Ice Skate Block

I finished another block for my paper pieced Christmas quilt last night.  This is a pattern that I designed quite awhile ago, before I was using EQ7, so it will appear different to those of you who have purchased my more recent patterns.  But it’s just as good and goes together nicely!  I made the original block pretty small, so I enlarged the pieces on my photocopier to make a larger block.  I used a tiny snowflake like print for the ice skate.  It actually has a light blue tinge to it which makes it work nicely with other blocks in the quilt, as well as the Heath background of this block that is blue with green crosshatching on top.  I used a metallic print for the runner, which I love!  The magic of these blocks is in the details. I used a special stitch on my machine to make the eyelet holes on the upper portion of the skate and then stitched laces using embroidery floss. It brings it to life!  I think I am probably done working on this quilt again for this year, due to time not interest. But I think my next step will be to make several tiny snowflake blocks.  I am going for blocks of all different sizes to be pieced together and the snowflakes can be scattered throughout.

If you are looking for this pattern, it’s available in all my shops as a PDF.  Directions are included for the hand stitching and eyelet details.

Christmas Tree Pattern

I have a paper pieced Christmas themed quilt that I have been working on for a few years now.  I thought it was time to make a little more progress on it so I designed this Christmas Tree block!  I chose whimsical fabrics to suit the other blocks I’ve made so far.  I fussy cut some scallops along the edge of the tree skirt and selected a green print that suggests ornaments.

I also wanted to show how it could be so modern by changing fabric selections. Here I used solids only and I played with the pattern in the tree skirt.

There is also a conveniently positioned horizontal seam should you choose to piece in a floor line.  There are lots of fun options!

The pattern is available as a PDF download in my shops!  Direct links are in my sidebar.  Remember, if you are an international customer, please shop in the Pattern Shop here on my website.

Happy holidays!

 

Tell Me A Story Holiday Sewalong–Have you Joined?

I hope you have already ordered your book and fabric so that you can play along with my Tell Me A Story Holiday sewalong for a chance at winning some great prizes! All the details can be found here.  If not, you still have plenty of time!

Today I am sharing my second finished pillow.

Tell Me A Story Holiday by Amy Friend

I’ve been sharing all the blocks that went into the pillow on Instagram and here is a round up with all their stories!

Tell Me A Story Holiday by Amy Friend

Fenwick the elf found the most perfect tree in all the forest for his Christmas tree.  With great pride, he set the star on top!

Tell Me A Story Holiday by Amy Friend

This polar bear searched the forest floor for a perfect flower, untouched by frost, to give to his beloved.  But will she come?

Tell Me A Story Holiday by Amy Friend

Bobby is staring at that bike, willing it to be under the tree on Christmas morning.  His dreams are not full of sugar plums, but rather, tires!

Tell Me A Story Holiday by Amy Friend

The little elf held up his snowman chain and told his class, “Inspiration is everywhere!”

Tell Me A Story Holiday by Amy Friend

I let my Instagram followers make up stories for this one.  What a fun idea that turned out to be!  To read the stories on IG, just look for my photostream @duringquietime.  After that, I took a few names and sent a few direct messages and here are some more stories that they wrote for me:

Tell Me A Story Holiday by Amy Friend

@kidgiddy volunteered to write the story for this block:  The little reindeer were lost in the peppermint forest.  Even Rudolph was a bit concerned…until Vixen came along and reminded him that his nose could help them find their way home.

Tell Me A Story Holiday by Amy Friend

@quiltyobsession wrote the story for this block:  Lola couldn’t wait until she was old enough to sing in the elf choir like her big sister Lily.  For now, she is just happy that she gets to ring the bell.

Tell Me A Story Holiday by Amy Friend

@ tracybugcreative wrote: Noelle was often seen chatting alone with the little birds.  This one she names “Blue-ish.”  They met daily so Noelle could teach Blue-ish new songs.  Today, everyone was astonished when we heard Noelle singing Jingle Bells and Blue-ish echoed back a lovely refrain.  Everyone but Noelle!

Tell Me A Story Holiday by Amy Friend

Margaret skated around the frozen pond trying to catch the flakes of snow as they fell.

I hope you have been enjoying this sewalong!  Remember, you can play along and enter to win these great prizes!

tellmeastoryprizes

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Tell Me A Story Holiday Update

Tell Me A Story Holiday by Amy Friend

As promised, I am sharing some of my Tell Me A Story holiday blocks with you!  I hope you are busily making your own so that you can enter to win one of four really great prizes.  You can read all the details about the sewalong in my earlier post.

