Friday, February 15, 2019

Spool Party Pincushion Tutorial

Spool Party Pincushion Tutorial by Heidi Staples for Fabric Mutt

Happy Friday, everyone! To celebrate, here's an easy tutorial just perfect for some fun weekend sewing.

Liberty Spool Party Block Tutorial by Heidi Staples for Fabric Mutt

I've gotten lots of requests for the spool pattern I used on the Liberty runner I shared last month. The directions below will show you how to make the spool block itself and then how to turn it into a sweet little pincushion that you can sew up in as little as 20 minutes. These are perfect for sewing swap extras, beginner projects, or maybe even a sewing themed Easter basket. (I'm always thinking ahead to the next big holiday...)

Let's have a Spool Party this week! If you make one of these pincushions -- or even a bigger project with this spool block -- share a photo on Instagram along with the hashtag #spoolparty and make sure you tag me too @fabricmutt. I think this pattern is especially fun for fussy cutting, and I'm hoping to make a pillow with lots of cute spool centers!

Here's the pattern:

Spool Party Pincushion Tutorial by Heidi Staples for Fabric Mutt

Spool Party Pincushion

Notes: All seams are 1/4". Press seams open or toward the darker fabric.

1. Sew a 3/4" x 2 1/2" background strip to the right and left edges of a 2 1/2" x 2 1/2" feature square.

2. Sew a 1" x 3" spool end strip to the upper and lower edges of the block. This is a finished spool block which you can use to make pouches, table runners, quilts, etc. But if you want to make the Spool Party Pincushion, keep going!

3. Sew a 1" x 3" background strip to the upper and lower edges of the block.

4. Sew a 1 1/4" x 4 1/2" strip to the right and left edges of the block. Use adhesive basting spray to fuse a 4 1/2" x 4 1/2" piece of batting to the wrong side of the block and quilt as desired. Fold a 2" piece of twill tape in half with wrong sides together and center it on the left edge of the pincushion top. Baste it in place.

5. Place a 4 1/2" x 4 1/2" piece of backing fabric right sides together with the pincushion top. Sew all around the outside edge, leaving a 2" gap on the side opposite the twill tape loop. Trim the corners and turn the pincushion right side out.

6. Stuff the pincushion with the stuffing of your choice and hand sew the opening closed.

Spool Party Pincushion Tutorial by Heidi Staples for Fabric Mutt

I can't wait to see lots of cute spool projects showing up in my feed. Be sure to share this tutorial with friends so we can get this #spoolparty started!

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Shortcake

Shortcake Fabric by Heidi Staples of Fabric Mutt for Riley Blake Designs

My Shortcake fabric for Riley Blake Designs is heading out into the world at last! This group of prints is so dear to my heart, and I have to admit that it's probably my favorite collection that I've done. As always, I want to share the backstory of these prints with you...

Shortcake Fabric by Heidi Staples of Fabric Mutt for Riley Blake Designs

It will be four years in June since my family made our big move from Southern California to the Texas hill country, and I'll never forget that first summer in our new home. Those early months were a roller coaster of emotions as we tried to unpack and settle in while our house was still being repaired and renovated. We didn't know a soul in Texas, and though people were kind, it was challenging to start the journey of finding a place for ourselves in this new community. In many ways, it bonded us together as a family like nothing else could have done. We spent that first summer enjoying one adventure after another, exploring nearby museums and attractions, driving to downtown San Antonio and small town Fredericksburg, and eating some of the best food I've ever tasted in my life. Dad and James taught the girls to swim, and we spent nearly every afternoon playing in the pool until dinner time. James planted a tiny orchard as well as a garden for vegetables, fruits, and herbs in the backyard, where our girls loved to help him water, pull weeds, and check on seedlings. And Mom and I slowly began to turn our rambling house into a home, one unpacked box at a time.

Shortcake Fabric by Heidi Staples of Fabric Mutt for Riley Blake Designs

That first summer in Texas has been followed by two more, and even now I'm eagerly looking forward to the next one. Nowadays summer means going on long road trips and short daytrips, working on patchwork in the loft while the girls read in their library, volunteering with our church's Vacation Bible School, taking walks along the horse trail before the sun goes down, watching fireworks with all the other families in front of the local high school on Fourth of July, and looking out the kitchen window to see James and the girls coming in from the garden with freshly picked cherry tomatoes, strawberries, and watermelons.  It means movie nights in the family room laughing over classic comedies from the 1940's, quiet mornings doing puzzles in the breakfast nook, and barbecue dinners that start with tall glasses of iced tea and end with warm shortcake smothered in strawberries and whipped cream.

