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, May 11 2018 09:02PM

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.


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 template [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.


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)

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 ....


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)


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


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, Jul 24 2016 09:18PM

This months seen some lovely fresh sewing supplies breezing into store, including Sew and Sew....

Sew and Sew is Chloe's Closets newest line for Moda. It's full of fresh tutti frutti colours and bright pops of colour. Prints include retro florals, and the ditsy "Apron strings" prints each available as Fat Quarters, yardage or bundles....

Patchwork Fruity is a lovely versatile large scale print, which includes printed text and snippits of sewing speak. The pattern repeat is every 62cm, so as well as being available as Fat Quarters and yardage, it's also available as a panel measuring 62cm x 110cm, so you receive the entire pattern.

I can see legions of sewing machine covers being made from this print :)

While the "Measuring Tape" print virtually shouts out to be used for binding, every time I pass it on the shelf!

Also pre-cuts including Jelly rolls and Layer cakes so you can make a quilt in a jiffy.

To compliment these lovelies, orders over £15 receive a free Pinwheel kit (while stocks last) !

Happy sewing x X

By Dawn, May 4 2016 07:45AM

Spring is definitely sprung over on the cutting table, prepping bundles of BasicGrey Fresh Cut and mini-charms (packs of 2 1/2" squares).

Fresh Cut includes fresh tutti frutti colours, springtime pastels and bright pops of colour. Prints have a pretty 1950's feel to them, they include lush florals, colourful dewdrops, scallops and ditsy blossom.

Each little Fresh Cut mini-charm (or Candy) is packaged and tied up with Bakers twine. The sherbet colours and pops of brightness in Fresh Cut, make it perfect for spring sewing projects.

To make the block pictured, you need just one mini-charm pack, some solids for the background (Hometown Sky and Bella Solids White) and thread.

Happy sewing! Happy springtime x X

Thank you for popping by our little hive of sewing. Enjoy your visit :)


To follow our blog posts, please pop over and follow "From our little hive to yours" our blog on Wordpress.


We very much look forward to sewing a little happiness together, Dawn xx

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