Tuesday, October 25, 2022

Pretty Smart Apron Costume HACKS & Pumpkin Cookie RECIPE!

 Hi Quiltsmarties....

These were SO FUN, I wanted to share again this year!  Let us know if you made a costume from our Pretty Smart Apron - we would LOVE to see a pic!  Share it on your favorite social media spot!

Take Care & Enjoy....


Home for Halloween Fun: Pretty Smart Apron Hacks & Pumpkin Cookie Recipe!

Home for Halloween Fun!
Reversible, darling apron that can be made into a quick Halloween costume or play clothing!
See a recording of this project on Facebook LIVE (October 8, 2020).  



Model: Mattie, Quiltsmart President & Founder, Creative Director, Bend, Oregon
Base Outfit: 
White t-shirt or blouse
Jeans or skirt

Attributes of Dorothy:
Blue and white checked dress.
Two white buttons on the dress at the waistline.
Red shoes.
Basket with Toto dog.

Sewing Variations:  
I cut the ties at 4" wide x 36".  A little wider so they are more of an accent.  Turn with a Fasturn #6.

Barmop cream towel takes the place of the reverse skirt.The Dorothy side has the same fabric as the bib top, which was made from kitchen cloth napkins.
Embellishments for Apron:
Reverse side is sheep print fabric.  I raised them for 8 years, and still are very fond of the sweet creatures.

White Buttons. 
Gathered skirt.  The "real" Dorothy had a smooth waistline, probably a bias cut, but gathered was easier for this rendition



Model: Kathleen, Quiltsmart Enthusiast, Kensosha, Wisconsin

Base Outfit: 
Black leggings & skirt or dress.
Black long sleeve top. 

Attributes of witch:
Black Hat
Black outfit

Colorful socks
Witch hat

Embellishments for Apron:
Purchased embroidered towel with Halloween motif. 


Model: Terri, Quiltsmart Customer Service, Johnstown, Pennsylvania 

Base Outfit: 
Black Leggings.
Black Long Sleeve top.

Sewing Variations:  

I stitched (4) 3.5" strips of gold and (5) 2.5" strips of black together to make the fabric for the bib front. 

Attributes of Bee:
Gold and black body 

Embellishments for Apron:
Striped fabric OR sew stripes together for front.
Model: Theresa, Quiltsmart Sewer, Redmond, Oregon  
Base Outfit:
Jeans & long sleeve t-shirt or flannel shirt. 

Sewing Variations:
None.  The reverse side can be seasonal or a motif - anything you like!

Attributes of Scarecrow:
Flannel Shirt
Torn Pants
Hay from neck, arms, feet.

Model: Coco, Quiltsmart Enthusiast, Minneapolis, Minnesota

Base Outfit: 
Shirt to match skin tone.
Shorts, leggings, or jeans - colors from the apron fabric or skin tone.

Sewing Variations:  

I used 7/8" twill tape for the ties - super quick & easy!

Tail:  Glittery fabric, full width folded in half and gathered.  We zigzagged across the gathers, then attached with a safety pin to the other side.  Easy to put on, and to take off!  You could make a longer tail to cover her feet, but we kind of liked the little feet showing.  Our mermaids have feet under their tails!

Reverse side was made into a Snow White apron - by simply using a yellow bar mop for the skirt, blue and a red sash on top.  I sewed the red sash to the blue top before making the bib.  I also put the mermaid fabric and the yellow barmop right sides together, stitched edges, turned, zigzagged the top, then put into the bib apron top as one piece. 

If you know the apron is for a child, make the bib the “shorter folks” length.... 7-8 yr old. Once made, the sides of the bib  can be tucked under if necessary. 
For a tiny tot, ..... you would need a smaller apron.  You could try forming the Market Bag into a costume, using the dress variation in those instructions.
Attributes of Snow White:
Blue top with red sash, large white collar.
Yellow skirt.
Black hair with red bow.
Birds light on her finger. 
Base Outfit: 
Blue puffed sleeve blouse or t-shirt.
Jeans, or yellow skirt, pants, or leggings.


Model: Sue, Quiltsmart Sewer and Consumer Sewing Consultant, Pennsylvania 

Base Outfit: 
Black Leggings & skirt.
Black Long Sleeve top. 
OR, dress and stockings.
Sewing Variations:  I cut the ties at 4" wide x 36".  A little wider so they are more of an accent.  Turn with a Fasturn #6.

