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Friday, October 28, 2016

Collage Quilt a Sugar Skull - Tutorial

It's Halloween time and making crafts. quilts, and even foodie treats  for the season is a love of mine.
(who am I kidding, we all know I really don't like to cook)
One thing I haven't made is a sugar skull and I've always wanted to.

Today I did it, I made a sugar skull and here is how I did it.
I call this technique collage applique, but someone told me it's called broderie perse.
I'm pretty sure this isn't what the early quilters had in mind for broderie perse....
Although it is a lot of flowers.

First step is to find a skull drawing.  I found one on the Internet and traced it with a permanent marker onto my light weight fabric.  

Update:  I have drawn a skull with the heart eyes and the jpg can be found HERE free.

I chose to use pink because I used lots of pink flowers.  This fabric is what Walmart calls quilting cotton.  It's super, duper thin.  The eyes are modified with hearts.  I just drew them on.

Next fuse Heat N Bond Lite  or your favorite paper backed fusible to the back of various fabric flowers and cut them out.
I used all kinds of floral fabrics from Tula Pink to Moda to Art Gallery.
Start arranging the flowers on the skull.  I peel off the paper as I go.
  (I have fused a few papers down before so trust me, peel the paper off as you go!)

He looks like he has a beard...lol

I like to use a few birds and butterflies in my designs.
This is what it looks like when the design is covered and the flowers are bonded to the fabric.

Turn the skull fabric over and cut out the design.  If there is a design you want to keep on the outside of the skull, cut it out first on the front, then cut the rest from the back.
Here is mine all cut out.

Baste the skull to your final background fabric with basting spray.  I use Spray n Bond Basting Adhesive but you can use your favorite.

Stitch around the skull with a zigzag, straight, or I used a blanket stitch.  Stitch in the eyes and the nose too.  Next make your quilt sandwich with batting and backing fabric and quilt as desired, but it must be tight quilting stitches over the skull to catch the edges as much as possible.
 Matchstick quilting or a free motion small meander stitch works really well.
I used Aurifil 50 wt  in black - 4241 for the background 
my favorite "go to" Aurifil light grey - 2600 for the sugar skull.

This sugar skull is a 16" pillow cover, so I finished it with an envelope back.

If you have any questions about this process, just leave me a comment and I'll get back to you.

I'm so excited, I'm ready to make another one with a white background.
And maybe a quilt too!!!

Have a happy weekend!

Friday, October 21, 2016

A Flat Rat Potholder, so wrong it's right - A Treat or TWO for You

When the air turns cool outside the urge to bake something always hits.
For some reason this week an idea came about and now there are a few Halloween decorations about the cabin kitchen.

First treat:

Flat Rat potholders. I guess they are more like hot pads - hey I'm not a cook!
 I know it's wrong to have rats in your kitchen, but aren't they cute?

While the rats were in progress, an observer (hubby) walked in and stated something about aliens.  That led to:

It just had to happen.  Alien pot holders.
That led to:

A politically correct witch potholder.  She won't offend anyone at this time of year.  lol

This pattern is available
in my Craftsy shop.

Click here or on the picture down below.

For a second treat:

There is a tutorial for Fabric Kanzashi Flowers and a sneak peak of the mini quilt, Kanzashi Lattice, that will be displayed at Quilt Market.

That's my week in a nutshell.
Happy Friday!

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Fabric Kanzashi Flowers Tutorial

For a recent quilt project I made fabric Kanzashi flowers.  
This is a little sneak peek of the project.  

This quilt is going to Quilt Market while I stay home
(are you hearing "this little piggy...?")
but I can still show you how to make the sweet fabric flowers.

My version of these flowers is about 3" wide.

Let's get started.

For one flower you will need:

5 pieces of cotton fabric squares cut 3" x 3"
1 button - these are 7/8" but I have used larger and smaller
needle and thread
iron - I like to press my folds, but this is optional

Instructions:  Here is a pictorial tutorial

Step 1:  Fold fabric square in half to form a triangle
Step 2:  Fold fabric in half again to form a smaller triangle
Step 3:  Trim off the corners of the non folded edges.  This makes the raw edge side rounded.
Step 4:  Knot double thread (this gives a little more strength) leaving a longer tail than you normally would.  You will use this tail to tie a knot to round out all the petals.  Now take basting stitches along the rounded edge and pull stitches tight to gather.

