I have been so busy with all my other makes I forgot about my mass of Christmas gift quilts I need to make! After a slight panic the first is finished – only 3 more to go! 

 I decided early on in the year that I would make quilts this year for Christmas gifts, by deciding early on I knew I would have plenty of time to get them made. Unfortunately I have been so busy with other makes I completely lost track of time and forgot about getting started on these quilts. After this realisation I had a slight panic about whether I would be able to get them all made, but decided to try and see if I could get them finished alongside with the board of other makes I need to get finished for Christmas! 
I decided to do a triangular one first, which after my last battle with a triangle machine made quilt was quite a brave decision! I battled through however and despite a few problems and a lot (and I really do mean a lot!) of unpicking and re-sewing and a few minor meltdowns I managed to get it finished and I’m really pleased with it – there are a few little bits in not 100% happy with where some of my points haven’t lined up completely but I think thats just me being over critical, and considering it’s only the second machine triangle quit I have done it’s come out really great. 
Now this one is finished I can get on with my other quilts, hopefully these go a little more smoothly and as I won’t be using triangles for these I think they will be a little less probmatic – although now I have just said that in sure they will cause me no end of stress! 

  
Triangle quilt details

1- Draw your triangle template; 4.5 inches long across the bottom and 4.5 inches high, meaning the sides were 5 inches long. 

  
2- Cut fabric into strips, 4.5 inches wide 

  
3- Take two strips of different fabric place right sides together and sew down each side 0.5 cm from the edge.  
4- Now take your triangular template and lay it across the fabric, with the base on one sewn side and the point on the other, cut down the sides, unpick the point and turn right side out – here are your joined double triangles!

   

   
5- Layout your triangles into the colour layout you want, I chose to do a random pattern of the different colours.

  
6- Cut out some singular triangles to form the straight edges at the top and cut some joined double triangles in half to straighten the side edges. 
6 – Start sewing the triangles together, working on the diagonal, place wrong sides together and sew down the seam. Once all the diagonal strips have been completed, sew these diagonal strips together. 

  
7- Layout your backing fabric piece, make sure this is a few inches bigger then the batting and patchwork pieces, next lay your batting on top, then place your patchwork layer on top. Pin everywhere to make sure it won’t move while quilting. You could also do a tacking stitch to really keep it together.  
8- Add your quilted detail, I sewed down the diagonal lines to create a diamond detail on the backing fabric. 
9- Bind around the edge by taking the backing fabric and folding it over to the front like you would when making a hem and slip stitch around. 

  

    
    
    
 

   
    
 

Following in the leaps of the frog hat, sneaking in is a very cute leopard one

I really enjoyed making my frog hat from Vanessa Mooncie’s crocheted animal hats book and wanted to make a few more as Christmas gifts for friends. I managed to find a little time Inbetween some quilts I am making (and that are starting to take over!) to make a leopard one – this took me a little longer than the frog to finish as you have to make and sew on all the individual spots which takes a little while as there are quite a few. It was definitely worth the extra work though.  
For the ear flap ties I did a slightly different finish and plaited three strands of yellow wool.  
Now I’ve got the difficult decision of which animal to pick next – I like them all! 

  

A fabric gift bag – Perfect for making your Christmas presents stand out from all the other gift bags this year 

Instead of putting my gifts into paper gift bags this year I have decided to do something a bit different, and make some fabric gift bags, what I like about these is the recipient can also use them after Christmas so they act as a little extra part to the gift too!

I use some lovely fabric from the Craft Cotton Company for this, a fat quarter bundle in North Star.

 

Time for me to get cracking on a few more of these, really happy with how it has turned out – you can make these as big or as small as you like. They would be great for awkwardly shaped items that are a nightmare to try and wrap with paper too!


Christmas gift bag tutorial
Materials needed

The Craft Cotton Company fat quarter bundle in North Star

Pins

Scissors

Thread

Paper for the patchwork pattern

Buttons

Needle

Ribbon (tip – you can use the one that came with the fat quarter bundle!)
1 – Making the bag.

Take the fat quarter that you would like to use for the main bag, fold it in half and cut off the bottom part making it 35 cm long. Place the fabric right sides together, and starting 6cm down from the top of the bag sew down the side seam then along the bottom.  Turn the right way around.

Next, with the side seam to the left, and starting on the back piece of the bag, fold in the top edge by 1cm, and then fold over the side edge seam fabric so no raw edges are left at the sides (repeat this process on the front piece).  Now fold over the top edge again, this time folding it in half so it touches where you have already started to sew down the side of the bag. Fold the rest of the top edge in this same way, folding it over 1cm then in half. Pin as you go, then sew along the bottom edge of this folded section to fix in place.
  

 2 – Threading the ribbon drawstring.

 Thread your ribbon through the top of the bag – I used the ribbon that came with the fat quarters. Fold over the raw edge at the end of the ribbon a few times and sew to hide the raw edge.  Repeat for other end.


3 – Making the patchwork Dresden pattern pieces. 

Draw a circle with a diameter approx. 6cm in size – I drew around the bottom of a round tub.  Split the circle into 8 Sections and draw a point 0.5cm out from the edge of the circle in the centre of each section. Draw a line from each of these points to each section line to create the pointed edges around the circle.  Cut out two of these whole templates and split them both into sections, this will give you two sets of template pieces one set for the front and the other for the back.

 

4 – Cutting out the fabric for the patchwork Dresden.

Choosing different colours from the fat quarter set, cut out fabric for each of the pattern pieces, ensuring you leave 0.5 cm of fabric around the template. Now tack the fabric around the template, folding the fabric back over the edge of the paper template. Make sure you put a number on the templates so you know where each piece goes for sewing together. Sew the templates together by placing the pieces right sides together and slip stitching down the seam.


  
  
Now, to make the backing piece for the Dresden, take your second set of template pieces and repeat the above process but instead of using different coloured fabric for each price, us the same fabric for each piece.  Place both completed sides right sides together and slip stitch around the edges, leaving a gap – I left one point section unsewn.  Remove the paper temple pieces, turn the right way, and sew closed the gap with a slip stitch.


  

5 – Attaching the button detail.

Take your button, and sew into the centre of the Dresden.

6 – Attach the Dresden and more button detail.

Place your Dresden on the bag and sew into place, now take some buttons and randomly place and sew onto the bag.

  

This tutorial is also over on the Craft Cotton Company blog, here are some other great makes over on there too.

http://craftcottonco.blogspot.co.uk/p/free-patterns.html?m=1

Getting ready for Christmas with the first of a few new stockings – don’t think my old ones would survive another year! 

I have just finished a tutorial for a patchwork stocking which is over on the Hobbycraft blog, really simple to make and perfect for hanging out on Christmas Eve!

http://blog.hobbycraft.co.uk/how-to-make-a-patchwork-stocking/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=twitter&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+HobbycraftBlog+%28Hobbycraft+Blog%29

There are loads more fantastic tutorials to check out over on the Hobbycrfat blog too.