Category Archives: 12 Days of Christmas in July Blog Hop 2017

Three Project Peeks

I have three project peeks for you today. This week has been a fast one with the 12 Days of Christmas in July Blog Hop and seeing all the fun projects from the bloggers who are participating. I hope you keep following each day, fill your to-do list with some fun Christmas projects, and make sure to comment on each blog so you qualify for the great giveaway. You can find the details on the giveaway and the blog hop  here.

So let’s get to the peeks! I’ve had some fun this week working with my stash of fabric. Do you ever get fabric and know you want to make something — like, you kind of have an idea, but not really? I have had a couple of pre-cuts that fit that description. Finally this week the lightbulb went on, and I had to get to work on them.

So I’ve been doing a little of this. This will be a gift for a friend.

Three Project Peek - piecefulthoughts.com
This is not my design, but a fun little project.

And a little of this. I have no idea what I will do with this.

Three Project Peeks - piecefulthoughts.com
This isn’t a design of mine either, but it sure is colorful!

And a whole lotta this. I have no idea what I will do with this either, but I am having so much fun.

Three Project Peeks - piecefulthoughts.com
I told my husband, “It’s improv, but I have a plan!” He thought that was funny.

None of these projects are done yet, but they are well on their way. I’ll post my progress!

In Other News

What else is going on in my life? Here’s a few random things.

  • In less than a month we move our daughter to Florida.
  • In a little more than a month we go on our 30th anniversary trip.
  • I have 6 quart jars of brandied cherries soaking up the sun in my kitchen window.
  • Fred and I have separated, but we are still friends. He is residing with my other boots and shoes. PT is more fun than wearing Fred the Boot.
  • I’d like my own personal chef so I wouldn’t have to make dinner.
Before You Go

Since we’ve been talking about Christmas projects this week, and if you’ve enjoyed the QAL that’s been going on with the 12 Days of Christmas in July Blog Hop, I want to put a little plug in for another QAL coming up on August 1st.

Earlier this year, I was part of the 2017 New Bloggers Blog Hop and I have met some of the most amazing bloggers through that group. Some of them have put together the I Wish You a Merry Christmas Quilt-A-Long and if you enjoy QALs, you don’t want to miss this one! I’ve seen the blocks that will be part of this, and they are cute! You can get all the details here.  Don’t miss it — you’ll have a fun quilt all ready for Christmas!

Have a great weekend, everyone! I hope you sneak some sewing time in!

Wendy

Mini Garland Tutorial

Well, wow! What a fun week it has been for the 12 Days of Christmas in July Blog Hop! Thanks so much for all of your kind and encouraging comments! I hope you have been visiting the blogs each day and finding some great ideas for Christmas!

So many of you commented on the little JOY mini garland that I thought I’d do a really quick tutorial on how I put it together. It really goes together quickly. Depending on the number of blocks you in the garland, this can easily be made in a day or less. So let’s get started!

Mini Garland Tutorial - piecefulthoughts.com

You’ll Need These Items
  • Your colored block. I’m using a leftover block from when I was drafting the garland. If you are just joining us, you can read about how to make the colored letter blocks here.
  • Four 1″ x 5″ strips of fabric to use as borders around the block. You can adjust the length of these strips to match the size of your block after it’s cut. I used a charm pack square, so I cut mine 1″ x 5″.
  • One piece of background fabric. I also used a charm pack square here, but you can go scrappy with this. It needs to be just a bit bigger than your trimmed block.
  • One scrap piece of fusible fleece or regular batting the size of your backing fabric.
  • Chopstick or other turning tool

Take the colored block and trim it down to the size you want. I leave 1/2″ around my letter, to allow for 1/4″ seam allowance and some space around the letter.

Mini Garland Tutorial - piecefulthoughts.com

Mini Garland Tutorial - piecefulthoughts.com

Next, gather your scrap strips, or charm pack square for your border, and cut them 1″ x 5″, or 1″ by the length of your colored block square after trimming.

Mini Garland Tutorial - piecefulthoughts.com

Take two of the strips and sew one strip to each side of the colored block.

Mini Garland Tutorial - piecefulthoughts.com

Trim them even with the colored block. Then take the other two strips and sew them to the top and bottom of the block. Trim them to the size of the block. Now you have your bordered block.

Mini Garland Tutorial - piecefulthoughts.com

Next, take your scrap piece of fusible fleece and fuse it to the wrong side of the block. (Note: If you are using regular batting, place it on the wrong side of the block. You can either secure it with a quick spritz of spray baste or with pins.)

Mini Garland Tutorial - piecefulthoughts.com

Here it is with the fusible fleece added — you just can’t see the fusible but it’s underneath there!

Mini Garland Tutorial - piecefulthoughts.com

Next, take your backing fabric and trim it to the exact size of the bordered block. Lay the backing fabric on top of the block so that the backing and block are right sides together. Stitch around the block, using a scant 1/4″ seam. Make sure to leave an opening so that you can turn the block.

