Nativity Tutorial for Silhouette and Digiplayground

DS-C-W-CG-Nativity shadow boxDIGIThese darling Shadow Box Scenes pop together and then can be pulled apart and stored flat. For me, that makes for the perfect piece of Christmas decor! There are five scenes in all for you to enjoy the holidays!

Here are the links to my Silhouette shop and DigiPlayground shop so you can pick up one of these albums!

Here’s how to put this together:

1. Cut out the svg files.  The sides, roof, and frames I cut out in kraft paper, the shepherd, background, and the main part of the sheep in black, and the frame, angel, and sheep fur in white.

2. Begin with the frames.  Pop dot and attach the angel, shepherd, sheep, and white frame in their appropriate places.  Once you have all the figures in place, you can start putting the nativity together.


3. Now, put the background and two side pieces together by slipping the tabs on the short ends of the sides into the slits of the background.


4. The frames attach similarly.  Put the tabs on the ends of the frames into the slits in the side piece.  Do this for all of the frames.  Remember, the frames go in a certain order for it to have the shadowbox effect.  The frame with the thickest bottom goes in the back and the thinnest goes in the front.


It will look like this when all of the frames are in.


5. For the roof, start with one side and put the tabs of the side piece into the slits of the roof.  Do this for the other side.  Make sure the side of the roof with the rounded edges goes in the front.


You’re done with your Nativity! I hope you have a chance to make the entire collection!


Anything Goes Quilt and Magic 8 Tutorial

carinagardner_november232015_2_webFinally finished the pattern, the video, and I’m giving away the Anything Goes Quilt PDF Pattern I made on instagram this weekend (be sure to check this out!). This quilt is so versatile! I use the Magic 8 technique to get a lot of triangles cut and sewn all at once. I named it the Anything Goes pattern because it really can make so many different kinds of quilts—flying geese, hour glass, pinwheels, chevrons, and more!

Hope you have a chance to try it out! You can purchase the pattern for it (and see some great options!) here.

Sew lovely,


Tutorial for 25 Days of December French Fold Album for Silhouette and DigiPlayground


My 25 Days of December French Fold albums have finally hit the shops! It’s just in time to make one before December 1st hits and you start taking photos.

These are a little different than my 25 Days of December from last year because these feature a french fold and hidden binding.

Here are the links to my Silhouette shop and DigiPlayground shop so you can pick up one of these albums!

Here’s how to put this together:

1. Cut out the svg files.  The main body of the book I cut out in kraft paper and the cover and frames are my Have a Merry Christmas papers for Cartabella.

2. Begin with two pieces of the binding and fold along the dotted lines, then glue them together by overlapping the short sides.


3. Turn it over, and glue the wider folds together so the back looks flat and the front has tabs sticking out.

4. Take your pages and fold all of the creases inwards. (The picture below shows the binding on backwards. All those little glued together pieces will become the pages for the album).


5. Now to add the pages! Glue along the long edge of each page and attach the long edge to the back of one of the folds in the binding. This will create a double-sided/double thick page.

6. Glue the top side of the edge of the long page, as well as the bottom tab and fold the page over.  This should create an envelope with an open top.  Add a page to each one of the binding pieces.





7.  Add the cover by gluing the left side of the cover to the bottom side of the flap.  This makes the inside look clean and the binding flap will be covered with the binding cover later.

8. Glue the binding cover by matching up the crease of the binding cover with the square of the book.  Glue the front, binding, and back side separately.


9. For the tabs,  glue each number onto an oval (or whatever shape you have). Note: one of the albums (bracket) does not use this step.

10.  Glue half of the ovals onto each tab, leaving space to slide the tabs into the slits and for the ovals to go on top of the page.  There are 13 tabs, so each tab will have two numbers (one and two will be on one tab, three and four another etc.)


11.  Slide the tabs into the appropriate slit on each page.  Leave the oval out and glue the other half of the oval onto the outside of the page. Glue odd numbers to the front and even numbers on the back of each tab.

12. For the frames, take each frame and place pot dots on the back.


13. Place the frame in the center of the page and make sure the pop dots are firmly in place.


14. Glue the leaves to the berries and attach to the corner of the frame.


15.  Place pictures and memories on each page to fill your 25 days of December Album!

Happy crafting!




