Category Archives: Other

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.

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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

Chalk Marking Instruments from Clover


One of our most favourite brand names here at Hamels for sewing notions is the Clover brand. They make all kinds of needles, seam rippers and the classic “chaco liners“. These pens are beloved by many quilters for marking fabrics for quilting, cutting, etc.

Watch the video below to see them in action. Another nice thing is that with the pens and liners you can refill them and keep using your marker. Now that’s a help to the environment! If we don’t already have one on our notion wall, please let us order the colour and style you would like from the warehouse.

Sew and Tell….Patty


Patty and her quilt

Our customer Patty brought in this nearly finished basket quilt. Just wow!!

The pattern is an older one that she has had for awhile and like many quilters she made a few changes. She added more flowers to the baskets and did all her applique in wool. She also added detailed beaded embellishments.Patty's Basket block 2 Patty's Basket block 1Patty's Basket block 3

The weight of the wool applique on the cotton fabric caused the baskets to arch up from the from the background and the beautiful long arm quilting emphasizes this.Patty's Basket block 4Patty's Basket Quilt Quilting details
A big thanks to Patty for sharing her project with us.