Oh, What Fun Blog Hop: Gift Giving Vessels

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Howdy, friends, I’m back! And I hope you’re ready to get crafty…

As I mentioned in my previous post, my (belated) stop on the Hawthorne Threads Oh, What Fun Blog Hop is all about easy-to-sew (and easy to customize!) projects that are perfect for holding holiday gifts. Ditch that wrapping paper! I’ll be talking about how modify my free Sturdy Fabric Basket pattern to create ANY SIZE finished piece and sharing an adorable fabric sack pattern that I think you’ll love.

This new in-house fabric line by Hawthorne Threads could not possibly be any cuter. I’m pretty sure I squealed a little when I first saw it. Some of the prints are perfectly holiday, but what I really love is that some of them are more neutral – winter themed, or just geometric – and can be used for a a variety of occasions, which I’ll talk about more later. So, let’s get to it!

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These Sturdy Fabric Baskets are one of my favorite things to make. They’re quick and easy, and useful for so many things (plus, totally adorable!). I initially created the pattern a couple years ago to make baskets for holding fat quarters, scraps, trims, and notions in my sewing room, and then made one for holding remotes in the living room, another for hair accessories in the bathroom, and one for next to the door to catch my husbands wallet, sunglasses and all the miscellaneous junk that lives in his pockets!

You can showcase a fun focal print or create any patchwork design you like (there are patchwork directions in the pattern). The original pattern size (shown above and below) finishes at 8″ wide by 5″ high and 5″ deep, and is perfect for mixed gift baskets of items such as bath & body products or edible treats, just to name a couple ideas. I love these baskets so much, I want to gift them to myself! I can do that, right? I mean, I DID make them.

Another great feature of this basket size is that it’s perfect for holding Christmas cards, so your recipient can repurpose it after it’s emptied. You can also give a bag of potpourri along with it and it can be used a cute holiday decoration!

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I used my favorite prints from Oh, What Fun on these two. The row of faces is cut from the border panel print and was the perfect size, and then I used the center of that panel (the cute confetti) to make the lining of the other basket. The ornament print is called Baubles and I also used it to make some cute gift tags which you’ll see later in the post. I added tiny pom pom trim to the basket shown above and I love the look! I tucked it under the lining foldover and glued it in place – super easy!

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In the pattern file, I talk about using old belts or scraps of leather for the basket handles (which are optional.) I used scraps on both of these baskets. The gold was cut from a pouch I found at the thrift shop and the black is from a leather scrap pack I found at Hobby Lobby. I used embroidery floss to stitch them in place.

Thinner, lighter weight materials work best for the handles so they can bend easily. If your leather is too thick or sturdy, it can bow the sides of the basket out. You can also use ribbon, bias tape, or fabric in place of the leather.

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CUSTOMIZING YOUR BASKET

I receive emails quite often asking if I can resize the basket pattern cutting directions to create a specific sized piece that someone wants to make, so updating the pattern on how you can do this yourself has been on my to-do list for awhile, and this seemed like the perfect time! With a little math (don’t worry, it wont hurt too bad!), you can create any size basket you wish.

I’ve updated the original Study Fabric Basket PDF pattern file to include these directions and you can download it here.

Now I’ll show you a couple different sized baskets I created to get your creative juices flowing!

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I wanted to make a piece that was sized for kitchen utensils and accessories, because that is another favorite set of mine to gift (perfect for housewarmings and showers, too!). This basket measures 4″ wide by 4″ deep and 6″ tall and I filled it with a dish towel, pot holder, whisk, spoon, spatula, measuring spoons and cookie cutters.

I used my favorite Baubles print in the Glacier Blue colorway and the lining is from Hawthorne’s Stardust basics line, which comes in 54 colors and coordinates so nicely with Oh, What Fun because it looks like snow!

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And let’s not forget the guys or hard-to-shop-for friends and family on our lists! This basket measures 4″ wide by 4″ deep and 3″ high and holds four shot glasses with stir sticks and two mini bottles of liquor. It would also make a fun and inexpensive secret santa gift. Plus, this small basket is a nice size for later holding keys, jewelry, sewing notions or many other things. It also fits a pillar candle or mug.