Here’s my story for this block.  This child is sliding down a New England hill but his speed is increasing and he can’t stop!  And smack, he hits an evergreen tree.  This is an autobiographical story based on my second grade self, the day before school pictures.

 

Tell Me A Story Holiday by Amy Friend

Frosty is trying to remain cheerful as he shovels but those snowflakes keep coming!  Always…more…snow…  If you live in a snowy area like I do, you know this feeling!

Tell Me A Story Holiday by Amy Friend

They look so sweet singing their Christmas carols but Jane, on the left, is trying to outshine her younger sister Betty by singing just a little bit louder.  Ahh…sibling rivalry.

Tell Me A Story Holiday by Amy Friend

Please share your blocks and stories on IG using the hashtags #tellmeastoryholiday and #intentionalpiecingbook.  See you there!

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Ho Ho Sew! Ornament

sewing machine ornament

I can’t let a Christmas slip away without making at least one new ornament for the tree.  This year, I used one of Betz White’s patterns.  She has a collection of the most lovely and appealing felt ornament patterns in her Etsy shop. Check them out! Here is the direct link to the Ho Ho Sew! Sewing Machine Ornament PDF pattern.

I made one more for a friend too! They are so much fun.

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Village Ornament Tutorial


2010-11-14 village ornaments printableb

I was just thinking about these ornaments. I made them 5 years ago now and they are still around, even though they were made from a tissue box!  I thought some of you might want to make some. They would be appropriate for an older child to make too.  My free printable templates are available here.

2010-11-14 IMGP0037b
I also made a more traditional, gingerbread house version. Both are fun!  Happy crafting.

 

Mittens and Main Pillow

Mittens and Main by Amy Friend for BasicGrey

Do you remember the quilt I designed for BasicGrey called Mittens and Main? I shared it in this post here. Both the fabric and patterns are now available in your local quilt shop. I know it’s summer time but I always love working on at least one Christmas project over the summer. Go ahead, call me crazy. But I do! It’s my favorite holiday and it’s less stressful to make Christmas things in the summer when you aren’t also shopping and baking like a crazy person.

Anyway, if you make the lap sized quilt using a fat eighth bundle, you will notice that you have some leftover prints that don’t get used in the quilt top. Or, you might quite possibly get carried away like I did and make an extra block without realizing it.

Mittens and Main Pillow by Amy Friend

Extra blocks can be used to make cute mitten pillows like this one. Just make the mitten block in the same dimensions shown in the pattern. Then cut 4 setting triangles that are just a bit larger than called for, by about an inch. Then quilt your pillow top as desired and square it up.

Mittens and Main Pillow by Amy Friend

I quilted straight lines on the cuff to look like the ridges formed by rows of knitting. And then I quilted the background in loops reminiscent of falling snow.

Mittens & Main Quilt Pattern

PAT-8118_MittensMain_Cover

I’m happy to finally share my newest pattern designed for BasicGrey!  It’s called Mittens & Main and it features their new Christmas collection, 25th and Pine.  The collection is full of fun prints in green, red, ivory, and navy.  I was happy to see navy included because I think it helps extends the fabric collection into the winter months, beyond just Christmas.  For that reason, I focused on mittens which are not exclusive to Christmas but are worn all winter long.  Each mitten highlights a print from the collection paired with a grunge cuff.  I think that my favorite print might be the deer and evergreen print but I really like them all.

Mittens & Main by Amy Friend for BasicGrey

 

I designed this quilt back in the fall so it is fun to finally share it!  The mittens are easy and enjoyable to piece so the top comes right together.  I think it would be really fun to make a version of this quilt where there is one set of mittens and the rest are random.  Or, make it a quilt full of pairs of mittens.  There are lots of possibilities.  Putting the blocks on point and changing the direction of the mittens gives the quilt a lot of movement.  I pieced the quilt and the quilting was done by Krista Withers.

Oh, and the lap quilt is a healthy 68″ square so it is really great for cuddling on the couch and keeping you warm from toes on up!

The entire collection is now available at the Fat Quarter Shop as is the pattern. Patterns only will be available from the BasicGrey site shortly.  The pattern includes multiple sizes and works well with precuts.