Mini Garland Tutorial - piecefulthoughts.com

Clip the corners to reduce bulk. Just don’t clip through the stitching!

Mini Garland Tutorial - piecefulthoughts.com

Turn the block, and use a chopstick or another tool to push out the corners.

Mini Garland Tutorial - piecefulthoughts.com

Give the block a good press with the iron, tucking under the seam allowances of the opening. Stitch close to the edge all the way around the block.

Mini Garland Tutorial - piecefulthoughts.com

All done and ready to hang with a cute mini clothespin!

Mini Garland Tutorial - piecefulthoughts.com

I hope you enjoy making this little mini garland. I’d love to see pictures of what you make!

Don’t forget to keep following the Blog Hop and commenting — you don’t want to miss out on that giveaway. You can find all the details over on Sarah’s blog at Confessions of a Fabric Addict.

Happy stitching, friends!

Wendy

 

Color Me Christmas

This is the 4th day of the 12 Days of Christmas in July Blog Hop, and today I’m one of the stops along the way!

Be sure to check out the other blogs for today; I have them listed with links for you at the end of this post. Remember that commenting on all of the blogs today makes you eligible for giveaway, too!

Kids and Christmas

When my kids were little, I recall having a mad scramble around Christmas for gifts for teachers, friends, grandpa and grandma — you know what I mean, right? I was always looking for something fun for them to make that didn’t add further stress and cost to the works!

Today I want to revisit an old craft with you for an easy kids sewing project that is relatively easy to do and can be used in a variety of ways. Using some scrap material and a few art supplies, this easy project goes together pretty quickly. So let’s get started.

Gather Your Tools

You’ll need the following items:

  • Light table or sunny window
  • Tape (opt)
  • Simple drawing or design with bold lines for tracing (or you can freehand the design)
  • Pencil for tracing
  • Freezer paper (optional)
  • Crayola® brand crayons (other brands don’t saturate well)
  • Crayon sharpener
  • Two sheets of paper towel OR a sheet of clean paper
  • Iron
  • Small piece of light background fabric (I used a 5.5″ square)
Kids’ Fun for Kids of All Ages

We’re going to be tracing a design on fabric, coloring in that design, and then setting the color with the iron. (Remember doing that as a kid?) Kids should be able to do all of this with a little guidance, depending on their ages.

You can use plain white fabric or a low volume fabric. I experimented a bit and found that low volume fabric adds a bit of fun to the background, yet the crayons cover it quite well.

Color Me Christmas - piecefulthoughts.com

If you are going to be tracing a design onto the fabric, this is where you use the light table or sunny window. Choose a design that is simple and easy to trace. I used letters, but you could find a fun pattern from free online clip art or a small coloring book (you might have to reduce the image), etc.  Place the design under the fabric and center it. Trace lightly around the design. Don’t worry if the lines get dark, it can be covered up in later steps. Besides, those little imperfections will bring a smile in years to come!

Color Me Christmas - Tracing with Light Table - piecefulthoughts.com

Tip: If you are going to freehand the design, or have the kids draw rather than trace a design on the fabric, consider stabilizing the fabric with freezer paper to keep the fabric from stretching and frustrating those little fingers as they try to draw. Taking a scrap piece of freezer paper and lay it shiny side up on your ironing table. Iron the shiny side of the freezer paper to the wrong side of the fabric. The freezer paper will adhere to the fabric and is easily removable once the project is done. Leave the freezer paper on for the next step.

Color Me Christmas - Freezer Paper Stabilizer - piecefulthoughts.com

Okay, now to the fun stuff. Have the kids color in the design with the crayons. Let them be creative and use whatever colors they wish. Encourage them to color with bold strokes; darker coloring shows up better. This is also where that sharpener comes in handy.

Once the coloring is done, remove the freezer paper (if you’ve used it) by simply grabbing a corner of the paper and pulling it away from the fabric.

Place the fabric between two sheets of paper towel (or paper) and iron to set the crayon. Just run the hot iron over the paper towel or paper a few times, holding it briefly over the design.

Color Me Christmas - How to - piecefulthoughts.com

Working Together

Now that the coloring is done and set, it’s time to jazz it up a bit. This is where you can have all kinds of fun and let your imagination go. Kids can also do this with guidance, depending on their age, but you may have to do more oversight on the following steps. I’ve kept my designs pretty simple, but you can feel free to use your imagination and give your block some personality!

You can embroider around the design, as simple or elaborate as you like. This can be done by a child if they are comfortable with using needle and thread. You can stabilize the block before stitching with a bit of fusible interfacing if you wish.

Color Me Christmas - Embellishing - piecefulthoughts.com

Or you can just outline the design with a permanent ink pen designed for fabric (I use a Micron pen). Be sure to set the ink with a quick press of the iron.

