Little moments of calm – sewing project for Dover mini-charm pack

Its lovely to see new collections breeze into the shop, and Dover by Brenda Riddle for Moda, felt like a breath of fresh air, it’s calming, comforting colours, and sprinkling of sweet flowers.

It really got me thinking of relaxing sewing projects, those which you can just kick back your heels, ones where most of the preparation is already done, meaning you can spend time making the most of the lovely colours and patterns.

One which can be made together with someone who might not have sewn before.

And which doesn’t require lots of materials, just a mini-charm pack, a selection of precut 2 1/2″ squares and a Fat Quarter of lightweight interfacing.

This lovely little panel really is a team effort, Dad (who loves a good jigsaw) positioned the patches on the fusible interfacing, making the most of the lovely colours and patterns….

Patches positioned ready to fuse to interfacing, and sew

Once the patches have been fused to the interfacing I sew them together. It’s a lovely project to make together, Dad really enjoyed making the first patchwork block. So much so, he was soon ready to position the next lot of patches to make a 2nd panel, and a 3rd…..

These ones mix Dover and Flour Garden mini-charm packs, the colours are so pretty together.

I can see there’s more still to follow, I think Ethel, my little sewing machine is going to be very busy 🙂

For this mini-charm project you’ll need:

Notions: Tissue paper (to protect iron when pressing); Iron; Sewing machine; Cutting mat, ruler and rotary cutter

To make the patchwork panel, using fusible Interface technique….

  1. Print out the Positioning grid sheets
  2. Trim and tape together, matching the guidelines to form a grid of 6 x 7 squares.

3. Place the Paper Grid on top of the ironing mat or folded cotton wadding.

Next, place the iron on interfacing on top of the paper grid , so the rough side is up. (This is really important, so the cotton squares fuse to the rough fusible side).

4. Use tape to secure the corners of the interfacing to the paper grid to prevent the interfacing moving.

5. Place each mini charm square, right side up on the interfacing, so it fits neatly inside a square on the grid.

Once you’ve placed your squares in the order you like, check the edges of the squares touch the black border all around. This helps when it comes to sewing the seams...

Carefully lay tissue paper on top, so not to disturb squares. (This is really important as it protects the hot iron, preventing any exposed interfacing fusing to the iron plate.)

6. Using a hot iron (no steam), press holding the iron for a few seconds, just long enough to fuse the squares to interfacing.

Mini-charm squares fused to interfacing ready to sew

Now you’re panel is ready to sew.

7. Fold 1st vertical row over, so right sides of fabrics are together. Sew using 1/4″ seam allowance.

Continue across the panel, sewing each vertical seam in turn.

Seams and Interfacing on the back of patchwork grid

8. Trim a tiny amount of interfacing off each seam, to open the seam out and press seams flat.

9. Next, fold 1st horizontal row over, so right sides of fabric are together. Again, sew using 1/4″ seam allowance. Continue down the panel sewing each horizontal seam in turn.

10 Trim a tiny amount of interfacing off each seam, open the seam out and press seams flat.

Now your panel is complete 🙂

Made from 1 Dover Mini-charm pack

The panel could be used either as the front of a pillow, hot water bottle cover, or outer for a pouch or tote. Having the interface backing makes it a little more hard-wearing too. Perhaps it may even be the first block in the next quilt 🙂

Dover is designed by a favourite of Honeybee Cloths – Brenda Riddle for Moda Fabrics – United Notions, Brenda’s collection is inspired by the White Cliffs of Dover, which have long been a symbol of homecoming, hope and freedom. Precuts and yardage available in Honeybee Cloths

We hope you have a lovely relaxing weekend, and lovely little moments of calm.

Dawn xx

Quilt and Shine: This little light…

Oh how the past couple of months have flown by! It seems no time since Octobers’ bonus block, and now the new year, already one month old! 

Lots has been happening in our little hive, new sewing supplies coming into store, and end of year paperwork. In the midst of this it’s been really lovely seeing the beautiful things being made from our sewing supplies. Including the Quilt and Shine quilt-along over on Instagram #QuiltandShine, and on Michelle’s CreativeBlonde blog.

