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Tilda Bumblebee - Quilted Table Runner - Tutorial

Here at P&PD HQ we're very excited about this our latest free tutorial and the fact it has been created by our newest Blog Team member, Michelle, the creator behind Creative Blonde. We'll introduce you to her properly very soon, but for now, we can't resist sharing her wonderful work. We hope you love it as much as we do and please feel free to let us know what you think x

What you will need:

* Tilda bumblebee Fat quarter bundle  (this will be enough for the table runner and  6 placemats - placemats tutorial coming soon!)

* 1.5 metre of Kona cotton solids – snow white (this allows for 1 x table runner and 6 placemats)

* Wadding measuring 38in x11in (trim off excess later to measure 37in x 10in)

* 1in paper hexies x 42

* Graph Paper to create your own petal template

* Sewing machine, cutting mat, rotary cutter, pins, needles, quality threads, glue pen, scissors, erasable marker pen

* Light fusible interfacing, approximately 10in x 10in

* 505 basting spray

1 - Cut out 10 hexies from each of the green, pink and cream fabrics using your EPP 1in hexagon template and cut 12 of the blue. Leaving a quarter inch seam allowance all the way round.

2 - Using your glue pen, fold the fabric making sure you get crisp corners and edges all the way round.

3 - From the kona snow fabric, cut a piece 44in x 8in for the table runner's main piece.

4 - Preparing your flowers

Create your petal, use graph paper to get it symmetrical (mine are about 1.5in in length and 1in diameter. Fuse your interfacing to the reverse of the fabric and then cut petals to correct size and shape. You need 5 petals from each fabric design (as per below). I loved the bumblebees so much, I fussy cut these for some of my petals.

Here are all of my petals cut and ready to be attached to the Kona Snow main piece.

5 - Using your glue pen, fix your petals in place on the kona snow main table runner piece - see main image at the top to see where I chose to attach them onto the runner.

6 - Using a white thread, blanket stitch round each petal (below images show front and the reverse) to hold in place on the table runner.

7 - Next join up your hexies.

To achieve this without stitches showing on the front, put your individual hexies right sides together and use a ladder stitch. Pull your stitches tight as you go, and create a chain of 21 hexies for each long edge of your table runner.

8 - Top stitch your hexies and then remove the papers.

9 - Preparing the back of the table runner

Cut 5 pieces of backing fabric as per below, measuring 8.5in x 11in.

Sew your fabric in the order shown above, using a quarter inch seam allowance, right side together, then press seams.

10 - Next, using your erasible marker pen, draw your spiral pattern on the top of the white fabric.

11 - Baste your top and bottom fabric to the wadding to create a quilt sandwich, I use 505 spray.

12 - Free motion quilting

Drop your feed dog and attach the quilting foot to your machine, you can choose any shade of thread , I am using a bright turquoise for the purposes of illustrating the stitching, but later replaced with a white.

13 - Create the edges

Create mitred corners, by trimming the excess wadding and folding your backing fabric over twice, to seal your raw edges, and pin in place.

14 - Attach the Hexies; pin or baste your hexies in place.

15 - Then sew your two short binding egdes with a small whip stitch, and secure the corners with small stitches.

16 - Finally, sew each point of your hexies in place, using a small stitch sewn from underneath the edge of the fabric, so no stitches can be seen.

Bring out the tea and warm scones, for the perfect afternoon tea...enjoy!

Watch this space for the matching placemats tutorial coming soon…

Welcome to Charleston! - Brand new collection by Amy Sinibaldi

Charleston by Amy Sinibaldi

We're thrilled to have taken stock of our latest collection - Charleston by Amy Sinibaldi. Get lost in dreamy hues of blue and raspberry and let Charleston transport you with all it's southern hospitality.

Pineapples, umbrellas and barnacles!

What could be more surreal than this daydream inducing collection of summer ready prints. Themes include 'Garden of Dreams' and 'Teacups' and the more intriguing 'Barnacles' (trust us you'll love it).

Chic and fresh

There's something so chic about the simplicity of this collection but it's subtler details aren't to be missed like the delicate bees included in Garden of Dreams or the sprigs of samphire included in Barnacles.

Feeling inspired?

We're overcome by the flexibility of this collection. It brings together an appreciation of geometric shapes and the subtle softness of garden blooms and tea time happiness, meaning it would lend itself to any setting and unlimited projects.

Yours, making a throw for the lounge x

 

 

 

 

Hark the sound of Birdsong! - Our latest collection by Jojo Coco for Dashwood Studio

Birdsong by Dashwood Studio

We're delighted to have taken stock of the latest collection for Dashwood Studio by Joanne Cocker called Birdsong.

