Sew and Tell….Kris


Kris Camper quilt

Recently Kris brought in her quilt she made for her daughter. I asked Kris to tell me about it and this is what she wrote;

The quilt began with the pattern Campers by Amy Bradley Designs. I saw it on our website and fell in love with the family scene. It gave me so many options that I was able to personalize the center block to fit my daughter and son-in-law’s family. They had just purchased a trailer for camping and were enjoying it immensely so I thought a quilt for their bed would be perfect. In the pattern there are also many trailer blocks for personalizing (I used four of them) as well as a block with grandparents on it. That one I didn’t use although it sure is cute.

I purchased a sky fabric with fluffy white clouds to do the center block and the sky in the trailer blocks I was going to use for the corners. I also decided on a uniform fabric for the grass in all the scenes. I know that no one else can relate, but I had MANY scraps and fat quarters that I could use for all the bits and pieces needed for the applique in all the blocks. I did purchase some fat 1/8th bundles of Downton Abbey as well to supplement the scraps. Out of the Downton Abbey I fussy cut the flowers used on the trailer blocks.

Campers block 1 Campers block 2 Campers block 3 Campers block 4

Several of the blocks had little signs to add comments like “No Mosquitos Allowed”, “We Love to Camp” and of course, the one on the family scene that allowed me to put their family name. I also added their three cats and one dog to the scene with their names.

Camper catsSiena dog

The hardest part was coming up with a border for the entire quilt. I came up with approximately four incarnations of a border after framing all the blocks in Kona-Indigo. I created some blocks out of flying geese to fill in the space between the trailer blocks. I used some of the fabrics I had used in the applique blocks and the final border choice, pale blue crosses with three other blue shades radiating out to the edge of the quilt. For the border fabric I chose a new line we had in the shop, the Jinny Beyer Palette Collection. A huge collection with wonderful colour and design choices which are all good blenders. Once I put this border around the edges of the quilt I knew I had a winner! None of the other borders “made” the quilt the way that this border did.

I took the quilt to my friend, Beatrice Rieske of Pumpkin Patch Patterns and Longarm Quilting in Chilliwack, for the quilting. A totally custom look to accentuate the appliqued blocks was used by not quilting the actual applique pieces. The sky and grass only were stippled. Maple leaves were free motion quilted in between the blocks along with a beautiful free motion design to fill in between some of the edging blocks. This design played off of the loopy border used around the center block. Beatrice had already previewed the quilt before I had finished it and came up with these ideas as well as cross-hatching the 2 ½ cross border. It came back to me looking absolutely stunning!

I bound it and gave it to my daughter and son-in-law with a specially made label using Avery Fabric Transfers and my ink jet printer. I found a wonderful little camping scene on the internet and entered all the details of the quilt over top of it. I had watermarked the camping scene so that the text would be visible and the scene would be subtle. I sample printed it on paper first to ensure it was the right size and look and then printed it on the transfer fabric. This probably wouldn’t be my next choice for a label but it worked fine for my first attempt at labelling.

This was a total surprise for my kids – they had absolutely no idea I was making it. Easy to keep it a secret when you don’t live in the same house! They were very surprised and very happy with the end product. My grandchildren were just as excited seeing themselves and Mommy and Daddy in the quilt along with their pets. I expect I’ll get special requests from them for camping quilts for their beds in the trailer in the near future!

Campers centre blockCampers close upCamper cats

Kris did an amazing job on this quilt. You could easily spend an hour or more going over it and all the cool little details. This will surely become a family heirloom that will be truly treasured.

Find the pattern by clicking here.

Super Cute Summer Camping Mini


mini camper

Heather stitched up this super darling mini quilt. It’s one in a series of mini quilts designed by Sherri Falls of This and That.

She used fabric from her stash as the pieces are small (I spy a collection of Bonnie & Camille prints in there). The colours are bright and cheery and the design is fun. This mini project is primarily pieced with a sweet bunting applique and simple free motion quilting to finish it off. Have a closer look below.
mini camper close upmini camper flags
Want this pattern? Find it here.

Thrifty Thursday….Judie’s Album Quilt Kit


Judie's Album QK

Today’s *Thrifty Thursday item is the Judie’s Album Quilt Kit. The finished quilt measures 78″ x 90″ and features Civil War fabrics. This quilt kit comes with the pattern and all fabrics for the quilt top and binding. Our regular price is $195.00 Our Thrifty Thursday price is only $129.98. Click Here to order yours today!

*Thrifty Thursday items are final sale and may not be returned or refunded.

Tips for Stem Stitching with DMC or Cosmo Embroidery Floss


Image result for Girls' Getaway #2 Clawfoot Tub

At Hamels, we LOVE patterns and kits featuring Crabapple Hill Designs. Meg Hawkey is a fave! We also have many other quilt patterns that consist of embroidery like Bunny Hill Designs. We are oftenValdani asked in the store if our samples are machine embroidered to which we explain that the samples are made using a pigma micron pen and then embroidered using either Cosmo or DMC embroidery floss. Some projects and crafters prefer Valdani embroidery floss that comes on a ball. Note: Embroidery is done only after the pattern is traced out with a pigma pen and the colouring is added.brown pigma pen

Embroidery Needle – Recently, whilst making our latest sample “Glitter Houses”, by Bunny Hill Designs, Our Kris pulled out some shorter length needles. She has found that John James big eye needles, size 11 worked great.

John James Gold’N Glide Big Eye Between / Quilting Needles Size 11 10ct

Kris embroidered the blocks on this quilt using a stem stitch and has discovered that the tinier the stitch the better. It’s easy to do a tiny stitch if you select a shorter needle. Refer to Mary Corbet’s “Needle n’ Thread” website for information on stem stitching.

IMG_3441       IMG_3442

How many strands of floss? – Another tip is to check the number of strands of embroidery floss you actually need. Kris’ pattern for “Glitter Houses” called for four strands of DMC embroidery floss andimages when she used four strands, it seemed very heavy for the design. It was also impossible to pull through the fabric as this made for  eight strands bunched up at the needle trying to come through. Not the look we were going for! This would work on open weave fabric or cross stitch fabric but wasn’t going to work on the tightly woven quilting fabric. So… Kris found that if she reduced the strands to two instead of an overwhelming four strands, then voila, it worked perfectly! Her stitches using two strands resulted in very tiny and dainty stitching to suit the design. As you can see below, Kris achieved excellent results on our store sample which is currently out being quilted.

Please let us know if you would like to order “Glitter Houses” as a kit. It is available right now on our website and can be found by clicking here.

Glitter Houses