Rip Strip Weaving: Building Your Loom

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I’ve had a deep love and sense of nostalgia for rag rugs for as long as I can remember. My grandmother had them all over her little house, and when I think of my childhood, the scrappy multicolored stripes are always right there. And I’m sure I am not alone in this feeling!

I don’t know why it took me so long to make this, but I guess it was just time! Let me preface this post by saying there is nothing new or innovative about what I am making here or how I am doing it. Weaving, in an endless number of forms, has been around forever. This tutorial is simply one way that made sense to me and is perfect for using fabric scraps, which I clearly have plenty of!

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I’m calling it Rip Strip Weaving because I used torn strips of cotton fabric, but the possibilities of what you can create with this loom are endless. I used 2″ strips, but plan to make my next one using a variety of widths and materials to get a very scrappy look. You can use strips of any lighter weight material for this project – cotton, knit, denim, rayon, sheer fabrics, you name it. You can also weave with yarn, twine or ribbon and in beads or any other decorations you like. I will be using a mix of all those things on my next runner. I finished the above runner with denim cuffs, but will be adding fringe tassels on the next.

I used yarn for warp threads, but you can also use any type of cord, twine, ribbon, even thin strips of fabric. I kept my warp threads pretty close together for this project, but will talk about adjusting that later in the post.

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The following tutorial will show you how to make a loom in any size, and then I will do another post later this week on how to use it. I will try to be as thorough as possible, but as always, if you have any questions, feel free to leave them in the comments or email me anytime.

I will be showing the construction of the loom using basic hand tools (plus an electric drill) for those who have little or no woodworking experience. If you have experience or other power tools, you will easily see where you can take short cuts and make the construction process a little easier and faster.

Don’t be intimated by this project! This post will be long and include a lot of photos simply to make sure I make it as easy as possible, but the construction really is quite simple. Though some of the information may not make sense until you are in the process of creating the loom, please read through the entire tutorial before beginning. This is necessary to help understand all the materials and tools needed and some things to consider when determining the size of your loom. And as I mentioned, please do not hesitate to contact me anytime if you have questions before you begin or as you are working.

Now, let’s get started!

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MATERIALS & TOOLS

I will first cover the tools and materials I used and then talk more about amounts/sizes needed during the construction steps, as this will differ depending on the size you are making your loom.

The frame of the loom is made with 1″x3″ Poplar and you should be able to find this at most any home improvement store. I chose Poplar because it is popular in construction due to its low price, ease of use, and resistance to warping. This means your loom will keep it’s shape. Though it is called 1×3, note that the actual measurement of the wood piece is smaller. It’s just one of those weird construction things!

rip strip weaving | lillyella stitchery

You will also need 1.25″ screws, wood glue (helpful, but not required), 3/16″ steel round bar rods, #212 eye screws, 1.5″ smooth finish nails and 7/8″ rubber bumpers for feet (also optional).

You will also need the following tools: Hammer, electric drill and drill bits, hand saw, metal saw, tape measure and a square (I used a small speed square). Clamps are helpful, but not necessary.

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PREP & PLANNING

The first step is to determine what size you would like your finished woven piece to be. I designed mine to be a table runner measuring 12″ wide by 36″ long. The loom I created can also make shorter pieces by adding a cross bar, so I could make 18″ x 12″ placemats, or any size in between. I can also use the woven panels to create things like pillows, bag panels etc, so keep this in mind when deciding what you would like to make or what size you would like your loom. One thing I want to note about size is that when I made my first runner, the 12″ width stayed true to size when I took it off the loom, but the 36″ length shrunk up about 2″. This will be affected by how you wrap your warp threads and possibly how large your piece is. Since I’ve only used this one size loom one time, I can’t really speak more on the shrink factor. Just keep this in mind when determining the size of your loom. It may be hard to end with an exact size.

You can create any size piece, large or small, using this method. You would have a pretty clunky loom if you just wanted to make coasters or something tiny, but it would still work. You could also create a good size floor rug with this method, as long as you have the open space to use the loom. The finished loom will measure about 5″ wider and higher than the size of your woven piece.

rip strip weaving diagram | lillyella stitchery

The above diagram shows the different parts of the loom and how I will be referring to them throughout the tutorial. If the woven piece you would like to make is not symmetric, your larger dimension will be used for the rails and the smaller will be the cross members. The rails will hold the anchor rods and the cross members will hold the nail posts. Your warp threads will run between the two cross members on the nail posts and you will be weaving back and forth between the rails.

