If you haven’t noticed, Pandas are everywhere. Literally. On bags, socks, shirts, notebooks, hairbrushes even! So I wondered “Where can I get me some of that Panda Love?” And then I recalled Kelly Panacci‘s latest fabric line “Panda Love” and my search was over. *lol, see what I did there?!*
Kelly graciously offered to send me some, and I needed to make my kids new lunch bags so these were born.
I wrote this free Insulated Lunch Bag tutorial for Sew Mama Sewwaaaaaayyyyy back in 2014. When I also made the lunch bags that my kids are (were?) currently using. So, they were really old – and despite washing them frequently – we really needed new ones.
This time I decided to quilt all three panels, instead of just the front, and they turned out so much nicer! The original bags were great – but that extra layer makes them feel very sturdy. The bags are lined with insulating material and rip-stop nylon, so they keep things cold and are wipeable between washings. We have had no issues with them in 4 years! Hooray!
A word about the fabrics? Kelly has a knack for drawing the cutest animals! And these pandas are no exception. Plus – the text print is so cute and has the best sayings. It’s so perfect to send to school with my kids, like a little extra love for them at lunchtime!
Growing up, my family did a lot of tent camping. Every year we’d drive to our favorite spot for a week or two. As I got older we would book the same park and the exact same campsite. So many amazing memories were built during those summer trips!
Kelly Panacci (a lovely Canadian fabric designer!) designed a Road Trip fabric for Riley Blake Designs last year, and she graciously offered to send me some fat quarters. I couldn’t resist the vintage trailers and camping theme – so I chose a few I knew would match my parents’ home and remind us all of our camping trips. They received the quilt just this past Christmas.
Now that it has been a year, Kelly released a super-cute new line called Panda Love – in stores now – and she’s having a giveaway! We thought this would be the perfect time to show you something with her old line and introduce a new one. If you want to win some fabric (who doesn’t?!) – be sure to head over to Kelly’s brand new shop website. Read her blog for a mini-tour and GIVEAWAY happening March 30, 2018!
Quilt photos are fun and I happened to get some lovely winter photos of this one the day after a gorgeous snowstorm. The opposite of a summer camping trip – but the contrast is so pretty!
This quilt was going to be a copy of this Giant Vintage Star quilt. But it wanted to be it’s own thing, so I made a light/dark contrast HST quilt because making something twice isn’t as much fun! Most of the fabric is Kelly’s Road Trip line, and I added some solids to set it all off.
I quilted it myself with simple straight lines in a diamond pattern and machine bound it as usual using a sage green sheet as the backing. Nothing fancy – but it is finished and usable, which counts in my books!
See you here again soon. I’m madly sewing Easter dresses, nursing a broken baby toe (on my sewing foot, eep!) and preparing for company tomorrow, so I’d better go. Don’t forget to support our amazing Canadian talent – visit Kelly Panacci to win some Panda Love!
I have a huge thanks to give out to my mom today. She loves to sew and that’s how I got hooked – hooray! It also gives me a good excuse to make anything that happens to relate to sewing – since I can’t possibly use them all myself, lol!
This sewing machine mat is so cute. It’s the free Undercover Maker Mat tutorial from lillyella. Good looking and (hopefully) useful all in one! I say hopefully because I haven’t used one myself – it was a gift for my mom a couple of years ago. I also say hopefully, because it seems a bit tricky to take the mat out from under your machine – with potentially full pockets – and tie it on as a machine cover.
That said – I had a lot of fun making it and using some fun stitches and my paper piecing skills to make it special. The batik fabric was chosen by my mom a few years before, and it matches the wonky star table runner I made her that year. I added a cardinal button for the removable thread catcher, since she and my dad love to bird-watch.
One thing I had not done before was use a fancy stitch as a quilting stitch. The decorative flower stitch on the natural background fabric is number 28 on my Janome Skyline S9. And the stars look so cute as an embellishment to sew down the binding that hides your raw edges. I also used a shiny machine embroidery thread that I picked up on sale for some of the decorative stitches. It makes them look special!
I’ve been knee deep in Christmas sewing, jury duty and regular life for the past month. But I’m excited that the sewn gifts are looking almost finished, early even! Amazing!
I hope you have a lovely holiday, and thank you so much for continuing to come back and read my thoughts. We’ll be meeting up with family and enjoying the season, slower than usual I hope! Taking time out for the “little things” has become a lot more important this year. See you again soon!
Picnics spark all kinds of good summer memories. And what better to celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday than with a whole look book of picnic ideas – including a brand new Fold-N-Go Placemat tutorial I wrote for the project!
Disclaimer: I am a Canadian Janome Artisan. Janome provided the materials for this look book project and the Skyline S9 on-loan machine I am currently using. Michael Miller Fabrics also provided the Cotton Couture solids. As with all the products I write about – I always tell you my own honest opinion. Thanks for reading! (P.S. Working with Janome is a dream-come-true for me, it never gets old! Plus, they are amazing and fun to work with, and I love their machines, which doesn’t hurt either!)
