Honeybee Cloths - Sewing supplies for busy bees - free patterns - easy  to sew pre-cuts. Pretty cotton prints - fresh cut off the bolt, patterns & notions.

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Welcome

By Dawn, Apr 7 2018 11:46AM



Thank you so much for joining along on our Sweetest Things Sampler quilt adventure, each month we're sharing a new block of something which makes life a little sweeter.


This month it's the turn of Michelle from CreativeBlonde, whose truly pretty applique block is perfect for this time of year, with the promise that April showers bring May flowers.


Michelle's super tutorial includes free motion embroidery flowers, little silver raindrops and a genius idea - padding which gives a lovely 3D effect to the umbrella.


The fabrics used in the block are from Brenda Riddle's very pretty Caroline collection, available in the Brenda Riddle section of Honeybee Cloths, where you can also find kits including the fabrics needed in Block 3 and earlier blocks too. So let's get sewing....




Block 3 - April showers bring May flowers


Tutorial by Michelle Roberts from Creativeblonde - Designed for the ‘Sweetest Things Sampler’


10 ½ ” Finished appliqued block (before joining to other blocks)




You can download the full PDF tutorial and templates here, or read on ....



Materials


Moda Bella Solids Off-white (or low volume fabric) - Fat quarter

4 or 5 Caroline Fat Eighths

8” square of H200 Vilene interlining

Gutermann threads colours; 1174, 802, 7001


If you plan to Quilt As You Go*, you’ll also need cotton quilting thread and an 11” square of wadding, and depending on which QAYG method you use, an 11” square of backing fabric.

(*If you need more information on the QAYG method *Please read through Quilt Construction notes)



Cutting

11” x 3 ½” Green fabric

11” x 8 ½” Off-white or low volume fabric

11” square for the backing (if Quilting as you go – option 2*)

*1x 4” square from the Pink/red posies on blue fabric

*1x 5” square from the rosebuds on pink fabric

*1x 5” square from the rosebuds on ivory fabric

*1x 2” square of brown doily with white stripe fabric



Haberdashery items - Flower and umbrella templates (download template on page 8 of instructions); Erasable marker pen; Iron; Basic sewing supplies; Temporary basting glue; 505 basting spray or pins; Quilting ruler; rotary cutter/scissors; cutting mat; Small piece of teddy stuffing



Assembly


Take the *small pieces of cut fabrics and fuse them to the interlining.


Using the erasable marker, draw around each template, add seam allowance to the umbrella pieces, if doing needle turn applique.


Cut 2 large flowers and 1 smaller flower, and the umbrella handle, no seam allowance needed, as these will be added using Free Motion Embroidery.




Snip into the seam allowance, and press seams towards the centre, ready for sewing, don’t forget to remove the papers.




Sew the green strip to the bottom of the ivory piece to form the main block, press seam open. Pin the umbrella in place, I found it easier to draw around the template onto the main fabric first using the erasable marker pen.



Add your applique pieces, using Gutermann cream thread col. no. 802, once your two outer pieces have been sewn in place, start sewing the two centre pieces, and just before you finish add a little ‘stuffing’ to give it a 3D effect.


Using the erasable marker pen, draw around the remaining umbrella template, and add the handle applique (remember to reverse your template).


Sew using Gutermann green thread (col. no. 1174) 1/8” around the umbrella, add stitches for the handle, adding extra detail at the top of the umbrella, see photo below.



Add the flowers using a little dab of baste glue, drop feed dogs on your machine, and change the foot to free motion quilting foot (this can also be sewn by hand).


I also added a few rain drops using Gutermann silver metallic thread (col. no. 7001)



Your block is now complete.



Quilting options


If you plan to Quilt As You Go, please refer to the Quilt Construction section, and layer your quilt as required.


Remember to use an extra piece of fabric, when pressing, to avoid your metallic thread getting too hot.

For QAYG option 2 - Spray baste the 11” Blue fabric or use pins to hold the backing in place.


Use your erasable marker and draw a 10” centralised square onto your Ivory fabric.


Mark diagonal lines, too look like rain, at 2” intervals. I avoided stitching these quilting lines under the umbrella).


(Attach your walking foot and engage the feed dogs, if you changed these when applying the free motion embroidery).


Thread up your machine with Gutermann silver metallic thread (col. no. 7001), stitch length 4.0.


