HUGE Sale on Craftsy Classes!

Are you celebrating National Craft Month? If not, why not?

In honor of National Craft Month, Craftsy is having a HUGE sale with all online classes up to 50% off so you can learn a new skill or just do more of what you love. They also have a money-back guarantee, so what do you have to lose?

And once you sign up for a class, it's forever yours. You can work at your own pace or watch the videos over and over - whatever you want. Since joining Craftsy, I've signed up for 17 classes and every one of them is great! 

But the sale ends Monday, March 16, 2015 so get on over there now! You can either click this affiliate link to go straight to Craftsy or you can just type into your web browser.

Happy Crafting!

Help Fund Kristy's Quilt by Brandy Lynn Maslowski

Brandy Lynn Maslowski, the host of Canadian Quilt Talk, is constantly telling her listeners to share quilting with a younger generation -  on her talk show, her blog and everywhere she plays on social media. But she’s not just talking about it - now she’s making a move to get her children’s picture book, Kristy’s Quilt, published and in the hands and hearts of quilters and children everywhere!

Kristy's Quilt is a heartwarming quilt adventure for ages 2-92 and is based on a true story. This children's book features 10-year-old Kristy, a spunky little quilter who blossoms at the In Stitches Quilting Retreat. 

Want to help get Kristy's Quilt published?

Join Brandy Lynn from Feb. 14th to Mar. 15th for the Kristy’s Quilt Kickstarter campaign!

What’s Kickstarter?

Supporters of the project (like you) fund the book in exchange for early-bird copies and other fantastic rewards. Basically, if you back the project for $20 or more you’ll be one of the first people on earth to get a copy of the book in your hands this spring. You can choose any level of funding from $5 and up for all kinds of great rewards including bookmarks, softcover or hardcover copies, a doll quilt made by Brandy herself, and more. And most importantly, once the book is in your hands, you’ll be able to share your love of quilting with a child. 

YOU CAN SUPPORT THIS HEARTWARMING PROJECT starting on Valentine’s Day and anytime from February 14th to March 14th by visiting the KRISTY’S QUILT PROJECT. Thank you for sharing the heritage of quilting with a child. You can connect with Brandy Lynn at

How to Make a Super Simple Lightweight Blankie

Preprinted panel backed with flannel.
Using a preprinted panel is a great way to make a super simple quilt. And if you want just a lightweight cover, you don’t even need to add batting! With a little help, even very young children can make this easy blankie. All you need is a preprinted panel and a piece of flannel that is a little bigger than your panel.
  1. Prewash and machine dry the panel and the flannel. You want to make sure that neither shrinks later.
  2. Iron the panel. If your panel looks out-of-square, grab opposite corners that need to be brought into position and give a gentle stretch. Once you have the panel pulled square, trim the edges, if needed.
  3. Iron the flannel and then lay it right side up and smooth it from the center to the edges.
  4. Lay the panel right side down on the flannel and smooth it from the center to the edges. The flannel will ‘grab’ the panel and help hold it in place.
  5. Pin along the edges of the panel to secure it to the flannel.
  6. Sew around the perimeter of the panel ½-inch from the edge, leaving a 6-inch opening on one side. Trim the flannel even with the edges of the panel and cut across the corners diagonally close to the stitching to reduce bulk when you turn your blankie.
  7. Turn the blankie right side out through the opening. Reach inside and poke the corners out nice and square with your finger or the tip of your scissors and then iron a crease on all four sides. Be sure that the edges of the opening are folded neatly to the inside.
    Close-up of opening sewn closed.
  8. Stitch around the perimeter of the blankie ¼-inch from the edge and your blankie is done!

Top 2 Kid-Friendly Ways to Quilt a Quilt

While piecing is usually fun for kids as they get to watch the quilt take shape, finishing a quilt is often a challenge, especially for a young child with a short attention span. In fact, finishing is often a challenge for adults, too - that's why we have so many UFOs (unfinished objects) that need attention. Face it - sandwiching, quilting and binding can be tedious. So what to do?

