Thursday, 2 March 2017

Homespun Magazine 'Going to the Zoo' BOM quilt - Month 2. Penguin tutorial

Hopefully you have made a good start to the quilt and month ones' block is complete. To lay down the pond, rocks and mum and dad penguin follow the same principal as in month one using fusible paper and following the magazines fabric guide.

Once all the background has been done and stitched all you need to do is make three cute little penguin that can hop from one fish to another!

. . . and here is how to do that.

For the front of the penguins, iron 3 of the large black rectangles & 3 small rectangles onto some lightweight interfacing - you will need interfacing that can be fused.
Lightly press the large rectangles in half matching the two longest edges together to mark a centre line. This will help position the penguins tummy. 

Place the template plastic over the pattern template and trace the shape for the penguins body and the penguins wing and then cut along the drawn line.

To make the penguin wings, pair up the small rectangles. Each pair will have one rectangle with interfacing and one rectangle without. Place them with right sides together. Onto the interfacing side, trace around the wing template twice to make a pair of wings for each penguin.
Reduce the stitch length on your machine to 1.5 - this will ensure that the curve is nice and smooth and will not split once turned through. Machine stitch over the drawn curved line of each wing shape. Do not stitch over the straight line at the bottom of the wing!
Cut around the stitched line leaving about an 1/8in seam allowance. Turn the wing right side out. This can be tricky . . . place the end of a pencil into the tip of the wing then carefully roll the wing over the wing.
For a really nice smooth edge to the wings, roll the seam between your fingers working the seam right to the edge. Press firmly with an iron.
Repeat the process to complete 3 sets of wings.

To make the baby penguin bodies, trace the templates for the penguin tummies and beaks 3 times onto fusible web and cut them out roughly. Fuse the traced penguin tummies to the back of the white felt - make sure you use a heat mat over the felt. Fuse the beaks to the back of the orange fabric.

Cut the tummies and beak out along the drawn lines. To get a good smooth curved cut, move the shape into the scissors rather then moving the scissors around the curve. Peel the paper away from the baby penguin tummies and place onto the black fabric rectangles with the interfacing. Use the pressed line to help centre the tummies. Press in place again using the heat mat. Fuse beaks in place. Machine blanket stitch around the white felt and orange beaks with colour matched thread. For this project we matched the bobbin thread to the top thread.

Mark where the baby penguins eyes should be. Hand stitch a small cross stitch in place for each eye. Use three or four threads of standard embroidery floss to make the eye bolder or use a 12wt thread as we did.

Now that the front of the penguins have been done, turn over the fronts and on the back centre the template for the penguins body and draw around it with a biro. Make sure to centre the template over the stitch lines of the penguins tummies. Mark a 1 inch gap at the bottom of the penguin for stuffing. Cut out the shape of the penguins body along the drawn line. 

Once the three bodies have been cut out turn them over to position the wings. Line up the raw edge of the wings with the edge of the penguin as shown above making sure the wings are laying into the penguins body. Pin them in place. Its a good idea the tack them in place or if you are confident then you can leave the in pins for now. 
To the centre of the remaining 3 large rectangles which are going to be the backs of the penguins, hand stitch a hook fabric dot to complete the baby penguin backs. If you are using sticky hooks this can be a bit tricky as the glue likes to cling to the needle so it helps to use a thimble!

Place the front and back piece of the penguins with right sides together ensuring that the velcro dot is lined up with the centre of the penguins tummy.
Machine sew with 1/8in seam allowance around the shape making sure you start and stop at the marked lines at the bottom. Trim the shape. for a really smooth curve snip along the curved edge but be very careful not to clip the stitches. They actually work pretty well without snipping along the curve!

To turn the penguins right side out place your finger into the penguin and then place your thumb and finger together. Gentle fold the the penguin over your thumb. Once his head has poked through it should pull through with ease.
Run your finger along the inside against the line of stitching to push the seam out & then gently press along the seam with a warm iron. It helps the next step if you can iron in a nice fold along the gap ready for stitching.

Stuff the penguins with hobby fill and stitch up the gap at the bottom with black thread using a whip stitch.

Ta-dah! . . . three finished penguins for your little one's to play with in the penguin pool.

Next month, Jemima will be hosting a tutorial on her blog tiedwitharibbon on how to perfect the quilting should you have got a bit behind with that!