(Attach your walking foot and engage the feed dogs, if you changed these when applying the free motion embroidery).


Thread up your machine with Gutermann silver metallic thread (col. no. 7001), stitch length 4.0.


Congratulations you’ve finished Block 3 – April showers bring May flowers






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







By Dawn, Mar 11 2018 11:57AM



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




By Dawn, Feb 7 2018 08:45PM


I am so happy and utterly thrilled to welcome back to our blog, Michelle from Creative Blonde. When Michelle first sent the sketch of this gorgeous block, we knew it just had to be the very first block of the Sampler quilt.


The theme running throughout the Sampler blocks are the things which make us happy, and that make life a little sweeter. Whether it's cherishing each and every moment, the simple things in life, or each other, cherishing seems the perfect place to begin.


So pull up a chair, make yourself comfy and enjoy! x X




Block 1 - Cherish


Tutorial by Michelle Roberts of CreativeBlonde




Materials

Moda Bella Solids Off White – 9900 200

Bespoke Blooms Fat Quarter Bundle – Honeybee Cloths

14” square of H200 Vilene interlining or fusible webbing (bondaweb)

Gutermann threads colours; 1120, 802, 7012


(If you plan to Quilt As You Go, you’ll also need an 11” square of wadding, and depending on which QAYG method you use, an 11” square of backing fabric – please read through Quilt Construction notes for more info.)


Download tutorial and templates in PDF format



Cutting

10 ½” square* - Off white (*If you plan to Quilt As You Go, cut 11” square)

2 - 5” squares from the Pink flowers on Ivory

1 - 3” square from the Pink flowers on Pink

1 - 5” square from the Green

1 - 7”x3” rectangle for the Green checked


Haberdashery items

Hearts and banner templates (download PDF)

Friction erasable marker pen, Iron, Basic sewing supplies, Temporary basting glue, 505 basting spray or pins, Quilting ruler, rotary cutter/scissors, cutting mat


Assembly


Take the small pieces of cut fabrics, and fuse them to the interlining.


Using the friction erasable marker, draw around each template, on the corresponding fabric – please see photo below for placement


Carefully cut out these appliques, and press again, to ensure the interlining has fused, and to remove any pen markings.


With a small dab of glue, baste these in place onto the 11” Off white square, see photo below for placement


Blanket stitch each applique, using Gutermann Sulky thread, colour 1120, and thread colour 802 in the bobbin. Length of stitch 2.5, and width 3.0. Sew all loose ends through to the reverse, secure and trim.


For the smallest hearts, that fit inside the green hearts reduce your blanket stitch length to 2.0,

and the width to 2.5



To embellish the banner, with the wording ‘Cherish’ and to add the extra details use your friction erasable marker pen. You can either hand sew over the top of this, or use ‘free motion’ quilting.


To ‘free motion’ quilt, drop the feed dogs on your machine, and replace the walking foot, with a quilting foot. Thread up your machine with the Gutermann metallic thread, colour 7012. Sew all the loose ends through to the reverse.


– remember to use an extra piece of fabric, when pressing, to avoid your metallic thread getting too hot.

Your applique Sampler block is now complete.


If you plan to Quilt As You Go, please refer to the Quilt Construction section, and layer your quilt as required.


If free motion quilting, use an open toe foot, and ensure the feed dogs on your machine are down.


For straight line quilting as in the block below, a walking foot is used and feed dogs engaged.


Using an erasable marker, draw a 10” centralised square onto your Off-white fabric. Mark diagonal lines, starting from bottom left to top right corner, at 2” intervals.


Thread up your machine with Gutermann thread 802, stitch length 4.0.


Congratulations! You’ve finished Block 1 - Cherish!



A couple of things to bear in mind if you Quilt As You Go


• Quilting – the more quilting on a block, the more potential for it to shrink from it’s original size, so quilt evenly.

• If you use the 2nd method of joining blocks, you’ll need to leave a 1” margin un-quilted around the edge of your block.

• In preparation for joining Sampler to Irish Chain blocks, trim a sliver of each side of the Sampler square, till it measures 10.5” square.



Please share your gorgeous blocks on Instagram using the hashtag #sweetestthingssampler, both myself and Dawn 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 our exciting quilt-a-long


Happy sewing


x creativeblonde x






By Dawn, Feb 5 2018 08:21PM


January's just flown by hasn't it! It's been so lovely to see the gorgeous Irish Chain blocks in progress, and the very first Giveaway is heading to Caitlin in Canada.


