Fabric: Urban Zoologie by Ann Kelle for Robert Kaufman Fabrics
Project design: Erica Jackman
Quick-to-sew soft little critters make perfect playmates for baby. These two softies (along with six others) are easy to make from a fabric panel. This project is courtesy of our sewing blog, howtosew.com. Visit daily for new sewing projects and easy home decor.
Here’s the whole panel. It’s about 22×44″.
The materials given are for eight animal softies. Instructions are for making one.
- One panel (makes 8 animal softies)
- 8—9″ squares assorted prints or 2–18×22″ pieces (fat quarters) for backing
- Polyester fiberfill
- Water-soluble marking pen
- Chopstick (optional)
Finished hippo: about 8×4″
Measurements include 1/4″ seam allowances.
Sew with right sides together unless otherwise stated.
Assemble the Softie:
1. Cut out animal print along printed border. With a water-soluble marking pen, draw a line around animal shape about 1/2″ from outer edges.
2. With wrong sides together, layer and pin marked animal print and 9″ backing square. Cut out layers on marked line.
3. Pin cut shapes with right sides together (printed sides). Using a water-soluble marker, mark a 2″ opening along one edge of animal shape.
4. Using a 1/4″ seam allowance, sew around shape, leaving marked opening free.
5. Turn right side out. Stuff hippo shape with fiberfill, using a chopstick to pack filling into small areas.
TIP: Using small “tufts” of polyester makes a smoother finished stuffed softie.
6. Fold unstitched seam allowances to inside; pin in place. Using a needle and thread, stitch opening closed to complete animal softie.
I had a surprisingly productive month! And although I put two projects aside, I did cross some things off my to-do list that I was dragging my feed on (buying supplies, finishing binding). I’m at the point where I’m nearing the end of a few of my projects. I’m happy to permanently get them off my list and on the wall or bed they belong on! (Find out more about my goals this year in my resolutions blog – read it here.) Four more months this year to finish the five projects I chose. Since the holidays get busy in the magazine world, I’m hoping for one more very productive month so I’m not panicking by the time Christmas hits!
On my to-do list this year:
- Tula Pink‘s City Sampler (See all my blocks here.)
- American Patchwork & Quilting Quilt Along (Read more about it here.)
- Pat Sloan‘s Globetrotting Block of the Month with Free Quilt Patterns (Get details here.)
- Finish my Passion 48 (See our staff’s Project 48 rules here.)
- Quilts and More Welcome Home wall hanging series (in Quilts and More Fall)
I finished the last 20 of my Tula blocks! Now time to choose a sashing color that will match brown, blue, teal, and green! See all my blocks here.
Nine of the blocks for the Globetrotting Block of the Month are done. The quilt is almost done! I love all blocks equally in this and love the fabric line. I hope I have enough time before the end of the year to quilt and bind it.
Finally got the binding done and all the layers ready to quilt. This is the first quilt I started (and obviously one that I put on hold for awhile). I’m ready to get it off my design wall and hanging in my house.
In a burst of energy over Labor Day weekend I almost got the Quilts and More Fall Welcome Home wall hanging done. A little bit of binding left to sew on and some embellishments to make, but I’ll be ready for cooler temps when they come!
I have some tips for jumpstarting your creativity. (See my tips for making your list here.)
1. Take time off. While it’s important to be creative every day to keep the juices flowing, it’s also alright to take some time off from your to-do list. I took time this month to be creative while reading, gardening, and baking. And while I did do some quilting, it was a gift that was not on my to-do list. Taking a break gives you the energy and motivation to move ahead on your projects.
2. Do what you feel. With nicer weather this month, I didn’t want to be cooped inside at my sewing machine. I, instead, opted for a lot of cutting. I liked being on my feet with some music playing. And touching the pretty fabric was a nice stress reliever after a long day. I still made progress on a quilt, but it wasn’t something that was time-consuming or felt like work
3. Let your mind wander. We always say in the office that sitting at your desk and thinking counts as work. While it may seem silly to let your mind wander while you’re working on a quilt, sometimes the best ideas or creative spark come from just sitting. If you’re not feeling the creative process, look at some quilting magazines, browse some websites for inspiration, or go to a store to look at fabric. You’ll be surprised how this can jumpstart your motivation!
Happy quilting in 2014! Share your own quilting to-do list in the comments and make sure to check back to see my progress.
Every month, we highlight a trend in quilting and show you how you can add this hip style to your projects!
