Dead simple felt Christmas garland

Are you kind of freaking out that it’s nearly December, nearly Christmas and nearly time to start decorating? I’m not, really, except that we’ve been running all sorts of awesome Christmas classes in the shop and I can see how prepared everyone else is getting! We are going to my hometown of Seattle on Monday for Thanksgiving, so I’ll reserve my actual freaking out for when we come back.

In anticipation, I whipped up a dead simple felt garland for this week’s project to show you that decking the halls doesn’t have to be complicated. Yay for that! I used traditional red and green but you can use anything you like. I’m kind of digging the fact that ice blue and hot pink are working their way into modern Christmas decor, aren’t you?


You need:

Wool felt pieces (I used four and it worked out to about 11 metres of garland. Whoa.)
About a metre of ribbon
Coordinating thread
Latest episode of Scandal (or similar)


Let’s go:

1. Stack your felt pieces and line them up on the cutting mat. Cut 5cm strips.


2. Turn them, or turn your mat, or turn yourself, and cut the strips into 5cm squares.


Now, turn on the TV, grab those squares and get comfortable in front of your sewing machine.


3. Cut your ribbon in half and position one half on the middle of a piece of felt and secure it with a few back and forth stitches.




4. Starting with the piece attached to the ribbon, start sewing your felt squares together, one after another, as closely together as possible without overlapping.



5. Finish by attaching the remaining piece of ribbon to your last felt square.




Admire your massive pile of garland, then hang wherever you want some Christmas cheer!



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Winter + Christmas shop opening hours

Winter + Christmas shop opening hours

A bit of a housekeeping post for you – but important info if you’re a customer of our West Hampstead shop! The clocks have changed and it’s now dark and pretty wet most nights. As a result, we’ve made the decision not to stay open until 9pm on Thursdays until things lighten up again. What does this mean for you?

1. Knitting and handwork night is on hold until further notice

2. We hold classes many evenings during the week, so if you want to shop, check the class schedule (and then call ahead to double check) – and you will be able to pop in during class hours.

I also thought this would be a good time to make a decision about Christmas opening hours! Our last regular day will be Tuesday, 23 December, and we’ll re-open on Friday, 2 January. However, because our website never closes and we’ll have a big online sale (wink, wink) during that period, at least one of the team will be popping in most days to process online orders. And we all live a stone’s throw from the shop. So if you’re in from out of town and want to visit the shop, please email and we’ll try to schedule a time for you to drop in!

I’ll leave you with last year’s Christmas window display. Our new Christmas window is coming soon!

christmas 2013 shop window_small

Please get in touch if you have any questions!

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Laminated Kid Placemat tutorial

There is nothing like a looming newsletter deadline to motivate me to finally tackle a project I’ve been dreaming up! Harvey rejected his highchair months ago, so he has been eating most of his meals at our coffee table with a little chair – the perfect size for him. Mealtimes involve a full coverage bib, messy mat and placemat to keep the chaos in check, so I’ve been thinking it would be fun to make a placemat just for him. Want to make one? Here we go!


*Two fat quarters of quilting cotton (one for each side). If you use canvas or something heavier, you can probably skip the interfacing.
*Half a metre of Vilene fusible interfacing
*One metre of iron-on vinyl (I used matte)
*Coordinating thread
*Binding clips or wonder clips

I chose two really fun Japanese fabrics, Animal Runway and Under Construction. I adore these fabrics and they reflect two of Harvey’s favourite things: animals and cars/trucks. We’ve already had a lot of fun pointing out the animals he knows!


1. Cut your fabric, interfacing and iron-on vinyl. The size is up to you, but I went with 40cm by 54cm because I wanted a pretty big place mat.



2. Iron your interfacing to the wrong side of each piece of fabric.


3. Iron on your vinyl. To do this, first set your iron to medium and steam setting to off. Peel off the paper and put the vinyl sticky side down on right side of your fabric. Place the paper grid-side up on top and press for eight seconds. Then press the wrong side for four seconds. Be careful to NOT touch the iron directly to the vinyl or it will melt.


4. Trim off any excess interfacing and vinyl.


5. Use a cup to create a round corner and cut with a sharp rotary cutter or scissors.


6. Sew around the edge of each piece of fabric using a basting stitch and a half inch seam allowance. You may be wondering why at this stage we’re not sewing our two pieces right sides together. I opted not to do that because the vinyl does have a tendency to wrinkle. This is the method I came up with to try to avoid that fate!


