Wednesday, 20 July 2016

Christmas in July Sale

25% off all patterns at hopesquiltdesigns.bigcartel.com
Every year my hubby and I choose a day in July to celebrate a wintry Christmas. It's a great excuse to try out some fancy new recipes, pull out the Christmas quilts and decorations, and even listen to some favourite carols.

This year I'm adding to the festivities with with 25% off all patterns in my online store until Monday 25th July 2016. You don't need a code - prices are already reduced. (That means you can still use the multiple pattern discount offer for another 10% off!)

Happy Christmas Sewing!

Hope x





Saturday, 25 June 2016

Free Mini Block Pattern - Churn Dash

I'm back with another free mini quilt block pattern. This time, it's the Churn Dash. I've also got some mini block sewing tips for you, so be sure to read through.


I made several of these churn dash blocks to try to find the best way to press the seams. A bit time consuming, but I aim in all my patterns - even the free ones - to figure those things out so that you don't have to! So, it's worth the time.

In most mini blocks the seams are bulky no matter which way you press them. You can deal with and reduce the bulk in a few ways:
  • Use thinner fabrics and avoid bulkier ones;
  • Make sure those seams are pressed as flat as you can get them. Finger pressing first can help get the seam 'set' before ironing and will make ironing the little pieces easier. I press with my fingers first, then use my finger nail to get a good crease. 
  • Don't be afraid to press some seams open and some to the side, but make sure your quarter inch seam allowance is adjusted accordingly if necessary. (In my experience, a seam that is pressed open will take up less fabric than one that is pressed to the side, so I sew a slightly narrower seam - a scant quarter inch - when I press to the side than when I press open. Test it out for yourself and see if you find the same thing.)
  • Trim seam allowances down to an eighth of an inch after sewing and pressing.
  • Use spray starch or a starch alternative. You can starch all your fabrics lightly before you begin cutting, then spray again if you need to after sewing the seams. Be sure to press the seams first to get the block or unit as flat as you can, then spray lightly and press them again. 

Here is another mini churn dash with the seams pressed differently to the pink:


You can get the free pattern by clicking the button below, which will open the file for you in another page, ready to download. Or, head to my Craftsy Pattern Store for the free download.
Happy Sewing!

Hope x

Friday, 10 June 2016

Free Mini Block Pattern - Friendship Star

I've got another free mini block pattern for you! This itty-bitty version of the Friendship Star block is quite straight forward to sew - just four half square triangle units and five squares.


You only need the smallest of scraps (the largest pieces needed are just 1.5") so why not give it a go? Click the button below to open and download the PDF pattern for free.

The block finishes at a very cute 1.5" square (2" unfinished). It's the same size as my other free mini block patterns which means you can easily mix and match to create your own mini sampler. I've got another mini pattern in the works too, just some pressing directions to iron out and it's good to go. Check back soon for more, or sign up for my newsletter to be notified as soon as it's available.


Piecing on such a small scale can be fiddly, but if you take it slow and double check the accuracy of your cutting and seam allowances, it will go together more easily. There's not a lot of room to 'fudge' so accuracy is key to a happy sewing experience. That being said, you need only use scraps so it's worth a try - what have you got to lose?


Now is a great time to give tiny sewing a go. Make Modern magazine are running a Mini Mini Quilt competition. Just make a quilt 6" square or smaller, post it to Instagram with #MMminimini and tag @makemodernmagazine and you'll be in the running to win one of many great prizes including patterns (from myself and other great designers), notions, gift vouchers and even the services of a professional quilter! You can enter as many times as you like up until 20th June. Check out all the details over at the Make Modern website

Happy sewing!

Hope x


Friday, 13 May 2016

Online Quilt Guild

If you've subscribed to my newsletter for a while, you'll have heard about the Online Quilt Guild. I've somehow neglected to mention it properly here though, so now it's time to remedy that. The Online Quilt Guild is the brainchild of Becky Jorgensen of Patchwork Posse. Becky has put so much work into the group, it's truly amazing value and really worth checking out.


quilt guild logo

How it works

The Quilt Group starts the day you join. Everything from 2015 is available once you join, as well as the year to date. During each month there will be a fun sewing project, two block of the months, a doll or plushie pattern, printable, guest designer pattern, with the occasional mystery quilt, sew along, swaps and giveaways. Each Sunday you will get an email from the quilt group about what’s happened during the week- but the group online is always open! You can share any time during the day.

Why should you be part of “the quilt guild”?

The group is online. You will have access to all the patterns, members and show and tell 24/7. No missing out on anything. This is a group that fits your schedule, has members that are passionate about quilting, gets you excited about designers you would normally not have access to.

When you join you will also have full access to 2015 patterns - both in the group and by the guest designers. There are more patterns than you have time! You will be kept sewing all year long.

Besides the private Facebook group where you can upload pictures, ask questions and meet other members, you can also share your work over on Instagram - we’ll be using the hashtag #quiltguild you can follow on Instagram here. There is also a private forum at the website to upload photos and interact with other members.

Becky is the chief designer, providing lots of patterns for a variety of sewing projects. Joining her this year are guest designers: Jacquelynne Steves, Bustle & Sew, Christa Quilts, SewCanShe, GillyMac Designs, Esch House Quilts, Quilty Habit, May Chappell, Cute Quilt Patterns, and New Leaf Stitches, and me! More about the Guest Designers here.

quilt guild guest designer

Quilt Guild Location: www.quilt-group.com sign up for the quilt group here

Finished projects: During 2016 there are 2 Block of the months (one is a mini quilt - see my previous post for a preview), 13 tea towels, doll quilts, plushie patterns, printables, bags, pin cushions, table runners and more! More about the projects here.

