Friday, November 30, 2012

Advent Calendar

We have started our "Handmade Holidays" feature here on the Fabric Mill blog.  See that fancy-schmancy graphic over there on top of our sidebar?  That will stay right there through the rest of 2012.  If you click on that button it will take you to all of the posts (past and present) that are Christmas related or could be used as a gift idea for Christmas!  We'll compile all of those posts in one place to make it easy for you to come back and find some great ideas.

And here is our first project to add to our Handmade Holidays list:

Cute and easy Advent Calendar from a panel of fabric!

This is an Advent Calendar that is made from a panel!  An advent calendar is a must-have Christmas decor item!

The panel is from the Happy Christmas line by Northcott.  We also have some of the coordinating prints so you can choose from those for the backing of the panel.

Here is a photo of the panel - it includes instructions as well as all of the pieces you need to make your own.

Advent Calendar Panel

I'll show you tomorrow step-by-step how I made mine so you can see just how easy (and quick!) it is.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Fallen Leaves Table Runner tutorial

I have another quick and easy burlap project for you – and this one is even easier than the last one
This is my “Fallen Leaves” table runner:

"Fallen Leaves" Table Runner tutorial

Everything you need to create one of these is at our shop!

Burlap and Fall Fabrics from Riley Blake

I began by cutting a 12” by 40” piece of burlap.  I chose 12” because that is slightly thinner than the width of my bookcase.  You can choose whatever size you want – a square one would be great! 
I also cut two 14” pieces of jumbo yellow ric rac.

Then I drew some simple leaf shapes onto a piece of paper.  I found that I liked the leaves that were 3.5”, 4” and 4.5” long.  I placed my Heat n’ Bond lite over my leaf drawing and traced several of each size onto the paper side of the fusible web.  

I ended up with 17 leaves total.

I cut out around each leaf (not right on the line, I left about 1/4”) and pressed each one onto a piece of fall colored fabric (I used the scraps from this Thanksgiving banner).  I then cut out each leaf (right on the drawn line) and removed the paper backing.

I spread out the burlap, placed the ric rac and scattered the leaves around until I liked the way it looked. 

"Fallen Leaves" Table Runner tutorial

I pinned each one in place just to hold it there while I moved it all over to the ironing board.

"Fallen Leaves" Table Runner tutorial

Then I ironed all of the leaves in place.  This burlap had kind of an open weave and I was concerned about the adhesive from the leaves getting through to the ironing board, so I put a piece of paper beneath the burlap.  No problems whatsoever. 

"Fallen Leaves" Table Runner tutorial

Then came the fun part!  I used my free motion quilting foot and using a brown thread I quilted around each leaf 4 or 5 times.  I allowed the lines to be a little messy to give the “scribbled” look.  It was so much less stressful than trying to get a nice, exact line around each curved edge of all 17 leaves.  What a headache that would have been.  And it would have taken me twice as long.  This was FUN!

"Fallen Leaves" Table Runner tutorial

"Fallen Leaves" Table Runner tutorial

The last step was to stitch on the ric rac.  Here is the finished table runner- already at home on the top of my bookcase!

"Fallen Leaves" Table Runner tutorial

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Tutorial: Burlap Thanksgiving Banner

Can you believe Thanksgiving is next week?  Wow - that snuck up on me!  When we put away our Halloween decorations two weeks ago my house felt so bare.  It's a bit early to pull out the Christmas decor, and I have absolutely NO Thanksgiving decorations.  So I grabbed some burlap (yes! We have burlap!) and some fall-ish fabrics and put together this Thanksgiving banner.  It's a quick project - really!  And I love the look of the burlap.

Cute burlap thanksgiving banner tutorial!

Burlap Thanksgiving Banner Tutorial

by Andy Knowlton

Supplies Needed:
  • Burlap (if it is 40" wide, you will need 1/2 yard)
  • several 1/8 yard cuts of your favorite fall prints**
  • Heat n' Bond lite (or similar fusible web product)
  • twine or string for hanging
  • printed letter template (download and print here)

**the fabrics I used for the banner pictured are:
Red:  red daisy from "Delighted" (Riley Blake)
Orange #1:  orange circles from "Decadence" (Riley Blake)
Orange #2:  orange daisy from "Country Harvest" (Riley Blake)
Green:  green circles from "Decadence" (Riley Blake)
Brown:  good swirls brown from "Good Life" (Riley Blake)
Yellow: yellow herringbone from "Apple of My Eye" (Riley Blake)

burlap and fall color fabrics

Other supplies to gather:
  • thread
  • pencil
  • scissors - nice and sharp!
  • iron
  • rotary cutter and mat 


1.  From the burlap, cut 10 rectangles that measure 6" x 9".  note: the burlap is trickier to manage than fabric is.  I first cut my burlap into rough rectangles and then trimmed each one individually down to 6" x 9".