The Martingale blog has a great post on How to Quilt a Quilt that lists six quick ideas, including:
  1. Tying by hand
  2. Tying or tacking by machine
  3. Hand quilting without a hoop
  4. Hand quilting with big stitches
  5. Free-motion quilting with simple repeat patterns
  6. Allover free-motion quilting
For kid-friendly quilting, I recommend tying by hand or hand quilting with big stitches. Either of these methods will produce quick results and your child's quilt will be done in no time - but for the fastest, easiest quilt finish, you can't beat simple ties.

How to Tie Your Quilt

  1. Lay your sandwiched quilt out flat and smooth. If using a bed (my personal favorite!) or carpeted floor, slip a large piece of cardboard under the part of the quilt you're working on so the needle doesn't catch on the bedding or carpet.
  2. Thread a yarn needle with crochet cotton or yarn that coordinates with your quilt.
  3. Stitch through the layers every 4-6 inches. It's best to start in the middle and smooth the quilt layers as you work toward the edges. For extra durability, you can form a double stitch by putting the needle back through the layers and then bringing it out again in about the same spot.
  4. Tie each pair of yarn tails into a snug square knot and then trim the tails to about an inch or so.

How to Make Simple Potholders from Old Clothes

Simple potholder madefrom old clothes.
Potholders are the perfect sewing-with-kids project. They’re super-fast and super-easy, and you can even make them with all recycled materials so they’re super-free, as well. To top it off, they make great gifts!  As you know, potholders are a must in every kitchen and who doesn’t need new ones? Anyone out there?
Here at Quilting and Sewing with Kids, we’ve talked about potholders before. The handprint potholders are really nice, especially for moms and grannies, but making them takes time, materials and some skill. To make potholders that require almost none of these three things, try making simple potholders from recycled cotton clothing.

Here’s all you need:

  • Old clothes made of cotton (jeans, sweatshirts and flannel shirts are perfect!)
  • Basic sewing stuff (scissors, pins, sewing machine with zigzag stitch)
  • Thread (use up stuff you want to get rid of anyway)
  • Round dinner plate (this will be the finished sized of your potholder)
  • Permanent marker

How to make your potholder:

  1. Cut apart the jeans and shirts at the seams so that you can lay the pieces flat.
  2. Layer your fabric circles.
  3. Lay the dinner plate on the fabrics and draw around it with the permanent marker. Cut out the circles.  For each potholder, you’ll need a circle of denim, a circle of sweatshirt and a circle of flannel.
  4. Layer your circles with the sweatshirt between the denim and flannel and the pretty side of your denim and flannel facing out. If you don’t think this is thick enough for a potholder, you can add another layer of one or more fabric. Just be sure you don’t get it too thick to sew through! You can also make potholders with denim on both sides for added thickness.
  5. Sew your circles together. You can sew around the circle a few inches in from the edge or sew across from one edge to the other or whatever you want. Just so the layers are sewn together.
  6. Zigzag and trim the edge.
  7. Zigzag around the circle as close to the outside edge as possible. Go around a two or three times to finish the edge. Trim close to the stitching, if necessary, and sew on a hanging loop, if desired.
You’re done!

Commit to Quilt 20 Minutes Each Day!

Online Quilting Class
You know what they say about practice makes perfect…

Well, I’ve joined the Drop and Give Me 20 Challenge over at the Eva Paige Quilt Designs blog and for the month of February, I commit to quilt for 20 minutes each day. Now, by the rules of the challenge, any quilt-related activities count, not just actual quilting.
For my 20 minutes, I will practice free motion. I’m taking two free motion quilting classes on Craftsy right now so the timing of the challenge is perfect! And if I’m away from home during the month and can’t sit at my machine, I’ll spend my daily 20 minutes doodling new quilting designs to try out once I get home.

Quilt and sew with your child in 20 minute chunks...

You can accomplish a lot in just a few minutes, especially if you’re consistent over time. This is particularly important to remember when quilting and sewing with kids. Often, a child’s attention span won’t hold up for much more than 15-20 minutes. Set your kid up for success by breaking projects into doable chunks based on your child’s skill and focus levels.