The anchor rods and nail posts will be placed 1/2″ in from the center opening on the rails and cross members, so the center opening of your loom will measure 1″ smaller in width and length than the finished size of your woven piece. For example, my woven runner measures 12″ x 36 and the center opening of my loom measures 11″ x 35″.

The amount of all the materials you need will be determined by the size of the woven piece you are making. There will be a little math involved, so I recommend drawing out a little diagram of your loom as you to go to help figure out sizes and to use for reference when building.

For the wood frame, you will need two lengths of 1″x3″ Poplar that are the same as the smaller dimension of your finished woven piece (for the spacers), two lengths that are  6-8″ longer than this same dimension (for the cross members), and two lengths that are 6-8″ longer than your larger measurement (for the rails). For example, for my 12″x36″ runner, I started with two lengths of wood that measured approximately 12″, two that measured 20″, and two that measured 44″. This was a total of about 13′ of wood. You do not need to worry about having perfectly square ends on your wood lengths. The tutorial will show you how to build the frame with slight overlaps and use the edges of cross pieces to trim flush. This is the easiest method for those with no woodworking experience or fancy tools. If you have power tools or a guide available to cut square edges, you will be able to skip that step and cut your pieces to the exact size.

For the anchor rods, you will need two lengths of 3/16″ steel round bar measuring approximately 3″ longer than the larger dimension of your woven piece.

The number of screws, screw eyes, nails and bumpers needed will vary. I used 16 screws on my loom. You will need two for each corner, four total to hold the anchor rods and additional screws to attach the spacers. I used two on each 12″ length of my spacers. If your piece is larger, you will want to use a few more. You will need to place screw eyes on either end of both anchor rods and then approximately every 8″ – 9″ along the length of the rods. I used ten total on my loom. The number of nails needed will be determined by the smaller dimension of your woven piece and how far apart you want your warp threads (I will talk about this a bit more later). I placed my nails 3/8″ apart and used 31 nails on each cross member of my loom to create my 12″ runner, just for reference.

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FRAME CONSTRUCTION

As I mentioned above, these steps are shown using basic hand tools and not having the ability to cut your pieces with square ends. We are allowing for overhang on each piece so that you can use the cross piece to cut the edges flush. If you have square ends on your wood cuts, you can line them up flush and skip the step of trimming.

You will begin by laying one cross member piece lengthwise. This piece should measure at least 5″ longer than your shorter woven piece dimension. This allows for the width of the rail pieces plus at least 1/2″ overhang on either edge. I exaggerated the overhang in my photos so you could see it easily. I have about a 2″ overhang on all my pieces.

rip strip weaving loom tutorial | lillyella stitchery

Next you will lay one rail length perpendicular on top using your square to make sure it is squared up. Draw a pencil line along both the left and right edges of the rail piece onto the cross member below. You can now use a clamp, if you have them, to keep this piece in place.

Next you will place the second rail piece on top of the cross member at the appropriate distance. As I mentioned before, this opening should measure 1″ smaller than the dimension of your finished woven piece. My runner was 12″ and the space between my rail pieces is 11″. Once again use your square and draw lines to mark the placement. Once in place, hold with another clamp.

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The next step is to secure the rails to the cross member with screws. Using an electric drill, predrill two holes through the rail into the cross member in the orientation show above. Predrilling holes is beneficial for two reasons. First, it helps prevent possible splits in the wood, but more importantly, it helps prevent your pieces from shifting their position when the screw catches. If you have never predrilled holes before, you want to use a bit that is slighty smaller in diameter than your screw, so that your screw will still hold tight and not be loose in the hole. If you are purchasing drill bits specifically for this project, any associate at the store would be happy to help you. You will be predrilling for the 1.25″ screws and then also later for the finish nails. With that information, they can give you the bits you need.

If using wood glue, you can unclamp your pieces and spread it on the cross member between your drawn lines. Dap a few dots around and spread it evenly with your finger or a paper towel.

Lay your rails back in place on the cross member, once again using your square and double checking your opening measurement, then screw the pieces together using the 1.25″ screws through the predrilled holes.

You will now repeat these steps to add the second cross member on the opposite end of your rails. Placement will be determined by once again measuring the center opening. It should measure 1″ shorter than the larger dimension of your finished woven piece. For example, I wanted my runner to measure 36″, so the opening between my cross members was 35″.

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Once both cross members are secure, you can now trim your overhanging edges flush using your hand saw. If your cuts are a little rough or your wood splinters at all, you can just smooth it with some sandpaper.

