Block 11 – Deer in the Snow, little moments of wonder

Even in the middle of winter, you can still find little moments of wonder. It might be the bright winter sunshine, shimmering snow, the shy doe in the woods, or perhaps the little snow globe which shimmers when shaken, that comes out this time each year.

Hope this season is full of lovely little wonders that bring joy, and peace, and contentment x x

Sampler Block Eleven measures 10 1/2” square before joining to other blocks. Includes fusible machine applique, and heirloom stitching make a flurry of snowflakes.

Please read through all the instructions, before starting on your block x

 

Materials:

11” square – Off-white or Low volume fabric (e.g. Moda Bella Solids 9900 200)

6” x 6” 15cm x 15cm) plain brown (e.g. Moda Bella Solids Taupe – 9900 310)

Fat Sixteenth Ivory buds (Caroline 18653 11)

Fat Sixteenth Snow flurry – Winterberry No. 13146 12 – Snow flurry (mint)

Small pieces of green material for trees (Caroline 18653 14 & Caroline 18654 15)

8” x 12” (20cm x 30cm) Paper backed fusible webbing (Bondaweb or similar)

Optional: 5 inches of 1” wide white glittery voile ribbon. Applique glue. Stabiliser.

Thread: Gutermann Sew-all thread in Dark grey (col. 701) and taupe (col. 854). Mettler Silk Finish cotton Green col. 1147 (for applique). Gutermann Sulky Metallic thread 7021 (Prism white) and Mettler metallic Silver (for the snowflakes)

Equipment: Sewing machine; Iron, ironing board and pressing cloth.

Notions: Clover water erasable pen (or similar), Small sharp scissors, small fine quilting needle, safety pins or basting spray.

If you plan to Quilt As You Go*, you’ll need an 11” square of wadding, and depending on which QAYG method you use, an 11” square of backing fabric. (*For more information on the QAYG method, please read through Quilt Construction notes)

 

So let’s begin:

Print out the Deer in the Snow templates [2 page PDF] or

Print out the full Deer in the Snow tutorial and templates [9 page PDF]

Shapes have already been reversed, ready for tracing onto fusible webbing.

Optional: If using the Quilt as You Go 2 Layer quilt sandwich method, you may want to layer the wadding at this point, and work the next steps using a 2 layer sandwich of top layer and wadding.

Trace the upper and lower halves of the background, deer and trees, with Bondaweb paper side up.

Cut out, leaving approx. ¼” margin around each of the traced shapes.

Pair up the bondaweb pieces with fabrics, as follows:

1. Upper background on the Snow Flurry fabric

2. Lower background on the Ivory print.

3. Deer on the Taupe Solid.

4. Trees on the green print.

• Place fusible side down on wrong side of fabric (with smooth paper side up). Press for a few seconds, using a medium heat, no steam.

• Using a pair of sharp scissors, cut out upper and lower circle, deer, and trees. Peel away the paper backing by making a fold near one edge, the paper backing should begin to separate.

Once the fusible pieces are cut….

• Place the upper circle first, fusible side down. Then the lower circle so it overlaps slightly. Forming a circle, centred in the middle of the block.

• Press for a few seconds, using a medium heat, no steam.

So let’s stitch….

• For the block shown in the photos, I used a walking foot, though a basic presser foot works equally well. Set stitch length to 2mm.

• Using metallic white thread stitch just inside the circle, then the snowy horizon.

• Sew a few contours on the snowy ground.

• Continue slowly building up the picture, adding the trees. Next place the deer just inside the circle, with back legs just outside (as if they are stepping into the winter scene).

• Once you are happy with the placement of deer and trees. Press for a second, to bond to the background, taking care not to press for too long as metallic polyester thread does melt.

To machine applique the deer

If you prefer you can also use an open toe foot (feed dogs down), or darning foot, to outline the deer or stick with the basic presser foot, whichever you feel most comfortable with.

• To outline the deer, use taupe or dark grey thread. Stitch just inside the edge of the deer shape (approx. 1/8”). Proceed slowly where you need to be precise – for the few stitches around the head I took my foot of the pedal, and used just the hand control.

• To pivot at tight curves, check your needle is in the down position before lifting the foot to pivot.

