Coming Soon!

Coming-Soon-2aOur new blog and newsletter “Hamels Thread”  is set to Launch Monday September 29th, 2014.  Our new blog will be a great resource for tutorials, sales items, features, patterns, customer highlights, “Behind the seams”, and sew much more…………

Be sure to sign up for our newletter to stay infromed.


Lynne copy

Stitching Together the Future

If you’ve visited the shop over the last couple of years you would have been very fortunate to have met Lynne. Bubbly, fun, upbeat Lynne.  She always greets you with a big smile and and an enthusiastic attitude.  A few weeks ago Lynne retired.  Sad as we were to see her go we understand and wished her happiness and good health in her well deserved retirement.

I am delighted though to have had the opportunity to visit her home late last summer and sneak a peek at her sewing space.  I’m always curious to see where sewers spend their time doing what they love and Lynne was more than willing to share.

Lynne has a small home.  Being limited on space meant she had to be inventive when she decided her bedroom would be the most suitable space to accommodate her hobby.DSC_1158 copy

A small table occupies one corner of the room to house her sewing machine.  She uses the wall space just above as her design wall, remember “Miss Harriet”?DSC_1183 copyDSC_1182 copy

Her entire closet is occupied with fabric, notions, projects, books, patterns and threads.  All neatly categorized into storage drawers and bins.  I never did ask her where she stores her clothes.DSC_1175 copyDSC_1177 copyDSC_1179 copy

She uses the hallway just outside her bedroom to set up her ironing table when required.DSC_1238 copy

When the weather is favourable she regularly takes her sewing machine outside to stitch in the covered outdoor space.DSC_1211 copy DSC_1232 copy DSC_1217 copy

Lynne is a collecter of bears and this little guy keeps her company while stitching outside.DSC_1226 copy

Not only is Lynne a fabulous quilter she also boasts a superb green thumb .  Because of this and her whimsical design style I couldn’t resist including some photos of her garden.

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We are sad that she has gone but we know she will return for regular visits because we are after all her favourite quilt shop ;-) .  We truly wish Lynne all the best stitching together the next chapter of her life.

Happy “Fry” Day


Now that “Fry” Day is finally here,  what better way to take in the summer but with this great French Fry Apron.  This quick to make apron is ideal for working in the garden or for the weekend BBQ and only uses three Fat Quarters.  Below is the tutorial how to make this project.  Note that the tutorial uses different fabrics.  Be sure to come by the store this Saturday to enter the draw to win this French Fry Apron.


– One cotton fat quarter (feature fabric).

– Two cotton fat quarters for the lining and straps.

– Matching thread, rotary cutter, ruler and cutting mat.

Sewing Instruction:

1.  Square up fat quarters removing salvages

2.  Align feature fabric fat quarter and one lining fabric fat quarter right sides together.  Stitch around the edges using a 1/4 inch seam.





3.  Be sure to leave a 3 inch opening on one of the short sides.






4.  Trim off the corners.


5.  Turn inside out through the opening on the side.



6.  Press out clipped corners. Press, folding in raw edges at open area. 


7.  From the second lining fat quarter, cut 4 strips 2 1/2 inches wide from the width of fabric. Join two strips with a 45 degree bias join.  This makes one tie, (make two).  Fold each strip to the centre from both lengthwise sides and press.  These strips will resemble bias tape.  Fold in half again and stitch along length close to edge.  Fold one end over and stitch close to the edge.

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8.  Lay out apron so lining side is facing up. The side that has the hole will be the top of the apron. Flip this top edge over on itself, as shown, by 1 1/2  inches.  Pin in place along length. Tuck raw ends of bias straps in on both ends.



9.  Sew along length, close to the edge, and over ends to secure straps in place.  To close up the opening, ensure the raw edges of the hole are folded and tucked inside as you sew.



10.  Fold the bottom edge up over the lining so that pockets measure  aproximately 7 to 8  inches deep. Sew close to the edge along the right and left edges of the apron.


11.  To make the pockets, sew along from the bottom edge of the apron to the top pocket edge. This divides the pocket into sections.  No need to measure to be accurate here.  Make a few pockets with various widths.  As an option, you can tie knots in the ends of the straps.  



Viola!! You are done.  Now your apron is ready to wear and enjoy.




Shifting for Spring!

So recently we’ve undergone some BIG changes here at the shop. Renovations, and just before the Spring show season hustle was about to begin.

What was formerly our warehouse and order desk on the main floor has become the mail room and office for all the website staff.  What used to be the mail room/warehouse/storage/website office & more in the basement has become the new storage space and work area for all the precuts, quilt kits and block of the months.

