Saturday, 19 December 2015

Free Christmas delivery at Pelenna Patchworks quilt shop!

We are now closed for the Christmas holidays, any orders placed will be processed as usual but they will not be dispatched until the week starting Monday the 4th January.

We are offering free delivery on all orders placed during the holidays, up until December the 31st - just enter the code 'CHR15' in the coupon/voucher code in the basket to remover the delivery charge - Merry Christmas and a happy new year!

Thursday, 17 December 2015

New fabrics with Moda's Dot Dot Dash fabric range by Me & My Sister Designs!

Just arrived is the full Dot Dot Dash fabric range, by Me & My Sister Designs for Moda. In a variety of spotty and stripey designs in bright pink, purple, turquoise, orange, green and yellow, these patchwork fabrics make the perfect stash builders! Spots and stripes are always useful for borders, sashings and backgrounds, or you could used these brilliantly coordinating fabrics on their own for a really striking quilt - our fat quarter packs in pink & yellow, turquoise & purple or orange & green make buying the fabrics really easy!

Tuesday, 8 December 2015

Newly expanded range of Mettler Silk Finish threads now available!

After a few months of stock problems while Mettler re-branded their range, we now have a huge range of colours available in the various Mettler Silk-Finish thread collections. We have Silk-Finish 50 sewing thread ideal for piecing and general dress making, Silk-Finish 40 quilting thread which is a heavier weight ideal for quilting and special effects, and Silk Finish Multi 50 which is a range of multicoloured and variagated threads great to create eyecatching designs and colourful patterns. We also have the most popular solid colours on larger reels, perfect for larger projects!

Saturday, 28 November 2015

New free cot quilt pattern!

We couldn't resist designing this cute little baby quilt from our latest range, Bunny Hop by Greta Lynn for Benartex's Kanvas Studio! Perfect for a cot quilt or throw, this little quilt would make an ideal Christmas present:

The Bunny Hop fabric range is a lovely set of nursery fabrics, and this 33" x 39" quilt is made using the foundation piecing method in neutral colours, however the range includes all the prints in blue or pink as well, so you could adapt the pattern to the colour scheme you need! The pattern and foundation block patterns can be downloaded from our free patterns page

Here's how it looks in pink and blue:

Thursday, 26 November 2015

New nursery quilt fabrics with Greta Lynn's Bunny Hop for Benartex!

In pastel shades of baby blue, pink and yellow, the Bunny Hop patchwork fabric collection is perfect for any baby. Bunny Hop, designed by Greta Lynn for Benartex's Kanvas Studio, features playful bunnies, paired with soft plaids and scattered dot prints along with a coordinating stripe. Perfect for baby quilts and nursery accessories!

We have a fat quarter pack and stash pack put together from the range in neutral colours, so you can make quilts and accessories suitable for babies you haven't even met yet!

Wednesday, 25 November 2015

Brand new Benartex Arbor Hill fabrics, plus loads of bag making accessories!

Brand new in - whisper-soft florals, elegant paisleys, a lovely wallpaper stripe - the Arbor Hill fabric collection by Dover Hill for Benartex is a study in soft tones and textures. The florals are delicately painted, and the entire palette is soft blues or pinks, with gentle touches of ivory. This patchwork fabric range would be a wonderful choice for a relaxing bedroom or for little girl dresses for special occasions. We also have eight perfectly coordinating prints from the range available in a lovely fat quarter pack or stash pack.

We have also recently expanded our already extensive range of bag making supplies, with extra bag handles, leather bag bottoms, decorative bag fasteners and a whole new section of purse frames. Great for making lovely little purses and bags for Christmas presents!

Friday, 6 November 2015

New Tribeca Carly fabrics available from Timeless Treasures!

Last of this week's new arrivals is the Carly fabric range by Tribeca at Timeless Treasures. Tribeca is a new division of Timeless Treasures fabric dedicated to producing colourful, playful patchwork fabrics, and the Carly print range does not disappoint! Including drawn and geometric floral prints and bright matching spotty prints, these quilting prints are great for modern, vibrant accessories. We have the whole range available as a stash pack or discounted fat quarter pack, making matching fabrics a doddle!

Thursday, 5 November 2015

New range of novelty fabrics now available from Timeless Treasures!

Timeless Treasures manufacture a huge range of novelty fabrics, and we have a small selection just arrived ideal to make childrens' quilts, playmats and other accessories. Including glittery ballerinas, dinosaurs, computer games and farmyard animals, there should be a novelty fabric here suitable for most interests!

There is also the Traffic Jam quilt panel included in the range, ideal for playmats for anyone who enjoys playing with cars with its interconnecting roads running around a charmingly illustrated town!