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Felt Wreath Ornaments

Felt wreaths 2
I have always been tempted by the felt wreath ornaments made with lots of colorful circles or squares, like these. I wanted to make something similar but maybe a little more polished looking. I decided to use my Sizzix Hydrangea Die by Eileen Hull to cut lots and lots of green felt blossoms.

Felt wreaths 1
I used the two smallest flower shapes on the die. The smallest flower results in an ornament that is about 2 1/4″ diameter and the middle sized flower gives you a wreath just shy of 3″. I cut my shapes using about a dozen different shades of felt from National Nonwovens. This is a great project for scraps since it only takes tiny pieces but it takes A LOT of tiny pieces. Each of the small wreaths used about 90 flowers and the medium one used well over 100. The die cuts a center hole in the flower which is great for easy stringing. It would even allow a child to string the felt pieces with a plastic yarn needle.

Felt wreaths 4

I just love the texture of felt for projects like this!

Felt wreaths 3

For my second small wreath, I decided to add a tiny red pompom after every group of 10 flowers. It adds a fun bit of color. I am now on the hunt for mini jingle bells to make another. I know I have them somewhere in my house but I can’t locate them at the moment!

I hope you are all having fun Christmas crafting! I will be back tomorrow with my last quilt finish of the year and a great giveaway from Art Gallery Fabrics!

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From Santa

From Santa Paper Pieced Block

I found some time to work on another pattern for my slowly growing collection of winter/Christmas paper pieced patterns. I so look forward to making this quilt one year (not this year!). This block is called “From Santa” and features BasicGrey’s Aspen Frost collection which is available at the Fat Quarter Shop.

From Santa Paper Pieced Block Detail

I chose to stamp “From Santa” on the tag but it could be personalized in so many ways. You could put your loved one’s name on the tag, for instance. You could choose to embroider or print your fabric instead of stamping. By changing up your fabric choices, you could make a birthday present. It’s a lot of fun.

Because I didn’t want all my blocks in my finished quilt to be the same size, I decided to make this block 12″ finished.

From Santa Paper Pieced Pattern

The pattern is now offered in my Etsy shop and Craftsy shops. The pattern pieces are included for the 12″ version like I made but also for a 10″ version to match the last few blocks in the collection in case you would prefer to keep your blocks more or less the same size…but where is the challenge in that?

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Ice Skate Ornament

Iceskate Ornament
I’m just popping in quickly today to share this ornament that I made for an ornament exchange with Melinda. I think it might be arriving at her house today, as she is finishing up a beautiful hand knit star ornament for me!

I made this ornament using National Nonwovens Felt and the Sizzix Ice Skate die by Brenda Walton. First, I applied some Thermoweb HeatnBond Lite to the back of the felt pieced that I was going to cut into the runner shape, the sole, and the flourish. HeatnBond Lite is a great product to use when fusing wool felt because it is a low temperature fusible and you know you don’t want to put a hot iron on your felt. Then I cut all my pieces using the die and my BigShot.  I handstitched clear seed beads on the flourish for a little sparkle.  Then I used a whipstitch to stitch around the outside edges of the ornament and stuffed lightly.  I used a double strand of red and white bakers twine to lace the skate through the holes cut by the die.  If you try this, be very gentle so that your holes don’t stretch and rip through.  That happened on my first attempt!    I think it is a sweet ornament and I hope to make one for our tree too!

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White Christmas Stocking-Free Pattern

White Christmas Stocking

I love Christmas stockings! Santa always did such a great job filling mine as a kid and my husband has kept up the tradition finding lots of fun little trinkets to fill mine with each year. Today I am sharing a free pattern to make this White Christmas Stocking on the Thermoweb blog. Thanks to my friends at Blend Fabrics, I used Hip Hop Holiday by Josephine Kimberling to create the stocking. The stocking has an appliqued polka dot design, is fully lined and has a cuff.

I used a “newish” Thermoweb product in my tutorial called StitchnSew Pattern Material. Are you familiar with it? Click through to the tutorial to see how it is helpful for creating a more permanent pattern than the taped up copy paper one you will have when you download my pdf!

While I love this stocking, my family members all have their own homemade stocking so I am listing this one in my Etsy shop if you are interested. Click here.

