Sunday, 10 December 2017

Applique, applique - everywhere

My Christmas Nativity Mug Rug applique gets a new location.

Two years ago I shared with you my version of Hearts and Bees ‘One Hour Basket’.    You can find my original post here - it includes details of where to position the applique onto the basket.


I just wanted to update you that the link has changed – the pattern is now available in PDF version via Craftsy.  There is a small charge (about a dollar or 75p in English pennies).  It is will well worth the money - click on the link below to go through to the pattern.

by Hearts and Bees

Until next time ......

Saturday, 2 December 2017

Quilted Christmas Tree


I cannot believe it is three year since I made a quilted Christmas Tree forest. 

If you fancy making your own quilted tree you will need the FREE QUILTED CHRISTMAS TREE PATTERN 

Click on this photo to go through to the FREE Quilted Tree Pattern

You can find the tutorial and blog post HERE which contains lots of photos to help you grow your very own Quilted Christmas Tree.  
Click on this photo to go through to the tutorial
Until next time ........

Monday, 6 November 2017

Bee Happy Rows 2 and 3

Adding a Patchsmithian touch to the Bee Happy Quilt

It is time for an update on the Bee Happy sew-along quilt.  If you remember I had got part way through Row 2.   Since then I have taken a few shortcuts to finish Row 2 and I have also completed Row 3.

Rows 1 and 2 complete

Row 2 required two Hexie Flower blocks, a trio of spools and the Stars and Stripes flag block.  I replaced the Stars and Stripes with a Union Jack to add a British touch to my quilt.  (Click on the photo below for the FREE paper-pieced Union Jack block.)  
A Patchsmithian touch to the Bee Happy Quilt

To make my progress even quicker I decided to replace the two 6” Hexie Flower blocks with two ‘already made’ butterfly blocks from my Butterfly Patch Mug Rug and Block pattern. I just had to choose which two blocks to use from the three I had to hand .... 
The Butterfly Patch Mug Rug pattern comes with instructions to make a 6" butterfly block 

And then it was onto Row 3.  First up are three Flower Pot blocks.  
A touch of Patchsmith gingham ..... of course!

I'm using scraps for my quilt so I decided to add some cohesion by using the same fabrics for all three pots.  It works well doesn’t it?

Next came two of the simplest blocks – a peach and pear block.  
Two of the easiest blocks so far.

This was joined by the very first Churn Dash block I made – the gorgeous Bee Churn Dash.  
For a beeautifully quick was to make the bees just click HERE.

But then I hit a snag.  The next block, the Bunting Block, required bias binding made using fiddly little gadgets.  No matter how hard I tried I just couldn't get the gadgets to work.  I needed a super-speedy solution and I needed it NOW!  Thank goodness for my ribbon box!  
Ribbon to the rescue.

I would strongly recommend ribbon for this block as it doesn’t fray, is easy to place and saves so much time. (I fused a thin strip of fusible webbing to the back to keep it in place whilst I stitched it down.) 

The Bunting Block hangs over two thermos' and my favourite block so far in this sew-along – the Hens.  Aren’t they just the cutest you have ever seen?
Bee happy hens hanging out together!

So that is Row 3 complete and stitched together with Rows 1 and 2.  But there is no time to stop and chat – I am way behind on this sprint-along – Row 4 is calling me.

Until next time........ 

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?