60-Minute Gift: Christmas Gift Bag

Christmas Gift Bag designed by Cathie Richardson of Country Garden Stitchery

~One charm pack of Fa-La-La-La-La by French General
~Three different fat quarters, two red and one natural, by French General
~Low Loft Batting
~Sewing Thread – I used a coordinating variegated red sewing thread.

For the embroidery:

~6″ x 9 1/2″ piece of coordinating quilting fabric for the embroidery design.
~Embroidery pattern (included in PDF print out)
~Three skeins of embroidery floss: one brown, one red, and one green.  I used hand dyed flosses by
The Gentle Art in Sarsaparilla #7015, Raspberry Parfait #0380 and Forest Glade #0190
~#02 Micron black ink pen.
~Tracing method of your choice.

For the embroidery trace the design onto the 6″ x 9 1/2″ piece of fabric using the method of your choice.  You can embroider the design in all one color for a redwork design or change the flosses to your favorite colors!  I will include here how I made the model.   Use two strands of floss except as noted.  Raspberry Parfait and stem stitch for the border lines, the snowman outlines and his hat.  For his face I used one strand of floss and stem stitch for his nose and mouth.  I used very small cross stitches for his eyes.  I alternated one and two strands for the stars in the sky.  For the dots use two-wrap French knots.  Sarsaparilla and back stitch for the lettering.  Stem stitch for the tree trunks.  Forest Glade and stem stitch for the outlines of the Christmas trees.  For the tree decorations Raspberry Parfait and back stitch.   When embroidery design is complete press lightly and trim the design down to 8 1/4″ x 4 3/4″ to where it has a 1″ border.
Use 1/4″ seams throughout.  Select five charm squares and cut five 2″ wide pieces.  Alternate the pieces to red-green-red and sew.  Press. Cut the sewn piece in half.  Select five more and cut 2″ wide pieces.  Alternate pieces to green-red-green and sew.   Press.  Cut sewn piece in half. 
From one of the red fat quarters cut a 2″ x 8 1/4″ strip.  Sew the embroidered design to a red-green-red patchwork strip, then add the solid strip, then a green-red-green patchwork strip.  Press.  From the same fat quarter you cut the strip cut a piece for the back measuring 6 1/2″ x 8 1/4″.  Sew a green-red-green patchwork strip then a red-green-red.  Press. 
From the other red fat quarter cut two 1 1/2″ x 8 1/4″ strips for back and front pieces and sew to the top and the bottom.  Press.  Cut two 1 1/2″ x 12 1/2″ for each side of front and back and sew.  Press.     
Cut two batting pieces the same size as the front and back and quilt as desired.  I used the variegated red sewing thread and a decorative machine stitch to sew around the edges of the embroidered piece and in between the strips on front and back continuing down the bottom of the back.   
With the third fat quarter cut two pieces the same size as the front and back for the lining.  Sew the outer bag front and back together.  For the lining sew the front and back together leaving a 3″ opening in the middle of the seam on one of the sides for turning.  From one of the red fat quarters cut two handles measuring 3 1/2″ x 18″.  Press the fabric strips in half lengthwise and then press down 1/4″ along the long side.  Sew the pressed edges together with the variegated sewing thread.      
To make the bottom edges turn the outer bag and the lining wrong side out.  Line up the bottom and the side seams on each side of both bag pieces.  Measure in two inches and put a pin in the spot until you have it lined up with the machine needle.  Sew a straight seam making a triangle.  Cut off the triangle pieces leaving 1/4″ of fabric before the seam.   
Turn the outer bag right side out and tuck it inside the lining so the right sides are together and the lining is on the outside.   Place the handles about 1″ from the side seams matching front and back and making sure they aren’t twisted.  Put the handle edges a little bit above the edge of the top of the bag to ensure they are included in the seam.  Pin in place.
Line up seams, edges of lining and outer bag and handles and pin in place.  Sew around the edge making sure to catch the handles.   
Turn bag right side out through the opening.  I always like to check to make sure my handles are secure and all fabrics were included in the seam before I sew up the opening.  Hand sew or machine sew the opening closed after pressing.
With the variegated sewing thread on the top and neutral color for the bobbin thread topstitch around the top of the bag.  Press.