About the collection

Birdsong is an enchanting collection comprising of muted tones and calming scenes that blend effortlessly with one another. Birch trees, mountains and raindrops as well as scattered seeds and horizons are represented in the range, adding to it's earthy, laid back feel.

See what you think

We're in love with the fresh, crisp colour combinations and natural feeling we get from this collection. Joanne described the collection as having been inspired by an appreciation for the small things, those we don't always notice but which are beautiful when we stop to enjoy them for a moment.

Take a look for yourself!

Right at home

The collection lends itself effortlessly to homeware because of it's ease to mix and match. Image credit

What will you make with your selections?

Yours, in flight x

Kona Chameleon

Kona Cotton Solids

Be your own designer with our extensive range of Kona cotton solids by Robert Kaufman. Kona cotton solids are renowned for their high quality 100% cotton construction and allow you to be the creator of your own designs. With over 40 shades available from £8 a metre, you'll be limited only by how daring you feel!

Why plain fabric?

Plain fabric enables you to incorporate, subtly or overtly, an entirely bespoke arrangement of tones without restriction. There is simply no end of colour combinations and no limitations that would otherwise exist when putting printed designs together. We've pulled together some inspiration so you can see what we're talking about!

1. The quilted picture:

How absolutely stunning is this story of cotton reels, simply put together yet intricately adorned with stunning stitch detailing that speaks for itself. Image credit

2. The 'oh my god I have to make one' blanket:

Rich, sumptuous and perfect in every way. Endless appeal. Image credit

3. The muted-tone perfection wall hanging:

This arrangement is so cool and understated it hurts. Apartment chic at it's finest. Image credit

4. The 'not for the fainted hearted' picture project:

What an incredible take on traditional portraiture, drawing with fabric. Image credit

5. The quietly satisfying geometric knock out pillow project:

When colour and form combine effortlessly. Image credit

Tutorials and Free Patterns

For free tutorials and inspiration a plenty, put the kettle on and check out the Queen of quilts. Trust us, you'll be mesmerised and thankful for the tea while time slips away - over at Jeli Quilts 

Are you ready?

Are you ready to take your making to the level of designer? It's easier than it sounds and trust us when we say you really can't go wrong. As in life, beauty is in the eye of the beholder so let your eye lead you to your perfect colour combinations.

Have fun!

Yours, over the rainbow x

Image credit

Pin Sharpening - Pin Cushion - Step by Step Guide

We'd been thinking about dull pins a while back and had heard that wire wool could be a good solution. So off the back of that we decided to create our own pin sharpening pin cushion.

Fancy giving it a go too?

Here's how we went about it....

Tools / Materials you'll need:

Cup & Saucer (we got this one from a charity shop).

Small piece of fabric - amount will depend on the size of your cup.

Scissors, Needle & thread, glue gun and super glue, a little bit of toy stuffing and some wire wool.

Step 1

Draw a circle approximately twice the size of the cup you are using (see picture above).

Step 2

Super glue your cup to the saucer

Step 3

Sew a running stitch the whole way around the edge of the fabric circle.

Step 4

Keeping the needle and thread attached, draw up the edges of the circle a little.

Step 5

Add a little bit of stuffing to the piece of fabric.

Step 6

Add the wire wool.

Step 7

Draw in the edges of the circle and sew together - fix the end and cut off the needle and remaining thread.

Step 8

Add lots of glue to the bottom of the cushion you have created and then stick to the cup and saucer.

Step 9 (Optional)

Add some embroidery scissors using some ribbon, to the handle of the cup. Now you have a pin cushion, little tray for holding other notions and some scissors all in one place - perfect!

Quick Wipe Clean Child's Apron - Laminated Cotton Tutorial

Quick wipe clean child’s apron designed and made by Louise Ambrosi, Sew Sofia

This is a quick and easy starter project for laminated cotton fabric. You don't need a special foot for this tutorial as most of the sewing is on the binding, not the laminate itself.

Tips for sewing with laminated cotton

1 - Keep pins to a minimum and in the seams as they will leave holes. You can use Wonder clips or small bulldog clips instead - or even a little sellotape - to hold seams down.

2 - Do not iron laminated cotton on the laminate side as it will melt. You can however iron lightly on the back of laminated cotton to remove any creases.

3 - Size 14 (or denim) needle is recommended.

Finished size: 16inch w x 20inch h

Seam allowance, unless otherwise stated is a quarter inch.

