Canada Day Flag Bunting Tutorial

Hello! I made a rustic flag bunting string for Canada Day this past week and I thought others would like to make one too so here’s a quick tutorial.

Download the free Maple Leaf Template here. You may also be interested in this Canadian Flag Pillow Tutorial which uses the same template.

Here’s what you do:

  • cut five rectangles of burlap 6″ x 8″
  • fold in half on the long side so it’s 3″ x 8″
  • make a mark two inches from the bottom on the fold
  • lay your cutting ruler diagonally from the opposite bottom corner (with two raw edge corners) to the mark on the fold
  • cut with your rotary cutter
  • sew around the edges of the five flags twice to keep the burlap from unraveling
  • applique maple leaves to the bunting using fusible web following the instructions on the fusible, make sure the leaf stem is centered over the peak of the cut you made when the burlap was folded
  • straight stitch around the edges of the leaves about 1/8″ from the edge to secure them
  • take a three yard piece of twill tape, find the center and sew it to the top of a flag
  • evenly space out the other four flags on either side and sew to the twill tape (sew two lines of stitches to be on the safe side)
  • hang your bunting and enjoy! Happy Canada Day!
I have created a YouTube video tutorial to go along with this written tutorial:

Link to video on YouTube:

Close ups of some of the flags on my bunting.

Use all different red prints to make it interesting and fun to look at. 🙂


Here is a star template for those who enjoy a primitive country look or for my American friends. Right click and select “save image as” to save to your computer.

JPEG file:

PNG File:

Canadian Flag Pillow or Table Runner Tutorial

Yesterday at about 5:00 in the afternoon I suddenly got it into my head that I wanted to make a pillow for Canada Day. I quickly designed a project using the Canadian flag block in my EQ7 software. I got started tracing the leaves on fusible web and then had to stop to make supper. After supper I made the flag blocks and then my kids wanted me to watch an hour long show with them. I finished my pillow at about 10:50 p.m. All that to say that you can easily do this project in an evening and it will probably take less than four hours to make. 🙂

I started out thinking that my pillow would be 16 x 28 inches but in the end it is quite a large pillow at 18 x 30 inches.

Originally I was not planning to have sashing:

But as you can see… that results in a big block of red in the middle.
So I decided that sashing was a must. If you are doing yours in rainbow colours or using alternating lighter and darker reds than you could skip the sashing and it would look great. Or, if you do not want such a giant pillow you could turn this into a table runner. Maybe have all the flags with the leaf stems facing the border so people on either side of the table would see the flag the right way up.

Okay, so here’s what you need:

1 fat quarter of white or white on white print for white in flags
4 fat eighths of different red prints for flags
1/2 yard for sashing and border
1/2 yard for backing
about a fat quarter size piece of fusible web such as Heat’n Bond Lite Iron-on Adhesive or Steam-A-Seam
if making table runner:
1/4 yard by width of fabric for binding
1/2 yard of batting
if making pillow:
36 x 62 inch piece of muslin for pillow form (I get something like 3 yards extra wide for under $15 at Walmart)
64 oz. bag of polyfil stuffing (again I buy at Walmart for less than $20)
The maple leaf applique template. Print at 100% (no scaling, do not fit to page). The maple leaf should be about 5 inches square.
Download Maple Leave template here: Canadian Flag Block Applique

Here’s what you do:

from each fat eighth of red fabric cut two 3 1/2 x 6 1/2 inch rectangles and one 6 1/2 inch square
from the white fat quarter cut four 6 1/2 inch squares and press into quarters with your iron to make registration marks
from sashing/border fabric cut six 2/12 inch strips
Trace the maple leaf with a pencil on your the paper side of your fusible web. If using Steam a Seam trace on the side that does not peel off easily.
Cut out around the maple leaf shape with paper scissors and fuse to the back of your maple leaf squares following the package directions for the fusible.
Cut out with paper scissors on the drawn pencil line. Peel off the paper backing and fuse to the front of the white squares using the registration marks you made with your iron to get the leaf centred.
Sew the coordinating red rectangles to either side of the matching white squares with leaves fused to them. Press seams towards the red fabric. Make four flags.
From one sashing strip cut two 6 1/2 inch lengths to sew between two sets of two flags. Press as desired. I think I pressed towards my sashing but it would probably be better to press towards the red if using lighter sashing.
Sew the two sets of two flags together into a grid of four using another strip of sashing between the two sets. Press towards the red fabrics. Trim excess sashing off ends.
Sew two sashing strips on the side of the grid and two on the top to create the finished quilt top.