One Snowman Embroidered Christmas Bag
9″  x  10″ x 3″ with 17 1/4″ handles.

Back View
A fun gift bag for the Christmas holiday!  You can adjust the size by adding strips and patchwork pieces.  Fill it with fun things for somone special then it’s useful after they’ve opened their gift! I’d love to see yours too ~ you can contact me with questions or comments through my website or facebook.  Thank you!  
Cathie Richardson

Christmas Ribbons

‘Tis the season to be Jolly, Fa la la la la la la la la. Hi, I am Quiltjane from Want it, Need it, Quilt and I am very excited to be back with a festive recipe – Christmas Ribbons. It is winter in Australia and the perfect time to make Christmas projects and snuggle up near a toasty fire.

Today, I bring you a quilt made with French General’s Fa La La La La collection. I have combined piecing and applique to create a ribbon effect that twines its way throughout the blocks.

1 x Fa la la la Layer Cake

  • 1/2 yd 13586-16
  • 1/2 yd 13587-14
  • 1/2 yd 13582-11 (Binding)
  • 1 1/4 yds 13583-14
  • 1/2 yd 13529-70
  • 3 1/2 yards backing fabric
  • Heat n Bond Light
  • Template plastic

From the light coloured yardage and layer cake squares cut:

  • 36 x 7″ squares, cut on the diagonal to yield 72 triangles
  • 18 x 4 1/4″” dark squares and 18 x 4 1/4″ light squares
  • 72 x 3 1/4″ squares
  • 144 x 2 1/2″ x 6 1/4″ rectangles
    Sashing blocks 144 – 2.5″ x 6.25″
    Ribbon pinwheels 72 – 3 1/4″ squares
    Pinwheel Blocks 18 dark and 18 light  – 4 1/4″ blocks
    Makes 12 pinwheels and 12 half pinwheels

    These are the four blocks we will be making.

    From top left: Sashing block, Pinwheel
    Ribbon Pinwheel, and Ribbon block

    Pinwheels – Make 12 Full, 12 Half

    To make the pinwheels:

    • Place a light coloured 4 1/4″ square right sides together with a dark coloured 4 1/4″ square.
    • Sew 1/4″ inch all the way around the border of the squares.
    • Cut once across the diagonal and then without separating the block, cut on the opposite diagonal. Press open the seams.

    This technique yields 4 half square triangle ( HST’s )

    • Trim back evenly to make an unfinished 2 1/2″ square (or sew together first and then trim back to 4 1/2″ unfinished block)
    • Sew four HST’s together to make one pinwheel. Make 12 in total.
    • Sew two HST’s together to make half pinwheels. Make 12 in total.

    Sashing Blocks – Make 30

    • Make 30 sashing blocks by sewing 2 – 6 1/4″ x 2 1/2″ strips together. Keep the remaining 24 single strips for outer sashing.

    Ribbon Blocks – Make 36

    • Cut the 7″ light coloured blocks once on the diagonal to yield 72 triangles.

    • Trace the large ribbon template onto the fusible web ( Heat n Bond light ). Template can be found in ‘Printer Friendly’ version at the bottom of this post.
    • Cut around trace line leaving 1/8″ around curve line. ( Stops the fabric fraying when bonded and cut ).
    • Don’t forget to leave 1/4″ seam allowance as indicated on the template.
    • Press to back of fabric and cut on trace line.
    • Peel off the backing paper and press ribbon appliqué onto a large triangle piece. Make sure to centre the ribbon.
    • With right sides together, sew the two pieces together along the longest side of the triangle. Press seam to one side.

    Trim finished block to 6 1/4″ square. Remember to leave 1/4″ at each tip of the ribbon appliqué when cutting.

    • Using matching thread machine appliqué your ribbon along the curve.

    Ribbon Pinwheel Blocks – Make 13 Full, 8 half, 4 single
    These are made the same way as the larger ribbon blocks.

