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 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

 

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

Block 6 – From our little hive to yours x

It’s lovely to hear the little bees humming, busily working together, nurturing the hive – it reminds me of the hum of the sewing machine, and how just like the busy little bees, so much can be achieved when we work together x X

From our little hive to yours x

This months block “From our little hive to yours” is mostly an EPP (English Paper Pieced) project which can be sewn in the sunshine, on the beach, or nestled up in a cosy spot.

Block 6 measures 10 1/2” square before joining to other blocks.

So lets get busy, to make the block you’ll need….

Materials:

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

Fat Eighth – Ivory/Cream floral (Caroline no. 18650 11)

Fat Eighth – Aqua (e.g. Caroline no. 18652 12)

Fat Eighth – Green floral (e.g. Caroline no. 18653 14)

1″ square – white or glittery fabric (for bees wings)

Gutermann Sulky Cotton (30 weight) col. 4001 – Parchment for hand-quilting

Embroidery floss in yellow and brown or black

Gutermann Sew-all thread in dark grey (col. 701) and taupe (col. 854)

Optional: Stabiliser or lightweight interfacing , silver thread for wings

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

Notions: Clover water erasable pen (or similar), Small sharp scissors, thimble,

small fine quilting needle, embroidery needle.

Optional: safety pins or basting spray.

If you plan to Quilt As You Go*, you’ll need an 11” square of wadding, and if you’re following the 3 layer QAYG method you’ll need 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 hive template or

]

Cut out the template pieces, using a ruler, rotary cutter and mat.

Prepare the pieces

• Pin the paper hive pieces (1-5) number side up, onto the wrong side of the ivory fabric

• Cut out, leaving ¼” margin around each of the paper pieces.

• Turn over the ¼” allowance and tack.

• Pin the side pieces L1-3 and R1-3, to the blue fabric. Cut out, leaving ¼” margin around each piece.

• Turn over ¼” allowance on three sides of these pieces, leaving a raw outer edge.

• Pin pieces L4–5 and R4-5 to the green fabric. Cut out, leaving ¼” margin around each piece.

• Turn over ¼” allowance on three sides of these pieces, again leaving a raw outer edge.

Now you’re already to sew the pieces together.

Working on one row at a time, place side piece (L1) on top of hive piece (1), right sides together.

Using an over stitch, take a “tiny bite” out of the folded edge, and keeping stitches close together, sew along the straight edge.

Line up side piece (L2) on the other side of the hive piece (1), and sew in place.

Repeat for the remaining rows, till you have 5 rows of paper piecing, plus top and bottom.

For the top and bottom pieces fold over and tack just the edge next to the hive.

Place the rows in order, Sew row 1 to row 2, and so on until all the rows are sewn together.

Press and remove the papers.

To make the borders

From the Off-white or Low volume fabric cut:

• 2 – 6 5/8” x 2 ¼”strips (cm)

• 2 – 11” x 2 ¾” strips (cm)

Machine sew the 6 5/8” strips to the sides, then sew the 11”strips to the top and bottom. Press seams.

So now our hive is made, there’s just one more thing this hive needs, to make it a home ….

Embroidery – Using a water erasable pen and a lightbox (or tape to a brightly lit window) trace the little bees, so two of them hover close to the hive, and 2 on the border. Trace the word “Honey” onto the hive, or you could add a name.

• The stripy little bodies of the bees were embroidered using just 2 strands of Anchor Moulin in yellow and brown. Sew short lines of chain stitch across the bees body or use satin, or stem stitch.

• To make the little wings, fusible webbing or applique glue holds tiny fabric wings in place, before sewing a line of backstitch using silver thread to hold them firmly in place.

• Alternatively back stitch the wing outline using a dark grey or taupe thread.

• Two French knots form the antennae. While a curvy flight path is marked out in running stitch, using dark grey thread.

• Finally, the word Honey is sewn using tiny backstitches in taupe coloured thread.

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

• 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 more information on both QAYG methods, please see Quilt Construction notes.

Secure the layers using safety pins, or your preferred method of basting.Now you’re ready to quilt, thread a small fine quilting needle with Gutermann Sulky cotton 30wt. This is a thicker thread than used for piecing.

