6 June 2017

Easy Peasy Charm Square Quilt (Part 2) ~ Half Square Triangle Quilt

Thank you for all your lovely comments on my Easy Peasy Charm Square Quilt Part 1.  Today I'll be sharing the second quilt I made using a Moda Charm Pack.  This time I chose a Regent Street Lawns Charm Pack... as the name indicates they are cotton lawn weight fabric, which means that not only are they are extremely soft to touch, they drape beautifully!  I combined the pretty lawns with a lovely background fabric by Art Gallery Fabrics, which also due to the high Pima cotton thread count, has a super soft feel too and complimented the lawn weight fabrics perfectly.

This time I decided to make a Half Square Triangle (HST) quilt, which I know if your beginner can sound a little daunting, but believe me, by using a Pre-cut Charm pack it comes together very easily.  Here's how....

As I've already mentioned, half of the initial cutting had already been done for me, by choosing to use a Moda Charm pack.  I used (40) out of the 42, 5" squares from the pack.  In addition, from 3/4's of a metre of the background fabric I then cut (40) 5" squares.  (The quickest way to do this is to cut (5) strips 5" x the full width of fabric and then subcut each of these into (8) x 5" squares.)

To make the HST units, I drew a diagonal line on the wrong side of all the background fabric 5"squares.

Then pairing a background square with a Charm Pack square and with Right Sides Together (RST) stitched 1/4" either side of the drawn line. 

I then cut using my rotary cutter along the drawn line, which yielded 2 HST units.

I repeated this process for the remaining 39 pairs to yield 80 HST units in total. 

I then did a mass pressing session, I first pressed the stitches to ‘set’ them, (this effectively beds the stitches into the fabrics, which helps reduce bulk, also helped by using my trusty Aurifil 50wt thread!)) then, I opened out the HST unit and pressed the seam facing towards the Charm Square fabrics, which were on the whole darker than the background fabric. 

Before moving on, if you're stitching along with me, now I would suggest, is the the time to go and grab yourself a cup of tea............ 

The next step was to trim the HST units so that they measured 4 1/2" square.  This involved shaving  literally the smallest amounts off, but this is the most important step to ensure that the end result was neat and accurate!

A Little Happy Top Tip...... I used my 6 1/2" ruler to trim my HST's.  For best results, line up the diagonal printed line on the quilting ruler with the diagonal seam line on the HST unit....I also have a rotating cutting mat which helps speed up this task considerably....mine is by OLFA.

Once trimmed I layed out my HST units balancing light and dark evenly across the quilt.....I find this step always takes the longest!  I chose an 10 by 8 layout with my HST units all facing in the same direction.   There are so many variations of this quilt that you can make, simply by changing how you lay the individual HST units.

To join together, I first chain stitched the individual HST units in to rows, pressing the seams on each row in alternate directions.....to the left on the top row, to the right on the second row, left on the third etc......... and then joined the rows together. I used a 1/4" seam allowance throughout.
After layering up my quilt top, with wadding and backing fabric, I hand quilted using my favourite Aurifil 12 wt thread in a lovely citrus green colour, which I'd been given as a sample.  I used Merchant and Mills straw needles with the Aurifil 12wt as they have a decent size eye on them.  They're also quite sturdy as I personally do not like my needle to bend when I'm hand quilting.  I also should mention that I prefer not use a quilting hoop.
For the backing fabric (you'll need 1.25 metres - 5 FQ units if purchasing) I chose a pretty Butterfly print from the Stella collection by Lotta Jansdotter and for the binding I chose for a pretty green floral from our yardage selection of Regent Street Lawns.  I cut four 2 1/2" strips full width of fabric.  If you're purchasing binding fabric, you will need to purchase 1/2 metre of fabric (2 FQ units) but you will have leftovers.  Alternatively, cut them at 2 1/4" and that way you'll get them out of a long quarter*.

