Sunday, November 28, 2010

Christmas Ornaments Tutorial

Over Thanksgiving weekend when we were closed for a few days I found some time to clean out my sewing/craft room, finish some quilts, watch some movies and decorate our Christmas tree at home. 
In the process of all that I had a little idea pop in there somewhere when I came across a bag of styrofoam balls I had purchased many years ago which were originally intended to be a solar system model for the kids. I like the new direction the styrofoam balls are rolling in though.... Christmas ornaments using scraps from this quilt and the Christmas towel tutorial!


4 inch styrofoam ball
24 inches of white velvety rick rack
2 complimentary fabrics ( Christmas themed) measuring 4" x 13"
Matching thread
Yarn needle
1 yard of sturdy thin string or twine
Basic sewing supplies
Glue or hot glue and hot glue gun
Sturdy 2 inch pin

1. Pin 2 fabric pieces together and sew along one long side. Press seam open. (I used black thread so you could easily see in the pictures you should use what matches your fabrics.)

2. Fold one of the unsewn raw edges  down towards the back of the fabric 1/2" and press. Repeat with the other.

3. Pin and sew a generous 1/4"  from the folded edge. Repeat for other edge.

4. Next fold the fabric in half bringing the short edges together (fabric right sides together) and sew from one turned under seam from step 3  through the center seam and down to but NOT over the bottom turned under seam. Do not sew over your seams from step three or you won't be able to gather your fabric at the top and bottom of your ball.

5. Thread your yarn needle with your twine or thin yarn. Run needle through the tube created when folding down the top edge. Leave a little extra so you can pull it and draw it up later.  Repeat for bottom edge. These are your drawstrings.

6. Flip fabric right side out. and insert the ball into the tube you have created. Try to place the seam at the fattest part of the ball and then snugly draw in the bottom drawstring knot in place and tuck ends in to hide them. 
Repeat for the top drawstrings.
Here is what you'll have:

7. Glue your trim around the middle- use your seam line as a guide. This part is really fun for the kids to do, plus what is a Christmas craft without glue????

8. Fold the remaining trim in half and  stick your pin through the two ends.
Squirt some glue in the top belly button of your ornament and stick the pin with the trim in.
Wah- Lah! Your own cute little fabric covered Christmas ornament. Perfect to gift or to decorate with! Mine is made out of Riley Blake's Colorful Christmas fabrics available at Quilters Crossing!

You could sew a trim into the seam in step 1 if you chose to or you could couch a trim over it after you have sewn the two fabric pieces together.
You could use ribbon for the drawstrings eliminating the need to hide the drawstrings, if you do make them longer so you can tie them in a bow.
Add embroidered names the fabric before sewing the two pieces together.
Make the ornaments in someone's favorite colors instead of Christmas colors.
Styrofoam balls come in many sizes- adjust your fabric measurements to suit and make all different sizes!
Trim with rick rack, lace, ruffles, piping, sequins, beads etc....

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Monday November 29

We'll have new shop samples to show off, and some new fabrics, shop in on Monday when we re-open! 
Here is a preview: Love the wobbly plaids!
 Aren't the little double decker buses and plaid vehicles adorable!
We also got some beautiful love letter fabric and a neutral swirl.
And..... one of our talented teachers brought in a new sample of a future class- check out the expandable bag! Here it is closed up (note the white zipper is closed here).
 And here it is expanded- you open up the zipper and it gets larger revealing the polka dot fabric that is also used on the handles.
 How cool is that?
 Dolores made this out of the fabric line "Happy" and it looks great.
More new fabrics and more samples coming up!
We hope you all have a Happy Thanksgiving!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Thanksgiving Plans

The shop will be closed Thursday, Thanksgiving Day through Sunday November 28 .  How about getting into the shop early this week to pick up a new pattern or new book and plan a project for the holiday weekend? 
We have stocked up on patterns and books.
Maybe a quick and fun mixed media project like an embellished pincushion?
Organize your holiday projects with these handy little sticky note packs.
New Fabrics this week:
Mod Garden from Northcott
 ZOO Friends with a cute panel
 A border Stripe:
 and cute coordinates:
See you Monday,Tuesday or Wednesday 9:30 a.m.- 5:30 p.m this week.  We advise everyone to check their supplies for holiday projects! It is very frustrating to be in the middle of quilting a quilt and run out of thread on the day all the quilt stores are closed.... just sayin'!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Quick Gift ideas and more

