Happiness Quilt – FREE PATTERN

This is the pattern to make my ‘Happiness Quilt’, which was my ‘quilt along’ for 2019. Here you can easily find all the instalments to make this quilt.

As I’ve mentioned before, I designed this quilt with the specific intention of using up some of my all-time favourite fabrics. Some of the fabrics I’d used before in other quilts and only had the smallest of pieces left (which I had carefully squirrelled away in my scrap box!). Others I had purchased a while ago but had never used, waiting for the ‘perfect project’.

The fabrics are bright and cheery, and whenever I look at the quilt, it makes my happy. It reminds me of hope, dreams and possitivity, hence the name!

I would suggest reading through all the instructions first to familiarise yourself with the layout and fabric requirements, especially if you would like to adapt the pattern to better suit your fabrics and colour choices. The finished quilt should measure approximately 56” x 76” and is perfect for use on a single bed quilt or as a topper for a small double.

Happiness Quilt – quilt layout

If you decide to make this quilt, please feel free to let me know and show me photos of your progress and of the final result!

I hope you enjoy making this quilt

Mel x

Happiness Quilt by Melanie Vincent

Happiness Quilt by Melanie Vincent

Part 1: Introduction, fabric requirements, Row A

Part 2: Row B

Part 3: Row C

Part 4: Row D

Part 5: Row E, Blocks E1 and E3

Part 6: Row E, Block E2

Part 7: Row E, Block E4

Part 8: Piecing centre, borders and quilting

You can also enjoy my other free patterns on my blog:

Pirate quilt and Small patchwork bag charm.

Christmas tree mini-quilt decoration and Small bag charm with Suffolk Puff centre.

Small bag charm with Suffolk Puff centre – FREE PATTERN

This is a quick little project which is perfect for gifting and… a great way to use up bits of fabric scraps!

This is what I made this year to give as ‘thank you’ presents to my youngest daughter’s teacher and teaching assistant at the end of the school year. It was the first time I’ve made a Suffolk Puff – also known as fabric yo-yos – and was pleased I tried something new!

The finished bag charm measures approximately 4” x 4”.

You will need:

  • 1 strip measuring 2.5” x 1.5” (Piece A) and 1 strip measuring 3.5” x 1.5” (Piece B), cut from the same fabric, for the top sides of the charm
  • 1 strip measuring 3.5” x 1.5” (Piece C) and 1 strip measuring 4.5” x 1.5” (Piece D), cut from a different but complementary fabric to the one above, for the bottom sides of the charm
  • 1 piece of background fabric 2.5” x 2.5”
  • Circle of fabric 3.5” in diameter for the Suffolk Puff flower centre, cut from a different fabric to the ones above
  • Backing fabric 4.5” x 4.5”
  • 2” of ribbon for the key ring strap
  • Button for the flower centre – large enough to cover the centre opening of the Suffolk Puff
  • Green embroidery thread
  • Wadding
  • Key ring

All measurements include a 0.25” seam allowance.

Suffolk Puff

With a long piece of thread in matching colour to your choice of fabric, turn over a 0.25” hem from the edge of the circle and hand sew medium-sized running stitches all the way round the circle of fabric, turning the hem over as you go, until the last stitch meets the first and leaving a long piece of thread before the first stitch and another long stitch after the last. Then gently pull the two threads together to gather up the circle of fabric. Turn right way round so the right side of the fabric is on the outside. Tie a knot with the two pieces of thread. Flatten puff and position the opening in the centre of the puff, and sew a few stitches to secure in place. Cut excess thread and put to one side (Photos 1-5).

Photos 1-5

Piecing the bag charm

Following Diagram 1, sew strips A, B, C and D to the background fabric and press.

Diagram 1

Next, for the stem of the flower, use the green embroidery thread, and using back-stitch, sew a line of stitches from the bottom corner of the charm to the centre, and then using the lazy daisy stitch, stitch two leaf shapes to the side of the stem (Photos 6-10, Diagram 2).

Photos 6-10

Diagram 2

Next, position the Suffolk Puff in the centre of the bag charm front, and position the button on top of the opening. Secure in place with a number of stitches – you may wish to use a contrasting thread colour for effect (Diagram 3).

Diagram 3

Adding the backing and strap

Fold the strip of ribbon in half and place on top of the front piece of the bag charm. Decide how long you would like your strap and move the folded ribbon up or down accordingly. Tack it in place (Photo 11).

Next, place the backing fabric right sides down on top of the front piece, and sew all around the inside, 0.25” in from the raw edge, leaving about a 1” gap for turning (Diagram 4).

Diagram 4

Trim corners and ribbon strap overhang, and turn right side out. Use a prodding tool to push out the corners.