Tutorial: Burlap Thanksgiving Banner

2.  On one of the 6" ends of each rectangle, fold in half and crease about 1.5" in.  Lay on cutting mat along the guide lines (the printed lines on your mat).  Place your ruler at the top left corner and at the 1.5" mark along the folded edge of the rectangle.  Cut along that edge, using your ruler as a guide. 

Tutorial: Burlap Thanksgiving Banner

Unfold.  Repeat for all rectangles.  

Tutorial: Burlap Thanksgiving Banner

3.  On each burlap rectangle, fold down 1" along the top edge.  Press with iron.

Tutorial: Burlap Thanksgiving Banner

4.  Sew the folded flap down by stitching in a straight line about 3/4" down from the folded edge.

5.  Next you'll need the printed letter template (3 pages) and the Heat n' Bond lite (or similar fusible web).  Place the fusible web over the template and carefully trace each letter onto the paper side.  Cut out letters using scissors.  At this step the letters do not need to be cut out perfectly - leave some space around each letter.

6.  Decide which fabric you would like to use for each letter.  Following the manufacturer's instructions, fuse each letter to the WRONG side of the fabric.  Using sharp scissors, carefully cut out letters - this time cut right on the lines. Remove the paper backing from each letter.

7.  Lay out the burlap pieces and arrange the letters.  Once you like the placement, carefully move them to the ironing board - you can use a pin or two to keep them in place.

burlap thanksgiving banner tutorial

8.  Following the manufacturer's instructions, press each letter in place.  If you are using an open weave burlap, you may want to place a piece of paper behind the burlap to protect your ironing board cover from any adhesive residue.

9.  Top stitch each letter in place.  I used a brown thread and a straight stitch.

applique letters on burlap

10.  Thread the twine through each burlap piece.  (To help with this I tied one end of the twine to a large safety pin.  The pin slid right through!)

burlap thanksgiving banner: tutorial

burlap thanksgiving banner: tutorial

Your banner is ready to hang!  As I said above, the Fabric Mill does carry burlap, as well as all Heat n' Bond and all of the fall colored fabrics you need!  

Tuesday, November 13, 2012


In a few short days we'll be starting a series of blog posts that feature holiday project ideas - just wait until you see what we have planned! 

For now, I just wanted to share with you this stack of Blitzen charm packs. Are you thinking you might need a fun Christmas table topper this year?  You can use one of these Blitzen charm packs and this free pattern.  Maybe you are wanting a Christmas quilt to cozy up with this winter?  Two Blitzen charm packs and this free quilt pattern will make a great quilt!  

Monday, November 5, 2012


Marmalade is now on the shelves!  

Fabric Mill: Marmalade Fabric from Moda

We have yardage for the entire line of Marmalade now available.  It's the newest line from Bonnie and Camille for Moda.  I have a feeling it's not going to last long!

We also have some pre-cuts available.

Marmalade Layer Cake

And check this out:

This is a free quilt tutorial from the Moda Bake Shop.  It's called Charmalade and it uses pre-cuts, but you can easily create this quilt from yardage as well.  Here is what you'll need:

  • 1/6 yard cuts from 12 of your favorite Marmalade prints
  • 3 yards solid white (I recommend Kona Snow - we have this on the solids wall at the shop)
  • 1/2 yard binding fabric (she used Marmalade raspberry and white stripe)
  • 4 yards backing (she used Marmalade Red Flower on Aqua)

  1. Cut the 1/6 yard cuts (from 12 prints) into charm squares (5" squares)  You'll need 91 total.  Choose 65 for the quilt center and keep 26 for the border.  
  2. From the Kona Snow cut 9 strips that are 5" x width of fabric.  Then cut that into charm squares (5" squares).  The rest of the Kona Snow yardage is used for the border.

Now that you have all of your charms cut, you can click over to the tutorial and follow her instructions!