The next step is to add the spacers. These are additional cuts of poplar that will sit on top of the cross members between the rails.

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The spacers will first need to be cut to size. You will use the same 1″x3″ poplar for the spacers. Begin by drawing a straight line near one end of a cut of poplar using your square to ensure it will be straight. If you already have a cut a poplar with a square cut end, you can skip this step.

Next, you will measure the space between your rails and cut your spacer piece to the same size. Repeat this for the second cross member. Be sure to measure each opening. Though they should be the same, it is best to double check!

Once your spacers are cut, you will lay them in place and once again predrill holes. I used two screws on my 11″ width. If your piece is significantly longer, you will want to use more. Be sure to keep your holes close to the outer edge of your frame so that they will not be in the way when adding your nail posts.

After predrilling, you can apply wood more glue and then screw in place, or just screw in place if not using glue. Once both spacers are in place, your frame is complete! Give yourself a hand!

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NAIL POSTS & ANCHOR RODS

Now that your frame is complete, it is time to add your anchor rods and nail posts. The first step is to draw guidelines to help with placement. Using a long straight edge, draw a light, thin line 1/2″ from your opening on all four sides of the frame. You will then place your nail posts.

You may some old finish nails laying around, like I did, but if you are purchasing ones to use for this project, you will want 1.5″ length. I placed my nail posts 3/8″ apart, and honestly, I don’t really know how I decided this. I just thought about how tight I would like my weave based on the size of my finished piece. There’s no good way for me to explain how to figure this out, but you can look at my runner to help you decide. The nail posts determine the space between your warp threads, which is the white yarn that runs the length of my runner. You can see my weave is fairly tight, and I love the look of it. I believe it creates a piece that isn’t too hard to create, but is solid enough to be used for a variety of things, such as using the woven panel on a pillow or bag. I would NOT recommend going smaller, or you will really fight with it when weaving. If you are making something large, such as a rug, you could easily space your nail posts at 1/2″ or wider.

With the nail post placement on my loom, I can also create a wider, more open looking weave, by not wrapping my warp threads on each post, but on every other, so you do have some flexibility with any measurement you choose.

You will begin by marking the placement of each nail post on one cross member. You will want to start in the middle of your cross member and work out to the line you drew 1/2″ into each rail. When you get to this line, it is ok if your last nail post is a little closer or farther away from your line than your measurement. You want to be at least 1/4″ away from this line or it will be too hard to weave.

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The above photos show a couple things. It is important that you predrill each nail hole. Be sure to not make them too large, you want the nails very tight. But, if you do not predrill, your wood will split. I set my first few this way so that you could see the importance of predrilling.

Once your holes are drilled, you will set your nails using a hammer. You will want about 3/4″ to 1″ of nail above the wood. This measurement isn’t too important, you just want to make sure your nails are secure into the cross member spacer and will not pull out. There will be a lot of tension on them from your warp threads.

Repeat these steps to place your nail posts on the other cross member. The next step is to place your anchor rods. These keep your woven piece square and prevent it from pulling in on the sides as you get to the middle of the piece.

Your anchor rods will run along the line you drew 1/2″ in from the center opening on each rail. They will be held in place by the screw eyes. You will place one screw eye about 1″ past your nail posts toward the outer edge of your frame on each corner. You will then place another screw eye approximately every 8″ to 10″ along the length of your rails. Based on this length, figure out the measurement needed to place them evenly. For example, the space between nail posts along my rail was about 36″ so I placed one screw eye every 9″. You can see this in the full loom diagram at the beginning of the post.

You will place these by first predrilling holes, and then screwing them into the rail. A pair of pliers is helpful to screw them tightly into place.

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Your 3/16″ steel round bar will slide through these screw eyes to create your anchor rod. To hold it in place, you will place a screw just past each outermost screw eye on the four corners. You will need to remove the anchor rods when you are finished weaving your piece and are ready to take it off the loom, so the screw allows you to do this.

Your round bar will need to be cut to size. First place your end screws on one cross member (predrill then screw into place, leaving enough screw exposed so the head sits just above the screw eye), then slide your steel round bar through the eye holes and mark the length you need to cut your round bar where you will place the holding screws on the other cross member. A sharpie works good for this. Slide your round bar out and cut it to size using a metal hack saw.

Slide your round bar back through the eye holes and place the second set of holding screws at the other end. Your loom is now complete! The final optional step is to install the rubber bumper feet onto the bottom at each corner of the frame to help prevent scratching on any surface you use your loom on, such as if you lay it on a floor or table.