Next stuff the bag charm with some wadding so it’s nice and plump, and when happy, slip stitch closed.

Add the key ring and it’s ready for gifting!

I hope you enjoyed this project. Let me know if you have any queries and if you make any, please let me know! I’d love to see photos of your makes!

Mel x

Designed by Melanie Vincent, July 2019. Please respect the designer’s copyright. The design, instructions, diagrams and photos are copyright of the designer. You are free to use this pattern as long as you are not making any financial gain from it. Enjoy making and gifting!

Ready for gifting!

You can also enjoy my other free patterns on my blog:

Pirate quilt and Small patchwork bag charm

Patchwork Christmas Tree decoration – FREE PATTERN

**For a chance to win 1 of 5 original kits to make these little decorations, sign-up to my blog. Winners will be selected at random on Sunday 9th December 2018**

Hand-crafted Christmas decorations really set the scene and tone for a warm and homely festive season.

This little project was the first I had published in British Patchwork & Quilting magazine, as I mentioned in a previous post in which I thanked the then Editor of the magazine for giving me the opportunity to have this project featured.

It’s a simple, charming and very-easy-to-make little patchwork Christmas Tree decoration. I hope you enjoy making it!

This pattern will enable you to make three small decorations measuring approximately 4” x 3”.

Patchwork Christmas Tree decorations by Melanie Vincent

For three decorations, you will need:

  • Christmas Tree – one piece of spotty fabric measuring 6” x 5”
  • Tree trunk – one strip in dark green measuring 5” x 1.5”
  • Background – one piece in white measuring 14” x 6”
  • Borders – three pieces in stripy fabric measuring 4” x 6”
  • Backing – three pieces measuring 5” x 4”, in either of the above fabrics
  • Ribbon – one strip measuring 12”

Please note:

All measurements in these instructions include a seam allowance of 0.5″ (unless stated). Fabric quantities have been calculated with this in mind. If you prefer to work with a smaller seam allowance, adjust the measurements accordingly.

Patchwork Christmas Tree decorations by Melanie Vincent

Instructions:

  1. Cut out the ‘tree top’ and ‘background’ shapes in their corresponding fabrics, following the templates provided, making sure to add the seam allowance before you cut the fabric. Position the tree template as indicated in the diagram (below), to cut three tree tops from the piece of fabric for the Christmas tree. With taylor’s chalk or pencil, mark points A and B on the right side of the fabric (Photo 1).
  2. With right sides together, sew the ‘tree top’ to the left ‘background’ piece along the diagonal side, making sure points A on both fabrics are aligned (Photo 2). Once sewn, press seams flat and trim excess. Repeat for the other side ensuring points B are aligned (Photo 3).
  3. To make the tree trunks, cut two strips measuring 1.75” x 4.5” from the background fabric. Sew these background strips to the trunk strip so that the trunk strip is in the middle; press seams open and trim excess. From this strip cut three ‘tree trunk’ shapes each measuring 1.5” high.
  4. Sew the tree trunk piece to the tree top piece (Photo 4), making sure the centre of the trunk is centre-aligned to the top of the tree (either do this by using a ruler, or by folding the pieces and finding the centre). Press seam open and trim excess.
  5. For the borders, from each piece of border fabric, cut four strips measuring 1.5” x 4” (stripes should run across the shorter width of the rectangle).
  6. Sew the side borders first; press seams outwards and trim excess. Next sew the top and bottom borders (Photo 5). Press seams outwards and trim excess. This is now the front piece of the decoration.
  7. Next, cut about 4” from the ribbon strip, fold it and centre it on the facing side of the top border, with the loose ends pointing upwards. Tack loosely (Photo 6).
  8. Place the backing fabric on top of the decoration top, right sides facing, and sew both pieces leaving a 2” gap for turning. Trim excess fabric and corner points (Photo 7), and turn inside out. Press and slip-stitch opening. Repeat for the other two decorations, hang on tree and enjoy!
Positioning the tree top template on piece
of fabric

Patchwork Christmas Tree decoration template

Template:

Draw the template using the measurements indicated in the diagram below. Remember to add your seam allowance before cutting out the fabric. With a taylor’s chalk or pencil, mark points A and B on the right sides of the fabric, and join the points when sewing the pieces together.

STOP PRESS: In December 2018 I’m giving away 5 original kits to make the little Christmas tree decorations, as pictured above, to followers of my blog. The winners will be selected at random on Sunday 9th December. So if you like this pattern and would like to keep up-to-date with my adventures in quilting and crafting, subscribe to my blog and good luck! Mel x

Why not try different colourways? It’s a great way to use up scraps of fabric and to tie in with any decor!

Patchwork Christmas Tree decorations in different colourways by Melanie Vincent

Please note these decorations are not toys.