Apricot and Persimmon Video

IMG_0998_1_instagram_blogJust a quick little post to show off the video Riley Blake just came out with on Apricot and Persimmon (see below). We have been working a lot on this line and should have some cute new quilts and projects out soon! (picture above of my fabulous pattern production assistant and I trying to finish up some samples of Love Next Ruffle Dress—now in pdf format!).



Christmas Village Tutorial for Silhouette and DigiPlayground

IMG_0774_webI’ve been working on this Christmas Village for weeks now. Every time one of the little houses got put together, I couldn’t help but smile! Everything about this little village makes me so happy.

There are quite a few pieces, and they all can be purchased from Silhouette and DigiPlayground. Each building is very intricate and there are a lot of parts. I have a quick video on some of the harder pieces so you can see how they go together (see above).

As for displaying this village, there are soooo many options. I have two I’d like to suggest here for you. The first is a display made completely from foam core. I have a free svg file for you to make a template of the one I made and some instructions on how to put it together below. (The photo below is the display I created with foam core. You can make this too!)


IMG_0673_webThe second way I would display it is on a mantle or coffee table. I love mine on top of our white piano. The best part is at night when we put electric tealights underneath and the entire thing lights up (picture of this below!).

If you place your village on a mantel, depending on the number of pieces you build, I suggest using cake plates and cups turned upside down to give dimension and layer to your village. Cover these with ‘snow’ you can purchase from your local craft store to hide these layers. Instant snow drift!

The two photos below is of the Christmas Village on top of my piano (about the size of the mantel). I love it up there! Every piece is so unique and darling. My family is really going to enjoy it this holiday season!



There are so many great pieces in this village. They will be release over the next two weeks (so keep an eye out for them!). The picture below is of the Santa’s Workshop, General Store, Gingerbread House, Trees, and Deer.


Picture below highlights the Clock Tower, Chapel, and Gingerbread House.


The train comes in two files—a Train Station with tracks and a curved 3D Train.


Happy little penguins anyone?


Check out the Snow Cottage, Elf Houses (with curved roof!) and the Chapel.


Turn off the lights and watch them glow! Instant Christmas Magic!


Here’s the tutorial for the Display:

Download the Free Display Template Here—

  1. Download the zip. You will need 5-6 pieces of 20 inch x 30 inch foam core in white. You will also need a hot glue gun, a small package of ‘snow’, and x-acto knife.
  2. There are four layers to this display. The zip contains 4 documents that may look a bit jumbled (everything needed to fit on a 12 x 12 template for Cricut users). All you need to do is pull all the pieces apart and cut each of them out. Then layout your template like I have below:


3. After cutting out your pieces you will lay the template onto each layer. Layer 1 you will use the template to cut away two edges of the display. Layer 2 you will need to add a width of 8.5 inches to add the depth. Layers 3 and 4 you can cut out as is.

instructions_display_christmasvillage_2 instructions_display_christmasvillage_3

4. Use an x-acto knife to cut these out. Don’t worry about making it perfect! Your snow will cover your mistakes!

5. Once the layers are cut out, you will want to create dimension by cut out several 2 inch strips the full length of the 30 inches on the extra foam core you have. Slice lightly into one side of the strips so that you can bend them to the shapes of your layers. Start with layer 2. Start at the side front and hot glue the 2 inch strip along the curve. Don’t worry about mistakes or gaps! Your snow will cover all of this!  Once you have glued the strip along the edge of layer 2 you will glue it down to layer 1. Continue with all the layers using the diagram below to help determine how to place everything.


6. Once everything is glued together, simply layer snow on the display. I glued a little bit to the board to help everything stay in place. To glue the trees, deer, and penguins to the display, I moved the snow to the side and glued these pieces directly onto the foam core. Then I moved the snow back into place.

I hope you have fun making this display and the entire Christmas Village!



Thankful Tree Video and Tutorial for Silhouette and DigiPlayground

We’ve been working on the Thankful Tree for a few weeks now and I’m so excited to have it in my home! It’s the perfect LARGE scale tree (about 4 feet in height) to put in your home to celebrate Thanksgiving. We will be using the Apple Basket to place all of our leaves so the kids can pull one out everyday to write what they are thankful for throughout November.

Check out this short video so you can see the tree (in scale) and all the options we have available for it! You can purchase the files at Silhouette and DigiPlayground.