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Now that your loom is ready, it’s time to use it! I’ll be posting later this week all about that, but if you have any questions about this before building your loom, please feel free to contact me here or on Instagram. Be sure to use the hashtag #ripstripweaving so I can see what you’re making! I am so excited to watch you all do this!

~ nicole

RIP STRIP WEAVING, PART TWO: USING YOUR LOOM

Flex Frame Pouch & Write On Patterns

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A couple weeks ago I shared my Flex Frame Pouch pattern on fabric.com during their Passport to Summer series for a back to school project. Some of you may recognize this from Make Modern Magazine and the Swapaholics Retreat, and now you can download the free pattern, too. Flex frames are an awesome alternative to zippers and are super easy to use! You can find the 3.5″ frames used in my pattern on fabric.com, and you can also order bulk frames (10 or 50) in 3.5″ and 4.5″ (which I love) from ahkwokbuckles.com.

>> Click here to download the Flex Frame Pouch & Write On PDF Patterns <<

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The pattern includes directions for making the tall pouch, which is perfect for glasses, pencils, or a rotary cutter, as well as the small coin pouch, both shown above.

Also included is the Write On pencils paper piecing pattern to create the options shown below. It can be used with the bottom accent or made into the full pouch. The pencils can also be used for a variety of other projects, too. It’s easy to resize the pattern or add more pencils or other elements to the pattern.

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In the pattern I talk a bit about how to customize the pouch to any size you wish, and wanted to share a few more variations here today, including how to make a perfect gift set for anyone of any age!

The set below shows the two sizes included in the pattern, plus a third size which is perfect for carrying cards and cash. To create this third size, cut the pieces for the top of the tall pouch as indicated in the pattern (6.5″), but do not include the bottom. Then just cut the lining pieces to the same height and assemble.

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Consider personalizing the pouches with fun notions, such as stamped leather tags or decorative accents. Hmmm, I wonder who these are for?! I found the metal plate accent in the paper crafting section of Hobby Lobby. It is Tim Holtz brand.

Also, adding a short chain and key ring makes any pouch the perfect grab and go wallet.

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I tried a few options and positions and decided that I preferred sewing the chain to the inside of the pouch right below the frame sleeves, as shown below. This way the chain and ring can be kept inside or pulled out through the top and the frame closing gives it some added security.

You can find a variety of chains and rings in the jewelry section of any craft store.

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This is a fun pattern that can be customized in so many ways, with any of your favorite materials or patterns. Try a quilt block design you like, another paper piecing pattern, or even some selvedges. If you would like to use the 4.5″ frames (or any other size you may find), simply add the additional width to the cut sizes of your pieces. For example, if using a 4.5″ frame, vs the 3.5″ used in my pattern, simple add 1″ width to all your pieces.

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I’ll be sharing more sizes, shapes, and ways to play with this pattern over the next months, too, so stay tuned! Please tag your pictures with #FlexFramePouch and #WriteOnPattern so I can see all your awesome creations!

Enjoy! ~ nicole

Reusable Bowl Cap Tutorial

Reusable Bowl Cap Tutorial | lillyella stitchery

Help save the environment and look cute doing it! 😉

These reusable bowl caps are easy to make and customizable to fit any dish. You can use cotton alone for a washable cap, or add iron on vinyl for a more waterproof cap that can be wiped clean.

Reusable Bowl Cap Tutorial | lillyella stitchery

This tutorial includes directions for determining what size to cut your pieces, how to make bias binding, and how to construct the bowl caps.

Click here to download the free pattern.

The fabrics I used here are from the Little House on the Prairie line by Kathy Hall for Andover Fabrics and they couldn’t be more perfect! Those little florals mixed with the scenic prints are absolutely adorable.

Reusable Bowl Cap Tutorial | lillyella stitchery

I just love making these covers and find them handy for some many things. I always use old Pyrex and Fire King bowls that did not have lids, so using these makes me much happier than using plastic wrap! They also make great gifts. Pick up a cute bowl (or set) at a thrift shop, make a matching cover and give it as a housewarming or shower gift.

I hope you enjoy this tutorial! Share your project photos on Instagram & Facebook with #reusablebowlcap!