Machine sew tree trunks, on zig-zag stitch setting (width 3, length 0.2) using taupe thread.

The eye of the deer is hand sewn using satin stitch and black thread.

Your snowy scene is nearly complete! Just one more thing to add…

A flurry of snowflakes….

• Position the hexagon template, on the background, mark a dot at each of the 6 corners.

Using a water erasable pen and ruler, draw a snowflake pattern centered on the hexagon, (3 lines connecting opposite corners of the hexagon) and a “v” on each of the 6 arms.

• Repeat till you have 6 or 7 snowflakes marked, making sure they fit inside the blocks 10” design window.

Optional – To give an iridescent effect to the snowflakes

• Trace 3 or 4 hexagons onto glittery voile ribbon.

• Cut out the voile hexagons, and use a dab of applique glue in the centre and corners to secure the hexie to the block.

Using a water erasable pen and ruler, draw a snowflake pattern centred on the hexagon.

Stitching snowflakes

• Machine or hand-sew using metallic thread. Stitching the 3 lines in turn. If you have embroidery stitches on your machine, you may want to try one of the fancier hemstitch or heirloom stitches. Make sure to practice first on a scrap, to find the stitch and settings that works best.

• The stitch used to sew snowflakes on the block pictured is one of a number of hemstitches (also known as heirloom stitch) – I chose no 21 on my Janome machine (please see pic 1 below) set the width to 2.5 and Length 2. (Ethel – my hardworking little Janome machine is over 20 years old. Nowadays many machines have dozens of decorative stitches, so it’s worth trying out the different stitches available).

• Before beginning each new line check the machine needle is in it’s centered neutral position, ready to follow the straight line marked on the fabric. Stitch along the guidelines see pics 2-4. To complete the snowflake hand sew “v” onto each arm (pic 5.)

Preparing to quilt

Remove markings with a little water, and press using a pressing cloth, to avoid melting metallic threads.

If using the Quilt As You Go (QAYG) method:

• Layer your block, using an 11” square of cotton wadding, and an 11” square of backing fabric, if following the 3 layer sandwich method. (For more information on QAYG, please see Quilt Construction notes.)

• Secure layers using safety pins, or preferred method of basting.

• If using Quilt As You Go method 2, leave a small margin un-quilted inside the 10” design window, to make it easier to peel back the layers when joining blocks.

Quilt around the deer and beginning from the leg of the deer, quilt all the way round the circle.

Finally in preparation for joining Sampler block to Irish Chain blocks, trim a sliver of each side of the Sampler square, till it measures 10.5” square, to match the other blocks.

Congratulations Block 11 – “Deer in the snow” is now complete !

We’d love to see the Sampler blocks you make, so please do post them on Instagram using the hashtag – # SweetestThingsSampler.

Have a happy and peaceful season, and happy sewing

Dawn x X

Honeybee Cloths

Block 10 – Mistletoe and mittens

In winter, when trees have shed their leaves, there’s something kind of wonderful in the big bunches of mistletoe, hugging the tree branches. Mistletoe is fairly common in this corner of the U.K. It’s rich green leaves and bright little berries, welcome colour this time of year. So let’s put on our warm woolly mittens, and go find some mistletoe…

Mistletoe and mittens by Honeybee Cloths

 

Sampler Block Ten measures 10 1/2” square before joining to other blocks.

Hand-sew or machine applique mistletoe leaves and mittens, choose to fussy cut or stitch an embroidered snowflake or two. Plus little shirt buttons for mistletoe berries, ties the quilt sandwich layers together.

Snowflake close-up

 

To make Block 10 you’ll need:

11” square Off-white or Low volume fabric (Moda Bella Solids 9900 200)

5” square – blue fabric for the mitten (18652-12 Caroline)

Small pieces of green fabrics (Caroline no. 18653-14,

Caroline no. 18652-14, Caroline no. 18654-15)

10” (25cm) Gingham ribbon (East of India gingham warm grey)

12 small white shirt (12mm)

Green and Grey thread for applique

(Mettler Col.1147 and Gutermann Col.700)

Embroidery thread – DMC Mouline Etoile (glittery white)

White cotton thread wt. 30 for sewing on buttons and hand-tied quilt

(Gutermann Sulky cotton Col. 1001 white)

Equipment: Sewing machine; Iron and ironing board; rotary cutter, mat and ruler.

