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Monday, May 18, 2020

It's Cool to be Square Blog Hop - Bounce in Color

the first day of the
It's Cool to be Square Blog Hop.

I'm happy to kick things off with
Bounce in Color Quilt.

Carol of Just Let Me Quilt invited bloggers to make a project with squares.
That was it, just make something with squares in it.
Thank you, Carol, for inviting me to join this super fun blog hop!

I've been wanting an excuse to make a quilt out of 
block #16 "Bounce"
 in my

The block is all squares and perfect for the hop.

After all, one of my goals is to make all 30 quilt blocks from 
into 30 individual quilts. 

I used stash fabrics in a rainbow of colors and white Kona for the background.

Rotate every other block in a 6 x 6 block grid (36 blocks) 
 add a 2 1/2" finished border for a 65" x 65" throw.

It's quilted in what quilters call a "Baptist Fan" pattern,
but I think it looks like rainbows...

My dogs always enjoy quilt photo sessions.

It's fun to play with blocks and rearrange them into designs.
I love that all the fabrics used were from my stash.
That's like a free quilt, right?

Be sure to check out all the square projects over at these blogs today:

May 18
Creatin' in the Sticks  You are HERE!!

Here is the rest of the schedule:

May 19

May 20

May 21

May 22

Are you a square quilter?
I'm sure by the end of the blog hop, you will have more ideas than time.
I always end up that way...

There's only a week or so left to enter my giveaway for a charm pack of the
new Island Batik fabric collection 

I'm covering the postage so this giveaway is limited to U.S. only.  (sorry)
Entries are open until May 26th
I'll announce the winner by May 28th.

Thursday, May 14, 2020

The Ultimate Home Decor Blog Hop - Pleated Effect Pillows and Giveaway

Today is the 2nd week of the
Ultimate Home Decor Blog Hop
where all the new fabric collections are being showcased.

What better way to show the gorgeous new Island Batik fabric collections
than with a little home decor?

I'm thrilled to share my project today,
"Pleated Effect Pillows"

featuring the new Island Batik Winter 2019 Collection
by Kathy Engle.

I was so excited to receive the fabrics in my first
2020 Island Batik Ambassador Box
imagine my surprise when I opened the surprise package to find these
holiday-inspired fabrics.

Each pillow was stitched with Aurifil 50 wt #2890 and a Schmetz Microtex (Sharp) Chrome 70/10 needle.  If you haven't tried these needles, they are perfect for the tight weave of the Island Batik fabrics.

The pleated effect is so quick and fun to do.

I made a tutorial for you to give it a try.
Click HERE for the full free tutorial.

It's a quilt as you go technique
 in the middle.

will be coming to stores very soon. 
Perfect timing for holiday crafting. 
Be sure to ask your local quilt shop for Season's Splendor!

Giveaway Time!!
I am happy to share a sampling of the 
Season's Splendor
Island Batik fabric collection 
with one lucky reader.
I have cut a charm pack from some of the fabric I have left.

I'm covering the postage so this giveaway is limited to U.S. only.  (sorry)
Entries are open until May 26th
I'll announce the winner by May 28th.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This giveaway ends May, 8 at 11:59 pm PDT. A random winner will be notified on May, 9 and announced on May, 12. If the winner does not respond within the first three days after being notified, a new random winner will be chosen and notified.

Thank you for visiting.

Check out all the new Island Batik fabric collections,
sign up for a giveaway,
see the complete Ultimate Home Decor Blog Hop schedule by clicking HERE.

Pleated Effect Strip Pillows Tutorial

I love making pillow covers to make simple changes to home decor.
I'm happy to share a quick method to make
pleated fabric pillows.

These covers can be made with one fabric or many different fabrics.

Use this technique to make your own shaped pillows too.

Let's get started!