Also, remember that not all 'quilting' has to involve sewing! What about having your child work on blocks for a crayon quilt?

And if you're looking for more ideas for projects to use with your child, check out Craftsy. There are plenty of patterns, projects and classes, and many are free! Why not enjoy a class together?

Learn to Sew and Quilt Online

Craftsy offers a variety of online sewing and quilting classes that you can watch at your leisure. In addition, there are tons of patterns and member projects posted on the site. Membership at Craftsy is free and so is a lot of the content, including many patterns and some of the online classes.
Online Quilting Class
Join me in Leah Day's free motion class!
I just joined a few weeks ago and have signed up for several classes, both free and paid, and my favorite to-date is Free Motion Quilting a Sampler.  The instructor, Leah Day, is excellent and so is the course content and video quality. Although I’ve been sewing for nearly 50 years and quilting seriously for over a decade, I’m still learning lots! In fact, I’m heading into the sewing room shortly to try free motion stitch-in-the-ditch. Leah Day makes it look easy and if I can master it, I’ll save a ton of time!
One of the especially nice Craftsy features is that access to your classes never ends. That’s right – your classes are forever. I’ve done other online classes that are time-limited and it just doesn’t work for me. In addition, Craftsy members can post questions and their projects so you get to interact with your fellow students and see what others are doing.
Although I don’t have specific examples for this post, I’m sure that you can easily find more ideas for quilting and sewing with kids than you’ll ever have the time to use. Much of what is posted there is appropriate for beginners, so head on over and take a look!
Online Quilting Class

The Quilt Pattern Magazine - Projects for ALL Skill Levels

Launched in January 2011, The Quilt Pattern Magazine is a wonderful online-only publication with a nice mix of projects for every skill level. Although the title contains the word "quilt", the magazine has plenty of variety. And not only are there quilting/sewing projects galore, you'll also find articles, tutorials and even crossword puzzles!

With a subscription to The Quilt Pattern Magazine, you get:
  • Access to each issue online for two months, during which time you can download it to your computer for enjoyment forever.
  • Access to the social network, Pattern Pastiche.
  • Templates for various projects in each issue.
And no clutter! What could be better than that?

I've been a subscriber since the beginning and plan to continue. I love the variety in each issue and the fact that I can read and store the magazine on my computer and then print projects only if needed. Sure saves space and paper! Plus, how many times have you been unable to find a specific project once the magazine is shelved? I know it's happened to me plenty!

I've made a few projects during the past year+, some of which would be perfect for quilting and sewing with kids. Just to give you a small sampling of what you can expect from The Quilt Pattern Magazine, here are photos of some finished projects...
Heart potholder -
a perfect gift!
Fun and easy throw pillow.

...and some UFOs, as well.

Blocks that didn't come together
as I intended - so they'll be
individual throw pillows some day...
Throw pillow or small table cloth
in progress.

More experimental fun!
Playing around with color and contrast.

The Quilt Pattern MagazineSo head on over to The Quilt Pattern Magazine and check it out!

How to Make a Simple Quilt Top

Make a simple quilt top with a preprinted panel.

You can help your child make a simple quilt top by using a preprinted panel as the center. Make the quilt top the size you want by adding one or more borders.

There are many cute panels available and most are part of a line of fabrics designed for mixing and matching.

So shop online or pay a visit to your local quilt shop or fabric store today!

What you will need:
  • preprinted panel
  • fabric for the borders
  • scissors, measuring tape and straight pins
  • sewing machine and thread
  • iron and ironing board

Select and Prepare the Panel and Other Fabrics

  1. Choose a preprinted panel and coordinating fabrics for the borders.
  2. Prewash and dry all the fabrics, including the panel.
  3. Iron the panel and border fabrics. WARNING! This is an adult-only job!
  4. Trim the edges of the panel even and square, if necessary.
Add One or More Borders to the Panel

  1. Measure the panel sides and cut two border strips in the desired width to this length.
  2. Sew a border strip to each side of the panel with a ¼-inch seam and press the borders away from the panel, neat and flat.
  3. Measure across the top and bottom of the panel, including the side borders.
  4. Cut two border strips in the desired width to this length and sew them to the top and the bottom of the panel with ¼-inch seams.
  5. Press the top and bottom borders away from the panel, neat and flat.
  6. Repeat this process with other border fabrics until the quilt top reaches the desired finished size.