Notions: Clover water erasable pen, Small sharp scissors, Applique pins, Embroidery needle.

For freezer paper & starch applique method: spray starch, freezer paper, small fine brush.

Alternatively, for fusible applique method: Bondaweb

* The block pictured is made using the starch/ freezer paper method of applique, perfect for hand sewing on winter evenings. It would also be equally lovely using a fusible applique method, if you need a faster finish.  

If you plan to Quilt As You Go*, you’ll need an 11” square of wadding, and Quilting thread e.g. Gutermann Sulky Cotton (30 weight). Depending on which QAYG method you’ll also need an 11” square of backing fabric.

*For more information on the QAYG method, please see Quilt Construction notes

So let’s begin….

Print out the Mistletoe and mittens template [2 page PDF] or

Print the full tutorial below including template [10 page PDF]

Fold the 11” background off-white square in half, then quarters, creasing lightly to mark the centre.

 

Prepare the background

Use the template to draw guidelines on the background fabric to form the shape of the wreath.

• Cut out the larger outer half circle template. Match centre of half circle to the centre of the fabric square. Using a water erasable pen (or similar erasable marker), draw round the outer half circle. Flip over to draw the other half of the large circle.

template 2

• Cut out the smaller circle, and matching centres, draw round.

The circles form a donut shape, into which the mittens and mistletoe design fits.

 

Prepare the mistletoe and mittens

Trace the mittens and 4 leaves onto the freezer paper (the leaf templates can be re-used to make all the leaves).

Cut out the freezer paper and place glossy side down on wrong side of fabric.

Press for a second or two, using a hot iron till the Freezer paper sticks to the fabric.

• Cut out, leaving 1/8” to ¼” margin right the way round the template, rounding the tips of the pointy bits (see pic. a below)

• Using a small brush apply a little starch to the ¼” margin around the template. Turn the edges over the freezer paper template and press using an iron (pic. b)

• Remove the paper template (c), and re-use to make the next leaf.

You’ll need approximately 21 leaves in total, including 5 or 6 of each leaf type.

2. Freezer paper starch applique

Using the same technique, prepare the mittens. You may choose to fussy cut the mittens, or leave them plain, and embroider a snowflake or two later on.

Positioning mistletoe and mittens

• Place the mittens inside the inner circle, overlapping them slightly. Pin in place using small applique pins.

• Position the mistletoe leaves, placing them between the inner and outer circle guidelines. (Try a few different placements, until you find the one which is right for you – the photo below, was an option, before I ran with the placement shown on page 1).

• Space the leaves evenly, placing some in pairs, drooping downwards.

• Leave a space at the top for the ribbon

4ii Placing leaves and mittens

Pin in place using small applique pins, (or a dab of applique glue).

Once everything is pinned, you’re ready to sew in place.

• Green thread is used to sew the mistletoe leaves, using small slip stitches

5. applique

• Using grey thread around the edge of the mittens, blanket stitch (Machine setting Width 2 Length 2.5)

6. Blanket stitch mittens

Snowflake on mitten (optional)

Trace the snowflake onto freezer paper, marking each of the dots.

Make pin pricks in the dots, large enough for an erasable pen.

Position the freezer paper template in the centre of the mitten, press to hold in place.

Use an erasable pen, to mark the dots on the mittens.

7. prepping snowflake

Embroidering snowflakes

The snowflakes on the block were stitched using a really lovely glittery silvery white embroidery thread, it’s very pretty in real life, though doesn’t photograph well. Alternatively, use a more contrasting thread if you’d like you the snowflake to be more prominent.

Using 2 strands of embroidery thread, stitch the snowflake, using the following stitches:

Snowflake Stitches - Honeybee Cloths

 

7ii. Mitten close-up

Tie the gingham ribbon, into a bow. Sew in place at the top of the wreath.

Bow

 

A scattering of mistletoe berries….

Place the buttons evenly around the mistletoe wreath, towards the centre of the mistletoe sprigs, and not too near the outer edge of the wreath.