Shortcake Fabric by Heidi Staples of Fabric Mutt for Riley Blake Designs

My Shortcake collection is a celebration of all those beautiful summer moments that I treasure in my heart. And I'm so happy to share these fabrics with you so that you can use them to make memories of your own.

Be sure to ask your favorite quilt shop to get in touch with Riley Blake so that they can order Shortcake and have it ready to go on the shelves for you. If you make anything with this collection, please share pictures online with the hashtag #shortcakefabric -- and don't forget to tag me @fabricmutt! I'll be sharing pictures of the Picnic Medallion Quilt soon, which I designed as a free pattern to go along with these prints. I hope you love these fabrics as much as I do, friends. Just looking at these pictures has me counting the days until June...

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

A Random Act of Craftiness

Mazy's Wonderland Crafty Half Apron by Heidi Staples for Fabric Mutt

January has always been a blah sort of month for me. Once the hoopla of New Year's is past and the inevitable week of low-carb dieting reminds me that life is too short to go without bread, we settle into a quiet monotony that stretches well into the beginning of February. It can be mind numbing at times, stuck here in the middle of the school year with nowhere to go. Spring feels so far away, and I have trouble getting excited about the daily grind.

Mazy's Wonderland Crafty Half Apron by Heidi Staples for Fabric Mutt

After getting through a particularly rough patch last week, I finally decided that I desperately needed some playtime in my sewing room. So I pulled out the stack of Mazy's Wonderland fabric by my incredibly talented friend Dylan Mierzwinski (follow her at @bydylanm on Instagram -- you'll be so glad you did) that I've been saving since Quilt Market and sewed up a sweet crafty apron in one afternoon.

Mazy's Wonderland Crafty Half Apron by Heidi Staples for Fabric Mutt

I can't tell you how much joy and satisfaction this one little random act of craftiness gave me. I not only have an adorable sewing apron, but I feel like my creativity got a much needed caffeine rush. It feels so good to be excited about trying new projects again!

If you're feeling the winter blahs too, try a little playtime yourself. Pull together a few of your favorite prints, pick a fun small project (check out my Tutorials page if you need some ideas), and make something happy this week!

Monday, February 4, 2019

Blossom Scissors Pouch

Riley Blake Designs Blossom Basic Embroidery Scissors Pouch by Heidi Staples for Fabric Mutt

So many thanks for all the lovely comments on my last project, both here and on Instagram! I had no idea that Liberty spool runner would be such a hit. I've received so many requests for the pattern that I'm adding it to my to-do list. Keep an eye on the blog for more news to come on that!

My dear friend Christopher (aka The Tattooed Quilter) has released a beautiful new basic print for Riley Blake Designs this year called Blossom, featuring the tiniest flowers tossed over a solid background in a rainbow of colors. I adore the small scale of this print, making it so perfect for little patchwork projects like the one I'm sharing today.

Riley Blake Designs Blossom Basic Embroidery Scissors Pouch by Heidi Staples for Fabric Mutt

I'm a big fan of embroidery scissors, and I love collecting new pairs whenever I get the chance. This, of course, means that I also get the fun of making a pouch to hold them all, which is what I did last week. This hexagon zipper case is a variation on a pouch from the book Sweet & Simple Patchwork Gifts by Hisako Arai and Yoko Sanjo, which I highly recommend if you love small patchwork projects the way I do. I changed things up a bit so that there are only hexagons on the front and so that I could finish the pouch by machine instead of by hand.

Riley Blake Designs Blossom Basic Embroidery Scissors Pouch by Heidi Staples for Fabric Mutt

My red, blue, white, and pink hexagons are bordered by navy gingham for a spin on patriotic colors, which is currently one of my favorite color schemes. I added a pink zipper, a red and cream twill tape loop, and an adorable scissors charm to the zipper pull. The pouch is lined in a white Blossom print featuring little red flowers, and I love the way it looks against that pale pink zipper.

Riley Blake Designs Blossom Basic Embroidery Scissors Pouch by Heidi Staples for Fabric Mutt

This charm makes me so ridiculously happy every time I see it!

Projects like these always remind me that the only thing better than sewing with pretty fabric is sewing with pretty fabric designed by wonderful friends...

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Liberty Spool Runner

Liberty of London Hesketh House Spool Table Runner by Heidi Staples of Fabric Mutt

I was thrilled to pieces when I heard that Riley Blake Designs was going to be the U.S. distributor for Liberty of London quilting weight cotton. I've long been a fan of Liberty's gorgeous designs, and getting the chance to work with their new Hesketh House collection was such a treat.