Pleated Effect Strip Pillow tutorial
(Tree pillow instructions in italic)


Fabric - Island Batik Season's Splendor

1 - 16 1/2" square for the pillow front
(for the tree, cut one of tree shape from fabric)

22 - 3" x width of fabric strips for the pleats 
(this is for the 16" square the Tree requires less)

2 - 10" x 16 1/2" rectangles of fabric for the envelope back of the square pillow
(the back of the tree pillow is another tree shape cut out of fabric)

2 - 2 1/4" x Width of Fabric for the binding for the square pillow

1 - 16 1/2" square of batting
(the tree is the tree shape cut from batting)

1 - 16 1/2" square of muslin (won't be seen)
(the tree is the tree shape cut from muslin)

fabric marking pencil 

Fabric basting spray


Iron and ironing surface

14" - 16" pillow form

Sewing Machine and other basic sewing essentials.

(for the tree - freezer paper to draw the pattern and fiberfill for stuffing)


Step 1:  Cut all fabric pieces as listed above.  (For the tree, the pattern needs to be made.  Draw a 16 1/2" square on the paper side freezer paper.  Find the center and draw the tree shape with a stem.  The trunk on this one is about 3 1/2".  With the fabric folded to cut 2 trees, put the shiny side of the freezer paper down on the fabric and press it to stick to the fabric.  Cut out two tree shapes from fabric, one from muslin, and one from batting.)

Step 2:  Spray baste the batting between the muslin and the pillow front fabric.  I like SpraynBond Basting Spray.

Step 3:  With a ruler and fabric marking pencil, mark the pillow front fabric with lines 3/4" apart.  If you end up a little off, it is ok as long as the lines are straight.  Excess can be trimmed off later.

(For the tree, mark with 3/4" spaced lines.  Start at the base of the tree first and work up with the lines and then mark the stem starting at the base of the tree shape. The last line may not be exactly 3/4" from the bottom, but the excess can be trimmed later.)

Step 4:  Fold and press all of the 3" fabric strips lengthwise.  

Step 5:  Starting at one end of the pillow front, place one fabric strip with the raw edges on the drawn line.  Leave a little excess at the beginning and end of the line.  The excess will be trimmed away later.  Stitch 1/4" from the raw edges of the folded strip across the pillow front.  Continue to stitch the strips across the pillow front. 

(Start at the top point of the tree to sew the strips.  The strips will be folded down later.  Be sure to leave excess at the beginning and the end of the strips to cover the pillow front completely once the strip is folded down.  Sew strips across the tree and change colors for the lines across the trunk.)

Step 6:  Once all the strips are stitched onto the pillow front, press each strip in the opposite direction to cover the seam raw edges.

Step 7:  (Optional - if you don't plan to wash the pillows excessively, this step probably isn't necessary.  But, if you want a more professional finish, do this step.)  Encase the raw edges by stitching across the strips again.  Stitch 1/4" from the pressed edge.  Start stitching across the strips with the strip that was sewn onto the pillow front last.  Continue stitching until all the strips are stitched.

Step 8:  Once the strips are stitched there may be a gap at the top.  Simply trim a strip to fit and stitch it to the top.  The square pillow needed 1/4" trimmed from the raw edges and then it was stitched across the top. (The tree had a very small piece added to the top.)  

Next, turn the pillow top over with the right side down on a cutting surface and use the original background to trim the excess fabric away.  Stitch around the pillow top a little less than 1/4" to hold the pleats down during the final construction of the pillow.

Step 9:  To finish the square pillow, hem the 2 backing pieces on one of the 16 1/2" sides.  Place the two backing pieces with the hemmed sides in the center overlapping and pin to the back of the pillow front wrong sides together.  Stitch around the pillow 1/8" to hold the back to the front and then add the binding with your favorite method.  Insert the pillow form.

(For the tree, place the tree shaped back fabric on top of the tree front right sides together and pin.  Stitch 1/4" from the edge around the tree and the sides of the trunk.  Leave the bottom of the trunk open for turning.  After stitching is finished, trim off the corners, turn right side out, and push out the corners.)  

(Stuff the tree pillow with fiberfill and slip stitch the bottom of the tree closed.)

Use creativity to make your own shapes and designs with
this Pleated Effect Strip Pillow technique.