If using the Quilt As You Go* (QAYG) method, you may want to layer your quilt sandwich now, before sewing on the little white button mistletoe berries, which as well as being part of the wreath, also tie the quilt layers together.

9. Sewing on berries

Preparing to Quilt As You Go

Layer your block, using an 11” square of cotton wadding. If doing the 3 layer sandwich method, you’ll also need an 11” square of backing fabric, and remember to leave a small margin un-quilted inside the 10” design window, to make it easier to peel back the layers when joining blocks together.

First, quilt around the outer edge of the mitten, either by hand using small running stiches, or machine.

To hand-tie the remainder of the block, you’ll need an embroidery needle, and white cotton thread.

• Working from the back of the block, sew through all layers, leaving a tail about 2” long at the back.

• Pull thread through the buttonholes, returning to the back of the quilt sandwich. Repeat to secure the button on the front.

• Tie using a double knot at the back of the block.

• Repeat, until all the mistletoe berry buttons are sewn in place.

Mistletoe and mittens by Honeybee Cloths

Congratulations! Block 10 – “Mistletoe and mittens” is complete!

In preparation for joining Sampler block to Irish Chain blocks, trim a sliver of each side of the Sampler square, till it measures 10.5” square, to match the other blocks.

We’d love to see the beautiful Sampler blocks you make, so please do post them on Instagram using the hashtag – #SweetestThingsSampler.

Till next time, from our little hive to yours,

Stay cosy and happy sewing x X

Dawn – Honeybee Cloths

 

Block 9 – Birthday treats by Michelle of CreativeBlonde

A heartfelt welcome to our Sweetest Things Sampler Block of the Month, both myself (Dawn) and Michelle from CreativeBlonde are truly delighted to have you along. We’ve been taking turns designing the blocks, and this months’ beautiful block and tutorial is by Michelle, inspired by a special birthday tea, to which you’re invited too, we are in for a real treat 🙂

Block 9 – Birthday Treats by Michelle, is the prettiest block, a birthday cake filled with the loveliest little details – truly comfort sewing. So make yourself a cuppa, and enjoy a slice of Michelle’s beautiful birthday cake. (Also,” a very happy birthday to Michelle, from all of us busy little sewing bees xx!”)

Enjoy x X

Block 9 – Birthday treat by Michelle of CreativeBlonde

Tutorial and templates by Michelle Roberts from CreativeBlonde

Designed for the Sweetest Things Sampler

10 ½” Finished appliqued block, before joining to other blocks

Downloadable PDF including templates [9 pages] – or Template only [2 pages]

Please read through all the instructions, before starting on your block x

Materials (available from Honeybee Cloths – http://www.honeybeecloths.co.uk)

11” square Off-white or Low volume fabric (Moda Bella Solids 9900 200)

11” square for the backing (if doing QAYG)

Scraps of Caroline pink, green, floral, and brown

11” square of wadding (if doing QAYG)

10” square of Vlieseline Bondaweb

Gutermann threads colours: 1001,336,650 and 624

Cutting – from the templates

1 Brown cupcake wrapper – Caroline 18652-16

3 pink hearts – Caroline 18654-14

1 small florals on cream for icing Caroline 18653-11

1 large floral – fussy cut for cup Caroline 18650-11

1 green for plate and saucer Caroline 18655 73

Haberdashery items

Template sheets – download here

16” pretty ribbon

Erasable marker pen

Iron

Basic sewing supplies

505 basting spray or pins

Quilting ruler, rotary cutter/scissors, cutting mat

Assembly

Apart from the bunting triangle, trace all the templates, from both sheets onto Bondaweb (templates have been reversed already for you) using a pencil. Cut them out roughly, and fuse to the chosen fabrics, and cut out accurately.

Take your 11” Ivory fabric, and begin by fusing all the applique pieces in place. When you add the icing to the cupcake wrapper, overlap it slightly when fusing to the main block.

Using the erasable marker pen, draw on the cupcake wrapper details.

Use the brown thread to sew over the cupcake wrapper markings.

Add detail to the icing using the same method, use a metallic pink thread to sew over the icing marks and pink hearts.