The holidays are creeping up. 
Some of you have been shopping and sewing away on Christmas gifts since July, some of you (*like me*) have just had a small heart attack when you saw the pile of turkeys in the grocery store freezer and realized that Thanksgiving is but a week away, and you know what comes after that!
So it is time to look for some quick gift ideas for your loved ones. Here are some thoughts: 
Pillowcase kits themed for kids or Christmas as these are but, also great gifts for adults! You can whip a couple out in one afternoon.
How about a new tote bag 
like the New Leaf tote by Heather Bailey?
I made this sample out of laminated cotton for durability and it rolls up and has its own velcro closure for easy storage in your car when not in use!
That is the tote bag all rolled up above, with the pattern.
We also got a bunch of new patterns at Quilt Market a couple of weeks ago with quick and easy  projects and quilts that would be great gifts!
How about a new set of quilted potholders? We sell Insulbright batting for potholders and hey, maybe even make a matching table topper to go with them? We have several new patterns and samples by Reeze Hanson of Morning Glory Designs.

Coming for all your quilting friends!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Saturday Market Day Pattern Review

This adorable market bag designed by Heather Bailey could not be more suited to a day out shopping at the market or running errands.
 It opens surprisingly big 
but snugs in nicely to your shoulder and tucks under your arm like a smaller bag.  
It is reinforced by canvas but is completely lined and finished inside and out! It has design options including a reversible option, a one fabric design, the one I made with a contrasting fabric and bow, and you have the option of adding a magnetic snap closures.
I have made many bag patterns and the more "non-square" a bag is the more wasteful the patterns tend to be about fabrics usage.  In other words the more curvy and rounded your pattern pieces have to be cut the more fabric scraps afterwards you will tend to have that are hard to use in other projects because they are all bias cuts.  I love this pattern because it is curvy, fun and feminine but in the cutting layout and design Ms. Bailey has cleverly reduced the fabric waste with her pattern shapes and, the way she instructs you to fold the fabric.  Plus, the larger (reuseable) pieces you have left also have the selvage with them so you can easily cut them on the straight of grain.

I almost didn't make the design with the bow because I am not a "good" bow maker. I can tie my shoes of course but as far as making a pretty attractive just ain't happenin'! So I was delighted when I saw that this bow is a cheater and comes out perfect every time! Check this out!

The pattern is easy to read, easy to sew and came out well both times I tried it, it doesn't require lots of weird stuff that is hard to find and can be made in a sophisticated style or more whimsical.
You can check out a sample and pattern at the shop! The bag shown in the pictures is made with Michael Miller's Love bird print.  Too Cute!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Shop Updates

We are having our second open house on Saturday January 8th.  Our instructors will be in the classroom that day with their class samples ready to take sign ups for the next round of classes it is the perfect time to come in and ask questions, purchase supplies ( at 15% off!) and get inspired! There will be several new classes offered as well as our favorites that continue to be popular with our customers.
As the holidays approach watch the calender on our website ( ) for open sewing days, we'll try to do as many of these as possible so you can get your projects done in time for the holidays.  Fridays continue to be free sewing days from 9:30 a.m. until 10 p.m. Come early and leave late!
Here are some new fabrics in the shop recently:
Bright and Fun Textures!

Western Fabrics and a Sample using the X-Block pattern with horses quilted right into it!

A really cute Tween/Teen Girls line called Celebration by Clothworks.
 Here is the main print, so many beautiful elements in this!

Remember to get your quilt tops in early to Patricia for quilting as the holidays approach! See you soon!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Quilt show 2010

Well, quilt show is in full swing at the George R. Brown Center in downtown Houston. We miss Patricia at the shop since she is down there helping out in the Nolting Longarm booth- stop by and say hello if you make it down to the show.
Deb went to market last week and here are some pics from that:
Ricky Tims and Alex Anderson telling everyone to sign up for The Quilt Show ( their online quilting program) and sporting their GO BABY jellyroll cutter shirts.
Cara Gulati ( - there to tell everyone about her brand new book Curves for Cowards which Deb won a copy of during the schoolhouse session.
 A recreation of Stonehenge in the Northcott booth where they were showing off the new Stonehenge panels and coordinates.
An adorable display at the Riley Blake booth showing some adorable items made with the Colorful Christmas fabrics.

Back at the shop in Tomball we have had a steady stream of visitors from all over the world! Today we had visitors from Delaware, Washington, Oklahoma and even four wonderful ladies from "down-under"! 
The quilt show has been quite a draw and we are grateful to their Houston friends for helping them find our shop while they were in the area! Thank you very much for supporting our shop.