Barmop red towel takes the place of the skirt.

Attributes of Minnie:
Shirt: Red fabric, white dots.  Skirt: Polka Dot  (I flipped that for this apron because I like the towel sewn right in to the apron.
Red polka dot bow.  I made a bow and tied it to a headband.
Yellow Shoes
White Gloves

Embellishments for Apron:
Purchased ruffle trim on the bib top to give a puffed sleeve effect. 
Eyelet around the pocket.
Chocolate print fabric is on the reverse side!



Model: Lavelle, Quiltsmart Social Media Manager,  Bend, Oregon 

Base Outfit:  
Western Shirt 

Attributes of Cowgirl:
Shirt:Western style.
Cowgirl hat.
Western boots.

Sewing Variations:
I used 7/8th" twill tape for the apron ties - quick & easy!
Barmop blue towel takes the place of the skirt.
Fringe was added on the apron and skirt (towel).
Embroidery added at the top of the apron.
I made a fake placket  in the front before I made the bib.  After bib was done, I added snaps to the placket.

Pockets could be added from old jeans!

I hope you enjoyed our Apron Hacks!
Below is a hack on my mom's Pumpkin Cookie Recipe.  I made it a bit simpler!
Take Care & Be Safe,

 My mom made these cookies every fall, and they are now a tradition with my kids.  I tweaked the recipe just a bit to make it easier. It still looks a bit more complicated than it should for my easy cookbook - but, like a good off-the-beaten-path quilt shop, it is worth the time!  It just isn’t fall if there aren’t Pumpkin Cookies.  Skip the lettuce - just serve these for dinner!  After all, pumpkin is a vegetable!  The trick to making them quickly and at the last minute is to make the dough ahead and keep it in the refrigerator.  Easy “dinner”!  :)
Makes about 4 - 5 dozen.

1  cup butter
1  15 ounce (medium) can pumpkin
2 teaspoons EACH of baking soda, cinnamon, vanilla
2 tablespoons baking powder
2 cups sugar
4 cups flour

1 cup chopped nuts
1 cup raisins

Mix the first group of ingredients with mixer, then add nuts and raisins with spoon.  Drop by heaping teaspoonful on ungreased cookie sheet (don’t forget the parchment paper!).  Bake at 350° for about 12 minutes.

Let-us suggest:
Walnuts, pecans, dried cranberries, or white chocolate chips.
Some “Pumpkin Cookie” lovers like to frost the cookies with Cream Cheese Frosting.  That can be purchased by the “can” and kept in your pantry until ready to use.

Sunday, March 20, 2022

March Baskets! Spring is in the air and on the wall quilt!

My Midwestern upbringing has me craving for specific spring flowering branches. The kind of made by our resident artist Mother Nature that have slightly twisted branches, simple charm, and beautiful delicate blossoms...keep reading...

LOVE the buttons as flower centers!



My friend, Mariann, Carmel, Indiana, sent me pictures of her baskets and yo-yos that she is making- all scraps- don’t ya love it!  She is using vintage buttons for the flower centers.  Love it!







I was reminded of the baskets I started last year.  I got them out and decided I was going to add a twist from Mama N. 

I’ll post more embroidered flowers as I get them done & more from Mariann (hmmm, a completion challenge?). I used couching (stitching over embroidery floss or pearl cotton) to form the branches, and the lazy dazy stitch for the flowers.  I did an internet search for "flowering spring branches" - to see what the branches looked like, for example... how many petals in a "Forsythia" bloom - 4.   

TIP:  Best to have a large-eyed needle and/or a needle threader.  

 Click here for instructions to make these adorable Baskets & Yo-yos! There is a pattern for the quilt also, by Cindy Claycamp!

enjoy & take care,




Friday, March 18, 2022

"Kevie" - not often do you see a pig in a quilt coat...

 ...and therefore, you gotta take pictures!  

Meet Kevin Bacon.  She,  “Kevie” was owned by Dunken who makes really nice baseball bats with his dad.  Their business is 2 suites away from Quiltsmart.   Dunken realized when Kevie was about 6 months old that she would be happier on a farm.  He found a farm for her to be a pet.  Then he started missing her a lot, so he asked the owner if he could visit.   The owner, Nancy, said that she will bring her every Thursday when she comes to town if Dunken would like that.  Dunken was thrilled, and we are, too!  Kevie loved wearing the coat, but there were a few grunts when we put it on her.  have a new respect for pigs-in-coats photographers!