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The handles on both of these baskets were also cut from old thrift shop pouches. Both are vinyl, so they had white backings. I left the white showing on the yellow handles and for the blue handles on the short basket, I glued a piece of the dark blue stardust to the backside before trimming them down. It worked out so well! I also did this to the gold handles on the treats basket shown at the beginning of the post.

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BUTTON LUNCH BAGS & GIFT TAGS

I have one more fun pattern to share, because it’s just perfect for gifting homemade treats (or a million other things) and then your recipient also has an adorable and useful little sack! I’ve had this Button Lunch Bag pattern from Purl Soho bookmarked forever and made a few modifications to dress them up and make them quilting cotton friendly.

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The pattern calls for a sturdy cotton (such as a canvas), uses one solid fabric, and has a rolled hem, so I made a few easy changes to make them work with my materials and the look I was going for.

I wanted my bags to have a bottom accent fabric, so I pieced together the full panel before assembling the bag and then added some cute trim along the seam line. Also, since a rolled top hem wouldn’t look as nice with a printed quilting cotton, I instead used binding around the top of the bag. I added it last after assembling the bags. I used Pellon Shapeflex (SF101) to give the bags some extra bulk and I love the feel of them. I added the interfacing after piecing my full panel, before assembling the bag.

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The original pattern uses binding to hide the inner seams, but I just used a wide, tight zig zag stitch which was quick and easy, but gives the seams a clean look and prevents fraying. Alternatively, if using binding around the top, you could make a full lining for the bag. Simply make a second bag, but with right sides in instead of out, slide it inside your assembled outer bag, and then stitch the top binding down through both, holding them together.

For these bags, I used two of the prints from Oh, What Fun that are not holiday specific. They are definitely festive enough for holiday gifting (especially with some metallic trim!), but keep the bags neutral enough to be reused all year long.

I used the Baubles print that I love so much to make the little tag on the cookies. I fussy cut the ornament circles from the print and used embroidery floss to hand stitch them onto felt cut with pinking shears. I then stitched down a small, folded piece of felt onto the top to make the hanger. You can use a light print or solid cotton on the reverse side to write or stamp a name.

I had so much fun with these, I couldn’t stop! They’re going on all my gifts this year, and I think I’ll hang a few from my tree, too!

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I truly hope you have found this post useful and inspiring! All of these projects are easy and satisfying because they sew up quick and look totally adorable when done. This year I challenge you to ditch the wrapping paper and make some “gift wrap” instead!

As always, if you have any questions about the pattern along the way, you can contact me here anytime. Please be specific, so I can best assist you.

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TIME FOR GIVEAWAY! (GIVEAWAY CLOSED – THANKS TO ALL WHO ENTERED!)

Who loves this Oh, What Fun fabric as much as I do? Would you like to win THREE YARDS for yourself?! To enter, please leave a comment on this post telling me what you would make with it and I will pick a winner at random on Friday! (Giveaway closed – congrats to @kgmcfall and thank you to all who entered!)

Now before you go, be sure to check out the other stops on the Blog Hop and see all the fabulous makes!

Monday 11/14 – Sew Sophie Lynn
Tuesday 11/15 – Hawthorne Threads
Wednesday 11/16 – Olivia Jane Handcrafted
Thursday 11/17 – Holly Gets Quilty
Monday 11/21 – Violette Field Threads

Happy Stitching!
~ nicole

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Oh, What Fun Blog Hop (and the reality of life)

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Hello and happy Friday, friends! If you have popped over from the Hawthorne Threads blog, you will have seen that today is my day on the Oh, What Fun Blog Hop, and I have to start by saying oh, what fun it has been to work with these stinkin’ adorable fabrics! #icouldntresist

This line is new to the amazing in-house collections that Hawthorne Threads designs and prints digitally. If you are not familiar with their in-house lines, for the love of fabric go check them out now! I guarantee you will be awestruck and overwhelmed. When I browse their site I go into MAKE ALL THE THINGS overload.

