 12" of leather cording, ribbon, or twine
- Optional: 1/4 yard of pom-pom trim*

From fabric:
- Cut (2) 5.25"x7" pieces
- Cut (1) 2"x9.5" piece

From interfacing:
- Cut (2) 5.25"x7" pieces

Download, print and cut out the Enamel Pin Banner Template at 100%, use the 1" square to check it's been printed correctly.

*Use a 1/4" seam allowance unless otherwise noted.*

1. Apply interfacing to the wrong side of both main pieces according to manufacturer's instructions.

2. Align the template with the bottom corner of a main piece, as shown above.

Mark a line across the template edge. Repeat on the other bottom corner.

Cut along both of these lines. Repeat for remaining main piece.

3. Fold dowel pocket piece in half, with short ends lined up, right sides together. Sew along the short edges to join.

Press seam open.

Turn right sides out. Center the seam and press both edges well to get a nice crease.

Fold in half so that the long edges are touching, press well.

5. Along the top edge of a main piece, make a small mark 3/8" in from either side. (Do this on the right side of the fabric)

Using the marks as a guide, center the dowel pocket piece along the top edge of one of the main pieces, lining up raw edges, with right sides together.

Baste in place using an 1/8" seam allowance.

*Optional: Add pom-pom trim
Pom-pom trim is a great way to add a little something extra to your pin banner. Think of all the trim options available! If you'd like to add trim to your banner, here's how.

Cut two pieces of pom-pom trim (Large - 7.5", Medium - 5.25", Small - 3.75"). Line up the edge of the trim with the two bottom edges of a main piece, with the pom-poms arranged towards the inside of the main piece. Baste in place with a 1/8" seam allowance.

Make sure your pom-poms are sandwiched between the two main pieces when sewing the seam around the edges (step 7). You may need to use a slightly larger seam allowance along the bottom two edges to ensure the trim edge is completely covered in the seam. I stitched twice along these edges to make sure the trim was extra secure.

6. On the remaining main piece, mark a 1/4" seam at the banner point coming from both directions so that the lines intersect. This will help make sewing the point easier in the next step.

7. Place main pieces right sides together, clipping or pinning around all the edges to secure. Leave a small gap on one straight edge for turning.

Sew around all sides, leaving the turning gap unsewn and pivoting at all the corners.

8. Trim the corners down to an 1/8" seam. Turn under the opening seam allowance and press well.

9. Turn banner right sides out. Press entire banner well.

Top stitch around the edges of the main piece.

10. Insert dowel into the dowel pocket. Tie cording to each end of the dowel. Fill with pins and hang!

For anyone interested in the pins on my banner (from left to right, top to bottom):

1. Bear Paw Pin by Patchwork Threads, 2. You Seem Cool Pin by The Little Friends of Printmaking, 3. Bowtie Cat Pin by Boy Girl Party, 4. Corgi Pin by Boy Girl Party, 5. No Regrets Pin by Colette Patterns, 6. Singer Featherweight 221 Pin by The Singer Featherweight Shop, 7. Rotary Cutter Pin by Olfa (promotional/not available for purchase), 8. Blerg Pin* by Sweet and Lovely, 9. Puffin Pin by Boy Girl Party.

I hope you've enjoyed this tutorial! I have lots of other tutorials for everything from quilts, pillows, bags, and holiday items to informational series and techniques. Find all my tutorials here: Tutorials. My online shop is filled with patterns for quilts and bags. Find my patterns here: Jeni Baker Patterns

Tag me @jenib320 and use my hashtag #jenibaker on instagram if you make something from this tutorial!

Happy Sewing!

*Note: Any links marked with an asterisk in this post are affiliate links. This means if you click through and buy something, I make a small commission, at no extra cost to you.

Little Folks Voile Summer Quilt

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Happy First Day of Summer! I'm happy to have a finished quilt to share! This is my first week back after spending the last week and a half in Ohio visiting my family. I managed to get three finished quilts photographed, including the one I'm sharing today!