This month, we’re all about fabric with words! We’re writers, so we’ve obviously always loved the look of printed text on fabric. But we’re starting to see a lot of word fabric on the market now, and we couldn’t be more thrilled! From standout prints to tone-on-tones, word fabric can take on a lot of different looks!
Type fabric for your shopping list (in order going clockwise):
- Elementary collection by Sweetwater for Moda Fabrics
- Kiss the Cook collection by Mary Lake-Thompson for Robert Kaufman Fabrics
- Little Monsters collection from Andover Fabrics
- Hello, Bear collection by Bonnie Christine for Art Gallery Fabrics
- Wild by Wee Gallery for Dear Stella
- Playground collection by Vita Mechachonis for Camelot Fabrics
Once a month, we highlight our favorite free quilt and sewing patterns around the web!
We love solids. And blues. And that interesting piecing. Basically, we love this quilt! Use your Sizzix die cutting machine or try some freeform cutting. This is the perfect end-of-summer project!
Sliced Citrus Party Tags by Camelot Fabrics
These cute felt tags make us want to throw a citrus party right now! They’re so simple and will really add a special touch to drinks or gifts.
Gemstone Paper Pieced Pillow by Jennifer Sampou
This pillow looks like beautiful stained glass! And it’s the perfect way to clean out some of your scraps.
A few years ago, Michelle Kim, a nurse at the University of California Davis Medical Center, learned how to make pillowcases. She’s made enough now that every child coming to the hospital for surgery gets one. Medical professionals and patients’ parents agree: The pillowcases lessen anxiety, provide comfort, and make the kids feel special. To date, Michelle has donated 2,476 pillowcases. She keeps track, she says, so she can “see how many kids have been blessed in a small way on a day that can be full of fears.
To most of us a pillowcase may not be a big deal. It’s something we barely notice as we lay down to sleep each night. But for some (such as the patients Michelle treats in the story above), they can be a great source of comfort and joy during a time of stress and uncertainty. Whether it’s a piece of home in a sterile hospital room, a little return to normalcy for those in homeless shelters or women’s shelters, or just a reminder that someone else in the world cares, a pillowcase can make a huge difference in your community.
We started our One Million Pillowcase Challenge in 2010, and in just a few years quilters and sewers all over the world have donated more than 560,000 pillowcases to those in need! That’s 560,000 smiles and sighs of relief! We’ve heard countless stories of how this Challenge has changed lives in communities across the country, as well as given many quilters a community to share a great cause with.
With the holidays coming, we wanted to challenge our community even more! We’re hosting our first 24-hour sewing event for charity! From Friday, September 19 at 3pm to Saturday, September 20 at 3pm, we’re hosting the One Million Pillowcase 24-Hour Sewathon. We have an event planned at our offices in Des Moines, Iowa. But there are 44 events in 29 states and 2 countries already scheduled! Encourage your local quilt shop to host an event or find a shop in your area here. Many people are hosting their own private events with family and friends, too! Invite your sewing buddies over for some snacks and a few hours of sewing!
Want to stay up sewing all night with American Patchwork & Quilting? Mark this date on your calendar and follow us on Facebook! We’ll be posting pictures, videos, pillowcase count updates, and have fun giveaways from our sponsors! Post photos of your own events or pillowcases you’ve made to our Facebook page or hashtag them with #APQSewathon on Instagram and Twitter!
To celebrate this fun event, we’re hosting a blog hop! See pillowcases made by our our designer friends and sponsors:
- Alison Glass
- American Patchwork & Quilting
- Barb and Mary of Me and My Sister Designs
- The Benartex Design Team: Sew in Love with Fabric
- Debby Kratovil
- Edyta Sitar of Laundry Basket Quilts
- Heidi Pridemore
- How To Sew
- Jennifer Paganelli of Sis Boom
- Joanna Figueroa of Fig Tree Quilts
- Karrie Winters of Freckled Whimsy
- Kelle Boyd of Ann Kelle
- Linda Carlson
- Lori Mason
- Modern Quilt Studio
- Nicole Daksiewicz of Modern Handcraft
- Northcott: Patti’s Patchwork
- Shannon Fabrics: My Cuddle Corner
- Tammy Silvers
- Timeless Treasures: Sew Timeless
- Valori Wells
- Verna Mosquera of The Vintage Spool
- Wendy Sheppard of Ivory Spring
Thanks to everyone who has donated over the years and our wonderful sponsors for helping us spread the word about this cause. And we can’t forget to thank the quilt shops across the nation that have collected pillowcases in the community and held pillowcase-making events in their stores. No matter how big or small your donation is it really does make a huge difference in another person’s life!