Wednesday, 4 November 2015

New Michael Miller Black & White fabrics now available!

Just uploaded is a small selection of new black & white fabric prints from Michael Miller - including stripes, spots, ribbons and fleur de lis, this is a collection of unusual designs great for any monochrome quilts!

Monday, 26 October 2015

New in - Alison's Flowers fabric by Makower's Henley Studio!

We've stocked up our floral fabrics this week with the addition of 6 fabrics from the Alison's Flowers fabric range by Makower's Henley Studio - hand painted, ditsy florals in lilac, blue and pink perfect to pretty up your home!

Saturday, 24 October 2015

Quilt group discounts now available at Pelenna Patchworks online shop!

We know that there are thousands of quilt groups around the country, and often projects are shared, or a theme is used so that many people will be using similar fabrics - we also know that sometimes it's worth clubbing together if it means you get a better prices just on every day tools!

Therefore we now have a Quilt Group Discount available on the Pelenna Patchworks online shop - the discounts are as follows:

Order £100 or more - 10% discount
Order £150 or more - 15% discount
Order £200 or more - 20% discount

The percentage will be taken off your basket total at checkout - all you need to do is contact us by telephone on 01639 898444, or use the application form on the website here, to let us know the name of your quilt group and we can apply the discount to your account.

Friday, 23 October 2015

Collared witch's cloak tutorial - how to make a child's cape to go with a witch's costume!

I've just used our Glow in the Dark fabric to make a little witch's cloak for my 4 year old - as I couldn't find a tutorial online to make exactly what I wanted I decided to wing it, and this is a description of how I did it (complete with a few corrected mistakes!) just in case anyone else wants to try a similar cloak!

First, you need half a metre of your chosen fabric, plus half a metre of a lining fabric. I used Timeless Treasures Glow in the Dark spider webs, with a plain black cotton fabric to line it. You will also need matching sewing thread and a small piece of interfacing for the collar. The cloak I made is ideal for an average sized 4 year old, for taller children just use a larger piece of fabric for greater length.

For the main body of the cloak, leave the fabric folded and mark out a quarter circle with a 1/2m radius (I used a pen and a piece of string for this). Mark out a smaller circle for the neck hole, this is not a critical measurement but it should be small enough that the cloak sits on the shoulders comfortably - I cut round a small saucer approximately 5 inches in diameter for this. The picture below shows how the cut fabric looks at this stage, with the folded edge at the top, when you open it out you will have a semi-circular piece. Repeat the cutting instructions to make a lining piece to the same dimensions (or just lay the already cut piece on top of the lining and cut round it!).

Cut two collar pieces from the left over pattern fabric -  to get the length required measure around the collar circumference and add approximately 1/2 inch (I didn't add the 1/2 inch and ended up with quite a big step between the cloak and the collar, as I didn't take the seam allowance into account).

Cut the collar pieces to this measured length, and to the height you want the collar plus around 1/4 inch - it may be easier to make the height larger than you need as you can always adjust this later. Use the interfacing to stiffen the collar by ironing on to the wrong side of one of the collar pieces.

Place collar pieces right sides together and sew a 1/4 inch seam up the side, along the top and back down. Turn the collar right sides out and then sew a stay stitch line along the bottom at the height you want the collar to be. Cut notches up to the stay stitching to make sewing the collar in easier. Put the collar to one side for now.

Next, pin the cape pattern and lining pieces together right sides together. Pin two lengths of ribbon approximately 1/2 inch down from the neck opening, long enough to tie the cloak closed - make sure you put the long ends of the ribbon inside the fabric sandwich and don't make my mistake and have the long ends on the outside! THE PICTURE BELOW IS WRONG - PUT THE LONG ENDS OF THE RIBBON INSIDE THE FABRIC SANDWICH!

 Sew a 1/4 inch seam down each side and along the bottom omitting the collar (I like to sew the two sides first and then along the bottom instead of going all the way around in one go, as it seems to stop the pieces from wandering). Turn the cloak right side out and press.

Stay stitch 1/4 inch in from the raw edge of the collar - just a straight sewing line all the way around. Clip notches up to the stay stitch line, then fold the raw edges to the inside and press. Take the collar and insert it into the collar opening, then pin in place.

Reverse side of pinned collar:

Sew through all layers along the collar opening approximately 1/8 inch down from the opening. The cloak is now finished!

Friday, 16 October 2015

Moda Fabric sale now on - 20% off all Moda fabrics until the end of October!