Materials:

1 FQ laminated cotton (we used Cloud 9 umbrellas)

1 FQ coordinating Kona cotton

2m bias binding

Basic sewing kit

Cutting instructions:

Apron ties -  cut 4 strips of 4 inch x 21 inch cotton fabric

Apron - cut one piece 16 inch w x 20 inch h

Pocket piece (optional) cut after the apron piece – 6 inch x 5 inch

Preparing the pieces:

Apron ties - Fold a 4 inch x 21 inch strip in half lengthwise and press to make a centre crease.

Open out, then fold and press each short end by 0.5 inch. Fold each long raw edge in towards the centre crease and press.

Fold again in half and press to make a 1 inch x 20 inch strip with no raw edges showing.

Topstitch around all four sides of the apron tie. Repeat with the other three apron tie strips and set aside.


Apron body – Fold your apron piece in half RST. Using a pencil or disappearing marker, mark 4.5 inch in from the fold at the top. Make another mark 6.5 inch down from the top unfolded edge (as per below image). Draw a line to join these two marks (it should be a line of 7.5 inch).

Cut along this line.

Open up the main apron body piece, which should now look like the below image.

Sew on bias binding – starting from the bottom right corner of the apron piece, open out the readymade bias binding and pin the raw binding edge to the RS of the apron piece as pictured. Leave a 0.25 inch tail of bias binding to fold in later (see below image).

Sew along the first crease of the binding at 0.25 inch, stopping 0.25 inch before the end.

Cut the thread only (not the binding!). Pin the binding to the long side of the apron and continue, stopping at each corner as before until you reach where you started, leaving another 0.25 inch tail to overlap at the end.

Fold the binding over to the wrong side (WS) of the apron and pin in place.


Sew at 0.15 inch to secure the binding in place taking care when you reach the corners.

Tuck the tails in at the end (that you can see in the above image) to cover raw edges and stitch in place.

Next you attach the ties.

Sew and backstitch two ties approximately 1inch in at the top of the apron.

Sew and backstitch the other two ties on either side at the corner points.

Optional Pocket: with the remaining laminated cotton cut a small pocket piece measuring about 6 inch x 5 inch.

Sew a strip of bias binding to the top of the pocket piece as you did with the apron body.

Tuck and finger press the three other raw edges in by 0.5 inch and secure with a few pins.

Set your machine to a longer stitch length and sew the three edges of the pocket.

Pin your pocket piece wherever you like to the apron body.

Stitch over the existing stitching and be sure to backstitch at the tops of the pocket.

Ta Da! You've finished your apron......stand back and admire!

Did you know Poppies & Polka Dots are the chosen supplier of many makers?

Welcome to part 1 of 'Meet the Makers'.

We're proud to be the chosen supplier to lots of creative business owners. We decided to get to know them a bit better and here are the results.

We discuss why, what and how with apron designer and maker Anna from My Mini Pinny.


Thank you for speaking to us Anna. What made you want to start running your own business?

My life completely changed after I had children. I wasn’t prepared to commute to London anymore. I also found myself very isolated so I started a knitting group. A neighbour over the road soon encouraged me to try sewing which I loved. Far quicker results and more precision for a greater fit! The group went from being a stitch and bitch gathering to a sewing circle. That was 3 years ago and we have been growing ever since. The group gave me the confidence to pursue a career as a maker and also a legitimate reason to hoard more fabric!

How did you get involved with Poppies & Polka Dots?

I was looking for a reliable supplier with lots of choice. I found Poppies & Polka Dots through a friend’s recommendation and I’ve always found the range represents my taste very well and includes all the classics that I rely on as well as all the latest new releases that are relevant to my customers. Service is fantastic and Katrina can always be relied on to offer up helpful suggestions and to answer queries straight away which is something that makes a huge difference to my small business.

Who is your inspiration?
The women at my sewing circle are my inspiration. Everyone supports each other, bakes their own cakes to lovingly share and they all come ready to laugh, create and belong. Every one of them is incredible for different reasons and we all offer unconditional acceptance.

What is your biggest creative challenge?
Last minute orders! Quite often someone will have only just found me and will need something for a birthday the following day. I’m always very happy to do everything I can to make that happen but for a fleeting moment I feel absolutely terrified!

Why do you do it?
I do it for all the customers who write to thank me and tell me how much they love their makes. It means the world to me to hear that. Also that they took the time to write and tell me their stories or send in their photos. And I do it for my children who proudly chat about mummy's pinnies to anyone who will listen!

What do you do when you're not making?
I’m a volunteer counsellor at rape crisis and I spend my time supporting women there. Otherwise I can be found at Kew Gardens soaking up inspiration and eating lemon drizzle cake.