Thank you so much for joining our Sampler quilt adventure. As part of getting underway, we’re just going to spend a moment, planning for the quilting part of our journey, as I know a couple of you have been thinking of Quilting As You Go, so this post is just for you :)


Click to open or download PDF, or read on....




Quilt Construction


Our completed quilts will measure 50” x 50” (127cm x 127cm), with the option of adding borders to make a 60” x 60” (approx. 150cm x 150cm) quilt. This size quilt can be quilted on a domestic home sewing machine, or hand-quilted.


Or if you prefer to quilt blocks as you go, then join them together at the end, it is up to you. Whichever method you choose, use the one that you feel happiest, and most comfortable using.


If you plan to quilt as a whole quilt-top, the very first Sampler block in our quilt will be along very soon, by the end of this week, so not to long to wait x X




If you plan to Quilt As You Go (QAYG)


For piecing and quilting as a whole quilt-top, batting and backing is only needed once your quilt top is completed.


But if you plan to Quilt As You Go (QAYG), then you’ll need these early on in the project, and depending on how you join up the quilted blocks at the end, determines the materials needed.


There are quite a few different variations when it comes to joining QAYG blocks, and some need more effort than others, and give a different finish, so it’s worth choosing the one you feel most comfortable with, and which gives you the finish you require.


The joining methods below, have been selected as they don’t require sashing on the front, allowing the Irish Chain pattern to connect from one block to the other.



Method 1: Quilt As You Go – two layer quilt sandwich


(Skill level: beginner)


Blocks are layered with just batting (no backing) and quilted individually. Once all 25 blocks are made, they are sewn together, into rows. Then sew rows together to form a 5 x 5 grid of blocks. Seams are pressed open, and only then is the backing applied. To hold the backing in place, quilt along the seams that join the blocks together.


Fit the walking foot to your sewing machine, ensuring even feed of multiple layers when joining blocks.


Need to bear in mind


• Quilting on the front won’t show through to the back.


The benefits of this approach


• Individual blocks are easy to manouvre if free motion quilting.


Photo credit: Michelle Roberts of Creative Blonde


For more information on this method, please refer to: “Quilt as You Go Vintage” by Jera Brandvig, 2017. Or Quilt As You Go Made Modern by Jera Brandvig. Both published by Stash Books.


Also, Leslie of the The Seasoned Homemaker covers this method of joining blocks in this post - The Quilt As You Go Method



Material required:


• (25) – 11 ½” squares 100% cotton needle-punched batting; or 80/20 batting. Pieces of batting left-over from previous projects are ideal.


*It’s important to use batting having high cotton content, as when seams are pressed, the batting comes into contact with a hot iron, and if the batting is polyester, it will melt!


• (12) – 11” cotton fabric squares (for Sampler blocks). Cutting these slightly bigger than the 10 ½” Trimmed size allows for any shrinkage when the block is quilted – it can be up to ¼” depending on the amount of quilting or stippling.


Once you’ve quilted the blocks they can be trimmed to 10 ½” the same as the Irish Chain blocks.


• 13 Irish Chain blocks, measuring 10 ½” square (made in previous post – Irish Chain Tutorial).


• The backing is only needed at the end, once the 12 Sampler + 13 Irish Chain blocks have been joined.)


60” x 90” extra wide backing (for 50” x 50” quilt)

Or 70” x 90” for (60” x 60” including borders)


Method 2: Quilt sandwich comprises of 3 layers – top, batting and backing.


(Skill level: Intermediate / experienced)


Blocks, batting and backing are layered to form a quilt sandwich, which is then quilted. Once the 25 blocks have been quilted, each layer of the quilt sandwich is joined together in turn.


Joining the three layer QAYG sandwich is more time consuming and involves a lot more hand-stitching, than method 1 - joining a 2 layer sandwich, but it means the quilting is visible on the back of the quilt as well as the front.


For this method, you’ll need some wiggle room to peel back the layers when joining blocks. So leave an ample margin un-quilted round the sides, so blocks can be joined together.


Quilt each block - the gold dotted lines suggest the area that can be quilted on the Irish Chain block – keeping the quilting away from where the blocks will be joined.