Bennie, my yorkie-poo, loves Kevie.  Kevie is not too interested in Bennie, though, so Bennie just sits there.  Don't worry about Bennie though, because Maggie is a Golden Retriever who adores Bennie... and they play together with the other dogs at the Industrial Complex while Kevie eats grass and carrots.  Her compensation for modeling is in carrots.

The Coats:
PatternDog - Sewing Patterns for Dogs, United Kingdom
I made both coats (size L for Kevie, S for Bennie) from a baby size Apple Core Quilt.  You can also make pieces for the coats and save a little sewing.
Enjoy & Take Care,

Friday, March 11, 2022

Potholder/Pincushion Sample Project & More with our Blossom & PiX Smart Grid Printed Interfacing! SUPER QUICK GIFTS!

Our Potholder/Pincushion Sample Project can expand far beyond that with a little imagination!...and a few hacks!  Please share yours with us on Facebook, Instagram, or send them to info@quiltsmart.com.  We would LOVE to see what you CREATE! 

Potholder BASIC Instructions:  Sample Projects: Potholder 

HACKS & MORE Projects... keep reading!

St. Pat's Day themed potholder & EASY St. Patty's Meal crockpot RECIPE (from my cookbook, "A Quilter in the Kitchen":  Potholder & Recipe



BASIC "Blossom" Applique

Rough side of interfacing to RIGHT side of Fabric.  Stitch on the line, trim on the line, turn, fuse, and zigzag.  The basic instructions linked above give more detail.




1]  Layer two fabrics RIGHT sides together.  Amanda fussy-cut FreeSpirit Fabric! Use a terry towel for a fluffy sheep!
2]  Cut center circle out and set aside. Fuse blossom interfacing to WRONG side of one fabric piece.
3]  Stitch solid line, inserting fabric scraps for sheep feet, trim dashed line.

4]  Make a small slit under where you want the circle to be (flower center in pincushion or head in sheep).  The slit needs to be smaller than the circle, as the circle will cover the slit.  Turn gently through slit. Smooth edges with a blunt tool.  Pointer-Creaser 

5]  Stuff with glass beads, walnut shells etc (I used kitty litter that is 100% walnut shells).  Stitch up opening.  For SACHET:  put a few drops of perfume or essential oils inside.  Check out instructions from manufacturer.

6]  Stitch center interfacing piece (that you set aside) in the same way as the flower.   Position over slit. Hand-stitch around circle edges for the sheep, tucking in fabric scraps for ears.  Leave it free as in the blossom below!  NOTE:  The sheep face can be made without the second piece of fabric - but, then you put the interfacing ROUGH SIDES to RIGHT side of fabric. 

7]  Embellish as you wish.  A cotton ball or batting covered with fabric OR a button for flower center. Embroidery for sheep face & a heart or shamrock.




Katie, age 12, made this adorable little box. 

1] Make potholder as in BASIC Instructions:  Sample Projects: Potholder

2] Fold diagonally with the squares on the outside.  Stitch along the seams marked here with the green lines.

3] Fold the other diagonal and do the same.

4] For buttons, pinch the outside crease of the fold inward toward the box and sew on a button.  


1] Make potholder and blossom as in BASIC Instructions:  Sample Projects: Potholder with the exception that you will adding half-square triangles for leaves and pot bottom.  Watch our PiX Smart Grid VIDEO to see how easy those half-square triangles can be!

2] Cut the top of sky 6" x 9"  (this is a bit oversized for some fudge factor).  Sew the sky to the grid with a 1/4" seam allowance.

3] Zigzag stitch the flower to the piece in step 2.

4] I used a small piece of fabric to create the stem and hand-stitched - but there are many other ways to do this.  One of my favs is YLI Braid.




Our first potholder - two sided, so you get a great little project and learn 2 Quiltsmart methods - The ZigZag Applique, and EASY Fuse & Stitch Patchwork!  Same BASIC instructions: Sample Projects: Potholder


Happy Creating....!