* A little happy note......... as standard when 1 unit is added to your basket we will always send 1 Fat Quarter (FQ) .  We are however quite happy to send a Long Quarter (LQ) BUT you must add a note in the Special Instructions section at checkout to let us know that this is what you would like.

The finished quilt measures 32" x 40", so the perfect baby quilt!

Scrummy Supplies

If you would like to make a quilt just like mine, for your convenience we've put together  a quilt top pack, which includes a Regent Street Charm Pack, 3/4 metres of the Art Gallery Background Fabric, plus 1/2 metre of the Regent Street Claremount Dark Green fabric I used for the binding, you can find this on the website HERE.  In addition you will need: Backing Fabric, Wadding and Thread.

Alternatively they are available individually below

Moda Regent Street Charm Packs can be found HERE
Regent Street Lawns collection can be found HERE
Stella Faril backing fabric can be found HERE
Aurifil 12 wt cottons can be found HERE (the bronzy green that I used is on order and should be with us soon!.... yay it's now here and can be found HERE)
Aurifil 50wt cottons can be found HERE ( I used my favourite #2311)

If you would like to make the quilt, but fancy different fabrics, you can find our full range of Charm Packs HERE.

Finally, if you do make any of my FREE projects from the blog, mum and I really do love to see them so please do send us a picture or alternatively if you're sharing on social media, please do use the #alittlehappytutorial or #prettyfabricsandtrims so that we can take a peek!!

Happy Stitches!

25 May 2017

Easy Peasy Charm Square Quilt (Part 1)

One of the most frequent questions we are asked in the shop (after 'do we do alterations') is 'How big would a quilt be made with a Moda Charm Pack?'  So having been asked this very question a number of times in recent weeks, I thought it would be useful to make one up...there's nothing better than actually seeing the finished article, rather than being shown the measurements...don't you think!   

A Moda Charm Pack is made up of a selection of 42 squares from a collection, each one measuring 5".  

I chose a Poetry Charm Pack for my quilt and having decided to keep this really simple I left the squares as is and laid them out in 7 rows, with 6 squares per row.   This part probably took me longer than it actually did to sew them together!

I chain pieced the squares, using a 1/4" seam allowance and followed the same method as I used for the bag front in my Patchwork Tote Bag Tutorial, which you can find HERE........there are lots of photo's so if you're a beginner it's worth a look.  As usual I had Aurifil 50wt in my machine.

For your information, if you decided to stop at that, once bound this portion of the quilt would measure 27" x 31 1/2" aprox.  Obviously you could change the layout to suit your project.....  you may for example want to make a table topper.

As you can see, I decided to add a border to my quilt.  I chose a pretty pink tone on tone floral from the Poetry collection and from this I cut four 5" strips across the full width of fabric.  If you're purchasing the fabric for the border, you would need to add 3/4's metre (3 units) to your basket....sorry 1/2 metre is not quite enough, but you will have leftovers for another project.  Alternatively you could cut the border slightly smaller if you wanted to get it out of  1/2 metre.

I then added the side borders first, cutting away the excess fabric and then the top and bottom borders.

I then layered up the quilt with my wadding...I used 100% cotton wadding and for the backing I used a pretty pink polka dot again from the Poetry collection, 125cm (5 units) is sufficient.   I spray basted on this occasion, but you can read more about this part of the process HERE.   I decided to hand quilt mine using Aurifil 12 wt ..... and chose a simple crosshatch design across the charm squares and then straight lines spaced at 1/2" intervals around the border.  I marked all of the lines using my trusty Clover Hera marker...one of my favourite quilty tools!

I'll let you in to a little secret, the quilt went perfectly with my Made for Baby blog tour post make (you can read it HERE) ....however look very closely and you'll see that some very strategic photo's were taken as I hadn't actually sewn on the binding..tee hee!!

When I eventually got around to stitching the binding, I used a pretty floral stripe, again from the Poetry collection.  I cut four 2 1/2" strips full width of fabric.  If you're purchasing fabric, you will need to purchase 1/2 metre of fabric (2 units) but you will have leftovers.  Alternatively, cut them at 2 1/4" and that way you'll get them out of a long quarter*.

