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 8 – Prairie Point hedgehog

Spending time in the outdoors, among the little wonders of nature is lovely any time of year, but a fine autumn day, when the fruits are ripening, the leaves turning colour and the possums making themselves a cosy spot to overwinter, is especially sweet.

Prairie points give the hedgehog a 3D-effect, which is lovely to touch. While an applique pear or two, and quilted oak leaves and acorns provide food and shelter.

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

To make the block you’ll need:

Materials:

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

Fat Eighth (10″x 22″) – Brown fine stripes (Caroline no. 18652 16 )

4” x 4” – Moda Bella Solids Taupe (MBS 9900 310 )

Small pieces of green fabrics (Caroline no. 18653-14, Caroline no. 18652-14, Caroline no.18654-15)

Green, dark grey, and taupe thread for applique, stems and hedgehogs face.

4” x 6“ wadding or padding (for the pears)

Optional: Stabiliser or lightweight interfacing

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

Notions: Clover water erasable pen (or similar), Small sharp scissors, Applique pins.

Spray starch, freezer paper, small fine brush (needed for the spray starch method of applique).

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 Hedgehog and Pear template [1 page PDF] or

Print the full tutorial below including template [8 page PDF]

• Fuse the stabiliser or lightweight interfacing to the wrong side of the 11” square of off-white fabric.

• Draw a 10” square in the centre of the 11” square, into which the design fits.

• Use this window to position and the hedgehog outline, approx 2” inch from the right hand side, and 1” from the bottom of the square.

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

Prepare the prairie points

From the Brown stripy Fat Eighth Cut – (25) – 2” squares; and (7) – 1 5/8” squares (4 cm)

• Fold in half along the diagonal, press. Fold in half again along the diagonal.

• Position the smaller prairie points along the top edge of the hedgehog. If using a stripy print place stripes in the same direction, so they point outwards from the centre of the hedgehog.

• Slot one prairie point inside the opening of the next. (see pic)

• Line up the trough between the prairie points so you can just see the outline of the hedgehog. Hold in place with pins and tack along the lower edge.

Now you’re ready to machine sew the prairie points in place.

• Using blanket stitch, sew along the lower edge of the prairie points.

TIP: Fitting a Walking foot to the machine, makes it easier to sew through multiple layers of fabric.

• Working from the rear end of the hedgehog, position the next three prairie points, slotting them one inside the other. Place, so they overlap the previous points, and curve slightly.

TIP: Use an ironing board to pin and hold the points, while positioning the row of prairie points.

• Baste, then machine sew along the raw edge using blanket stitch to secure.

• Next slot four prairie points together, as before overlapping the previous row, curving slightly. Machine sew to secure.

Repeat for the remaining prairie points, positioning 3, 4 or 5 points in a row. Slowly building up the body of the hedgehog. Blanket stitch each row in place as you go. You may need to add a little hand-stitch here and there to hold in place.

Making the Snout

Now the body of the hedgehog has taken shape, it’s time to make the head and snout. In this tutorial the starch method of applique, using Freezer Paper and starch is used. This gives a firm crisp edge and well-defined shape that is already to applique to the hedgehog block. (Or use your preferred method of applique).

• Trace the snout onto the shiny side of freezer paper, cut out.

• Place Freezer paper template shiny side down on wrong side of fabric. Press using a hot iron till the Freezer paper sticks to the fabric.

• Cut out, leaving ¼” margin right the way round, cutting the tips off the pointy bits, and clipping curves every 1cm (½”)

• 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.

• Remove the paper template.

• Position the snout so it covers the raw edge of the prairie points.

Pin and sew snout in place.

• Draw an eye, nose and a smile, using a water erasable pen.

• Satin stitch the eye and nose in dark grey or black thread.

• Use back-stitch to sew the hedgehogs smile.

NB. It is possible to make the applique shapes without freezer paper using ordinary paper, place several pins in place to hold the paper in place, and take care when ironing to avoid the pins.

Pear applique

Using the pear and leaf templates, prepare the applique pieces for applique using your preferred method. The tutorial below shows the starch method of applique.

• For the block shown you’ll need 1 large and 1 small pear; and 2 pear leaves.

• Use the pear templates to cut wadding for each pear. Slip the wadding inside the starched and folded edge of the pears, ready for applique to the block.

• Position and pin the pears and leaves, inside the 10” design window. Sew in place using small close together slip-stitches.

• Using a water-erasable pen, draw stalks from each of the pears Machine stitch the stems.

Well done! Your block is now complete!

If you choose you can continue and Quilt your block as you go, follow steps below.

Quilting options – If using the Quilt As You Go (QAYG) method.

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

• 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.

Secure the layers using safety pins. Transfer the oak leaf and acorns outlines onto your block, using your preferred method of marking, and quilt either by machine or hand.

Quilt around oak leaves and acorns.

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 8 – “Prairie point Hedgehog” is complete!

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, enjoy the little wonders of nature

From our little hive to yours,

Happy sewing x X

Dawn – Honeybee Cloths

2018-09-16T17:04:00Z 2018-09-18T12:26:00Z