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.