If making the pillow lay the quilt top on your batting and quilt. If you wish you can back it with muslin before your start quilting. I just left mine with batting only. My pillow top was quilted with wavy lines about an inch apart and then I free motion quilted around the edges of the maple leaves. If you prefer you could zig zag or blanket stitch your edges. The fusible will keep them from fraying too much and we probably won’t be washing these pillows that often. If you do not like free motion quilting you can also straight stitch leaving your needle in at each corner and pivoting the work to change direction until you get all the way around the edges.

Make the table runner as above but of course layer your backing face down, then batting and then quilt top face up before you quilt.

Trim your top and bind if making a table runner or continue to next step if making the pillow.

Envelope Pillow Back:

To make the pillow back take your half yard of backing and cut it along the factory fold line to make two halves. Hem these edges by folding 1/4 inch and pressing and then folding another 1/4 inch and press again. Then sew down the edges to secure the hems.

With fabrics face up overlap these hemmed edges by as much as you would like. (Mine overlap about eight inches which is probably a bit too much as it was difficult to get my pillow form in.) Then lay the quilted pillow top on top face down and pin. Sew around the edges with 1/4″ to 1/2″ seam. Go around twice to be on the safe side. Trim off excess backing, clip corners and turn right side out.
For more on envelope backs and photos see this tutorial or this tutorial.
Make the pillow form by folding your muslin in half and stitching around the three raw edges with a one inch seam leaving a five inch opening on the long side for turning and stuffing. Clip corners, turn out and press. Then stuff with stuffing to your desired firmness making sure to really get the stuffing into the corners. Hold the opening closed with Wonder Clips and sew it shut with your sewing machine. (It’s tricky, I know… go slow and watch your fingers.) Or if it’s really stuffed and you can’t get it under your needle sew the opening closed with a whip stitch or a ladder stitch.
Then put your pillow form into your pillow and enjoy! Happy Canada Day on July 1st! 🙂
I hope this post was helpful to you today! Whether you’re new to quilting or you’ve been quilting for years we all love cute paper to design on:

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Free Tea Cozy Pattern and Tutorial

Make a tea cozy in time for Mother’s Day! Or even in time for tea. It’s that easy.

Mother’s Day is coming up and that got me thinking of what to make for my Mom. My Mom loves tea and collects both tea and tea pots. Naturally that leads to a collection of tea cozies as well. So I set to work this week designing a simple tea cozy and I made four of them in one day! Now I have a free tea cozy pattern and tutorial for you.

Find a video tutorial of this tea cozy pattern on the Daydreams of Quilts YouTube channel here.

Easy tea cozies by Daydreams of Quilts.

What you need:

  • half a yard of outer fabric
  • half a yard of lining fabric
  • polyester quilt batting (two pieces about 11″ x 14″ each)
  • two 2 1/2″ strips of binding (of about 55″ of binding)
  • applique motifs of your choosing (such as the hexagons above)
  • tea cozy pattern

A Quick Overview of English Paper Piecing:

The applique on these tea cozies is English Paper Pieced (EPP) but you can applique whatever you would like onto yours. There are many EPP tutorials on the internet so I will briefly go over it here. You can find more detail on this technique in this blog post.


Get your 1″ Hexagon Papers. Pin to your fabric and cut out with a quarter inch seam allowance around all edges of the paper. Fold the fabric to the back and baste making sure to catch the overlap at the corners in the stitches. Here is one from the back.
And here it is from the front. The large stitches are easy to cut at the end when you’re ready to take your papers out.
When your hexagons are all basted you can begin whip stitching them together to make your desired shape. Use one strand of thread and catch only tiny bits of fabric with your needle so the stitches don’t show up on the front too much.
Here are the whip stitches from the side view.
Here are the two pieces from the front.If you use only one strand of thread and just catch little tiny bits of your fabric the stitches don’t show. Once all your shapes are made (for example flowers) press them with your iron, cut the basting threads and remove the papers. Pin to the front of your tea cozy and top stitch with your sewing machine to applique to the project.

Making the tea cozy:

To make the tea cozy download the free pattern. Print out at 100% (no scaling, do not fit to page). The tea cozies will be about 10 inches tall by 13 inches wide. The pattern should measure about 7 1/2 inches wide by 10 1/2 inches tall when printed.
Click this link to download the pattern:
Draw a line with a ruler down the left side of the pattern to make a cutting line to follow. Join up between the top and bottom cutting lines.
Cut out your pattern with paper scissors on the outer cutting line. Then, cutting on the fold, cut two outer fabric pieces, two batting pieces and two lining pieces. I just cut quickly with a rotary cutter and didn’t worry about pinning and being too precise. It is a forgiving pattern. 🙂
Layer the lining piece face down, the batting and the outer piece face up and pin along the bottom edge. Do this for both front and back of the tea cozy. Stitch along the bottom edge with a 1/8th inch seam to hold these edges together. We modern quilters usually dislike poly batting but for tea cozies it makes them more… tea cozyish. So go ahead and use the poly batting for this project. (Or batting of your choice if you cannot stand to use this stuff.) If you wish to quilt your tea cozy do so now. (I chose not to quilt mine.)
Place the front and back tea cozy pieces together with lining sides face and pin around the outer curved edge. Here I am using Sewline Tulip Straight Pins. They are sharp, they pierce many layers smoothly and their silicone heads don’t melt if accidentally ironed. After pinning around the outer edge stitch around the edge with a 1/8th inch seam to baste all the six layers together.
Take a strip of binding, which has been pressed in half wrong sides together, and lay it on the front of the tea cozy matching up the raw edges and sew with a 1/4 inch seam as you do when binding a quilt. Trim off any excess binding. Fold the binding to the back side of the tea cozy and slip stitch in place covering your basting seam and encasing all the raw edges. This creates the look of piping on your tea cozy.
Sew another binding strip around the entire bottom of the tea cozy by laying it on the outer fabric and lining up the raw edges. Sew with a quarter inch seam and slow down when sewing through the side seams which now have many layers with the binding you sewed in the last step. (I got too hasty and broke my needle on my machine at one point so slow down for those side seams.) I used the folding method (folding beginning tail 45 degrees and overlapping my end tail by an inch) to join my binding ends but use the joining method you prefer when you get back to where you started. Fold the binding to the inside of the tea cozy and clip with Clover Wonder Clip if desired. Hand stitch with a slip stitch as you use when binding a quilt to sew the binding down to the lining fabric. And you’re done!

Thank you for visiting today. I hope you enjoy sewing your tea cozies! If you have any questions or comments please feel free to write them below. 🙂

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Halloween Houses Quilt Along Week 3 Improv Houses

Hello Halloween Houses Quilter-Alongers. It’s week 3 in the Halloween Houses Quilt Along and I must confess to you that I have not made progress on my Halloween Houses quilt this week because I have been working on other projects. I have also put in many hours volunteering for my kids’ school the past two weeks and this has really taken a lot of my energy. I will have progress to show you next Friday for sure. 🙂

In the meantime, here is my third and final tutorial video in the series of YouTube videos I made for this quilt along. This one is all about the Improv House blocks.

Download the free pattern here Halloween Houses Free Pattern.

Here’s to a productive weekend of sewing! Cheers! (raising my coffee mug to you!)

Halloween Houses Week 2 – Applique

Welcome to the Halloween Houses Quilt Along Week 2! If you are not sure what this is about please visit the Halloween Houses Quilt Along page to learn all about it. You can grab a blog button and find the link to my free Halloween Houses Pattern on Craftsy in that post.

This week I have another YouTube video for you demonstrating how I applique my doors and windows onto my Halloween Houses. Below the video are a couple of more blocks.

Download the free pattern here Halloween Houses Free Pattern.

So how is everyone doing? Are you sewing along with me? I am the only one who has photos in the #HalloweenHousesQAL hashtag on Instagram so I’m not sure if anyone is with me or not. 🙂 I’m still having fun though. It will be exciting to see what other people are making when you have some blocks ready.

This block is a block I am calling the “Cul-de-Sac” block. I’m not sure if everyone around the world calls them Cul-de-Sacs but in Canada when a street is basically a dead end and at the end of the street the houses curve around a circular section of pavement it is called a Cul-de-Sac. Eventually I may work out how to make that using curved piecing but to keep it simple I have made a square block using the 5″ houses from my Week 1 Post. I have all the houses facing each other with a green charm square in the middle to represent the front lawns. I will add a border of background fabric around the block so it will fit in with the 9″ houses in my quilt.

Here is an improv block that I sewed this morning where I fussy cut my doors and windows. On this block we get a peek into one of the houses to see what might be happening in there and we see a cute little witch! 🙂

I will have my improv blocks video up next Wednesday on YouTube and here on the blog next Friday.

Halloween Houses Week 1 and another Free project idea

Welcome to Week 1 of the Halloween Houses Quilt Along. If you missed the introductory post click here to find out all about it and grab the blog button for your blog. You can download the Halloween Houses Free Pattern

I made three YouTube video tutorials to go along with this series and I am sharing the first one on the blog today. There will be two more videos over the next two Fridays. I will release them on YouTube on Wednesdays though so if you don’t want to wait until Friday you can see them over there early (click on the YouTube mason jar in the sidebar).

Here is the first video. If you are an experienced quilter you don’t need to watch this but sometimes it’s fun to just veg out and watch someone make something for two minutes. 🙂

Here is the applique house which will be in the second video.
Here is the improv house which will be in the third video. If you are making these ahead don’t forget that you sew in the doors and windows before putting the background corners on and if you want a chimney you sew that into the background corner before sewing that corner on as well.
This past summer I bought two of these Riley Blake “Postcards for Santa” charm packs on a whim without a plan. I was looking at them today when an idea struck.

