Sunday, February 12, 2017

February's Picked By Jen, plus a treat and a giveaway!

This month's Picked By Jen is Sherri McConnell's, from A Quilting Life, Beginner Charm Pack Place mat that she shares on Fat Quarter Shop's YouTube Channel. 

I had some leftover squares from the charm pack of #Love that I used for February's Muggamo pattern and didn't want to just let them sit around. So I went looking for something that was quick and easy. This place mat is definitely that! 

My apologies to my photographer for any quilts I have made, or will make, using red. Red is hard to photograph!! 

I just quilted using my walking foot and doing stitch in the ditch. When I got it done and flipped it over I immediately thought it looked like a Tic Tac Toe board. Had I realized that earlier on I would have quilted it in red to make it stick out more. Of course it had me thinking I needed to make something to play Tic Tac Toe with. I don't have anything else to do, right?

Yeah. How cute are those hearts??!!  (If I do say myself.) Totally worth taking the extra time to make these. Here's a quick tutorial.  

You will need twenty-four 5" squares and poly fill. The squares can be all of the same, or different. This is the perfect size for a charm pack. I made mine with one side light and one side dark, but make then however you like. 

Draw out a 5" square. When drawing the heart inside the square the bottom point should touch the 2 1/2" mark. Each side touches at the 1 1/2" mark from the top, and the tops touch 1 1/4" in from each side. The inside point comes in about 1/2" on the 2 1/2" line. Fill in the lines between the marks. Cut out the heart. 

Place it on the backside of your lightest fabric and trace.

Put two squares right sides together.


Pin in place. I am the queen of pinning. If it looks like it needs a pin, if it even looks like it *might* need a pin, it's getting a pin. 

I like to start towards the bottom point. Back stitch and then stitch 1/4"  from the drawn line all around the heart. Stop about 1 1/2" from where you started, back stitching again. When I'm turning things right side out I like to have that extra strength with the stitching.

Cut the heart out on the drawn line, then snip along the curved pieces of the heart to the stitch line. Be careful not to cut the stitching! Clip that inside point, too. 

Turn and push out the points and the seams. Making sure to get the seam allowance press the heart really well. A well pressed seam allowance makes it easy to use a blind stitch to close it up. Stuff the heart, stitch the opening and you are good to go. 

I had big plans to make up more place mats (we're a family of 6), and more hearts. What do they say about the best laid plans?  Well my over planning is your gain, or someones gain anyway. I have a charm pack of Moda's #Love and 26" each (almost 3/4 yard) of the two fabrics shown. One lucky winner will get these just for commenting below. I will pick a winner on Valentine's Day. Sometimes the winter is a "no-reply" winner, and that is sad, because I have no way of letting them know they won. If you are unsure, you can always email me at Or check back here on Valentin's Day. Go comment and good luck!!

Happy Stitching!


The winner is..... Jen from A Dream and A Stitch! Sending you an email Jen.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

February Muggamo

Welcome back to PBJ's Muggamo! 
February's mug rug pattern is extremely easy, and you can make it up in just a couple of hours. Did you miss the first Muggamo pattern? Take a look at January's Muggamo pattern and get an introduction.

Introducing February's Mug Rug:

Download the free February pattern here.

Supplies needed:
White: three 1 1/2" x 5" strip
Tan: one 4 1/4" square
four 2" squares
Red: four 2 3/8" squares
three 1 1/2" x 5" strip
Focal point: one 3 1/2" square
Backing and Batting: 7" x 9"
Binding: 2" x 30"

All the pretty pieces.

Using your 4 1/4" square and 2 3/8" squares we are going to make flying geese with the no waste method. Place two 2 3/8" squares on the larger square. 

Sew a 1/4" on either side of the drawn line. Cut on the drawn line and press towards the triangles. 

Place a square on the new piece and stitch 1/4" on either side of the drawn line.

When I make these I use the other side of my presser foot on the drawn line. This way I can keep that pressed seam facing towards me and it won't get folded over.

Cut on the drawn line and press towards triangles. I forgot a picture, but you get four pretty flying geese using this method.

Next we are going to sew our strips. The instructions show the order to show the strips. 

Press the seams as directed, that will give you seams that nest nicely when stitching them together.

Trim off one end. I line up the seams on my ruler to keep it nice and straight.

Just take a little off the end.

Sub-cut each one to to measure 1 1/2" x 3 1/2" strips.

At this point I should be showing you  pretty little pictures of stitching the star and checker board together. However, apparently I was so excited to get this put together, I forgot. So. Please make sure to download the instructions. 

Then admire the two finished pieces next to each other. 

Layer backing, batting and top and pin in place. I used my walking foot to just quilt the star and checkerboard.

Bind and enjoy. 

Come back March 1st for the next Muggamo pattern.

Happy Stitching!

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Guest Blogging at McCall's Quilting today

I'm excited to share that I am a guest blogger over at McCall's Quilting. Head on over to see how I made Seaside Steps into a quilt fit for a college student.

Using Southwest Minnesota State University colors, in the hopes that my graduating senior might stick close to home. Ha!

Enjoy the post, and let me know if you make a Seaside Steps, aka graduation quilt, of your own. I would love to see it.

Happy Stitching!

