On the Third Day of Christmas ...

Posted on October 21, 2015 by Rae | 2 comments

Sam made us a free motion embroidered Christmas Village!  You could put this lovely piece of art/sewing into a frame or directly onto a card for  very special Christmas greeting... use it for gift tags, napkin rings, your imagination is the limit!

We're so lucky to have Sam Molloy as one of the brilliant tutors that run classes here at Make HQ - check our Sam's blog here where she records her adventures in stitching. One of Sam's most popular classes is her Free Motion Embroidery workshop and if you fancy coming along we've just put another class on in January - time to drop some well placed hints for a Christmas present, maybe?




Now it's over to Sam for her fantastic tutorial...

You will need:

  • Base fabric – this is what your picture will be stitched onto, so you need to choose something firm and stable.
  • Christmas fabric. In this tutorial I’ve used Christmas Dreams Christmas Village by Wendy Kendall for Dashwood Studio.
  • Iron on interfacing.  
  • Bondaweb
  • Tissue paper or greaseproof paper.
  • A darning or embroidery foot for your sewing machine.

Choose a Christmas fabric with a nice simple design, you’re going to be cutting the design out and sewing around the edges of the pieces, so the more intricate the initial design, the more intricate your cutting and sewing need to be!


First prepare your backing fabric by ironing a piece of medium weight iron on interfacing to the back. It doesn’t need to cover the entire fabric, just the area you will be stitching into later. This is to stabilise your backing fabric and prevent it stretching when you sew.


Roughly cut out the elements of the design on the Christmas fabric you want to use and place them right side up on the ‘glue’ side of a piece of Bondaweb.



Place a piece of greaseproof paper over the Bondaweb and press with a hot iron to melt the glue so that it adheres to the back of the fabric. Please remember the greaseproof paper, otherwise you’ll have to spend the next hour cleaning glue off your iron!


Peel the fabric pieces from the Bondaweb backing, cut them out neatly and arrange them in your chosen design on the backing fabric.



If you’re going to layer the pieces, you will need to apply and stitch the bottom layers first, so at this point it might be helpful to take a photo of your design to help you can remember where everything went.  Iron any pieces that will be part of the ‘bottom’ layer onto the backing, using a piece of greaseproof paper between the fabric and the iron to prevent any remaining glue from catching on the iron.



Put your darning or embroidery foot on your sewing machine and lower your feed dogs. You’re now ready to start stitching your design in place. Carefully stitch round each piece of your image separately. I like to use black thread and go round twice, to form a more solid outline, but you can experiment to see what looks good to you.


You can just go around the edge, or stitch into the fabric design to pick certain elements out.



Once you’re happy with the bottom layer, you can add your other pieces, once again placing a piece of greaseproof paper between the fabric and the iron.


Stitch the second, and any subsequent, layers in the same way as the first, adding as much detail as you like. You can see I decided to change the position of one of my trees when I came to do this layer.



Mount or frame your finished free motion embroidery. A small embroidery with one or two elements would look great as a Christmas card, a much larger one could be used to make a cushion cover or you could even make a set to use as placemats for your Christmas table. The choice is yours!


We hope we've inspired you to get your darning foot out and give this a go?  Check back soon for the HQ Fourth Make of Christmas!




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On the Second Day of Christmas...

Posted on October 16, 2015 by Rae | 0 comments

Karen made a festive table runner!

No Christmas table is complete without a splash of festive colour and a quilted table runner does the job perfectly.  Karen came up with this gorgeous Whirling Star table runner consisting of five star blocks surrounded by a border. The blocks are pieced using the foundation piecing method to give nice sharp points and then the runner is constructed using the 'quilt as you go' method - a real time saver! 

You can make this at our workshop at the Make HQ Studio - see here to find out more - but if you live too far away to come on Karen's class, why not check out these brilliant Christmas table runner tutorials we found on the net?  Our favourites are this one from the Missouri Star Quilt Company, this one from Sew Today Clean Tomorrow and there are a whopping 20 ideas here at Fave Quilts.

Looking for Christmas fabric to use?  If you're in the traditional camp, how about this combo of winter berries with metallic accents and lovely neutral linen...

or, if you prefer thoroughly modern merriment, how about Wendy Kendall's 2015 offering for Dashwood Studio - Christmas Dream...

Hope you find some of these tutorials useful but whatever you're making, we'd love to see it. Share your pictures with us on Instagram: @fabrichq Facebook: facebook.com/FabricHQ twitter: twitter.com/FabricHQ and use the hashtag #makeHQ


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The 12 Makes of Christmas - Back again for 2015!

Posted on October 14, 2015 by Rae | 0 comments

We're really excited to announce that we are bringing back our 12 Makes of Christmas series for the third year running!  If you haven't seen these before, it's definitely worth taking a look back through some of the tutorials and suggestions we put together - they're all still here on the blog if you scroll waaaay back.

This Friday it's ten weeks (eeek!) to the magic day and no-one wants to be whipping up gifts in a frenzy on Christmas Eve. So, we're starting right here and now in October so that you've got plenty of time to get ahead, feel organised and leave the couple of weeks before Christmas to wrapping, partying and nursing overindulged heads.

The first of our 12 makes has to be the 2015 Dashwood Studio Advent Calendar which we are tooootally in love with!

This gorgeous Advent Calendar Panel with a Christmas Tree centre and reindeers, could only be from Bethan Janine’s festive fabric collection, Winter Wonderland for Dashwood Studio. Instructions on how to make the calendar are printed across the top of the fabric...

and it looks beautiful made up.

If you fancy having a go at making this panel you can get hold of it here but if you would like some help putting it together, Karen Chapman is running this as a class here at the Make HQ Studio on Saturday 21st November and you can book a space here.


Whatever you're making, we'd love to see it.  Share your pictures with us on Instagram: @fabrichq Facebook: facebook.com/FabricHQ twitter: twitter.com/FabricHQ and use the hashtag #makeHQ



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