To join, take 2 blocks and peel back the top layer of each quilt sandwich along the edges to be joined.


(Photo is of a previous QAYG project, the Skinny Dippin’ Quilt-along 2015)




Pin top layers right sides together and sew.


TIP Use safety pins to keep the wadding / backing away from the edge being joined.




Now, the top layer of both blocks are joined, smooth the wadding over the seam. You'll find the wadding overlaps, so trim one edge of wadding so that when smoothed flat the edges of the wadding touch.

Overstitch the edges to hold in place.



Finally, smooth over the backing pieces, and fold under the backing edge of one block so that it overlaps . Press and then handstitch the backing in place.




Repeat for each of the blocks, to form 5 rows, of 5 blocks each.


Repeat to join the 5 rows together, to form a 5 x5 block quilt-top.


For more information on this method of joining QAYG blocks, and instances of it being used, please see:


Lily’s Quilts Blog – Quilt As You Go - joining blocks


Honeybee Cloths - Skinny Dippin’ Quiltalong 2015



Material required for 3 layer QAYG method:


• (25) – 11” squares 100% cotton needle-punched batting; or 80/20 batting. Pieces of batting left-over from previous projects are ideal.


It’s important to use batting having high cotton content, as when seams are pressed, the batting comes into contact with a hot iron, and if the batting is polyester, it will melt!


• (12) – 11” cotton fabric squares (for Sampler blocks). Cutting these slightly bigger than the 10 ½” Trimmed size allows for any shrinkage when the block is quilted – it can be up to ¼” depending on the amount of quilting or stippling. Once you’ve quilted the blocks they can be trimmed to 10 ½” the same as the Irish Chain blocks.


• (13) Irish Chain blocks measuring 10½” square (made in previous post – Irish Chain Tutorial).


• (25) – 11” cotton squares for quilt backing


If cutting from yardage, you’ll need 2 metres or 2¼ yards,

~ Cut into (7) – 11” x WOF strips,

~ Then sub- cut each strip into (4) – 11” squares.


Alternatively use left-overs from previous projects, for a lovely scrappy effect.


If you have your own preferred method or tips, please do share; and however you choose to quilt and construct your quilt, enjoy!


Happy sewing,


Dawn x X






By Dawn, Jan 18 2018 02:00PM

It’s been really lovely reading your comments, and about the things you'd like to practice in the course of the Sweetest Things Sampler Quilt-along, we'll be including those too - and can't wait to begin! It’s going to be a lovely quilt-along with a variety of techniques, so something for everyone.


The first post covers materials required and how to make the 13 Irish Chain blocks, and can now be downloaded.


Click to open or download PDF. Or if you prefer, read on....


Each completed block in our quilt measures 10½” before piecing into the quilt-top. The blocks could be used individually for smaller projects too, such as a mini-quilt, cushions or a table topper.


If you happen to miss a block in the series, you can still find it in the Sweetest Things Sampler section of Honeybee Cloths www.honeybeecloths.co.uk/sweetest_things_sampler


So pop the kettle on for a cuppa, pull up a comfy chair, and let’s begin:




Throughout the Quilt-along, both myself, and Michelle of Creative Blonde, will be using quilting weight cottons for our blocks, including Brenda Riddle collections – Caroline and Bespoke Blooms. These are such pretty collections, and will make a really gorgeous quilt. However if you have a stash-full of prints in need of a good home, the Sampler is for them too


Using different colour combinations or colour values (light and dark) can produce very different effects in your Irish Chain. The Irish Chain blocks in the Sweetest Things Sampler use at least 8 different prints, which lend a lovely scrappy effect to the quilt.



Material requirements for Quilt-top:


1.8 metre / 2 yards - 45” wide / - Plain Off-white or Low volume print cotton fabric

e.g. Moda Bella Solids Off-white 9900-200


16 Fat Eighths (25cm x 55cm) in pretty cotton prints Caroline/ Bespoke Blooms

Or 8 Long Quarters (25cm x 110cm)


3 Fat Quarters in Solid colours

(e.g. Moda Bella Solids -Taupe 9900 310, Light Lime 9900 100, Pale pink 9900 26 or similar.)


Border: (optional) 1.6m / 60” – 45” wide cotton fabric

Binding: 0.5 metre / 20”- 45” wide cotton fabric


Notions: Thread for piecing, fusible interfacing or webbing (for applique); Quilting thread. Some of the blocks also include optional trimmings e.g. seed beads, embroidery thread etc.


