FREE DELIVERY on UK mainland orders OVER £40

Archive | July, 2016

This one is for you, quilter friends: Seams Sew Easy! Seam guide by Lori Holt

Image 1We are really excited to announce the arrival of the 'Seams Sew Easy!' seam guide By Lori Holt of Bee in my Bonnet fame.

Lori has designed this ingenious seam guide with the intention of temporarily adhering it to your sewing machine bed for expert results that achieve a perfect 1/4" seam, and ensure that your corner square triangle construction is effortless!

Here are the steps to get this up and running and aligned perfectly with your machine. The seam guide comes in one whole piece which then needs a few snips from you before you can get started (but it's so worth it). Here we go:

1. The first step is to place the Seams Sew Easy! template under your machine foot, lining up the needle hole printed on the template with the needle of your own machine as shown (unthread your machine beforehand) and pierce the hole.

Image 7

2. Lift your needle and sewing foot and remove the template from the machine. The rectangle of dotted lines marks where we'll be cutting next.

Image 9

3. Using a craft knife or sharp pair of scissors, cut out the centre rectangle from the inside, starting at the punched hole that has been pre cut for your ease and keep this central piece as you will need it later on for your sewing machine needle placement and template alignment.

seam guide blog

4. Now that this part is done, you can line your seam guide back up on your sewing machine bed with the rectangle placed back in position. Your machine needle should align back up with the dot printed on your guide.

seam guide blog 2

5. Double check that the guide is straight against the printed grids and the vertical markings on your machine bed before securing the guide in place with scrapbooking tape at either side.

seam guide 3

6. The central rectangle that acted as a guide for your sewing machine needle can now be removed (the one we cut earlier). Your guide is now safely and straightly in place!

seam guide 6

You will now be able to execute half square triangles, flying geese and snowballs like the pro that you are!

What will you make?!

seam guide 7

Yours, seamingly! x


Image credit

Rio Olympics...Union Flag Bunting & Brooch!

Hi, I'm Katy from The Littlest Thistle and I'm here today to help get you in the Olympic spirit in the run up to this year's Games.  I was a team leader of one of the front of house teams at the Commonwealths in Glasgow a couple of years ago, and it's always fun to see the attendees coming out in their team's colours, however big or small, to show their support.  To this end I have a couple of options for you for supporting Team GB.  The first is some flag bunting - string them around your TV, across the room, across the street or even wound about your person, whatever floats your boat!  For those looking for something a little more subtle, I also have a wee badge that you can pin on.


To make the union flag bunting:

For a 5-8 flag string you will need:

1 FQ Sevenberry Blue Medium Spot
1 FQ Sevenberry Red Gingham
1 FQ Kona Snow
1 FQ Sevenberry Beige Stripe
1-2 m Royal Blue Striped Bias Binding (the length will be determined by the number of flags and where you wish to string them)

To assemble the bunting:

Print off as many The Littlest Thistle UJ Bunting Foundation Pattern Pieces as you will need for your selected number of flags.

Print out one The Littlest Thistle UJ Bunting Backing Pattern Pieces and use it to cut as many backs as you need for your selected number of flags - note that these will tesselate nicely if you cut each on in the opposite direction to the last, making your fabric go further.

Cut out and piece each section following the numbers and colours marked on the pattern.

Lay the pieced sections out for each flag as per the photo and sew them together with a 1/4" seam allowance.

Lay a backing piece on top of each one of the pieced flags, right sides together, matching all edges and sew around the sides with a 1/4" seam allowance, leaving the top edge open.

Clip the points as per the photo to reduce the bulk when you turn them right sides out.

Gently turn the flags right sides out, using a chopstick or similar to ease the point out, then press.

Press the bias binding in half, folded edges in, matching long edges.  Sandwich the top raw edges of the flags in between the binding, spreading them evenly along the length, and pin in place.  Zigzag stitch along the length of the binding to hold it all together.

To make the union flag badge:

You will need:

Scraps blue fabric
Scraps red fabric
Scraps white fabric
Scraps for backing
Marking pen(cil) for tracing
Glue pen for basting
Brooch back or safety pin

I used the scraps from making the flag bunting, but this would be a charm square friendly project if you were starting from scratch.

To assemble the badge:

Print off and cut out each of the The Littlest Thistle UJ Badge Pattern Pieces - make special note of what section goes where on the red diagonal pieces as they are not all the same!

Trace the pattern onto your fabric and cut out - I used a pair of small, sharp pointed scissors for this as the pieces were so small.

Starting with the white saltire (the diagonal cross), centre this on the blue background - I do this by folding the background in half in each direction to create a light crease and aligning the corners on the saltire with the fold lines.  Glue baste in place then stitch all the way around using your favourite method for raw edge applique.  I wanted mine to get a little frayed at the edges so I straight stitched a little inside the edges, but you could also do a small zigzag stitch.