Repeat with the other squares of fabric only use the same needle and thread for the next 4 petals.
This is the second petal being basted.

Continue this process until all 5 petals are basted onto the double thread.

Now tie a knot with both ends of thread to connect the petals into a round shape.
Cut the excess thread and needle and put a dot of Fabric Fuse on the knot to make sure it stays.

Put dots of Fabric Fuse around the center of the flower and push the button into the fuse.

Allow to dry at least 6 hours and you are ready to embellish your project with Kanzashi flowers.

This little piggy went to market,
This little piggy stayed home....

Sunday, October 16, 2016

In Our Garden Blocks for October

In Our Garden Block of the Month blog hop
Hosted by Amy over at 
has the cutest blocks and I've kept up with the blocks all year (so far).

This month, my friend Vicki over at More Stars in Commanche
has designed blocks that are all about squash.
Squash is the one thing I CAN grow
now I have patterns to sew me up some squash too.
These blocks were super fun and fast to make.

The applique block is called Spaghetti Squash.
Of course I used my favorite fabric iron on adhesive by ThermowebHeatnBond® Lite, for the fusible appliques.The squash was backed with interfacing before the HeatnBond Lite to kill some of the show through from the background and leaf fabrics.

The pieced block is Squash Blossom.
LOve, LoVE, LovE!
(You knew I would)
It has that southwest feel to it.

 I was lucky enough to receive Riley Blake fabrics for this quilt.
A whole quilt of Squash Blossoms with the teal fabrics in
 Botanique by fabric designer Lila Tueller would fit in my cabin so nicely.

There is still time to jump in and make this quilt with us!

Here is the list of bloggers and the months:

February - Blocks 1 and 2

March - Blocks 3 and 4
Carol – Just Let Me Quilt 

April -  Blocks 4 and 5

Bonus Block

May - Blocks 7 and 8

Bonus Block

June - Blocks 9 and 10

July- Blocks 11 and 12

August - Blocks 13 and 14

September - Blocks 15 and 16

Bonus Block

October - Blocks 17 and 18

Still to come:



Amy – Sew Incredibly Crazy– Final Blocks and wrap up

There's a group Facebook page HERE 
 and a Flickr Group 

where everyone has been sharing garden blocks.

Join in on all this fun!!!

Hope your weekend has been relaxing.
I'm catching up after making a couple of projects for display at quilt market.
I can't wait to show them, but that has to wait a little bit.  :)

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Land that I Love - A Patriotic Lap Quilt

This week I designed and finished 
Land That I Love
for Therm O Web using Stitch N Sew™ tear-away interfacing as the stabilizer for both paper piecing and embroidery.
The pattern for the embroidery design and the quilt is free over at the The 

I wanted to change the traditional colors up a bit and used low volume versions of 
red and blue. 
 The fabric in the flag is from a fat quarter bundle - Moda Sherbert Grunge Basics 
Curated by Fat Quarter Shop 
the grey fabric in the quilt is Moda Marbles.

 The United States over the flag just seemed like a perfect fit.
I didn't forget Alaska and Hawaii, but I'm afraid I did leave quite a few islands off the design.
The finished size is 40" x 48".

I was thinking how cute it would be to add a little bird to the top of the flag pole.
This is a fast quilt to put together, so I might just do that on the next one.
I would like to donate several to veterans at the Soldier's Home in Fort Dodge.

The full tutorial and pattern is also available in PDF format at my Craftsy Store.

It's been such an exciting month so far and
I just shipped my projects for Quilt Market (I can't show anything yet).

Now I am ready to catch up on my blocks for the
Vicki over at More Stars in Comanche
 designed the blocks this month and they look like fun ones.

Friday, October 7, 2016

Welcome to Spooky Town

Today I am over at the Therm-o-web blog 
with my new super fun quilt made with the frightfully delightful  
Spooky Town fabrics by Blend

I couldn't wait to put Cori Dantini’s characters into a quilt.
I've found a new fabric designer to keep my eye on, I really love these characters.
This  fabric is a dream.
The colors of the Spooky Town fabrics work so well with 
Thermoweb Deco Foil and I am into foiling everything right now.

The full tutorial to make this welcoming quilt is free over at the

Happy Friday!