Reusable Bowl Cap Tutorial | lillyella stitchery

Paperie Blog Tour + New Love Story Pattern

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It’s funny how things work out. The way life’s puzzle pieces always end up fitting together. I first designed the Love Story Pattern for my class at the Swapaholics Retreat last September. Amy Sinibaldi was also teaching and her debut fabric line, Paperie, had not yet been announced when I was prepping for the retreat.

Flash forward a few months to 2016. I’m amping up my pattern in preparation for release and Amy invites me to join her Paperie Blog Tour. I think you’ll see that her fabric and this pattern go together like sprinkles and donuts. And not that pink hearts are ONLY for Valentine’s day, but what perfect timing, wouldn’t you say?

Undercover Maker Mat featuring Paperie Fabrics | lillyella stitchery

As usual, I had trouble wrangling in all my ideas. I did know for certain that first I wanted to make my Undercover Maker Mat (download the free pattern here) using the 5″ Love Story block in place of the butterfly charm block used on the original. This mat is such a fun and useful project that sews up quick and lets you showcase your favorite fabrics.

I decided to make the secondary pockets on this one in solid prints, rather than the selvedges, so I could really show off the line.

Undercover Maker Mat featuring Paperie Fabrics | lillyella stitchery

I was torn between using the texty print or the hearts for the main body of the mat, but now that it’s all finished, I don’t know how it was even a question. The text is just perfect and the strip of hearts pieced in just plain makes me happy!

Undercover Maker Mat featuring Paperie Fabrics | lillyella stitchery

I then carried the heart print over to the removable thread catcher by piecing a strip into the front and using it on the lining. I think it really just balances it all out perfectly.

I used a delicate pink chevron trim on the pocket panel and added a bit of crochet lace on the secondary pocket – in true Amy style!

Undercover Maker Mat featuring Paperie Fabrics | lillyella stitchery

Thanks to the expert advice my official quilter, Sari, I went with a large chevron pattern for the quilting on the mat body. It echos the seams of the heart block perfectly (thank you very much) and also ties in the trim. I used a pale pink Aurifil thread that gives it just the tiniest hint of color and I couldn’t love it more!

Undercover Maker Mat featuring Paperie Fabrics | lillyella stitchery

I kept trying to find a way to use this pretty aqua trim on the pocket panel, but it just felt overpowering. It did, however, work out perfectly for the side ties!

So, what do you think? Is this mat your style? I’ll be giving it away on Instagram next week (and a bundle of fabric!), so stay tuned for that!

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Love Story + Cross my Heart Pattern | lillyella stitchery

Another idea that I just knew I had to run with was designing an X block that coordinated with Love Story. Like Xs and Os, but with a cute heart instead! I’m calling it Cross my Heart and you can download it for free here.

I thought it would be an adorable mini quilt with 4 blocks in a large square, or as a set of pillows (or a two sided pillow!) or a table runner, which is what I decided to make for my sample project.

Love Story Pattern | lillyella stitchery

My Love Story pattern includes two block designs – Poetry (the pink block) and Prose (the navy and white block). I wanted to showcase them both, along with the X, so I thought a little asymmetry would be fun! I used the 10″ blocks here, and the X pattern also includes a 5″ block (how about a set of heart and X coasters?!).

Love Story Pattern | lillyella stitchery

I love how striking the bold pops of pink and navy in this line are mixed with all the beautiful, soft low volumes. By random chance, I had a piece of my favorite chambray denim on my cutting table when I was feverishly trying to decide what to bind my runner with. It was a match made in heaven! The denim pairs so amazingly with this line, it started my mind racing with quilt ideas using Paperie and the new Art Gallery denim line that is coming out soon. SO EXCITED!

Love Story Pattern | lillyella stitchery

Love Story Pattern | lillyella stitchery

I’ll be sharing some design ideas and other fun Love Story projects (including a lap quilt pattern) here and on my Instagram feed over the next couple weeks. You can also check the hashtags #lovestorypattern and #crossmyheartpattern for more inspiration. As always, I can’t wait to see what you all create!

Love Story + Cross My Heart Patterns | lillyella stitchery

Be sure to check out all the other stops on the Paperie Blog Tour for all sorts of swoon worthy projects! You can find links and photos in Amy’s instagram feed and on her blog.

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Love Story Pattern | lillyella stitchery

Now I am in desperate need of a nap! So I will leave you with some more eye candy inspiration! Above is the original Love Story block as it was designed to fit my flex frame pouch project for the retreat.

For the pattern release, I squared off the block and made a coordinating reverse design where the heart is solid and the background is faceted instead. I love the possibilities this opens up for color play and layout ideas!