    • Cut the 3 1/4″ squares on the diagonal to yield 72 triangles.
    • Trace the small ribbon template onto the fusible web (Heat n Bond Light). Don’t cut on the trace line. Leave 1/8″ allowance.
    • Fuse to dark fabric per manufactures instructions. Cut on trace line for arc but leave a 1/4″ seam allowance beyond the template. Make 72.
    Leave a 1/4″ seam allowance.
    • Peel the backing off the fusible web and iron on one triangle, making sure to centre the ribbon appliqué.
    • Place another triangle right sides together and sew along the long side. Trim back to 2 1/2″ squares.
    • Remember to trim the blocks evenly, leaving 1/4″ at each tip of the ribbon.
    • Make 13 blocks as illustrated below
    • Make 8 half blocks and keep 4 single blocks.
    • Using matching thread, machine appliqué the curves of each ribbon

    Putting the quilt top together

    The quilt is sewn in 13 rows as illustrated below.

    • Layout your rows on the floor or design wall to ensure everything is facing the correct way, then sew the blocks together to make a row and then sew the rows together.
    This pattern has a slight variation. The ribbons in the pinwheels are facing upward.

    Finishing the Quilt

    • Layer backing, wadding and quilt top together and quilt as desired. I used an all over feathery pattern with fine matching thread.
    Back of Quilt
    • Cut 6 2 1/4″ strips across the width of the binding fabric and piece the strips together at a 45 degree angle. Attach binding and stand back and admire your festive masterpiece.

    One festive quilt 58.5″ x 58.5″

    Spice it up with tiny yo-yos (suffolk pokes) or Christmas buttons in the centres of the pinwheels and ribbon pinwheels.

    I hope you have enjoyed today’s Christmas recipe. Please upload a photo to my Flickr gallery if you make any of my MBS projects. I would love to see them.

    Jane Davidson
    {Want It, Need It, Quilt!}

    Fa La La Christmas Bunting

    Hi I am Lynne, a UK quilter who blogs at Lily’s Quilts.  In this tutorial, I am going to show you how to make a quick, easy and fun Christmas bunting.  If you do make bunting, Christmas or otherwise, from this tutorial, I would love you to come and show me the pics in my Lily’s Quilts Flickr group.

    One charm pack and 1 1/2″ yds fabric for backing and binding.  If you made the Union Jack Shabby Chic Wall Hanging, you will have charms left over to make this bunting.  If however, you did not, you will need to cut two extra 5″ squares from your binding and backing fabric to make the 44 squares needed.  You will cut these at step 2 of the instructions.

    1. Sew together 30 background charms into pairs and then sew those pairs of charms into one long strip.

    2.   Take a strip of wadding roughly 12″ deep and 75″ long.  If you need to join two pieces end to end – butt up the two edges and run a wide zig zag across the seam.  Make a strip of backing roughly 12″ deep and 75″ long – you can do this by joining two 13″ WOF strips of backing fabric and trimming to size.  You can cut your extra two 5″ squares from the ends of this strip of fabric.

    3.   Baste as preferred to make one long skinny quilt sandwich.  Take a small bite.  Ooh silly me, this is a fabric recipe not a food recipe.  Do not take a bite.

    4.  Mark zig zag lines along the quilt sandwich as shown in this picture.  I am using washable felt tip pens – these lines will disappear into the bunting binding so go wild and pick the clashiest colour you can find.  Go on. Live a little.  I chose green.  The safe choice for Christmas bunting.  I’m British.  We don’t do wild so much.

    5.   Sew a long stitch basting line (on the machine) 1/8″ of an inch from the top and the border of each triangle to hold the three layers together until binding.

    6.  Print out or draw out the letters HAPY CRISTM or the letters you need for whatever else you want your bunting to say.  I opened a Word document, chose the font Adamsky Outline SF, enlarged the letters to 400 and printed the sheets out.  For a more informal look, mix up upper case and lower case letters or perhaps choose letters from different fonts.  Hold your printed letters up against the triangles to check that they are big enough but do not come too close to the edge of the triangles or the edges will get lost in the binding.

    7.  Trace the letters IN REVERSE onto a fusible webbing.  Hold up to the window or place on a lightbox if you cannot see the letters clearly enough.  For those of you with advanced spelling abilities, you may calculate which letters you need to trace more than once.  For the rest of us, you need to trace A, P, H and S twice.  (Can you see I ran out of space and had to cut one of my “S”s in half?!

