My little boy loves books, especially ones with flaps. But in his enthusiasm the flaps often get ripped and torn, which gave me the idea for this quiet book. To create the front cover I appliqued animals from various pieces of fabric using bondaweb and a machine blanket stitch. I hand stitched the title using backstitch and I did the same inside to add a personal message to him.
I created the pages as you would a quilt. I layered fabric with wadding and used binding to sandwich it together. I used felt as giant flaps to cover the animal print fabric panels on each page.
I used the decorative stitches on my sewing machine to add interest to the felt flaps.
My little boy has really enjoyed looking at this book and hopefully he will treasure this for a long time. It was a very enjoyable make and I now have lots more ideas for other fabric books I'd like to make for him.
Each Monday I’d like to share with you my makes and this week I’m sharing a make from the past. This quilt is called Village and it is from Mandy Shaw’s book Stitch at Home. I completed this last year and I loved every stitch, it was such an enjoyable project. This is a picture of the quilt top before I added backing and binding.
I adapted the original design by just joining the appliqué blocks with sashing. I wanted to keep it simple and something that I could complete easily.
I added fun buttons to the blocks to give it even more interest. I’m so pleased with how it turned out. If you haven’t seen Mandy’s check out Dandelion Designs. Her designs are so lovely I know I will be making many more.
One of the things that has made the biggest difference to my embroidery work over the last few years is the discovery of thread conditioners. Today I’m reviewing three products to give you my opinions on how well they work .
When using stranded embroidery thread, some type of thread conditioner makes a lot of difference to how the threads glide through the fabric. A conditioner also helps the threads to stay together rather than separate and helps to prevent knots and tangling.
Beeswax is typically what embroiderers use and this is what I’ve used up until recent years. You run your thread through the grooves of the plastic container to coat it. You can repeat these steps two or three times to ensure your thread is covered. The protective layer the wax provides stops the thread being damaged by the abrasion caused by running it repeatedly through the fabric. I always liked using beeswax and found it made a big difference to my sewing. However it can flake off so it is important to invest in good quality beeswax which will last you many years.
About six years ago I discovered Thread Heaven. This tiny blue box contains a synthetic conditioner which claims to straighten, strengthen, and bind thread fibres together to prevent fraying and protect against environmental conditions such as sunlight and humidity. Now I’m all about natural products which was another reason why I loved beeswax so much, but I found Thread Heaven to be a lot more effective. When you run your thread through the conditioner it creates a slightly tacky film coating on the thread but this certainly allows it to glide through fabric and prevents tangling. However, the only drawback to this product is the container it comes in. As it has no grooves, it is difficult to coat your thread when the product above the surface is used up as you can’t get down deep enough. Also, the company that makes this product has ceased trading. You can still buy it at some retailers but once it’s gone, it’s gone. I do like this product so I bought two to ensure I don’t run out anytime soon.
In a desperate search for something to replace Thread Heaven, I stumbled upon Thread Magic. Again it claims to prevent tangling and fraying and to prolong the life of the thread. Thread Magic looks and feels just like Thread Heaven but the packaging has grooves in the sides allowing you to use it more easily. I think it gives the thread a slightly less tacky coating but it certainly does work well and prevents tangling.
Overall, if I had to choose one product, I think I do prefer Thread Heaven and that does seem to be the one I reach for most when I’m sewing. However I am happy that once it’s used up and unavailable in the shops anymore, Thread Magic will be there to coat and protect my embroidery threads going forward.
I love stitching other people’s designs as well as my own. I’m currently making My Favourite Garden wall hanging from Lynette Anderson’s book Country Quilts. What I love about her designs is that they incorporate more than one type of sewing which is great for me as I love using different techniques. This patterns uses appliqué, patchwork, and embroidery.
So far I’ve completed five out of the nine blocks. Once the embroidery is done I will join the blocks together and add a patchwork border of coordinating fabrics. I love the muted colours in this scheme. If you love country style stitching, check out her books for further designs. I love them.
As well as hand embroidery, I've used some of the embroidery stitches on my machine too. I used a fancy border stitch to frame each block and a blanket stitch to secure the appliqué designs. I love the look of the two types of stitching as they complement each other perfectly.
Today is the start of an exciting new venture for me. I am launching Rose Petal Patterns, a company that specialises in providing unique sewing patterns and kits that will allow you to create some beautiful items as well as teach you all sorts of stitching techniques. I have so many ideas and I can’t wait to share them with you. So a little bit about me, my name is Em and I’m a 35 year old mum of one living in northern England. I’m inspired by nature, the countryside, 1930s and 1940s vintage designs as well as being inspired by my beautiful little boy. I have been sewing for about 30 years and have turned my hand to most forms of sewing including quilting, embroidery, dress making and appliqué. As I build my little pattern company, I will announce things on this blog and over on my instagram page (link on the home page). You can expect to find free patterns, video tutorials and lots of inspiration here so please follow me to stay up to date. Thank you!
About the Author
My name is Emma and I love all things sewing. My little blog is the place where I document what I'm making. I hope you enjoy reading what I'm up to. Thanks for stopping by. All opinions are my own and there is no sponsored content or affiliate links on my site.