Love Story Pattern | lillyella stitchery

Here are just a few blocks that my amazing testers sewed up. I’ll be sharing their finished projects soon! You can pick up a copy of the pattern on sale for $6.50 now thru Valentine’s Day in my Payhip, Etsy or Craftsy shops.

happy stitching! ~nicole

Yarn Wrapped Wreaths

yarn wrapped wreath | lillyella stitchery

These wreaths are one of my favorite things to make! They are quick, easy and inexpensive, and can be customized in an endless numbers of ways to create a perfect gift for any age and any occasion.

This is technically a Christmas wreath for my mom (her tree is decorated in the same style with all nature themed ornaments and natural elements), but I love that it’s more of a winter wreath that can be displayed and enjoyed for longer.

yarn wrapped wreath | lillyella stitchery

The primary materials that I use are yarn and felt, but you can also use ribbon or fabric for wrapping or for the decorations. Get creative when it comes to the extras – check out the floral section of your craft store for little berries, twigs and greenery. Look in the wood aisle for things like the snowflakes shown above and the miniatures aisle is also great for finding little critters or themed extras. Also hunt outside for moss, pinecones, acorns, twigs and bark.

This is one of the simpler wreaths I have made. You can really go crazy with flowers and they look amazing, but I wanted the deer to take center stage on this one!

I typically use hard foam wreath shapes (found in the floral section of your craft store), but for this wreath I wanted something larger to balance the stag, so I used a straw wreath. I also found this is the floral section and it was wrapped in plastic, which I left on.

yarn wrapped wreath | lillyella stitchery

The first step is to simply start wrapping your yarn around the wreath. You can glue the end to begin or just wrap over it to secure. I typically smooth a good amount of glue over the area where my ends meet after I’m done wrapping. Since it’s on the back, it’s ok if you can tell where the glue is.

There are tons of excellent tutorials out there for making felt flowers. I’ve tried many different styles and typically stick with about four or five designs that I love most and are easy to make. The coiled roses are my favorite because they are really simple, don’t require any sewing, and look adorable.

Here are just a few links to get your started:
http://www.thecraftedsparrow.com/2012/04/felt-flowers-tutorials-5-to-choose-from.html
http://www.howjoyful.com/2011/06/felt-rose-tutorial-and-pattern/
http://www.intimateweddings.com/blog/diy-favor-bags-peony-pockets-part-two/
http://www.notmartha.org/tomake/to-make-diy-mothers-day-corsage-felt-dahlia-flower-brooch/

yarn wrapped wreath | lillyella stitchery

When it comes to attaching all my doodads, I use Elmer’s Glue and occasionally some E6000, but most craft and fabric glues will work fine for the bulk of materials used.

I like to use a piece of ribbon or lace for hanging, which I usually just tie on and make a bow. For this one, I cut some wide burlap that was covered with lace and sewed the bow together because it was too stiff to tie. I looped a clear plastic ring underneath for hanging.

Trust me when I say that once you start making these, you might not be able to stop!

yarn wrapped wreaths | lillyella stitchery

Here are some supplies I’ve gathered to make a couple retro-inspired Christmas wreaths for myself. These are the foam wreaths I usually use. Both of the ‘yarns’ I’m using to wrap them were found in the yarn section of JoAnns, but are not your typical yarn. I actually have no idea what the green one would be used for. I found it on an endcap in this bulk bag and it’s the strangest stuff, but I think it’s going to be adorable!

Some other embellishments to think about include ornaments, beads, buttons, millnery birds and flowers, feathers, assorted trims & ribbons for accents, wood letter shapes to personalize with an initial or word or a small garland of bunting.

I hope I’ve added another project to your list! And wish me luck on finishing mine before next Christmas…

Undercover Maker Mat Pattern

Undercover Maker Mat free pattern | lillyella stitchery

This dual purpose sewing space organizer has double pockets and a removable thread catcher to keep all your notions at hand and your workspace tidy. It goes from under to {machine} cover when not in use with side ties to keep it in place.

Click here  to download the PDF pattern.

If you have any questions about the pattern, feel free to contact me anytime. Tag your photos with #undercovermakermat so everyone can be inspired!

Undercover Maker Mat free pattern | lillyella stitchery

Festive Flutter Tree Mini Quilt Pattern

This festive mini quilt measures 22” x 26” and features my Butterfly Charm Block patterns with a little Gidget tree topper. It’s perfect for hanging on a door or anywhere you don’t have room for a real tree!

Click here or the image below to download the PDF pattern.