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Upon first seeing Oh, What Fun, I knew exactly what I wanted to do with it. When it comes to gift giving, I often keep things simple and utilitarian. I’m a big fan of food gifts and useful things such as bath and body products, and my favorite thing about giving them is making the presentation adorable. Christmas is such a visual holiday. We can’t help but feel warm, peaceful and excited all at the same time when we see lights, Christmas trees and beautifully wrapped gifts, so I find the extra time and effort that goes into presentation is totally worth it for me.

So, I decided my post would be all about easy-to-sew gift giving vessels and adorable extras to decorate them with. Alright, so where are the projects, you ask?! Well, that’s where reality comes in.

I think we all realize, though sometimes forget, that blogs and social media are merely a glimpse at the highlights of life. I, for the most part, keep my everyday life and reality separate from my sewing adventures, and am often able to do this without interruption. But, the truth is that sometimes I fail. Sometimes it is too much to balance and we have to admit defeat. I am totally beating myself up that today is my day to share and that I am not ready, but the reality is that while I am here making pretty things, my husband is away in a dangerous country fighting for our freedom. There are fire fights, there are daily attacks, there are friendly workers who one day just decide to strap on a suicide vest and blow themselves up in the middle of the base. There are injuries and there are deaths. Too many lately. And this is my everyday reality.

The last six months have been rough, the last few weeks have been especially rough, and the last seven days have been excruciating, but all that matters at this moment as I write this, is that my husband is now home. Reality shifts again, for a little while, with different struggles and different challenges for now, and then eventually we do it all over again.

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So, on that note, I ask you to please stay tuned and pop back next week to see my finished Oh, What Fun projects, because I promise you will love them! I will be sharing some variations of my Sturdy Fabric Basket pattern AND doing a tutorial on how you can modify the pattern to create ANY size and shape basket you like! This is something I get emails about ALL the time, so I’m excited to finally get that together for you. I’ll also be showing you a few other cute patterns and embellishment ideas AND will have an awesome giveaway where you can win three yards of Oh, What Fun for yourself!

In the meantime, go check out the other stops on the Blog Hop and see all the fabulous makes!

Monday 11/14 – Sew Sophie Lynn
Tuesday 11/15 – Hawthorne Threads
Wednesday 11/16 – Olivia Jane Handcrafted
Thursday 11/17 – Holly Gets Quilty
Friday 11/18 – Lillyella (that’s me!)
Monday 11/21 – Violette Field Threads

I hope you all have an awesome weekend, I’ll be back in a few days!
~ nicole

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{Photos by Hawthorne Threads}

Maker Mat Sew-a-long Wrap up & Winners!

Undercover Maker Mat Sew-a-long | lillyella stitchery

Ok, can I just be cheesy for a minute and say we’re ALL winners?! Because the real joy is in creating something beautiful and functional for ourselves, or as a gift, which is equally awesome!

The best part about this sew-a-long has been hearing that you all enjoyed the motivation and being inspired by everyone else’s projects. I’m overjoyed that so many of you set aside a little time to do this for yourself after having it on your long list of things to accomplish!

My life has been insane the last few weeks, and while this is normal, it’s been exponential lately. I’ve still been trying to squeeze in time to make my own mats, since that is why I started this in the first place, but I’m not quite finished yet. I’m close though, so I’ll get there eventually!

If you’re still working on your mat, please be sure to still use the #undercovermakermatSAL and #undercovermakermat hashtags so we can all keep up with everyone’s projects! There are still many that are almost complete and I can’t wait to see them!

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Alright, onto business. I’ve said this before, but I have a love/hate relationship with prizes. They are so fun, but I hate that everyone can’t win. I know people get that’s just how it works, but who doesn’t love to win something?! I made the mistake of saying I would pick my three favorite finished projects, which I knew would be hard, but holy wow you guys! I seriously lost sleep over that task! I’m not just saying it to be nice, but your creativity was off the charts. So, please please please don’t hate me if I didn’t pick your mat for my favorites! Gah, the stress!