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Introducing Muggamo!

Welcome to PBJ's Muggamo! 

Muggamo is a fun, new, monthly mug rug pattern program. Say that 3 times! You can't, so I changed it to mug rug a month, then mug a month, then Muggamo! Short, cute and catchy. Hopefully.

Feel free to grab this button and add it to your blog if you are joining in. You can also use #muggamo in your social media. I would love to see your creations!

Patterns By Jen

On the first of each month I will be posting a pattern for a mug rug. This year the focus will be star patterns. My samples will be made in colors I feel represent the month, but you could choose to  make them scrappy or matching, either way you will have 12 Mug Rugs at the end of the year. 

Introducing January's Star Mug Rug.

Download your instructions here.
*Instructions updated: if downloaded before 4:30 pm CST, make sure to download the new version*

Supplies needed:
Dark Grey: 2" x 23" strip
Light Grey: 2" x 23" strip
Blue: two 3" squares, one 2 1/2" square
White: two 3" squares, one 1" x 6 1/2" strip
Backing and batting: 11" x 8 1/2"
Binding: 2" x 36"

Let's get started!

Using the blue and white 3" make four Half Square Triangles.  Trim to 2 1/2".

Next, sew your strips together, length wise.

I slow my machine down a notch when sewing strips, it seems to help it pull through more evenly, and I don't get that wavy look. Press carefully to the dark side, it is very important not to push the iron and distort the seam.

Trim off one end, I use my ruler to follow the seam line to get that straight edge, not the mat.

From your strip cut three 2 1/2" x 3 1/2" rectangles. Set those aside for the side piece. Then cut four 3 1/2" squares. Mark the diagonal on the back side of two of those squares.

Match them up with the other two squares, making sure to match opposite colors.

Make four Half Sqrare Triangles.

To square this piece to 2 1/2" you need to line up where the seams match at the 1 1/4" mark on your ruler.

Then line it up on the 2 1/2" mark as you usually would.

I like to use the Tucker Trimmer (no affiliation), and with that you would line up the seams here:

Again, making the last trim by lining up at the 2 1/2" mark.

Layout your block, and stitch top, middle and bottom rows together. I pressed the top and bottom rows out and the middle row in.

Sew the last seams together pressing them all up.

You could stop here if you like this size, or continue on and add the white strip to the right side and then the side piece. I forgot to take pictures of making the side piece, but it is laid out in the instructions. 

Layer and quilt.  For this one you need a 11" x 8 1/2" backing and batting. This is a great use for those batting pieces leftover from quilting. 

Even with small pieces I like to tape the layers down. I don't use spray baste, it just doesn't work for me, so I pin everything. A couple of pins here and we're ready to quilt. 

I used my walking foot to stitch in the ditch along the white strip, and the diagonals in rows 1 and 3. I quilted a diagonal line through each of the side rectangles. 

I started stitch in the ditch at on diagonal, stitched in the ditch across to the next and down that diagonal.

Once quilted, I put the binding on. I use a 2" wide strip, press in half, machine stitch to the front, hand stitch to the back. I cannot, for the life of me, figure out how to do a nice machine stitched binding. Maybe that should be one of my 2017 goals. 

Now it's ready for your favorite quilting drink and snack!

I hope you've enjoyed this little tutorial and make your own star mug rug for January. I think it's so rewarding to make, and finish, something quickly. It really picks me up. Come back Feb 1st for another Muggamo pattern!

Happy Stitching!

Saturday, December 31, 2016

2017 Goals

Last year I posted a list of goals for 2016. I want to revisit those goals and then share some new ones for 2017 with you.

2016 Goals
1) Publish 6 patterns -
The Picnic Quilt, Star Light, Star Bright Sampler, Criss Crossing, Frayed Edges, Winter Cheer, and even though Seaside Steps is in the Feb/Mar 2017 issue, it did technically come out in Dec 2016.
I think we'll call that good.

2) Schedule 4 trunk shows - 
Ummmmm, nope. Not a one. That is totally on  my shoulders, since I didn't even go out and try. 

3) Get published in a magazine

4) Find more testers-
Yes! I'm thrilled with the help I've had. My testers are amazing.

5) Blog once a week -
Well, that didn't happen, did it?

Where to go from here...

2017 Goals

1) Publish 8 patterns - I feel like I need to keep growing, but if I don't hit 8, I'm going to be ok with that. I'm a wife, mother and family child care provider, giving myself a little slack is important.

2) Schedule 1 trunk show. - See what I did there? Hahahaha! Well, I still want to do these, but I'm going to have to figure out how. So lets start with 1, shall we.

3) Get published in a different magazine - I've already had a rejection from a different magazine, but I'm hoping to get picked up by another one. If at first you don't succedd, try, try again.

4) Step out of my comfort zone and video a couple of tutorials - I've got nothing to add to that. Scary!

5) Contact other distributors and stores - It's time to get those patterns out there!

6) Grow my readers! That's you! What do you like to see in a blog? Do you like email lists? Share your thoughts in the comments!

I'm excited to get 2017 started!!

Happy Stitching!

PS. Check back tomorrow for the first in a series of Mug Rug tutorials. By the end of the year you will have a set of 12, perfect for keeping your drink of choice and a sweet handy. 

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