If you have any questions about the pattern, feel free to contact me anytime. Tag your photos with #festivefluttertree and #butterflycharmblocks so everyone can be inspired!

Festive Flutter Tree Pattern | lillyella stitchery

Dressed Up Hot Pad Tutorial

Dressed Up Hot Pad Tutorial | lillyella stitchery

This Dressed Up Hot Pad features my Forest Floor Paper Piecing pattern but you can use your favorite patchwork block or even a single piece of a fun fabric. It sews up quick and the accents make it extra special.

I purchased my grommet kit from Walmart in the craft section, but you can also find them at any craft store or online. If you don’t have any scrap leather on hand, try looking at a second hand store for an old bag or jacket which you can cut and repurpose.

Click here or the image below to download the PDF tutorial. I hope you enjoy it!

Dressed Up Hot Pad Tutorial | lillyella stitchery

Midnight Bite Treat Bag Tutorial

Midnight Bite Treat Bag Tutorial | lillyella stitchery

After falling in love with that hexie print, I found the matching purple fabric and there began my plan! When I pieced the 10″ Midnight Bite block, I just knew it had to become a treat bag. This project slowly came together as I found each new piece and it couldn’t have worked out better!

The handles are webbing I found in the trim section of Joanns, the silver is reflective so it’s perfect for night time candy hunting! Then there is the bat trim… I mean, come on! It’s even purple. No brainer. I also found this at Joanns. It’s made by Simplicity and was on an endcap of an aisle. There were spider pom poms too, which I also have big plans for.

Midnight Bite Treat Bag Tutorial | lillyella stitchery

This bag was quick and easy to make and can be customized in a variety of ways. You can use any fabrics, a variety of trims or fabric for the handles, and you can even adjust the measurements to modify the size for your preferences. It doesn’t even have to be just for halloween, it would make a perfect holiday gift bag!

This tutorial is really basic (because I have more bats to make!), but if you have any questions, just leave a comment below or shoot me an email. Please read thru the entire tutorial before beginning.

PREPARING YOUR BAG PANELS:

The finished size of this bag is 10″ wide x 12″ high x 2.5″ deep at the bottom with a 4.5″ drop. Below are the trim sizes for the outer pieced panels, the bag lining and the handles. You will need two of each piece. My handles are about 1.25″ thick but you can make them any size you wish.

My bag has a small boxy bottom. Simply eliminate the corner cuts if you don’t want a boxy bottom. You may also want to shorten your bag if you do this. I wanted my bag handles to be just long enough to slide over my hand easily and hang from my forearm, but not so long that the bag would drag on the ground if a little one was carrying it. You can adjust this measurement to be comfortable for you.

Midnight Bite Treat Bag Tutorial | lillyella stitchery

Begin by piecing the three bottom outer panel pieces with a 1/4″ seam. In my bag, this is the bottom spiderweb print, the strip of dots and the focal bat (*see ‘Adding Decorative Trim’ section below for options on how to add trim accents).

Midnight Bite Treat Bag Tutorial | lillyella stitchery

The focal bat panel is the 10″ block from my Midnight Bite pattern, the finished width is 10.5″ and I trimmed the height of the block to 4.375″. This odd measurement was simply based on how I visually liked the bat to be framed, you can make this focal panel any size, just be sure to adjust the lining measurement equally. The same applies to the top band of my bag (the hexie print), the measurement was based on the size of the hexies.

Next you will add the handle before piecing on the top band of fabric.

Midnight Bite Treat Bag Tutorial | lillyella stitchery

Lay your top fabric right side up, right reading. Lay your handle on top spacing the two ends equally from the center. You can line up your handles with the bottom edge of your fabric or drop the ends down about 1/4″ below your fabric to give a little extra grip in there. My finished bag has about 2.5″ between the handles (it’s shown a little wider in this photo which I took after the fact). Pin in place.

Next you will lay the pieced section of your outer panel right side down, upside down, on top of your handle piece, lining up the bottom edges. Sew along the bottom edge with a 1/4″ seam. I recommend going back over the handle areas a couple times and backstitching well on either side of them.

Press the larger piece down. NOTE: My handles could not be ironed, so be sure to test your material if you aren’t sure.

Midnight Bite Treat Bag Tutorial | lillyella stitchery

Repeat these steps for the other side of your bag. After my two outer panels were assembled, I used fusible fleece  on them to stabilize my bag and I love the feel of it. You can also use batting and then quilt your panels or do some edge topstitching to hold it in place. If you’d like a lighter bag, you can use a medium weight interfacing, but I do recommend using some type of interfacing on the back of your outer panels. I did not use any interfacing on my lining.