Quilt 1/8” inside the hive, closely following the outline of the hive

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 6 – From our little hive to yours 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, from our little hive to yours,

Happy sewing x X

Dawn – Honeybee Cloths


2018-07-19T19:36:00Z 2018-07-19T19:38:00Z

Block 4 – Nest

Hope you’re having a lovely springtime (or splendid autumn to friends on the other side of the world.) It is so lovely to have you along, and share this months block with you.

Inspired by our little feathered friends’ who put so much care and effort into nest building, weaving twigs, moss, and feathers together – it reminds me of the loving care which goes into making our quilts.

Sampler Block Four – “Nest” can be made using a quick and easy fusible machine applique technique (shown in the tutorial)

Or if you prefer to sit in the sunshine and handsew, the block can be made using the needle-turn applique technique. Templates for both methods provided.

So let’s begin making our nests….

Block 4 measures 10 1/2” square before joining to other blocks.

Materials:

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

8” x 6” (20cm x 15cm) plain brown Moda Bella Solids Taupe – 9900 310

2 or 3 Fat Sixteenths in blue and brown Caroline prints

5” x 5” pieces in pinks, peaches, green, blue for the buds, blossom, eggs

Gutermann Sulky Cotton (30 weight) col. 4001 – Parchment for hand-quilting

For fusible applique

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

Thread: Gutermann Sew-all thread in Dark grey (col. 701) and Taupe (col. 854).

For needle-turn applique

Gutermann Cotton (50 weight) col. 919

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

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

Optional: Stabiliser – If using a lightweight fabric for the background, for instance Pima cotton, use a stabiliser on the wrong side of the background fabric, to prevent puckering when machine appliqued.

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:

Depending on the applique method you’re using print out one of the following templates:

Fusible machine applique templates [2 page PDF]
Shapes have already been reversed, ready for tracing onto fusible webbing.

Needle-turn applique template [2 page PDF]
You can find tips on the needle-turn technique over on Block 2 tutorial – a spring basket for you x

If you prefer print the full tutorial below including Fusible applique template [9 page PDF], or read on….

Prepare the background

Using the Fusible applique template (the shapes have already been reversed – ready for tracing onto fusible webbing.)

Cut out the circle template, fold in half then quarters. Next, fold the 11” background off-white square in half, then quarters, creasing lightly to mark the centre. Match the centres of paper circle and fabric square.

Draw round the circle template, using a water erasable pen or similar – to make a guideline for placing the nest design and feather.

Prepare the fusible applique….

• Place the paper backed Bondaweb on the PDF template, paper side up. Trace twigs, buds, blossom and eggs.

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

• Place each twig, fusible side down (with smooth paper side up) on wrong side of the taupe fabric.

• To bond the fusible webbing to the fabric, place a pressing cloth on top, and press for a few seconds, using a medium heat, no steam.

• Using a pair of sharp scissors, cut out the twigs.

Then peel away the paper backing, by making a fold near one edge, the paper backing should begin to separate.

• Repeat for the birds – tracing the birds, their wings and the chest patch separately.

• Fuse the baby birds body and wing, and the chest patch to the blue fabric.

• Fuse the bigger birds body and wing to the brown fabric – each time checking the rough side of the webbing is placed on the wrong side of the fabric, before pressing.

TIP: When peeling the paper backing from the birds, peel from the tail end, so the beak stays sharp and doesn’t fray. Keep the paper bird shapes, as these can be used to mark position to sew the eye (page 5.)

Repeat for the remaining shapes – buds, blossom, leaves and eggs.

Once the fusible pieces are cut, position them on the background, using the circle as a guide.

• Place the twigs in the lower half of the circle, roughly matching the curves of the twigs to the outline.

• Next place the birds bodies, adding the chest patch to the big bird, and the wing to the little bird. (The wing on the big bird is added after the body and chest have been machine appliqued.)

• Using an erasable marker trace the position of the legs.

• Continue slowly building up the picture, adding the buds, blossom and little eggs. Check the design elements of the block fit inside a 10” window, so when blocks are sewn together, the design isn’t affected.

• Once you are happy with the placement. Press, to bond the shapes to the background.

• Avoid pressing the circle guideline drawn on the background, as heat makes some erasable pens permanent.

Now you’re ready to machine applique….