“These would be perfect as little Christmas Houses,” I thought.

First I have to let you in on a little secret just between you and I… you can make these houses out of just about any size of square you want. In the case of this table runner I used 5″ charm squares. All you do is measure your square, divide it in half and add a quarter inch and you will know what size to cut your background squares.

In the case of the charm squares they are 5 inches. Divide by 2 = 2.5″ add a quarter inch so your background squares are 2 3/4 inches.

“Christmas Houses Table Runner” by Daydreams of Quilts.

Now have you ever had a friend or a relative that you weren’t planning to exchange Christmas gifts hand you a gift in the last week before Christmas and you thought to yourself “Oh gosh-darn it I don’t have a gift for them.”? And then your mind is reeling and you stammer out like an idiot “Oh, I’m still working on yours. I’ll have it ready for you before Christmas though.” And then you are wanting to strangle yourself because you already have a million things to sew before Christmas. No? Oh, it’s just me then.

But let’s just say you did need to sew a quick gift… this little table runner took me about an hour and a half to piece. You might want to sew up a couple just in case the above scenario does happen to you.

To make this you need:

  • 14 x 5″ charm squares
  • 1 fat quarter
  • 1 x 3 1/2 by width of fabric strip
  • batting, backing and binding

How to:

  • Take 14 charm squares that you think would look good as houses.
  • Cut four 2 3/4 inch strips from a fat quarter and sub cut 28 x 2 3/4 inch background squares
  • Sew a 2 3/4 inch background square onto each corner as we do for the Halloween Houses in the pattern. Cut a 3 1/2 inch by width of fabric strip for the snowy street. (I used Kona bone)
  • After sewing the houses together in two rows of seven sew them on either side of the street strip facing each other as they would be on an actual street.
  • Cut four 1 1/2 inch strips from the remainder of your fat quarter. Sew two together end to end and repeat to make a second one.
  • Sew these two strips onto both long sides of your table runner.
  • Layer with batting and backing, quilt and bind.
I haven’t quilted mine yet but I think I will quilt in doors and possibly a window on each house. 🙂
Have fun sewing houses. If you are on Instagram please use the hashtag #HalloweenHousesQAL so we can all see what everyone is making.

Introduction to Daydreams of Quilts’ “Halloween Houses Quilt-Along” and a FREE Pattern

Introductory Post:

It’s only two months to go until Halloween. I have some lovely fabric here that has been carefully saved in my stash for over a year. Well, a few pieces from the same line were acquired this summer but the majority has been treasured for a year.

“Witch Hazel” designed by “October Afternoon” from Riley Blake Fabrics.

This is the “Witch Hazel” Line from Riley Blake. My most favorite print in the line is the text fabric but they are all fun. I want to sew a quilt with these that showcases the prints so I have written a FREE “Halloween Houses” Pattern. This pattern features 9″ blocks (8 1/2 inches finished) so I can really show off my prints.

Download free pattern: Halloween Houses Free Pattern

A Halloween House block. My Halloween Houses Free Pattern includes applique templates for doors and windows as well as directions for improv piecing windows, doors and a chimney.

Now, I spend a lot of time sewing alone which I enjoy but sometimes it’s fun to sew in a group. I would love it if my online quilting friends would join me in a quilt along. This will really help me to get this quilt finished for this year’s Halloween.

If Halloween is not your thing (or not a holiday in your country) you can pick a different theme. You could showcase your treasured Christmas prints. Make it in pastels to celebrate the coming of spring for those of you in the Southern Hemisphere. Make it in primary colors for a child’s bedroom. I will post weekly tutorials over four weeks showing different ideas for the blocks. I will link them all here on this “Halloween Houses” page. If I have an indication that some of you are with me I will host a linky at the end and I will come up with a fun prize for those who link up their quilt tops.

**Update** Wow! The response to this has been amazing! Thank you so much everyone! So far 48 people have downloaded the pattern and six have told me they are quilting along! I will put a post up each of the four Fridays in September and we’ll have a linky in October. Probably the middle to last half of October to give people time to finish.

I have created a hashtag on Instagram: #HalloweenHousesQAL

I haven’t told you how much fabric you need in the pattern because I wanted to leave it open for you to make whatever you want but if you need help figuring out how much you need just comment, email, tag me on Instagram… however you would like to contact me and I will help you. 🙂

So please, help yourself to my free pattern, grab the button for your blog and join me. If I have an indication that some of you are with me I will host a linky at the end and I will come up with a prize for those who link up. It’s all in fun! C’mon, what are you waiting for? 🙂


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