The new arrangement is so much more efficient.  Now when shipments arrive they are processed on the ground floor which means fabric no longer needs to be carried down to the basement and back up again.  All mail orders are now processed and packaged from the main floor where as it used to be done in the basement and then carried up to the main floor to be shipped out.

Here are some before and after photos of the renovation.  Unfortunately I never had the foresight to take pictures of the spaces before the renovation began, but if you are a regular visitor to the shop I’m sure you’ve caught a glimpse of the space on some occasion or another.

In the photos below the walls have been insulated and painted, yay!  The space was never originally intended to be used for anything other then storage but evolved over time.  So after years of extreme ups and downs in temperature let me tell you what a pleasure it is to have insulated walls.  Additionally extra lighting and windows have been installed making it much brighter, and new shelving has been affixed.

The start

While the main floor space was being renovated we could not use that area for three very loooooong weeks.   During this time the basement had to serve double duty with the exception of “The Cave”.  Somehow as tight as it was we managed in this organized chaos.
Overall basement during reno

Linda's desk during reno

Linda’s temporary order desk

Alidas desk during reno

Alida’s desk.  Yes, there is a desk back there!

Clearly there was no way everything was going to fit into the basement so that is why “The Cave” was introduced.  “The Cave” is where we stored all the precuts, battings, quilts etc. that were displaced during the renovation.  Without power it was quite dark in there hence it’s nickname.  But wow what a feast for the eyes to walk in and watch as the beam of the flashlight meets a wall of jelly rolls!

The Cave

“The Cave” where many a displaced cotton goody was stored

Here are a few “After” photos of the basement…

Jelly Rolls

Jelly Rolls getting coordinated into their new space

Layer Cakes

The Layer Cakes are nearly organized

And “After” photos of the office which was formerly the warehouse and order desk…

Finished office 1

Almost settled and in full use

Finished office 3

Look at all the empty shelf space. That won’t last long lol!

Finsihed Office 2

A few furniture tweaks have been made since this photo was taken

The fur babies were not overlooked in the planning of this reno.  In the past someone would have to pause countless times in a work day when Scout or Jersey were heard scratching at the door to be let in…or out.

And so the reno came complete with doggie doors for our two little mascots.

It took a week or so to coax them into using the newly installed doggy doors. Eventually they got the hang of it and can now freely roam in and out at their leisure without disturbing the person sitting nearest the door.  Unfortunately for them they still need to make the trek down a flight of stairs if they want to join us at lunchtime.

Scout using doggy door

Miss Jersey using the much loved Doggy Door..

Now all that is left is to decorate with quilts!


Olympic Patchwork Quilt

If you are not typically a fan of televised sporting events then the fact that The Sochi 2014 Olympic and Paralympic Organizing Committee has selected a patchwork quilt design to represent them in the upcoming games may persuade you to tune in.


Bosco Sport is the creator of 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics design theme as well as a a sponsor of the Russian Olympic and Paralympic teams; “Every region in the world is proud of its unique origins, and it is no different in Russia. That is why there are so many different local traditions, songs and crafts that highlight the individuality of their creators, each valuable in its own right. Bosco had a wealth of choices to represent Russia’s rich diversity, but in the end we settled on something familiar, warm and welcoming: the patchwork quilt.”

presenting the look

Basically the concept of the design is to represent each of Russia’s 89 regions using famous patterns, motifs and ornaments from various Russian crafts and art forms in the patches.

“The look revolves around “the principle of the ‘patchwork quilt’ — a combination of 16 designs representing the most famous traditional Russian arts and crafts, ranging from Gzhel to Khokhloma.”  ~Sochi 2014 Organizing Committee

For an interesting read and to learn more about the history and details of the individual designs and the artwork of the Olympic patchwork go to the Sochi 2014 Bosco website and click on “Look of the Games”.

banner designs

Yay for us there will be patchwork everywhere!  Along with the official logo, banners and volunteer apparel you’ll expect to see broadcast there will be much more to watch for.  Here is a sampling of some of the things you may not get to see in detail;

Olympic Village

Olympic Village ~ photo via Flickr

Patchwork Airplane

Airplane ~ photo via Flickr

Patchwork Train

Train ~ photo via Flickr

Patchwork Car

Car ~ photo via Flickr

Hockey pucks

Olympic and Paralympic pucks ~ photo via flickr

Gold Medal

The Sochi 2014 Paralympic medal ~ photo via Flickr

Sochi 2014 merchandise

Olympic merchandise ~

Let the games begin!