Enjoy! Carina

Launch Party! PDF Sewing Patterns Now Available at


I’m so excited for today! I’ve been planning this launch for a few weeks now! The team and I have some cool things planned. What kind of cool things you ask? Well, since you asked…

First off, we are now releasing PDF Patterns! Yes, that’s right. This is the official launch of you being able to purchase my patterns in PDF format. You can still also purchase most of my patterns in their physical form (from our website or from your local quilt shop). Not all of my physical patterns have been converted to PDF. You will see us release all of them in the coming weeks along with new ones.

This is awesome on so many levels for you and me! Since I started MiniLou, we simply have not had the space to house the number of patterns I was carrying for CGInc. So NOW because we can release pdf patterns, you will see MORE kids clothing, kids projects, beginner projects, and for the first time ever QUILTS!


The timing is right for this launch because not only am I kicking off the PDF Patterns, I am excited to be releasing my newest fabric collection for Riley Blake Designs called Apricot and Persimmon. The colors in this line are so autumn-y and yummy. (I should have the full digi book for this collection out sometime next week).

So what are we doing for this launch? I’ll admit, most of the action will be happening on my instagram feed (@carinagardner). Here’s what’s happening:

  • The PDF shop will be 30% off  october 16-21. Visit the sale>>>
  • We are randomly giving away sewing pattern gift certificates on instagram and facebook all weekend!
  • We are teaming up with Michelle Jensen (my machine quilter) and MiniLou (my kids toy company) to do a DROP on instagram (hints and where it will be can be found on instagram @carinagardner and @miniloukids). This drop will include one of you WINNING a Persimmon Nine Patch Quilt. Yes! The actual quilt!
  • I have consolidated all of our FREE fabric projects into the shop so you can grab them and go!
  • I have two new videos that feature the Persimmon Nine Patch Quilt and the Patchwork Plus Quilt (See below!)! The best part is that I will be doing ALOT more videos featuring difficult parts of the patterns or helpful sewing hints.
  • For this launch I am releasing three brand new PDF Sewing Patterns that have never been released as a physical pattern—Persimmon Nine Patch Quilt, the Patchwork Plus Quilt, and the Apricot MiniQuilt.

Be sure to join us on instagram and facebook for the festivities! Check out the videos below!

Hope you enjoy! Feel free to check out the entire CGTV channel here:
Episode 14: Patchwork Plus Quilt

Episode 15: Persimmon Nine Patch Quilt

Hexagon Halloween Ornament

DS-C-8.6824W-CG-Spider Ornament

I love some dead branches in a vase as halloween decor. These little ornaments are the perfect accessory for those branches! They’d also be cute strung in front of a window or as a banner.

Every one of these ornaments are made a little differently. I’ve chosen to show you how to put together the hardest one. Most are simply layered with hexagons and shapes. Feel free to mix and match all of the ornaments in this collection!

Here are the links to my Silhouette shop and DigiPlayground shop.

Here’s how to put this together:

1. Cut out the svg files.  The main body of the ornament I cut out in a deep gray and the interior is a matte black with white spider webs and red spider.


2. Next take the hexagon sides and fold the flap that is connected to the long rectangle piece back onto itself and glue down. Repeat on the other side.


3. Fold all hex flaps away from each other so that they create a flat surface that you are going to glue your rectangle piece to. There are fold marks where each side of the hexagon’s flaps should be glued to your long rectangle. Repeat all the way around until you end with 2 open slits at the top


4.  Slip the ornament hangers from the hexagon through those two open slits and glue together.


5. Take your flat hexagon accent pieces and pop dot them on each side of your ornament.


6. Lay the spider web over the top of your ornament with the long webs aligning with the corners of your hexagon. Bend them over the edges to give you a good idea where to glue. Neatly tuck your folded spider web string to the inside of the corner to the hexagon and glue together. Repeat all the way around and the other side.


7. Once your finished pop dot your spider to the web and you’re done!

Hope you have fun making these!


Halloween Crate Tutorial for Silhouette and Digiplayground

DS-C-10.0843W-CG-Ghost Crate

It’s my favorite time of year! That’s probably why I get so excited for all of these Halloween projects. This post is for a tutorial on the Light Up Halloween Crates. You can purchase them from both the Silhouette and Digiplayground shops. (Links to the crates will become available as they go live).

These are incredibly simple to put together. I’m planning on putting in the windows at the house and as centerpieces on my coffee table. You can place an electric tea light in the center (I love the black ones!) for a but of ambiance!

Here are the links to my Silhouette Shop and DigiPlayground Shop.