Color Me Christmas - Mug Mat - piecefulthoughts.com

For the mug mat above, I used a 5.5″ square of Moda Grunge for the background. I simply drew a freehand snowman on my block, so you can see how easily and quickly this project can be done. This is helpful for those little ones who just want to quickly draw something and be off on another adventure! I didn’t embellish the snowman much, other than adding some outlining and three tiny buttons on his tummy.

To finish the mug mat top, I used two 1.5″ x 10″ strips of fabric, one light, one dark, and sewed them together on one long side, pressing the seam to the dark fabric. Your strip should measure 2.5″ wide. Then I cut the strip into five 1.5″ pieces and sewed them back together, alternating the red and white squares to form a checkerboard. Sew it to the right side of the snowman block. Spray baste the top, add batting and backing and a little quilting. Bind it, and done!

Here are a few samples of some fun things I did with this crayon art. Let your imagination flow.

A mini quilt with a touch of improv. I just cut around the letter in a wonky shape and added scraps of fabric by following the shape.

Color Me Christmas - Mini Mini - piecefulthoughts.com

A fun little mini garland to hang in a little nook or cranny.

Color Me Christmas - Mini Garland - piecefulthoughts.com

Here’s some other ideas:

  • Rather than mini garland, add a magnet to the back of each letter for use on the magnetic board.
  • Add a colored block to a zipper pouch for a personalized gift.
  • Make ornaments — you could even date them using the fabric pen (don’t forget to set the writing with a press of the iron!)
  • Using a fusible like Steam-A-Seam, fuse the small block to a lunch-size brown paper bag for a cute gift bag.

See? All kinds of ideas! Have fun with this project! I’d love to see a picture of what you and your kids create!

Don’t forget that in order to qualify for the giveaway, you need to leave a comment on my blog as well as the others scheduled for today.

Here are the other blogs to visit today.

Ok, friends, leave a comment and then hop on over to the other blogs!

Wendy

Bloghop Day!

It seems to happen to me every year, right around the month of July. I tell myself that I need to get going on Christmas projects. I think to myself, if I start in July, I can have most of my Christmas gifts done and waiting to be wrapped by December. Great idea, but it never happens. Does that happen to you?

Well today is the day to make it happen! The 12 Days of Christmas in July Blog Hop begins today. This blog hop is going to be chock full of great projects that you can start now and have your Christmas gift list well on its way to being done! With 30 bloggers posting over the next 12 days, you’re sure to find some great projects for Christmas that you can make right now.

You really shouldn’t miss a day of this blog hop, so let me give you the details.

Sarah over at Confessions of a Fabric Addict is once again coordinating this blog hop. Visit her post today, take a look at her fun project, and thank her for hosting. By the way, if you don’t follow Sarah, you should. She is delightful and so creative!

Starting today for the next 12 days, a group of bloggers will be posting their Christmas projects to share with you. Be sure to visit each one of their posts each day and leave a comment in each blogger’s post. Why? Because we love positive feedback, but also because you will then be eligible for the amazing giveaway during this blog hop! More about the giveaway in a moment.

Here’s the blog hop schedule.

Friday, July 14th

Saturday, July 15th

Sunday, July 16th

Monday, July 17th

Tuesday, July 18th

Wednesday, July 19th

Thursday, July 20th

Friday, July 21st

Saturday, July 22nd

Don’t Miss the Great Giveaway!

So here’s the deal on the giveaway — you don’t want to miss out on this! If you visit each blog each day and leave a comment on each blog, you’ll be eligible to win prizes. This giveaway is world-wide, by the way!

The lovely folks over at Free Spirit Fabrics have donated not just one item for a giveaway, but THIRTEEN!  And it’s pretty drool-worthy stuff, too – it’s Tula Pink’s new holiday line, Holiday Homies!!!

Sarah has six design rolls, six layer cakes, and one fat quarter bundle to give away – and here’s how she’s going to do it!  Visit each stop on the hop, including Sarah’s blog, and leave a comment on each post for the day.  At the end of the hop, Sarah will do a giveaway for each day by putting everyone’s name in the hat who commented that day (from all that day’s hop-blogs), and drawing a winner for that day.  That will be twelve winners!  Then Sarah will put all the names from all the days in a hat and draw out a grand prize winner!  You have until July 27th to comment on the blogs. One caveat — only one prize per person — but don’t let that stop you from entering! 

Join in the Fun!

I hope you visit each of the blogs during the next 12 days. There will be a variety of projects, so I’m sure you’ll find at least one that you want to do! And don’t miss the chance at the amazing giveaway!

And don’t forget to stop by my blog on Monday. If you are looking for some ideas for kids (and kids at heart) crafts during the holiday season, you’ll want to see what I’m up to. See you Monday!

Wendy