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

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


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

By Dawn, Jan 2 2018 11:22AM

A very happy New Year to you and yours - hope it is is filled with sunshine, smiles and sweet moments x x

New year really is a time of fresh possibilities and I'm so happy and excited to be sharing this - It's been over 4 months in the making, a really long time when you've been itching to stitch :)

Beginning mid-January, and running over 12 months, our new Quilt-along - the Sweetest things Sampler celebrates the little things which make our lives sweeter.

I'm so thrilled that my lovely friend and fellow quilter Michelle of CreativeBlonde is returning to our blog, to co-host our quilt-along. Appropriately, the very first block relates to something which makes life a whole lot sweeter - Friendship and cherishing every moment.

Every month from February onwards a new Sampler block will be posted on the blog, (or if you prefer you can subscribe to receive the PDF document emailed direct to your Inbox - simply type Sweetest Thing Sampler into the subject line of the Contact form, together with your email.)

Sneak peak of February block - Photo by Michelle of CreativeBlonde
Sneak peak of February block - Photo by Michelle of CreativeBlonde

To complete the quilt , the Sampler blocks will be combined with Irish Chain blocks to make a quilt top approx 50" x 50" without borders (or 60" x 60" with borders.)

We would love to see the blocks you make, and hear about the things which make your lives sweeter too.Throughout the Quiltalong there will be Giveaways of sewing Goodies, to enter simply follow our Instagrams Honeybee Cloths and CreativeBlonde, and post a photo of your block on Instagram, using the hashtag #sweetestthingssampler.

The materials we'll be using for our Sweetest Things Sampler are from Brenda Riddle collections for Moda Fabrics, including Brenda's newest collection Caroline, due in Honeybee Cloths store in two weeks time.

Brenda Riddle's collections are some of the prettiest cottons we've seen, and were the inspiration for our Sweetest Things Sampler Quilt. The Sampler blocks themselves make use of small quantities e.g. Fat Eighths - so if you have a stashful of pretty quitling cottons in need of a good home, this Sampler is for them too.

Our next post in mid January focuses a bit more on fabric requirements for background and Irish Chain blocks.

Till then wishing you lots of sweet cosy moments.

Dawn x X

By Dawn, Oct 1 2015 05:00AM

Ethel (my trusty sewing machine) has been going full throttle piecing blocks from our Skinny Dippin' Quilt-along.

Just to quickly recap, there's four different types of blocks:

1 - Beach huts;

2 - Bunting;

3 - Plain sailing;

4 - Flying pinwheels

Pinwheel blocks ready to join into a strip
Pinwheel blocks ready to join into a strip

Blocks are joined to form a strip approximately 36" wide.
Blocks are joined to form a strip approximately 36" wide.

Once your strips are made, organise them into 3 groups:

Sew bunting strips above and below the Beach Hut strip....

Sew a bunting strip below the Pinwheels strip:

Then sew a bunting strip above the Plain Sailing strip.

Each group of strips measures approx 14"-15" x 36"

Once seams have been pressed, 3 lots of wadding and backing are cut so there's 1 or 2" extra around each of the 3 sections.

Approximately 40" x 50" (1m x 1.25m) of wadding is used in the quilt top shown.

Layer the quilt top block, using safety pins or a very light covering of spray baste to hold the quilt sandwiches (quilt-top/wadding/backing) together.

NB. If using spray baste use a very light covering, as too much makes the bed of the machine sticky when it comes to putting the quilted blocks together, which we'll be doing next month.

Then it's over to Ethel, (my sewing machine) for quilting....

Because the quilting is being done in long, narrow sections, pieces are much lighter and easier to manouvre, easily fitting through the throat* of my domestic sewing machine - (which for this tidy little machine is a very trim 6") - so no need to constantly fold and roll to fit the bulk through - it's also a lot easier on your arm muscles too, and much, much more fun!

(*throat of sewing machine - the space from the needle, on the left in the photo, to the motor casing, on the right).

