Canadian Summer QAL Week 9 West Point Lighthouse Block

lighthouse quilt block
Welcome to week 9 in the Canadian Summer Quilt Along! This week’s block is the West Point Lighthouse Block designed by Anita of Daydreams of Quilts! (That’s me!)
lighthouse quilt block
West Point Lighthouse block designed and pieced by Anita of Daydreams of Quilts. Quilted by Dara of Stitched Quilting Co.
I didn’t really think of this when I made the quilt along schedule but yesterday was our 18th wedding anniversary. We went to Prince Edward Island for our honeymoon and one of the places we visited was the West Point Lighthouse. So it’s a fun coincidence that I am releasing this block the day after our anniversary. PEI is one of my most favourite places on earth! I have been there three times and really hope to get back again soon.
lighthouse quilt block
An unquilted shot of the West Point Lighthouse block so you can see the prints. The sandpiper and seagull fabrics were actually purchased in PEI on our honeymoon 18 years ago! Can you believe it!? It’s true! Talk about treasured fabric stash. 🙂
Glad I could help represent the East Coast in this quilt along! Even though I’m an Albertan, I do love PEI and I lived in New Brunswick for four years too. Click here to download the Lighthouse Block pattern – CSQAL West Point Lighthouse Block Pattern I can’t wait to see the lighthouses pop up this week. Post your lighthouse in the hashtag #canadiansummerqal on Instagram for a chance to win a selection of four fat quarters of Flourish from the Daydreams of Quilts shop.

Pixelated Skull Quilt Free PDF Pattern

Hello! Welcome to the Daydreams of Quilts Blog!

I can’t believe I’m saying this but it’s only two months until Halloween! I know, we’re all still enjoying the fabulous summer weather and Halloween is far from our minds. Still, with only two months to go until the big spooky day, if you want to make this amazing Pixelated Skull Quilt you might want to start now. So I’m releasing this free pattern today!

Free Pixelated Skull Quilt Pattern

I have created this Pixelated Skull Quilt pattern based on a Perler bead craft that I saw on Pinterest. My pattern offers five quilt sizes and has a colouring page as well as the instructions to make this quilt a reality.

Subscribe below for a free PDF download of this pattern. You will receive a welcome email from Daydreams of Quilts with the pattern download link inside as well as links to several other free patterns from us. Please check your junk and/or promotions folders for the email if you don’t see it it your main email folder.

If you do not wish to subscribe to our email list you can purchase the pattern in my Etsy shop here.



Canadian Summer Quilt Along Coastal Majesty Block

Coastal Majesty quilt block depicting British Columbia's majestic trees.

Hello and welcome to week 8 in the Canadian Summer Quilt Along! This week we have a beautiful foundation pieced block designed by Jean of Sophisticat Fibre Art Studio called “Coastal Majesty.”

Sophisticat Fibre Art Studio logo

Jean’s block is inspired by the beautiful trees around Vancouver in British Columbia. In her pattern she writes, “This block symbolizes the majesty of those trees growing in the mountains.”

I lived in Vancouver for four years as a child while my Mom was doing her master’s degree. The trees in and around Vancouver truly are awe inspiring. Many happy days were spent climbing trees there.

I remember one time my brother, sister and I were up in a tall cedar tree and we saw our Dad who was doing maintenance on the roof of one of the buildings at the Vancouver School of Theology (where my Mom did her masters). We were eye level with him and he was on the fifth floor. We called to him “Hey Dad!” He looked around on the ground for us but couldn’t see us. “Over here! In the tree! We’re waving a branch at you!” The look of shock on his face was funny to us at the time but as a parent I can imagine the feeling he must have had now. He stayed very calm but said sternly “You kids are up too high. You climb back down now.” Ah, good times in Vancouver.

Anyway, I digress. 🙂 Here is my version of Jean’s Coastal Majesty block. Dara of  Stitched Quilting Co. did a beautiful job of the quilting on my block.

Coastal Majesty quilt block depicting British Columbia's majestic trees.
Anita’s version of Coastal Majesty. Block designed by Sophisticat Fibre Art Studio. Quilted by Stitched Quilting Co.

Normally I find foundation paper piecing so challenging that it’s not fun for me but I really enjoyed this block and it’s very possible to achieve even if you are a beginner at this technique. Jean also suggests using “improv strata” for your trees. This is basically creating fabric pieces by sewing together small strips (or you could slash and insert strips as well). Jean has a photo of this on her Instagram post (second photo).

Trees or Mountains paper pieced quilt block
Coastal Majesty before quilting to get a better representation of the fabric colours in my block.

Jean was having some technical issues with her website so she said she would try to have a tutorial up on her Facebook page if not on her site.

You can download the free Coastal Majesty pattern on Craftsy.

Giveaway: Post your blocks on Instagram using the hashtag #canadiansummerqal for a chance to win my most popular PDF pattern the “Pixel Heart in a Pixel Heart” pattern. Jean also says if you tag her on your post @sew_catstudio by August 15th she will also be offering a prize.

Pixel Heart in a Pixel Heart Pattern

Who knew so many people love handmade pillow cases?

Handmade Pillow Cases

This pillow case post was the most popular post in a long time on both Instagram and Facebook. It’s not the most beautiful photo but the fabrics are beautiful and I think maybe the story behind it really resonated with people. So in case you missed my posts (or you’re not on those social media platforms) I am posting here on my blog as well.

handmade pillow cases
Handmade pillow cases I made for my Mom using Flourish fabrics.

The caption of the post said, “My Mom is my best customer and she ordered some#flourishfabrics from my shop. When I went to deliver them she handed them back and said she would like them made into pillow cases. This is a special service I provide free of charge to customers who gave birth to me. 😂 All of these fabrics designed by #miawhittemore are available in our shop. #windhamfabrics “

I think the caption hit home with a lot of people but also the look of the pretty floral pillowcases in bright colours hanging on the line.

How I made them:

To make these pillow cases I used this tutorial . I used French seams to ensure there is no fraying inside the pillow case. To do this I sewed the end and side seams of the pillow case with the fabric right side out with about an eighth of an inch seam. Then I turned the pillow case wrong side out and pressed the seams. I sewed the seams again using a quarter inch seam. Then turned the pillow case right side out again and pressed the seams again.

For the band I folded one long edge of the band down by a quarter inch and pressed the fold. I sewed the two short ends together with a 5/8 seam and then pressed the seam open. Then I pinned the band to the pillow case right sides together matching the side seams. I sewed that seam with a 1/4 inch seam and pressed towards the band. Then I folded the other long (folded) edge up to just cover that seam and pinned in place. I top stitched that folded edge in place which enclosed all the raw edges. This ensures the pillow case will not fray.

You can find all the fabrics I used in my shop.

I am thinking I will use Sugarplum fabrics to make Christmas pillow cases and will possibly even offer some pillow cases for sale this fall.

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: https://youtu.be/9_YCTXsDRnY

Close ups of some of the flags on my bunting.

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

Update:

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:

Cutting:
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
Applique:
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.
Piecing:
 
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.
Quilting:

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.