29 November 2017

Introducing our NEW Block of the Month Club ~ Penny's Sampler


I'm so excited today to finally reveal what I've been working on over the last couple of months........our brand new Block of the Month Club 'Penny's Sampler'    I have had so much fun making this quilt, it was such a joy choosing all the pretty fabrics.  I used my favourite mix of low volumes, choosing text prints, blenders, dots and solids from across the shop.  The stars of the show however are a gorgeous rainbow of Tilda fabrics from various collections, including the up coming Lemon Tree due to arrive in the shop in early January.

As with my previous Block of the Month quilts, I used a range of techniques including English paper piecing, machine piecing and pretty hand drawn applique blocks and combined some of my favourite traditional blocks with some unique ones I created for the quilt.

Here's a little close up of some of the blocks.......





Having learn't my lesson from my original Block of the Month design 'A Little Happy Year' where I am still only half way through quilting....by the way I am planning on releasing this as a pattern book in 2018.... I made sure that Penny's Sampler was quilted and bound before I shared her!!

As usual I decided to hand quilt in my favourite Aurifil 12wt, I used a super charcoal grey #2630 ... I'm so pleased with how by using the charcoal it has added so much extra to the design.  I am tempted to maybe add a few more stitches over Christmas...
Penny's Sampler is going to be a 12 month Block of the Month club.  So each month starting in January, you will receive a gorgeous parcel full of loveliness directly through your letterbox.  This will include all the fabrics and if required, English Paper Pieces and/or applique templates for you to sew that months section of the quilt, plus of course detailed instructions for how to piece the block will also be included.   At the end of the year you will have will have received enough pretty fabric and instructions to make your very own 'Penny's Sampler' Quilt Top. 

For more detailed information and to sign up click on the link below, which will take you to our website

P.S. If you're wondering where the name for the quilt came from, when I first showed my design to mum, drawn out the traditional way with a pencil, ruler and graph paper .... mum quickly said that she loved it and claimed it for herself...hence Penny's Sampler!


Whilst talking Block of the Months...did you hear ...... 'A Little Happy Christmas' is back!


We received so many requests, we decided to run our popular 'A Little Happy Christmas' 9 Month Block of the Month club again in 2018!  

For more detailed information and to sign up, click on the link below


Phew....so much news!  I hope that you love the quilts as much as I do!  Any questions as always, please do get in touch!

Happy Stitches!

10 November 2017

A Little Happy Sew Along ~ Advent Calendar ~ Finishing Touches


Welcome back to the final instalment of the A Little Happy Sew Along to make the Advent Calendar I designed.  You can read the introduction post HERE.  Here's a recap of what we have done so far.....in week 1, we cut out all the different fabrics and trims required, we then embroidered the 'Christmas Countdown' panel and the little numbers for the pockets and prepared them for adding to the calendar.  In week 2, we added all the trims to the individual pockets and sewed them together.  In week 3 we pieced the front of the Advent Calendar.  This week we'll be adding all the finishing touches!


BEFORE STARTING Always Remember to:

1. Read all instructions before you begin.
2. RST means right sides together.
3. All seam allowances are 1/4”.
4. FWOF means width of fabric.
5. If you need any help, please do get in touch!

Lets Get Stitching

This week, you will need:

Fabric F -  Backing Fabric
Fabric A - Binding
Wadding
Ribbon Ties

First off you will need to layer up your backing fabric / wadding / Advent Calendar.  The wadding and backing fabric, should be slightly larger, about an inch all round, than the Calendar front.  For convenience, I normally use a basting spray.  For more information on making a quilt sandwich, take a peek at THIS BLOG POST.

Next you need to add some quilting to hold the layers together.  I chose to hand quilt using Aurifil 12wt in a complimentary colour.

I added a line of quilting around the edge of the Christmas Countdown panel and then added a large button to the corner, which I hand tied.....I love doing this on items that are decorative!


I then added a line of stitches below each of the rows of pockets....


Once you've finished hand quilting, trim away the excess wadding and backing fabric.