I hope you all take a minute to browse the SAL hashtag on Instagram (#undercovermakermatSAL), whether you participated or not. So much hard work and inspiration! And if you weren’t able to join in, you can download the free pattern anytime here.

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I also want to take another moment to thank the awesome sponsors who donated to this sew-a-long, Make Modern Magazine, Stash Builder Box and Stash Fabrics!

So, without further ado… here are my three favorite finished mats from the sew-a-long! And really, have I looked an hour later, or if I look again now, I might have picked three different ones. They were ALL amazing in their own unique way!

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My first favorite mat shown above is by Mara @acrafty_maker. Between the paper pieced words (so creative!!),  the hand quilting, and that pieced binding, her mat just blew me away!!

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My second top pick was by Meaghan @meaghanmacd. Aside from the fact that she used Tula (which is always my favorite), I love how she carried her theme through so well. The potion bottle and the skull and crossbones trim is the best, plus the piecing on the body of the mat is amazing! And having a precious bit of this fabric myself, I know how hard it is to use it, so I love that she was brave enough to cut into it and make something special for herself!

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Last, but certainly not least, is by Dori @redfeedsack. She wanted to do something creative for her mat and figured out a way to incorporate a technique she had been wanting to try. Her execution was flawless and adorable!

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I could gush on like this about every single mat in the hashtag, and I clearly cannot say that enough! But, since I have to go weed whack, I will now share the other winners that were drawn by random from all the posts in the sew-a-long. And yes, I did write down the name from every single post and draw them from a bowl. I think it’s the only fair way! (So if you’ve ever wondered why I’m so SLOW at everything, now you know why! 😉

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In no particular order, the remaining winners shown above are as follows. You can click each name to see more photos of their mats in their instagram feeds!
Top row (L to R): @mywanderingpath, @robyntischner, @giedrabowser
Middle row: @mandyandydesigns, @chriscreer, @ladykquilts
Bottom row: @5kidsandacat, @adventuresofthesingingquilter, @quiltingrage

CONGRATS, everyone!! And a big huge smothering THANK YOU to everyone who participated and otherwise supported this Sew-a-long!

Now the important question is, what should we sew along next?!

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ADDITIONAL SEW-A-LONG POSTS:

Undercover Maker Mat Sew-a-long: All the details

PART TWO: September 6 – Kickoff, prizes and main body panel variations

PART THREE: September 8 – Accent Pocket Panels

PART FOUR: September 12 –Full Pocket Panel & Assembly

PART FIVE: September 15 – Optional Thread Catcher

PART SIX: September 16 – Sew-a-long Prizes

Who invented the hexagon, and why does bullying never end?

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Who invented the hexagon anyway? And are all quilters giving him or her credit? And while were at it, who invented the HST? I doubt that person is getting any royalties from all the HST pattern sales these days.

I am writing this post tonight after having an unfortunate interaction with another quilt artist that could have gone much differently.

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I recently shared the above quilt I’m working on, using a pattern I drafted based on a very common floor tile design, which you can see at the beginning of this post. Julie Hirt has a similar pattern for sale called Hexie Tiles. Heck, lets even call it the same pattern. It is a common, basic shape after all.

I do not follow Julie and am not familiar with her work. Since this began it was brought to my attention that I liked a photo posted on another feed of someone making a variation of her pattern, which looks much different than my finished piece. You can see it further below in the post.

Without attempting to contact me personally or privately in any way, Julie commented on my photo and then immediately posted this accusatory and defamatory post on her instagram feed, which included my photo, and my name in the picture, and I was also tagged on the photo so people could click over to my account:

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I immediately began receiving negative comments, personal attacks and losing followers. I messaged her privately and as soon as I sent it, a message from her popped up to me, but she had already posted the above on Instagram BEFORE messaging me in any way.