These Fold-N-Go Placemats combine my love of impromptu picnics with the desire for a cute (and clean!) space to have them on – plus a little Maple Leaf Canadian pride.
Our set is going to live in our car so we can grab it and picnic whenever we want! This quilted project includes a matching napkin and divided utensil section. Plus it folds and buttons to keep everything tidy. I used vintage leather buttons and added a customizable leather (or vinyl) label to give it a more professional look.
Materials: (makes 1 placemat with included napkin)
Placemat: 2 pieces pre-washed 12″ x 18″ Essex Linen in Flax (Found at my sponsor Fabric Spark)
Napkin: 1 piece pre-washed 16″ x 16″ piece of linen or linen blend
Janome Skyline S9 sewing machine with these included machine feet/accessories: ZigZag Foot A, Satin Stitch Foot F, Quilting Guide Bar, AcuFeed Dual Feed Holder and Foot AD (quilting), Automatic Buttonhole Foot R and Stabilizer plate, Knee Lifter
Print out the free pattern pieces (link in the materials list above) on letter size (8.5″ x 11″) or A4 paper. Important: Do not select “fit to page” when printing, make sure you print at the original size.
Once you have printed the first page, measure the 1″ test square to ensure the pattern is the correct size.
Cut the pattern pieces on the outer gray lines and tape them together if needed, matching the letters in the gray half-circles.
Cutting the Binding/Applique/Pocket:
Important: These pieces are carefully placed to fit in 1/2 yard/meter of fabric. Please follow the cutting layout carefully!
Applique: Use the Applique pattern piece to cut 1 Maple Leaf in the solid accent colour. Be sure to place it as indicated in the layout above. Also cut 1 Maple Leaf from the Fusible Web.
Pocket: Cut 2 Pocket pieces, mirrored and placed as indicated in the layout above.
Binding: Cut 3 full 2 1/2″ strips along the width of the fabric and one 1/2 strip as indicated in the layout above.
1) Thread your machine. The Janome Skyline S9 includes Large and Small Spool holders to fit the size of your thread spool.
2)Binding: Sew the 2 1/2″ strips together to create a 147″ length (approx.) of binding using your preferred method. This will be used for the napkin and placemat.
Place Pocket pieces right-sides-together matching diagonal raw edge. Pin and stitch the diagonal edge with a 1/4″ seam.
Press seam allowance open. Fold pocket wrong-sides-together along the seam, matching remaining raw edges. Press.
Match and baste all raw edges with a scant 1/4″ seam. I used the Auto Basting setting on my Skyline S9. Top-stitch the finished edge.
Press the pocket in half width-wise, matching the two side edges.
To create utensil pocket divisions: With the short diagonal pocket facing up (See Pic), mark the binding area with a 3/8″ seam allowance along the left and bottom raw edges. Mark another line 1 5/8″ from the left binding mark (not the raw edge), and another from the right fold. The center section will be about 1 3/4″ wide. Pin and stitch along each marked dividing line (but not the binding markings) to finish the pocket.
1) Match the maple leaf shape to the right side of the placemat, 3/4″ up from the bottom edge. Fuse according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
2) Switch to the Satin Stitch foot F and choose an Applique stitch. I used stitch #6 with a width and length of 3. Stitch carefully around your applique to secure the edges.
3) Sandwich the front and back of your placemat wrong sides together with the batting between them and baste using basting spray or pins.
4) Switch to your AcuFeed Dual Feed Holder and Foot AD (or walking foot) and choose a straight stitch to prepare to quilt the placemat. I used the automatic Quilt Setting Straight Stitch option. (Note: If you do not have a machine with automatic or computerized tension, test your stitches on a scrap quilt “sandwich” before quilting.)
5) Stitch around the applique 1/4″ from the edge. Use the clear inside edge of the Dual Feed foot as a guide.
6) Mark your remaining quilt lines with a removable marker. I stitched 2 rows of 1″ wide and 4 rows of 2″ wide straight lines, following the leaf outline. Alternatively, use the Quilting Guide Bar to evenly stitch the around your applique.
7) Quilt along each marked line. Attach the Knee Lifter to easily lift and replace the presser foot. (Side note: It was so nice not to use my hands to pivot at each corner!) My favorite Thread Cutter button made trimming the threads at each edge quick and easy.
8) Place the pocket in the bottom left-hand corner of the placemat matching the raw edges. Pin and baste with a scant 1/4″ seam allowance.
9) Bind the placemat. I like to use Cluck Cluck Sew’s machine binding tutorial and the AcuFeed Dual Feed system. ** Don’t forget to insert your leather label! See the Janome Cross Canada Picnic look book for instructions. Place it along the back edge of the binding about 3 1/2″ up from the bottom as you sew.