    8.   Cut out the letters roughly and fuse to the back of 14 green charm squares.  Cut along the lines.

    9.   Fuse the letters to the bunting fabric, aligning them within the triangle shapes made on the fabric with your zig zag markings.  The bottom of the letter should be toward the pointy part of the triangle.  For a more informal look, place the letters at slight angles rather than dead straight.  I like dead straight for Christmas.  Perhaps for a children’s party bunting, I’d like a bit of wonk though.

    10.  Sew around the letters in the stitch of your choice.  I have used a straight stitch about 1/8″ inside the shape of the letters.  If you do not have sufficient contrast between your letters and background fabric, you might wish to sew this line in a thick satin stitch to provide a clear edge to the letters.

    11.  Cut along the zig zag lines to makes lots of triangles like this one.

    12.  Cut 7 1″ WOF strips of binding fabric.  Cut each strip in half so that each is 22″ long or thereabouts.  Bind the two points side of the triangle.  First sew the binding strips to the first edge of the front of the triangles stopping 1/4″ short of the point and doing a few reverse stitches for strength.

    13.   Fold the binding strip up aligning it with the edge of the triangle as shown in the picture and then back down again.

    14.  Sew along the second side of the triangle once again attaching the fabric with a 1/4″ seam.

    15.   Fold the bunting to the back and pin from the wrong side of the bunting and then sew down.  Since my bunting hangs against a wall, I cheat here and do not fold the binding under and hand stitch as I normally would with a quilt but machine sew it down from the right side.  OK the back isn’t the prettiest thing you’ve ever seen but I won’t be seeing it when it’s hung up on the wall.  If your bunting will be hanging so that you can see the back or if it is a gift or being made for sale, you may prefer to fold the bunting under and hand stitch it down as with a regular quilting binding.

    16.   Trim the hanging ends of binding from the tops of the triangles.

    17.   Now cut four 1 1/2″ WOF strips of the fabric you have chosen to go along the top of the bunting which I will call the hanging ribbon.  Sew into a long strip using diagonal joins as you would do if you were making a quilt binding.

    18.   Press in half along the length and then fold in the sides and press again to make one long double-folded strip.

    19.   Pin the bunting triangles into hanging ribbon starting about 15″ along from the end of the ribbon and leaving roughly 1″ spaces between the triangles.  Sew along the top side of the hanging ribbon as close to the edge as you dare, aiming to go through both layers of hanging ribbon as well as through the triangles

    VOILA – one Fa La La charm pack Christmas bunting.  Take it outside in the summer sunshine, hang from some gates, take a photo and pack it away into the Christmas decorations box for a few months.

    Then, in December, go into the attic, get down the Christmas decorations box, pull out your Christmas bunting, don your gay apparel and deck the halls with boughs of holly.

    One Fa La La La La Christmas bunting decoration.

    Lynne Goldsworthy
    {Lily’s Quilts}

    Shabby Chic Union Jack Wall Hanging

    Hi! I am Lynne from Lily’s Quilts.  As you might guess from this tutorial and from the abundance of union jacks on my blog and in my Flickr photostream, I am from the UK.  In this tutorial, I will show you how to make a shabby chic union jack wall hanging from charm squares from the French General Fa La La line.  Although this is a Christmas line, the use of the brown, red and cream charms from this line means you will be able to leave the wall hanging up all year round.

    In this tutorial, I am first making shabby chic fabric from charm squares in three different colours – red for the main stripes, brown for the background triangles and cream for the skinny stripes.  You could use other charm packs, grouping the colours into three groups or perhaps into warm colours, cool colours and neutrals. You could also make this wall hanging with a layer cake cut into charm squares using a pinking rotary blade cutter.  I used 8 charm packs for this wall hanging because I wanted to stick with the brown, red and cream colours for the flag and will use the leftover charm squares for another project which I will be showing you later on in the year.

    8 Fa La La charm packs (or two layer cakes cut into charm squares using a pinking rotary cutter blade).  2 1/2 yds backing fabric (the offcuts from making the backing can be used to bind the wall hanging).

    1.   Open up two charm packs and sort into colours: brown, red and cream with brown/beige patterns for this project and green and cream with green and red patterns for another project I will be bringing to you later on in the year.