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During Quiet Time Christmas Tutorials

Christmas Collage

I’ve shared a number of Christmas sewing tutorials over the last couple of years and thought I would do a little round up in case you are looking for something to sew!  These are all free tutorials and the links to my original posts with full project directions can be found below.

Table Topper
Two Turtledoves Pillow Cover
Poinsettia Ring Pillow Cover
Clothespin Angel Ornaments
Holly Wreath
Felt Trees
Patchwork Stocking
Christmas Cogs Quilt

I will have a couple more Christmas tutorials to share in the next few weeks, a table runner, a stocking and an ornament at least. So, keep checking!

Mittens Paper Pieced Pattern

Mittens block

I designed this block for my Christmas/winter series based on my little girl’s toddler sized mittens with ruffly cuffs.  She may outgrow those sweet mittens but I will have this block to remind me of all the times I slipped them onto her hands.  Sigh.

I used BasicGrey’s Aspen Frost which is available at the Fat Quarter Shop to sew my block, along with Vanilla Grunge from Marmalade Fabrics.

mittens cover

It’s really fun to choose fabrics for this block. There are so many possibilities because mittens come in all colors and patterns. It would be fun to make them using a quilting cotton with a printed knit design. The block is easy to sew with only a couple of seams to match up. The pattern can be found in my Etsy shop and Craftsy shops.

Dove Paper Pieced Pattern

Dove pattern cover

I’ve been itching to design a new paper piece pattern. I decided to work away at my selection of Christmas designs. Last year I made the Reindeer and the Stocking. Prior to that, I had made the Vintage Skier and the Ice Skate. I hope to include all the blocks in a Christmas quilt that I will make in a few years, certainly not this year. If you’d like to quilt along with me, I promise, you will be able to keep up my pace of 2-3 blocks a year!

dove block

Thanks to my Flickr friend Synnoeve from Norway I had this fabulous Christmas text print to use for the body of the dove. The background fabric is a BasicGrey grunge in navy.

You can find this pattern in my Craftsy shop as well as my Etsy shop.  I think that this is my first holiday project.  I am guessing that there will be at least a couple more even though I don’t have any planned. I can’t help myself when it comes to sewing Christmas things.

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Hope

Following the tragedy that occurred here in the United States on Friday, it doesn’t seem right to just continue blogging as usual.  Crafting is my therapy so I made this bunting, spelling out a word that I think is so important every Christmas season, but particularly so this year.  Hope.  I just sent my children off on the bus with a lot of hope in my heart.  Hope for their safety.  Hope that they will help change the world for the better one day. Hope that we can make the world a better place for them. Hope that the families who are missing their loved ones can find healing and peace.

Supplies:
wool felt courtesy of National Nonwovens
buttons from BasicGrey
dies from Sizzix (Banners, Tattered Poinsettia, Layered Angel Wings, Snowflakes, Holly, Borders and Hydrangeas

Reindeer

I have to say that I am really delighted with the way this reindeer block turned out!  It exceeded my hopes which is always a really nice surprise.  
I used BasicGrey’s Blitzen print for the background because it is woodlands-y and even has a deer in it! It’s still available at the Fat Quarter Shop. The reindeer itself is supposed to be a silhouette. At first I was considering a grey textured solid but I am so happy that I changed my mind. I love the Onyx grunge from Marmalade Fabrics. I chose to place the lighter sections of the grunge at the tip of the nose and neck. It adds a nice dimension and softness.  

My Reindeer paper pieced pattern now joins my Christmas Stocking pattern in both my Etsy Shop and Craftsy Shop.  They both measure 8″ x 12″ so they make a nice set.
The reindeer is slightly harder to piece than the stocking but still appropriate for a beginner to intermediate paper piecer.  There aren’t any super tiny pieces or curved seams.  There is a little fussy seam matching by the ear and the slightest of Y seams through the center of the block.  Don’t let that scare you though.  It’s such a breeze that it can be done before you remove the papers even.  I will walk you right through it.
In other paper piecing news, Kerry and Penny debuted their set of Christmas patterns today. Have you seen them yet? 

Christmas Stocking Paper Pieced Pattern

I have this tendency to introduce garden, crab and flip flop patterns in the winter and skiers in the summer.  In an attempt to rectify that, I am introducing an appropriately seasonal pattern today!  

I fondly recall the treasures that my childhood Christmas stocking held.  That’s why I designed this block.