* A little happy note......... as standard when 1 unit is added to your basket we will always send 1 Fat Quarter (FQ) .  We are however quite happy to send a Long Quarter (LQ) BUT you must add a note in the Special Instructions section at checkout to let us know that this is what you would like.

I added the binding following my usual method, which you can find step step instructions for HERE.

I thought you may like to see the back of the quilt with all my hand stitches (ignore the crease down the centre fold...it's been folded patiently waiting for me to write this post!)........ 
 The finished quilt measured 36" x 40 1/2" aprox.

Obviously I couldn't stop at just one Charm Square quilt, so I decided to make another.......

.....but more about that another day!

Here's a list of the Scrummy Supplies I used:

Poetry Charm Squares are available HERE
Border Fabric is available HERE
Backing Fabric is available HERE
Binding Fabric is available HERE
Aurifil 12wt #2311 is available HERE
Aurifil 50wt #2311 is available HERE

If you would like to make the quilt, but fancy different fabrics, you can find our full range of Charm Packs HERE.

If you do make the quilt, please do send us a picture mum and I would love to see or alternatively if you're sharing on social media, please do use the #alittlehappytutorial.

See you again soon with pictures of my next Charm Pack Quilt....oh and in case you were wondering..... NO we do not do alterations...I can't think of anything worse!

Happy Stitches!

18 May 2017

Happy Flower Quilt-A-Long Update

Well doesn't time fly when you're having fun!  Mum (Penny) was on holiday last week, so I was definitely doing my whirling dervish act to ensure that all our parcels full of loveliness went out on time.  Plus we had SO many new deliveries which I need to catch up on.  However despite being extremely tired...I find it impossible to sit and do nothing on evening so I managed to play catch up with my Happy Flower Quilt blocks.  I decided for all of these to needle turn applique.....here's a close up for you.....

The fabrics in the main came from our huger and ever growing range of 1930's reproductions from the shop, which you can find HERE plus a few came from my own stash.  If you would like any specific details, please do feel free to ask in the comments below and I will happily steer you in the right direction.  The fabulous book is available HERE.

I couldn't resist placing all the blocks I've made so far together....
They are looking so pretty don't you think?

I know I keep saying this, but I will be back soon...I have so many projects to share with you!!

Happy Stitches!

5 May 2017

'Made for Baby ~ Cute Sewn Gift' Blog Tour

Thank you for joining me today on the 'Made for Baby ~ Cute Sewn Gifts' Blog Tour to celebrate the release of the ever so lovely Ayda Algin's fabulous new book, published by Tuva Publishing.  I have followed Ayda for quite some time now and have been in awe of her beautiful photographs and makes, you can see these on her Blog: Cafe No Hut.  I was super thrilled when she asked me to join the Blog Hop...honestly you should see the line up, I feel quite giddy!

Obviously as soon as Ayda announced that she was writing the book, I had it on preorder for the shop (I''ve just heard this morning that our copies are on there way to us as a type...what timing...contact me if you would like to reserve one!).  When my advance copy arrived ...thank you Ayda and Tuva Publishing ..... I can honestly say it exceeded everything that I hoped it would be.  Included are 22 gorgeous projects including bibs, blankets, soft toys, wall hangings and lots more.  It's worth knowing that there are several projectss that would be great for anyone and not just for those with a baby, for example.... placemat, fabric boxes, drawstring bag and Moms carry-all bag (a lovely tote bag).   
Having spent an age mulling and drooling over the photographs and projects...it was so hard to choose.... I finally decided to make a Chime Bear.  I chose a pretty floral from the Durham Quilt Collection by Lecien....and some woolfelts to co-ordinate ( I used Blushing Bride and Fresh Linen.)
 The instructions were great and easy to follow.