Using a cream thread, sew around the outline of the icing (1/8” from raw edge), continue with cream thread to sew around the cup.

Cut a 5” piece from the ribbon, and pin in place in the cupcake wrapper, sew 1/8” all the way around, you could add a little bit of anti-fray glue to the ends of the ribbon at this point.

Create a small bow, and sew a few stitches in the centre to hold in place. Add to the centre of the piece of ribbon on the cupcake wrapper, and sew a few stitches in the centre to hold, this can be done by hand if you find it easier.

Sew a few small stitches on each of the four pieces of the bow to hold in place on your block.

Your block is now complete.

If you want to go ahead with the QAYG method….

Layer your block, using an 11” square of cotton wadding, and an 11” square of backing fabric, if following the 3 layer sandwich method 2.

• For the 3 layer sandwich, also leave a small margin un-quilted inside the 10” design window, to make it easier to peel back the layers when joining blocks.

* (For information on QAYG methods, please see Quilt Construction notes.)

Cut out the triangle and draw around it, using your fabric marker to give the appearance of bunting, in the top right-hand corner, and underneath the cup and saucer – see photo below for placement. With the metallic pink thread, quilt the bunting. Remove all markings.

In preparation for joining Sampler block to Irish Chain blocks, trim a sliver of each side of the Sampler square, till it measures 10.5” square, to match the other blocks.

Congratulations you’ve finished Block 9 – Birthday Treat

Please share your gorgeous blocks on Instagram using the hashtag #sweetestthingssampler, both myself (Michelle) and Dawn (Honeybee Cloths) are so excited to see your blocks.

You can find me on Instagram @creativeblonde66 and on Facebook @creativeblonde66 .

Come on over and visit my blog for more sewing tutorials at www.creativeblonde.co.uk

Thanks for joining in with exciting quilt-a-long.

Happy sewing

x creativeblonde x

 

You light up my life

Just to say a huge and heartfelt thank you for the lovely comments, feedback and photos of your beautiful sewing projects, which can be seen in Customer projects.

They have helped us through this past 6 months more than you’ll ever know, providing a welcome distraction for me and my Mum from everything else happening around us, as Mum underwent chemotherapy for Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma

– thank you x X

It’s the little everyday kindnesses, like a smile, a kind word – that have helped keep us on an even keel through some difficult times. So thankful too for the incredible care my Mum’s recieved from the NHS doctors and nurses – they really are angels. We really are counting our blessings right now.

2015 is coming to a close and we’re looking forward together, to a fresh new year. We’re also hoping to very soon share some new sewing patterns, and competitions – so lots of happy times in store 🙂

Sending warmest wishes from our little hive, to yours, for a 2016 which is full of happiness, smiles and sunshine for you and yours.

Hugs, Dawn x X

 

A little piece of linen needle and thread….

Hand sewing is perhaps the type of sewing I like most, whether it’s paper piecing, quilting, hemming and, yes I don’t even mind darning socks too! It really helps me relax and put my thoughts in order. I guess you could really say it’s a kind of mindfulness therapy of sorts.

It can be done practically anywhere, and is perfect for spending long winter evenings cuddled up to some sewing, which is how this mini-project begun in early January – simply a small piece of linen, needle, thread and hoop – and often a cat too!

Pip loves nothing more than to cuddle up on a comfy lap, so hand-sewing is perfect, it doesn’t disturb her routine. Having spent 15 months in a rescue centre, before being spotted on a rehoming website, if there were any saying meant for Pip, perhaps it’s this one….

Life takes you to unexpected places, love brings you home

Pip’s a really good supervisor, and spends her days, busily checking the beds have been made properly; the clean laundry, still warm from the dryer is pressed; and if I leave my sewing lying around, she’s exceptionally good at un-picking too 🙂

Pip in our sewing corner under the stairs

The first step for our little handsewn project is to print out the quote and trace onto linen – dowload quote here.

I traced the quote onto the linen using a water erasable pen, able to see the quote through the linen simply by laying it on top of the quote. Alternatively tape the quote to a window in good daylight, tape linen on top, and it’s a lot easier to see quote through the linen – you have your very own improvised lightbox!

