Saturday, 30 September 2017

Halloween and Thanksgiving Mug Rugs

Available in paperback from Amazon
or for immediate download from Craftsy and Etsy

I love the Autumn season – so much fun to be had – especially if you are into making mug rugs.  (If you don’t know what a mug rug is or why you should make one check out this posting.)

So I thought I would share my collection of ten Halloween and Thanksgiving patterns especially made for this season. 

First up is a nice and easy quilt-as-you-go pattern that uses seasonal 5" charm squares .....

The good thing about this pattern is it isn’t just for the Autumn season – it can be used all year round - even Christmas ......

If you fancy something a little more Halloweeny then bats may be just the thing....

If you are short of time you could make a small 5” coaster for your desk or worktable ....
Find more Halloween Coasters HERE

Every Autumn home needs a pumpkin or two and the Primitive Pumpkin mug rug is perfect to brighten the coffee table....... 
(This pattern is also available individually in PDF format
just click on the photo to go through to the pattern)

You can even rearrange the applique shapes to make an alternative shaped pumpkin – now that is really neat ...... (details included in the book)

I’m not keen on spiders except for this friendly chap – he can sit on my table anytime he likes.....

Of course it is Spooky Season and the Ghostly Duo are out in force.....
(This pattern is also available individually in PDF format
just click on the photo to go through to the pattern)

You can also find easy-to-follow instructions HERE to turn these ghostly ghouls into a cute coaster .....
Perfect for a child's bedside table - or as hostess gifts over the Halloween season

Another pattern that can be used all year around is one of my favourites - the Moonlit Cat mug rug.......
(This pattern is also available individually in PDF format
just click on the photo to go through to the pattern)

This pattern comes with an alternative cat applique for a totally different look .....
Scaredy Cat is included in the book and with the individual pattern.

Autumn is all about ghosts and ghouls – there is also Pumpkin Pie and warming cups of coffee .......

And turkey for Thanksgiving (of course!) .......

Thanksgiving brings us onto the last two patterns in the book – the Pilgrim Settler – complete with pie and pumpkin .....

And finally the Totem Pole mug rug.........
Did you know the word 'totem' means kinship?

All these patterns are available in one handy book – available in paperback format from Amazon USA or Amazon UK.  Also available for immediate download from Craftsy or Etsy.

So what are you waiting for – it is time to have some fabric fun this Autumn.

Monday, 25 September 2017

Bee Happy Sprint-Along

"What is life if full of care we have no time to sit and stare?"

Why does the Bee Happy sew-along not feel like a sew-along? 

A sew-along is a great way to make a quilt - sewing a block (or two) a week/month until you have enough for a quilt.  The sisterhood of sewing the same blocks together, sharing and chatting and helping each other out - all part-and-parcel of a sew-along.  

I knew the Bee Happy sew-along was going to be different right from the beginning - the schedule for week one alone required a sunshine block .....

followed by Two Trees block .....

and also a Flower Pot block .....

For week two the schedule required a single butterfly block and a trio-of-butterflies block.....

together with the Blue Flowers block ....

and a Spools Blocks .....

And it didn't let up in week three with the Mason Jars block (a whole days work) .....

together with an additional Bluebird Block (or in my case a Robin Block)......

Week four was the Truck-and-Trailer block together with the Bee Happy wording ...... I have yet to finish this block even though I replaced the wording with a gingham brick road in an effort to save time .....

After just four weeks of the 'official' sew-along you should have completed twenty-two blocks for the first two rows of the quilt!   That is a heck of a lot of sewing.

Don’t get me wrong – this is a beautiful quilt with crystal clear tutorials provided by the ever wonderful Lori Holt.   

But it feels more like a sprint than a sew-along. 

I guess I was spoiled with the Farm Girl Vintage sew-along, the Bloom sew-along (both Lori’s), the Splendid Sampler sew-along and the Farmer’s Wife 1930s sew-along.  

I am hoping this sprint schedule is a one-off and that, in future, a normal, leisurely sew-along service will be resumed!  

Until next time ....................

Monday, 18 September 2017

Speed Typing on the Spelling Bee Typewriter Block

If you are making the 12” Typewriter block from the delightful Spelling Bee sewing book you might enjoy sewing thirty-two 1½” squares together to create the typewriter keys.  

However, if you are making the 6” block it gets real fiddly to stitch thirty-two 1” blocks together.  So how about speed typing with fabric?  Here's how .....