Skill level: Beginner – Confident Beginner. Because of the community atmosphere, you are able to get help if you are stuck, ask questions and share a hint.

Technique: Because of the guest designers and variety of patterns you will be exposed to a rounded amount of different styles and techniques, including applique, embroidery, paper piecing, patchwork, hand sewing hexagons etc.

Price: $35 / year (price will be rising) - one year with over 30 patterns PLUS previous year is included!

Pattern Format: PDF files (download and save instantly)

Quilt Group Format: The group has a private Facebook group for members only. There you can share your own projects you are working on or have finished, meet and get to know the members from around the world, download patterns, and participate in the group. Everything is in one spot- simple and easy to use on your computer or on your phone.

See you over there,

Hope x

Sunday, 24 April 2016

Online Quilt Group - Mini Quilt BOM

This year I'm participating in a mini quilt block of the month, one of the many free patterns included with Online Quilt Guild membership. Three blocks are available so far, each one three inches square. This month's block is a log cabin:


I'm using mostly Daysail by Bonnie & Camille for Moda. It's all scraps left over from this quilt and the backing of this quilt. I'm adding in other fabrics where I need to, such as for the dark blues in the log cabin block. Here are all my blocks to date:


This is a very manageable BOM. The little blocks don't take long to make and store easily with the scraps I'm using. It's fun! There is another BOM going on at the Online Quilt Guild too, but I think one at a time is enough for me. :)

Have you heard of the Online Quilt Guild? It's like a regular quilt guild, but all online. There's a Facebook Group for chatting and sharing photos, lots of patterns, and a friendly community. 


There are also patterns from a different guest designer each month. This month is Kristin of Cute Quilt Patterns. She makes adorable baby quilts with dimensional elements. I'm the guest designer for July. I really encourage you to check it out.

Tell me, have you participated in a block of the month before? What did you make? I'd love to have a look. :)

Bye for now,

Hope x 

Friday, 8 April 2016

A 'Hearty' PB&J Pillow

In my last post I promised a look at the first version of my Heart Spin Mini Quilt, which I was making into a cushion cover. This version was my test piece, where I made sure the pattern came together well and experimented with seam pressing. Here it is:



The design has quite a different look in these PB&J fabrics by Basic Grey, don't you think? I mean, it's obviously the same pattern, but isn't so... sweet?

I opted for an all-over meander in a variegated thread. I planned from the first to make it a cushion cover and I think an all-over design in a smallish scale is a good way to add a bit of stability to the patchwork, which will get pulled around a bit with use. I added some feature stitching on the hearts and around the edges of the background too.



Though I am very happy with how this cushion cover turned out, I'm not pleased at all with how long it took me. I changed my mind about how I was going to make the cushion cover twice - after I'd already started it! So I unpicked, then sewed, then changed my mind, and unpicked and sewed... and finally ended up going with my initial plan. So silly!

Here is the quilt 'pre-cushion', so you can see it flat:



I think this is my favourite version of the quilt so far. Basic Grey are one of my favourite fabric designers - I just love the slightly worn and comfortable look their fabrics have.

Do you have a favourite fabric designer? Let me know in the comments.

Bye for now x

Sunday, 20 March 2016

Heart Spin Mini Quilt - A New Pattern

I have a new pattern available! Meet my Heart Spin Mini Quilt - and prepare for lots of pictures. ;)


Finishing at around 14" square, this little quilt uses 2.5" mini charm squares and just a little yardage. It's quite a quick make. Instructions include pressing directions that allow seams to nest, making it easier to get them lined up. I also made sure to construct it in a way that keeps the sides of the heart smooth, so if seams don't quite match up there shouldn't be any jagged edges to the heart shapes.

For the hearts and border I used Hello Darling by Bonnie & Camille for Moda. I didn't have a mini charm pack, so I cut my own 2.5" squares from the ends of a jelly roll - cutting two squares from two of the prints to give me the required 42 squares.


The background is a solid from my local quilt shop, and the binding is from Gardenvale by Jen Kingwell for Moda. It took me a while to choose that binding, but I'm really happy with it. To rest my hands, which get a little sore at times, I chose to bind it all by machine.  

I was in a bit of a sad mood when it came time to quilt this mini, so to cheer myself up I decided to have a bit of fun with free-motion quilting. I find it both relaxing and absorbing, and the concentration required took my mind off my mood and cheered me up immensely. Does quilting have that effect on you too? I didn't plan the quilting out in advance, just went with a few different designs as the mood took me. It's such a fun way to quilt! 


The quilting is done with Aurifil for the most part, but I tried out an organic cotton thread by Sew Easy for the pink stitching around the inside of the border. It is a bit thicker than the Aurifil 50wt, which means that it stands out a little more and is great for feature stitching. It went through the machine beautifully and is nice and smooth. 

Organic is something I am gradually moving towards with both my thread and my fabric purchases... but that's a topic for another post.


So that's it! I hope you love it as much as I do. It is such a fun little quilt, I want to make more. I already have another one waiting to be turned into a cushion cover. It's actually my first version of this quilt, made to trial pressing and construction. I'll show you that next time and you'll see what a difference fabric makes to the feel of this quilt.  

You can purchase the PDF pattern now at Craftsy or Etsy, or through my Pattern Store

Happy sewing!

Hope x 

P.S. Did you know that if you purchase through my Pattern Store you can get a discount on purchases of two or more patterns? Simply enter code MORETOLOVE at checkout.