I chose to hand stitch the woolfelt appliques and for this, used co-ordinating Aurifil Lana Wool threads. I also used a lovely shade of Heathered Licorice Lana Wool for the embroidery details, rather than embroidery floss.
Ayda adds such sweet little details to all of her patterns and as well as the little ribbon tab, I love that there is a bow around the bears neck....don't all the best dressed bears wear bows?  I went for a contrasting Ice Blue velvet for mine.

Ayda launched the Blog Tour on Wednesday and is running a fabulous Giveaway, so make sure you pop over to her Blog to enter.  Jemima shared the first project yesterday, she made a really fun cushion and I am very excited to see what else is made throughout the tour!  Here's the schedule:

Jemima Flendt
the @tiedwitharibbo
Sarah Edgar
Lisa Cox
@aspoonfulsug is
Ange Hamilton
Lauren Wright
@mollyand me
Melissa LeRay
Minki Kim
Faith Essenburg
Kristin Esser
@kristin_ess is
Lauren Guthrie
NEW @guthriegh
Bridgette McNay
Torie Jayne
@toriejayn to
Constance Cabral
Stacy Olson
Caroline Husle
@sewcarol to
Nadra Ridgeway
Wynn Tan
was founded in May.31
Sedef Imer
until @downgrapevinel
Lauren Nash
Jennie Pickett
Amy Sinibaldi
I @amysinibal
Kim Kruzich
@retro_ me
Elea Lutz
Samantha Dorn

Thank you again for joining me today.
Happy Stitches!

23 April 2017

A pretty cupcake Potholder....almost good enough to eat!

A couple of weeks ago I was cutting some 'Spinkles' fabric by Stacy Iest Hsu for a customer order, which got me thinking about cupcakes (as you do!) and before I knew it I had a whole new project on the go...all be it a little one.

I hand drew a simple pattern for the cupcake and then used the interfacing method to create the appliques.  As always I had fun adding all the little 'extra' details..... some lace, which I hand sewed to the cupcake case and then tucked the ends underneath as I appliqued it in place.  A polka dot button for the 'cherry on top' and a little decorative stitching in Aurifil 12wt.  The pattern for the potholder can be found in Sedef's lovely book, Quilt Petite and can be rustled up really quickly.  Would you believe I made this in an evening and then it sat there waiting for the ribbon loop to be sewn on for almost two weeks!  Am I the only one who does this?.....please say no!
This would be another great project for that overflowing scrap basket, but if you fancy making one like mine, I've put together a pretty fabric bundle which includes a FQ of each of the 5 fabrics I used. You can find this on the website HERE

The 12wt thread I used can be found HERE and I had 50wt Aurifil in Muslin #2311 in machine which I used for both the piecing and quilting, you can find that HERE.

and for pretty lace, take a peek HERE.

Quilt Petite by Sedef Imer can be found HERE.

I hope that you've had a lovely weekend full of Happy Stitches!

19 April 2017

Slow.....Slow....Slow weekend (and some important shop news!)

I do not think Easter weekend could have come at a better time....... I was absolutely pooped!  My plan for the weekend was simple......spending lots of time with the family, a little gardening, as little housework as possible whilst still maintaining a modicum of cleanliness and some slow hand stitches.
On the stitching front, I wanted to catch up with my Happy Flower QAL blocks.... I think Block 14 is my favourite so far.  I decided the pieces were way too small for the Interfacing Method of applique and needle turned all the petals and leaves.  When I previously needle turned, I have drawn the outline of the shape on to the right side of the fabric and used this as the guide to turn under the edge.  On this occasion, I tried out the authors Atsuko Matsuyama's freezer paper technique, instructions for which are clearly detailed in the book and loved it!

For the centre circle I used Sarah Fielke's method where by you cut out the finished size circle in card, place the fabric with seam allowance on top and then wrap silver foil around the whole thing carefully turning under the seam allowance.  Once you've got a neat little silver circle, you then press it and the heat from the foil keeps the seam allowance folded in place.  This worked a treat!