Congratulations - your quilt top is done!

Please note: Simple tutorials for finishing your quilt are coming soon and links to those articles will be added here.

How to Make a Simple, Luxurious Tied Quilt

You can make a simple yet luxurious tied quilt in less than a day. You don’t need any batting and can finish the quilt by hand or by machine. This cozy quilt is a great project for kids and makes a perfect gift for any occasion. Delight your friends and family on birthdays or at Christmas. This quilt is so simple, you may even want to make one for everybody on your list!

Things you will need:
  • Plaid flannel sheet, twin size
  • 2 yards furry or poodle fleece
  • Coordinating yarn
  • Yarn needle
  • Scissors
  • Ruler or tape measure
  • Thread
  • Hand sewing needle or sewing machine
  • Cardboard (optional)

1. Select the Sheet
Choose an evenly woven plaid flannel sheet in any color combination desired. An even weave is important as the lines will be used to guide tie placement and trim the outside edge.

Poodle fleece
2. Select the Fleece
Choose furry or poodle fleece in the color desired, either to coordinate or contrast with the plaid flannel.

3. Select the Yarn
A regular acrylic yarn in a color as close to that of the fleece is best.
Choosing yarn that closely matches the fleece ensures that it will be completely invisible on the furry fleece side of the quilt.

4. Prepare the Materials
Wash and dry the flannel sheet to prevent future shrinkage. Cut to desired finished quilt size using plaid lines as a guide. As the fleece is 58 inches wide and 72 inches long, the absolute maximum size the flannel can be cut is 52 inches by 66 inches. Cutting the flannel a few inches smaller than that each way will provide more leeway for trimming the fleece and turning the edge.

Lay the fleece out flat for a few hours or overnight to relax wrinkles or creases. For severe creasing, try tumbling the fleece in the dryer for 10-15 minutes without heat, if necessary.

5. Sandwich the Layers
Lay the fleece out flat, wrong side up, and gently smooth from the center to the edges. This can be done on a bed, the floor or any flat surface that is large enough to allow the fleece to lay completely flat and provide easy access to at least 3 sides. Do not worry if the fleece is not completely square. This will be taken care of later.

Lay the flannel, right side up, on top of the fleece and smooth, being careful not to shift or distort the fleece. At this point, the layers can be basted together, if desired. As the flannel often “grabs” the fleece, basting may be completely unnecessary.

Tied together
6. Tie the Quilt
Using a yarn needle threaded with the matching yarn, take a stitch through both layers every 4-6 inches along the plaid lines. For best results, put the needle back through both layers and bring it out again in about the same spots, forming a double stitch. Tie a square knot and trim the ends to about an inch or so. For best results, start in the center and work your way to the edges, smoothing both layers as you go. Continue until the entire quilt is tied.

Place a large piece of cardboard underneath the area being tied to provide a firm surface and prevent the needle from catching on the bedding or carpet.

7. Trim the Fleece
The flannel sheet was trimmed to the finished quilt size prior to sandwiching the layers together. Using the ruler or tape measure, trim the fleece on each side to be 3 or 4 inches larger than the flannel.

Finished edge
8. Turn the Edges and Sew
Working on one side at a time, fold the fleece toward the side with the ties so that the crease is even with the edge of the flannel. Fold the fleece under itself to meet the crease and pin in place. Hand or machine stitch close to the inside edge of the folded fleece. Repeat until all sides are sewn down. NOTE: There will be extra bulk at the corners so stitch slowly if sewing by machine.

Give the finished quilt as a gift or keep it for yourself. The flannel and fleece combine to make a truly luxurious yet simple quilt!

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