I find it helpful to draw my stitching line on curves.


7. Clip your corners. I only clipped twice on this one but after I did a few I realised 3-4 clips makes it easier to keep your corners round.


8. Press the seam allowances under. I did the sides first and then pressed the corners from the front. Be sure to use the paper when you’re pressing vinyl!



9. Now clip the two pieces, wrong sides together, using your binding clips or wonder clips. Pins will leave obvious holes, if you can even get them through all these layers.


10. Sew using a 1/4 inch seam allowance, doing your best to keep those corners neat as you go.



And you’re done! Sit down and enjoy your meal!


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Cuckoo’s Calling by Bethan Janine is now in store!

Bethan Janine’s second collection for Dashwood Studio, Cuckoo’s Calling, has just arrived in store! It’s a vibrant and fun collection inspired by Bethan’s Grandmothers cuckoo clock, delicate leaves and pretty little meadow flowers that she drew whilst on her holidays as a child. The collection combines bright oranges and pinks with cool mint and navy patterns which make the collection versatile and appealing to all! Shop the Cuckoo’s Calling collection or build a Cuckoo’s calling bundle!


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Our new pyjama window display!

This post is waaaay overdue! But I’m excited to finally share the latest window display from our West Hampstead shop. It’s all pyjamas!


Let’s start with the quilt! This beautiful quilt was designed and sewn up by Emmajane McNulty of Stitch and Pieces. She mainly used fabrics from Far Far Away by Heather Ross, plus a mix of supporting prints from different collections and Kona Cotton Solids. The backing is from Pearl Bracelets by Lizzy House. You can make your own with Emmajane’s fab tutorial!


All of our garments this month were sewn by Charlotte Newland. Our little boy is wearing Oliver + S Sleepover Pyjamas. Aren’t these the cutest ever? The main fabric is Apollo in Green from Planet Buzz by Maude Asbury and the trim is XOXO in Dandelion from Cotton + Steel Basics.


Our little girl is wearing the Oliver + S Pinwheel Slip as a sweet little nightgown. The main fabric is Flutterflies in Aqua from Arcadia by Sarah Watson.


Our lady is wearing the Gather Buchanan robe in Mary Thistle in Spring from Pretty Potent Voile by Anna Maria Horner with Cambridge Lawn trim in Emerald. We have a class coming up with Rachel Pinheiro on 29 November for this pattern – it’s perfect for selfish sewing and Christmas gifts!

You can’t see them, but there is a little pair of shorts under there that Charlotte made using the pyjama bottoms pattern from Love at First Stitch by Tilly Walnes in Cambridge Lawn in Aqua.


At the kids’ feet is a sheep pillow that I made using Fanfare Flannel Solids by Rae Hoekstra. I was hoping to share a pattern for this, but I feel like he needs a couple of tweaks before he’s ready to be shared. He’s still pretty cosy though!

We hope you’ll come visit us and see our shop window in person!

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Emmajane’s Ribbons Baby Quilt tutorial

I love this new quilt pattern by Emmajane McNulty of Stitch and Pieces! This baby-size quilt is perfect for fussy cutting and it’s so fun that she basically used “boy” colours to make a “girl” quilt (you know, because there are unicorns…) It’s so fresh, bright and pretty. Read on for the tutorial!


This baby quilt is called “Ribbons” because I used three colours with squares and half rectangle triangles to create ribbons of colour. To get this look I used 5 blue fabrics, 4 green fabrics and 4 lilac fabrics.

1 Fat Quarters

Fabric Requirements:
13 fat quarters (five “blues”, four “greens”, four “lilacs”)
130cm of fabric for the backing
half a metre of fabric for the binding
44” x 50” of wadding
Recommended tools:
Quilter’s ruler
Fabric pen

Finished quilt size 39” x 44”
Seam allowance is ¼” unless stated otherwise
When making the half rectangle triangles press the lighter fabric seam over the darker fabric seam.
Before starting this quilt it is important to plan your cutting. I had a unicorn print in three different colours which was perfect for fussy cutting and having centred in the 6” square blocks.