It’s really lovely to be sharing the next bonus block in Quilt and Shine, I hope you like it…

This_little candle - Dawn Honeybee Cloths

These little candles, give out comfort and warmth, and remind us to look out, and care for each others little lights too. 

This little light block by Dawn Honeybee Cloths

It’s inspired by a song from way back when -“This Little Guiding Light” – if you’re not familiar with this one, there’s a couple of really lovely renditions online, this one sung by the Irish Girl Guides  

Like many, I learnt this song as a Girl Guide, and over the years it’s continued to mean a lot to me, perhaps because it inspires confidence, it’s about being positive, and keeping that little light glowing bright throughout, and there’s a real joyfulness and determination about the melody too – you can’t help but sing along.

 

Download free tutorial and templates
QUILT + SHINE _Little light

Using Freezer Paper Piecing these colourful little candles came together quickly and precisely.

“This little light” works equally well, if you’re making the 8 triangle / block quilt on
Michelle’s blog – CreativeBlonde, or the “Low cal” 4 triangle / block version.

This little light version 2

To complete the candles, straight stitches, using grey thread forms the wicks. Then beginning at the top of the wick, satin stitch in yellow, orange or gold a little flame.  

If you have embroidery stitches on your machine, you may want to try one of the satin stitch motifs. Make sure to practice first on a scrap, to find the stitch and tension settings that work best.

Candles Honeybee Cloths

My trusty 25 year old sewing machine (Ethel) has a few stitches, including a pretty diamond shape motif (pictured above).

Nowadays many machines have dozens of decorative stitches, so it’s worth trying out the different stitches, to see the effects that can be achieved. 

If you like, hand stitch a word or two that inspire you,  perhaps “Shine” , “Twinkle”, “Glow”, or a motto close to your heart.

DSC_6830

I chose the word “Shine”, from the chorus of “This little guiding light….” 🙂 So now it’s over to you, it’s your time to shine – enjoy making this block.

Both myself and Michelle are so looking forward to seeing your quilts grow. Please share your blocks using hashtag #QuiltandShine. Make sure to hop over to Michelle’s blog – CreativeBlonde for Michelle’s beautiful blocks too – Enjoy!

Happy sewing, from our little hive to yours,

Dawn xx

Honeybee Cloths
http://www.honeybeecloths.co.uk

Candles - Honeybee Cloths

Quilt and Shine: Dewdrops

“Raindrops are our diamonds, and the morning dew…”

Still love the words of this primary school hymn, and often think of it, especially on lovely autumn mornings, when the dew covers seed-heads and cobwebs, in little diamond-like dewdrops ✨

Close up of dewdrops applique by Dawn Honeybee Cloths

Octobers’ bonus block for Quilt and Shine, makes use of little pieces of low volume scraps to provide a dappled backdrop onto which seed-heads can be appliqued by hand or machine.

To complete, a scattering of dewdrops cling to the seed-heads, and hand-sewn seeds float in the autumn air.

“Dewdrops” works equally well, if you’re making the 8 triangle / block quilt on Michelle’s blog – CreativeBlonde, or the “Low cal” 4 triangle / block version (Below Right).

Dewdrops 2 Honeybee Cloths   Dewdrops by Dawn Honeybee Cloths.png

Download free tutorial and template for “Dewdrops” (PDF format)

Needleturn appliqueThe little dandelion clock seed-heads were fussy cut from (Day in Paris Blooms – 1680 15M) leaving 1/4” round the edge to tuck under, then hand sewn to the backdrop. ( If you need a faster finish, trace the templates on page 7 onto Bondaweb and use fusible machine applique.)

While the strips for the stems were cut from one 5″ square, sliced from corner to corner (on the bias). Folded lengthwise, pressed, then machine sewn in position.stem-2-sewing.jpg
To complete fold over to conceal raw edge and stitch.

dewdrops_honeybee-cloths.jpgBoth myself and Michelle are so looking forward to seeing your quilts grow. Please share your blocks using hashtag #QuiltandShine. Make sure to hop over to Michelle’s blog – CreativeBlonde for Michelle’s beautiful blocks too – Enjoy!

From our little hive to yours,

Dawn x X

Honeybee Cloths
http://www.honeybeecloths.co.uk

 

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