Make quilted gnomes for your home decor or as gifts. These beginner projects are quick and will add a touch of playfulness to everyone’s day!
I made two projects featuring these magical creatures and I am so happy with how they turned out! The first is this baby quilt called Mystical Friends. It measures 36″ x 43″ and the blocks finish at 6″. I used fabrics from the Story Time collection by American Jane for Moda Fabrics. I love making bright-colored quilts for babies!
To be sure, I made baby quilts with pastel colors (In My Heart is just one example) but I like to think of bright quilts as toys who call to the baby saying: Touch Me!
Machine applique’ is my thing so that is what I used for the gnomes. The Story Time collection has fun prints to play with and I chose to make the gnomes in dark and light blue fabrics. The pieces are easy to manage and look good when appliqued with the blanked stitch, except for the spiky beard portions, where I used a straight stitch.
To ensure the green fabric did not show through the white beard, I first fused a piece of the white fabric to the background, then fused the beard on top. Since the shapes are not large, the extra layer did not add bulk to the project.
Notice that the bottom layer does not necessarily have to have the same shape as the beard which might complicate the process. As long as most of the background is hidden, we are all set.
I like Heat’n Bound Lite fusible web. It works very well with most fabrics and projects. When using batiks, though, be sure to applique’ soon after you fused the shapes or they will lift. Ask me how I know.
You can make this project in one weekend, including the quilting – I quilted it using my Bernina and a stippling motif. I quilted around the applique’ to make it pop.
Speaking of machine applique’, if you have never done it, check out this tutorial and you will see how easy it is. Yes, I can also do needle turn applique’ except I like to finish my projects a little faster…
My second project is a table runner and placemats set called Magical Garden. The runner measures 54-1/2″ x 20″ and each placemat finishes at 18″ x 13″. The block size is 10″ for both.
As I was thinking about quilted gnomes for your home decor, or that you could gift to someone, I thought of adding mushrooms because gnomes and ‘shrooms seem to go hand-in-hand, right? This simple design is meant to help you complete the set in one weekend, too.
The instructions are for two placemats, but you could make six for a larger family. I used the same trick for the beard on these gnomes. The fabrics are from two basics collections by Riley Blake Designs: Blossom and Bee Basics.
As you can see, both these projects are great stash busters and work well using a fabric collection or scrappy.
The borders are simple as I wanted the focus to be on the gnomes. Here, I made the fusible shapes hollow as I explained in the butterfly quilt tutorial I linked to above. This way the final projects have a softer hand (I only do this for larger shapes, though).
You can find these projects in Annie’s newest publication: Quilted Gnomes for your Home. This book has 9 super cool projects that I know you will love. Whether you make them to jazz up your kitchen, the sewing room, or as gifts, I know they will be a major hit!
The patterns have clear instructions and lots of diagrams to make construction easy. No guesswork, as you will also find sections explaining Quilting Basics, Raw-Edge Fusible Applique’, and Paper Piecing. In fact, give this book to a novice quilter and she will love you forever!
And this is all the inspiration I have for you today. Enjoy!