For the block shown in the photos, I used a basic machine presser foot (the same one I use when doing any straight line sewing, piecing or general sewing) Set stitch length to 2mm. To pivot at corners and tight curves, check your needle is in the down position before lifting the foot to pivot.

If you prefer you can also use an open toe foot (feed dogs down), or darning foot, whichever you feel most comfortable with.

So lets’ stitch…

• Stitch just inside the edge of each shape (approx. 1/8”). Proceed slowly where you need to be precise – for the few stitches around the beak I took my foot of the pedal, and used just the hand control.

• Stitch the legs, going down to the foot, then doubling back again to the body.

• Machine around the body shape twice or more, don’t worry if the line of stitching is wobbly it will give a sketchy feel to your design.

• Position the big birds wing, press to fuse and hold in place. Stitch as above.

• Pull loose threads through to the back – knot and weave into the line of stitches, so the dark grey thread ends don’t show through to the front of the block.

• Use the paper backing from the birds to help when marking the position of the eye. Then using dark grey thread and a satin stitch, hand-sew the eyes onto both birds.

• Remove the erasable guideline from lower part of block and press.

Your nest is now complete, just one more thing to add…

Preparing to quilt

• First trace the feather motif, using a water erasable pen – Place page 2 of the template on a lightbox, or tape to a brightly lit window.

Position the block on top of the template, so the feather is in the upper half of the block.(see photo)

• Use tape to hold the block in place while tracing.

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.

Hand-quilting

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.

Thread a small fine quilting needle with Gutermann Sulky cotton 30wt. This is a thicker thread than used for applique or piecing. The ecru colour is not too dark, and doesn’t show through the light coloured background.

• Beginning at the bottom of the feather sew a line of evenly sized running stitches up and down the shaft (marked yellow in the diagram).

• Then beginning at point A continue the evenly size running stitches to point B.

• Now insert the needle at point B into the quilt sandwich and push through beneath the surface till it reaches point C.

Repeat for each plume – burying the thread (marked green below) to move from the end of one plume, to the next, so avoiding lots of knots.

Once hand-quilted remove markings with a little water, you’re nearly there. 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 your Nest block is now complete !

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

Have a lovely springtime, and happy sewing x x

Dawn (Honeybee Cloths)


2018-05-11T21:02:00Z

Block 2 – a spring basket for you x

It’s lovely to have you along on our Sampler quilt adventure, and share this months block – a spring basket for you x

Seeing the daffodils and primroses peek out from the melting snow means spring is here, so this month’s Sweetest Things Sampler block is an Easter basket, full of springtime wonders.

The first Easter baskets I remember were little paper and glue ones, made in primary school. When we returned from lessons, they’d been filled with speckled candy eggs. So now whenever I see little Easter baskets, I’m reminded of this and how little acts of kindness, mean a lot.

Block 2 can be pieced either as a simple basket (Option 1), or using Right Hand Triangles (Option 2).

Instructions for both available in downloadable PDF. Or applique basket directly onto background. Feel free to use your preferred method of applique for the eggs and bow. Perhaps even add a sprinkling of little spring flowers too.

So let’s hop to it… download template and tutorial

Or read on for more about the making of these blocks….

The fresh springtime colours of Caroline and Bespoke Blooms by Brenda Riddle, left me completely spoilt for choice selecting prints to use in this block. So much so, I ended up making two blocks – with a third one in the pipeline, cut and ready to be sewn, as we speak 🙂

The little speckled floral from Bespoke Blooms made perfect little eggs

While the brown ticking stripe from Caroline cut on the bias made an ideal handle.

For the applique, I used a mixture of blanket stitch and needleturn applique – using the tip of the needle to tuck the raw edges under. If your new to needleturn applique, you’ll find tips in the downloadable PDF tutorial.

Handsewing is really relaxing, and so any opportunity to hand applique, or hand quilt and I’ll find some way of fitting it in.

Do you have a favourite technique? We’d love to hear.

Also, we love seeing the Sampler blocks you make, so please share on Instagram using the hashtag #SweetestThingsSampler

The next Giveaway will be along soon, more to follow on Instagram and Facebook

Happy sewing, happy springtime

Dawn x X

2018-03-11T11:57:00Z 2018-03-17T16:56:00Z