I used a glorious scrappy mix of fabrics, which were:

Light Blue Pin Dot from my stash
Lecien Fabric ~ Old New 30's ~ Floral in Pink and Yellow available HERE
Lecien Fabric ~ Old New 30's ~ Circles Pink available HERE
Lecien Fabric ~ Flower Sugar ~ Spray Roses Cornflower Blue available HERE
Moda Fabrics ~ Hop, Skip and a Jump ~ Bashful Blossoms Cherry available HERE
Lecien Fabric ~ Old New 30's ~ Dots and Daisies Pink available HERE
Lecien Fabric ~ Retro 30's Smile Child ~ Floral Blue & Yellow available HERE
Penny Rose Fabrics ~ Hope Chest ~ Dots Yellow available HERE
Windham Fabrics ~ Feedsack ~ Mono Floral Green available HERE

The pretty background dot is from Lily by Penny Rose Fabrics and is available HERE

I also finished off last weeks block......I have to say you can tell I was feeling a little bit peeky when I made this one, but I am sure when it one block amongst nearly 100 it will be ok!

On the home front...we're currently planning a new kitchen.  We moved in to our home when Jamie was six weeks old...... oh the naivety of being first time parents!  We moved from a Victorian semi to a nearly new build, which at the time only required a little decorative update.  But as Jamie approaches his 13th Birthday, it's now looking a little tired.  We are slowly working our way through the house, last summer we did the bathroom and ensuite.  So far this year we've tackled the living room, painted, laid new carpet and bought new sofa's....we've never looked to neat and tidy!  Later this summer the outside is getting new fascias and guttering etc.....not terribly exciting, but the kitchen certainly is!  

On Saturday we had a trip to a kitchen showroom where fingers crossed we have found the kitchen of our dreams..... think painted wooden units, oak worktops....sigh!  We softened the blow of kitchen shopping ...for some reason Poppy and Jamie are not quite so excited by the prospect of a new kitchen.....with a trip to the coast.  We went to one of our favourite beaches, it's between Skegness and Mablethorpe and is about an hour away from us.  It's perfect, you can park right next to the sand and all you can see is more sand and sea and not much else.  Obviously the boys are never happier than when they have a rugby ball to throw about....

.....and Poppy still loves to build sandcastles.....  I did partake in a little bit of both, but I had half an hour or so just sat in the car in the warmth of the sun all on my own..... doing nothing, not even sewing..... just watching them and the world go by....absolute bliss!
 On Easter Sunday we went on a Easter egg hunt...

and in the afternoon after finally working my way through trimming the HST blocks for Jamie's quilt,  I sat down for some more slow hand stitches.  I've been playing with EPP paper pieces and combining compatible shapes.  I'm planning a series of blog posts about which shapes can work with each other.  Obviously, I couldn't resist sewing a block...... 
which soon became two...... more are cut, basted and ready to be sewn together, but more about that another day.
The weekend passed by in a flash and mum and I were back to work yesterday packing all the orders that came in over the Easter weekend...thank you!  Before signing off for today, I just wanted to share some rather important news about our Ruskington Bricks and Mortar Shop opening days, for those of you who come and visit us in person....... with effect from the 1st May, our Ruskington shop will no longer be open on a Wednesday.  Thursday, Friday and Saturday opening hours remain unchanged. 

Obviously this is not a decision that has been made lightly.  We absolutely love having our Ruskington shop and the opportunity that it gives us to meet our fantastic customers in person.  We are however very aware that some of things that we are asked for on a very regular basis, we can not always do as quickly as we would like.  By not opening on a Wednesday, this will give us back a few additional hours to do some of those extra things.... more quilt kits, fabric bundles, more projects here on the blog etc which hopefully can be enjoyed by everyone.

You can find our new Ruskington Shop opening hours HERE.  Our website remains unchanged and is open 24 hours a day 365 days a year!

Right I'll be back soon as I have some finished projects to share!

Happy Stitches!