A walking foot is also fitted to ensure both the top and bottom of the quilt sandwich feeds through the machine evenly.

When quilting the panels, leave a margin around the edge of the panel of at least an inch un-quilted. This makes it easier to join the panels together.

The pinwheel section, was quilted by stitching in the ditch, round the pinwheels and bunting triangles, this helped to make them stand out more:

For the Beach Huts a stitch in the ditch quilting outlined each hut, again helping make the beach huts and bunting triangles stand out more. The wavy stitch setting on the sewing machine made an ideal filler for the sea background:

Beach huts and pinwheel sections
Beach huts and pinwheel sections

The plain sailing section was quilted with stitching outlining the whale and boat, with wavy lines filling in the sea background, and straight lines for sunbeams over the sky:

Now each of the sections have been quilted, it's just left to tie off those loose threads (and sew the little button eye onto whale - oops!) so that next month, the 3 sections are ready to sew together!

We'd love to see blocks you've made using any of our Quilt-along patterns, whether it's beach huts, bunting, little whales or pinwheels. Which seems like a really good reason for a Giveaway!

Send us a photo using our Contact page, or post a photo on our Facebook page of your Skinny Dippin' Quilt-along block (or blocks) before 30th November and we'll enter you into the Giveaway, to win a gorgeous Daysail charm pack.

See you next month.

Till then happy sewing x

By Dawn, Aug 1 2015 12:43PM

Hope you’re having a lovely summertime - It’s been quite a breezy one here, just the weather for spinning pinwheels! Our fourth block before piecing and quilting is one of my favourites, it reminds me of happy seaside holidays - pinwheels spinning in the sea breeze, bright and colourful in the sunshine.

In total 4 pinwheels are needed for our Skinny Dippin’ Quilt, each one is made up from 4 very easy to make “ flying geese” units and 4 plain rectangles.

Taking a little extra care early on to cut out pieces to precise measurements, and checking a ¼” seam allowance is used when joining pieces together, makes it easier to match the centre points of the pinwheel, when it comes to joining the units together.

In the completed quilt the pinwheels can be used in the side borders, or even an extra row if you'd like to make a longer Skinny Dippin' Quilt.

Full instructions for making Flying Pinwheels here.

Happy sewing x

ps. the little pinwheel pictured sunning itself in the title pic, is made from Fast2Fuse, using a super-duper tutorial by Destri which can be found here :)

By Dawn, Jul 1 2015 10:45AM

Oh boy, time flies when you're enjoying yourself! Can't believe it's a new month, and we're half way through our Skinny Dippin' Quilt along!

In previous months we've sewn neat little rows of beach huts and seaside bunting. So this month we're setting sail on the bluest of blue seas, with a friendly little whale for company.

This block reminds me of a certain playful minke whale which swam round and round the ferry sailing from the Hebridean islands to the mainland - a real WOW! moment.

Both the whale and boat have been appliqued - sewn onto background cloth (the cloth used in the photo is Coastal "In the Sea" and "White Waves").

For the boat iron-on fusible (Bondaweb) has been used to stick the sails and boat to the background cloth, before machining around the edges. The same technique can be used for the whale too, though if you prefer, the whale can be sewn by hand - anywhere, even while relaxing in the sun.

Templates and full instructions for both the Bondaweb and needleturn applique techniques here.

Time certainly does fly doesn't it! It seems no time since April we were announcing the draw to win a gorgeous Coastal Skinny Quarter bundle, and yesterday 30th June we fished out the winning entry!

And the winner of the Coastal Skinny Quarter bundle, is Claire Manning! Congratulations Claire - I'll be in touch today for your postal details, you're Skinny Quarter bundle will be winging it's way to you shortly!!!!

Also a huge thank you to everyone who joined in, there will be more Giveaway goodies coming very soon.

Till next time, enjoy summertime, stay cool and happy sewing x

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