Here it is in a nutshell:

  1. A hexagon is a basic geometric shape.
  2. I was inspired by the floor tile photos at the beginning of the post, and Julie says she was as well.
  3. I liked a photo posted on the Stash Fabrics account showing a variation of Julies pattern last December. I do not memorize every photo I see on Instagram when I’m scrolling before bed. And even if I had, the patterns look amazingly different. You can see it below and decide.
  4. If I had been privately messaged by Julie before she posted and took this public, this would not be here not.
  5. Though people don’t want to believe so, I would have been open to seeing her pattern, comparing dimensions, construction methods (such as paper piecing vs templates, Y seams vs no Y seams, etc). And if they were alike, I would have had no problem sharing her pattern.
  6. None of those things happened. I was pinned as a horrible, guilty copycat before even knowing her pattern existed. Even after Julie and I began dialogue, she refused to discuss it privately or like responsible adults. I am now the big bad, bully because I chose to defend myself, and because I have a larger following. Those things should not even be connected, but these are the slams I am getting.

My problem with all this is her behavior and the way she handled the situation. Julie is privately messaging people who commented in my favor, maybe even some of my followers. I only know from those who inform me. I don’t know what she is saying, but its a fact she has lies on her own blog post about this.

I’m simply sharing facts here, and it’s silly for anyone to think I’m wrong in doing so. Julie can continue to spin this anyway she pleases, but I just have trouble being supportive of someone who behaves this way.

Though she is saying she removed her IG post before I shared this, she did not. She refused to remove her post until I credited her pattern, still accusing me of copying.

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Here is the photo that I “liked” that was shared on the Stash Fabrics feed (not Julie’s feed last December). This is Julie’s “proof” that I copied. You can choose to believe that I liked this photo last December and then copied it seven months later and turned it into my quilt on the right.

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Or you can believe that I saw the above photos (and more) posted on the Ihavethisthingwithfloors Instagram feed from March through June of this year and then created the quilt on the right, without copying her pattern.

All you have is my word and her word, and you can chose to believe either.

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She can say I am defaming her here, but there are no lies or false, slanderous comments in my words. I am simply sharing her words and her actions. I did not ignore messages or attempts to talk to me, I was not given a choice. I did not force her hand to post something rude and accusatory.  Julie has posted our entire private conversation on her blog, which I find to be distasteful, but you can read it if you’d like. I am not embarrassed by anything I said.

Does sharing all this make me the same as her? Sure. Which is why I usually avoid this kind of thing, but it sadly happens too often and it gets old and tiring. People need to be accountable for their actions and choices.

And yes, I removed my Instagram post about this topic. Not because I’m hiding or embarrassed or afraid of comments, but because I said I would after she removed hers.

I appreciate the supportive words from friends who know me, know I have no reason to copy someone, and can see this situation and my actions for what they are. For those who think I’m in the wrong here, I’m sorry you feel that way and I’m not going to spend my time personally messaging you to convince you otherwise. To me, the facts are clear.

I sew for enjoyment, or at least I used to. I make patterns to share that enjoyment with others. I’m trying not to let things like this suck the joy from me, but I’m really struggling with that at the moment. I don’t know if I will even finish this quilt. The sight of it literally makes me sick to my stomach, but I will set it aside for now and see how I feel later.

Butterfly Charm Block Paper Piecing Patterns

Butterfly Charm Blocks | Free Paper Piecing Pattern by lillyella stitchery

Say hello to Cricket, Gidget & Pepper, the Butterfly Charm Blocks!

These little paper pieced blocks measure 5.5” after piecing and can be used as a 5” finished square or trimmed to 5” for a 4.5” finished square, making them perfect for mixing with 5” charms.

You can download the free PDF patterns by clicking here.

Butterfly Charm Blocks | Free Paper Piecing Pattern by lillyella stitchery

Did you know a group of butterflies is called a kaleidoscope? Too perfect!

I hope you enjoy sewing up these little ladies. Use the hashtag #butterflycharmblocks to share your butterflies and find inspiration!

Butterfly Charm Blocks | Free Paper Piecing Pattern by lillyella stitchery