Moda Sale Now On! Pick up a bargain before stock runs out, with 20% off all Moda fabrics until the end of October! Choose from (amongst others) the brand new Simply Colourful, the popular Best of Morris and even a pre-Christmas bargain with the festive Winterberry!

Thursday, 15 October 2015

Brand new Lewis & Irene Autumn Fields full patchwork fabric range!

As the nights draw in and the weather turns colder, the Autumn Fields patchwork fabric range from Lewis & Irene is perfect to snuggle up with! Featuring cute field mice and Autumnal leaves, berries and acorns and rich colours including berry red, country green, purple and straw, Autumn Fields is a charming collection that'll warm you up inside and out.
We have the full 15 fabrics in the range available to buy by the metre, or you can buy a 10 fat quarter pack or stash pack, a charm pack or a 2.5 inch strip roll - both the strip roll and the charm pack contain 5 coordinating prints from the Autumn 2015 Bumbleberries collection.

Monday, 5 October 2015

Olfa rotary cutter guide - what's the difference between the standard, deluxe and quickblade rotary cutters?

We stock 3 different styles of Olfa rotary cutter, so I thought it would be useful to write a brief guide to the differences between them.
The three styles are shown here on the left, the standard rotary cutter, deluxe rotary cutter and the newest quickblade rotary cutter. All these cutters have a 45mm diameter blade, but we do stock the standard style in 18mm, 28mm and 60mm sizes also.

Standard Olfa Rotary Cutter

The standard style of rotary cutter is the original, ground breaking tool brought out by Olfa. Allowing you to cut several layers of fabric accurately all at once, the rotary cutter is probably the most useful tool you can own (along with a mat and ruler) and this is the entry level model with the most modest price tag!
To use the standard cutter you simply pull the blade cover down with your thumb, this uncovers the whole top half of the blade. The cover is not spring loaded so it is important to get in the habit of pushing it back up when the blade is not in use (a few cut fingers in my case forced better habits!).

The blade can be changed on the standard style cutter by unscrewing the nut on the back and removing it along with the washer, this releases the blade spindle allowing you to replace the blade. The pictures below show the blade mechanism assembled and disassembled.

The deluxe Olfa rotary cutter has the same function as the standard, but with a few extra features. To operate it you squeeze the black part of the ergonomically designed handle and the blade pops out from behind the cover. This is spring loaded, so as soon as you let go of the handle the blade returns behind the cover, although by pressing the red button on the handle you can lock the blade in either the covered or uncovered position, a useful safety feature.

The second picture above shows the cutter held in the left hand - all the Olfa rotary cutters can be used in either hand, you just need to reverse the blade assembly. Similar to the standard cutter, you replace the blade by unscrewing the nut and removing the washer and spindle. You may notice that the pictures show a pinking blade on this cutter - the Olfa pinking blades and wave blades are a handy way to make pinked edges without the sore hands that pinking shears leave me with! The pinking and wave blades can only be used with the deluxe cutters however.

The newest addition to the Olfa rotary cutter family is the Quick Blade style. My personal favourite, this is the cutter I use every day due to its ergonomic handle and the quick blade replacement mechanism. 
To use the cutter you can pull back the blade cover - this is a similar mechanism to the standard cutter, but the cover is in two halves so you can choose to only uncover half the blade, making it safer in use (the first picture below has only one half of the cover pulled back, the second picture has the blade completely uncovered). Again, the cover is not spring loaded, so you must remember to push the cover back up after use!

The Quick Blade cutter lives up to its name when you come to change the blade. There are no fiddly nuts and washers, you just pull back the black clip on the back of the cutter and the blade spindle pops out. You can then just change the blade and clip it back in the same way. Personally I love this as I keep forgetting which way round the nuts and washers go on the other cutters, while this one is pretty idiot proof!

Hopefully this guide has been useful, if you do have any questions please don't hesitate to get in contact with us through the website!

Sunday, 4 October 2015

New free quilt pattern available using Moda's Simply Colorful fabric range.

I have finally finished a new quilt design after a very busy month - using the Moda Simply Colorful quilt fabrics this 52" x 52" quilt would make a lovely throw or lap quilt to brighten up your home for the winter! We have quilt kits available containing all the fabrics for the quilt top and binding, or you can download the pattern for free on our free quilt patterns page.

Sunday, 27 September 2015

Welsh quilting and Welsh quilts - a brief history!

People often ask me how I got interested in quilting, and one of the earliest things that inspired me was a book on Welsh quilting. I thought that the simple style and intricate quilting of the old Welsh quilts was beautiful, and a hobby was born! I've visited lots of places that show Welsh quilts and researched some of the history, so this is a potted guide just to share a bit of the information I've gathered.