I used Laurie Wisbrun’s Brrr! Snowflakes in Red for the body of my stocking with Kona White cuff, toe and heel.  The background is Teal Shaded Cotton by Riley Blake–a great coordinate for Brrr!  It’s available at Sew Me A Song.

If you’d like a copy of this pattern, it’s available in my Craftsy shop and my Etsy shop.  This is a good pattern for someone fairly new to paper piecing.  It only has 4 seams that need to be matched, no curved piecing and no Y seams.

On Angels’ Wings Ornament Tutorial

I love making Christmas ornaments! I think I might have just mentioned that a couple of days ago.  But I really do. Today I am sharing a tutorial on the Sizzix blog using the new Tim Holtz Layered Angel Wing Die to make these sweet, homespun angel ornaments.

To learn more about how I made these, click over to the Sizzix blog today!

Happy crafting.

Metallic Snowflake Rosette Ornaments

The ornament making bug has struck.  I love making Christmas ornaments so there will  be more to come.  When I saw the new Tim Holtz Sizzlit Snowflake Rosette, I really wanted to try it.  Sizzlits are dies made by Sizzix to cut a single layer of lightweight paper to cardstock.  However, I really, really wanted to make the snowflakes out of ribbon.  I tried a few different ribbons before I found one that worked.  Even at that, I had to remove each of the little ovals from the edges of the snowflake by hand.  Clearly, I was pushing the die to do something it wasn’t made to do.  But…I loved the result so I forged on.
The ribbon I used is a wide, wire edged semi sheer metallic ribbon of the type sold for Christmas wreath bows.  It fit over the Sizzlit die with the wire on the outside (so it didn’t interfere with the cut).  I then folded the strip accordion style and ran a piece of thread through the ends with my needle and knotted it to hold the snowflake shape together.
Then I cut two of the flat center snowflakes so that I could glue one to each side to make the ornament look finished on both sides.  I tried felt which really pushed the Sizzlit too far. It required some snipping with scissors after cutting.  So for the other two, I used a script paper and a glittery card stock which both cut easily (clearly the intended use!).

I embellished the centers with brads and sequins and hung the ornaments with metallic gold thread.  These really catch the light nicely and are light as a feather which is great for practical reasons.

Fast, Fun, Fabulous Felt

I love a good felt project.  I’ve seen cute little felt trees for Christmas in recent years and have wanted to make some for myself.  I made this set using the Sizzix Bigz Pro Cone die. This is a Pro die which means that you need a Big Shot Pro. It also means that these trees stand over 8″ tall! It’s great to be able to cut larger die cut shapes.

I used a selection of high quality wool felts from National Non Wovens.  After cutting the cone shapes in shades of green felt, I decorated them while they were still flat.  I used the Sizzix Sizzlits Decorative Strip Die Loops and Rick Rack to cut the red and white trims you see above.  The lime green pom pom trim was purchased as is.  These trims were all attached with a row of machine stitching.  Then I cut a bunch of 1″ circles using the Sizzix Bigz Die Circles 1″.  I’ve decided to use this die to cut all felt scraps that I might have otherwise thrown out.  It makes a scrap into a useful shape for so many things. I will just store them away until I find use for them.  I strung some as a garland in the background even!  I attached each circle with embroidery floss.  Some of the circles are further embellished with BasicGrey buttons or embroidered brads.

I then stitched up the side seams of each cone by hand and stuffed with fiberfill.  Then I attached a 4 1/2″ circle to the bottom of the cone with hand stitches   When it was almost closed, I poured in some dry beans to give the base of the tree more weight.  Then I closed it up.
I hope you enjoy this fast, festive felt project!

Christmas Crafting Inspiration

I have such an undeniable love of Christmas crafting.  I like to try to keep it low pressure, crafting for family and friends but every year I am asked to sell my ornaments in my Etsy shop.  It looks like once again, I will probably not be prepared early enough to do that.  But I intend to make my share of Christmas crafts for fun at very least. If I am able to make enough to add to my shop, I will.
I also joined a Christmas ornament swap so I need to make four ornaments, one each for my four secret partners.

I’m trying to get myself in the Christmas crafting mood by going through my photos of Christmas projects from the last couple of years.  It’s starting to work but I think that the Christmas crafting spirit will come a bit easier after this weekend when I am done throwing my daughter a Halloween themed birthday party…and when a box of new Sizzix Christmas dies arrive!

What are you making for Christmas?