2 Fussy Cutting

Cutting and Preparation:
Cut 13 6” squares from the blue fabrics
Cut 12 6” squares from the green fabrics
Cut 10 6” squares from the lilac fabrics
Cut 16 7” x 4” rectangles from the blue fabrics
Cut 16 7” x 4” rectangles from the green fabrics
Cut 12 7” x 4” rectangles from the lilac fabrics

Making the Half Rectangle Triangles (HRT):
There are two types of half rectangle triangle blocks to make. For ease these are going to be called A or B.

To make the HRT A:
Take the two of the 7” x 4” rectangles from the correct colours. The fabric which will be on the left hand side will be right side up (here this is blue) and the fabric which will be on the right hand side will be wrong side up (here this is green).

3 Half Rectangle Triangles

Then using the half inch mark on your quilter’s ruler, with a fabric pen mark a half inch on the blue fabric in the bottom left corner and top right corner. Mark a half inch on the green fabric in the in the top left corner and bottom right corner.

4 Half Rectangle Triangles

Then still using the fabric marker, join the dots with the quilter’s ruler.

5 Half Rectangle Triangles

Now place the wrong side fabric on top of the right side fabric, taking care to match the dots and line with one another.

6 Half Rectangle Triangles

Pin and then sew a ¼” seam either side of the line.

7 Half Rectangle Triangles

Using your rotary cutter, cut down the line.

8 Half Rectangle Triangles

Press the two blocks, ready to trim.

9 Half Rectangle Triangles

This is where it gets tricky! You are going to trim these blocks to create a 6” x 3¼” block, but in order to get points that are perfect when you start sewing blocks together you need to cut accurately.
It’s best to trim the shorter sides first. Make sure that there is enough fabric to cut a 3¼” side, but make sure that ⅛” is in the bottom fabric.

10 Half Rectangle Triangles

Check that at the other side you have the angle at the correct point so that you get ⅛” of the other fabric there as well.

11 Half Rectangle Triangles

When you then trim the longer 6” edge you need to make sure that there is ⅛” of each fabric included in your trimming. It’s a bit fiddly, but you will get the hang of it.

12 Half Rectangle Triangles

14 Half Rectangle Triangles

Done correctly your block should look like this:

13 Half Rectangle Triangles

It does look like you’ve gone wrong because there is a blunt point, but you are going to need it like that for later (trust me).

This table should help you to work out how many of each HRT A blocks to make and where to place the dots:

Number of finished HRT A Fabrics to use Right side facing when cutting
Dots: bottom left & top right Wrong side facing when cutting
Dots: top left & bottom right
9 blue and green 5 blue 7” x 4”
5 green 7” x 4” blue green
6 green and lilac 3 green 7” x 4”
3 lilac 7” x 4” green lilac
6 lilac and blue 3 lilac 7” x 4”
3 blue 7” x 4” lilac blue

Once you’ve got the hang of this, making the HRT B should be straightforward, but here are some photos and an explanation to help out:

This time our wrong side facing fabric will have the quarter inch dots at the bottom left and top right. The right side facing fabric will have the quarter inch dots at the top left and bottom right. Like before draw a line using a fabric pen on both fabrics to join the dots.

15 Half Rectangle Triangles

Match the lines as before and pin. Then sew a ¼” seam either side of the line. Then use the rotary cutter to create the two blocks.

16 Half Rectangle Triangles

17 Half Rectangle Triangles

Once again, press the seams and get ready for the tricky business of trimming!

18 Half Rectangle Triangles

Use the same technique as before. Make sure you trim with a ⅛” as you did previously.

19 Half Rectangle Triangles

This second table shows you how many of each HRT B blocks to make and where to place the dots:

Number of finished HRT B Fabrics to use Right side facing when cutting
Dots: top left & bottom right Wrong side facing when cutting
Dots: bottom left & top right
9 blue and green 5 blue 7” x 4”
5 green 7” x 4” blue green
6 green and lilac 3 green 7” x 4”
3 lilac 7” x 4” green lilac
6 lilac and blue 3 lilac 7” x 4”
3 blue 7” x 4” lilac blue

The hard work is now done! It’s time to get piecing this quilt.

Prepare your layout so it looks like this: (You should see the ribbons of the three fabric colours.)
20 Piecing

Now sew the rows together.

21 Piecing

Your pieced half rectangle triangles should look like this, which is a little strangle looking but they will give you a lovely point when you use your ¼” foot:

22 Piecing

When you sew rows together be sure to press one row of seams one way the next row of seams the other so that your seams can nestle nicely next to each other when you sew the rows together.