Please respect the copyright of the designer. The design, instructions and diagrams are copyright of the designer, Melanie Vincent. You are free to use this pattern as long as you are not making any financial gain from it. Enjoy making and gifting!

You can also enjoy my other free patterns on my blog:

Pirate quilt and Small patchwork bag charm

Small patchwork bag charm – FREE PATTERN

This is a quick little project which is perfect for gifting… and also for using up fabric scraps!

These little patchwork bag charms make lovely homemade gifts. I made some with my girls a few years ago to give as thank you presents for their teachers at the end of the school year. My girls enjoyed getting involved – the youngest choosing fabrics and buttons, and the eldest taking part in some cutting and sewing.

The finished bag charm measures approximately 3.5” x 3.5”.

You will need:

  • 2 strips measuring 4” x 1” (for the top and bottom borders)
  • 2 strips measuring 3” x 1” (for the sides)
  • 1 piece of background fabric 3” x 3”
  • Backing fabric 4” x 4”
  • 2” of ribbon for the key ring strap
  • 1” button
  • Scrap bits of felt for the flower and leaves
  • Wadding
  • Key ring

All measurements include a 0.25” seam allowance.

Piecing the bag charm

Following Diagram 1, sew the side borders to the background fabric and press. Next sew the top and bottom borders and press.

Diagram 1 - Piecing the front
Diagram 1 – Piecing the front

Adding the flower

Using the templates in Diagram 2, cut out the flower centre and leaves from bits of felt. (The numbers in red indicate the measurements. If you have difficulty printing the template at the correct size, you can alternatively draw a 1.25″ diameter circle, and for the leaves, a leaf shape roughly of the height and bottom width as indicated below.)

Diagram 2 - Templates for the flower
Diagram 2 – Templates for the flower

Following Diagram 3, position the leaves so they are centred against the background fabric, making sure the bottom of the leaves are lined up with the top edge of the bottom border.

Using a brown thread, sew the leaves to the background fabric with running stitch running along the centre of the leaves. Also add a vertical stitching line for the stem, running from the top edge of the bottom border to about the centre of the background fabric.

Next sew the flower centre and button, so that they are centred within the background fabric.

Diagram 3 - Sewing the flower to the front
Diagram 3 – Sewing the flower to the front

Adding the backing and strap

Following Diagram 4, lay the backing fabric right sides up.

Fold the strip of ribbon in half and place on top of the backing fabric. Position it along the top border about 0.75” from the right edge. Decide how long you would like your strap and move the folded ribbon up or down accordingly. Tack it in place.

Next, place the front of the bag charm right sides down on top of the backing fabric, and sew all around the inside, 0.25” in from the raw edge, leaving about a 1” gap for turning.

Diagram 4 - Adding the backing and strap
Diagram 4 – Adding the backing and strap

Trim corners and ribbon strap overhang, and turn right side out. Use a prodding tool to push out the corners.

Next stuff the bag charm with some wadding so it’s nice and plump, and when happy, slip stitch closed.

Add the key ring and it’s ready for gifting!

I hope you enjoyed this project. Let me know if you have any queries and if you make any of these charming bag charms, let me know! I’d love to hear of your makes and also see some pictures! And don’t forget to sign-up to my blog to receive regular updates on my quilting adventures and freebies! 

Mel x

Designed by Melanie Vincent, June 2018. Please respect the designer’s copyright. The design, instructions, diagrams and photos are copyright of the designer. You are free to use this pattern as long as you are not making any financial gain from it. Enjoy making and gifting!

Small patchwork bag charm montage
Small patchwork bag charm montage

You can also enjoy my other free patterns on my blog:

Pirate quilt and Patchwork Christmas Tree decorations

Pirate quilt – FREE PATTERN

As promised in an earlier blog post, here is the free pattern for my Baby Pirate Quilt. This is a fun and bright little pirate quilt perfect for the little boy (or not-so-girly-girl) in your life. Easy to piece, it also makes an ideal gift for the newborn baby of a loved one or of a dear friend.

It’s pirate themed simply because I’ve used pirate-themed labels fabric (* if you’re not sure what ‘labels fabric’ is, see image at the end of the blog post), but the same design can work equally as well for any labels fabric, or indeed any pictorial fabric.

The instructions below are based on the labels I had, which were roughly 3” square. The finished size of the quilt is 28” x 35.5”. If your labels are a different size, you may wish to alter some of the measurements, and your quilt may end up being a different finished size. However, even if your measurements are different, you can still follow the instructions below to guide you through the piecing process. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me (before cutting any precious fabric!) by leaving me a comment.

Enjoy and feel free to use as you wish!