Equipment: Rotary cutter, ruler and mat, sewing machine, iron and pressing board, pins and needles, scissors, erasable marking pen. Optional: freezer paper, basting glue, basting spray.


Backing and batting: will be covered in more detail in the next blog post. As well as piecing and quilting as a whole, there will be the option of Quilt as you go.


If making blocks individually for smaller projects, such as a mini-quilt or cushion, you'll need:


To make one Irish Chain block

• 1 – 2 ½” x 45” (110cm) strip Plain Off-white or Low volume cotton fabric

• 1 – 2 ½” x 20”( 55cm) strip pretty cotton prints - Caroline and Bespoke Blooms

• 1 – 2 ½” square pretty fabric


Each Sampler block requires

• 10½” square* Plain Off-white or Low volume cotton fabric.

(*Or 11” square, if you Quilt as You Go)

• Small amounts of cotton prints.


If you’re ready and eager to sew, skip to the Irish Chain block tutorial below. :)



Irish Chain block tutorial


Irish Chain block is a lovely versatile pattern. In this method, each block is made from four quick and easy 4-patch units. These are quick to make, sew one or two 4-patch units whenever you have a few minutes to spare, and before you know it you have enough for the Irish Chain blocks in the Sampler.

There are 13 Irish Chain blocks, in our 50” x 50” (1.27m x 1.27m) quilt top.


If you’re new to sewing, or just need a refresher, Irish Chain blocks are ideal, as you get to practice the basics in piecing precisely….


Measure twice, cut once - Cutting strips precisely makes piecing a lot easier


Check the ¼” mark on your machine - Where this is can vary from machine to machine – use a ruler to check.


• Squaring up – Trimming the 4-patch units to 4 ½” square, helps when joining everything up.

To make the scrappy version of the Irish Chain blocks you’ll need:


• 36” (1 yard / approx 92cm) – 45” wide Plain Off-white or low volume cotton fabric


Sliced into (14) - 2 ½” x 45” strips (reserve 6 strips to cut into 4 ½” x 2 ½” pieces in step 8) -


In the original PDF instructions 13 strips were recommended, but I've since found it easier to cut 14, from a yard of fabric, keeping the eight strips for making 4-patch units, and the 6 strips for step 8 separate.


• Either 16 Fat Eighth pieces - OR - 8 Long Quarters in assorted pretty fabrics.


From each piece cut

(1) - 2 ½” square

(1) - 2 ½” strip e.g. 2½” x 22” strip cut from Fat Eighth - OR - 2 ½” x 45” strip cut from Long Quarter


If working with strips cut from a Fat Eighth, you'll need to cut the 45" x 2½”off-white strip in half to make a 22" x 2½” piece.


1. Pair up a plain and patterned 2½” strip. Sew right sides together.


2. Press seams open, or to one side, towards the darker strip – whichever you find easiest to piece.


3. Group the strips into complimentary pairs.(Photo of 4 pairs of 8 strips cut from Long Quarters. If using Fat Eighths group 16 strips into 8 pairs.)


4. Working with one group at a time. Line up the strip sets on your cutting mat, and slice into 2 ½”units.


5. Place units right sides together, so the plain and print fabrics are next to each other.


6. Match centre seams, so they nest closely. Sew to make 4 patch block




7. Press and square up the 4-patch unit, to 4 ½” square.



8. Place the 4-patches in order, together with the centre square. Cut 2 1/2" x 4 1/2" strips for the remaining off-white strips, place in order shown below.




Sew units together into rows, as shown by grey arrows. Press seams open or in direction of white arrows. Sew rows 1 to 2, and 2 to 3 together, and press.





Your first Irish Chain block is complete!


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


Our next post skips to quilting, and the option of using a Quilt As You Go technique. Then in February, our first Sampler block, Is an absolute darling. It’s made and designed by Michelle of Creative Blonde, so lots to look forward too.


Till next time, from our little hive to yours,


Happy sewing,


Dawn x X


Honeybee Cloths

www.honeybeecloths.co.uk



ps. If you'd like to receive a link to each of the downloadable PDF's in the Sweetest Things Sampler, please complete and send the Contact form on the right hand side of this page x x











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