CONSTRUCTING THE BAG:

Next you will take your two outer panels and place them right sides together. Sew with a 1/4″ seam down the left and right sides and across the bottom. You corner cut outs will be open. Repeat these steps for the two lining pieces, but leave a large gap in the bottom seam for turning. Just sew about 1/2″ in from either end.

To sew the boxed corners, keep your pieces wrong sides out. Open up the piece a bit and fold one inner side seam down to the inner bottom seam, lining them up and lining up both cut edges of your corner cut out. Sew along the edge with a 1/4″ seam. Repeat for the other side of your bag outside and your lining.

To sew in your lining, turn the outside of your bag right side out. Keep your lining wrong side out. Slide the outside of your bag into the lining, the two pieces will be right sides together. Line up the top edges making sure to match the side seams and sew around using a 1/2″ seam.

Turn your bag right side out through the gap in the bottom of your lining. Stitch the gap closed and turn your lining inside your bag. Press around the top and top stitch if desired.

Midnight Bite Treat Bag Tutorial | lillyella stitchery

ADDING DECORATIVE TRIM:

Once all the elements of this bag came together and I was planning the design (see a couple options I was tossing around below), I was going to stitch the bat trim onto the bag panels after they were pieced and then use a piece of woven striped ribbon on top. I liked the added design element but I also wanted to cover the satin ribbon the bats were on because it looked a little generic to me.

Midnight Bite Treat Bag Tutorial | lillyella stitchery

After texting about seven people for their opinions (ya, Im a high maintenance friend), I decided to keep it a little cleaner and just use the bat trim, but I did not want to throw off the balance of the black dotted fabric strip by having the black ribbon of the bats showing. Typically I would sew the trim into the seam, much like piping, but I was concerned about keeping it in place and hitting the beads with my machine foot. I also wanted the bats to fall evenly in line with my dots (OCD, I know). So I clipped the bats off the ribbon and restrung each one then sewed it in place on my bag panels. I did this after adding my fusible fleece to my pieced panels. Since there’s only five bats on each side, it went really quick.

FEATURED FABRICS:

The top hexie print is from the line Happy Haunting by Deena Rutter for Riley Blake (it also comes in orange and black!). I unfortunately have no idea what the purple background of my bat is. I grabbed it last minute at my LQS, but I’ll see if I can find it next time I’m up there. The Happy Haunting line has a purple print with tiny black spiders on it that would match and make a cute background, too. The black strip with the dots is Spellbound from Cotton + Steel and the bottom web print is from Spooktacular, Too (also in the newer Spooktacular Eve) by Maude Ashbury for Blend.

I hope you enjoy this tutorial, happy haunting, friends!

Midnight Bite Treat Bag Tutorial | lillyella stitchery

Disappearing nine-patch with sashing: a quick tutorial

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When I first started quilting, I thought the disappearing nine-patch block was like magic! Before I knew anything about modern fabric or designers, I found a Flea Market Fancy 6″ charm pack at my very traditional LQS and got to work.

The traditional nine-patch was a little busy for me, but add some sashing and boom! I was in love. Quick, easy, and a perfect, fun block for charm packs or squares of any size.

Disappearing nine-patch with sashing: a quick tutorial by lillyella stitchery

So here’s a quick breakdown on how this goes together (and finishing this is high on my WIP list, so I’ll hopefully post a completed pic soon!)…

The charm pack I had was 6″ squares, but you can use any size squares, as well as any size sashing. My strips are 1.5″ cut for a 1″ finished sashing.

Disappearing nine-patch with sashing: a quick tutorial by lillyella stitchery

Start by sewing three rows of three squares each with sashing strips between.

Disappearing nine-patch with sashing: a quick tutorial by lillyella stitchery

Next you will piece the three rows together with sashing strips to create your starting block and then cut it in half both ways to create four blocks.

Disappearing nine-patch with sashing: a quick tutorial by lillyella stitchery

You can now piece these blocks together, with or without more sashing, in any arrangement you like. They can all go in the same orientation for a symmetrical look or you can vary them. (The above pic is just a mock up if you’re wondering why my seams look funny!)

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So there you have it! This simple block has so many possibilities. Use bold colors and black sashing for a stained glass window effect or try using big prints in just the squares that don’t get cut and use solids for the rest of the blocks and the sashing.