I chose not to use embroidery floss for the lettering, prefering instead to use plain simple dark grey Gutermann sew all thread. I doubled the thread and used a backstitch to sew the lettering.

Once your lettering is sewn, dampen the linen, to remove the water erasable pen. As some pen marks won’t erase once they’ve been pressed. Only once the marks have been removed press.

To complete the project a rough circle and some leaves is traced onto bondaweb – (the little leaves are really meant to be pussy willow – oops!)

Once the bondaweb is fused to the wrong side of fabric, the hoop and leaves, are cut out and positioned onto linen. Pressed, so each piece fuses to the linen.

If you’d like the template for the hoop and pussy willow, email me and I’ll forward it on.

In choosing materials for the pussy willow and hoop I went for those which had a subtle texture to them similar to a willow hoop, or pussy willow.

Lotta Jansdotter’s “Mormor” reminded me of the almost luminescent colour of fully opened buds, and Basic Grey “Fresh Cut” the grey unopened buds. For the hoop, Janet Clare’s A Field Guide no.1366-15 provided a subtle texture, for the woody hoop. It’s a really lovely versatile print, which would be equally perfect for the little wren I have in mind for a future block 🙂

Once the pieces have been fused in place either hand or machine sew around hoop and leaves.

It was one of those projects you could easily pick up and do for a few minutes, here and there and by the end of January, it was complete. I’m still deciding whether to make into a pillow, or use it in the larger nature themed quilt I’ve been planning for a while, which includes the little wren mentioned earlier – but that’s for another time 🙂

Till next time, stay snug and happy sewing x X
2016-02-06T23:01:00Z 2016-02-09T10:49:00Z

Flying pinwheels

Hope you’re having a lovely summertime – It’s been quite a breezy one here, just the weather for spinning pinwheels! Our fourth block before piecing and quilting is one of my favourites, it reminds me of happy seaside holidays – pinwheels spinning in the sea breeze, bright and colourful in the sunshine.

In total 4 pinwheels are needed for our Skinny Dippin’ Quilt, each one is made up from 4 very easy to make “ flying geese” units and 4 plain rectangles.

Taking a little extra care early on to cut out pieces to precise measurements, and checking a ¼” seam allowance is used when joining pieces together, makes it easier to match the centre points of the pinwheel, when it comes to joining the units together.

In the completed quilt the pinwheels can be used in the side borders, or even an extra row if you’d like to make a longer Skinny Dippin’ Quilt.

Full instructions for making Flying Pinwheels here.

Happy sewing x

ps. the little pinwheel pictured sunning itself in the title pic, is made from Fast2Fuse, using a super-duper tutorial by Destri which can be found here 🙂
2015-08-01T12:43:00Z 2015-08-01T12:46:00Z

Let’s go skinny dippin’

Summer is nearly here – so it seems like a good time for some “skinny dipping sewing”! Each row or strip in the 4 month Quilt-along measures 36″ or 90cm wide. So by the end of the Quilt-along, the strips can be sewn together to make a strippy quilt. There’ll be opportunity to do applique and folded patchwork too.

The first block in the Skinny Dipping Quilt-along is so easy – the beach hut unit is very quick to make. You’ll find full instructions here. But here is the shortened version….

Sew the beach hut units together and before you know it you’ll have a neat row of sweet little beach huts!

Lewis & Irene’s Waves print runs across the width of the fabric, from selvedge to selvedge. Cutting it as a Skinny Quarter (25cm x 110cm) makes it perfect for the waves behind the beach huts. It comes in three colourways too, so as well as the white waves version above, we made a Sea blue strip and an aqua version too…

Once your strip of neat little beach huts is complete, applique some bunting, using bondaweb and running stitch to outline the string of bunting. Perhaps machine sew the outline of a plank door and add a little button for the door handle. Or personalise your beach huts – the world’s your oyster!

We’d love to see your beach huts, so please feel free to share them on Honeybee Cloths Facebook page. Also remember to “like and share” on Facebook or if your not on Facebook leave us a comment below, and you’ll be entered into our draw to win a Coastal Skinny Quarter bundle.

The next block will be here on 1st June, so till then happy sewing x
2015-05-01T11:45:00Z 2015-05-01T11:45:00Z