Can we take a peek at your sewing space?
Of course! It’s not quite finished but I’m really looking forward to embellishing it with lots of handmade decorations and arranging my fabric in colour order, swoon.

Favourite quote?
If you have to ask what jazz is you'll never know - Louis Armstrong.

Sewing Machine Needles - Our 'Go To Guide'

Ever wondered what the difference between a sewing machine needle for denim, leather or jersey is?

Well wonder no more, as we have created this useful guide which will clarify in a glance!

Want to print it out and keep it for reference, simply click here for your printable version: PP&PD A GUIDE SEWING MACHINE NEEDLES

As always..... happy sewing everyone!

Lace Zips & What to do with them.....

When people see our lace zips, they always love them..... it's hard not to right? They're so pretty!

However we're so often asked, how or what can they be used for?

So with this in mind we thought we put together a quick post with some of our favourite ideas, to help inspire you....

1 - Tea and a Sewing Machine - Purse with Lace Zipper

2. Beautiful Clutch Bag from Wonderful DIY

 

3. Lace Zipper on a top by Sewing Rabbit

4. Lace Zipper Pouch by Fort Worth Fabric Studio

5 - and not to miss our own recent tutorial and free pattern 🙂 - Sew Cherry 2 Lace Zipper Make Up Bag

Hope this helps get your inspired!

Happy 'Lace Zipper' sewing x

 

Sew Cherry 2 - Easy Make Up Bag Tutorial with Lace Zip

In my opinion, you can never have enough of these little purses. I've called this a make-up purse, but really this type of thing can be used to hold anything; it's incredibly useful and also makes the perfect gift.

This is an ideal project for a beginner sewer, but is also a great little project for more experienced sewers, looking for a quick hit project! Hope you enjoy, feel free to add any comments, feedback below!

What you need:

1 x Pattern - download here

1 x FQ - Outer Fabric

1 x FQ - Lining Fabric

1 x FQ - Fusible Interfacing

1 x 20cm (8 inch) Lace Zip

Rotary Cutter / board or scissors

Matching Cotton & Cotton

General Sewing tools (Sewing Machine, Pins, Pencil)

Instructions:

1 - Using the pattern template, cut out 2 pieces from your outer fabric, 2 pieces from your lining fabric and 2 pieces from the interfacing.

2 - Iron the interfacing to the wrong side of the outer fabric - repeat for the 2nd piece.

3 - Place the lining and outer fabrics right sides together.

4 - Using a 1/4 inch seam allowance, sew together the outer and lining pieces along the top edge (see images above and below to see the top edge). Repeat this for the 2nd pieces.

5 - Now press the seams together.....

.......and then press open the seams for both pieces.

(sorry I forgot to take a picture of the next step.....) You then need to fold along the seam, so that wrong sides are together. Do this for both pieces.

6 - Next pin the zip to the top edge of one of the pieces.

7 - Using a zipper foot, sew the zip to the top of the first piece of fabric (I decided to use some matching red cotton for this part of the make).

8 - Then take the 2nd piece of fabric and pin the top to the opposite side of the zip. Take this to your machine and again sew onto the 2nd piece of fabric. Remember if your needle is kept in the fabric and you lift your footer, you can move the zip pull along and out of the way of the machine needle for ease.

9 - Next bring the outer fabric pieces together (right sides together) and the lining fabric pieces together (right sides together). Then making sure that the bottom edges are perfectly aligned,  we'll then sew the outer fabrics together and the lining fabrics together. So, start by lining up the outer fabrics and using a 1/4 inch seam allowance, sew along the bottom edge as per below image.

10 - Next you will sew together the bottom of the lining pieces together. This time, you will need to remember to leave a gap of approximately 2 inches - this will be used to turn the project right side out, once we've sewn sides and corners.

So for now, line up the edges of the 2 lining pieces and sew (leaving that gap - my gap went a bit off centre, but it doesn't really matter).

11 - Next we'll sew the sides together. Before doing so, clip the two zip tabs flat.

12 - Next you sew along both sides using a 1/4 inch seam allowance.

13 - So now both sides are sewn together we just need to finish off the 4 corners before turning the bag right side out. Bring the seams together on your first corner and clip in placing, making sure all the edges line up.

Sew this edge together following the line of the edge of the fabric. Repeat for the remaining 3 corners (2 in total for outer fabric and 2 for the lining).

14 - Now you can pull the outer fabric through the turning hole in the lining.

15 - Once you've pull the outer through, you can push in the lining and pull out all of the corners to get the correct shape. Then all that's left to do, is pin together the open seam in the lining and sew!

The finished article - perfect!