Here’s how to put it together:

1. Cut out the svg files, cut two of each side piece, four total. Ink the edges of your crate to create some dimension.


2. Glue accent pieces to the inside of the crate side pieces.


2. Once you have glued on all the accent pieces onto the sides, take the bottom flat geometric piece and slip the pointed edge through the slot at the bottom, just below the ghost.


3. Next, grab the opposite side piece and slip the tabs through the slots provided in your first piece. Again, insert bottom pointed edge just below ghost and repeat this step all the way around.


Place a tea light in the center and you are done!



Pineapple Costume Tutorial

IMG_8980_webSome years I can convince my kids that going to the store and buying a costume is the way to go. Not this year. Both of my girls wanted homemade costumes. Siri wanted to be iPhone Siri (you can see her costume on my instagram feed @carinagardner) and Felicity asked to be a pineapple.

I know pineapples have been trending recently, but the truth is, in our family the word ‘pineapple’ has been trending for a couple of years. A while back, Siri decided that she loved the way the word ‘pineapple’ sounded and used it as her go-to, everyday word (“Can I get you a drink, Siri?” “Pineapple.” “Are you ready for bed, Siri? “Pinnneapppppllle.”…you get the idea). Does she actually like to EAT pineapples? Of course not! That would make too much sense :).

Ironically, it was Felicity who decided that being a pineapple was a must this year (although I can see Siri trying to steal this costume).

Here’s a little info on how to put this costume together. Your materials may be a little different than mine so feel free to make adjustments on how you make this sublime fruity treat.


  • Either one very long yellow T-shirt or two T-shirts (Mine is a size 10 and the materials fit this size. Make adjustments for smaller or bigger T-shirts.)
  • 1/2 yard of yellow felt
  • 1/4 yard of green felt
  • headband
  • hot glue
  • 1 1/2 yards of double-sided iron-on adhesive


1. If you are working with two T-shirts, cut one in half to add to the bottom of the first T-shirt. Match up the RAW edge of the second/cut T-shirt to the bottom of the first T-shirt. That way you do not have to hem the bottom of the outfit. I used a serger with right-sides together of the T-shirts to sew these two pieces together into a long dress.

IMG_8858_1_web IMG_8862_1 copy

2. Once your T-shirt is now a ‘dress’, cut out yellow felt pieces using the pattern provided below. Pin them all the way around the dress as shown here. This will help you determine how many pieces you will need. The pattern can be made smaller or larger to accommodate the size of your outfit.IMG_8877_web

3. Next, use the double-sided adhesive (using the instructions on the adhesive you buy) to adhere the adhesive to the felt pineapple pieces.


I used Heat and Bond and ironed on the adhesive on one side of the pineapple piece. Then, I pulled off the white protective layer on the felt piece and placed it on the dress. I ironed it directly onto the dress with the adhesive-side down (facing the dress).

IMG_8885_web IMG_8889_web

And you are done with the dress! Now for the headband!

4. The headband could be made so many different ways. Use my method or try putting it together anyway you want with the pattern pieces I’ve provided. You can also choose to do all of this with a hot glue gun if you want to avoid sewing!

I cut out 4 each of the three leaf patterns. I folded in half the medium and large leaves and sewed them about half way up. (You could simply hot glue them up instead.)

IMG_8892_web IMG_8894_web

5. I then sewed together two of the biggest pieces like the image below.


6. Then I laid a third piece in the middle of the two sewn together pieces. I sewed it to the front. I then sewed the fourth piece to the back center.

IMG_8898_web IMG_8902_web

This will create a little symmetrical bunch.

7. Your next trick is to add the medium sized leaves to this bunch. I sewed mine but in retrospect I should have hot glued it! It was really thick and difficult to get through the machine. Simply, place them evenly around the large leaves.


8. For the smallest leaves, I used hot glue and spaced evenly around the bunch.


9. I cut a circle and hot glued it to the center of the bunch. Then I glued up the edges and trimmed them. This is simply to keep the bunch together and add a bit of yellow to the bottom.


9. Finally, I cut a small round circle and sandwiched a headband between the pineapple top and the felt circle. Hot glue these altogether and you are done!


Here are the pattern pieces you will need to make this costume:


There’s a bit of work involved to make this costume but it was completely worth it! Felicity was giddy with the end result! Does your child want to be a pineapple? Download the pattern and get started! Halloween is around the corner!

Happy creating!