Quilting has definitely been part of the Welsh culture since the late 18th century - although it is likely to be an older art in the country, there is very little evidence surviving of Welsh quilts before this time. It is a little after this that there became a recognisable Welsh style of quilt-making, in their wholecloth quilts and woollen quilts in particular.

Initially, due to the cost of fabrics for quilting, quilts were roughly made from home-spun woollen blankets. In the middle of the 19th century less expensive printed fabrics began to become available to the masses and quilting production really took off - many of the best examples being made from Welsh flannel.

It is the Welsh flannel quilts in their bold colours and geometric shapes that give rise to the comparison between Welsh quilting and the more well known Amish style of quilting, and as there was a great deal of Welsh immigrants to America at this time, particularly to Pennsylvania, it seems impossible to deny a link between the two. The design influence also passed back to Wales, with American block designs appearing in Welsh quilts from this time as Welsh families travelled to and from America. The wallhanging below is one I made, inspired by Welsh patchwork techniques, hand quilted with traditional motifs such as spirals and the Welsh pear, or paisley design.

Quiltmaking in Wales however was not a hobby, it was a profession. Making quilts was one of the few ways a woman could earn a respectable living , and as there were many miners' widows around it meant that a woman could support herself and her family. Quilts were made to order by the local seamstress, many housewives in the area would get new fabric and wadding each year and have a new set of bedding made up for the winter - although there was usually a 'special' quilt in the household reserved for important guests.

Quilting in Wales remained an important industry until the early 20th century, when mass produced items started to take over. There was a resurgence between the two world wars when the Rural Industries Bureau established a programme to encourage craft industries in areas affected by economic depression. The quilts made during this time were mainly high quality quilts to sell as luxury items in wealthier areas. Sadly though, fabric production ceased during World War II, and after the war there was neither the necessity or the skills remaining to carry on the craft in any major fashion.

Quilting in the Welsh style has therefore all but died out in in our country. There are however many enthusiasts (myself included!) who wish to keep the tradition going and not lose the many quilts that have been found and restored from the "golden age" of Welsh quilting - some great places to visit to see some of these works of art are:

The Welsh Quilt Centre, Lampeter - Includes quilt exhibitions, courses and gallery shop, well worth a visit!
The Museum of Welsh Life, St Fagans - Includes a large historical textile collection, with patchwork quilts on the beds in the re-erected houses plus more available to view by appointment.
The Quilt Association - Membership organisation based in the Minerva centre in Llanidloes, with a great annual exhibition of contemporary and antique quilts.

Friday, 25 September 2015

New Lewis & Irene Fabrics Home Sweet Home collection!

 We have some lovely new fabrics just in - the folksy, pretty Home Sweet Home patchwork collection from Lewis & Irene fabrics. Available off the bolt or in a fat quarter pack or stash pack, and also in a strip roll or charm pack that includes one of each of the 15 fabrics in the collection plus 5 coordinating colours from the Lewis & Irene Bumbleberries colleciton!

Monday, 21 September 2015

What type of quilt wadding should you use? Guide to quilt wadding.

I have had quite a few customers calling recently to ask questions about what wadding to use and why, so below is the guide to quilt wadding from the website, hopefully it will be useful!

Also known as batting, the quilt wadding is the filling between the quilt top and backing that gives the quilt its loft and warmth. Available in cotton, cotton/polyester blends, polyester, wool and several new eco friendly types such as bamboo, there is a wealth of wadding brands out there to choose from - the different materials are detailed below.

The other thing to watch out for with wadding is whether it is needlepunched (where the fibres are mechanically felted together by being punched with many needles) or bonded (where the fibres are chemically bonded). Needle punched waddings are firmer and denser than bonded wadding, so can be more difficult to hand quilt, however if you want completely natural materials then the chemicals in bonded wadding are best avoided.

 Cotton - Cotton wadding is soft and washable, and its clingy qualities make it great for machine quilting as it helps prevent the fabrics moving during quilting. Cotton can shrink quite a lot on first washing, which is ideal for the antique puckered look, but for a smooth look it is essential to pre-shrink the wadding. Cotton wadding will soften with age, and is breathable and drapes well.

Cotton/polyester blend - Cotton/polyester blend wadding is loftier than 100% cotton wadding and more breathable than 100% polyester. It also shrinks less than all cotton batting, and can be more affordable. For a good combination of the easy handling of polyester and the natural breathability of cotton, a good cotton/polyester blend is ideal. The Hobbs Heirloom quilt wadding we sell is an 80/20 cotton/polyester blend, available in king, queen, twin and crib pre-cut sizes. It is also available in a black queen size version for use with dark fabrics.