    2.   Cut four pieces of newspaper 13″ X 20″ which you will use as the foundation for making the shabby chic fabric.

    3.  Start by taking 16 brown charm squares and laying them on the newspaper in a random order until all the paper is covered.  If necessary, cut one or two charm squares in half to cover the small gaps, making sure that only the pinked edges are showing.  Make sure the overlap of one charm square to the next is at least 1/4″ and ideally closer to 1/2″.  The brown squares need only reach the edges of the newspaper – they do not need to overhang them for a seam allowance – that is calculated into the size of the newspaper.

    4.  Pin all squares in place. Shorten your stitch length to somewhere between 1.5 and 2 to ensure that the sewn edges hold when cut and to help making perforations in the newspaper for tearing away later.  Sew about 1/8″ from the edge of each pinked edge.

    5. Press and then trim fabric to the edges of the newspaper then tear off all the newspaper.

    6. Repeat for the remaining three brown rectangles.

    7. IMPORTANT: read instructions carefully before cutting.  You need to ensure that you do not cut four identical triangles.  Cut two of the brown rectangles into two triangles cutting along the diagonal from top left to bottom right and two from top right to bottom left.


    8.   Cut one piece of newspaper 32″ X 16″ and another piece of newspaper 28″ X 20″.  Cover these pieces of newspaper with red charm squares.  Pin, sew, remove the newspaper, press and trim as you did with the brown rectangles.

    9.  Cut the 32″ X 16″ piece of shabby chic fabric into four 32″ X 4″ strips to make the slimmer diagonal red stripes.

    10.   Cut the 28″ X 20″ into four 28″ X 5″ strips to make the wider vertical and horizontal red stripes.


    11.   Cut a piece of newspaper 30″ X 24″.  Cover it with cream charm squares in the same way as with the brown and red charm squares.  Pin, sew, remove newspaper, press and trim.  Cut the 30″ X 24″ fabric into four 30″ X 1″ strips and ten 30″ X 2″ strips.


    12.   Put the brown triangles into pairs and note on each one whether a wider 2″ cream strip will be sewn to it or a thinner 1″ cream strip as per the picture of the finished flag.  Sew 1″ and 2″ cream strips along the diagonal edge of each brown triangle.  Press seams open and trim following the lines of the triangle.

    13.   Sew a 4″ red stripe along each 1″ cream strip, taking care to ensure that spare fabric hangs off at each end.  Press seams open and trim following the lines of the triangle.

    14.   Cut a piece of newspaper 27″ X 15″ and lay a matching pair of brown triangles on it.
    15.   With two pins or a fabric pen or pencil, mark any point on the red stripe and the cream strip where these two meet, flip and pin the two together at this point.
    16.   Pin the rest of the seam and sew then press seams open and trim.

    17.   Repeat for the remaining three pairs of brown triangles.
    18.   Keeping track of where each of the corner sections will go, sew 1″ cream strips to the bottom of the top corner sections and the top of the bottom corner sections, press seams open and trim.    Then sew 1″ cream strips to the right of the left corner sections and to the left of the right corner sections, press seams open and trim.
    19.   Sew wide red 5″ strips to the top of the bottom two corner sections, press seams open and trim.
    20.   Sew those sections to the top two corner sections, press seams open and trim.
    21.  Join the two remaining red 28″ X 5″ strips end to end by overlapping one pinked edge over the end of the other and sew along the pinked edge in the same way as when making the shabby chic fabric.
    22. Sew the long red strip to the right side of the left flag section.
    23.   Now take care over this step – if you align this perfectly, the finished wall hanging will look so much better than if you slightly miss.  Line a ruler against the edges of the cream strips and mark the point where they would reach on the edge of the wide red strips.  Pin and sew just the middle section of this seam to start with.  Flip and make sure you have the flag lined up perfectly before sewing the whole seam.  Voila, you have your finished quilt top.  Quilt as desired, bind and hang up.  If you make one of these wall hangings, please come and share your pictures of it in my Flickr group

    One 36″ X 60″ Shabby Chic Union Jack Wall Hanging.  
    Lynne Goldsworthy