1.  Cut two 9” x 1” strips from two different fabrics (total of four strips).  (You only need 8" lengths but the extra inch allows for trimming.)
Cut a total of four 9" x 1" strips

2.  Stitch the strips together, alternating the fabric.  You will end up with a patch measuring 9” x 2½”.   Press all seams towards the darker fabric.   (Do not worry if your seams aren't completely straight - this construction means there is 'wiggle' room when nesting the seams.)
Make sure to press the seams towards the darker fabric.

3. Once pressed cut eight 1” segments from the patch as shown - each segment should measure 1” x 2½". 
Do not worry if your keys are not even - they will nest perfectly.

4.  Flip half of the segments upside down. 
Flip those keys before stitching together.

5.  Finally, stitch them back together to create a Typewriter Keys patch measuring 4½” x 2½”. Perfect for the 6" Typewriter Block from Lori Holt's Spelling Bee book.
Such an itty bitty keys unit!

Speed typing with fabric - who'd have thought?  

Saturday, 16 September 2017

Direct Dial to the Spelling Bee Blocks

p.s. I just called to say I love you!

Operator:        Hello, Operator here.  What number do you require?

Patchsmith:   Miss Bee please – direct call.
Direct beeline to Lori Holt's Spelling Bee

Operator:        Just one moment – trying to connect you .....

Operator:        I’m sorry but Miss Bee is not picking up.  If you'd like to leave her a message speak after you hear the beep .....


"Hello Lori, it’s Amanda here.  I just called to say I love you – well your designs actually because Brad Pitt is more my type.  
Nearly there with the Spelling Bee Picture Day Quilt

I’m making your Picture Day Quilt from your Spelling Bee Book and it is such fun.  
Bee Lori's Spelling Bee Book

I've just finished the Telephone Block – I’ll fax you a photo ....... 

Cool eh?  It went together so easily and quickly yet it looks complicated.  You really are a clever designer. 

I have just two more blocks to go and it will be ready for quilting.

I better go – I need to make some more Bee Happy blocks – I’m struggling to keep up with that sew-along but I’ll ring you again later to chat about it.

Until then - toodle-pip."

Sunday, 27 August 2017

How to spell Patchsmith in a Spelling Bee

Even though the sun has come out I still found time to make another five Spelling Bee Blocks.

Lori Holt's Spelling Bee Book

The House block is a really easy block – great for new house builders.
Spelling Bee House Block

The Jar block I would class as intermediate for two reasons.  One the heart is small and you need to match up the jar top with the lid – can be a little tricky.  But the main reason is that the photo of the block in the book does not match the directions.  You need to follow the cutting measurements given and the directions – not the photo.
I didn't patch the heart for the Spelling Bee Jar Block - it's simpler this way!

Next was the Sailboat block which I have named HMS Miss Bee. It reminds me very much of a sailboat block I created last year for my Block-a-Day - I named that one HMS Patchsmith (of course!).  
Spelling Bee Sailboat Block

And then I decided to make my ‘letter’ blocks – a capital ‘P’ .....
A gingham heart for The Patchsmith

And a lowercase ‘s’ .....
And a gingham daisy to follow!

Needless to say I added a little Patchsmithian touch of gingham– just to make the quilt uniquely mine.

I still have three more blocks to make but they are going to have to wait for another day.   But pop back in the week when I will be sharing some Bee Happy blocks and tips .....

Friday, 18 August 2017

Craftsy Maker's Black Friday - pick up a bargain for the Bee Happy Sew-Along

Craftsy are having a special sale this weekend and I've found some great bargains for the Bee Happy sew-along (just click on the photos to find out more).

First up is this Aurifil thread selection – the colours are perfect for the Bee Happy sew-along.
Perfect Bee Happy colours

It goes without saying that we will be making good use of Lori's embroidery threads .....
Now we can all embroidery just like Lori Holt!

Then there is Kona fabric by the yard - perfect not just for the Bee Happy sew-along but great for your stash - you'll be using this all the time.  (Kona Snow is my FAVOURITE background white - it is the only one I ever use).
Stock up on Kona Snow and it will see you through the Bee Happy and Spelling Bee sew-alongs

And this Aurifil thread collection has the perfect machine piecing colours - but you'd better be quick - it is half price!
Perfect neutral colours for machine stitching

And what about these Karen Buckley scissors?  I have the 7.5” scissors in dark blue.  They have serrated edges which means they never blunt.
Every size you'll ever need.  Ideal for cutting your Bee Happy applique.

But don’t stop there ..... there is batting and fabric, kits and more fabric, classes and even more fabric.  Check out all the special offers HERE.

But hurry – these offers end this Sunday evening (20 August at 11.59 pm MST)