 Polyester - Polyester wadding is soft, light and has high loft, and is probably the easiest wadding to use for hand quilting, but it can be hard to handle when machine quilting so a thinner wadding is best for this. Polyester wadding has very low shrinkage, so is ideal for quilts that will be washed often (such as childrens' quilts), it can also be tumble dried. Cheaper polyester wadding do have a greater tendency to 'beard', where the fibres work their way through the cotton quilt top and backing, so it is worth investing in a good quality brand from a quilt shop rather than the generic 2oz/4oz wadding available from many general sewing shops. Our Sew Simple polyester wadding is great quality and also great value, available in 1/2 metre units of a 90inch wide bolt.

 Heat resistant wadding - A variation on standard polyester wadding is the heat resistant wadding, which uses a combination of Mylar heat-resistant film and hollow polyester fibers. It is ideal for any project that requires thermal properties, such as pot holders, oven gloves, tea cosies and ironing board covers. We stock Sew Simple's standard heat resistant wadding and extra wide heat resistant wadding, perfect for larger projects such as table covers.

Wool - wool wadding is very warm and has high loft, and is light to handle. Wool wadding is great for hand quilting and also suitable for machine quilting. It has low shrinkage so can be washed although it should never be tumble dried. Wool wadding is great at regulating body temperature, and can absorb a lot of moisture without feeling damp so it is ideal in lower temperatures. Wool is also naturally flame retardant making it ideal for quilts for infants.

 Silk - Silk wadding is a naturally lightweight and warm wadding, often used for quilted garments due to its excellent drapability. Silk wadding has high shrinkage and needs careful washing.

 Bamboo - Bamboo wadding is probably the most common of the new wave of eco friendly waddings, being made from the fast growing bamboo plant grown with no fertilizers or pesticides. It is needlepunched, and has low shrinkage and similar breathability and coolness to cotton wadding.

Thursday, 17 September 2015

Knitting & crochet sale launched, plus more new Moda fabrics!

 If you're anything like me, quilting won't be your only hobby! Personally I crochet and tat as well, so for all those who also like the wool and thread crafts we've just launched our knitting and crochet sale - with 20% off all knitting needles, knitting tools, crochet hooks and crochet tools you can pick up a bargain to feed your other crafty hobbies today!

Also new this week is the full Moda Simply Colorful patchwork fabric range - Simply Colorful by V and Co for Moda is the ideal range if you love vibrant colour and bold patterns! In bright yellow, deep orange and warm red, the range has fun geometrics and softer florals in each of the three colours, working well with plains or great for making a statement on their own. We have fat quarter packs and stash packs availabe in red, orange and yellow, great to build your stash or for when you need lots of different prints in a certain colour range.

Thursday, 10 September 2015

Glow in the Dark patchwork fabrics from Timeless Treasures now available!

We don't often get fabrics in for Halloween, but I couldn't resist these! The Glow in the Dark fabric range from Timeless Treasures does what it says on the tin, all the white on the fabrics glows after the lights go out, making them brilliant for costumes and Halloween decorations (the stash pack or fat quarter pack would be great for bunting)!

Wednesday, 9 September 2015

Lewis & Irene Bumbleberries ful Autumn 2015 collection now available.

The Bumbleberries patchwork fabrics are Lewis and Irene's gorgeous range of blenders, and each season they bring out a new range of colours to complement the print ranges also newly available. This is the full Autumn 2015 collection, full of warm Autumnal colours such as browns, reds, greens and creams.
This will not be an ongoing range, however we will be getting two other Lewis & Irene print collections delivered soon so these are the ideal complementary fabrics to match up with them!

Wednesday, 19 August 2015

All new OBO, Holiday Magic patchwork fabrics plus Cold Spell and Hi De Ho Moda bundles!

Loads of new fabrics available today! First up are jelly rolls and layer cakes from two Moda ranges - Hi De Ho by Me & My Sister Designs, and Cold Spell by Laundry Basket Quilts, both stunning and very different ranges!

The first new range uploaded today is the last of our 2015 Christmas collections, the Holiday Magic patchwork fabrics by Jan Shade Beach for Henry Glass. Tasteful Christmas inspired fabric prints in wintery greys and intense reds make up the range, and the designs include tonal pinecones and holly as well as snowflakes and winter motifs, making this range perfect for the holiday season.

Finally, we have 6 fabrics from the OBO patchwork fabric collection by Stof. Always popular, owl motifs are fun and modern and this is a great selection of fresh coloured owl prints and matching tonals, great for bags and accessories as well as nursery and children's quilts - also available as a coordinating stash pack or discounted fat quarter pack!