Thursday, March 10, 2022

A Patchwordle for Quilter Wordles AND 20 reasons why "Wordle" is the new Social Media.


Why “Wordle” is the new SocMed Platform - 

1. It takes only minutes a day - if you are smart.

2. Your smart friends will see that you are really smart and not just making up stuff.

3.  You will still feel satisfaction that you checked in with everyone everyday.

4.  You can easily pick it up and put it down.  

5. You can share it (without feeling remorse).

6.  …. Even while having a cocktail. 

7.  Your dumb friends may hopefully stop following you. 

8.  You can put your phone down while eating because you will now have dinner conversation.  It could go like this, “did you do wordle yet?” Or, “that was a tough one yesterday.”  Or,  I didn’t know you can use two of the same letter.  - Oh, thanks for that! -  Is that word even English?  Is it an international game?   Could I learn Spanish this way?   You and your wordle friends will laugh, but non-wordles will not. 

9.  You can ask your friend how they are, and their response will be short, sweet and to the point- no social media drama!!!! - “3 rows of black”,  “not a lotta green today”,  or, “those yellows sure slow ya down.” Or   “Bingo- all greens on first row”- hey, “anybody tried “bingo” in row one?  

10.  You can have your own private groups.  “30+streak” , “100+ played”,  "Win % 90+"

11.  The old song, “and they call him the streaker” will certainly get popular again and you can download it and listen to it digitally!  

12.  The t-shirts will be better than Facebook because half of the population won’t understand them-  “Got Wordle?”   Wordle is Twice as Nice at Midnight”. And of course, “Wordle is the new FB” Or,  “what’s your streak?” Or a spoiler t-shirt - 5 letter words printed all over the shirt. 

13. You will “read” all the shared daily Wordle quilts from your Wordle buddies and go, “hmmm, good one”… and that is all you need to know- that person is alive, happy, smart, engaged, and sharing with you!  

14. ...because of number 13- who says that’s not lucky??   They don’t have patch facebook quilts- but a patchwordle quilt is right up there at the top for quilt humor.  Especially if it is made with white, yellow, and green blocks!  So, of course, I had to make one - with our PiX Smart Grid!  So Eeasy!  It was fun with 2.5" squares, and now I can't wait to make one with  2" squares. A full wordle, quirdle.... is a 5 x 6 grid.  So, you can make several from any single panel.  (My son is getting one for his birthday - he got me into this.  I don't believe he reads my blogs so I can say that.  This blog he might read, though - as he does know how to sew, and is an avid wordle. His name is appropriately MARTY.)

15.  Your brain will be actively thinking of 5 letter words that will work for H_ _S_ (try typing that!) rather than thinking how you will console the friend from high school who you haven't spoken with in 12 years because frankly you don’t feel that their sad story is any better than your sad story.  And wordle will get you out of that because you only need 5 letters.   You might (55 letters) say to the friend:  You might try “Wordle”.  Note that “empathy” is not a 5 letter word. 

16.  Brain Games have  been found to reduce the chance of getting Alzheimer’s and Dementia.  Note that “brain” and “games” are 5 letter words.  I do not remember if this study included FB as brain activity.  Lol. 

17.  You may read books more - but you are really searching for “good” 5 letter words. 

18.  You will feel confident and content and start having thoughts of:  beach, think, relax, loves, sleep, dream, happy…. And wordle- I do think it should have been named “Wordl”. 
19.  If you have read this far, there is a high likelihood that you are a Wordle/Quilter or Wordle/Sewist.  So, you may have  already contemplated if my quirtle, or patchworkle, (aka....the cute little wordle quilt above) is a "real" wordle.... or did I simply place the squares anywhere.  So, can't do that on FB that I know of, anyways..... although there are probably game groups.

20.  And, if you are a Quilturdle, or a Sewordle (that one is nice), you have probably already tried to solve the quilt I made.  Hint:  who is it from?   Try solving problems on FB!  Or, if you didn't try to solve it, you may have started changing all the 5 letter words to color and bookmarking the page!  Ah ha....   FB would be a good source for 5 letter words, though I think the t-shirt would be more funnn.


Sunday, July 18, 2021

Quick Salad - more time to quilt!