I chose to hang the calendar using ribbon ties.  For these, you need two pieces of ribbon approx 40cm (15 1/2") each.  Fold the ribbon in half, then place the folded edge against the top edge on the back of the calendar.  I lined these up with my quilting stitches around the 'Christmas Countdown' panel.  Just a little note for the observant ones...you will see that I didn't bury my finishing knot at the end of my hand quilting stitches.....I must admit that I don't tend too do so on items like this, that are going to be hung against something....obviously I would on a quilt or if the back side was going to be on display!!!  

For added strength, add a couple rows of machine stitches to hold the ribbons in place, approx 1/8" from the edge, for neatness, you want these 'holding' stitches to be concealed under the binding.

Finally all that is left to do is to add the binding.  I always machine my bindings on to the front and then hand sew the back.  For a detailed 'a little happy tutorial' for how I do this, take a peek HERE.
That's it....you should now have a very special homemade Advent Calendar ready for use this Christmas and I hope that it becomes part of your family tradition for many years to come.


Please remember, so that mum and I can follow your progress, if you're sewing along and sharing on social media please use the hashtags:

#alittlehappysewalong or/and #prettyfabricsandtrims

Thank you so much for sewing along!

Happy Stitches!

3 November 2017

A Little Happy Sew Along ~ Advent Calendar ~ Piecing the Front


Welcome back for week 3 of the A Little Happy Sew Along to make the Advent Calendar I designed.  You can read the introduction post HERE.  Here's a recap of what we have done so far.....in week 1,  we cut out all the different fabrics and trims required, we then embroidered the 'Christmas Countdown' panel and the little numbers for the pockets and prepared them for adding to the calendar.  In week 2, we added all the trims to the individual pockets and sewed them together.   This week we'll be piecing the front of the Advent Calendar together.  

BEFORE STARTING Always Remember to:

1. Read all instructions before you begin.
2. RST means right sides together.
3. All seam allowances are 1/4”.
4. FWOF means width of fabric.
5. If you need any help, please do get in touch!

Lets Get Stitching

This week, you will need:

Fabric B - Front Top
Fabric D - Linen Front
The 'Christmas Countdown' panel (from week 1)
(4) Rows of pockets (from week 2)

First off you position the pockets on to the Fabric D Linen Front, using the photo below as a guide.  (Don't worry if your gaps in between the pockets are ever so slightly different!!)  

Sew the pockets to the linen front along the bottom edge.  You want to try and get this line of stitching as close to the edge of the pockets as possible....


Now 'stitch in the ditch' in between each of the pockets.  Make sure you sew from the bottom all the way to the top of each pocket.  This will prevent any wrinkles in your pockets!

A few little happy tips for a neat finish...... 
  • When stitching in the ditch...which basically means that you are going to stitch on top of the seam line of where you joined the pocket fabrics together....I find it helpful to pull the fabrics apart slightly on both sides of the seam as I sew.  Traditionally to help hide the stitches you would use a thread that best matches your fabrics.....as my fabrics were a mix of red and off white, I stuck with Aurifil 50wt #2311 that was in my machine.
  • Make sure you do a couple of backwards and forward stitches at the beginning and end, so that the pockets are nice and secure.
  • Also allow a healthy amount of thread at either end and if like me you have an auto scissors on your machine DO NOT use it.  This is one of those cases when you need to have enough thread to be able to pull it through to the back and knot...leaving the front with no loose ends showing!




Next sew the Fabric B Front to the top of the Linen/Pocket Front, press the stitches to 'set them' then press the seam open.


Sew the lace trim across the seam and then add the ribbon on top.  I did this on my machine, but feel free to hand sew if you prefer! (Sorry I forgot to photograph this step!)  Finally, position the 'Christmas Countdown' Panel centrally 1" above the ribbon/lace.  Whip stitch in place.


That's it for this week, next time in the final week, we'll be adding all the finishing touches!

Please remember, so that mum and I can follow your progress, if you're sewing along and sharing on social media please use the hashtags:

#alittlehappysewalong or/and #prettyfabricsandtrims

Thank you for sewing along!

Happy Stitches!