Don't forget to send us your progress pictures, tag @tiedwitharibbon and @claireturpindesign in your BOM and #homespunzoobom #homespunbom2017 in your Instagram posts.

Happy stitching
x Claire

Wednesday, 1 February 2017

homespun magazine 'Going to the Zoo' BOM month 1 tutorial

Have you seen the first issue of the Homespun "Going to the Zoo" Block of the Month (BOM) designed by myself (Jemima Flendt) and Claire TurpinEach Month a new Block will be featured in Homespun so that you can work through it at your own pace.

You can grab your copy of Homespun in Australia through your favourite Craft/Quilt Store, Newsagents and Target Stores.  Digitally it is available to download on Zinio, The Apple Newsstand or Google Play if you are outside Australia.

This design was great fun to create and make and we can't wait to see these  being made over the coming year.  We are planning on putting together some extra helpful information to help you with some of the pieces of the Blocks like  tips, tricks or like below a Tutorial just so you know exactly how we made different elements of the Playmat/Quilt. 

Month 1 - Entrance and Train Block.

Felt Softie Train Tutorial

Step 1 - Gather the Supplies needed to make your Train (as stated in Month 1). Following the steps in the Magazine, prepare your Appliqué Train and Press it to your felt.

Step 2 - Appliqué your Train using your chosen method - I have used a small Blanket Stitch on the machine in Matching Guitermann Sulky Thread to give it a lovely shine.

Step 3 - Take the finished Appliquéd Train and using a fabric erasable marker, mark a straight line under the train (for sewing). Place this piece on top of the second/backing rectangle of felt. Pin around your Train.

Step 4 - Machine sew around the outside of the train.  I used an Open Toe foot so that I could see where I was stitching better.

Step 5 - Stop about 2in from where you started (the blue pin) and then put the "Needle Down" into the felt.

Step 6 - Lift up the Presser Foot on your machine so that the needle is still in position.  Take your toy filling and carefully stuff your Train (while it is still in the machine).

You can use a blunt ended tool to help "poke" the toy filling to the ends of the train to get a nice even fill.

Step 7 - When you have about half stuffed your train - place the Jingle Bells inside as well and continue to stuff until you are happy with the firmness.

Step 8 - Place the Presser Foot back down and then continue to sew to the end (back where you started) - remembering to back stitch your finished stitches.

Step 9 - Take your Pinking Shears and carefully trim around the shape of your train.

Your completed Felt Softie Train should look like this.

We can't wait to see the "Going to the Zoo" BOM Play mats that you create so please - send us your pictures, tag @tiedwitharibbon and @claireturpindesign in your BOM and #homespunzoobom #homespunbom2017 in your Instagram posts as we are really excited to see these being made.

Happy Sewing 
Jemima x x

Sunday, 29 January 2017

Going to the Zoo - Homespun BOM 2017

Through 2016 I was working on a very secret squirrel project with my sewing partner in crime - Claire Turpin.  Together we were working on creating the feature Block of the Month for Homespun Magazine.
This was a super exciting project to be able to work on and a great way to express our combined creativity to create this Child's Playmate/Quilt.

The inspiration behind the project was all about "Going to Zoo" so we set about firstly deciding upon which animals we would feature and how we could put all these together in an interesting and new way.  We developed the concept for the Octagonal Play mat as an interactive and fun quilt that any child would not only love to have but could actually play and be imaginative with it.  

The quilt features lots of poplar animals that we have brought to life with Applique and by using interactive elements for the kids to play with.  The Playmate also draws up to become a bag so that the fun can be taken anywhere you like.  
Featuring Lecien Modern L's and Minny Muus from Lecien Fabrics, these fabrics are fun, bright and help to bring that unique element to this BOM as we hoped.

The Homespun "Going to the Zoo" BOM runs from the February issue through to November and we will along the way show you some Tutorials and other inspired creations to make.  
We can't wait to see the "Going to the Zoo" BOM Play mats that you create so please - send us your pictures, tag @tiedwitharibbon and @claireturpindesign in your BOM and #homespunzoobom #homespunbom2017 in your Instagram posts as we are really excited to see these being made.

Homespun is available in Australia at all good Quilt/Craft stores, Newsagents and Target stores.  Digitally through Zinio, the Apple Newsstands or google Play for all our overseas friends who would love to sew along with us.

There is a big lists of stores in Australia and New Zealand who will be stocking kits to make.  You can check out the list below for the store closest to you.