These prints have all the beautiful details of their famous lawn with all the durability of quilting cotton. It's a quilter's dream!

Liberty of London Hesketh House Spool Table Runner by Heidi Staples of Fabric Mutt


Because I wanted to showcase as many prints as I could in a table runner, I decided to do a very basic small spool block. Each spool has a different fabric as the thread, and then I used a black floral print for the spool ends to tie it all together.

Liberty of London Hesketh House Spool Table Runner by Heidi Staples of Fabric Mutt

The piece is hand quilted in white Valdani Perle Cotton -- my first attempt with this thread, and it was such a pleasure to use. Hand quilting always adds so much lovely texture and personality, I think. A white solid works nicely for both the background and the binding so that all the focus is on those sweet spools.

This was one of those projects where finishing is almost bittersweet. I'm so glad to see it done, but I'm really going to miss working on it every night...

Monday, January 14, 2019

Bluebirds on Roses Breakfast Placemats

Elea Lutz's Bluebirds on Roses EPP Hexagon Breakfast Placemats sewn by Heidi Staples of Fabric Mutt for Riley Blake Designs

It's not an exaggeration to say that I mark my calendar whenever I see that my dear friend Elea Lutz is releasing a new fabric collection. I've been collecting her prints for years now, and they're some of my favorites in my entire stash.


Her latest release is called Bluebirds on Roses, and it's absolutely beautiful.


See what I mean? It makes me SO happy just looking at it!

Elea Lutz's Bluebirds on Roses EPP Hexagon Breakfast Placemats sewn by Heidi Staples of Fabric Mutt for Riley Blake Designs

I've been going through a hexagon phase lately, so I decided to make EPP hexagon flowers which I appliqued to small round placemats that my girls can use underneath their breakfast cereal bowls in the morning. Won't these beautiful prints be a lovely way to start the day?!

Elea Lutz's Bluebirds on Roses EPP Hexagon Breakfast Placemats sewn by Heidi Staples of Fabric Mutt for Riley Blake Designs

I love to do hand sewing in the evenings while my husband and I relax in front of the television after a long day, and these hexagons were such fun to work on as we laughed together over a favorite show.

Elea Lutz's Bluebirds on Roses EPP Hexagon Breakfast Placemats sewn by Heidi Staples of Fabric Mutt for Riley Blake Designs

The colors are just perfect, and I especially love the tiny details that Elea has sprinkled throughout each print: bluebirds, kitty cats, strawberries, cherries, and of course, flowers galore. Her designs are such a beautiful cross between traditional and modern, and they always make me smile.

Elea Lutz's Bluebirds on Roses EPP Hexagon Breakfast Placemats sewn by Heidi Staples of Fabric Mutt for Riley Blake Designs

Bluebirds on Roses is appearing in stores everywhere now, but I have a feeling that it won't be around for long. I've already bought a little extra to have on hand...you know, just in case...

Friday, January 11, 2019

Stash & Carry Basket in Quilts & More Magazine

Stash & Carry Basket by Heidi Staples of Fabric Mutt for Quilts & More Magazine
All images in this post used with permission from Quilts & More™ magazine. ©2019 Meredith Corporation. All rights reserved.


The latest issue of Quilts & More magazine is in stores today, and I'm thrilled to have a pattern inside its pages! Of all the patterns I've written over the years, this Stash & Carry patchwork basket is definitely on the list of my top ten favorites.

Stash & Carry Basket by Heidi Staples of Fabric Mutt for Quilts & More Magazine

This sweet fabric caddy is perfect for using your favorite tiny scraps, making it a burst of scrappy, happy color on your sewing shelf! Leather handles (which can easily be substituted with fabric or webbing ones) and an inside pocket for tools or notions are handy additions. The dimensions make it the perfect size for stashing charm packs or folded fat quarters.

Stash & Carry Basket by Heidi Staples of Fabric Mutt for Quilts & More Magazine

I am so honored be a part of this amazing magazine in some small way. Be sure to pick up a copy at your local store. If you make one please share a photo on social media! Use the hashtag #stashandcarrybasket and be sure to tag me @fabricmutt so I can see what you're making. I'd love to see a picture of how you're using your basket too. This caddy can hold anything -- yarn skeins and crochet hooks, building blocks and legos, office or scrapbooking supplies, even bags of after school snacks or special goodies for your guest room. Use your imagination and share your ideas with all of us! I can't wait to see what you make...
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