With summer treats from “the vegetable man”,  like blueberries, salad mix, avocado,  onions, and an added hamburger from last nights dinner,  I’ve  got a DELICIOUS, HEALTHY, and QUICK lunch!  I threw it all in a wooden bowl and chopped it all at once- the avocado mixes in and becomes the dressing.  See more ideas like this in “A Quilter in the Kitchen”!  Lots of quilt inspiration in there as well!  



Saturday, March 27, 2021

May Baskets & Yo-yo’s on my mind! The QUILT I want to make TODAY!

 Hi!  You've reached Mattie's Blog.  I do lots of tutorials, so poke around and have fun.  We love hearing from you (comment section below) and would love seeing pics of your creations!  The link below will direct you back to our website so you can find the Baskets....  I hope you LOVE this little charmer as much as I do!  Mattie, Quiltsmart Founder & President

With an abundance of solids and an old table runner of yo-yo’s.... what I want to make today are baskets!  Probably because the weather is a balmy 62 degrees and sunny- yet I’m in a sewing mood.

I sew for others a lot, and lately I’ve been trying to take the time to sew something up for me, if the spirit moves me and today it did.  

So far, I cut (9) 8”x 10” squares. I fused outside the lines to hold them in place before sewing.   I find that if I simply start something, that 50% is done!  So...yeah, half done, lol! 

Check it out at Quiltsmart.com.  

Baskets & Yo-Yo’s

Cindy Claycamp, “Quilting Memories”, and  I collaborated on her pattern to make the baskets available in printed interfacing.  She has a pattern for larger sizes, too!  She can be reached directly at muddyforkfarms@hotmail.com. Pattern copyright 2014 by Cindy Claycamp.

Sew on the solid lines.

 Trim on the dashed lines.  Clip at the inside angles. 

Cut through the INTERFACING ONLY on the dash-dot line.

Turn interfacing to the back, finger-pressing well.  A Quiltsmart Pressing Sheet will help secure the interfacing around the hole.  




Pointer-Creaser will help make the curves smooth.  Use it to gently push out the curves and to slide along the edges of the seams- between the fabric, not next to the interfacing.  

If you want the embroidery marks at the bottom of the basket, transfer those now by basting over the lines printed on the interfacing.  Choose the color of your bobbin to either be the same as your embroidery floss, or blend in with the basket.  

Embroider or decorative stitch either now, or after the basket is fused and stitched to the background fabric.  

Fuse the basket to the background.  I used a 10 x 12” background. 

A pressing sheet will keep any fusible or iron residue off of your basket. If you are using laces or silks, you would want to use a pressing sheet. I like it for the solids because I’m assured of not getting any scorching on my baskets if my iron were to be too not.  Start with a polyester setting, but test first as iron settings differ from iron to iron. 

Zigzagging is the next step.  The technical term is “appliqué”, which means “to apply”- but it sounds fancy and scary!  

I suggest a 2.0mm length and width for beginners- moving toward a 1.5mm width and 2.5mm length if you wish as you get comfortable.  Keep the stitch mostly on the basket with The needle skimming the edge of the basket to go into the background. Use invisible thread or the same color as the basket or a decorative thread & decorative stitch. You can also hand appliqué, as done on the green basket.  Sew the yo-yos, buttons etc. after you quilt. But like me you probably can’t wait to set them on the basket and see how they look. I used the Clover yo-yo maker- I love it.  I used the small and the flower in this basket.  

I can’t locate that yo-yo table runner- bummer .... but, I like making yo-yos while bingeing a show!  So off to do that for a bit!  I’m quite sure the runner will show up after I get a bunch made for my May Baskets!  

Next up...zigzagging,Are use a small stitch 1.5 mm with and 2.5 mm length is my favorite stitch, but if you’re a beginner I would suggest 2.0 for both measurements and get used to that before you change it. Have the needle just skim the side of the basket and most of the stitch stays on top of the basket. 

This cute little basket is ready for some hand embroidery over that transfer of stitches from the sewing machine. Those don’t have to be perfect by the way. 
You could also use  embroidery (I’m planning mine- I think I might use tone on tone thread and a variety of stitches from my machine or hand stitches).  

I couldn’t wait to lay these sweet little blocks out and get a sense of how my quilt will look... and can’t wait to put on the yo-yo’s! 
Keep checking back for updates!  I'm working on this at least every few nights- and every chance I get! I will take pics of the entire process to completion. 

Stay safe & sound!