Tuesday, 20 September 2016

Sew Along Retreat - September 2017 - Bookings

We would love you join us for Sew-Alongs weekend Sewing Retreat at the beautiful Avalon Homestead in ToodyayThese events are planned to be a great opportunity to relax, unwind and get creative!

All accommodation is twin share so please indicate if you have a friend you would like to share with.The rooms are all very well appointed and maintained so you do not need to bring anything with you.

A buffet breakfast, cooked lunch and dinner are all provided for you. There is access to limitless tea and coffee during the day as well as a fridge should you wish to bring your own refreshments and food requirements if you are on a special diet. You are welcome to BYO wine, beer and bubbly.  

There is an on-site craft shop so don’t panic if you forget scissors, needles etc. The shop does also have a small supply of fabric and wadding.

The cost for the weekend is $420 per person inclusive of accommodation, meals and tuition.  A non-refundable deposit of 50% is required to secure your booking within 2 weeks of booking, with the remaining 50% payable three weeks prior to the retreat.

email - with your booking details.

We look forward to you joining us in 2017

Jemima and Claire

Sunday, 13 July 2014


We have had an idea in our heads for a medallion quilt since we fell in love with the Marcelle Medallion quilt designed by Alexia Marcelle Abegg for her book Liberty Love. Ours has turned out quite a bit bigger & a bit more involved but we think that it offers a great opportunity to learn some great new techniques. The design is called 'About Town' & centres around four paper pieced houses & each layer builds a town around them

We have trees made from half rectangle triangles, houses with rooves made from flying geese blocks, butterflies & flowers using half square triangles, leaves & petals & finishing off with a brick path border. We even managed to squeeze in some cute envelopes in the corners.

Of course this all became very easy to do as Jemima discovered Bloc-loc rulers, a great little tool to ensure perfectly square HST & flying geese blocks that all line up perfectly when joining them. The beauty of a medallion is that you can build on it as much as you like simply by adding or reducing the number of borders. 

Now it may look all a bit tricky but honestly it is not at all - all it needs is patience at the cutting stage, as there is a lot and being well organised (but as Jemima will be there she will be on top of that for all of us!)

We will be running workshops on this quilt all weekend at our up coming retreat. Kits are available & can be made to your colour choice.



Nearly done . . . a few more borders to go or leave it at this size!

Thursday, 26 June 2014

Sew Along Retreats for 2015 - What fun!

Following on from the fun we have had in the past few years with our Sew-Along Retreats at the beautiful Avalon Homestead in Toodyay, we have organised more for next year & we would love you join us! These events are planned to be a great opportunity to relax, unwind and get creative and if the past few years are anything to go by the weekends are always very productive with mountains of gorgeous projects completed by everyone.

All accommodation is twin share, all with their own ensuite facilities. Linen & towels are all provided so plenty more room in your suitcase for fabric!

A buffet breakfast, cooked lunch and dinner are all provided for you. There is access to limitless tea and coffee during the day as well as a fridge should you wish to bring your own refreshments. You are welcome to BYO wine, beer and bubbly.

There is an on-site craft shop so don’t panic if you forget scissors, needles etc. The shop does also
have a small supply of fabric and wadding.

We are always over subscribed for every retreat so in an effort to make it fair for everyone we will open bookings at 10am on friday July 25th. Submit your booking request by email or fill in the booking form found on our retreat page & email to Jemima on Friday July 25th. Unfortunately we cannot except any bookings prior to that date and time.

Bookings open at 10am on Friday July 25th and will be done on a first come first served basis.

You will find cost information & more details on our Retreat page here.

We look forward to you joining us in 2015

Jemima and Claire

If you are interest to see what we have been up to in previous years click on the link for Claires blog to see some recently posted photos.

Sunday, 16 February 2014

2014 first weekend retreat is coming!

It has been a while since our last post but that doesn't mean we haven't been busy at the sewing machine.

The next Sew-Along retreat is just over a month away & we are busy getting everything organised for what should be a great weekend. We are thoroughly looking forward to catching up with some old friends as well as welcoming along some new faces, and we are definately looking forward to being looked after by Peter & Delveen at the Avalon Homestead in Toodyay - yay, no cooking for a whole weekend!

We have a few new patterns available for this retreat, for those of you you joining us all the shopping lists can be found on the drop down menus on the right side of the blog.

happy stitching!

confetti floor cushion

liberty chevron cushion

suger flower quilt

harlequin quilt