Mel x

Please note that if the quilt is intended for a baby, please follow current safety advice which is that babies under one year of age should not sleep under a quilt – for younger ones, this little quilt can be used as a buggy blanket, wall-hanging or play mat until old enough to use on the cot/bed.

Pirate quilt

BABY PIRATE QUILT

Fabric needed:

  • Labels fabric – you will need 12 labels
  • Range of patterned fabrics in colours to coordinate with the labels. I used six different fat quarters. (You could equally use remnants from your stash!)
  • White fabric – allow one yard
  • You will also need wadding and backing fabric – 28” x 35.5”

Instructions:

All measurements include a seam allowance of 0.25″ unless stated.

Cutting white sashing strips and borders

Cut the larger pieces first. From the white fabric cut:

  • 8 x (2.5” x 6”) for sashing between the label blocks
  • 3 x (21” x 2.5”) for sashing between the rows
  • 2 x (2.5” x 28.5”) for inner side borders
  • 2 x (25” x 2.5”) for inner top and bottom borders
  • 2 x (2.5” x 35.5”) for outside side borders
  • 2 x (32” x 2.5”) for outside top and bottom borders

Put to one side.

Cutting the patterned borders for the label blocks

For each label block you will need the following border pieces:

  • 2 x (2” x 3.5”) for the sides
  • 2 x (6.5” x 2”) for the top and bottom

For each label cut the border pieces from the same fabric. As there are 12 label blocks you will need 12 sets of label borders. I used six different fabrics, so I had two sets in each fabric.

Put to one side.

Constructing the label blocks

Cut out the labels you wish to use from your labels fabric. I cut my labels 3.5” square to give a finished sewn label size of 3”. Make sure your label is perfectly centred before cutting it out.

Next, sew the side border pieces to the label. Press and trim any excess.

Then sew the top and bottom border pieces (see Diagram 1).

Press and trim each label block to measure 6” x 6”.

Repeat process for the other 11 label blocks.

Pirate quilt - diagram 1
Pirate quilt – diagram 1

Sewing the quilt centre

The quilt centre has four rows each featuring three label blocks.

Position the 12 label blocks on a clean surface in a 3 x 4 arrangement and arrange the blocks in a way that pleases you.

Once happy with the positioning, sew rows of label blocks together using the short white sashing strips (measuring 2.5” x 6”) between each label block. (See Diagram 2)

Pirate quilt - diagram 2
Pirate quilt – diagram 2

Repeat process for the other three rows.

Next sew the rows together using the white sashing strips measuring 21” x 2.5”. (See Diagram 3)

Pirate quilt - diagram 3
Pirate quilt – diagram 3

Press quilt centre.

Next sew the inner white borders (measuring 2.5” x 28.5”) to the side of the quilt, press, and then sew the top and bottom inner white borders (measuring 25” x 2.5”). (See Diagram 4)

Pirate quilt - diagram 4
Pirate quilt – diagram 4

Constructing the inner patchwork border

To construct the inner patchwork border, cut a range of rectangles from the patterned fabric, measuring 2” wide by lengths varying between 2.5” to 4” and sew these together in no particular order to make up two long strips measuring 2” x 32.5” for the sides and another two measuring 2” x 28” for the top and bottom.

First sew the patchwork border to the sides of the quilt, and then sew the top and bottom patchwork border, and press. (See Diagram 5)

Pirate quilt - diagram 5
Pirate quilt – diagram 5

Outer border and completing the quilt

Next sew the outer white border to the quilt. First sew the side strips (2.5” x 35.5”) and then the top and bottom strips (32” x 2.5”). The border strips are wide enough to create a narrow 0.25” border to the front of the quilt and a 1” border at the back. (See Diagram 6)

Pirate quilt - diagram 6
Pirate quilt – diagram 6

For the backing, you will need a piece of backing material and wadding measuring 28” x 35.5”.

Lay quilt down, with right side facing down, and place wading and backing on top, with right side facing up, making sure both are centred, and baste all layers. Quilt as desired – I very simply hand-quilted around the labels and just within the edge of each label block and just within the inner patchwork border. (See diagram and photo below for the full quilt layout)

For the back, fold border in half and under to conceal raw edges, cutting excess fabric at the corners. Slip-stitch all around border and corners making sure stitches do not pass to the front of the quilt.

Remember to add a label with your name and date, and enjoy!

Melanie Vincent, May 2018

Please respect the copyright of the designer. The design, instructions and diagrams are copyright of the designer. You are free to use this pattern as long as you are not making any financial gain from it. Enjoy making and gifting!

Pirate quilt - diagram 7
Pirate quilt full layout
Pirate quilt full layout
Pirate quilt full layout
Pirate labels by Makower
Pirate labels by Makower