23 Nestling seams

Your pieced quilt top will look like this:

24 Pieced

Press the quilt top really well and remove any loose threads.

Basting and Quilting:

Make the quilt sandwich, using your preferred method. Quilt as desired. I quilted tramlines with my walking foot and followed the ribbons. To emphasise the colours I quilted the blue ribbon in a blue thread, the green in a green and the lilac in a lilac thread.

25 Quilting
26 Threads for quilting

Trim the quilt in preparation for attaching the binding.


I decided to machine bind this quilt, but you can do it by hand if you wish. When I machine bind I use 2¾” strips. If I hand bind I use 2½” strips. Whichever way you need to cut five strips in total.
Sew the five strips together. Fold in half and press. Attach using a ¼” foot and then either hand or machine finish.

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Launch party for Priory Square by Katy Jones!

We are so proud of our friend Katy Jones for creating such a beautiful collection for Art Gallery Fabrics! Katy has always been a huge supporter of The Village Haberdashery and we’re thrilled to be able to celebrate Priory Square with a launch party at our West Hampstead shop on Sunday, 14th December at 2pm.

As well as debuting her first fabric collection, Katy writes the popular quilting blog I’m a Ginger Monkey, is the editor of Quilt Now magazine and hosts a TV series on the Quilters News Network. She’s one of the rock stars of our industry!


Katy will be in the shop with samples to introduce her first collection Priory Square, which was inspired by her own personal upbringing and life in England. The collection delivers a classic crème, navy, pink and emerald blue palette that jumps out against the scenic surprises, which bloom throughout the entire collection. We’ve timed this event with the arrival of the fabric, so it will be fresh off the boat and on our shelves!


If you would like to meet Katy and learn more about her creative career and where she gathered her inspiration from for each beautiful print, then join us on the 14th December for a relaxed and fun afternoon. We’ll also have wine and cake on hand to keep everyone refreshed!


This event also happens to fall during the weekend of our annual anniversary sale, so there is the added bonus of 20% off everything in the shop!

This is a free event and no booking is necessary, but we’d love it if you could email to let us know if you plan to attend.

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Fall Quilt Market preview!

As you read this, I’m on a plane to Houston for Quilt Market! Quilt Market is our industry’s biggest trade show and it is mainly a buying trip, where I go and see all the newest fabric and decide what to bring back for you! Just like last time, I’ll be taking as many photos as possible to share on Instagram so you can see everything as I see it and give your feedback. Follow me if you want to get involved! Here are some of the collections I’m super excited to check out at market!

Cotton + Steel have a new set of collections coming at the beginning of the year! Just like last time, this collection will include quilting cotton, lawn and canvas plus the team have included a collection on double gauze. We are so excited about that! All we’ve seen so far are little peeks on Instagram and these logos!


Alison Glass is releasing three new designs for her Sun Print collection for Andover. Aren’t they gorgeous?

Sun Print

Cloud9 always have gorgeous and interesting new collections. Here are a few peeks at what they have in store!

Yoyogi Park

Small World

Moody Blues

Morning Song

Ellen Luckett Baker‘s new collection for Kokka looks like so much fun. Sheep! Tomatoes! Yay!


Art Gallery Fabrics have already shared all of the collections they have planned for the next six months or more, but seeing the collections and samples in person is always better than on screen. Here are a few I can’t wait to see:

Priory Square

Hello, Bear

Morning Walk


We are lucky enough to already have Doe by Carolyn Friedlander in store, but we’re really excited to see the amazing quilts she’ll have in her booth at Robert Kaufman. Just look at this sneak peak!


What are you looking forward to seeing from Quilt Market?

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GEO Pop by Emmie K now in stock

GEO Pop by Emmie K now in stock

Bright, bold, geometric GEO Pop is now in stock from Emmie K! This collection from Robert Kaufman is printed on 100% cotton canvas that is perfect for bags, upholstery, cushions, kitchen textiles and loads more projects that need a cotton fabric with a bit more structure. What fun! Find them in the shop here.


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House of Wales from Robert Kaufman now in stock

House of Wales is a super soft new collection of plaid shirtings from Robert Kaufman and we love them! These fabrics are perfect for garment sewing, like shirts for men and boys, skirts and even dresses. Or make up a set of cosy sheets! Did we mention how soft these are? So soft! Find them in the shop here.


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