10) Choose and set up your machine to make a buttonhole that will fit your button. The Skyline S9 has an automatic buttonhole system with lots of options. The buttonhole should be centered on the back edge of the placemat (sSee pics for reference). Mark a 2″ center point 1/2″ away from the binding, make a test buttonhole and mark its beginning and end points on the placemat.
11) Attach the Automatic Buttonhole foot R and included Stabilizer Plate. Sandwich your project between the Buttonhole foot and Stabilizer Plate to secure it and hold it in place. Stitch and finish your buttonhole.
12) Fold the placemat in thirds; left side first, then the appliqued side with the buttonhole. Mark your button placemat using the buttonhole as a guide. Stitch your button on securely at the marked point.
Machine bind the 4 raw edges of the napkin as you did for the placemat. I used a decorative applique stitch to further secure the longer edge of the binding. Fold the napkin in quarters and then in half again to fit it into the pocket.
Insert your utensils and napkin and Fold-N-Go.Enjoy your picnic!
I hope you have enjoyed this tutorial. Please email or message me anytime with questions or leave a comment below.
I’d love to see your project! You can share your placemats on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram (links below) using the hashtags #alongforthreadride and/or #threadridinghood. Be sure to tag me @sherrisylvester so I can see it! Thank you!
I love the precision of paper piecing, once I remember how to do it again. (Every Time!) It allows for crazy things to be pieced, like the eye on this flamingo – that is only 3 or 4 stitches across each side. I have so much respect for quilters who “regular-piece” mini things!
This pillow started with the backing fabric a couple of years ago. I found it while on vacation in Florida at Byrd’s Nest Quilt Shop. My parents’ saw some flamingos on their honeymoon (I think!) and it has become “their animal”. Since their 40th wedding anniversary was this January I decided they needed a flamingo throw pillow.
The pattern is from Quiet Play – my go-to for paper piecing as she has made so many patterns, and lots of them are free! I picked this one up as part of a monthly zoo animal block blog post. She was giving away one free block per month and I happened to get in for the Flamingo. (If you want to get it now you can purchase her Zoo Animal Bundle. Or you could purchase this Geometric Flamingo on its own.)
To get the flamingos to face each other, I printed the pattern once correctly and a second time using the mirror-image setting on my printer. Then, I made them and sewed them together down the center.
The front is pieced from my solids stash, most of which is from my sponsor Sew Sister’s Quilt Shop, purchased while I was part of their Kona and Colour Wheel Club. The quilting is simple, straight lines in blue. I took my time deciding the quilting colour and I think it turned out ok! Though I should not have quilted right through the black of the eye. Next time I’ll plan differently.
As I sew more of them, I am realizing that throw pillows are super fast, good scrap destashers and fun to sew. They make great gifts, especially for kids’ birthdays. They can be personalized to someone’s favorite colour and even include their initial. Plus it’s a fun “quilty-break” between other projects. My pillow forms are from IKEA, pretty inexpensively, which works out to an “almost free” project most times!
Hey there! It’s been so long, how are you doing? I’m ok, still doing my best to recover from whatever it is that’s got me down. In the meantime, I’ve got a long-finished project to show you. Thankfully there are tons of these in the wings – just gotta get the energy to write about them!
I finished this quilt top almost exactly two years ago, June 2015. Backed, quilted and bound it early this year and photographed it in February. Sounds like May is a good time to write about it then?!
You can read about the process I took to make the top in this post entitled “How Not to Make a Quilt” – for realz – that’s the truth! Back when I wasn’t a quilter, it seemed daunting. After my 2 years more experience it took very little time to finish it up and now it’s a kids cuddly lap size at about 44″ square.
It is quilted using the dual feed foot on my on-loan Janome Skyline S9 with diagonal lines in robbins egg blue with navy thread in the bobbin. I just aimed the machine at the next corner in line and went for it. Each square is about 3 1/2″ square finished, so it was a nice easy finish. I also used basting spray for the first time, love it!
The backing fabric is a gorgeous border print from Sarah Watson’s collection with Cloud 9 Fabrics called “Biology”. The quilt top is made from a generous amount of Cotton and Steel fabrics (from when they first took over the fabric world, lol) with a few other gorgeous prints sprinkled in.
There’s actually a label this time! Stitched in shaky blanket stitches that I was too lazy to redo, or maybe just felt like leaving it to show that I don’t fix everything before it’s posted. Found in a Missouri Star Quilt Company post lately…
Finished is better than perfect!
The colours in this are so bright and cheery. It gets used a lot even if it does clash with my red living room furniture. Quilt top fabrics are a Monthly Sparks bundle I put together for Fabric Spark two years ago, the backing was ordered from them as well. Binding is from a Solids Club subscription with Sew Sisters Quilt Shop. Both are lovely sponsors of this blog and Canadian online shops.
As an aside, I just realized that I’ve replaced photos of “quilt on a barn” with photos of “quilt on an abandoned building”. #citygirl #lol