Spring Chicks

Chicks Matt

Spring is baby chick tome. Janet made this super cute little Chicks candle mat. If you’ve ever wanted to try your hand at hand embroidery this small project is a great place to start. At only 9″ in diameter this pint size project won’t feel overly ambitious for the beginner or someone trying to meet a deadline for a gift.Chicks Close Up

The project is made using wool felt for the base and the appliqué pieces. The simple stitching details are so sweet you can almost feel the soft fuzzy down of the chicks. And because of the primitive feel of this project there is no need for perfect stitches.Chicks Close up 2

Chicks is available as a pattern only or in a kit which includes fabric to complete the mat, embroidery floss and the pattern. .

Tuesday Tip….YLI Invisible Thread for Appliqué

YLI Invisble Thread
Invisible thread made by YLI is a beloved favourite here at Hamels Fabrics. It comes in two colours: Clear or Smoke. We use it on many of our appliqué quilt kit projects like those from Pine Needles and Laundry Basket Quilts like the upcoming “Elephants” kit. We’ve even gone so far as to use it to appliqué wool and fireside fabrics in our samples. For the “Elephants” sample we are using invisible thread in the top and neutral beige cotton thread in the bobbin. Using a short / narrow zigzag stitch to hold down our elephants.

Elephant block

Why use something invisible you ask? Well, this thin 100% nylon thread is fine and soft, not at all like the thick stiff fishing line stuff. YLI Invisible thread is so fine that it’s about .004 mm in diameter. Yep, that’s like a human hair or something!il_570xN.796087056_sd2k

When you thread your machine with YLI Invisible Thread your stitches are camouflaged which is great if you are getting used to quilting and sewing. Relax and enjoy this thread that holds down your appliqué and saves you from having to buy several different colours of regular thread. It’s invisible and works on the surface of most fabrics. The “clear” is good for light to medium coloured fabrics and “smoke” looks good on dark colours.Stitching detail

Use regular 50 weight cotton thread in the bobbin to match the background of your project and the YLI Invisible Thread goes right on top. Try a few sample stitches on scraps to test drive your tension. Your machine may need to have the top tension reduced a bit. Try using a 70-10 or a 65/9 Microtex needle with this invisible thread.

This thread can also be used to machine quilt with.

Caution: Resist using invisible threads on a baby quilt project because if there was ever a loose stitch that a baby could get a finger or toe underneath, this could hurt baby.

Experiment with it. Happy stitching!

Meet The Hamel-Lites…Denise


Denise has been with Hamels for over 18 years. She started off teaching classes many moons ago but these days she takes care of the figuring and cutting of all our Block-of-the-Month programs, Quilt Clubs and the majority of the kits we offer. On more than one occasion Denise has been heard reciting Queen lyrics “Another One Bites the Dust” when she’s completed packaging a new set of quilt kits for the store.

Denise has been sewing since she was 12 years old.  Her sewing space is an extra bedroom in the house that has been vacated by children that have grown and moved on. Currently her favourite technique is Englsh Paper Piecing so it’s no surprise her most highly recommended quilting accessory is her Kay Buckley’s 4″ Perfect Scissors which work perfectly for cutting out all her tiny fabric pieces when she is working on her latest EPP project.

Besides quilting her hobbies include scrapbooking, cross-stitch, camping, spending time with her grandchildren and more recently her new pet piggies Wiggles and Giggles.


Blend Hot Pads

Joanne whipped up these coffee themed hot pads. They are stitched using a Blend fabric panel which doubles as the pattern for the back and fleece pieces. Insul-Fleece was used between the cotton layers to reflect heat.

She chose a coordinating fabric for the back and loops, added a couple of rows of quilting and voila…a set of hot pads that are both useful and stylish!Hot Pads Back