Layer up the remaining pieces, stitching each in place as you go, in the following order:

1. White cross
2. Red cross
3. Red diagonals

Place the backing right sides together with the stitched flag, matching all edges.  Leaving a small turning gap at the bottom, sew all the way around with a 1/4" seam allowance.

Clip the corners as per the photos to reduce the bulk when you turn the badge right sides out.

Gently turn through the gaps, using a chopstick or similar to ease the corners out, then press.

Top stitch all the way around the badge, 1/8" from the edge.

Stitch a brooch back to the back of the badge, or use a safety pin to attach it to your clothing.

Understated, Beautiful and Pure - Celebrating Crisp, Clean Classics

flowers jar - blogJust as Oscar Wilde said "the truth is rarely pure and never simple" the same could be said of something understated, that is, classic and never plain.

Sometimes when you take all the noise away, you're left with something so beautiful that you wonder why you couldn't see it in the first place.

Really fine crafting details require an unfussy backdrop to let fine skills speak for themselves. This lets each individual sewing detail sing out in it's own right and with our selection of beautifully understated and pure white backdrop fabrics that embrace everything we love about the spirit of a summer's evening, you'll be well on your way.

The first fabric in our collection is the minimal Bella Schooner Tipu, a lovely, light and playful repeat that has a Scandinavian charm to its simplicity with it's crown adorned bird and gorgeous rich aqua tones.


Country Girls by Tasha Noel is undeniably charming. It depicts such delicate observations as feeding the ducks with a sprinkling of blueberries and wild flowers among silver birches. It is quintessentially innocent and country loving.



Sommer Sundborn, Blossom by Sarah Jane is a beautifully illustration which needs no other colours. Available in peach and china blue, we love the brush strokes that are visible in these hopping illustrations as well as the blooms and overall symmetrical pattern that occurs, cocooning each picture.


Enchant Floral White from Riley Blake is muted coloured posies somersaulting hastily and is a breathe of fresh air.


Wonderland in Labyrinth Gold by Melissa Mortenson is a stunning geometric ode to grown up design of the highest order. We would love to hear what you make of it.

Riley Blake - Wonderland - Geometric Labyrinth in Gold

And so there you have it. Everything that you could possibly need for your sewing machine skills to do the talking in a manner that says you take sewing in your stride!

Yours with a scented candle, bowl of cherries and blouse darts to sew... x

Photo credits quote, thumbnail.

The beauty of life is in each precious moment! Stop and smell the roses.

2395dfb3082eec57030e463b11a4f8acSometimes life gets in the way of, well, enjoying life ironically, and as our good friend Ferris Bueller noted, "life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it". Sometimes we literally don't stop often enough to just smell the roses. This week sees the start of Hampton Court Palace Flower Show, and what better reminder to stop and enjoy the beauty in nature and appreciate the every day things that make this life a joy!

We have noticed that people that love to craft often love to bake. And people that love to bake, love to garden. And people that love to garden value the fine fragrance and formations of all things floral, whether manicured or wild. With this in mind, we've pulled together some of our free spirited floral themed fabrics, which are so good you can almost smell them.


From left to right: The beautiful Sommer, Tulip Tangled by Sarah Jane - because colourful tulips might just be the happiest flower in existence. And the only thing happier than a jug of tulips is a field of vignette tulips with cheeky rabbits peeking up over the blooms!

Sommer-Tulip Tangled Bloom -dc7056

One of our favourites for it's pureness and simplicity, an absolute classic: Park Life, Flower field Coral by Cloud 9 in organic cotton.

Cloud 9_Park Life_147415_1024

Brand new and reminiscent of something vintage, this burst of sunshine happiness has a generous scattering of coral, aqua and lilac blooms that we have fallen head over heals for: Granny's Garden by Sevenberry.

Sevenberry_Grannys Garden

Cottage chic at it's finest: Retro Flower, Gold by Sevenberry.

Sevenberry Retro Flower - Gold

Sprigs and blooms aplenty in this fresh and bold repeat: Vintage Market by Tasha Noel.

Riley Blake Vintage Market by Tasha Noel Floral Bouquet -c4564-Mint

Satisfying in it's geometric floral repetition: Slipper Roses, Rosebud Trellis by Tanya Whelan.

Tanya Whelan - Slipper Roses - Rosebud Trellis - Green

Another reliable key piece: Cottage chic in blue: Cottage Flower by Sevenberry, blue.


And in pink for anyone that can't make up their mind: Cottage Flower by Sevenberry, pink.

Sevenberry - Cottage Flower - PinkHappiness personified: Autumn Tree, Celia Slate Blue by Tilda.

Tilda Autumn Tree - Celia Slate Blue 481043

And for anyone attending the actual Hampton Court Palace Flower Show, we've got just what you need for the free-flying butterfly dome! Butterflies in white by Summer Loft.ring-a-roses-647101-372

Send us your stories whether flower, baking or gardening related, we love to hear from you:

Yours, appreciatively soaking up the small things in life x

(Rose collage photo credit)