I've been hoarding yardage of some voile prints from Little Folks by Anna Maria Horner since they first came out in 2009 (!!). I wasn't sure how best to use the panels, which is why the fabric languished in my stash for so long. After making my double gauze quilt, I felt inspired to pull these out. I paired the panels with a fat quarter bundle of Pastry Line voile prints (also from 2009).

I cut eight large squares and eight small squares from three panel colorways. I used the striped voile to frame the small squares to bring them to the same size as the large squares. I luckily had just enough fabric to make this quilt happen 8 years later!

This is a big quilt, so I sent it to Melissa Kelley of Sew Shabby Quilting for quilting. I chose a feather design that I really love. The batting is the wonderful Dream Orient by Quilter's Dream. It's a blend of bamboo, silk, tencel and cotton. This is my second time using it, it's truly dreamy. So light and airy, a perfect match for the voile.

For the backing, I pieced together some voile yardage that was originally earmarked for garments. It's bound up in more voile, for an all voile quilt!

This is going to be my summer bed quilt. I've been using it for about a month now and really loving it. It's super lightweight and the texture is so nice. I think it will keep my nice and cool this summer! I've really enjoyed trying out alternative fabrics for quilts. I've made a flannel quilt, a brushed cotton quilt, a double gauze quilt, and now this one. Now to decide what's next!

Happy Quilting!

Double Zip Box Pouch

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Recently I did some more pattern testing for Aneela Hoey, this time for her new Double Zip Box Pouch Pattern!

I think this pouch turned out so cute! It's a sweet boxy shape and feature two separate pockets. I stitched it up in an afternoon without any trouble.

It's a nice size, approximately 10" wide, 4" tall, and 5" deep. Perfect for a few bits and bobs. Would be a good pouch for traveling. I think I'm going to keep stationary supplies in mine, I thought that would be appropriate given the fabric.

When I am tackling a zipper pouch project, I generally like to pick out my zipper(s) first if I have the right length. I like to keep a pretty large variety on hand, so it's nice to be able to use from my stash. From there I look for fabrics that will match the zippers.

 I buy all my zippers from Zipit.

I've been looking for an excuse to use this SS Bluebird print. I pulled some simple blenders to match it for the accents and lining, I didn't want to take away too much from the sweet print!

Find the Double Zip Box Pouch Pattern in Aneela Hoey's shop, here.

Happy Sewing!

Scrappy Pineapple Quilt in Progress

Monday, June 12, 2017

Happy Monday! Today I wanted to share a new long term quilt project that I started last month.

Dana of Old Red Barn Co. started an informal scrappy pineapple quilt along on Instagram (#superscrappypineapple), and I knew I had to join in. I've been wanting to make a pineapple quilt for a long time, and this seemed like the perfect excuse to start.

For my quilt I pulled fabrics around this crazy Jay McCarroll Center City splatter print, which I'm using for the background. It's a number of years old, but I managed to snatch up enough for a background/backing last year in Nashville.

I'm normally not into buying specialty rulers, but I decided to try out the Creative Grids Pineapple Trim Tool. I thought about paper piecing my quilt, but using this ruler seemed easier.

Since I was new to this ruler, I decided to make a test block. Lately any test blocks I need to make I've been making in my fantastic quilt voyage colors so that I can just add it in to that quilt. It's been great in avoiding orphan blocks!

I haven't made a ton of progress on this project yet, but I did pull it out last week to work on while I've been in Ohio visiting.

My first four blocks. I was a little nervous that these colors would be too crazy, but I'm really loving it so far. It's a little outside of my comfort zone, but that's good!

I've been getting more used to using the ruler, and I like how easy it is to be accurate. There is some waste, but there would have been with a paper pieced method as well.

Since I ended up cutting from yardage instead of scraps, I measured out what size strips I'd need for each round to make the cutting easier. I cut up a few of each size strip from all the prints I've pulled, and for now they all fit in a little box. We'll see how my process evolves as the project progresses!

Happy Quilting!