Wendi Gratz from Shiny Happy World is a sewing, quilting and embroidery pattern designer living in the mountains of North Carolina. Her designs are created especially for beginners, and along with her patterns she releases videos teaching every skill needed for a project. Wendi’s patterns and tutorials are available online via her website.
Wendi shares her playful style with us in her Mix and Match Monsters tutorial. She has a free PDF pattern, which can be used creatively to make a wide variety of lovable monsters, plus easy instructions for her method of appliqué. You can also check out Wendi’s new Cute Quilt-As-You-Go Appliqué Monsters class on Craftsy for additional templates, plus videos for working with a variety of fabrics like fur and fleece. (She’s offering a special 50% off deal for Sew Mama Sew readers!)
Find more from Wendi at Shiny Happy World, and check out some of her other posts here at Sew Mama Sew: Free Moose Fusible Appliqué, Six Professional Supplies to Take Softies from So-So to Spectacular, Kids + Sewing: Sewing Machine Skill Drills for Kids Video, Pretty Posy, Flora the Spring Bird, Monstrously Warm Rice Bag and Monster Hand Warmers.
I love to appliqué, and over the years I’ve developed the fastest, easiest, most fun method for appliqué, using a combination of fusible adhesive and “Quilt As You Go.”
I made things even more fun in my newest Craftsy class, Cute Quilt-As-You-Go Appliqué Monsters. The class includes a Mix + Match Monsters pattern that lets you design your own monster using pages and pages of parts to choose from, rearrange and play with.
This is such a fun project to do with your kids… (And you should keep reading for a fun contest!)
The instructions that follow are for a quilt block that will finish at 10 inches square, but you can skip the quilt block background and add your monster creation to all kinds of other projects. Make a pillow, a t-shirt, a tote bag, a lunch bag, a backpack, a nap mat for school and more!
Here’s how to make it.
1. Download the monster appliqué pattern pieces. You’ll get templates for one monster body and a whole assortment of other monster parts. None of them are labeled because each of them can be so many different things!
2. Trace the pieces you want onto the paper side of your favorite fusible adhesive. I’m head over heels in love with these printable fusible adhesive sheets because I can skip the tedious tracing and get right to the fun part– choosing fabric!
You’ll need mirror image pieces for the horns, tentacles, etc. Either print the page a second time reversed, or flip it over and trace from the back side for the reversed pieces.
3. Roughly cut all the pieces out, leaving a little extra all the way around each piece.
4. Following the manufacturer’s instructions for time and steam, fuse the pieces to the back of the fabric.
5. Cut each piece out neatly.
6. Prepare the fabric for fusing. I cut one block and one piece of batting 11 inches square (I use Warm & Natural 100% cotton batting), then quilt them together with no backing. You can find more info about the “Quilt As You Go” method I use here.
7. Peel off the paper backing and arrange the pieces however you like. I always line up the bottom of the head/body with the bottom of the block, so that it doesn’t look like a decapitated head floating in the middle of the block. Other than that– anything goes!
8. Following the manufacturer’s instructions for time and steam, fuse the pieces to the background fabric. Important note: For some brands the fuse time and steam settings for fusing fabric to fabric are different from the time and steam setting to fuse the paper to the fabric. Check your package.
9. Stitch around each piece as desired. I like to use a simple straight stitch with black thread. It’s a great cartoony look that suits these monsters, and it holds up very well through multiple washings. Some people prefer the look of a zigzag or blanket stitch. It’s all good!
10. Trim the block to size if it’s for a quilt, or proceed with whatever other awesome thing you’re making.
But wait a minute! What’s that weird pale dotted line that runs through the middle of the head/body piece?
That’s for if you want to give your monster a nice bulldog-style underbite.
Here’s how, and it also shows you a totally different monster made with the same page of pattern pieces.
Proceed as normal until you get to Step 5, where you’re cutting the pieces out neatly.
Cut your monster head in half right on that dotted line.
Now you can arrange teeth (or a tongue) to come out from between those layers, like this.
That’s two completely different monsters using the same single page of pieces. I think you could make a pretty terrific quilt just using these pieces, but if you sign up for the Cute Quilt-As-You-Go Appliqué Monster class on Craftsy you’ll get 24 pages of patterns! Plus you’ll also get access to videos showing how to work with fur and fleece and other fun fabrics, and how to make playful 3D additions to your blocks. I’m offering a special 50% off deal for Sew Mama Sew readers.
And if you’re ready to make a monster right now, show us what you make!
There’s a link party and contest happening over at Shiny Happy World. Make a monster using only the pieces in this tutorial and upload them to the link party. We’ve got reader voting, some terrific judges and fun prizes!