Just one week to go!

Dawn's Sweetest Things Sampler quilt - joining rows 3 and 4

Our little hive has been buzzing, blocks are being joined and seams being sewn, as we complete our quilts for a very special date in our diaries…

The BIG reveal of Sweetest Things Samplers on Friday 8th March! 

Both myself, Dawn (Honeybee Cloths) and Michelle from CreativeBlonde blog are super excited to see the beautiful quilt’s you’ve been making.

To join in simply post a photo of your quilt on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter, using the hashtag #SweetestThingsSampler. You’ll then be entered in the Sweetest Things Sampler Big Reveal Giveaway prize draw.

March 2019 Giveaway

One lucky winner will receive a super-sweet bundle of sewing pretties. Including two beautiful Brenda Riddle Charm packs, Fat Eighth bundle and gorgeous Gutermann Threads.

The draw will take place on the 9th March, so let’s hop to it, and sew those samplers….

If you’re making the Quilt As You Go version of the Sampler, there are tips for completing your quilt in this blog post.

We’ll be posting a few sneek peeks of our quilts over the coming few days, so make sure to follow both myself dawn_HoneybeeCloths and Michelle @creativeblonde66

Till the next time, from our little hive to yours.

Happy sewing x X

Dawn

Honeybee Cloths

One year on, 12 Sampler blocks and almost there…

It’s growing – in quiet moments I’ve been piecing Irish Chain and Sampler blocks for the Sweetest Things Sampler, which we begun a year ago.

dawn's sweetest things sampler quilt - joining the blocks

I’m especially loving the little beehive peeking out there, and Michelle’s strawberry basket – reminding me of warm, sunny days 🙂

Both myself and Michelle at CreativeBlonde have designed 6 Sampler blocks each, for the Sweetest Things Sampler. You can find our free templates and tutorials for each block on the Sweetest Things Sampler page of Honeybee Cloths. Including the twelfth block – “Sew happy” by Michelle, which is especially sweet.

I’ve thoroughly enjoyed each of the blocks and Michelle’s block, with it’s lovely little sewing machine, and cotton reels (that seem to me, to be doing a joyful jig) really is the essence of “sewing a little happiness.” 🙂

Block 12 made by Dawn, designed by Michelle Roberts

Now all 12 Sampler blocks and 13 Irish Chain blocks are complete, it’s time to join them together.

In preparation, lay the Sampler blocks out in order you’d like them, interspersing them with Irish Chain blocks.

COMPLETE Sweetest things Sampler Title sheet cropped

 

Next, working from the top row down, we’re going to sew the 10.5″ blocks in each of the rows together, using a 1/4″ seam allowance.

If you’re using the Quilt As You Go technique using a 3 Layer Quilt sandwich, (Method 2 in the Quilt Construction notes PDF). Then blocks are joined in 3 steps….

Step. 1 Peel back the top layer of each quilt sandwich along the edges to be joined. Pin top layers right sides together and sew.

1. Joining top layer of quilt sandwich

(I used a couple of safety pins, to keep the wadding / backing away from the edge being joined.)

Now, the top layers of both blocks are joined, press the seam.

2. Pressing seam QAYG

Step 2. Next, smooth the wadding over the seam. You’ll find the wadding overlaps, so trim one edge of wadding so that when smoothed flat the edges of the wadding touch. Overstitch the edges to hold in place.

7. Joining quilted panels

Step 3. Finally, smooth over the backing pieces, folding under the backing edge of one block so that it overlaps the backing of the neighbouring block. Pin, then hand-stitch the backing in place.

3. QAYG Sewing quilt sandwich

Join the 2nd row, and subsequent rows in turn, till you have 5 rows, each measuring approx. 10.5″ x 50.5″

2 rows

Using the same technique (Steps 1 to 3) sew the rows together, to form a quilt top, measuring approx. 50.5″ x 50.5″

dsc_5034-e1550701417112.jpg

If you choose, you can add borders to make a 60″ x 60″ quilt, cut:

  • Border fabric
    (4) 5.5 ” x 62” strips
    (4) 5.5 x 52″ strips
  • Cotton wadding
    (2) 6″ x 62″ strips
    (2) 6″ x 52″

To sew the borders on the quilt, I used the following shortcut, for each of the 4 border sections, attaching the shorter border sections to either side of the quilt first:

  1. Pin both front and back borders along the edge of the quilt sandwich, both front and back, making sure border pieces and quilt sandwich are right sides together.
  2. Next machine through all layers (borders and quilt sandwich in one go.)
  3. Sew the wadding onto the seam allowance, then fold top and lower border over the  wadding.

We are almost there. Just the binding left to do, which is for next time 🙂

Till then, from our little hive to yours

Happy sewing,

Dawn  x X

 

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